Genesis 31:2

ESV And Jacob saw that Laban did not regard him with favor as before.
NIV And Jacob noticed that Laban's attitude toward him was not what it had been.
NASB And Jacob saw the attitude of Laban, and behold, it was not friendly toward him as it had been before.
CSB And Jacob saw from Laban's face that his attitude toward him was not the same as before.
NLT And Jacob began to notice a change in Laban’s attitude toward him.
KJV And Jacob beheld the countenance of Laban, and, behold, it was not toward him as before.

What does Genesis 31:2 mean?

Jacob feels vulnerable. The previous verse revealed that his brothers-in-law, Laban's sons, were grumbling against him. God had abundantly blessed Jacob's arrangement with Laban, even though Laban intended that contract to cheat Jacob once again. As explained later (Genesis 31:10–12), it was God's direct intervention in the breeding of the animals which caused Jacob's wealth to grow enormously while his father-in-law's fortune apparently diminished. Laban's sons are as greedy and short-sighted as their father, so they saw Jacob's wealth as money coming from their own pockets.

Jacob is aware, as well, that he is no longer favored by Laban. Not surprisingly, Laban had always liked Jacob when Laban had the upper hand. Not only had Jacob allowed Laban to force Leah on him as a wife, in exchange for an extra seven years of service (Genesis 29:20–28), Laban knew the Lord had blessed him because Jacob was working for him. According to complaints brought up in this chapter, Laban has also been shifty and unreliable in his dealings with Jacob (Genesis 31:6–7).

Now, however, Laban's scheming has backfired. His plan to once again cheat Jacob has instead resulted in Jacob growing wealthy, while Laban's wealth flounders. Now that Jacob had been given the upper hand in their relationship, Laban suddenly doesn't like Jacob any more. Jacob, with a large family and great wealth to lose, and no extended family of his own nearby to protect him, is aware that he could be in real trouble if Laban decides to turn on him.
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