The Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary on Genesis

Genesis chapter 31

Kraig J. Rice
www.7-star-admiral.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Clicking on these links will move you down this web page)
Genesis chapter thirty one
 Chapter 31- Jacob separated from his father-in-law
Gen. 31:1 - 2 Laban changed for the worse
 Gen. 31:3 - 13 Divine blessings and guidance
 Jacob had a dream of prosperity
 Jacob had a closed door
 Gen. 31:14 - 16 Inheritance of Laban's daughters
 Gen. 31:17 - 21 Jacob headed out
 Gen. 31:22 - 23 Laban chased after Jacob
 Gen. 31:24 - 29 Laban had a dream-message
 Gen. 31:30 - 35 Laban reaped what he had sowed
 Jacob was falsely accused
 You shall not steal
 What were teraphim idols?
 Gen. 31:36 - 42 God is the Greatest Lawyer
 Gen. 31:43 - 55 Laban was reconciled to Jacob
 Ownership versus managership
 Where was Mount Gilead?
 Some title names of God
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Genesis Chapter 31
Jacob separated from his father-in-law

Laban changed for the worse:
"And he heard the words of Laban's sons, saying: Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory. And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before"
(Genesis 31:1-2).

Sometimes, people change. Some change for the better and some change for the worse. When a person changes for the better, it is usually a blessing, however, when one changes for the worse, it is not so. For awhile, Jacob was seen as a blessing to Laban's household, and then, later, it was not so. Why did Laban change? It appears that Laban changed because his money (in the form of his livestock possessions) steadily decreased and Laban blamed Jacob for it. When folks no longer get along with each other, God is always there to help each of the parties involved if they ask Him. When folks no longer get along with each other, it is called in churchanity "a closed door". This is the opposite of "an open door".

Did Laban also change spiritually because he started worshipping idols? Possibly. If so, this change showed in Laban's countenance and in his action of selfishness (cutting Jacob's wages and making him work for free). Spiritual backsliding does not happen overnight. Rather, it is a long and slow gradual change downwards that includes selfishness, lies, backbiting, negativity, anger, disfavor, one's separation from godly folks, and so much more not listed here. Later, King Saul of Israel, spiritually backslid. God separated from him because of his sin of disobedience towards God
(1 Samuel 15:23). I imagine that King Saul's countenance changed also. His spiritual radiance and glow that once was seen on his face had left. The countenance that remained was what sin had cursed him with.

It appears that Jacob had a closed door with his Uncle Laban and it was time for Jacob to return to the Promised Land to fulfill his ultimate destiny.


Divine blessings and guidance (the Angel of God):
"And the Lord said unto Jacob:
"Return unto the land of thy fathers, and to thy kindred; and I will be with thee."
"And Jacob sent and called Rachel and Leah to the field unto his flock, and said unto them: I see your father's countenance, that it is not toward me as before; but the God of my father hath been with me. And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. And your father hath deceived me, and changed my wages ten times; but God suffered him not to hurt me. If he said thus, the speckled shall be thy wages; then all the cattle bare speckled: and if he said thus, the ringstreaked shall be thy hire; then bare all the cattle ringstreaked. Thus God hath taken away the cattle of your father, and given them to me. And it came to pass at the time that the cattle conceived, that I lifted up mine eyes, and saw in a dream, and, behold, the rams which leaped upon the cattle were ringstreaked, speckled, and grisled". "And the Angel of God spake unto me in a dream, saying:
"Jacob" And I said, here am I. And He said: "Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstreaked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee. I am the God of Bethel, where thou anointedst the pillar, and where thou vowedst a vow unto Me: now arise, get thee out from this land, and return unto the land of thy kindred"
(Genesis 31:3-13).

God spoke to Jacob in another dream. These dreams meant a lot to Jacob's son, Joseph. Later on, when Joseph ruled Egypt, I am sure that Joseph wrote down all of this family tree information. These records were passed along for 400 years or so until Moses took them and, under inspiration from God, wrote them down for all to enjoy thereafter.

The Angel of God was a title of the preincarnate Jesus Christ. God was concerned with His children then and He is concerned with His children today. He gave divine blessings and guidance to Jacob. He always gives divine blessings and guidance to His obedient children who seek His will. God wanted Jacob and his family in the Land of Canaan. Was Jacob obedient to God's will? Yes.

