Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) January 10
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Genesis 30:1--32:32

Context

30:1 When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she 1  became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children 2  or I’ll die!” 30:2 Jacob became furious 3  with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” 4  30:3 She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Have sexual relations with 5  her so that she can bear 6  children 7  for me 8  and I can have a family through her.” 9 

30:4 So Rachel 10  gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob had marital relations with 11  her. 30:5 Bilhah became pregnant 12  and gave Jacob a son. 13  30:6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer 14  and given me a son.” That is why 15  she named him Dan. 16 

30:7 Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, became pregnant again and gave Jacob another son. 17  30:8 Then Rachel said, “I have fought a desperate struggle with my sister, but I have won.” 18  So she named him Naphtali. 19 

30:9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave 20  her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 30:10 Soon Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob a son. 21  30:11 Leah said, “How fortunate!” 22  So she named him Gad. 23 

30:12 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob another son. 24  30:13 Leah said, “How happy I am, 25  for women 26  will call me happy!” So she named him Asher. 27 

30:14 At the time 28  of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants 29  in a field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 30:15 But Leah replied, 30  “Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,” 31  Rachel said, “he may sleep 32  with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 30:16 When Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep 33  with me because I have paid for your services 34  with my son’s mandrakes.” So he had marital relations 35  with her that night. 30:17 God paid attention 36  to Leah; she became pregnant 37  and gave Jacob a son for the fifth time. 38  30:18 Then Leah said, “God has granted me a reward 39  because I gave my servant to my husband as a wife.” 40  So she named him Issachar. 41 

30:19 Leah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a son for the sixth time. 42  30:20 Then Leah said, “God has given me a good gift. Now my husband will honor me because I have given him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun. 43 

30:21 After that she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

30:22 Then God took note of 44  Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. 45  30:23 She became pregnant 46  and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.” 47  30:24 She named him Joseph, 48  saying, “May the Lord give me yet another son.”

The Flocks of Jacob

30:25 After Rachel had given birth 49  to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send 50  me on my way so that I can go 51  home to my own country. 52  30:26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you. 53  Then I’ll depart, 54  because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.” 55 

30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here, 56  for I have learned by divination 57  that the Lord has blessed me on account of you.” 30:28 He added, “Just name your wages – I’ll pay whatever you want.” 58 

30:29 “You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied, 59  “and how well your livestock have fared under my care. 60  30:30 Indeed, 61  you had little before I arrived, 62  but now your possessions have increased many times over. 63  The Lord has blessed you wherever I worked. 64  But now, how long must it be before I do something for my own family too?” 65 

30:31 So Laban asked, 66  “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,” 67  Jacob replied, 68  “but if you agree to this one condition, 69  I will continue to care for 70  your flocks and protect them: 30:32 Let me walk among 71  all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, 72  and the spotted or speckled goats. 73  These animals will be my wages. 74  30:33 My integrity will testify for me 75  later on. 76  When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on, 77  if I have in my possession any goat that is not speckled or spotted or any sheep that is not dark-colored, it will be considered stolen.” 78  30:34 “Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.” 79 

30:35 So that day Laban 80  removed the male goats that were streaked or spotted, all the female goats that were speckled or spotted (all that had any white on them), and all the dark-colored lambs, and put them in the care 81  of his sons. 30:36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey, 82  while 83  Jacob was taking care of the rest of Laban’s flocks.

30:37 But Jacob took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees. He made white streaks by peeling them, making the white inner wood in the branches visible. 30:38 Then he set up the peeled branches in all the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. He set up the branches in front of the flocks when they were in heat and came to drink. 84  30:39 When the sheep mated 85  in front of the branches, they 86  gave birth to young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 30:40 Jacob removed these lambs, but he made the rest of the flock face 87  the streaked and completely dark-colored animals in Laban’s flock. So he made separate flocks for himself and did not mix them with Laban’s flocks. 30:41 When the stronger females were in heat, 88  Jacob would set up the branches in the troughs in front of the flock, so they would mate near the branches. 30:42 But if the animals were weaker, he did not set the branches there. 89  So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban 90  and the stronger animals to Jacob. 30:43 In this way Jacob 91  became extremely prosperous. He owned 92  large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.

Jacob’s Flight from Laban

31:1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were complaining, 93  “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father! He has gotten rich 94  at our father’s expense!” 95  31:2 When Jacob saw the look on Laban’s face, he could tell his attitude toward him had changed. 96 

31:3 The Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers 97  and to your relatives. I will be with you.” 98  31:4 So Jacob sent a message for Rachel and Leah 99  to come to the field 100  where his flocks were. 101  31:5 There he said to them, “I can tell that your father’s attitude toward me has changed, 102  but the God of my father has been with me. 31:6 You know that I’ve worked for your father as hard as I could, 103  31:7 but your father has humiliated 104  me and changed my wages ten times. But God has not permitted him to do me any harm. 31:8 If he said, 105  ‘The speckled animals 106  will be your wage,’ then the entire flock gave birth to speckled offspring. But if he said, ‘The streaked animals will be your wage,’ then the entire flock gave birth to streaked offspring. 31:9 In this way God has snatched away your father’s livestock and given them to me.

31:10 “Once 107  during breeding season I saw 108  in a dream that the male goats mating with 109  the flock were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 31:11 In the dream the angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ ‘Here I am!’ I replied. 31:12 Then he said, ‘Observe 110  that all the male goats mating with 111  the flock are streaked, speckled, or spotted, for I have observed all that Laban has done to you. 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, 112  where you anointed 113  the sacred stone and made a vow to me. 114  Now leave this land immediately 115  and return to your native land.’”

31:14 Then Rachel and Leah replied to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance 116  in our father’s house? 31:15 Hasn’t he treated us like foreigners? He not only sold us, but completely wasted 117  the money paid for us! 118  31:16 Surely all the wealth that God snatched away from our father belongs to us and to our children. So now do everything God has told you.”

31:17 So Jacob immediately put his children and his wives on the camels. 119  31:18 He took 120  away all the livestock he had acquired in Paddan Aram and all his moveable property that he had accumulated. Then he set out toward the land of Canaan to return to his father Isaac. 121 

31:19 While Laban had gone to shear his sheep, 122  Rachel stole the household idols 123  that belonged to her father. 31:20 Jacob also deceived 124  Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was leaving. 125  31:21 He left 126  with all he owned. He quickly crossed 127  the Euphrates River 128  and headed for 129  the hill country of Gilead.

