Today’s reading is: Gen. 30:25-31:55
Genesis Chapter Thirty
(Chapter Thirty outline continues from yesterday)
- Upon completion of his second marriage contract, Jacob declares his intention to depart, but Laban once again cuts a deal (Gen. 30:25-34).
- Laban knows that he is reaping temporal-life blessings so long as Jacob stays with him (vv.27,30).
- Laban continues to push the sale, and closes the deal with a third work contract (vv.31‑34).
- Jacob strikes a bargain that seems foolish, but he apparently does so under Divine inspiration.
- Jacob undertakes six years of animal husbandry, manipulating the mating habits of Laban’s flock, and making a fortune for himself (Gen. 30:35-43).
- Externally, Jacob utilized a mysterious colored rod method to control the color of the offspring.
- The reality of the matter, though, was that Jacob was simply following God’s guidance on a daily basis, as the Lord communicated instructions to Jacob by means of his nightly dreams (Gen. 31:10-12).
- Ten times in the course of the third contract, Laban changed the terms of the agreement (Gen. 31:7,8).
- Jacob is finally learning how to leave his dealings in God’s hands, and how to walk by means of grace through faith (Gen. 31:9).
Genesis Chapter Thirty-One
- Jacob observes a growing hostility on the part of Laban and his sons (Gen. 31:1,2).
- The Lord informs Jacob that the time has come for his return to Canaan (Gen. 31:3,13). Note: God calls himself the God of Bethel, and holds Jacob to his foolish vow (Gen. 28:20-22).
- Jacob summons his two main wives, and plans the escape (Gen. 31:4-16).
- They make their plans in the field, away from Laban’s sons or servants.
- Rachel and Leah agree that they can no longer remain with their father (vv.14‑16).
- Jacob arrived in Haran fleeing from one hostile brother, and he now departs Haran fleeing from many hostile brothers-in-law and a hostile father-in-law (Gen. 31:17-22).
- He flees as fast as he can with four wives, twelve children, and great numbers of camels & livestock (vv.17,18).
- Rachel, unbeknownst to Jacob, steals Laban’s teraphim (household idols) (v.19).
- Jacob gets three days away from Laban before the escape is discovered (v.22).
- Laban chases Jacob, and catches him on the seventh day (Gen. 31:23-55).
- The night before catching Jacob, Laban is visited by God, and commanded to not “speak to Jacob either good or bad” (vv.24,29; Gen. 24:50).
- Laban demanded an explanation from Jacob for his secret departure (vv.26-28).
- Laban claims that he is only sparing Jacob because of God’s interference on Jacob’s behalf (v.29).
- Laban also demands that Jacob explain himself for the theft of the teraphim (v.30). In the Mesopotamian culture, those teraphim could be used by Jacob in an inheritance dispute.
- Jacob confesses his flight was motivated by fear, but denies that he took the teraphim (vv.31,32).
- Laban ransacked Jacob’s encampment, but was out-Labaned by his daughter Rachel (vv.33-35).
- After Laban’s unsuccessful search, Jacob can freely make accusations against Laban’s unfair treatment over the past 20 years (vv.36-42).
- Laban concludes his side of the argument by claiming that everything of Jacob’s is really his (v.43).
- Laban & Jacob part ways by entering into their fourth contract—an obligation on Jacob’s part to take no more wives, and treat Laban’s daughters well, and a mutual contract to remain apart from one another (vv.44-55).