Genesis 31:31
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
Jacob answered Laban, "I was afraid, because I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.

New Living Translation
"I rushed away because I was afraid," Jacob answered. "I thought you would take your daughters from me by force.

English Standard Version
Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force.

New American Standard Bible
Then Jacob replied to Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force.

King James Bible
And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Jacob answered, "I was afraid, for I thought you would take your daughters from me by force.

International Standard Version
"I was afraid," Jacob replied. "I thought you might take your daughters from me.

NET Bible
"I left secretly because I was afraid!" Jacob replied to Laban. "I thought you might take your daughters away from me by force.

New Heart English Bible
Jacob answered Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I said, 'Lest you should take your daughters from me by force.'

GOD'S WORD® Translation
Jacob answered Laban, "I left because I was afraid. I thought you would take your daughters away from me by force.

JPS Tanakh 1917
And Jacob answered and said to Laban: 'Because I was afraid; for I said: Lest thou shouldest take thy daughters from me by force.

New American Standard 1977
Then Jacob answered and said to Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Lest you would take your daughters from me by force.’

Jubilee Bible 2000
And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid; for I said, Peradventure thou would take by force thy daughters from me.

King James 2000 Bible
And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Perhaps you would take by force your daughters from me.

American King James Version
And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure you would take by force your daughters from me.

American Standard Version
And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Lest thou shouldest take thy daughters from me by force.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Jacob answered: That I departed unknown to thee, it was for fear lest thou wouldst take away thy daughters by force.

Darby Bible Translation
And Jacob answered and said to Laban, I was afraid; for I said, Lest thou shouldest take by force thy daughters from me.

English Revised Version
And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Lest thou shouldest take thy daughters from me by force.

Webster's Bible Translation
And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, It may be thou wouldest take thy daughters from me by force.

World English Bible
Jacob answered Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I said, 'Lest you should take your daughters from me by force.'

Young's Literal Translation
And Jacob answereth and saith to Laban, 'Because I was afraid, for I said, Lest thou take violently away thy daughters from me;
Study Bible
Laban Pursues Jacob
30"Now you have indeed gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house; but why did you steal my gods?" 31Then Jacob replied to Laban, "Because I was afraid, for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force. 32"The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our kinsmen point out what is yours among my belongings and take it for yourself." For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.…
Cross References
Genesis 31:30
"Now you have indeed gone away because you longed greatly for your father's house; but why did you steal my gods?"

Genesis 31:32
"The one with whom you find your gods shall not live; in the presence of our kinsmen point out what is yours among my belongings and take it for yourself." For Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.
Treasury of Scripture

And Jacob answered and said to Laban, Because I was afraid: for I said, Peradventure you would take by force your daughters from me.

Because.

Genesis 31:26,27 And Laban said to Jacob, What have you done, that you have stolen …

Genesis 20:11 And Abraham said, Because I thought, Surely the fear of God is not …

Proverbs 29:25 The fear of man brings a snare: but whoever puts his trust in the …

(31, 32) Jacob answered.--Jacob gives the true reason for his flight; after which, indignant at the charge of theft, he returns, in his anger, as rash an answer about the teraphim as Joseph's brethren subsequently did about the stolen cup (Genesis 44:9).

Let him not live.--The Rabbins regard this as a prophecy, fulfilled in Rachel's premature death. Its more simple meaning is, I yield him up to thee even to be put to death.

Verses 31, 32. - And Jacob answered - "in an able and powerful speech" (Kalisch) - and said to Laban (replying to his first interrogation as to why Jacob had stolen away unawares), Because I was afraid: for I said (sc. to myself), Peradventure (literally, lest, i.e. I must depart without informing thee lest) thou wouldest (or shoudest) take by force - the verb signifies to strip off as skin from flesh (vide Micah 3:2), and hence to forcibly remove - thy daughters from me (after which, in response to Laban's question about his stolen gods, he proceeds). With whomsoever thou findest thy gods, let him not live. If Jacob meant he shall not live, but I will slay him with mine own hand (Aben Ezra), let God destroy him (Abarbanel), I give him up to thee to put to death (Rosenmüller), let him instantly die (Drusius), he was guilty of great unadvisedness in speech. Accordingly, the import of his words has been mollified by regarding them simply as a prediction, "he will not live," i.e. he will die before his time (Jonathan), a prediction which, the Rabbins note, was fulfilled in Rachel (vide Genesis 35:16, 18); or by connecting them with clause following, "he will not live before our brethren," i.e. let him be henceforth cut off from the society of his kinsmen (LXX., Bush). Yet, even as thus explained, the language of Jacob was precipitats, since he ought first to have inquired at his wives and children before pronouncing so emphatically on a matter of which he was entirely ignorant (Calvin). Before our brethren - not Jacob's sons, but Laban's kinsmen (ver. 23) - discern thou - literally, examine closely for thyself, the hiph. of נָכַר (to be strange) meaning to press strongly into a thing, i.e. to perceive it by finding out its distinguishing characteristics (vide Furst, sub voce) - what is thine with me, and take it to thee. For (literally, and) Jacob knew not that Rachel had stolen them - otherwise he would have spoken with less heat and more caution. And Jacob answered and said to Laban, because I was afraid,.... That he would have done all he could to have hindered him from going away himself; and not only so, but would have prevented his taking his daughters with him; and especially would have detained his cattle; but of this last Jacob makes no mention, only of the former:

for I said; either within himself, or to his wives:

peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me; which of right belonged to him; for though they were Laban's daughters, they were Jacob's wives; and being given in marriage to him, he had a right unto them, and to take them with him; nor had Laban any right to detain them, which Jacob feared he would have attempted to have done, had he known his design; and this must have been done by force if done at all; for neither Jacob nor his wives would have agreed that they should stay with Laban upon his departure: what Laban charges Jacob with, in going away with his wives, he himself would have done, namely, using force to them. Laban's charge was false, but there was much reason for Jacob's suspicion. 31, 32. Jacob said, … With whomsoever thou findest thy gods let him not live—Conscious of his own innocence and little suspecting the misdeed of his favorite wife, Jacob boldly challenged a search and denounced the heaviest penalty on the culprit. A personal scrutiny was made by Laban, who examined every tent [Ge 31:33]; and having entered Rachel's last, he would have infallibly discovered the stolen images had not Rachel made an appeal to him which prevented further search [Ge 31:34, 35].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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