31:22 Three days later Laban discovered Jacob had left. 130  31:23 So he took his relatives 131  with him and pursued Jacob 132  for seven days. 133  He caught up with 134  him in the hill country of Gilead. 31:24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him, 135  “Be careful 136  that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.” 137 

31:25 Laban overtook Jacob, and when Jacob pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead, Laban and his relatives set up camp there too. 138  31:26 “What have you done?” Laban demanded of Jacob. “You’ve deceived me 139  and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war! 140  31:27 Why did you run away secretly 141  and deceive me? 142  Why didn’t you tell me so I could send you off with a celebration complete with singing, tambourines, and harps? 143  31:28 You didn’t even allow me to kiss my daughters and my grandchildren 144  good-bye. You have acted foolishly! 31:29 I have 145  the power to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful 146  that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’ 147  31:30 Now I understand that 148  you have gone away 149  because you longed desperately 150  for your father’s house. Yet why did you steal my gods?” 151 

31:31 “I left secretly because I was afraid!” 152  Jacob replied to Laban. “I thought 153  you might take your daughters away from me by force. 154  31:32 Whoever has taken your gods will be put to death! 155  In the presence of our relatives 156  identify whatever is yours and take it.” 157  (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.) 158 

31:33 So Laban entered Jacob’s tent, and Leah’s tent, and the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find the idols. 159  Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 160  31:34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle 161  and sat on them.) 162  Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them. 163  31:35 Rachel 164  said to her father, “Don’t be angry, 165  my lord. I cannot stand up 166  in your presence because I am having my period.” 167  So he searched thoroughly, 168  but did not find the idols.

31:36 Jacob became angry 169  and argued with Laban. “What did I do wrong?” he demanded of Laban. 170  “What sin of mine prompted you to chase after me in hot pursuit? 171  31:37 When you searched through all my goods, did you find anything that belonged to you? 172  Set it here before my relatives and yours, 173  and let them settle the dispute between the two of us! 174 

31:38 “I have been with you for the past twenty years. Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 31:39 Animals torn by wild beasts I never brought to you; I always absorbed the loss myself. 175  You always made me pay for every missing animal, 176  whether it was taken by day or at night. 31:40 I was consumed by scorching heat 177  during the day and by piercing cold 178  at night, and I went without sleep. 179  31:41 This was my lot 180  for twenty years in your house: I worked like a slave 181  for you – fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks, but you changed my wages ten times! 31:42 If the God of my father – the God of Abraham, the one whom Isaac fears 182  – had not been with me, you would certainly have sent me away empty-handed! But God saw how I was oppressed and how hard I worked, 183  and he rebuked you last night.”

31:43 Laban replied 184  to Jacob, “These women 185  are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren, 186  and these flocks are my flocks. All that you see belongs to me. But how can I harm these daughters of mine today 187  or the children to whom they have given birth? 31:44 So now, come, let’s make a formal agreement, 188  you and I, and it will be 189  proof that we have made peace.” 190 

31:45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a memorial pillar. 31:46 Then he 191  said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they brought stones and put them in a pile. 192  They ate there by the pile of stones. 31:47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, 193  but Jacob called it Galeed. 194 

31:48 Laban said, “This pile of stones is a witness of our agreement 195  today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 31:49 It was also called Mizpah 196  because he said, “May the Lord watch 197  between us 198  when we are out of sight of one another. 199  31:50 If you mistreat my daughters or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one else is with us, realize 200  that God is witness to your actions.” 201 

31:51 “Here is this pile of stones and this pillar I have set up between me and you,” Laban said to Jacob. 202  31:52 “This pile of stones and the pillar are reminders that I will not pass beyond this pile to come to harm you and that you will not pass beyond this pile and this pillar to come to harm me. 203  31:53 May the God of Abraham and the god of Nahor, 204  the gods of their father, judge between us.” Jacob took an oath by the God whom his father Isaac feared. 205  31:54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice 206  on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat the meal. 207  They ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain.

31:55 (32:1) 208  Early in the morning Laban kissed 209  his grandchildren 210  and his daughters goodbye and blessed them. Then Laban left and returned home. 211 

Jacob Wrestles at Peniel

32:1 So Jacob went on his way and the angels of God 212  met him. 32:2 When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, 213  “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim. 214 

32:3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead 215  to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the region 216  of Edom. 32:4 He commanded them, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: ‘This is what your servant 217  Jacob says: I have been staying with Laban until now. 32:5 I have oxen, donkeys, sheep, and male and female servants. I have sent 218  this message 219  to inform my lord, so that I may find favor in your sight.’”

32:6 The messengers returned to Jacob and said, “We went to your brother Esau. He is coming to meet you and has four hundred men with him.” 32:7 Jacob was very afraid and upset. So he divided the people who were with him into two camps, as well as the flocks, herds, and camels. 32:8 “If Esau attacks one camp,” 220  he thought, 221  “then the other camp will be able to escape.” 222 

32:9 Then Jacob prayed, 223  “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O Lord, you said 224  to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will make you prosper.’ 225  32:10 I am not worthy of all the faithful love 226  you have shown 227  your servant. With only my walking stick 228  I crossed the Jordan, 229  but now I have become two camps. 32:11 Rescue me, 230  I pray, from the hand 231  of my brother Esau, 232  for I am afraid he will come 233  and attack me, as well as the mothers with their children. 234  32:12 But you 235  said, ‘I will certainly make you prosper 236  and will make 237  your descendants like the sand on the seashore, too numerous to count.’” 238 

32:13 Jacob 239  stayed there that night. Then he sent 240  as a gift 241  to his brother Esau 32:14 two hundred female goats and twenty male goats, two hundred ewes and twenty rams, 32:15 thirty female camels with their young, forty cows and ten bulls, and twenty female donkeys and ten male donkeys. 32:16 He entrusted them to 242  his servants, who divided them into herds. 243  He told his servants, “Pass over before me, and keep some distance between one herd and the next.” 32:17 He instructed the servant leading the first herd, 244  “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? 245  Where are you going? Whose herds are you driving?’ 246  32:18 then you must say, 247  ‘They belong 248  to your servant Jacob. 249  They have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. 250  In fact Jacob himself is behind us.’” 251 

