Friday, November 24, 2023

Vayetze - Reading #6

Vayetze וַיֵּצֵא - And He Went Out

Genesis 28:10-32:3

Reading #6 - Genesis 31:17–42

My Thoughts: 

There are different thoughts as to why Rachel would “steal” some of her father’s gods (statues). I’ve heard it said that she wanted to take some of her “inheritance” or that she was still worshiping the gods, and all sorts of things. Whatever reason -- she steals them, hides them and later I believe they are destroyed. We all do wrongful actions and regret them later. But, the wisdom here is that we must turn them all over to Hashem. 

Laban chases Jacob and his family down. He confronts Jacob and they search for the “gods” but they are not found. Jacob repairs his relationship with his father-in-law and creates a covenant. All is well. If you are “running” from a problem and it catches up with you (like Laban caught up with Jacob) it would be good to make reconciliation at that point. We serve an Elohim of mercy and grace and it is obvious that He loves restoration of relationships.


Take a few minutes to think about the “foreign gods” in your life. Your immediate reaction may be -- “I don’t have any!” But what about TV and the internet? How many minutes a day do you watch TV or are you on the internet? Some homes have three to four TVs and have them turned on all day. When I walk my dog at night you see the pictures on TVs lighting up everyone’s homes. It is dominant in our daily life. We sit in front of it, we eat in front of it, we block out relationships while we watch it and we serve it. Isn’t that the same as a foreign god? Just something to think about. (And I admit I am the same and have a lot to think and pray about regarding TV and internet systems). 

Reading #6 - Genesis 31:17–42

31:17-42 Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives on the camels, 18 and he took away all his livestock, and all his possessions which he had gathered, including the livestock which he had gained in Paddan Aram, to go to Isaac his father, to the land of Canaan. 19 Now Laban had gone to shear his sheep; and Rachel stole the teraphim that were her father’s.

20 Jacob deceived Laban the Syrian, in that he didn’t tell him that he was running away. 21 So he fled with all that he had. He rose up, passed over the River, and set his face toward the mountain of Gilead.

22 Laban was told on the third day that Jacob had fled. 23 He took his relatives with him, and pursued him seven days’ journey. He overtook him in the mountain of Gilead. 24 Elohim came to Laban the Syrian in a dream of the night, and said to him, “Be careful that you don’t speak to Jacob either good or bad.”

25 Laban caught up with Jacob. Now Jacob had pitched his tent in the mountain, and Laban with his relatives encamped in the mountain of Gilead. 26 Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have deceived me, and carried away my daughters like captives of the sword? 27 Why did you flee secretly, and deceive me, and didn’t tell me, that I might have sent you away with mirth and with songs, with tambourine and with harp; 28 and didn’t allow me to kiss my sons and my daughters? Now have you done foolishly. 29 It is in the power of my hand to hurt you, but the Elohim of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Be careful that you don’t speak to Jacob either good or bad.’ 30 Now, you want to be gone, because you greatly longed for your father’s house, but why have you stolen my gods?”

31 Jacob answered Laban, “Because I was afraid, for I said, ‘Lest you should take your daughters from me by force.’ 32 Anyone you find your gods with shall not live. Before our relatives, discern what is yours with me, and take it.” For Jacob didn’t know that Rachel had stolen them.

33 Laban went into Jacob’s tent, into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the two female servants; but he didn’t find them. He went out of Leah’s tent, and entered into Rachel’s tent. 34 Now Rachel had taken the teraphim, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. Laban felt around all the tent, but didn’t find them. 35 She said to her father, “Don’t let my lord be angry that I can’t rise up before you; for I’m having my period.” He searched, but didn’t find the teraphim.

36 Jacob was angry, and argued with Laban. Jacob answered Laban, “What is my trespass? What is my sin, that you have hotly pursued me? 37 Now that you have felt around in all my stuff, what have you found of all your household stuff? Set it here before my relatives and your relatives, that they may judge between us two.

38 “These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not cast their young, and I haven’t eaten the rams of your flocks. 39 That which was torn of animals, I didn’t bring to you. I bore its loss. Of my hand you required it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 40 This was my situation: in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep fled from my eyes. 41 These twenty years I have been in your house. I served you fourteen years for your two daughters, and six years for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 Unless the Elohim of my father, the Elohim of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac, had been with me, surely now you would have sent me away empty. Elohim has seen my affliction and the labor of my hands, and rebuked you last night.”