  • Other references that prove that Christ is the Angel of the Lord


    Jacob had a closed door:
    Jacob had a closed door with his Uncle Laban. We can observe a connection in these scriptures between a closed door and God's will. Many times, God will allow a closed door to accompany His will. If God wants you to move, He may allow a closed door in your life to accomplish His will. One time I had a closed door happen to me, so I had to relocate and get another job. A few years later, God moved a young woman to that job site. We met and got married. So, God allowed a closed door to move me to where He could bless me. If you ever get a closed door in your face that comes slamming shut to hit your nose, just turn around and go somewhere else. Accept the circumstance by faith. Eventually, you may find that it turns out to be a blessing in disguise.


    Jacob had a dream of prosperity:
    Jacob had the divine gift of prophecy
    (Genesis 49:1; 1 Corinthians 12:10). This dream, given to him from God, was an example of that gift. Abraham, his grandfather, also had that gift
    (Genesis 20:7). Some folks have a dream of prosperity and many times it does come true for them. Why? The person may be good in business and have an analytical mind (a mind of a person who analyzes facts, especially in science and mathematics). This is different from a person who has a philosophical mind (a mind of a person who can grasp invisible spiritual truths and philosophies, especially in theology and the arts). Some folks tithe their business income to God. Some are lucky. Some are in the right place at the right time. Sometimes God blesses a peron's business. For instance, the patriarch, Job, in the bible was a wealthy man. After his long trial was over with, God blessed him with extra because of his faithfulness to God
    (Job 42:10).

    God commanded Jacob to return to his birthplace. The Land of Canaan was promised to the descendants of Jacob by God. Jacob was aware of God's purpose for him. I believe sometimes that God lets us know what His purpose is for our life.

    Everytime Laban made a move of selfishness towards Jacob, God overruled him. God gave Jacob his wealth and I am sure that Jacob paid tithes to God on all that God gave him. It is wonderful when any person is faithfully committed to God in all areas of service to Him. God always rewards that person. It takes time to acquire wealth- this does not happen over night. Be patient.

    Jacob had a dream that God was blessing him. Do you know who was listening to the stories about Jacob's dreams and what they meant? Yep. It was Jacob's young son, Joseph. He also had the divine gift of prophecy
    (Genesis 44:15). He was learning that God, sometimes, reveals His will to a person by a dream. And he was studying those dreams and determining what they meant. It appears that God gave him, at his young age, the divine gift of prophecy- part of which was dream interpretation.


    No inheritance for Laban's daughters?
    "And Rachel and Leah answered and said unto him: is there yet any portion or inheritance for us in our father's house? Are we not counted of him strangers? for he hath sold us, and hath quite devoured also our money. For all the riches which God hath taken from our father, that is ours, and our children's: now then, whatsoever God hath said unto thee, do"
    (Genesis 31:14-16).

    In the oriental culture of that day, sons inherited the wealth from their father, not daughters. A man's daughters were supposed to get married and let their own husbands support them. Laban's daughters saw that Jacob had more wealth than their father and were glad to go with him. And what little wealth their father had- they were not going to get anyways.

    A true Christian woman today will receive her full inheritance from God- she will get everything that is due her when she gets to Heaven. The economy of God is vast, rich, and far reaching. God is generous, He is not stingy like Laban was.

    The nature of any woman is to think about security- security for herself and for her children. So, I imagine, that each of Laban's daughters was concerned about her financial security. These daughters were glad to get "their father's wealth"- it was better than letting their brothers hog it all after he died.

    In the bible, there was another exception made to this oriental custom- later, General Joshua had to make a special inheritance provision for one man's children who were all daughters
    (Joshua 17:3-4).


    Jacob headed to where God wanted him:
    "Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels; and he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan. And Laban went to shear his sheep: and Rachel had stolen the images that were her father's. And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled. So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead"
    (Genesis 31:17-21).

