|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
33:17-20 Jacob did not content himself with words of thanks for God's favour to him, but gave real thanks. Also he kept up religion, and the worship of God in his family. Where we have a tent, God must have an altar. Jacob dedicated this altar to the honour of El-elohe-Israel, God, the God of Israel; to the honour of God, the only living and true God; and to the honour of the God of Israel, as a God in covenant with him. Israel's God is Israel's glory. Blessed be his name, he is still the mighty God, the God of Israel. May we praise his name, and rejoice in his love, through our pilgrimage here on earth, and for ever in the heavenly Canaan.
Verse 19. - And he bought a parcel of a field, - literally, the portion (from a root signifying to divide) of the field - where he had spread his tent, - and in which he afterwards sank a well (cf. John 4:6) - at the hand of the children of Homer, Shechem's father (after whom the town was named, ut supra), for an hundred pieces of money - or kesitahs, the etymology of which is uncertain (Kalisch), though connected by some philologists (Gesenius, Furst) with kasat, to weigh; translated lambs (Onkelos, LXX., Vulgate), but believed to have been a certain weight now unknown (Michaelis, 'Suppl.,' p. 2207), or a piece of money of a definite value, perhaps the price of a lamb (Murphy), which, like the shekel, was used for purposes of commercial exchange by the patriarchs (Gesenius) - probably a coin stamped with the figure of a lamb (Bochart, Munter); but coined money does not appear to have been of so great antiquity (Rosenmüller, Wordsworth, Alford).
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And he bought a parcel of a field,.... Not the whole, but a part of it; this he did, though he was heir of the whole country, because, as yet, the time was not come for him or his to take possession of it:
where he had spread his tent; the ground that it stood upon, and what was adjoining to it, for the use of his cattle: this he bought
at the hand of the children of Hamor; of some one of them, in whose possession it was, and perhaps with the consent of the rest, and before them, as witnesses:
for an hundred pieces of money; Onkelos, the Septuagint, Vulgate Latin, Samaritan, Syriac, and Arabic versions render it a hundred lambs or sheep, cattle being used to be given in exchange for things in trade and commerce; but as money was in use before the times of Jacob, and Stephen expresses it as a "sum of money", Acts 7:16; and this best agrees with the use of the word in Job 42:11, the only place besides this, excepting Joshua 24:32, in which it is used, it seems best so to interpret it here; and the pieces of money might be such as were of the value of a lamb or sheep, or rather had the figure of one impressed upon them. Laban, from whom Jacob might have them, or his neighbours, and also Jacob himself, being shepherds, might choose thus to impress their money; but the exact value of these pieces cannot be ascertained: the Jewish writers generally interpret them of a "meah", which was the value of one penny of our money, and twenty of them went to a shekel; so that a hundred of these must make a very small and contemptible sum to purchase a piece of ground with.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
19. an hundred pieces of money—literally, "lambs"; probably a coin with the figure of a lamb on it.
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