A Daily Genesis

Genesis 31:22-29a

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[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 31:22 . . On the third day, Laban was told that Jacob had fled.[/B]

Laban was off some distance from home shearing his sheep, which usually included a festival of some sort. The messengers probably waited till the shearing was done, and the party was over, before laying the bad news on ol' Laban.

I'd imagine he must have been absolutely livid with rage; and probably got so worked up he actually turned red and began perspiring. Defeat is one thing. But to be beaten by kin, by a nephew no less, was unbearable.
†.[/COLOR] Gen 31:23 . . So he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days, catching up with him in the hill country of Gilead.[/B]

It took Jacob ten days to go the same distance Laban covered in seven-- that is if Laban departed right away without delay; which he probably didn't. It would take at least a day or two to round up all his relatives and prepare for the journey. Laban's contingent had an advantage though. They weren't encumbered by herds and women and children, so they could cover a whole lot more ground in one day than Jacob's troupe.

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 31:24 . . But God appeared to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night and said to him: Beware of attempting anything with Jacob, good or bad.[/B]

The Stone Tanach reads: Beware lest you speak with Jacob either good or bad.

But if God meant for Laban to stay completely away from Jacob and not say a single word to him, Laban would have gone home right then and there because he knew better than to mess with Jacob's god. Maybe Laban didn't worship Yhvh, but did at least fear Him. The book of Revelation tells of people who are absolutely terrified of God, but yet still refuse to submit. (Rev 6:12-17, Rev 16:10-11)

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 31:25 . . Laban overtook Jacob. Jacob had pitched his tent on the Height, and Laban with his kinsmen encamped in the hill country of Gilead.[/B]

Once Laban's scouts located Jacob's troupe, his contingent made camp for the night and moved on up the next day; probably very early before Jacob's caravan could get up and moving again.

What a chore that must have been. First everyone had to be fed breakfast, which meant a whole lot of cooking. Somebody had to round up firewood for the portable ovens. Then the women prepared the meals, which must have been work itself since no one had packaged foods in those days. Then they had to do the dishes, repack, dismantle the tents, and load everything back on to the camels and donkeys. Meanwhile the drovers were out tightening up the herds and rounding up strays.

Into this busy scene rode MadDog Laban and his trigger-happy posse.
†.[/COLOR] Gen 31:26-27a . . And Laban said to Jacob: What did you mean by keeping me in the dark and carrying off my daughters like captives of the sword? Why did you flee in secrecy and mislead me and not tell me?[/B]

Duh. Like he really didn't know? Laban's kind are all alike. In my 70+ years, I've seen enough of them to know. Jerks like him are never in the wrong about anything; ever. And they always attempt to throw suspicion off themselves by trumping up a hollow charge against the very people they wronged. One of their favorite demands is: What's the matter with you; why are you acting like that? They are so aggravating with their perpetual habit of feigning a pious ignorance of their own self-generated bad circumstances.

Like captives of the sword? What does that imply-- that Jacob kidnapped Rachel and Leah and made slaves out of them? What utter nonsense! They were his wives as Laban very well knew!

And did he insinuate that Jacob dragged the girls (excuse me; the full-grown married women) away from Haran against their will? Laban himself was likely wont to drag a spouse around the whole world regardless of how she might feel about it. Why would it be wrong for Jacob to do it but not wrong for Laban? And that is another of his kind's traits. They are so quick to take the high moral ground and make the rules for everyone else to follow while at the same time fully exempting themselves from the very same standards.

[B][SIZE=1]NOTE[/SIZE]:[/B] It's very interesting that Laban never even dreamed that Jacob consulted with Rachel and Leah first prior to departing for Isaac's turf. No doubt because that was something he would never do himself.
[/COLOR][B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 31:27b . . I would have sent you off with festive music, with timbrel and lyre.[/B]

What a bare-faced lie. The only music Laban would have arranged for is some to accompany himself while he danced on Jacob's grave.
[COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 31:28a . .You did not even let me kiss my sons and daughters good-by![/B]

The word for "sons" is [I]ben[/I] (bane) which means a son (as a builder of the family name), in literal and figurative relationships, including grandson, subject, nation, quality or condition. Ben isn't always used to denote a specific gender, nor always used in genetic applications. In Gen 6:2 it simply refers to pious men rather than God's biological progeny. The New Testament equivalent of ben is huios (hwee-os') which means a child of either gender; e.g. Gal 4:6, 1John 3:1-2

Laban probably never kissed them before anyway, so why should Jacob think he would want to do it now? Didn't it ever occur to Laban's enormous conceit that maybe his offspring might all be glad to be rid of him?

[B][COLOR=#ff0000]†.[/COLOR] Gen 31:28b-29a . . It was a foolish thing for you to do. I have it in my power to do you harm;[/B]

Jacob's uncle is the king of meddlers. In Laban's imperialistic mind, Jacob deserved punishment for failing to consult with His Lordship before pulling up stakes and heading south. But Jacob has done nothing truly reprehensible. He's a grown man with a right to his own destiny. Jacob owes his uncle nothing; not even an explanation because the man is nothing less than a demon's seed; and on top of that a thoughtless bully and a stupendous bigot.

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