Genesis 31:26
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Then Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done? You've deceived me, and you've carried off my daughters like captives in war.

New Living Translation
"What do you mean by deceiving me like this?" Laban demanded. "How dare you drag my daughters away like prisoners of war?

English Standard Version
And Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword?

New American Standard Bible
Then Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done by deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword?

King James Bible
And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Then Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done? You have deceived me and taken my daughters away like prisoners of war!

International Standard Version
Then Laban asked Jacob, "What did you do? You deceived me, carried off my daughters like you would war captives,

NET Bible
"What have you done?" Laban demanded of Jacob. "You've deceived me and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war!

New Heart English Bible
Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done, that you have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword?

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Then Laban asked Jacob, "What have you done by tricking me? You've carried off my daughters like prisoners of war.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Laban said to Jacob: 'What hast thou done, that thou hast outwitted me, and carried away my daughters as though captives of the sword?

New American Standard 1977
Then Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done by deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword?

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away my heart and carried away my daughters as captives taken with the sword?

King James 2000 Bible
And Laban said to Jacob, What have you done, that you have stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?

American King James Version
And Laban said to Jacob, What have you done, that you have stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?

American Standard Version
And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters as captives of the sword?

Douay-Rheims Bible
And he said to Jacob: Why hast thou done thus, to carry away, without my knowledge, my daughters, as captives taken with the sword.

Darby Bible Translation
And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast deceived me, and hast carried away my daughters as captives of war?

English Revised Version
And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters as captives of the sword?

Webster's Bible Translation
And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?

World English Bible
Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done, that you have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword?

Young's Literal Translation
And Laban saith to Jacob, 'What hast thou done that thou dost deceive my heart, and lead away my daughters as captives of the sword?
Study Bible
Laban Pursues Jacob
25Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen camped in the hill country of Gilead. 26Then Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done by deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27"Why did you flee secretly and deceive me, and did not tell me so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with timbrel and with lyre;…
Cross References
Genesis 31:25
Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsmen camped in the hill country of Gilead.

Genesis 31:27
"Why did you flee secretly and deceive me, and did not tell me so that I might have sent you away with joy and with songs, with timbrel and with lyre;
Treasury of Scripture

And Laban said to Jacob, What have you done, that you have stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?

What.

Genesis 31:36 And Jacob was wroth, and strived with Laban: and Jacob answered and …

Genesis 3:13 And the LORD God said to the woman, What is this that you have done? …

Genesis 4:10 And he said, What have you done? the voice of your brother's blood …

Genesis 12:18 And Pharaoh called Abram and said, What is this that you have done …

Genesis 20:9,10 Then Abimelech called Abraham, and said to him, What have you done …

Genesis 26:10 And Abimelech said, What is this you have done to us? one of the …

Joshua 7:19 And Joshua said to Achan, My son, give, I pray you, glory to the …

1 Samuel 14:43 Then Saul said to Jonathan, Tell me what you have done. And Jonathan …

1 Samuel 17:29 And David said, What have I now done? Is there not a cause?

John 18:35 Pilate answered, Am I a Jew? Your own nation and the chief priests …

carried.

Genesis 31:16 For all the riches which God has taken from our father, that is ours, …

Genesis 2:24 Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall …

Genesis 34:29 And all their wealth, and all their little ones, and their wives …

1 Samuel 30:2 And had taken the women captives, that were therein: they slew not …

(26-30) Laban said . . . --Laban reproaches Jacob, first, for carrying away his daughters secretly, which was an affront to them (Genesis 31:26) and an injury to his own feelings (Genesis 31:28); secondly, he tells him that he should have punished him but for the Divine warning; lastly, he accuses him of stealing his teraphim.

Captives . . . --Heb., captives of the sword, women carried off in war as spoil.

