Genesis 31:38-40

38 “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks.
39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night.
40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.

Genesis 31:38 in Other Translations

KJV
38 This twenty years have I been with thee; thy ewes and thy she goats have not cast their young, and the rams of thy flock have I not eaten.
ESV
38 These twenty years I have been with you. Your ewes and your female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams of your flocks.
NLT
38 “For twenty years I have been with you, caring for your flocks. In all that time your sheep and goats never miscarried. In all those years I never used a single ram of yours for food.
MSG
38 "In the twenty years I've worked for you, ewes and she-goats never miscarried. I never feasted on the rams from your flock.
CSB
38 I've been with you these 20 years. Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, and I have not eaten the rams from your flock.

Genesis 31:38-40 Meaning and Commentary

INTRODUCTION TO GENESIS 31

This chapter relates how that Jacob observing that Laban and his sons envied his prosperity, and having a call from God to return to his own country, acquaints his wives with it; and reports to them Laban's ill usage of him, and the wonderful appearance of God to him, and for him, and his orders to him to depart from thence, Ge 31:1-13; to which they agreed, knowing full well their father's unkindness, and that they had nothing to expect from him, and therefore judged it best to go off with what they had got through the gift of God unto them, Ge 31:14-16; upon which Jacob set out privately, with all he had, towards his own country, while Laban was shearing his sheep, Ge 31:17-21; three days after, Laban, being informed of it, pursued after Jacob, and overtook him at Mount Gilead; but was warned by the way to be cautious what he said to him, Ge 31:22-25; yet nevertheless he warmly expostulated with him about his secret flight, not giving him the opportunity of taking his leave of his children, and especially for taking away his gods, Ge 31:26-30; to which Jacob gave an answer, Ge 31:31-35; and in his turn was warm likewise, and chided Laban severely for his hot pursuit of him, his charge of stealth, when he could find nothing on him, his hard labour for the space of twenty years with him, and his ill requital of him for it, Ge 31:36-42; however, upon the whole, an amicable agreement was made between them, and they parted in a friendly manner, Ge 31:43-55.

Genesis 31:38-40 In-Context

36 Jacob was angry and took Laban to task. “What is my crime?” he asked Laban. “How have I wronged you that you hunt me down?
37 Now that you have searched through all my goods, what have you found that belongs to your household? Put it here in front of your relatives and mine, and let them judge between the two of us.
38 “I have been with you for twenty years now. Your sheep and goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks.
39 I did not bring you animals torn by wild beasts; I bore the loss myself. And you demanded payment from me for whatever was stolen by day or night.
40 This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes.
41 It was like this for the twenty years I was in your household. I worked for you fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, and you changed my wages ten times.
42 If the God of my father, the God of Abraham and the Fear of Isaac, had not been with me, you would surely have sent me away empty-handed. But God has seen my hardship and the toil of my hands, and last night he rebuked you.”

Cross References 5

  • 1. S Genesis 27:44
  • 2. S Genesis 30:27
  • 3. Genesis 30:33
  • 4. Exodus 22:13
  • 5. Psalms 132:4; 2 Corinthians 11:27
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