|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 7. - And your father hath deceived me, - הֵתֵל, the hiph. of תָּלַל, means to rob or plunder (Furst), or to cause to fall, as in the cognate languages, whence to deceive (Gesenius) - and changed my wages ten times; - i.e. many times, as in Numbers 14:22; Job 19:3 (Rosenmüller, Bush, Kalisch, Lange); as often as possible, the number ten expressing the idea of completeness (Keil, Murphy) - but God (Elohim, Jacob purposing to say that he had been protected, not by human stratagem, but by Divine interposition) suffered him not to hurt me - literally, to do evil to me. The verb here construed with עִמָּד = עִם is sometimes followed by עַל (1 Kings 17:20), and sometimes by בְּ (1 Chronicles 16:22).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And your father hath deceived me,.... In the bargain he had made with him about his wages for keeping his cattle the six years past, after the fourteen years' servitude were ended:
and changed my wages ten times; that is, either very often, many times, as the number ten is sometimes. Used for many, see Leviticus 26:26; or precisely ten times, since he repeats it afterwards in the same form to Laban's face, Genesis 31:41; he had now served him six years upon a new bargain; that he should have all that were of such and such different colours, which were produced out of his flock of white sheep. Laban was at first highly pleased with it, as judging it would be a very good one to him, as he might reasonably think indeed: and it is highly probable he did not attempt any alteration the first year, but observing Jacob's cattle of the speckled sort, &c. prodigiously increasing, he did not choose to abide by the any longer. Now it must be observed, that the sheep in Mesopotamia, as in Italy (x), brought forth the young twice a year; so that every yeaning time, which was ten times in five years, Laban made an alteration in Jacob's wages; one time he would let him have only the speckled, and not the ringstraked; another time the ringstraked, and not the speckled; and so changed every time, according as he observed the prevailing colour was, as may be concluded from Genesis 31:8,
but God suffered him not to hurt me; to hinder his prosperity, or having justice done him for his service; for whatsoever colour Laban chose for Jacob to have the next season of yeaning, there was always the greatest number of them, or all of them were of that colour, whether speckled or ringstraked, &c.
(x) "Bis gravidae pecudes.----", Virgil. Georgic. l. 2.
Genesis 31:7 Parallel Commentaries
Genesis 31:7 NIV
Genesis 31:7 NLT
Genesis 31:7 ESV
Genesis 31:7 NASB
Genesis 31:7 KJV
Bible Hub: Online Parallel Bible