Genesis 31:22 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 31:22, NIV: "On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled."

Genesis 31:22, ESV: "When it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled,"

Genesis 31:22, KJV: "And it was told Laban on the third day that Jacob was fled."

Genesis 31:22, NASB: "When Laban was informed on the third day that Jacob had fled,"

Genesis 31:22, NLT: "Three days later, Laban was told that Jacob had fled."

Genesis 31:22, CSB: "On the third day Laban was told that Jacob had fled."

What does Genesis 31:22 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

We're not told exactly what Jacob did to deceive Laban about his departure (Genesis 31:20). The deception, most likely, refers to Jacob's leaving without warning, and only when Laban had left the area to shear his sheep (Genesis 31:19). Whatever it was, three days passed before Laban realized Jacob and all he owned were gone. This time delay makes sense—Laban had ordered his sons to take livestock three days away from Jacob (Genesis 30:35–36), specifically as an attempt to further cheat his son-in-law (Genesis 30:31–34). If someone left to tell Laban about Jacob's departure, three days marks the approximate time it would have taken the news to arrive.

Specifically, this verse describes Jacob as having "fled." He was running away—knowing that Laban would not have peaceably let him go. Even Laban's daughters had agreed that their father was no longer worthy of loyalty (Genesis 31:14–16), so the family simply left and began to journey back to Jacob's family in Canaan. As one would expect, however, Laban would come after them.