|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
31:1-21 The affairs of these families are related very minutely, while (what are called) the great events of states and kingdoms at that period, are not mentioned. The Bible teaches people the common duties of life, how to serve God, how to enjoy the blessings he bestows, and to do good in the various stations and duties of life. Selfish men consider themselves robbed of all that goes past them, and covetousness will even swallow up natural affection. Men's overvaluing worldly wealth is that error which is the root of covetousness, envy, and all evil. The men of the world stand in each other's way, and every one seems to be taking away from the rest; hence discontent, envy, and discord. But there are possessions that will suffice for all; happy they who seek them in the first place. In all our removals we should have respect to the command and promise of God. If He be with us, we need not fear. The perils which surround us are so many, that nothing else can really encourage our hearts. To remember favoured seasons of communion with God, is very refreshing when in difficulties; and we should often recollect our vows, that we fail not to fulfil them.
Verse 6. - And ye know that with all my power I have served your father. The term Jacob here uses for power is derived from an unused onomatopoetic root, signifying to pant, and hence to exert one s strength. If, therefore, the assertion now made to his wives was not an unblushing falsehood, Jacob could not have been the monster of craft and deception depicted by some (Kalisch); while, if it was, it must have required considerable effrontery to appeal to his wives' knowledge for a confirmation of what they knew to be a deliberate untruth. The hypothesis that Jacob first acquired his great wealth by "consummate cunning," and then piously "abused the authority of God in covering or justifying them" (Kalisch), presupposes on the part of Jacob a degree of wickedness inconceivable in one who had enjoyed the sublime theophany of Bethel.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And ye know, that with all my power I have served your father. With all faithfulness and uprightness; with all diligence and industry; with all wisdom and prudence; with all my might and main, contriving the best methods, and sparing no pains by day or night to take care of his flocks, and increase his substance: of this his wives had been witnesses for twenty years past, and to them he appeals for the truth of it; so that there was no just reason for their father's behaviour towards him.
Genesis 31:6 Parallel Commentaries
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