Genesis 31: Jacob Leaves Padan-aram

Old Testament Seminary Student Study Guide, (2002), 32


In Genesis 31, the Lord commanded Jacob to return to the land of his birth, which was promised to him by covenant. When Jacob left for home, Laban and his sons and servants were upset. They felt Jacob took possessions with him that belonged to Laban, and they were jealous of the way God had prospered Jacob. Laban was also angry because Jacob took away his daughters. We also read, however, that Laban treated Jacob and his own daughters unfairly during the twenty years Jacob lived among them. In fact, he even denied his daughters their rightful inheritance of property. In an attempt to claim her inheritance, Rachel left the land of her father with his small images, which contained a legal description of her property. Laban chased after Jacob and his family, and they discussed how Laban treated Jacob and why he decided to return home. Finally, Laban and Jacob made a promise that they would not hurt each other and that Jacob would treat kindly Laban’s daughters and grandchildren.