Genesis 31:23 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 31:23, NIV: "Taking his relatives with him, he pursued Jacob for seven days and caught up with him in the hill country of Gilead."

Genesis 31:23, ESV: "he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him for seven days and followed close after him into the hill country of Gilead."

Genesis 31:23, KJV: "And he took his brethren with him, and pursued after him seven days' journey; and they overtook him in the mount Gilead."

Genesis 31:23, NASB: "he took his kinsmen with him and pursued him a distance of seven days’ journey, and he overtook him in the hill country of Gilead."

Genesis 31:23, NLT: "So he gathered a group of his relatives and set out in hot pursuit. He caught up with Jacob seven days later in the hill country of Gilead."

Genesis 31:23, CSB: "So he took his relatives with him, pursued Jacob for seven days, and overtook him in the hill country of Gilead."

What does Genesis 31:23 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Three days passed before Laban realized that Jacob and all of his flocks and family were gone. This delay is, ironically, Laban's own fault. Previously, in an effort to further cheat his son-in-law, Laban had ordered his sons to move the livestock three days away from Jacob (Genesis 30:31–36). Most likely, this was the location Laban had gone to when Jacob and his family decided to flee. In that three-day span, Jacob's huge caravan made it all the way to and across the Euphrates River and was heading toward the hill country of Gilead.

Laban gathered some kinsman and gave chase. With a smaller group, Laban could move much more quickly. Still, it took a full week before Laban caught up within sight of Jacob's caravan. For Jacob, this would have been the tenth day of his journey. Jacob had good reasons to be concerned—he seems to have already known that Laban would never have agreed to let Jacob's family go. Laban's own words, recorded here, indicate that Jacob might also have been concerned about a violent reaction (Genesis 31:29).