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2.22 Leaving Laban

If Isaac's family was a mess, Laban's was a disaster!   But God intervened to save Jacob from his uncle's cheating and injustice.  Finally, an angel spoke to Jacob in a dream (Gen 31:9-13).  The angel told him:

          a. God knew how Laban had treated him
          b. God had taken away Laban's cattle and goats to give them to Jacob
          c. it was time for Jacob to return to Canaan

Jacob and his wives and children left Haran secretly, but Laban chased him and caught up with him.  They made a (belated) covenant, the provisions of which were little more than warnings not to step over the boundary line to hurt each other (Gen 31:44-54).  The interesting part of this covenant is that while Jacob swore by God "the Fear of Isaac," Laban swore by "the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father" (Gen 31:53).  This man was Terah (Gen 11:26).  But according to Josh 24:2, Terah did not know God.  And Laban himself was polytheistic:  he kept "household gods"  (Gen 31:30-35).  In stealing them and hiding them, Rachel paid her father back in the same coin he had paid Jacob -- theft and deception.

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