Why did Rachel take the household gods? 

Old Testament: Gen 31.33–35

To read the Bible in a year, read Genesis 31–32 on January 13, In the year of our Lord Christ 2023

By Don Ruhl 

Jacob fled from his father-in-law who was mistreating him. Later, Laban caught up to his son-in-law and confronted him about why he stole Laban’s gods. Jacob denied having done such, but Laban wanted to search Jacob’s stuff anyway: 

And Laban went into Jacob’s tent, into Leah’s tent, and into the two maids’ tents, but he did not find them. Then he went out of Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s tent. Now Rachel had taken the household idols, put them in the camel’s saddle, and sat on them. And Laban searched all about the tent but did not find them. And she said to her father, “Let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise before you, for the manner of women is with me.” And he searched but did not find the household idols.

– Genesis 31.33–35 

Why did Rachel take the household gods of her father? She believed in the one true living God as her husband Jacob did. Perhaps she liked the look of them, or since earlier she and her sister had told Jacob that their father was not leaving them anything, she just took what was close by so that she would not be cheated out of an inheritance. 

Why did Laban have household gods? Of course, we cannot answer these questions, but they make you think. 


  • Why do you buy decorating items for your house? 
  • Why do you think that Laban started with the tents of the maids first? 

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