|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
37:1-4 In Joseph's history we see something of Christ, who was first humbled and then exalted. It also shows the lot of Christians, who must through many tribulations enter into the kingdom. It is a history that has none like it, for displaying the various workings of the human mind, both good and bad, and the singular providence of God in making use of them for fulfilling his purposes. Though Joseph was his father's darling, yet he was not bred up in idleness. Those do not truly love their children, who do not use them to business, and labour, and hardships. The fondling of children is with good reason called the spoiling of them. Those who are trained up to do nothing, are likely to be good for nothing. But Jacob made known his love, by dressing Joseph finer than the rest of his children. It is wrong for parents to make a difference between one child and another, unless there is great cause for it, by the children's dutifulness, or undutifulness. When parents make a difference, children soon notice it, and it leads to quarrels in families. Jacob's sons did that, when they were from under his eye, which they durst not have done at home with him; but Joseph gave his father an account of their ill conduct, that he might restrain them. Not as a tale-bearer, to sow discord, but as a faithful brother.
Ver 1. - And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger (literally, in the land of the sojourning, s of his father), in the land of Canaan. This verse is not the commencement of the ensuing (Keil, Kalisch, Lange, &c.), but the concluding sentence of the present, section, the adversative particle ו, corresponding to the δε of the LXX., introducing a contrast between Esau, who dwelt in Mount Seir, and Jacob, who dwelt in the land of Canaan, and the following verse beginning the next division of the book with the customary formula, "These are the generations" (LXX., some MS., Quarry, p. 523). Rosenmüller less happily connects the present verse with Genesis 35:29; the Vulgate begins the next section with ver. 3. A similar division of verses to that proposed will be found in Genesis 25:11.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger,.... And this stands opposed unto, and is distinguished from the case and circumstances of Esau and his posterity, expressed in the preceding chapter, who dwelt in the land of their possession, not as strangers and sojourners, as Jacob and his seed, but as lords and proprietors; and so these words may be introduced and read in connection with the former history; "but Jacob dwelt", &c. (a); and this verse would better conclude the preceding chapter than begin a new one. The Targum of Jonathan paraphrases the words, "and Jacob dwelt quietly"; or peaceably, in tranquillity and safety; his brother Esau being gone from him into another country, he remained where his father lived and died, and in the country that by his blessing belonged to him:
in the land of Canaan, and particularly in Hebron, where Isaac and Abraham before him had dwelt.
(a) "at habitavit", Schmidt.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
Ge 37:1-4. Parental Partiality.
1. Jacob dwelt in the land wherein his father was a stranger—that is, "a sojourner"; "father" used collectively. The patriarch was at this time at Mamre, in the valley of Hebron (compare Ge 35:27); and his dwelling there was continued in the same manner and prompted by the same motives as that of Abraham and Isaac (Heb 11:13).
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