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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Genesis 30

Verses 1-43

In reading these stories we must never forget that we are looking at things as they were in that far-gone time and must make all necessary allowances for the imperfect light in which these people lived. That, however, does not prevent our seeing how much is chronicled here which contradicts the principle of faith. It is the story of domestic trouble and heart-burning out of which arose actions utterly out of keeping with the life of simple trust. Nevertheless, throughout there is a manifest consciousness of the divine overruling. The interpretation of that government is often at fault, as when Rachel imagined that the son born to Bilhah was in any sense an answer to prayer. That answer came with the birth of Joseph.

At the birth of Joseph, Jacob attempted to break from Laban. Laban, however, realized that Jacob's coming and sojourn with him had brought him great gain; and for pure selfishness he was anxious to retain him. Thus a new compact was entered into between them.

Laban at once attempted to make impossible the enrichment of Jacob by setting three days' journey between the cattle ringstraked, speckled, and spotted, and the rest, giving the former into the hands of his sons, and the latter into the hands of Jacob. It was an attempt to frustrate the possibility of Jacob's gaining anything from the compact. The sequel shows that he had underestimated the shrewdness of his nephew.

Neither side acted admirably; but watching the movement between two schemers, it is impossible to avoid a feeling of satisfaction that Jacob was one too many for Laban. Comparing Jacob with Abraham, however, one sees how much lower was the level of his faith. Abraham had been content to let the scheming Lot choose. Jacob, always believing in God, nevertheless was not able to commit these matters of worldly possession to Him.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Genesis 30". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/genesis-30.html. 1857-84.