32:19 He also gave these instructions to the second and third servants, as well as all those who were following the herds, saying, “You must say the same thing to Esau when you meet him. 252  32:20 You must also say, ‘In fact your servant Jacob is behind us.’” 253  Jacob thought, 254  “I will first appease him 255  by sending a gift ahead of me. 256  After that I will meet him. 257  Perhaps he will accept me.” 258  32:21 So the gifts were sent on ahead of him 259  while he spent that night in the camp. 260 

32:22 During the night Jacob quickly took 261  his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons 262  and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 263  32:23 He took them and sent them across the stream along with all his possessions. 264  32:24 So Jacob was left alone. Then a man 265  wrestled 266  with him until daybreak. 267  32:25 When the man 268  saw that he could not defeat Jacob, 269  he struck 270  the socket of his hip so the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him.

32:26 Then the man 271  said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” 272  “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied, 273  “unless you bless me.” 274  32:27 The man asked him, 275  “What is your name?” 276  He answered, “Jacob.” 32:28 “No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, 277  “but Israel, 278  because you have fought 279  with God and with men and have prevailed.”

32:29 Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.” 280  “Why 281  do you ask my name?” the man replied. 282  Then he blessed 283  Jacob 284  there. 32:30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, 285  explaining, 286  “Certainly 287  I have seen God face to face 288  and have survived.” 289 

32:31 The sun rose 290  over him as he crossed over Penuel, 291  but 292  he was limping because of his hip. 32:32 That is why to this day 293  the Israelites do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the hip, because he struck 294  the socket of Jacob’s hip near the attached sinew.

1 tn Heb “Rachel.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“she”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

2 tn Heb “sons.”

3 tn Heb “and the anger of Jacob was hot.”

4 tn Heb “who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb.”

5 tn Heb “go in to.” The expression “go in to” in this context refers to sexual intercourse.

6 tn After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with the conjunction indicates the immediate purpose of the proposed activity.

7 tn The word “children” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

8 tn Heb “upon my knees.” This is an idiomatic way of saying that Bilhah will be simply a surrogate mother. Rachel will adopt the child as her own.

9 tn Heb “and I will be built up, even I, from her.” The prefixed verbal form with the conjunction is subordinated to the preceding prefixed verbal form and gives the ultimate purpose for the proposed action. The idiom of “built up” here refers to having a family (see Gen 16:2, as well as Ruth 4:11 and BDB 125 s.v. בָנָה).

10 tn Heb “and she”; the referent (Rachel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

11 tn Heb “went in to.” The expression “went in to” in this context refers to sexual intercourse.

12 tn Or “Bilhah conceived” (also in v. 7).

13 tn Heb “and she bore for Jacob a son.”

14 tn Heb “and also he has heard my voice.” The expression means that God responded positively to Rachel’s cry and granted her request.

15 tn Or “therefore.”

16 sn The name Dan means “he vindicated” or “he judged.” The name plays on the verb used in the statement which appears earlier in the verse. The verb translated “vindicated” is from דִּין (din, “to judge, to vindicate”), the same verbal root from which the name is derived. Rachel sensed that God was righting the wrong.

17 tn Heb “and she became pregnant again and Bilhah, the servant of Rachel, bore a second son for Jacob.”

18 tn Heb “[with] a mighty struggle I have struggled with my sister, also I have prevailed.” The phrase “mighty struggle” reads literally “struggles of God.” The plural participle “struggles” reflects the ongoing nature of the struggle, while the divine name is used here idiomatically to emphasize the intensity of the struggle. See J. Skinner, Genesis (ICC), 387.

19 sn The name Naphtali (נַפְתָּלִי, naftali) must mean something like “my struggle” in view of the statement Rachel made in the preceding clause. The name plays on this earlier statement, “[with] a mighty struggle I have struggled with my sister.”

20 tn Heb “she took her servant Zilpah and gave her.” The verbs “took” and “gave” are treated as a hendiadys in the translation: “she gave.”

21 tn Heb “and Zilpah, the servant of Leah, bore for Jacob a son.”

22 tc The statement in the Kethib (consonantal text) appears to mean literally “with good fortune,” if one takes the initial בְּ (bet) as a preposition indicating accompaniment. The Qere (marginal reading) means “good fortune has arrived.”

23 sn The name Gad (גָּד, gad) means “good fortune.” The name reflects Leah’s feeling that good fortune has come her way, as expressed in her statement recorded earlier in the verse.

24 tn Heb “and Zilpah, the servant of Leah, bore a second son for Jacob.”

25 tn The Hebrew statement apparently means “with my happiness.”

26 tn Heb “daughters.”

27 sn The name Asher (אָשֶׁר, ’asher) apparently means “happy one.” The name plays on the words used in the statement which appears earlier in the verse. Both the Hebrew noun and verb translated “happy” and “call me happy,” respectively, are derived from the same root as the name Asher.

28 tn Heb “during the days.”

29 sn Mandrake plants were popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac in the culture of the time.

30 tn Heb “and she said to her”; the referent of the pronoun “she” (Leah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

31 tn Heb “therefore.”

32 tn Heb “lie down.” The expression “lie down with” in this context (here and in the following verse) refers to sexual intercourse. The imperfect verbal form has a permissive nuance here.

33 tn Heb “must come in to me.” The imperfect verbal form has an obligatory nuance here. She has acquired him for the night and feels he is obligated to have sexual relations with her.

34 tn Heb “I have surely hired.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verbal form for emphasis. The name Issachar (see v. 18) seems to be related to this expression.

35 tn This is the same Hebrew verb (שָׁכַב, shakhav) translated “sleep with” in v. 15. In direct discourse the more euphemistic “sleep with” was used, but here in the narrative “marital relations” reflects more clearly the emphasis on sexual intercourse.

36 tn Heb “listened to.”

37 tn Or “she conceived” (also in v. 19).

