Reading Plan 
Daily Bible Reading (daily) January 11
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Genesis 33:1--36:43

Context
Jacob Meets Esau

33:1 Jacob looked up 1  and saw that Esau was coming 2  along with four hundred men. So he divided the children among Leah, Rachel, and the two female servants. 33:2 He put the servants and their children in front, with Leah and her children behind them, and Rachel and Joseph behind them. 3  33:3 But Jacob 4  himself went on ahead of them, and he bowed toward the ground seven times as he approached 5  his brother. 33:4 But Esau ran to meet him, embraced him, hugged his neck, and kissed him. Then they both wept. 33:5 When Esau 6  looked up 7  and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?” Jacob 8  replied, “The children whom God has graciously given 9  your servant.” 33:6 The female servants came forward with their children and bowed down. 10  33:7 Then Leah came forward with her children and they bowed down. Finally Joseph and Rachel came forward and bowed down.

33:8 Esau 11  then asked, “What did you intend 12  by sending all these herds to meet me?” 13  Jacob 14  replied, “To find favor in your sight, my lord.” 33:9 But Esau said, “I have plenty, my brother. Keep what belongs to you.” 33:10 “No, please take them,” Jacob said. 15  “If I have found favor in your sight, accept 16  my gift from my hand. Now that I have seen your face and you have accepted me, 17  it is as if I have seen the face of God. 18  33:11 Please take my present 19  that was brought to you, for God has been generous 20  to me and I have all I need.” 21  When Jacob urged him, he took it. 22 

33:12 Then Esau 23  said, “Let’s be on our way! 24  I will go in front of you.” 33:13 But Jacob 25  said to him, “My lord knows that the children are young, 26  and that I have to look after the sheep and cattle that are nursing their young. 27  If they are driven too hard for even a single day, all the animals will die. 33:14 Let my lord go on ahead of his servant. I will travel more slowly, at the pace of the herds and the children, 28  until I come to my lord at Seir.”

33:15 So Esau said, “Let me leave some of my men with you.” 29  “Why do that?” Jacob replied. 30  “My lord has already been kind enough to me.” 31 

33:16 So that same day Esau made his way back 32  to Seir. 33:17 But 33  Jacob traveled to Succoth 34  where he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was called 35  Succoth. 36 

33:18 After he left Paddan Aram, Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped near 37  the city. 33:19 Then he purchased the portion of the field where he had pitched his tent; he bought it 38  from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of money. 39  33:20 There he set up an altar and called it “The God of Israel is God.” 40 

Dinah and the Shechemites

34:1 Now Dinah, Leah’s daughter whom she bore to Jacob, went to meet 41  the young women 42  of the land. 34:2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, who ruled that area, saw her, he grabbed her, forced himself on her, 43  and sexually assaulted her. 44  34:3 Then he became very attached 45  to Dinah, Jacob’s daughter. He fell in love with the young woman and spoke romantically to her. 46  34:4 Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Acquire this young girl as my wife.” 47  34:5 When 48  Jacob heard that Shechem 49  had violated his daughter Dinah, his sons were with the livestock in the field. So Jacob remained silent 50  until they came in.

34:6 Then Shechem’s father Hamor went to speak with Jacob about Dinah. 51  34:7 Now Jacob’s sons had come in from the field when they heard the news. 52  They 53  were offended 54  and very angry because Shechem 55  had disgraced Israel 56  by sexually assaulting 57  Jacob’s daughter, a crime that should not be committed. 58 

34:8 But Hamor made this appeal to them: “My son Shechem is in love with your daughter. 59  Please give her to him as his wife. 34:9 Intermarry with us. 60  Let us marry your daughters, and take our daughters as wives for yourselves. 61  34:10 You may live 62  among us, and the land will be open to you. 63  Live in it, travel freely in it, 64  and acquire property in it.”

