Genesis 30:30
For it was little which you had before I came, and it is now increased to a multitude; and the LORD has blessed you since my coming: and now when shall I provide for my own house also?
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(30) It was little.—The Rabbins see proof of this in Laban’s sheep being kept by a young girl like Rachel (Genesis 29:9).

It is now increased.—Heb., broken forth, spread itself abroad with irresistible might. (Comp. Exodus 1:12.)

Since my coming.—Heb., at my foot. This answers to “before I came” (Heb., before me) in the first clause. “It was little that thou hadst before me, and it hath broken forth into a multitude, and God hath blessed thee behind me.” Wherever I have gone, prosperity has followed in my footsteps.

30:25-43 The fourteen years being gone, Jacob was willing to depart without any provision, except God's promise. But he had in many ways a just claim on Laban's substance, and it was the will of God that he should be provided for from it. He referred his cause to God, rather than agree for stated wages with Laban, whose selfishness was very great. And it would appear that he acted honestly, when none but those of the colours fixed upon should be found among his cattle. Laban selfishly thought that his cattle would produce few different in colour from their own. Jacob's course after this agreement has been considered an instance of his policy and management. But it was done by intimation from God, and as a token of his power. The Lord will one way or another plead the cause of the oppressed, and honour those who simply trust his providence. Neither could Laban complain of Jacob, for he had nothing more than was freely agreed that he should have; nor was he injured, but greatly benefitted by Jacob's services. May all our mercies be received with thanksgiving and prayer, that coming from his bounty, they may lead to his praise.Jacob enters into a new contract of service with Laban. "When Rachel had borne Joseph." Jacob cannot ask his dismissal until the twice seven years of service were completed. Hence, the birth of Joseph, which is the date of his request, took place at the earliest in the fifteenth year of his sojourn with Laban. Jacob now wishes to return home, from which he had been detained so long by serving for Rachel. He no doubt expects of Laban the means at least of accomplishing his journey. Laban is loath to part with him. "I have divined" - I have been an attentive observer. The result of his observation is expressed in the following words. "Appoint." Laban offers to leave the fixing of the hire to Jacob. "Thy hire upon me," which I will take upon me as binding. Jacob touches upon the value of his services, perhaps with the tacit feeling that Laban in equity owed him at least the means of returning to his home. "Brake forth" - increased. "At my foot" - under my guidance and tending of thy flocks.

"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.

28. appoint me thy wages, and I will give it—The Eastern shepherds receive for their hire not money, but a certain amount of the increase or produce of the flock; but Laban would at the time have done anything to secure the continued services of his nephew, and make a show of liberality, which Jacob well knew was constrained. For it was little comparatively to what now it is.

Since my coming; Heb. at my foot, i.e. upon my coming; since my feet entered into thy house: or, by my foot, i.e. by my ministry and labour, as this phrase is used, Deu 11:10.

When shall I provide for mine own house also, according to my duty, which also is thy interest? For it was little which thou hadst before I came,.... Perhaps but a single flock, and that not a very large one, since Rachel, his youngest daughter, had the care of it:

and it is now increased unto a multitude; or "broke forth" (m), spread itself over the fields and plains, hills and mountains adjacent, so that they were covered with his sheep, these bringing forth thousands and ten thousands, Psalm 144:13,

and the Lord hath blessed thee since my coming; or "at my foot" (n); ever since he set foot in his house. Aben Ezra observes it as a proverbial saying, such an one has a good foot, a lucky one, wherever he comes a blessing or success goes with him; or the meaning may be, wherever Jacob went or led his flock, and fed it, it prospered, the blessing of God going with him. Onkelos renders it, "for my sake"; and so it is the same with what Laban had observed and owned, Genesis 30:27,

and now, when shall I provide for mine own house? suggesting it was his duty to do it, and it was high time he did it, since he had a large family to provide for; see 1 Timothy 5:8.

(m) "erupit", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Drusius. (n) "ad pedem meum", Montanus, Piscator, Drusius, Schmidt.

