What does Genesis 31:18 mean?
ESV: He drove away all his livestock, all his property that he had gained, the livestock in his possession that he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac.
NIV: and he drove all his livestock ahead of him, along with all the goods he had accumulated in Paddan Aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
NASB: and he drove away all his livestock and all his property which he had acquired, the livestock he possessed which he had acquired in Paddan-aram, to go to the land of Canaan to his father Isaac.
CSB: He took all the livestock and possessions he had acquired in Paddan-aram, and he drove his herds to go to the land of Canaan, to his father Isaac.
NLT: and he drove all his livestock in front of him. He packed all the belongings he had acquired in Paddan-aram and set out for the land of Canaan, where his father, Isaac, lived.
KJV: And he carried away all his cattle, and all his goods which he had gotten, the cattle of his getting, which he had gotten in Padanaram, for to go to Isaac his father in the land of Canaan.
NKJV: And he carried away all his livestock and all his possessions which he had gained, his acquired livestock which he had gained in Padan Aram, to go to his father Isaac in the land of Canaan.
Verse Commentary:
Jacob has come to an agreement with his wives, to leave the land of their father Laban, and return to Canaan (Genesis 31:3). All three are agreed that Laban has treated them deceitfully, dishonestly, and greedily (Genesis 31:4–16). The prior verse suggests that the preparations to leave were conducted quickly.

After Jacob succeeded in getting all of his wives and sons on camels, he added the rest of his possessions to the caravan out of Paddan-aram. Their destination is their new home in Canaan, with Jacob's father Isaac. Jacob's property now includes much livestock "on the hoof," as well as servants, donkeys, and belongings. They can't move too quickly, for that reason.

Jacob seemingly left Canaan with next to nothing: sleeping alone on a rock (Genesis 28:11) and having no dowry to offer for a wife (Genesis 29:18). He will return to his homeland a wealthy man with a large family. God had blessed Jacob, just as He said He would (Genesis 28:12–15).
Verse Context:
Genesis 31:1–21 describes the events that propel Jacob to sneak away from Laban and head toward his homeland of Canaan. First, he learns that Laban and his sons are dangerously unhappy with him for taking so many of Laban's profits. Then God commands Jacob to go, promising to be with him. After securing the support of his wives, Jacob packs up his large family and property and sneaks away toward Gilead and then home.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 31 describes Jacob's difficult separation from Laban, his father-in-law, as well as his boss for twenty years. During that time, Jacob was routinely mistreated and cheated by his master. Commanded by God to return to the land of Canaan, Jacob packs up his wives, children, and all of his possessions and leaves without telling Laban. Laban soon catches up with the large company. Laban and Jacob confront each other bitterly. Eventually, though, they make a covenant of separation and peace.
Chapter Context:
Genesis 30 described the dramatic expansion of Jacob's family and property. Now, after twenty years of working for Laban, the time comes for Jacob to return to his own people. He attempts to sneak away without telling Laban, but Laban soon catches up with him. After bitter confrontations, father and son-in-law make a covenant of separation and peace. Jacob is finally free to begin the next chapter of his life in the Promised Land. First, though, he will need to deal with his brother Esau, whose rage was the main reason Jacob fled in the first place. That encounter is described over the following two chapters.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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