Genesis 31:28
And have not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? you have now done foolishly in so doing.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(28) My sons.—That is, my grandsons.

31:22-35 God can put a bridle in the mouth of wicked men, to restrain their malice, though he do not change their hearts. Though they have no love to God's people, they will pretend to it, and try to make a merit of necessity. Foolish Laban! to call those things his gods which could be stolen! Enemies may steal our goods, but not our God. Here Laban lays to Jacob's charge things that he knew not. Those who commit their cause to God, are not forbidden to plead it themselves with meekness and fear. When we read of Rachel's stealing her father's images, what a scene of iniquity opens! The family of Nahor, who left the idolatrous Chaldees; is this family itself become idolatrous? It is even so. The truth seems to be, that they were like some in after-times, who sware by the Lord and by Malcham, Zep 1:5; and like others in our times, who wish to serve both God and mammon. Great numbers will acknowledge the true God in words, but their hearts and houses are the abodes of spiritual idolatry. When a man gives himself up to covetousness, like Laban, the world is his god; and he has only to reside among gross idolaters in order to become one, or at least a favourer of their abominations.Laban's expostulation and Jacob's reply. What hast thou done? Laban intimates that he would have dismissed him honorably and affectionately, and therefore, that his flight was needless and unkind; and finally charges him with stealing his gods. Jacob gives him to understand that he did not expect fair treatment at his hands, and gives him leave to search for his gods, not knowing that Rachel had taken them.26-30. Laban said … What hast thou done?—Not a word is said of the charge (Ge 31:1). His reproaches were of a different kind. His first charge was for depriving him of the satisfaction of giving Jacob and his family the usual salutations at parting. In the East it is customary, when any are setting out to a great distance, for their relatives and friends to accompany them a considerable way with music and valedictory songs. Considering the past conduct of Laban, his complaint on this ground was hypocritical cant. But his second charge was a grave one—the carrying off his gods—Hebrew, "teraphim," small images of human figures, used not as idols or objects of worship, but as talismans, for superstitious purposes. To kiss my sons and my daughters, as was usual at the parting of friends. See Poole on "Genesis 29:11". But indeed Jacob took the wisest course for the security of his person and estate, especially having the direction and protection of God in it. And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters?.... Did not give him an opportunity of taking his farewell, which used to be done with a kiss, as it is with us at this day: by his sons he means his grandsons, and so the Targum of Jonathan, my daughters' sons; and by his daughters Rachel and Leah, and Dinah his granddaughter:

thou hast done foolishly in so doing: since, as he would have him believe that he was both a loser by this step he took, and exposed himself to danger, seeing it was in the power of Laban to do him hurt, as in Genesis 31:29; but Jacob knew what he did, and that it was the wisest part to follow the direction of God.

And hast not suffered me to kiss my sons and my daughters? thou hast now done foolishly in so doing.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
28. sons … daughters] Laban’s grandchildren; cf. Genesis 31:43; Genesis 31:55.Laban's Pursuit, Reconciliation, and Covenant with Jacob. - As Laban was not told till the third day after the flight, though he pursued the fugitives with his brethren, i.e., his nearest relations, he did not overtake Jacob for seven days, by which time he had reached the mountains of Gilead (Genesis 31:22-24). The night before he overtook them, he was warned by God in a dream, "not to speak to Jacob from good to bad," i.e., not to say anything decisive and emphatic for the purpose of altering what had already occurred (vid., Genesis 31:29, and the note on Genesis 24:50). Hence he confined himself, when they met, "to bitter reproaches combining paternal feeling on the one hand with hypocrisy on the other;" in which he told them that he had the power to do them harm, if God had not forbidden him, and charged them with stealing his gods (the teraphim).
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