|Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible|
And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian,.... Went away without his knowledge, or giving him any notice of it; he was too cunning for Laban the Syrian; notwithstanding his astrology and superstitious arts, which the Syrians are addicted to, he had no foresight of this matter: or he "stole away the heart of Laban" (b), that which his heart was set upon; not his gods, these Rachel stole away; nor his daughters, for whom he does not appear to have had any great affection and respect; but rather the cattle and goods Jacob took with him, which Laban's eye and heart were upon, and hoped to get into his possession by one means, or at one time or another; but the former sense, that he "stole from" his heart (d), or stole away without his knowledge, seems best to agree with what follows:
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament
"Thus Jacob deceived Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled;" - לב גּנב to steal the heart (as the seat of the understanding), like κλέπτειν νοο͂ν, and גּנב with the simple accus. pers., Genesis 31:27, like κλεπτειν τίνα, signifies to take the knowledge of anything away from a person, to deceive him; - "and passed over the river (Euphrates), and took the direction to the mountains of Gilead."
Barnes' Notes on the Bible
Laban hears of his flight, pursues, and overtakes him. "Stole the heart," κλέπτειν νοῦν kleptein noun. The heart is the seat of the understanding in Scripture. To steal the heart of anyone is to act without his knowledge. The river. The Frat, near which, we may conclude, Jacob was tending his flocks. Haran was about seventy miles from the river, and therefore, Laban's flocks were on the other side of Haran. "Toward mount Gilead;" about three hundred miles from the Frat. "On the third day." This shows that Laban's flocks kept by his sons were still three days' journey apart from Jacob's. His brethren - his kindred and dependents. "Seven days' journey." On the third day after the arrival of the messenger, Laban might return to the spot whence Jacob had taken his flight. In this case, Jacob would have at least five days of a start; which, added to the seven days of pursuit, would give him twelve days to travel three hundred English miles. To those accustomed to the pastoral life this was a possible achievement. God appears to Laban on behalf of Jacob, and warns him not to harm him. "Not to speak from good to bad" is merely to abstain from language expressing and prefacing violence.
Geneva Study Bible
And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told him not that he fled.
King James Translators' Notes
unawares...: Heb. the heart of Laban
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
20. Jacob stole away-The result showed the prudence and necessity of departing secretly; otherwise, Laban might have detained him by violence or artifice.
Genesis 31:20 Parallel Commentaries
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