Yaakov’s opportunity finally came when Lavan left on a 3-day trip. Yaakov gathered his four wives, 11 sons, and one daughter, and all of their possessions, and secretly fled Lavan’s house.
Rachel saw a golden opportunity to do something she had wanted to do for a long time – get rid of the idols in her father’s house! She secretly collected them and hid them under the saddle of her camel.
On the third day Lavan found out that Yaakov, Rachel, Leah, Bilhah, Zilpah, Reuven, Shimon, Levi, Yehudah, Dan, Naftali, Yissachar, Zevulun, Gad, Asher, Yosef, and Dinah had all run off! He was FURIOUS! He was FUMING!
Lavan quickly ran out and chased after them. On the way he was planning how he would punish Yaakov when he caught up with him. But HaShem appeared to Lavan in a dream and warned him, “Don’t you dare harm Yaakov!”
Lavan had a quick switch of attitude, and when he finally did catch up with Yaakov and his family, he exclaimed. “Why did you run away, my dear Yaakov? If only you told me beforehand, I would have made a huge going-away party for the family with plenty of music! After all, they are my grandchildren. I didn’t even have a chance to properly say goodbye and kiss them!”
Yaakov did not interrupt his father-in-law as Lavan continued berating him, “the truth is, you deserve to be punished, but lucky for you, HaShem warned me not to harm you. But tell me Yaakov, why did you steal my idols?!”
Yaakov was shocked, “I have no idea where your idols are or who stole it, but they are not here. Go ahead and search everywhere, and if you do find it… that person who stole it die.”
Lavan proceeded to do a thorough search in all the tents. Meanwhile Rachel stayed seated on her camel, so Lavan never discovered the idols she had stashed under her saddle.
“Lavan,” Yaakov said bitterly, “This is ridiculous! I worked for you faithfully, day in day out, for 20 years. Yet, you’ve cheated me all along. Enough already! Let us go in peace!”