Genesis 31:33
And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maidservants' tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent.
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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.After the search for the teraphim has proved vain, Jacob warmly upbraids Laban. "The camel's saddle." This was a pack-saddle, in the recesses of which articles might be deposited, and on which was a seat or couch for the rider. Rachel pleads the custom of women as an excuse for keeping her seat; which is admitted by Laban, not perhaps from the fear of ceremonial defilement Leviticus 15:19-27, as this law was not yet in force, but from respect to his daughter and the conviction that in such circumstances she would not sit upon the teraphim. "My brethren and thy brethren" - their common kindred. Jacob recapitulates his services in feeling terms. "By day the drought;" caused by the heat, which is extreme during the day, while the cold is not less severe in Palestine during the night. "The fear of Isaac" - the God whom Isaac fears. Judged - requited by restraining thee from wrong-doing.31, 32. Jacob said, … With whomsoever thou findest thy gods let him not live—Conscious of his own innocence and little suspecting the misdeed of his favorite wife, Jacob boldly challenged a search and denounced the heaviest penalty on the culprit. A personal scrutiny was made by Laban, who examined every tent [Ge 31:33]; and having entered Rachel's last, he would have infallibly discovered the stolen images had not Rachel made an appeal to him which prevented further search [Ge 31:34, 35]. The men and women’s tents were distinct and separate. See Genesis 18:2 24:67.

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.

And Laban went into Jacob's tent, and into Leah's tent, and into the two maidservants' tents; but he found them not. Then went he out of Leah's tent, and entered into Rachel's tent.
33. tent] Four tents are mentioned, one occupied by Jacob, one each by Leah and Rachel, and one by handmaidens. LXX renders by οἶκον = “house.”

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). Genesis 31:33Laban looked through all the tents, but did not find his teraphim; for Rachel had put them in the saddle of her camel and was sitting upon them, and excused herself to her lord (Adonai, Genesis 31:35), on the ground that the custom of women was upon her. "The camel's furniture," i.e., the saddle (not "the camel's litter:" Luther), here the woman's riding saddle, which had a comfortable seat formed of carpets on the top of the packsaddle. The fact that Laban passed over Rachel's seat because of her pretended condition, does not presuppose the Levitical law in Leviticus 15:19., according to which, any one who touched the couch or seat of such a woman was rendered unclean. For, in the first place, the view which lies at the foundation of this law was much older than the laws of Moses, and is met with among many other nations (cf. Bhr, Symbolik ii. 466, etc.); consequently Laban might refrain from making further examination, less from fear of defilement, than because he regarded it as impossible that any one with the custom of women upon her should sit upon his gods.
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