|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
30:25-43 The fourteen years being gone, Jacob was willing to depart without any provision, except God's promise. But he had in many ways a just claim on Laban's substance, and it was the will of God that he should be provided for from it. He referred his cause to God, rather than agree for stated wages with Laban, whose selfishness was very great. And it would appear that he acted honestly, when none but those of the colours fixed upon should be found among his cattle. Laban selfishly thought that his cattle would produce few different in colour from their own. Jacob's course after this agreement has been considered an instance of his policy and management. But it was done by intimation from God, and as a token of his power. The Lord will one way or another plead the cause of the oppressed, and honour those who simply trust his providence. Neither could Laban complain of Jacob, for he had nothing more than was freely agreed that he should have; nor was he injured, but greatly benefitted by Jacob's services. May all our mercies be received with thanksgiving and prayer, that coming from his bounty, they may lead to his praise.
Verse 36. - And (as if to insure the impossibility of the two flocks mingling and breeding) he set three days journey betwixt himself (with his sons and the parti-colored animals) and Jacob: and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flocks - out of which he was to pay himself as best he could in accordance with the contract.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he set three days' journey between himself and Jacob,.... Not three days' journey for a man, but for cattle; this distance there was between the place where Laban and his sons kept the spotted, speckled, and brown cattle, and that in which Jacob kept the flock only consisting of white sheep; and this was done, that the flocks might not be mixed, and that there might be no opportunity to take any of the spotted ones, and that they might not stray into Jacob's flock; or lest any of his seeing them might bring forth the like, such precaution was used:
and Jacob fed the rest of Laban's flock; those that remained after the spotted, speckled, and brown were taken out; and Jacob having none but white sheep, there was no great likelihood, according to the course of nature, of his having much for his hire; since he was only to have the spotted, speckled, and brown ones that came from them, and generally like begets like; and, according to the Jewish writers (p), those that were committed to his care were old and barren, and sick, and infirm, that so he might have no profit from them.
(p) Bereshit Rabba, sect. 73. fol. 64. 1. Targum Jon. & Jarchi in loc.
Genesis 30:36 Parallel Commentaries
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