For it was little which thou hadst before I came, and it is now increased unto a multitude; and the LORD hath blessed thee since my coming: and now when shall {h} I provide for mine own house also?

(h) The order of nature requires that every one provide for his own family.

30. increased] Heb. broken forth. See Genesis 28:14.

whithersoever I turned] Heb. at my foot. For the same idiom, cf. Isaiah 41:2 (text and marg.).Verse 30. - For it was little which thou hadst before I came, - literally, for little (it was) was to thee before me; i.e. not in place, ἰναντίον ἐμοῦ (LXX.), but in time, i.e. before my arrival - and it is now increased - literally, broken forth (cf. ver. 43) - unto a multitude; and the Lord (Jehovah) hath blessed thee since my coming (literally, at my foot, i.e. wherever I have gone among your flocks): and now when shall I provide (literally, do) for mine own house also? Birth of Joseph. - At length God gave Rachel also a son, whom she named Joseph, יוסף, i.e., taking away ( equals יאסף, cf. 1 Samuel 15:6; 2 Samuel 6:1; Psalm 104:29) and adding (from יסף), because his birth not only furnished an actual proof that God had removed the reproach of her childlessness, but also excited the wish, that Jehovah might add another son. The fulfilment of this wish is recorded in Genesis 35:16. The double derivation of the name, and the exchange of Elohim for Jehovah, may be explained, without the hypothesis of a double source, on the simple ground, that Rachel first of all looked back at the past, and, thinking of the earthly means that had been applied in vain for the purpose of obtaining a child, regarded the son as a gift of God. At the same time, the good fortune which had now come to her banished from her heart her envy of her sister (Genesis 30:1), and aroused belief in that God, who, as she had no doubt heard from her husband, had given Jacob such great promises; so that in giving the name, probably at the circumcision, she remembered Jehovah and prayed for another son from His covenant faithfulness.

After the birth of Joseph, Jacob asked Laban to send him away, with the wives and children for whom he had served him (Genesis 30:25). According to this, Joseph was born at the end of the 14 years of service that had been agreed upon, or seven years after Jacob had taken Leah and (a week later) Rachel as his wives (Genesis 29:21-28). Now if all the children, whose births are given in Genesis 29:32-30:24, had been born one after another during the period mentioned, not only would Leah have had seven children in 7, or literally 6 1/4 years, but there would have been a considerable interval also, during which Rachel's maid and her own gave birth to children. But this would have been impossible; and the text does not really state it. When we bear in mind that the imperf. c. ו consec. expresses not only the order of time, but the order of thought as well, it becomes apparent that in the history of the births, the intention to arrange them according to the mothers prevails over the chronological order, so that it by no means follows, that because the passage, "when Rachel saw that she bare Jacob no children," occurs after Leah is said to have had four sons, therefore it was not till after the birth of Leah's fourth child that Rachel became aware of her own barrenness. There is nothing on the part of the grammar to prevent our arranging the course of events thus. Leah's first four births followed as rapidly as possible one after the other, so that four sons were born in the first four years of the second period of Jacob's service. In the meantime, not necessarily after the birth of Leah's fourth child, Rachel, having discovered her own barrenness, had given her maid to Jacob; so that not only may Dan have been born before Judah, but Naphtali also not long after him. The rapidity and regularity with which Leah had born her first four sons, would make her notice all the more quickly the cessation that took place; and jealousy of Rachel, as well as the success of the means she had adopted, would impel her to attempt in the same way to increase the number of her children. Moreover, Leah herself may have conceived again before the birth of her maid's second son, and may have given birth to her last two sons in the sixth and seventh years of their marriage. And contemporaneously with the birth of Leah's last son, or immediately afterwards, Rachel may have given birth to Joseph. In this way Jacob may easily have had eleven sons within seven years of his marriage. But with regard to the birth of Dinah, the expression "afterwards" (Genesis 30:21) seems to indicate, that she was not born during Jacob's years of service, but during the remaining six years of his stay with Laban.

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