Genesis 30:31 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 30:31, NIV: "What shall I give you?' he asked. 'Don't give me anything,' Jacob replied. 'But if you will do this one thing for me, I will go on tending your flocks and watching over them:"

Genesis 30:31, ESV: "He said, “What shall I give you?” Jacob said, “You shall not give me anything. If you will do this for me, I will again pasture your flock and keep it:"

Genesis 30:31, KJV: "And he said, What shall I give thee? And Jacob said, Thou shalt not give me any thing: if thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock:"

Genesis 30:31, NASB: "So he said, 'What shall I give you?' And Jacob said, 'You shall not give me anything. If you will do this one thing for me, I will again pasture and keep your flock:"

Genesis 30:31, NLT: "'What wages do you want?' Laban asked again. Jacob replied, 'Don't give me anything. Just do this one thing, and I'll continue to tend and watch over your flocks."

Genesis 30:31, CSB: "Laban asked, "What should I give you?" And Jacob said, "You don't need to give me anything. If you do this one thing for me, I will continue to shepherd and keep your flock."

What does Genesis 30:31 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Laban is ready to hear Jacob's offer. He knows he has grown rich because of the Lord's blessing on his son-in-law. He doesn't want Jacob to return to his own people, as Jacob has asked to do. In that era, since Jacob was a servant of Laban, his entire family would have been considered part of Laban's property, as well. In order to leave, without being accused of theft, he needs Laban to agree with their departure.

Instead of insisting on leaving right away, Jacob has come up with a plan to gain some wealth for himself. He is aware that Laban is a tough—and deceptive (Genesis 29:18–30)—negotiator. He is also counting on the fact that the Lord will continue to bless him abundantly.

Laban asks again: What do you want from me? Jacob surprises him with a tricky answer of his own: Don't give me anything right now. Instead, Jacob will ask for a specific cut of the future profits in the following verses. Laban, predictably, will respond by trying to cheat Jacob.