John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary

Verse 31 (Genesis 31:31)

And Jacob answered and said to Laban, because I was afraid ,.... That he would have done all he could to have hindered him from going away himself; and not only so, but would have prevented his taking his daughters with him; and especially would have detained his cattle; but of this last Jacob makes no mention, only of the former:

for I said ; either within himself, or to his wives:

peradventure thou wouldest take by force thy daughters from me ; which of right belonged to him; for though they were Laban's daughters, they were Jacob's wives; and being given in marriage to him, he had a right unto them, and to take them with him; nor had Laban any right to detain them, which Jacob feared he would have attempted to have done, had he known his design; and this must have been done by force if done at all; for neither Jacob nor his wives would have agreed that they should stay with Laban upon his departure: what Laban charges Jacob with, in going away with his wives, he himself would have done, namely, using force to them. Laban's charge was false, but there was much reason for Jacob's suspicion.

- John Gills Exposition of the Bible Commentary