And he said to him, Go, I pray you, see whether it be well with your brothers, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Whether it be well with thy brethren.—Jacob might well fear lest the natives should form a confederacy against his sons, and take vengeance upon them for their cruelty. They were too fierce themselves to have any such alarm, but Jacob was of a far more timid disposition.
The vale of Hebron.—The flocks and herds which formed the portion of Jacob’s cattle which pastured nearest home, occupied the country immediately to the north of Hebron as far as the tower of Eder; but he would no doubt pitch his own tent as near as possible to that of his fatherGenesis 37:4). With obedient promptness the youth goes to Shekem, where he learns that they had removed to Dothan, a town about twelve miles due north of Shekem.
see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; it having been many days, and perhaps months, since he had heard anything of them; and the rather Jacob might be under a concern for them, because of the danger they were exposed to from the neighbouring tribes and nations of the Canaanites, on account of their having some time ago destroyed the Shechemites; so the Targum of Jonathan, paraphrasing on the preceding part, makes Jacob to say,"I am afraid, lest the Horites should come and smite them, because of their smiting Hamor and Shechem, and the inhabitants of that city; come, and I will send thee, &c."
and bring me word again; of their welfare, and of the state of their flocks:
so he sent him out of the vale of Hebron: the same with the plains of Mamre near the city of Hebron, which was built on a hill:
and he came to Shechem: after he had travelled sixty miles.And he said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren, and well with the flocks; and bring me word again. So he sent him out of the vale of Hebron, and he came to Shechem.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)14. the vale of Hebron] The residence of Jacob; cf. Genesis 35:27.Verse 14. - And he (Jacob) said to him, Go, I pray thee, see whether it be well with thy brethren (literally, see the place of thy brethren), and well with the flocks (literally, and the peace of the flock); and bring me word again. So (literally, and) he sent him out of the vale of Hebron (vide Genesis 35:27), and he same to Shechem - a distance of sixty miles. Genesis 41:32); so that not only did his brethren hate him still more "on account of his dreams and words" (Genesis 37:8), i.e., the substance of the dreams and the open interpretation of them, and become jealous and envious, but his father gave him a sharp reproof for the second, though he preserved the matter, i.e., retained it in his memory (שׁמר lxx διετήρησε, cf. συνετήρει, Luke 2:19). The brothers with their ill-will could not see anything in the creams but the suggestions of his own ambition and pride of heart; and even the father, notwithstanding his partiality, was grieved by the second dream. The dreams are not represented as divine revelations; yet they are not to be regarded as pure flights of fancy from an ambitious heart, but as the presentiments of deep inward feelings, which were not produced without some divine influence being exerted upon Joseph's mind, and therefore were of prophetic significance, though they were not inspired directly by God, inasmuch as the purposes of God were still to remain hidden from the eyes of men for the saving good of all concerned.
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