38 tn Heb “and she bore for Jacob a fifth son,” i.e., this was the fifth son that Leah had given Jacob.

39 tn Heb “God has given my reward.”

40 tn The words “as a wife” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for clarity (cf. v. 9).

sn Leah seems to regard the act of giving her servant Zilpah to her husband as a sacrifice, for which (she believes) God is now rewarding her with the birth of a son.

41 sn The name Issachar (יְשָּׁשכָר, yishakhar) appears to mean “man of reward” or possibly “there is reward.” The name plays on the word used in the statement made earlier in the verse. The Hebrew noun translated “reward” is derived from the same root as the name Issachar. The irony is that Rachel thought the mandrakes would work for her, and she was willing to trade one night for them. But in that one night Leah became pregnant.

42 tn Heb “and she bore a sixth son for Jacob,” i.e., this was the sixth son that Leah had given Jacob.

43 sn The name Zebulun (זְבֻלוּן, zevulun) apparently means “honor.” The name plays on the verb used in the statement made earlier in the verse. The Hebrew verb translated “will honor” and the name Zebulun derive from the same root.

44 tn Heb “remembered.”

45 tn Heb “and God listened to her and opened up her womb.” Since “God” is the subject of the previous clause, the noun has been replaced by the pronoun “he” in the translation for stylistic reasons

46 tn Or “conceived.”

47 tn Heb “my reproach.” A “reproach” is a cutting taunt or painful ridicule, but here it probably refers by metonymy to Rachel’s barren condition, which was considered shameful in this culture and was the reason why she was the object of taunting and ridicule.

48 sn The name Joseph (יוֹסֵף, yoseph) means “may he add.” The name expresses Rachel’s desire to have an additional son. In Hebrew the name sounds like the verb (אָסַף,’asasf) translated “taken away” in the earlier statement made in v. 23. So the name, while reflecting Rachel’s hope, was also a reminder that God had removed her shame.

49 tn The perfect verbal form is translated as a past perfect because Rachel’s giving birth to Joseph preceded Jacob’s conversation with Laban.

50 tn The imperatival form here expresses a request.

sn For Jacob to ask to leave would mean that seven more years had passed. Thus all Jacob’s children were born within the range of seven years of each other, with Joseph coming right at the end of the seven years.

51 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

52 tn Heb “to my place and to my land.”

53 tn Heb “give my wives and my children, for whom I have served you.” In one sense Laban had already “given” Jacob his two daughters as wives (Gen 29:21, 28). Here Jacob was asking for permission to take his own family along with him on the journey back to Canaan.

54 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

55 tn Heb “for you, you know my service [with] which I have served you.”

56 tn The words “please stay here” have been supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

57 tn Or perhaps “I have grown rich and the Lord has blessed me” (cf. NEB). See J. Finkelstein, “An Old Babylonian Herding Contract and Genesis 31:38f.,” JAOS 88 (1968): 34, n. 19.

58 tn Heb “set your wage for me so I may give [it].”

59 tn Heb “and he said to him, ‘You know how I have served you.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons, and the referent of the pronoun “he” (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

60 tn Heb “and how your cattle were with me.”

61 tn Or “for.”

62 tn Heb “before me.”

63 tn Heb “and it has broken out with respect to abundance.”

64 tn Heb “at my foot.”

65 tn Heb “How long [until] I do, also I, for my house?”

66 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

67 tn The negated imperfect verbal form has an obligatory nuance.

68 tn The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

69 tn Heb “If you do for me this thing.”

70 tn Heb “I will return, I will tend,” an idiom meaning “I will continue tending.”

71 tn Heb “pass through.”

72 tn Or “every black lamb”; Heb “and every dark sheep among the lambs.”

73 tn Heb “and the spotted and speckled among the goats.”

74 tn Heb “and it will be my wage.” The referent collective singular pronoun (“it) has been specified as “these animals” in the translation for clarity.

75 tn Heb “will answer on my behalf.”

76 tn Heb “on the following day,” or “tomorrow.”

77 tn Heb “when you come concerning my wage before you.”

sn Only the wage we agreed on. Jacob would have to be considered completely honest here, for he would have no control over the kind of animals born; and there could be no disagreement over which animals were his wages.

78 tn Heb “every one which is not speckled and spotted among the lambs and dark among the goats, stolen it is with me.”

79 tn Heb “and Laban said, ‘Good, let it be according to your word.’” On the asseverative use of the particle לוּ (lu) here, see HALOT 521 s.v. לוּ.

80 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

81 tn Heb “and he gave [them] into the hand.”

82 tn Heb “and he put a journey of three days between himself and Jacob.”

sn Three days’ traveling distance from Jacob. E. A. Speiser observes, “Laban is delighted with the terms, and promptly proceeds to violate the spirit of the bargain by removing to a safe distance all the grown animals that would be likely to produce the specified spots” (Genesis [AB], 238). Laban apparently thought that by separating out the spotted, striped, and dark colored animals he could minimize the production of spotted, striped, or dark offspring that would then belong to Jacob.

83 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by the vav with subject) is circumstantial/temporal; Laban removed the animals while Jacob was taking care of the rest.

84 sn He put the branches in front of the flocks…when they came to drink. It was generally believed that placing such “visual aids” before the animals as they were mating, it was possible to influence the appearance of their offspring. E. A. Speiser notes that “Jacob finds a way to outwit his father-in-law, through prenatal conditioning of the flock by visual aids – in conformance with universal folk beliefs” (Genesis [AB], 238). Nevertheless, in spite of Jacob’s efforts at animal husbandry, he still attributes the resulting success to God (see 31:5).

85 tn The Hebrew verb used here can mean “to be in heat” (see v. 38) or “to mate; to conceive; to become pregnant.” The latter nuance makes better sense in this verse, for the next clause describes them giving birth.

86 tn Heb “the sheep.” The noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“they”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

87 tn Heb “and he set the faces of.”

88 tn Heb “and at every breeding-heat of the flock.”

89 tn Heb “he did not put [them] in.” The referent of the [understood] direct object, “them,” has been specified as “the branches” in the translation for clarity.

90 tn Heb “were for Laban.”

91 tn Heb “the man”; Jacob’s name has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

92 tn Heb “and there were to him.”

