Genesis 31:40 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 31:40, NIV: "This was my situation: The heat consumed me in the daytime and the cold at night, and sleep fled from my eyes."

Genesis 31:40, ESV: "There I was: by day the heat consumed me, and the cold by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes."

Genesis 31:40, KJV: "Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night; and my sleep departed from mine eyes."

Genesis 31:40, NASB: "This is how I was: by day the heat consumed me and the frost by night, and my sleep fled from my eyes."

Genesis 31:40, NLT: "'I worked for you through the scorching heat of the day and through cold and sleepless nights."

Genesis 31:40, CSB: "There I was--the heat consumed me by day and the frost by night, and sleep fled from my eyes."

What does Genesis 31:40 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob is describing his twenty years of faithful and diligent service to Laban, who had condemned him for leaving without notice. Worse, Laban had accused Jacob of outright theft, a claim seemingly disproven when Laban's search comes up empty (Genesis 31:30–35). Seizing the opportunity to put Laban in his place, Jacob blasts his father-in-law for his abusive, dishonest, cheating ways (Genesis 29:20–28; 30:31–36). In part, Jacob makes the point that he served Laban far better than any employer had a right to expect, even though Laban took repeated advantage of him.

In addition to protecting Laban's flocks and paying for losses due to animal attacks himself, Jacob points out that the work was difficult. As a shepherd, he endured blistering hot days, freezing cold nights, and too little sleep. Jacob's purpose point in all of this is to prove that he never cheated Laban in any way, but served him well. He did not deserve the mistreatment Laban had given to him, nor the accusations Laban has brought.