34:11 Then Shechem said to Dinah’s 65  father and brothers, “Let me find favor in your sight, and whatever you require of me 66  I’ll give. 67  34:12 You can make the bride price and the gift I must bring very expensive, 68  and I’ll give 69  whatever you ask 70  of me. Just give me the young woman as my wife!”

34:13 Jacob’s sons answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully when they spoke because Shechem 71  had violated their sister Dinah. 34:14 They said to them, “We cannot give 72  our sister to a man who is not circumcised, for it would be a disgrace 73  to us. 34:15 We will give you our consent on this one condition: You must become 74  like us by circumcising 75  all your males. 34:16 Then we will give 76  you our daughters to marry, 77  and we will take your daughters as wives for ourselves, and we will live among you and become one people. 34:17 But if you do not agree to our terms 78  by being circumcised, then we will take 79  our sister 80  and depart.”

34:18 Their offer pleased Hamor and his son Shechem. 81  34:19 The young man did not delay in doing what they asked 82  because he wanted Jacob’s daughter Dinah 83  badly. (Now he was more important 84  than anyone in his father’s household.) 85  34:20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate 86  of their city and spoke to the men of their city, 34:21 “These men are at peace with us. So let them live in the land and travel freely in it, for the land is wide enough 87  for them. We will take their daughters for wives, and we will give them our daughters to marry. 88  34:22 Only on this one condition will these men consent to live with us and become one people: They demand 89  that every male among us be circumcised just as they are circumcised. 34:23 If we do so, 90  won’t their livestock, their property, and all their animals become ours? So let’s consent to their demand, so they will live among us.”

34:24 All the men who assembled at the city gate 91  agreed with 92  Hamor and his son Shechem. Every male who assembled at the city gate 93  was circumcised. 34:25 In three days, when they were still in pain, two of Jacob’s sons, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, each took his sword 94  and went to the unsuspecting city 95  and slaughtered every male. 34:26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword, took Dinah from Shechem’s house, and left. 34:27 Jacob’s sons killed them 96  and looted the city because their sister had been violated. 97  34:28 They took their flocks, herds, and donkeys, as well as everything in the city and in the surrounding fields. 98  34:29 They captured as plunder 99  all their wealth, all their little ones, and their wives, including everything in the houses.

34:30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought ruin 100  on me by making me a foul odor 101  among the inhabitants of the land – among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I 102  am few in number; they will join forces against me and attack me, and both I and my family will be destroyed!” 34:31 But Simeon and Levi replied, 103  “Should he treat our sister like a common prostitute?”

The Return to Bethel

35:1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up at once 104  to Bethel 105  and live there. Make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 106  35:2 So Jacob told his household and all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have among you. 107  Purify yourselves and change your clothes. 108  35:3 Let us go up at once 109  to Bethel. Then I will make 110  an altar there to God, who responded to me in my time of distress 111  and has been with me wherever I went.” 112 

35:4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods that were in their possession 113  and the rings that were in their ears. 114  Jacob buried them 115  under the oak 116  near Shechem 35:5 and they started on their journey. 117  The surrounding cities were afraid of God, 118  and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.

35:6 Jacob and all those who were with him arrived at Luz (that is, Bethel) 119  in the land of Canaan. 120  35:7 He built an altar there and named the place El Bethel 121  because there God had revealed himself 122  to him when he was fleeing from his brother. 35:8 (Deborah, 123  Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak below Bethel; thus it was named 124  Oak of Weeping.) 125 

35:9 God appeared to Jacob again after he returned from Paddan Aram and blessed him. 35:10 God said to him, “Your name is Jacob, but your name will no longer be called Jacob; Israel will be your name.” So God named him Israel. 126  35:11 Then God said to him, “I am the sovereign God. 127  Be fruitful and multiply! A nation – even a company of nations – will descend from you; kings will be among your descendants! 128  35:12 The land I gave 129  to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you. To your descendants 130  I will also give this land.” 35:13 Then God went up from the place 131  where he spoke with him. 35:14 So Jacob set up a sacred stone pillar in the place where God spoke with him. 132  He poured out a drink offering on it, and then he poured oil on it. 133  35:15 Jacob named the place 134  where God spoke with him Bethel. 135 