93 tn Heb “and he heard the words of the sons of Laban, saying.”

94 sn The Hebrew word translated “gotten rich” (כָּבוֹד, cavod) has the basic idea of “weight.” If one is heavy with possessions, then that one is wealthy (13:2). Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph all became wealthy when they left the promised land. Jacob’s wealth foreshadows what will happen to Israel when they leave the land of Egypt (Exod 12:35-38).

95 tn Heb “and from that which belonged to our father he has gained all this wealth.”

96 tn Heb “and Jacob saw the face of Laban, and look, he was not with him as formerly.” Jacob knew from the expression on Laban’s face that his attitude toward him had changed – Jacob had become persona non grata.

97 tn Or perhaps “ancestors” (so NRSV), although the only “ancestors” Jacob had there were his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac.

98 sn I will be with you. Though Laban was no longer “with him,” the Lord promised to be.

99 tn Heb “sent and called for Rachel and for Leah.” Jacob did not go in person, but probably sent a servant with a message for his wives to meet him in the field.

100 tn Heb “the field.” The word is an adverbial accusative, indicating that this is where Jacob wanted them to meet him. The words “to come to” are supplied in the translation for clarification and stylistic reasons.

101 tn Heb “to his flock.”

102 tn Heb “I see the face of your father, that he is not toward me as formerly.”

103 tn Heb “with all my strength.”

104 tn This rare verb means “to make a fool of” someone. It involves deceiving someone so that their public reputation suffers (see Exod 8:25).

105 tn In the protasis (“if” section) of this conditional clause, the imperfect verbal form has a customary nuance – whatever he would say worked to Jacob’s benefit.

106 tn Heb “speckled” (twice this verse). The word “animals” (after the first occurrence of “speckled”) and “offspring” (after the second) have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. The same two terms (“animals” and “offspring”) have been supplied after the two occurrences of “streaked” later in this verse.

107 tn The sentence begins with the temporal indicator, “and it happened at the time of.”

108 tn Heb “in the time of the breeding of the flock I lifted up my eyes and I saw.”

109 tn Heb “going up on,” that is, mounting for intercourse.

110 tn Heb “lift up (now) your eyes and see.”

111 tn Heb “going up on,” that is, mounting for intercourse.

112 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

113 sn You anointed the sacred stone. In Gen 28:18 the text simply reported that Jacob poured oil on top of the stone. Now that pouring is interpreted by the Lord as an anointing. Jacob had consecrated the place.

114 sn And made a vow to me. The second clause reminds Jacob of the vow he made to the Lord when he anointed the stone (Gen 28:20-22). God is now going to take him back to the land, and so he will have to fulfill his vow.

115 tn Heb “arise, leave!” The first imperative draws attention to the need for immediate action.

sn Leave this land immediately. The decision to leave was a wise one in view of the changed attitude in Laban and his sons. But more than that, it was the will of God. Jacob needed to respond to God’s call – the circumstances simply made it easier.

116 tn The two nouns may form a hendiadys, meaning “a share in the inheritance” or “a portion to inherit.”

117 tn Heb “and he devoured, even devouring.” The infinitive absolute (following the finite verb here) is used for emphasis.

sn He sold us and…wasted our money. The precise nature of Rachel’s and Leah’s complaint is not entirely clear. Since Jacob had to work to pay for them, they probably mean that their father has cheated Jacob and therefore cheated them as well. See M. Burrows, “The Complaint of Laban’s Daughters,” JAOS 57 (1937): 250-76.

118 tn Heb “our money.” The word “money” is used figuratively here; it means the price paid for Leah and Rachel. A literal translation (“our money”) makes it sound as if Laban wasted money that belonged to Rachel and Leah, rather than the money paid for them.

119 tn Heb “and Jacob arose and he lifted up his sons and his wives on to the camels.”

120 tn Heb “drove,” but this is subject to misunderstanding in contemporary English.

121 tn Heb “and he led away all his cattle and all his moveable property which he acquired, the cattle he obtained, which he acquired in Paddan Aram to go to Isaac his father to the land of Canaan.”

122 tn This disjunctive clause (note the pattern conjunction + subject + verb) introduces a new scene. In the English translation it may be subordinated to the following clause.

123 tn Or “household gods.” Some translations merely transliterate the Hebrew term תְּרָפִים (tÿrafim) as “teraphim,” which apparently refers to household idols. Some contend that possession of these idols guaranteed the right of inheritance, but it is more likely that they were viewed simply as protective deities. See M. Greenberg, “Another Look at Rachel’s Theft of the Teraphim,” JBL 81 (1962): 239-48.

124 tn Heb “stole the heart of,” an expression which apparently means “to deceive.” The repetition of the verb “to steal” shows that Jacob and Rachel are kindred spirits. Any thought that Laban would have resigned himself to their departure was now out of the question.

125 tn Heb “fleeing,” which reflects Jacob’s viewpoint.

126 tn Heb “and he fled.”

127 tn Heb “he arose and crossed.” The first verb emphasizes that he wasted no time in getting across.

128 tn Heb “the river”; the referent (the Euphrates) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

129 tn Heb “he set his face.”

130 tn Heb “and it was told to Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled.”

131 tn Heb “his brothers.”

132 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

133 tn Heb “and he pursued after him a journey of seven days.”

134 tn Heb “drew close to.”

135 tn Heb “said to him.”

136 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.

137 tn Heb “lest you speak with Jacob from good to evil.” The precise meaning of the expression, which occurs only here and in v. 29, is uncertain. Since Laban proceeded to speak to Jacob at length, it cannot mean to maintain silence. Nor does it seem to be a prohibition against criticism (see vv. 26-30). Most likely it refers to a formal pronouncement, whether it be a blessing or a curse. Laban was to avoid saying anything to Jacob that would be intended to enhance him or to harm him.

138 tn Heb “and Jacob pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban pitched with his brothers in the hill country of Gilead.” The juxtaposition of disjunctive clauses (note the pattern conjunction + subject + verb in both clauses) indicates synchronism of action.

139 tn Heb “and you have stolen my heart.” This expression apparently means “to deceive” (see v. 20).

140 tn Heb “and you have led away my daughters like captives of a sword.”

