Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served you, and let me go: for you know my service which I have done you.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
"Do" - provide. "Thou shalt not give me anything." This shows that Jacob had no stock from Laban to begin with. "I will pass through all thy flock today" with thee. "Remove thou thence every speckled and spotted sheep, and every brown sheep among the lambs, and the spotted and speckled among the goats." These were the rare colors, as in the East the sheep are usually white, and the goats black or dark brown. "And such shall be my hire." Such as these uncommon party-colored cattle, when they shall appear among the flock already cleared of them; and not those of this description that are now removed. For in this case Laban would have given Jacob something; whereas Jacob was resolved to be entirely dependent on the divine providence for his hire. "And my righteousness will answer for me." The color will determine at once whose the animal is. Laban willingly consents to so favorable a proposal, removes the party-colored animals from the flock, gives them into the hands of his sons, and puts an interval of three days' journey between them and the pure stock which remains in Jacob's hands. Jacob is now to begin with nothing, and have for his hire any party-colored lambs or kids that appear in those flocks, from which every specimen of this rare class has been carefully removed.
25. when Rachel had born Joseph—Shortly after the birth of this son, Jacob's term of servitude expired, and feeling anxious to establish an independence for his family, he probably, from knowing that Esau was out of the way, announced his intention of returning to Canaan (Heb 13:14). In this resolution the faith of Jacob was remarkable, for as yet he had nothing to rely on but the promise of God (compare Ge 28:15).
and my children; his twelve children; he did not desire his father-in- law to take any of them, and keep them for him, but was desirous of having them with him: no doubt, for the sake of their education, though he had nothing of his own wherewith to support them; not doubting that God would make good his promise in giving him food and raiment, and returning him to his country; and which his faith applied to his family as well as to himself:
for whom I have served thee; not for his children, but for his wives, his two wives:
and let me go; free from thy service, and to my own country:
for thou knowest my service which I have done thee: how much and great it is, and with what diligence and faithfulness it has been performed, and that the time of it fixed and agreed upon was at an end.Give me my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go: for thou knowest my service which I have done thee.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)26. my wives and my children] Jacob’s request implies that Laban as the head of the family possessed control over his married daughters and their children, who were included in Jacob’s wages.Verse 26. - Give me (suffer me to take) my wives and my children, for whom I have served thee, and let me go (literally, and I will go): for thou knowest my service which I have done thee - implying that he had faithfully implemented his engagement, and that Laban was aware of the justness of his demand to be released from further servitude. Genesis 30:15): "Is it too little, that thou hast taken (drawn away from me) my husband, to take also" (לקחת infin.), i.e., that thou wouldst also take, "my son's mandrakes?" At length she parted with them, on condition that Rachel would let Jacob sleep with her the next night. After relating how Leah conceived again, and Rachel continued barren in spite of the mandrakes, the writer justly observes (Genesis 30:17), "Elohim hearkened unto Leah," to show that it was not from such natural means as love-apples, but from God the author of life, that she had received such fruitfulness. Leah saw in the birth of her fifth son a divine reward for having given her maid to her husband - a recompense, that is, for her self-denial; and she named him on that account Issaschar, ישּׂשׂכר, a strange form, to be understood either according to the Chethib שׂכר ישׁ "there is reward," or according to the Keri שׁכר ישּׂא "he bears (brings) reward." At length she bore her sixth son, and named him Zebulun, i.e., "dwelling;" for she hoped that now, after God had endowed her with a good portion, her husband, to whom she had born six sons, would dwell with her, i.e., become more warmly attached to her. The name is from זבל to dwell, with acc. constr. "to inhabit," formed with a play upon the alliteration in the word זבד to present - two ἅπαξ λεγόμενα. In connection with these two births, Leah mentions Elohim alone, the supernatural giver, and not Jehovah, the covenant God, whose grace had been forced out of her heart by jealousy. She afterwards bore a daughter, Dinah, who is mentioned simply because of the account in Genesis 34; for, according to Genesis 37:35 and Genesis 46:7, Jacob had several daughters, though they were nowhere mentioned by name.
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