Genesis 31:17

ESV So Jacob arose and set his sons and his wives on camels.
NIV Then Jacob put his children and his wives on camels,
NASB Then Jacob stood up and put his children and his wives on camels;
CSB So Jacob got up and put his children and wives on the camels.
NLT So Jacob put his wives and children on camels,
KJV Then Jacob rose up, and set his sons and his wives upon camels;

What does Genesis 31:17 mean?

Jacob and his wives, Leah and Rachel, have agreed to leave the women's father, Laban, due to his persistent cheating and mistreatment of their family (Genesis 29:20–28; 30:31–36). Despite their long-running feud (Genesis 30:8), these sisters and wives to the same husband agree that their father cares nothing for them. They are ready to support Jacob, and to follow God's instruction to move back to Canaan.

Scripture does not explicitly indicate if Jacob packed up his family and left immediately after hearing that his wives would support him in the move away from Laban. We're not told how much time it took, but the implication is that they moved with some haste. Jacob wanted to get away without Laban knowing he was gone.

Jacob had become wealthy. He had acquired camels, the preferred method of travel for women and children at the time. He apparently had enough camels to carry four wives and 11 sons. This caravan of Jacob's family and worldly goods would become very long.
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