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was desirous that he should continue with him, I shall therefore proceed to inform you,
I. What JACOB did while he was in his
1. We shall notice Jacob's employment.
He fed the flock of Laban. It is probable that after he took the charge of his uncle's flocks, Rachel did not continue to keep them. There was no necessity for her to continue this employment now. If she assisted Jacob, they had no doubt many opportunities for conversation. Jacob would no doubt relate the dreams that he had and the vow that he made at Bethel. That they were well taken care of we learn from what Jacob said to Laban, when he asked leave to depart after he had been with him 14 years. "Thou knowest how I have served thee, and how thy cattle was with me, for it was little that thou hadst before I came, and it is now encreased to a multitude, and the Lord hath blessed thee since my coming." So that the flocks of Laban were increased and multiplied. Laban acknowledg ed that this was true and was very anxious that he should still remain with him.
Laban said unto him, I pray thee, if I have found favor in thine eyes, tarry, for I have learned by experience that the Lord hath blessed me for thy sake. This then was the employment of Jacob to feed the flocks of Laban his Uncle.
2. The WAGES JACOB received for this employment.
When Laban asked him, tell me what shall thy wages be, hereplied, "I will serve thee seven years for Rachel thy younger daughter." Laban agreed to this proposal and said, "It is better that I give her to thee than that I should give her to another man, abide with me. And Jacob served seven years for Rachel, and they seemed unto him but a few days for the love he had for her. Then Labau cheated him and gave him Leah instead of Rachel, Jacob loved Rachel more than Leah, and he served him yet seven other years. After the birth of Joseph, Jacob said to his uncle, send me away that I may go unto my own place. Give me my wives and my children for whom I have served thee and let me go. for thou knowest my service which I have
done unto thee. Labau confessed that he had derived much benefit from Jacob's service, and requested him to remain, saying, appoint me thy wages and I will give it. Jacob replied, "If thou wilt do this thing for me, I will again feed and keep thy flock. I will pass through thy flock to day, removing from thence all the speckled and spotted cattle, and all the brown cattle among the sheep, and all the spotted and speckled among the goats, and of such shall be my hire. And all the cattle that are not of this description shall be counted stolen with me: and Laban said, behold I would it might be according to thy word." That is, let it be so, I will give these for thy hire. Laban thought no doubt that they would be but few, but he was greatly mistaken, for God blessed Jacob, and put into his mind a plan to encrease the number of such cattle as he had agreed to receive as his wages from Laban. "And the man encreased exceedingly, and had much cattle, and maid servants and men servants, and camels and asses."
3. Jacob's sudden and secret departure from his uncle's house.
After he had been about twenty years at the house of Laban, he heard Laban's sons saying, Jacob hath taken away all that was our father's; and of that which was our father's hath he gotten all this glory. As this was not true, Jacob does not seem to have paid any regard to it. But Jacob's uncle appeared to be displeased the countenance of Laban was not toward Jacob as before. His looks showed that he was not pleased with Jacob. He envied Jacob's flocks and herds, because the Lord had greatly blessed him. "And the Lord said unto Jacob, return unto the land of thy fathers, and I will be with thee. Then Jacob
sent and called for Rachel and
Leah into the
field, and told them what their brothers had said, and that Laban had not only deceived him and changed his wages, but that he saw by his looks that he was angry in his heart, though he did not say any thing. And ye know, said Jacob, that with all my power I have served your father. Though he hath chang ed my wages so often: yet God hath suffered him not to hurt me, and that God had commanded him to return. They complained of the ill treatment which they had received from
him, and said that whatever God had commanded Jacob to do, they would do the same. While Laban went to shear his sheep at a distance, he took his wives and children and all that he had, and stole away from Laban the Syrian, for he told him not that he intended to depart, and it was not untill the third day, that he heard that Jacob was fled.
II. We shall now take notice of LABAN'S CONDUCT towards Jacob.
1. The CHEAT which LABAN put on JACOB in giving him Leah instead of Rachel.
He served seven years for Rachel and not for Leah, but when the time came, Laban gave him his eldest daughter instead of the younger one. Leah was tender eyed, but Rachel was beautiful and well favored, and Jacob loved Rachel. How unkind and deceitful was the conduct of Laban both to his daughter and to Jacob. When Jacob said to Laban, "What is this that thou hast done unto me, did I not serve With thee for Rachel? Wherefore then hast thou beguiled me? And Laban said, it must D 7