    Jacob got a closed door so it was time for him to leave. When you or I get a closed door, it is time for us to leave also. Jacob headed for the Land of Canaan. That was where God wanted him. He had an open door there. Let's you and I always head in the right direction. Jacob went "to go to Isaac his father." Moses did not write "he went to go his parents." Why? Because it is believed that Rebekah, Jacob's mother, died sometime during the 20 year period of time when Jacob was away in Syria. She was buried "in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace"
    (Genesis 49:30). The loss of a beloved parent is always a tremendous loss. Death is classified as abandonment because the person leaves us to go somewhere else. I am sure that Jacob received word of his mother's death, while he was in Syria, and deeply grieved for her there. Since Laban was Rebekah's brother, then possibly, Laban was really old by this time. Maybe he had dementia to some degree and that is why he had to turn the business of running his ranch over to his sons.

    Why did Jacob leave like he did? Some folks like to avoid confrontation as much as possible. He avoided confrontation with Laban, later with Esau, and later with Shechem. Or, maybe he was meek. If he was, it would be good for us not to confuse meekness with weakness. Jesus was meek but He was not weak.

    Why did Laban want his idols? Every idol had two kinds of worth- spiritual worth and material worth. Spiritual worth was worthless as it involved the worship of the devil. That left material worth. The idols were probably made out of solid gold and worth a lot of money. Rachel wanted her share of her father's material inheritance. Later, she probably sold the idols for cash money or had them melted down into smaller amounts used for currency to purchase those things that she desired.

    Jacob passed over the river. Which river was it? Many folks think that it was the Euphrates River. This would have been no small feat considering all of the livestock that Jacob brought along. It was probably considered one of the hazards of the trip but God may have worked a miracle for Jacob in helping him cross the river- and turned the river into a blessing rather than a curse.


    Laban chased after Jacob:
    "And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled. And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead"
    (Genesis 31:22-23).

    Why did Laban pursue Jacob? Actions speak louder than words- "he brought his brethren with him"- in other words, his armed camp of followers. Laban was on a power trip to take it all back by force. As well, Laban wanted to say goodbye to his family members but he didn't need his army along to do that. He also was after his idols of gold.

    Are there any spiritual messages for us in this passage of scripture? Yes. If you steal something valuable from someone (like Rachel stole her father's idols of gold) then an armed group is likely to come after you to recover those items and to punish you. Also, like Laban, some folks are likely to put up a fight when you try to take their idols away from them. Later, the Apostle Paul had trouble with Satan and Demetrius, a silversmith in Ephesus, when the true Christians there came against the idols of that city
    (Acts 19:24-27).

    What was Laban really like at this time in his life? Some folks think that
    1) the love of money was his real god.
    2) he was on a power trip.
    3) he faked a relationship with God to win the trust of others.
    4) he was selfish. In other words, he was stingy and self-centered rather than other-centered.
    5) he claimed ownership rather than managership of his children and grandchildren.


    Laban had a dream-message from God:
    "And God came to Laban the Syrian in a dream by night, and said unto him: "take heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad." Then Laban overtook Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mount: and Laban with his brethren pitched in the mount of Gilead. And Laban said to Jacob: what hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword? Wherefore didst thou flee away secretly, and steal away from me; and didst not tell me, that I might have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, with tabret, and with harp? And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing. It is in the power of my hand to do you hurt: but the God of your father spake unto me yesternight, saying: take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob either good or bad"
    (Genesis 31:24-29).

    God came to Laban in a dream. Laban acknowledged that God spoke to him in this dream. God can speak to you or I in a dream or in a vision. God has many ways of communicating with mankind. Guess who was listening to this story and analyzing this dream. Yep. It was Joseph, Laban's grandson- he was taking it all in.

    Laban uses the words "the God of your father (Isaac) spake unto me yesternight" rather than the words "my God spake unto me yesternight". Laban does not acknowledge God in a personal relationship. Maybe this statement came from his dementia in him forgetting that he knew God. Or, this statement may indicate that Laban never knew God, knew God but backslid and forgot God, or knew God at one time and rejected him in order to worship Satan and his idols. Later, King Darius, of Persia stated to the prophet, Daniel: "thy God whom thou servest continually, he will deliver thee"
    (Daniel 6:16). This king was another individual who knew about God but had no personal relationship with Him.

    Laban was warned by God in a dream not to do anything violent to Jacob. This was a divine warning- God usually warns before He judges. Woe be to the person who God warns and fails to heed the warning. You and I never want to go there. There is an old saying: "some people tread where angels fear to tread".

