Genesis 31:38
This twenty years have I been with you; your ewes and your she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of your flock have I not eaten.
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31:36-42 If Jacob were willingly consumed with heat in the day, and frost by night, to become the son-in-law of Laban, what should we refuse to endure, to become the sons of God? Jacob speaks of God as the God of his father; he thought himself unworthy to be regarded, but was beloved for his father's sake. He calls him the God of Abraham, and the fear of Isaac; for Abraham was dead, and gone to that world where perfect love casts out fear; but Isaac was yet alive, sanctifying the Lord in his heart, as his fear and his dread.After the search for the teraphim has proved vain, Jacob warmly upbraids Laban. "The camel's saddle." This was a pack-saddle, in the recesses of which articles might be deposited, and on which was a seat or couch for the rider. Rachel pleads the custom of women as an excuse for keeping her seat; which is admitted by Laban, not perhaps from the fear of ceremonial defilement Leviticus 15:19-27, as this law was not yet in force, but from respect to his daughter and the conviction that in such circumstances she would not sit upon the teraphim. "My brethren and thy brethren" - their common kindred. Jacob recapitulates his services in feeling terms. "By day the drought;" caused by the heat, which is extreme during the day, while the cold is not less severe in Palestine during the night. "The fear of Isaac" - the God whom Isaac fears. Judged - requited by restraining thee from wrong-doing.38. The rams of thy flock have I not eaten—Eastern people seldom kill the females for food except they are barren. Thy she-goats have not cast their young, which thou owest in a great measure to my care and diligence in ordering them, and principally to God’s blessing given to thee for my sake, by thy own confession, Genesis 30:27. This twenty years have I been with thee,.... So that he now must have been ninety seven years of age:

thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young: or very few of them: it was a rare case for any to be abortive, if ever: this, though owing to the blessing of God, was for Jacob's sake, and, under God, to be ascribed to his care and diligence in watching and keeping the flock, and doing everything needful for them:

and the rams of the flock have I not eaten: being content with meaner food, as lentil pottage and the like; see the contrary of this in shepherds, Ezekiel 34:3.

This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.
38. This twenty years] Jacob’s indignant protest proclaims (1) his length of service, (2) his perfect honesty, (3) his uncomplaining endurance of hardship, in spite of capricious changes in his wage. And now that he has left Haran, it was only because of God’s mercy, and not through Laban’s kindness, that he did not go empty-handed.The first, Jacob met by pleading his fear lest Laban should take away his daughters (keep them back by force). "For I:said:" equivalent to "for I thought." But Jacob knew nothing of the theft; hence he declared, that with whomsoever he might find the gods he should be put to death, and told Laban to make the strictest search among all the things that he had with him. "Before our brethren," i.e., the relations who had come with Laban, as being impartial witnesses (cf. Genesis 31:37); not, as Knobel thinks, before Jacob's horde of male and female slaves, of women and of children.
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