Genesis 31:40
Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from my eyes.
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(40) The frost by night.—From September to May the nights in the East are usually cold, and the change from great heat by day to a freezing temperature as soon as the sun sets is very trying to health.

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.40. in the day the drought … and the frost by night—The temperature changes often in twenty-four hours from the greatest extremes of heat and cold, most trying to the shepherd who has to keep watch by his flocks. Much allowance must be made for Jacob. Great and long-continued provocations ruffle the mildest and most disciplined tempers. It is difficult to "be angry and sin not" [Eph 4:26]. But these two relatives, after having given utterance to their pent-up feelings, came at length to a mutual understanding, or rather, God influenced Laban to make reconciliation with his injured nephew (Pr 16:7). Through my extraordinary thoughtfulness and care about thy cattle, especially in cases of danger. Thus I was,.... In such a situation, as well as in the following uncomfortable plight and condition:

in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night: the violent heat in the daytime scorched him, and the severe frosts in the night pinched him: that is, in the different seasons of the year, the heat of the day in the summertime, and the cold of the night in the wintertime; for it cannot well be thought that there should be excessive heat in the day and sharp frosts in the night, in the same season of the year: it looks as if Laban did not allow Jacob the proper conveniencies of clothes, and of tents to secure him from the inclemency of the weather, which other shepherds usually had:

and my sleep departed from mine eyes; through diligent care and watchfulness of the flocks in the night season, which on some occasions were necessary; see Luke 2:8.

Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes.
40. drought … frost] The extremes of midday heat and midnight frost. For the variations of temperature, cf. Jeremiah 36:30.Laban looked through all the tents, but did not find his teraphim; for Rachel had put them in the saddle of her camel and was sitting upon them, and excused herself to her lord (Adonai, Genesis 31:35), on the ground that the custom of women was upon her. "The camel's furniture," i.e., the saddle (not "the camel's litter:" Luther), here the woman's riding saddle, which had a comfortable seat formed of carpets on the top of the packsaddle. The fact that Laban passed over Rachel's seat because of her pretended condition, does not presuppose the Levitical law in Leviticus 15:19., according to which, any one who touched the couch or seat of such a woman was rendered unclean. For, in the first place, the view which lies at the foundation of this law was much older than the laws of Moses, and is met with among many other nations (cf. Bhr, Symbolik ii. 466, etc.); consequently Laban might refrain from making further examination, less from fear of defilement, than because he regarded it as impossible that any one with the custom of women upon her should sit upon his gods.
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