141 tn Heb “Why did you hide in order to flee?” The verb “hide” and the infinitive “to flee” form a hendiadys, the infinitive becoming the main verb and the other the adverb: “flee secretly.”

142 tn Heb “and steal me.”

143 tn Heb “And [why did] you not tell me so I could send you off with joy and with songs, with a tambourine and with a harp?”

144 tn Heb “my sons and my daughters.” Here “sons” refers to “grandsons,” and has been translated “grandchildren” since at least one granddaughter, Dinah, was involved. The order has been reversed in the translation for stylistic reasons.

145 tn Heb “there is to my hand.”

146 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.

147 tn Heb “from speaking with Jacob from good to evil.” The precise meaning of the expression, which occurs only here and in v. 24, is uncertain. See the note on the same phrase in v. 24.

148 tn Heb “and now.” The words “I understand that” have been supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

149 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the perfect verbal form to emphasize the certainty of the action.

150 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the perfect verbal form to emphasize the degree of emotion involved.

151 sn Yet why did you steal my gods? This last sentence is dropped into the speech rather suddenly. See C. Mabee, “Jacob and Laban: The Structure of Judicial Proceedings,” VT 30 (1980): 192-207, and G. W. Coats, “Self-Abasement and Insult Formulas,” JBL 91 (1972): 90-92.

152 tn Heb “and Jacob answered and said to Laban, ‘Because I was afraid.’” This statement is a not a response to the question about Laban’s household gods that immediately precedes, but to the earlier question about Jacob’s motivation for leaving so quickly and secretly (see v. 27). For this reason the words “I left secretly” are supplied in the translation to indicate the connection to Laban’s earlier question in v. 27. Additionally the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse have been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

153 tn Heb “for I said.”

154 tn Heb “lest you steal your daughters from with me.”

155 tn Heb “With whomever you find your gods, he will not live.”

156 tn Heb “brothers.”

157 tn Heb “recognize for yourself what is with me and take for yourself.”

158 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced here by a vav [ו] conjunction) provides supplemental material that is important to the story. Since this material is parenthetical in nature, it has been placed in parentheses in the translation.

159 tn No direct object is specified for the verb “find” in the Hebrew text. The words “the idols” have been supplied in the translation for clarification.

160 tn Heb “and he went out from the tent of Leah and went into the tent of Rachel.”

161 tn The “camel’s saddle” was probably some sort of basket-saddle, a cushioned saddle with a basket bound on. Cf. NAB “inside a camel cushion.”

162 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by a vav [ו] conjunction) provides another parenthetical statement necessary to the storyline.

163 tn The word “them” has been supplied in the translation for clarification.

164 tn Heb “she”; the referent (Rachel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

165 tn Heb “let it not be hot in the eyes of my lord.” This idiom refers to anger, in this case as a result of Rachel’s failure to stand in the presence of her father as a sign of respect.

166 tn Heb “I am unable to rise.”

167 tn Heb “the way of women is to me.” This idiom refers to a woman’s menstrual period.

168 tn The word “thoroughly” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied.

169 tn Heb “it was hot to Jacob.” This idiom refers to anger.

170 tn Heb “and Jacob answered and said to Laban, ‘What is my sin?’” The proper name “Jacob” has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation and the order of the introductory clause and direct discourse rearranged for stylistic reasons.

171 tn Heb “What is my sin that you have hotly pursued after me.” The Hebrew verb translated “pursue hotly” is used elsewhere of soldiers chasing defeated enemies (1 Sam 17:53).

172 tn Heb “what did you find from all the goods of your house?”

173 tn Heb “your relatives.” The word “relatives” has not been repeated in the translation here for stylistic reasons.

174 tn Heb “that they may decide between us two.”

175 tn The imperfect verbal form indicates that this was a customary or typical action.

176 tn Heb “from my hand you exacted it.” The imperfect verbal form again indicates that this was a customary or typical action. The words “for every missing animal” are supplied in the translation for clarity; the following clause in Hebrew, “stolen by day or stolen by night,” probably means “stolen by wild beasts” and refers to the same animals “torn by wild beasts” in the previous clause, although it may refer to animals stolen by people. The translation used here, “missing,” is ambiguous enough to cover either eventuality.

177 tn Or “by drought.”

178 tn Heb “frost, ice,” though when contrasted with the חֹרֶב (khorev, “drought, parching heat”) of the day, “piercing cold” is more appropriate as a contrast.

179 tn Heb “and my sleep fled from my eyes.”

180 tn Heb “this to me.”

181 tn Heb “served you,” but in this accusatory context the meaning is more “worked like a slave.”

182 tn Heb “the fear of Isaac,” that is, the one whom Isaac feared and respected. For further discussion of this title see M. Malul, “More on pahad yitschaq (Gen. 31:42,53) and the Oath by the Thigh,” VT 35 (1985): 192-200.

183 tn Heb “My oppression and the work of my hands God saw.”

184 tn Heb “answered and said.”

185 tn Heb “daughters.”

186 tn Heb “children.”

187 tn Heb “but to my daughters what can I do to these today?”

188 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”

189 tn The verb הָיָה (hayah) followed by the preposition לְ (lÿ) means “become.”

190 tn Heb “and it will become a witness between me and you.”

191 tn Heb “Jacob”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

192 sn The Hebrew word for “pile” is גַּל (gal), which sounds like the name “Galeed” (גַּלְעֵד, galed). See v. 48.

193 sn Jegar Sahadutha. Laban the Aramean gave the place an Aramaic name which means “witness pile” or “the pile is a witness.”

194 sn Galeed also means “witness pile” or “the pile is a witness,” but this name is Canaanite or Western Semitic and closer to later Hebrew. Jacob, though certainly capable of speaking Aramaic, here prefers to use the western dialect.

195 tn Heb “a witness between me and you.”

196 tn Heb “and Mizpah.”

197 sn The name Mizpah (מִצְפָּה, mitspah), which means “watchpost,” sounds like the verb translated “may he watch” (יִצֶף, yitsef). Neither Laban nor Jacob felt safe with each other, and so they agreed to go their separate ways, trusting the Lord to keep watch at the border. Jacob did not need this treaty, but Laban, perhaps because he had lost his household gods, felt he did.

