When Eliezer had come to Charan seeking a wife for Yitzchok, he
brought camels loaded to the hilt with lots of precious jewels and gifts for the Machatanim (In Laws). But Yaakov was about to face Lavan empty-handed.
Originally, Yaakov started off with plenty of money, jewels and
gifts. But moments after Yaakov cleared the Brachot from Yitzchok, he
zoomed off towards Charan before Esav could catch him. Esav ordered his
son, Elifaz, to catch Yaakov and kill him. Elifaz did eventually track
Now Elifaz had a dilemma. Even though he was Esav's son, he
grew up in Yitzchok's house and learned 'some' decent things from his grandfather. He knew it was wrong to kill Yaakov. But he also wanted to do the Mitzvah of Kibud Av (honoring one's father) and carry out Esav's orders.
Yaakov came up with a creative solution. According to the Torah, a
poor man is equivalent to a dead man. Therefore, Yaakov told Elifaz to take all
his possessions and Elifaz would be able to go back and tell his father that Yaakov is dead.
Now, Yaakov would have to face the diabolical Lavan with no gifts,
jewels or cash and ask for Rachel's hand in marriage. (That's enough to
make any grown man cry!)