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29 It is in my power to harm you, but the God of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful not to speak to Jacob, either good or bad.’ 30 Now [I suppose] you felt you must go because you [a]were homesick for your father’s house and family; but why did you steal my [household] [b]gods?” 31 Jacob answered Laban, “[I left secretly] because I was afraid, for I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.

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Footnotes

  1. Genesis 31:30 Lit longed greatly.
  2. Genesis 31:30 Laban was upset because possession of the father’s household gods played an important role in inheritance. In the region where Laban lived, a son-in-law who possessed the family gods could appear before a judge and make a claim to the estate of his father-in-law. Since Jacob’s possession of the household gods implied the right to inherit Laban’s wealth, one can understand why he followed Jacob to recover the idols.

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