And Jacob said to Simeon and Levi,.... who were the principals concerned in this affair:
ye have troubled me; because of the sin they had committed, because of the dishonour brought upon religion, and because of the danger he and his family were hereby exposed unto; it greatly disquieted him, made him very uneasy, he was at his wit's end almost, knew not what to do, what course to take to wipe off the scandal, and to defend himself and family; since it served, he says:
to make me to stink among the inhabitants of the land; to make him odious and abominable, to be hated and abhorred by all the people round about, and to be looked upon and treated as a deceitful, treacherous, and perfidious man, that had no regard to his word, to covenants and agreements made by him; as a cruel and bloodthirsty man that spared none, made no difference between the innocent and the guilty; and as a robber and plunderer, that stopped at nothing, committing the greatest outrages to get possession of the substance of others:
amongst the Canaanites and the Perizzites: who were the principal inhabitants of the land, the most numerous, and the most rustic and barbarous, and perhaps nearest, and from whom Jacob had most to fear:
and I being few in number; or men of numberF16מתי מספר "viri numeri", Montanus, Schmidt. ; he and his sons and servants, in all, making but a small number in comparison of the nations about him:
they shall gather themselves together against me, and slay me; and I shall be destroyed, I and my house; not that Jacob was afraid that this would be really the case, for he knew and believed the promises of God to him, of the multiplication of his seed, and of their inheriting the land of Canaan, and of the Messiah springing from him; but this he said to aggravate the sin and folly of his sons, in exposing him and themselves to so much danger, which not only on the face of things appeared probable, but even certain and inevitable, without the interposition of divine power and Providence.