35:16 They traveled on from Bethel, and when Ephrath was still some distance away, 136  Rachel went into labor 137  – and her labor was hard. 35:17 When her labor was at its hardest, 138  the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for you are having another son.” 139  35:18 With her dying breath, 140  she named him Ben-Oni. 141  But his father called him Benjamin instead. 142  35:19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 143  35:20 Jacob set up a marker 144  over her grave; it is 145  the Marker of Rachel’s Grave to this day.

35:21 Then Israel traveled on and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. 146  35:22 While Israel was living in that land, Reuben had sexual relations with 147  Bilhah, his father’s concubine, and Israel heard about it.

Jacob had twelve sons:

35:23 The sons of Leah were Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, as well as Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun.

35:24 The sons of Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.

35:25 The sons of Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, were Dan and Naphtali.

35:26 The sons of Zilpah, Leah’s servant, were Gad and Asher.

These were the sons of Jacob who were born to him in Paddan Aram.

35:27 So Jacob came back to his father Isaac in Mamre, 148  to Kiriath Arba 149  (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 150  35:28 Isaac lived to be 180 years old. 151  35:29 Then Isaac breathed his last and joined his ancestors. 152  He died an old man who had lived a full life. 153  His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

The Descendants of Esau

36:1 What follows is the account of Esau (also known as Edom). 154 

36:2 Esau took his wives from the Canaanites: 155  Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah and granddaughter 156  of Zibeon the Hivite, 36:3 in addition to Basemath the daughter of Ishmael and sister of Nebaioth.

36:4 Adah bore Eliphaz to Esau, Basemath bore Reuel, 36:5 and Oholibamah bore Jeush, Jalam, and Korah. These were the sons of Esau who were born to him in the land of Canaan.

36:6 Esau took his wives, his sons, his daughters, all the people in his household, his livestock, his animals, and all his possessions which he had acquired in the land of Canaan and went to a land some distance away from 157  Jacob his brother 36:7 because they had too many possessions to be able to stay together and the land where they had settled 158  was not able to support them because of their livestock. 36:8 So Esau (also known as Edom) lived in the hill country of Seir. 159 

36:9 This is the account of Esau, the father 160  of the Edomites, in the hill country of Seir.

36:10 These were the names of Esau’s sons:

Eliphaz, the son of Esau’s wife Adah, and Reuel, the son of Esau’s wife Basemath.

36:11 The sons of Eliphaz were:

Teman, Omar, Zepho, Gatam, and Kenaz.

36:12 Timna, a concubine of Esau’s son Eliphaz, bore Amalek to Eliphaz. These were the sons 161  of Esau’s wife Adah.

36:13 These were the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These were the sons 162  of Esau’s wife Basemath.

36:14 These were the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah the daughter of Anah and granddaughter 163  of Zibeon: She bore Jeush, Jalam, and Korah to Esau.

36:15 These were the chiefs 164  among the descendants 165  of Esau, the sons of Eliphaz, Esau’s firstborn: chief Teman, chief Omar, chief Zepho, chief Kenaz, 36:16 chief Korah, 166  chief Gatam, chief Amalek. These were the chiefs descended from Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons 167  of Adah.

36:17 These were the sons of Esau’s son Reuel: chief Nahath, chief Zerah, chief Shammah, chief Mizzah. These were the chiefs descended from Reuel in the land of Edom; these were the sons 168  of Esau’s wife Basemath.

36:18 These were the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah: chief Jeush, chief Jalam, chief Korah. These were the chiefs descended from Esau’s wife Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah.

36:19 These were the sons of Esau (also known as Edom), and these were their chiefs.

