Genesis 29:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 29:7, NIV: "Look,' he said, 'the sun is still high; it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. Water the sheep and take them back to pasture.'"

Genesis 29:7, ESV: "He said, “Behold, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered together. Water the sheep and go, pasture them.”"

Genesis 29:7, KJV: "And he said, Lo, it is yet high day, neither is it time that the cattle should be gathered together: water ye the sheep, and go and feed them."

Genesis 29:7, NASB: "Then he said, 'Look, it is still high day; it is not time for the livestock to be gathered. Water the sheep, and go, pasture them.'"

Genesis 29:7, NLT: "Jacob said, 'Look, it's still broad daylight--too early to round up the animals. Why don't you water the sheep and goats so they can get back out to pasture?'"

Genesis 29:7, CSB: "Then Jacob said, "Look, it is still broad daylight. It's not time for the animals to be gathered. Water the flock, then go out and let them graze.""

What does Genesis 29:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

The conversation between Jacob and the shepherds has provided him with what must have been shocking and welcome information. They were from Haran, precisely where he is headed (Genesis 28:1–2). They knew Laban. Laban's daughter, a perspective wife for Jacob, was just arriving with a flock of sheep.

We don't know why, exactly, but for some reason Jacob addresses the shepherds with what seems like a challenge. In fact, he gives them an order. Some commentators suggest perhaps the shepherds were being short with Jacob, not giving the stranger much respect. From Jacob's perspective, it's too early in the day to gather the separate flocks of sheep into a single herd for the night. They should still be out with their flocks grazing on the vegetation in this region. Jacob tells the shepherds, in essence, to stop hanging out, to water the sheep, and to get back to the pasture.

Is Jacob just the kind of guy who tells other people what to do or is he beginning to assert himself as a relative of an important man in the region? Or does he perhaps wish for these shepherds to go away so he can meet and get to know his cousin and prospective wife Rachel?