Genesis 29:7 MEANING

Genesis 29:7
(7) Neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together.--Rather, neither is it time for folding the cattle. As there were still several hours of daylight, Jacob is surprised that they do not immediately upon their arrival give the sheep water, and drive them back to the pasture. But if the well belonged to Laban, their reason for waiting till Rachel came is plain.

Verse 7. - And he said, Lo, it is yet high day (literally, the day is yet great, i.e. much of it still remains), neither is it time that the cattle should he gathered together (i.e. to shut them up for the night): water ye the sheep, and go and feed them - being desirous to get the shepherds away from the well that he might meet Rachel alone (Keil, Lange, Murphy), though perhaps his words with as much correctness may be traced to that prudent and industrious habit of mind which afterwards shone forth so conspicuously in himself, and which instinctively caused him to frown upon laziness and inactivity (Starke, Kalisch, Bush).

29:1-8 Jacob proceeded cheerfully in his journey, after the sweet communion he had with God at Beth-el. Providence brought him to the field where his uncle's flocks were to be watered. What is said of the care of the shepherds for their sheep, may remind us of the tender concern which our Lord Jesus, the great Shepherd of the sheep, has for his flock the church; for he is the good Shepherd, that knows his sheep, and is known of them. The stone at the well's mouth was to secure it; water was scarce, it was not there for every one's use: but separate interests should not take us from helping one another. When all the shepherds came together with their flocks, then, like loving neighbours, they watered their flocks together. The law of kindness in the tongue has a commanding power, Pr 31:26. Jacob was civil to these strangers, and he found them civil to him.And he said, lo, it is yet high day,.... Noonday, when the sun is highest; at which time in those hot countries flocks used to be made to lie down in shady places, and by still waters, to which the allusion is in Psalm 23:2; or however the sun was still up very high, and there was a great deal of the day yet to come; for so the phrase is, "yet the day is great" or "much" (c), a long time still untonight:

neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together; off of the pastures, to be had home, and put into folds, which was usually done in the evening:

water ye the sheep, and go and feed them; give them water out of the well to drink, and then lead them out the pastures, and let them feed until the night is coming on: this he said not in an authoritative way, or in a surly ill natured manner, and as reproving them for their slothfulness; but kindly and gently giving his advice, who was a shepherd himself, and knew what was proper to be done; and this appears by the shepherds taking in good part what he said, and returning a civil answer.

(c) "magnus", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius; "multus", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Schmidt; "multum adhuc suparet diei", Vatablus.

Courtesy of Open Bible