Genesis 31:12 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 31:12, NIV: "And he said, 'Look up and see that all the male goats mating with the flock are streaked, speckled or spotted, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you."

Genesis 31:12, ESV: "And he said, ‘Lift up your eyes and see, all the goats that mate with the flock are striped, spotted, and mottled, for I have seen all that Laban is doing to you."

Genesis 31:12, KJV: "And he said, Lift up now thine eyes, and see, all the rams which leap upon the cattle are ringstraked, speckled, and grisled: for I have seen all that Laban doeth unto thee."

Genesis 31:12, NASB: "He said, ‘Now raise your eyes and see that all the male goats that are mating are striped, speckled, or mottled; for I have seen everything that Laban has been doing to you."

Genesis 31:12, NLT: "'The angel said, 'Look up, and you will see that only the streaked, speckled, and spotted males are mating with the females of your flock. For I have seen how Laban has treated you."

Genesis 31:12, CSB: "And he said, 'Look up and see: all the males that are mating with the flocks are streaked, spotted, and speckled, for I have seen all that Laban has been doing to you."

What does Genesis 31:12 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob is describing a dream given to him by the Lord. In the dream, Jacob saw off-color goats mating with the flock. The angel of God spoke to Jacob in the dream, pointing this out. Then God said to Jacob that the point of the dream was because He had seen all Laban was doing to Jacob. In other words, God was watching and protecting Jacob. He was aware of how Laban was attempting to take advantage of Jacob. The Lord was letting Jacob know He would intervene for Jacob's good.

This, finally, is the explanation for why Jacob made such the deal with Laban in the first place to take all the off-color goats as his wages (Genesis 30:31–36). It also explains why Jacob's highly unusual breeding techniques of placing stripped sticks in water troughs turned out to be so supernaturally successful (Genesis 30:37–43). This was not a suggestion that sheep color is affected by sticks; rather, it's proof that God was the one overseeing the entire process from the start.