    God spoke to me in a dream when I was in the U.S. Navy before I was saved. Jesus came to me face to face and spoke these words to me: "you are going to be a cook". The next day my transfer papers were approved and I was transferred on the aircraft carrier from V-1 division (flight deck) to S-2 division (supply) where I became a cook, and, later, an inventory control specialist. My boss introduced me to Christ a few months later. God had a plan in mind in regards to my transfer. If I had not transferred, I never would have met the Prince of Peace on a ship of war.


    Laban reaped what he had sowed (what you send out comes back to you):
    "And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone, because thou sore longedst after thy father's house, yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods? And Jacob answered and said to Laban: because I was afraid: for I said: peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me. With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live: before our brethren discern thou what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them. And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maidservants' tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent. Now Rachel had taken the images, and put them in the camel's furniture, and sat upon them. And Laban searched all the tent, but found them not. And she said to her father: let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee; for the custom of women is upon me. And he searched, but found not the images
    (Genesis 31:30-35).

    Laban reaped what he had sowed. In crooked business deals, he had stolen animals away from Jacob (decreasing Jacob's wages) 10 times
    (Genesis 31:7). He deceived Jacob on his wedding night by substituting Leah for Rachel. Now, he had his idols stolen from him and he did not like it. He could dish it out but he couldn't take it. And as he deceived Jacob with one of Jacob's wives, so one of Jacob's wives now deceived him. What you and I sow is what you and I reap. It is one of God's spiritual laws based upon His justice. It may not happen right away but it is coming...


    Jacob was falsely accused:
    Laban falsely accused Jacob. Rachel was the thief, not Jacob. Have you ever been falsely accused of something? How does it make you feel? The Apostle Peter stated that evil doers often falsely accuse true Christians of doing evil deeds
    (1 Peter 3:16) so we should not be surprised when this happens to us. John the Baptist told the local soldier-police not to falsely accuse anyone in Jerusalem
    (Luke 3:14). Paul the Apostle stated that false accusers of Christians were morally bankrupt
    (2 Timothy 3:3). The Apostle John indicated that the greatest false accuser of Christians was and is the devil
    (Revelation 12:10).

    Laban asked, "why have you stolen my gods?" He did not claim God as his own but he claimed that his idols were his gods. Wisdom is supposed to come with age but Laban showed no spiritual wisdom here because he did not claim God as his own. Isn't a sheep supposed to know it's owner?
    (John 10:14-27). It appeared that Laban did not know God personally and intimately- had Laban left his First Love?
    (Revelation 2:4).


    You shall not steal:
    Rachel stole her father's idols. Have you ever had someone steal something from you? It hurts, doesn't it? You may think that you can never replace that stolen item again. You may think that you will never see it again. You may feel violated because of this personal attack against you. Maybe that is how Laban felt. Stealing is against one of God's 10 commandments
    (Exodus 20:15) and the Apostle Paul urged all new true Christians not to steal any more
    (Ephesians 4:28).

    Family values are mostly caught rather than taught. Rachel observed her father and acted just like he did. One might say that Laban trained her well without him trying. I have used this expression before and now I repeat it: "the acorn does not fall far from the tree". Your children are more apt to follow what you do rather than what you teach them. Let us be good role models for Christ to our children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren.

    I imagine that all of the children of Jacob knew that Rachel had stolen from her father. Gossip like that can spread fast. The evil seed of stealing should not be planted in the minds of teen-agers. They might have gotten the mistaken idea that those actions by Rachel were "right by might" in a relative value system:-) Later, those wicked seeds of stealing sprouted forth when some of the sons of Jacob stole everything that a town owned
    (Genesis 34:27-29).


    What were teraphim idols?
    Teraphim were small idols used for divination purposes. Today, some individuals use the horoscope for divination purposes to foretell an event or more in their life. At this time and in that culture God had not yet given His commandments against idol worship. Literal idolatry is against the first and second commandments in God's Ten Commandments
    (Exodus 20: 3 & 4). However, some folks in ancient Israel began worshipping these idols as well as other idols. The tribe of Dan worshipped these idols as their gods
    (Judges 17:5 - 18:20). The prophet, Micah, called them images or idols
    (Hosea 3:4). King Josiah of Judah ordered all teraphim to be destroyed
    (2 Kings 23:24). The astrologers of King Nebuchadnezzar of Babylon consulted them to direct his armies in the conquest of the known world
    (Ezekiel 21:19-22).