36:20 These were the sons of Seir the Horite, 169  who were living in the land: Lotan, Shobal, Zibeon, Anah, 36:21 Dishon, Ezer, and Dishan. These were the chiefs of the Horites, the descendants 170  of Seir in the land of Edom.

36:22 The sons of Lotan were Hori and Homam; 171  Lotan’s sister was Timna.

36:23 These were the sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, 172  and Onam.

36:24 These were the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah (who discovered the hot springs 173  in the wilderness as he pastured the donkeys of his father Zibeon).

36:25 These were the children 174  of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah.

36:26 These were the sons of Dishon: 175  Hemdan, Eshban, Ithran, and Keran.

36:27 These were the sons of Ezer: Bilhan, Zaavan, and Akan.

36:28 These were the sons of Dishan: Uz and Aran.

36:29 These were the chiefs of the Horites: chief Lotan, chief Shobal, chief Zibeon, chief Anah, 36:30 chief Dishon, chief Ezer, chief Dishan. These were the chiefs of the Horites, according to their chief lists in the land of Seir.

36:31 These were the kings who reigned in the land of Edom before any king ruled over the Israelites: 176 

36:32 Bela the son of Beor reigned in Edom; the name of his city was Dinhabah.

36:33 When Bela died, Jobab the son of Zerah from Bozrah reigned in his place.

36:34 When Jobab died, Husham from the land of the Temanites reigned in his place.

36:35 When Husham died, Hadad the son of Bedad, who defeated the Midianites in the land of Moab, reigned in his place; the name of his city was Avith.

36:36 When Hadad died, Samlah from Masrekah reigned in his place.

36:37 When Samlah died, Shaul from Rehoboth by the River 177  reigned in his place.

36:38 When Shaul died, Baal-Hanan the son of Achbor reigned in his place.

36:39 When Baal-Hanan the son of Achbor died, Hadad 178  reigned in his place; the name of his city was Pau. 179  His wife’s name was Mehetabel, the daughter of Matred, the daughter of Me-Zahab.

36:40 These were the names of the chiefs of Esau, according to their families, according to their places, by their names: chief Timna, chief Alvah, chief Jetheth, 36:41 chief Oholibamah, chief Elah, chief Pinon, 36:42 chief Kenaz, chief Teman, chief Mibzar, 36:43 chief Magdiel, chief Iram. These were the chiefs of Edom, according to their settlements 180  in the land they possessed. This was Esau, the father of the Edomites.

1 tn Heb “and Jacob lifted up his eyes.”

2 tn Or “and look, Esau was coming.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the reader to view the scene through Jacob’s eyes.

3 sn This kind of ranking according to favoritism no doubt fed the jealousy over Joseph that later becomes an important element in the narrative. It must have been painful to the family to see that they were expendable.

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

5 tn Heb “until his drawing near unto his brother.” The construction uses the preposition with the infinitive construct to express a temporal clause.

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

7 tn Heb “lifted up his eyes.”

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

9 tn The Hebrew verb means “to be gracious; to show favor”; here it carries the nuance “to give graciously.”

10 tn Heb “and the female servants drew near, they and their children and they bowed down.”

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

12 tn Heb “Who to you?”

13 tn Heb “all this camp which I met.”

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

15 tn Heb “and Jacob said, ‘No, please.’” The words “take them” have been supplied in the translation for clarity, and the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse rearranged for stylistic reasons.

16 tn The form is the perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive, expressing a contingent future nuance in the “then” section of the conditional sentence.

17 tn The verbal form is the preterite with a vav (ו) consecutive, indicating result here.

18 tn Heb “for therefore I have seen your face like seeing the face of God and you have accepted me.”

sn This is an allusion to the preceding episode (32:22-31) in which Jacob saw the face of God and realized his prayer was answered.

19 tn Heb “blessing.” It is as if Jacob is trying to repay what he stole from his brother twenty years earlier.

20 tn Or “gracious,” but in the specific sense of prosperity.

21 tn Heb “all.”

