Why did Yakov ask them from where they are?


Malbim: He wanted to rebuke them for not giving the flock to drink [or graze], but he thought that perhaps they are from afar and are tired, or if they graze, they will not have time to return before dark.


Ha'Emek Davar: Even though the well was close to Charan, it is possible that they were from elsewhere.


Why did he call the shepherds "my brothers"?


Ha'Emek Davar: He had trained himself not to speak in a loving, friendly way.

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