    In that culture, the teraphim idols were connected to the property rights of the owner. Whoever owned the idols also had a legal right to the estate of Laban. Laban's sons wanted the teraphim but Rachel got them first. In other words, her ownership of the teraphim gained for her husband the main title to Laban's estate once he was deceased. So, one can understand why Laban and Rachel's brothers wanted them back.

    I think we can see in Laban the danger of idol worship. Possibly, he was deceived by Satan and didn't think it was bad to worship these idols, but, in fact, they turned out to be spiritual poison to him. It may have cost him his eternal soul. There is an old saying: "if you give the devil a ride, he will want to drive". Idol worship is the worship of the devil. Behind every idol is a demon getting the worship that it craves. It may seem harmless to worship an idol but one must take into account what it leads to. Just like sipping fermented liquor may influence one towards eventual alcoholism, or smoking pot (marijuana) may lead one towards harder and more dangerous drugs, so also, idol worship may lead one towards Satanism and away from God.

    One time there was a frog that decided to go swimming in a cooking pot. He thought it was fine at first. Then fire was placed under the pot. The water warmed a bit but the frog adjusted to it and kept swimming. Then the water got hot but the frog adjusted to it and kept swimming, not recognizing the danger. Then the frog perished. You and I can keep adjusting to the evil world system (and it's idol worship) like the frog kept adjusting to it's environment. We can adjust to it until we are spiritually consumed by it. My advice to you is this- don't go there. Don't get involved with any kind of idol worship or anything the world has to offer.

    Christians can have idols in their lives. No idol should ever find its way into the heart of any true Christian worshipper, whether it be a literal idol or anything else
    (Romans 2:22; Colossians 3:5). Paul the Apostle was concerned when he saw that the evil world system was creeping into the early church. It is not good when the world is in bed with the church:

    "Wherefore come out from among them, and be ye separate, saith the Lord, and touch not the unclean thing; and I will receive you, and will be a Father unto you, and ye shall be My sons and daughters, saith the Lord Almighty"
    (2 Corinthians 6:17-18).


    God is the Greatest Lawyer:
    "And Jacob was wroth, and chided with Laban: and Jacob answered and said to Laban: what is my trespass? what is my sin, that thou hast so hotly pursued after me? Whereas thou hast searched all my stuff, what hast thou found of all thy household stuff? set it here before my brethren and thy brethren, that they may judge betwixt us both. This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten. That which was torn of beasts I brought not unto thee; I bare the loss of it; of my hand didst thou require it, whether stolen by day, or stolen by night. Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes. Thus have I been twenty years in thy house; I served thee fourteen years for thy two daughters, and six years for thy cattle: and thou hast changed my wages ten times. Except the God of my father, the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely thou hadst sent me away now empty. God hath seen mine affliction and the labour of my hands, and rebuked thee yesternight"
    (Genesis 31:36-42).

    Jacob was angry at Laban because he had been falsely accused. Jacob stated that God "had been with me". God blessed him in spite of his Uncle Laban over a period of 20 years. It had been hard work with considerable loss but the eventual reward had been worth it. In a similar way, when you and I are honest and work hard, we can expect an eventual reward from our labor.

    God helped Jacob defend himself. He was Jacob's lawyer. Jacob asked Laban to provide any proof of Jacob's guilt. Laban could produce no proof. In a similar way, when you find it necessary to answer any and all false charges against you, ask for God the Holy Spirit to be your lawyer (paraclete) to help you
    (Luke 12:11-12). He is the Greatest Lawyer in the universe.

    God is great. Jacob refered to God by different title names:
    1) the God of my father (Isaac), the Fear of Isaac,
    2) the God of Abraham
    Why did Jacob call God "the Fear of Isaac"? By putting it into different words I think it is more easily understood- the God whom Isaac feared. In other words: the God whom Isaac feared and reverenced
    (Genesis 31:42 & 53). Do you and I fear and reverence God today?


