Genesis 31:21
So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.
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(21) The river.—The Euphrates.

Mount Gilead.—Gilead, the region of rock, was the mountainous frontier between the Aramean and Canaanite races. The form of the word is so remote from ordinary Hebrew that we have in it, probably, a very old appellation of this region; and Jacob apparently plays upon it in his name Galeed (Genesis 31:47).

31:1-21 The affairs of these families are related very minutely, while (what are called) the great events of states and kingdoms at that period, are not mentioned. The Bible teaches people the common duties of life, how to serve God, how to enjoy the blessings he bestows, and to do good in the various stations and duties of life. Selfish men consider themselves robbed of all that goes past them, and covetousness will even swallow up natural affection. Men's overvaluing worldly wealth is that error which is the root of covetousness, envy, and all evil. The men of the world stand in each other's way, and every one seems to be taking away from the rest; hence discontent, envy, and discord. But there are possessions that will suffice for all; happy they who seek them in the first place. In all our removals we should have respect to the command and promise of God. If He be with us, we need not fear. The perils which surround us are so many, that nothing else can really encourage our hearts. To remember favoured seasons of communion with God, is very refreshing when in difficulties; and we should often recollect our vows, that we fail not to fulfil them.Laban hears of his flight, pursues, and overtakes him. "Stole the heart," κλέπτειν νοῦν kleptein noun. The heart is the seat of the understanding in Scripture. To steal the heart of anyone is to act without his knowledge. The river. The Frat, near which, we may conclude, Jacob was tending his flocks. Haran was about seventy miles from the river, and therefore, Laban's flocks were on the other side of Haran. "Toward mount Gilead;" about three hundred miles from the Frat. "On the third day." This shows that Laban's flocks kept by his sons were still three days' journey apart from Jacob's. His brethren - his kindred and dependents. "Seven days' journey." On the third day after the arrival of the messenger, Laban might return to the spot whence Jacob had taken his flight. In this case, Jacob would have at least five days of a start; which, added to the seven days of pursuit, would give him twelve days to travel three hundred English miles. To those accustomed to the pastoral life this was a possible achievement. God appears to Laban on behalf of Jacob, and warns him not to harm him. "Not to speak from good to bad" is merely to abstain from language expressing and prefacing violence.20. Jacob stole away—The result showed the prudence and necessity of departing secretly; otherwise, Laban might have detained him by violence or artifice. The river Euphrates, which lay between Mesopotamia and Chaldea, Genesis 15:18, which for its largeness and famousness is oft called the river emphatically, as Exodus 23:31 Joshua 24:2,3, &c.

And set his face, i.e. resolutely directed his course. See Jeremiah 50:5 Luke 9:51,53.

Mount Gilead, a very high and long mountain beyond Jordan, adjoining to the mountain of Lebanon, at the foot of which there was a large and fruitful country, which from the mountain received the name of Gilead, Deu 34:1 Jeremiah 8:22 22:6. This mountain is here called Gilead by anticipation, as appears from Genesis 31:48. So he fled with all that he had,.... His wives, his children, cattle and substance:

and he rose up, and passed over the river; the river Euphrates, as the Targum of Jonathan expresses it, which lay between Mesopotamia and Canaan:

and set his face toward the mount Gilead: he travelled and bent his course that way: this, was a mountain on the border of the land of Canaan, adjoining to Lebanon, near which was a very fruitful country, which had its name from it: it is so called here by way of anticipation; for this name was afterwards given it from the heap of stones here laid, as a witness of the agreement between Laban and Jacob, Genesis 31:45.

So he fled with all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, and set his face toward the mount Gilead.
21. the River] i.e. the Euphrates. See note on Genesis 15:18. Cf. Psalm 72:8, “from the River unto the ends of the earth.” “Haran” (Genesis 24:4) was Laban’s home.

toward the mountain of Gilead] i.e. towards the hill-country on the east side of Jordan. The name “Gilead” is here used in its widest application.Verse 21. - So (literally, and) he fled with (literally, and) all that he had; and he rose up, and passed over the river, - i.e. the Euphrates, which was called by preeminence the river (cf. 1 Kings 4:21; Ezra 4:10, 16) - and set his face toward the mount Gilead. גִּלְעַד, according to Gesenius, "the hard, stony region," from an unused quadrilateral root, signifying to be hard, though, according to the historian (by a slight change in the punctuation), "The hill, or heap of witness," from the transaction recorded in verses 45-47, which name it here proleptically receives, was not the mountain-range to the south of the Jahbok, now styled Jebel Jilad (Gesenius), Jebel-as-Salt (Robinson), Jebel-osha (Tristram), since Jacob had not yet crossed the river, but that upon its northern hank, called Jebel Ajlun, and situated near Mahanaim (Delitzsch, Keil, Kalisch, Porter).

CHAPTER 31:22-44 The two wives naturally agreed with their husband, and declared that they had no longer any part or inheritance in their father's house. For he had not treated them as daughters, but sold them like strangers, i.e., servants. "And he has even constantly eaten our money," i.e., consumed the property brought to him by our service. The inf. abs. אכול after the finite verb expresses the continuation of the act, and is intensified by גם "yes, even." כּי in Genesis 31:16 signifies "so that," as in Deuteronomy 14:24; Job 10:6.
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