Genesis 31:26 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 31:26, NIV: "Then Laban said to Jacob, 'What have you done? You've deceived me, and you've carried off my daughters like captives in war."

Genesis 31:26, ESV: "And Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done, that you have tricked me and driven away my daughters like captives of the sword?"

Genesis 31:26, KJV: "And Laban said to Jacob, What hast thou done, that thou hast stolen away unawares to me, and carried away my daughters, as captives taken with the sword?"

Genesis 31:26, NASB: "Then Laban said to Jacob, 'What have you done by deceiving me and carrying away my daughters like captives of the sword?"

Genesis 31:26, NLT: "'What do you mean by deceiving me like this?' Laban demanded. 'How dare you drag my daughters away like prisoners of war?"

Genesis 31:26, CSB: "Laban said to Jacob, "What have you done? You have deceived me and taken my daughters away like prisoners of war!"

What does Genesis 31:26 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob had fled from Laban in response to Laban's continual abuse. Not only did Laban lie and cheat Jacob when it came to marrying his daughters (Genesis 29:20–28), he attempted to take advantage of Jacob by accepting a ridiculous payment scheme, one which Laban tried to make even more lopsided (Genesis 30:31–36). Unfortunately for Laban, this deal was actually part of God's restoration of Jacob (Genesis 31:10–12), and it backfired spectacularly (Genesis 30:37–43). Seeing Laban's displeasure, Jacob and his wives—Laban's own daughters—agreed to leave abruptly and without notice, heading to Jacob's family in Canaan.

After a three-day delay in hearing news of Jacob's flight, and a seven-day chase, Laban's harsh confrontation of Jacob finally begins. In spite of God's warning to Laban in a dream not to say anything to Jacob, good or bad, Laban has prepared a speech for his lying, fleeing son-in-law. Now he unleashes it.

He begins, ironically, with the same words Jacob said to him on Jacob's wedding night some 13 years earlier: "What have you done?" Laban's first two accusations are that Jacob tricked him in this sudden departure and, worse, that Jacob had carried Laban's two daughters away as if they were captives or prisoners. Laban does not know, yet, that both Rachel and Leah expressed their full support for Jacob's plan to leave Laban and return to his own homeland.