    Laban was reconciled to Jacob (Jacob and Laban made a peace agreement):
    "And Laban answered and said unto Jacob: these daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle, and all that thou seest is mine: and what can I do this day unto these my daughters, or unto their children which they have born? Now therefore come thou, let us make a covenant, I and thou; and let it be for a witness between me and thee. And Jacob took a stone, and set it up for a pillar. And Jacob said unto his brethren: gather stones; and they took stones, and made an heap: and they did eat there upon the heap. And Laban called it Jegarsahadutha: but Jacob called it Galeed. And Laban said: this heap is a witness between me and thee this day. Therefore was the name of it called Galeed; and Mizpah; for he said: the Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another. If thou shalt afflict my daughters, or if thou shalt take other wives beside my daughters, no man is with us; see, God is witness betwixt me and thee. And Laban said to Jacob: behold this heap, and behold this pillar, which I have cast betwixt me and thee; this heap be witness, and this pillar be witness, that I will not pass over this heap to thee, and that thou shalt not pass over this heap and this pillar unto me, for harm. The God of Abraham, and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge betwixt us. And Jacob sware by the fear of his father Isaac. Then Jacob offered sacrifice upon the mount, and called his brethren to eat bread: and they did eat bread, and tarried all night in the mount. And early in the morning Laban rose up, and kissed his sons and his daughters, and blessed them: and Laban departed, and returned unto his place"
    (Genesis 31:43-55).

    It is nice when two individuals are reconciled to each other. What does the word reconcile mean? It means to settle differences or cause to be harmonious and friendly again. Making peace is a wonderful goal to have. God favors peace rather than war. Satan usually starts wars to fulfill his own destructive plans. I imagine that Laban was afraid that he might never see his daughters and grandchildren again if he and Jacob parted in bad company. This peace covenant was a cordial farewell as they split up- it was a peaceful separation. Eating together meant fellowship. They created a rock pile memorial and departed with a blessing. Sometimes, folks in church do not always get along and there might be a tendency for hostility between them. God wants peace and kindness to prevail so that no one is hurt. Sometimes, a person might have to leave with God's blessing on them in order to keep peace.


    Ownership versus managership:
    Laban said: "these daughters are my daughters, and these children are my children, and these cattle are my cattle...", however, God created everything so everything he had belonged to God. Laban was claiming ownership rather than managership of his children and grandchildren. Laban should have realized that everything he had belonged to God and that he was only a manager. Sometimes, some people forget that
    (Luke 12:15-21), but there is a big difference. Later, Joseph became a good manager in Egypt. One thing that he did right was not to claim ownership of anything that God created. God has placed each of us in positions of responsibility. Let's be good managers over whatever God has placed in our hands. I told my wife that I was not the creator of my children but only their manager and God would hold me accountable for how I raised them.

    Laban, much like King Saul at a later time, was selfish and wanted to keep all of the livestock for himself. He was a taker and not a giver. He had offender behavior because the root cause of his sin was his rejection of God. He placed himself (rather than God) on the throne of his own heart
    (1 Samuel 15:9). Let's not be like Laban. God wants you and I to place Him on the throne of our heart.


    Where was Mount Gilead?
    It was a hilly region east of the Jordan River. The word jegar-sahedutha means "heap of witness". The word Gilead (Galeed) has several meanings. It can mean "the region of rock" or "the heap or mass of rock" or it can mean "testimony". In this instance it was called "the mountain of testimony" because of the stones for a peace treaty that Laban and Jacob piled up there. The word mizpah means "watch or watchtower" because the Lord was to keep an eye on Laban and Jacob to keep them from fighting one another. Then Jacob offered a sacrifice to God there. Later, God through General Joshua, allotted this area to the tribes of Reuben, Gad, and the half tribe of Manasseh
    (Joshua 22:9).


    Some title names of God:
    God was called, in these verses, by some of His title names:
    1) the God of Abraham,
    2) the God of Nahor (the God of their father), and
    3) the Fear of Isaac.


    I imagine that this entire incident was a security shock for Jacob's teenage sons. They realized that they could have been attacked and killed by their grandfather and his armed men. I believe that this was probably about the time that they got themselves some swords and started fighting lessons. I am sure some of the armed men, who worked for Jacob, were able to give them instructions on how to use swords in a combat situation. Abraham had such men working for him and I think that Isaac and Jacob did, as well.



    Genesis chapter 32






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    Genesis chapter 30






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