Verses 26-30. - And Laban (assuming a tone of injured innocence) said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, - literally, and (meaning, in that) thou hast stolen my heart (vide supra, ver. 20; and cf. ver. 27) - and carried away (vide ver. 18) my daughters, as captives taken with the sword? Literally, as captives of the sword, i.e. invitis parentibus (Rosenmüller); language which, if not hypocritical on Laban's part, was certainly hyperbolical, since he had already evinced the strength of his parental affection by selling his daughters to Jacob; and besides, so far as it concerned either Jacob or his wives, it was quite untrue, Rachel and Leah having voluntarily accompanied their husband in his flight. Wherefore didst thou floe away secretly, - literally, wherefore didst thou hide thyself to flee away; חָבַא (niph.), with an inf. following, corresponding to the similar construction in Greek of λανθάνειν with a part, and being correctly rendered in English by an adverb (vide Gesenius, 'Gram.,' § 142) - and steal away from me (literally, and steal me, ut supra); and didst not tell me, that I might (literally, and I would) have sent thee away with mirth, and with songs, - in Oriental countries those about to make a long journey are still sent away cantionibus et musicorum instrumentorum concentu (Rosenmüller) - with tabret, - the toph was a drum or timbrel, consisting of a wooden circle covered with membrane, and furnished with brass bells (like the modern tambourine), which Oriental women beat when dancing (cf. Exodus 15:20; Judges 11:34; Jeremiah 31:4) - and with harp! For a description of the kinnor see Genesis 4:21. And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons (i.e. the children of Leah and Rachel) and my daughters! It is perhaps judging Laban too severely to pronounce this complete hypocrisy and cant (Alford, Bush, Candlish, Gerlach), but equally wide of the truth is it to see in Laban's conduct nothing but generosity of feeling (Kalisch); probably there was a mixture of both paternal affection and crafty dissimulation (Delitzsch). Thou hast now done foolishly in so doing. The charge of folly in Old Testament Scriptures commonly carries with it an imputation of wrong-doing (cf. 1 Samuel 13:13; 2 Samuel 14:10). It is in the power of my hand - so the phrase יָדִי יֶשׁ־לְאֵל (cf. Deuteronomy 28:32; Nehemiah 5:5; Micah 2:1) is rendered by competent authorities (Gesenius, Furst, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Murphy, et alii), with which agree laxly, ἡ χειρ μου (LXX.), and valet manus men (Vulgate), though the translation "My hand is for God," i.e. my hand serves me as God (cf. Job 12:6; Hebrews 1:11), is by some preferred (Keil, Knobel, Jacobus) - to do you hurt: but the God of your father - the use of this expression can be rightly regarded neither as a proof of Elohistic authorship (Tuch, Bleek, Colenso, Davidson) nor as a sign of Laban's spiritual degeneracy (Hengstenberg, Wordsworth), since it is practically equivalent to Jehovah (vide Genesis 28:13), but is probably to be viewed as a play upon the sound and sense of the preceding clause, as thus: - "It is in the El of my hand to do you evil, but the Elohim of your father spake to me." Another instance of this play upon the sound and sense is to be found in vers. 19, 20 - "Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father's; and Jacob stole the heart of Laban the Syrian" (cf. Quarry on Genesis, p. 498) - spake unto me yester night, saying, Take thou heed that thou speak not to Jacob - literally, guard or keep thee for thyself (the pleon, pron. being added ut supra, ver. 24) from speaking with Jacob - either good or bad (vide on ver. 24). And now, though thou wouldest needs be gone (literally, going thou didst go - thou hast indeed gone), because thou sore longedst after thy father's house (literally, because desiring thou didst desire. The verb כָּסַפ, to be pale (whence כֶּסֶפ, silver, so called from its pale color), expresses the idea of pining away and languishing through strong inward longing), yet wherefore hast thou stolen my gods? Laban had probably gone to consult his teraphim and so discovered their loss. Augustine calls attention to this as the first Scripture reference to heathen gods, and Calvin probably supplies the right explanation of the sense in which they were so styled by Laban, non quia deitatem illie putaret esse inclusam, sed quia in honorem deorum imagines illas colebat; vel potius quod Deo sacra facturus, vertebat se ad illas imagines (cf. Exodus 32:4; 1 Kings 12:28). "This complaint of Laban, that his "gods were stolen, show-eth the vanity of such idolatry" (Ainsworth). Cf. Judges 6:31; Judges 16:24; Jeremiah 10:5, 11, 15. And Laban said unto Jacob,.... Upon their meeting together; perhaps in some middle place between their two tents:

what hast thou done? what evil hast thou committed? what folly art thou guilty of? and what could induce thee to take such a step as this? suggesting that he could see no necessity for it; and as if he had done nothing that should occasion it, and that Jacob had done a very ill thing

that thou hast stolen away unawares to me: of this phrase See Gill on Genesis 31:20,

and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword; as were commonly done by a band of robbers that made incursions upon their neighbours, and plundered them of their substance, and carried away by force their wives and daughters; and such an one Laban represents Jacob to be, a thief and a robber; who had not only stolen away from him, but had stole away his goods, and even his gods, and carried away his daughters against their will: all which were false, and particularly the latter, since they went along with him with their free and full consent. 26-30. Laban said … What hast thou done?—Not a word is said of the charge (Ge 31:1). His reproaches were of a different kind. His first charge was for depriving him of the satisfaction of giving Jacob and his family the usual salutations at parting. In the East it is customary, when any are setting out to a great distance, for their relatives and friends to accompany them a considerable way with music and valedictory songs. Considering the past conduct of Laban, his complaint on this ground was hypocritical cant. But his second charge was a grave one—the carrying off his gods—Hebrew, "teraphim," small images of human figures, used not as idols or objects of worship, but as talismans, for superstitious purposes.31:22-35 God can put a bridle in the mouth of wicked men, to restrain their malice, though he do not change their hearts. Though they have no love to God's people, they will pretend to it, and try to make a merit of necessity. Foolish Laban! to call those things his gods which could be stolen! Enemies may steal our goods, but not our God. Here Laban lays to Jacob's charge things that he knew not. Those who commit their cause to God, are not forbidden to plead it themselves with meekness and fear. When we read of Rachel's stealing her father's images, what a scene of iniquity opens! The family of Nahor, who left the idolatrous Chaldees; is this family itself become idolatrous? It is even so. The truth seems to be, that they were like some in after-times, who sware by the Lord and by Malcham, Zep 1:5; and like others in our times, who wish to serve both God and mammon. Great numbers will acknowledge the true God in words, but their hearts and houses are the abodes of spiritual idolatry. When a man gives himself up to covetousness, like Laban, the world is his god; and he has only to reside among gross idolaters in order to become one, or at least a favourer of their abominations.
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