198 tn Heb “between me and you.”

199 tn Heb “for we will be hidden, each man from his neighbor.”

200 tn Heb “see.”

201 tn Heb “between me and you.”

202 tn Heb “and Laban said to Jacob, ‘Behold this heap and behold the pillar which I have set between men and you.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

203 tn Heb “This pile is a witness and the pillar is a witness, if I go past this pile to you and if you go past this pile and this pillar to me for harm.”

204 tn The God of Abraham and the god of Nahor. The Hebrew verb translated “judge” is plural, suggesting that Laban has more than one “god” in mind. The Samaritan Pentateuch and the LXX, apparently in an effort to make the statement monotheistic, have a singular verb. In this case one could translate, “May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” However, Laban had a polytheistic world view, as evidenced by his possession of household idols (cf. 31:19). The translation uses “God” when referring to Abraham’s God, for Genesis makes it clear that Abraham worshiped the one true God. It employs “god” when referring to Nahor’s god, for in the Hebrew text Laban refers to a different god here, probably one of the local deities.

205 tn Heb “by the fear of his father Isaac.” See the note on the word “fears” in v. 42.

206 tn The construction is a cognate accusative with the verb, expressing a specific sacrifice.

207 tn Heb “bread, food.” Presumably this was a type of peace offering, where the person bringing the offering ate the animal being sacrificed.

208 sn Beginning with 31:55, the verse numbers in the English Bible through 32:32 differ by one from the verse numbers in the Hebrew text (BHS), with 31:55 ET = 32:1 HT, 32:1 ET = 32:2 HT, etc., through 32:32 ET = 32:33 HT. From 33:1 the verse numbers in the ET and HT are again the same.

209 tn Heb “and Laban got up early in the morning and he kissed.”

210 tn Heb “his sons.”

211 tn Heb “to his place.”

212 sn The phrase angels of God occurs only here and in Gen 28:12 in the OT. Jacob saw a vision of angels just before he left the promised land. Now he encounters angels as he prepares to return to it. The text does not give the details of the encounter, but Jacob’s response suggests it was amicable. This location was a spot where heaven made contact with earth, and where God made his presence known to the patriarch. See C. Houtman, “Jacob at Mahanaim: Some Remarks on Genesis XXXII 2-3,” VT 28 (1978): 37-44.

213 tn Heb “and Jacob said when he saw them.”

214 sn The name Mahanaim apparently means “two camps.” Perhaps the two camps were those of God and of Jacob.

215 tn Heb “before him.”

216 tn Heb “field.”

217 sn Your servant. The narrative recounts Jacob’s groveling in fear before Esau as he calls his brother his “lord,” as if to minimize what had been done twenty years ago.

218 tn Or “I am sending.” The form is a preterite with the vav consecutive; it could be rendered as an English present tense – as the Hebrew perfect/preterite allows – much like an epistolary aorist in Greek. The form assumes the temporal perspective of the one who reads the message.

219 tn The words “this message” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

220 tn Heb “If Esau comes to one camp and attacks it.”

221 tn Heb “and he said, ‘If Esau comes to one camp and attacks it.” The Hebrew verb אָמַר (’amar) here represents Jacob’s thought or reasoning, and is therefore translated “he thought.” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

222 tn Heb “the surviving camp will be for escape.” The word “escape” is a feminine noun. The term most often refers to refugees from war.

223 tn Heb “said.”

224 tn Heb “the one who said.”

225 tn Heb “I will cause good” or “I will treat well [or “favorably”].” The idea includes more than prosperity, though that is its essential meaning. Here the form is subordinated to the preceding imperative and indicates purpose or result. Jacob is reminding God of his promise in the hope that God will honor his word.

226 tn Heb “the loving deeds and faithfulness” (see 24:27, 49).

227 tn Heb “you have done with.”

228 tn Heb “for with my staff.” The Hebrew word מַקֵל (maqel), traditionally translated “staff,” has been rendered as “walking stick” because a “staff” in contemporary English refers typically to the support personnel in an organization.

229 tn Heb “this Jordan.”

230 tn The imperative has the force of a prayer here, not a command.

231 tn The “hand” here is a metonymy for “power.”

232 tn Heb “from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau.”

233 tn Heb “for I am afraid of him, lest he come.”

234 sn Heb “me, [the] mother upon [the] sons.” The first person pronoun “me” probably means here “me and mine,” as the following clause suggests.

235 tn Heb “But you, you said.” One of the occurrences of the pronoun “you” has been left untranslated for stylistic reasons.

sn Some commentators have thought this final verse of the prayer redundant, but it actually follows the predominant form of a lament in which God is motivated to act. The primary motivation Jacob can offer to God is God’s promise, and so he falls back on that at the end of the prayer.

236 tn Or “will certainly deal well with you.” The infinitive absolute appears before the imperfect, underscoring God’s promise to bless. The statement is more emphatic than in v. 9.

237 tn The form is the perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive, carrying the nuance of the preceding verb forward.

238 tn Heb “which cannot be counted because of abundance.” The imperfect verbal form indicates potential here.

239 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

240 tn Heb “and he took from that which was going into his hand,” meaning that he took some of what belonged to him.

241 sn The Hebrew noun translated gift can in some contexts refer to the tribute paid by a subject to his lord. Such a nuance is possible here, because Jacob refers to Esau as his lord and to himself as Esau’s servant (v. 4).

242 tn Heb “and he put them in the hand of.”

243 tn Heb “a herd, a herd, by itself,” or “each herd by itself.” The distributive sense is expressed by repetition.

244 tn Heb “the first”; this has been specified as “the servant leading the first herd” in the translation for clarity.

245 tn Heb “to whom are you?”

246 tn Heb “and to whom are these before you?”

247 tn The form is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive; it has the nuance of an imperfect of instruction.

248 tn The words “they belong” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

249 tn Heb “to your servant, to Jacob.”

250 tn Heb “to my lord, to Esau.”

251 tn Heb “and look, also he [is] behind us.” The referent of the pronoun “he” (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

252 tn Heb “And he commanded also the second, also the third, also all the ones going after the herds, saying: ‘According to this word you will speak when you find him.’”

253 tn Heb “and look, your servant Jacob [is] behind us.”

