Genesis 31:35 MEANING

Genesis 31:35
Verse 35. - And she said to her father, - "covering theft by subtlety and untruth" (Kalisch), and thus proving herself a time daughter of Laban, as well as showing with how much imperfection her religious character was tainted - Let it not displease my lord - literally, let it not burn with anger (יִחַר, from חָרָה, to glow, to burn) in the eyes of my lord (Adoni) - that I cannot rise up before thee; - Oriental politeness required children to rise up in the presence of their parents (vide Leviticus 19:32; and cf. 1 Kings 2:19). Hence Rachel's apology was not unnecessary - for the custom of women - (literally, the way of women; a periphrasis for menstruation (cf. Genesis 18:11) which, under the law, required females, as ceremonially unclean, to be put apart (Leviticus 15:19). That, prior to the law, this particular statute concerning women was in force among the Aramaeans appears from the present instance; and that it was not exclusively Jewish, but shared in by other nations of antiquity, is the opinion of the best authorities (vide Kurtz, 'History of the Old Covenant,' § 79; 'Sacrificial Worship of the Old Testament,' § 213; Keil in loco; both of whom quote Bahr's 'Symbolik of the Mosaic Cultus,' 2. 466). Roberts mentions that under similar circumstances with Rachel no one in India goes to the temple or any religious ceremony ('Oriental Illustrations,' p. 37) - is upon me. It is just possible Rachel may have been speaking the exact truth, though the probability is she was guilty of fabrication. And he searched (everywhere except among the camel's furniture, partly from fear of defilement, but chiefly as regarding it impossible that Rachel in her then state would sit upon his gods), but found not the images (teraphim). The three times repeated phrase "he found not," emphasizes the completeness, of Lahan's deception.

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 she said to her father,.... As he approached nearer to her, having searched her tent all over:

let it not displease my lord that I cannot rise up before thee: she addresses him with great honour and respect; calling him her lord, being her father, though an unkind one, and entreats him not to be displeased that she did not rise up and yield that obeisance to him which was due from her to a father:

for the custom of women is upon me; her menstrues; which before the law of Moses were reckoned a pollution, and such persons were not to be touched or come near unto, and everything they sat upon was unclean, and not to be touched also; Leviticus 15:19,

and he searched; all about her, and around her; but did not oblige her to get up, nor could he imagine that ever the images could be under her in such circumstances:

but found not the images; and so left off searching; nor do we find that he searched the flock for any of his cattle there, knowing full well Jacob's honesty and integrity.

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