SynopsisWe saw in the last chapter that Jacob’s share of the flock was starting to grow, and Laban’s was starting to dwindle. As a result of this, Laban is getting pretty tired of having Jacob around, and Jacob notices it.
As you can see, not only does Jacob want to leave, but Rachel and Leah do too, because their father sold them to Jacob. But it’s not just Laban’s dealings with Jacob that make him want to leave; one of the verses I elided from that quote was verse 3:
Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were saying, “Jacob has taken everything our father owned and has gained all this wealth from what belonged to our father.” And Jacob noticed that Laban’s attitude toward him was not what it had been.
So Jacob sent word to Rachel and Leah to come out to the fields where his flocks were. He said to them, “I see that your father’s attitude toward me is not what it was before, but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I’ve worked for your father with all my strength, yet your father has cheated me by changing my wages ten times. However, God has not allowed him to harm me. If he said, ‘The speckled ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks gave birth to speckled young; and if he said, ‘The streaked ones will be your wages,’ then all the flocks bore streaked young. So God has taken away your father’s livestock and has given them to me.
Then Rachel and Leah replied, “Do we still have any share in the inheritance of our father’s estate? Does he not regard us as foreigners? Not only has he sold us, but he has used up what was paid for us. Surely all the wealth that God took away from our father belongs to us and our children. So do whatever God has told you.”
Then the LORD said to Jacob, “Go back to the land of your fathers and to your relatives, and I will be with you.”So, Laban is being a jerk, Jacob doesn’t want to stay, Rachel and Leah don’t want to stay, and God is telling Jacob to leave. It’s not too surprising, then, that they leave. Jacob loads up the wives and kids and possessions, and they head off.