Genesis 31:33 MEANING

Genesis 31:33
Verse 33. - And Laban went into Jacob's taut, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maid-servants' tents; - the clause affords an interesting glimpse into the manners of the times, showing that not only husbands and wives, but also wives among themselves, possessed separate establishments) - but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah's tent (he probably commenced with Jacob's and those of the hand-maids, and afterwards passed into Leah's), and entered into Rachel's tent - last, because she was the favorite. Cf. Genesis 33:2, in which a similar partiality towards Rachel is exhibited by Jacob (vide Thomson's 'Land and Book,' 1. 370).

31:22-35 God can put a bridle in the mouth of wicked men, to restrain their malice, though he do not change their hearts. Though they have no love to God's people, they will pretend to it, and try to make a merit of necessity. Foolish Laban! to call those things his gods which could be stolen! Enemies may steal our goods, but not our God. Here Laban lays to Jacob's charge things that he knew not. Those who commit their cause to God, are not forbidden to plead it themselves with meekness and fear. When we read of Rachel's stealing her father's images, what a scene of iniquity opens! The family of Nahor, who left the idolatrous Chaldees; is this family itself become idolatrous? It is even so. The truth seems to be, that they were like some in after-times, who sware by the Lord and by Malcham, Zep 1:5; and like others in our times, who wish to serve both God and mammon. Great numbers will acknowledge the true God in words, but their hearts and houses are the abodes of spiritual idolatry. When a man gives himself up to covetousness, like Laban, the world is his god; and he has only to reside among gross idolaters in order to become one, or at least a favourer of their abominations.And Laban went into Jacob's tent,.... Into that first where he most suspected they were, being taken not out of value for them, but contempt of them:

and into Leah's tent; and not Leah's tent next, whom next to Jacob he might suspect of taking them, out of veneration to them, because her tent lay next:

and into the two maidservants' tents: Bilhah and Zilpah; or "the" tent of them; for the word is singular, and perhaps they had but one tent for them both, which distinguished them from the principal wives:

but he found them not; in neither of these tents:

then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent; which he went into last of all, as least suspecting her, being less addicted to the superstition and idolatry of his family than Leah and the maidservants: Aben Ezra thinks that he was twice in Leah's tent, and at the last time came out of that into Rachel's; and that Jacob's tent lay between Leah's and Rachel's. From this account it more clearly appears that men and their wives had separate tents or apartments; see Genesis 24:67.

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