Genesis 28:5
And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram to Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.
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(5) Jacob’s and Esau’s mother.—This insertion of particulars already well known is in exact accordance with the Oriental manner of writing, which, moreover, is very careful in impressing all matters of family relation on the mind. (Comp. Genesis 25:12.) It is worthy of notice that as Jacob has now been confirmed in the possession of the birthright by the father as well as by the mother, his name is placed first.

28:1-5 Jacob had blessings promised both as to this world and that which is to come; yet goes out to a hard service. This corrected him for the fraud on his father. The blessing shall be conferred on him, yet he shall smart for the indirect course taken to obtain it. Jacob is dismissed by his father with a solemn charge. He must not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan: those who profess religion, should not marry with those that care not for religion. Also with a solemn blessing. Isaac had before blessed him unwittingly; now he does it designedly. This blessing is more full than the former; it is a gospel blessing. This promise looks as high as heaven, of which Canaan was a type. That was the better country which Jacob and the other patriarchs had in view.Isaac has now become alive to the real destiny of Jacob. He therefore calls for him to bless him, and give him a command. The command is to take a wife, not from Kenaan, but from the kindred of his parents. The blessing comes from "God Almighty" (Genesis 17:1). It is that belonging to the chosen seed, "the blessing of Abraham." It embraces a numerous offspring, the land of promise, and all else that is included in the blessing of Abraham. "A congregation of peoples." This is the word "congregation" (קהל qâhāl) which is afterward applied to the assembled people of God, and to which the Greek ἐκκλησία ekklēsia, "ecclesia," corresponds. Jacob complies with his mother's advice and his father's command, and, at the same time, reaps the bitter fruit of his fraud against his brother in the hardship and treachery of an exile of twenty years. The aged Isaac is not without his share in the unpleasant consequences of endeavoring to go against the will of God.CHAPTER 28

Ge 28:1-19. Jacob's Departure.

1. Isaac called Jacob and blessed him—He entered fully into Rebekah's feelings, and the burden of his parting counsel to his son was to avoid a marriage alliance with any but the Mesopotamian branch of the family. At the same time he gave him a solemn blessing—pronounced before unwittingly, now designedly, and with a cordial spirit. It is more explicitly and fully given, and Jacob was thus acknowledged "the heir of the promise."

Bethuel the Syrian.

Object. He was no Syrian, but a Mesopotamian.

Answ. Syria is sometimes largely taken, and so it comprehends Mesopotamia, or Chaldea, yea, and Assyria, as appears from Isaiah 36:11 Daniel 2:4. And Isaac sent away Jacob,.... From Beersheba; not in anger, or in a dishonourable way, but took his leave of him no doubt in an affectionate manner; as it is clear he went with his blessing, and had his good wishes for a prosperous journey:

and he went to Padanaram; which from Beersheba, according to some (h), was four hundred and eighty miles:

unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian; some versions make Laban to be the Syrian, others Bethuel; it is a matter of no great moment which is here so called, since they were both called Syrians, see Genesis 25:20,

the brother of Rebekah; this refers to Laban, for Bethuel was her father:

Jacob's and Esau's mother; Jacob is set first, not only as being most beloved by his mother, but as now having the birthright and the blessing.

(h) Bunting's Travels, p. 72.

And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram unto Laban, son of Bethuel the Syrian, the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother.
5. and he went to Paddan-aram unto Laban] In this short sentence the narrative of P disposes of the journey of Jacob, which is described in much greater detail in the parallel narratives from J and E, preserved in Genesis 28:10-22 and chap. 29.

the Syrian] Heb. Aramean. Cf. Genesis 25:20; Deuteronomy 26:5.Verse 5. - And Isaac sent away Jacob (Rebekah only counseled, Isaac commanded): and he went to Padan-aram unto Laban, son of Bethel the Syrian (vide Hosea 12:12), the brother of Rebekah, Jacob's and Esau's mother. The historian here perhaps intentionally gives the first place to Jacob. When Rebekah was informed by some one of Esau's intention, she advised Jacob to protect himself from his revenge (התנחם to procure comfort by retaliation, equivalent to "avenge himself," התנקּם, Isaiah 1:24),

(Note: This reference is incorrect; the Niphal is used in Isaiah 1:24, the Hithpael in Jeremiah 5:9-29. Tr.)

by fleeing to her brother Laban in Haran, and remaining there "some days," as she mildly puts it, until his brother's wrath was subdued. "For why should I lose you both in one day?" viz., Jacob through Esau's vengeance, and Esau as a murderer by the avenger of blood (Genesis 9:6, cf. 2 Samuel 14:6-7). In order to obtain Isaac's consent to this plan, without hurting his feelings by telling him of Esau's murderous intentions, she spoke to him of her troubles on account of the Hittite wives of Esau, and the weariness of life that she should feel if Jacob also were to marry one of the daughters of the land, and so introduced the idea of sending Jacob to her relations in Mesopotamia, with a view to his marriage there.

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