These “images” that Rachel had stolen from her father were household idols known as teraphim. Small statuettes in human form, they may have represented deceased ancestors of the family. They were consulted in a superstitious way for guidance and direction in everyday life.

Why did Rachel steal these images when she and her sister, Leah, fled Laban’s household with Jacob? Perhaps she thought Laban would consult them to determine the route they had taken, Or she could have thought these images would provide protection for her and her sister on their journey with Jacob to a strange land. Many Israelites apparently saw no conflict between keeping these superstitious teraphim in their homes and following the LORD. Not until the days of King Josiah centuries after Jacob’s time was an effort made to abolish the practice of consulting household images (2 Kings 23:24).

GENESIS 31:27 – I [Laban] might have sent thee [Jacob] away with mirth [Joy, NIV], and with songs, with tabret [tambourines, NIV], and with harp.

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