How long did Jacob stay in Harran? The answer seemed to be in Genesis 31:38-41 (NIV)
38 “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks.
39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night.
40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.
41 It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.
The answer seemed pretty straight forward, "twenty years". When look more carefully, the twenty years of vv38, may not be the same in vv41 as it added "I was in your household". Review Genesis 30, the negotiation between Jacob and Laban for leaving Laban household, Genesis 30:36 (NIV) said:
Then he put a three-day journey between himself and Jacob, while Jacob continued to tend the rest of Laban’s flocks.
Was Genesis 30:36 a prove that Jacob lived outside of Laban household, which implied the account in Genesis 30:38 and Genesis 30:41 were two separated periods of 20 years?
From this article, the writer puts forth the following argument, tracing the known years of who was old at what time:
(edited for brevity)
Timeline of Jacob's Sojourn in Haran (referenced to Jacob's age) | Age | Jacob... | |:------|:--------------------------------| | 57 | leaves Canaan and comes to Harran | | 64 | marries Leah and Rachel, begins having children | | 65 | begins having children by Leah | | 76 | probably has last of children by Leah (Dinah) | | 91 | has Joseph (son of Jacob's old age) | | 97 | leaves Harran and returns to Canaan after 40 years |
What is the credibility of this?