254 tn Heb “for he said.” The referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity. The Hebrew word מַקֵל (maqel), traditionally represents Jacob’s thought or reasoning, and is therefore translated “thought.”

255 tn Heb “I will appease his face.” The cohortative here expresses Jacob’s resolve. In the Book of Leviticus the Hebrew verb translated “appease” has the idea of removing anger due to sin or guilt, a nuance that fits this passage very well. Jacob wanted to buy Esau off with a gift of more than five hundred and fifty animals.

256 tn Heb “with a gift going before me.”

257 tn Heb “I will see his face.”

258 tn Heb “Perhaps he will lift up my face.” In this context the idiom refers to acceptance.

259 tn Heb “and the gift passed over upon his face.”

260 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial/temporal.

261 tn Heb “and he arose in that night and he took.” The first verb is adverbial, indicating that he carried out the crossing right away.

262 tn The Hebrew term used here is יֶלֶד (yeled) which typically describes male offspring. Some translations render the term “children” but this is a problem because by this time Jacob had twelve children in all, including one daughter, Dinah, born to Leah (Gen 30:21). Benjamin, his twelfth son and thirteenth child, was not born until later (Gen 35:16-19).

263 sn Hebrew narrative style often includes a summary statement of the whole passage followed by a more detailed report of the event. Here v. 22 is the summary statement, while v. 23 begins the detailed account.

264 tn Heb “and he sent across what he had.”

265 sn Reflecting Jacob’s perspective at the beginning of the encounter, the narrator calls the opponent simply “a man.” Not until later in the struggle does Jacob realize his true identity.

266 sn The verb translated “wrestled” (וַיֵּאָבֵק, vayyeaveq) sounds in Hebrew like the names “Jacob” (יַעֲקֹב, yaaqov) and “Jabbok” (יַבֹּק, yabboq). In this way the narrator links the setting, the main action, and the main participant together in the mind of the reader or hearer.

267 tn Heb “until the rising of the dawn.”

268 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

269 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

270 tn Or “injured”; traditionally “touched.” The Hebrew verb translated “struck” has the primary meanings “to touch; to reach; to strike.” It can, however, carry the connotation “to harm; to molest; to injure.” God’s “touch” cripples Jacob – it would be comparable to a devastating blow.

271 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

272 tn Heb “dawn has arisen.”

273 tn Heb “and he said, ‘I will not let you go.’” The referent of the pronoun “he” (Jacob) has been specified for clarity, and the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

274 sn Jacob wrestled with a man thinking him to be a mere man, and on that basis was equal to the task. But when it had gone on long enough, the night visitor touched Jacob and crippled him. Jacob’s request for a blessing can only mean that he now knew that his opponent was supernatural. Contrary to many allegorical interpretations of the passage that make fighting equivalent to prayer, this passage shows that Jacob stopped fighting, and then asked for a blessing.

275 tn Heb “and he said to him.” The referent of the pronoun “he” (the man who wrestled with Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

276 sn What is your name? The question is rhetorical, since the Lord obviously knew Jacob’s identity. But since the Lord is going to change Jacob’s name, this question is designed to bring focus Jacob’s attention on all that his name had come to signify.

277 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent of the pronoun “he” (the man who wrestled with Jacob) has been specified for clarity, and the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

278 sn The name Israel is a common construction, using a verb with a theophoric element (אֵל, ’el) that usually indicates the subject of the verb. Here it means “God fights.” This name will replace the name Jacob; it will be both a promise and a call for faith. In essence, the Lord was saying that Jacob would have victory and receive the promises because God would fight for him.

279 sn You have fought. The explanation of the name Israel includes a sound play. In Hebrew the verb translated “you have fought” (שָׂרִיתָ, sarita) sounds like the name “Israel” (יִשְׂרָאֵל, yisrael ), meaning “God fights” (although some interpret the meaning as “he fights [with] God”). The name would evoke the memory of the fight and what it meant. A. Dillmann says that ever after this the name would tell the Israelites that, when Jacob contended successfully with God, he won the battle with man (Genesis, 2:279). To be successful with God meant that he had to be crippled in his own self-sufficiency (A. P. Ross, “Jacob at the Jabboq, Israel at Peniel,” BSac 142 [1985]: 51-62).

280 sn Tell me your name. In primitive thought to know the name of a deity or supernatural being would enable one to use it for magical manipulation or power (A. S. Herbert, Genesis 12-50 [TBC], 108). For a thorough structural analysis of the passage discussing the plays on the names and the request of Jacob, see R. Barthes, “The Struggle with the Angel: Textual Analysis of Genesis 32:23-33,” Structural Analysis and Biblical Exegesis (PTMS), 21-33.

281 tn The question uses the enclitic pronoun “this” to emphasize the import of the question.

282 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Why is it that you ask my name?’” The referent of the pronoun “he” (the man who wrestled with Jacob) has been specified for clarity, and the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

283 tn The verb here means that the Lord endowed Jacob with success; he would be successful in everything he did, including meeting Esau.

284 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

285 sn The name Peniel means “face of God.” Since Jacob saw God face to face here, the name is appropriate.

286 tn The word “explaining” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

287 tn Or “because.”

288 sn I have seen God face to face. See the note on the name “Peniel” earlier in the verse.

289 tn Heb “and my soul [= life] has been preserved.”

sn I have survived. It was commonly understood that no one could see God and live (Gen 48:16; Exod 19:21, 24:10; and Judg 6:11, 22). On the surface Jacob seems to be saying that he saw God and survived. But the statement may have a double meaning, in light of his prayer for deliverance in v. 11. Jacob recognizes that he has survived his encounter with God and that his safety has now been guaranteed.

290 tn Heb “shone.”

291 sn The name is spelled Penuel here, apparently a variant spelling of Peniel (see v. 30).

292 tn The disjunctive clause draws attention to an important fact: He may have crossed the stream, but he was limping.

293 sn On the use of the expression to this day, see B. S. Childs, “A Study of the Formula ‘Until This Day’,” JBL 82 (1963): 279-92.

294 tn Or “because the socket of Jacob’s hip was struck.” Some translations render this as an impersonal passive. On the translation of the word “struck” see the note on this term in v. 25.



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