22 tn Heb “and he urged him and he took.” The referent of the first pronoun in the sequence (“he”) has been specified as “Jacob” in the translation for clarity.

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

24 tn Heb “let us travel and let us go.” The two cohortatives are used in combination with the sense, “let’s travel along, get going, be on our way.”

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

26 tn Heb “weak.”

27 tn Heb “and the sheep and the cattle nursing [are] upon me.”

28 tn Heb “and I, I will move along according to my leisure at the foot of the property which is before me and at the foot of the children.”

29 tn The cohortative verbal form here indicates a polite offer of help.

30 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Why this?’” 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.

31 tn Heb “I am finding favor in the eyes of my lord.”

32 tn Heb “returned on his way.”

33 tn The disjunctive clause contrasts Jacob’s action with Esau’s.

34 sn But Jacob traveled to Succoth. There are several reasons why Jacob chose not to go to Mt. Seir after Esau. First, as he said, his herds and children probably could not keep up with the warriors. Second, he probably did not fully trust his brother. The current friendliness could change, and he could lose everything. And third, God did tell him to return to his land, not Seir. But Jacob is still not able to deal truthfully, probably because of fear of Esau.

35 tn Heb “why he called.” One could understand “Jacob” as the subject of the verb, but it is more likely that the subject is indefinite, in which case the verb is better translated as passive.

36 sn The name Succoth means “shelters,” an appropriate name in light of the shelters Jacob built there for his livestock.

37 tn Heb “in front of.”

38 tn The words “he bought it” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text v. 19 is one long sentence.

39 tn The Hebrew word קְשִׂיטָה (qÿsitah) is generally understood to refer to a unit of money, but the value is unknown. (However, cf. REB, which renders the term as “sheep”).

40 tn Heb “God, the God of Israel.” Rather than translating the name, a number of modern translations merely transliterate it from the Hebrew as “El Elohe Israel” (cf. NIV, NRSV, REB). It is not entirely clear how the name should be interpreted grammatically. One option is to supply an equative verb, as in the translation: “The God of Israel [is] God.” Another interpretive option is “the God of Israel [is] strong [or “mighty”].” Buying the land and settling down for a while was a momentous step for the patriarch, so the commemorative naming of the altar is significant.

41 tn Heb “went out to see.” The verb “to see,” followed by the preposition בְּ (bÿ), here has the idea of “look over.” The young girl wanted to meet these women and see what they were like.

42 tn Heb “daughters.”

43 tn Heb “and he took her and lay with her.” The suffixed form following the verb appears to be the sign of the accusative instead of the preposition, but see BDB 1012 s.v. שָׁכַב.

44 tn The verb עָנָה (’anah) in the Piel stem can have various shades of meaning, depending on the context: “to defile; to mistreat; to violate; to rape; to shame; to afflict.” Here it means that Shechem violated or humiliated Dinah by raping her.

45 tn Heb “his soul stuck to [or “joined with”],” meaning Shechem became very attached to Dinah emotionally.

46 tn Heb “and he spoke to the heart of the young woman,” which apparently refers in this context to tender, romantic speech (Hos 2:14). Another option is to translate the expression “he reassured the young woman” (see Judg 19:3, 2 Sam 19:7; cf. NEB “comforted her”).

47 tn Heb “Take for me this young woman for a wife.”

48 tn The two disjunctive clauses in this verse (“Now Jacob heard…and his sons were”) are juxtaposed to indicate synchronic action.

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

50 sn The expected response would be anger or rage; but Jacob remained silent. He appears too indifferent or confused to act decisively. When the leader does not act decisively, the younger zealots will, and often with disastrous results.

51 tn Heb “went out to Jacob to speak with him.” The words “about Dinah” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.

52 tn Heb “when they heard.” The words “the news” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

53 tn Heb “the men.” This sounds as if a new group has been introduced into the narrative, so it has been translated as “they” to indicate that it refers to Jacob’s sons, mentioned in the first part of the verse.

54 tn The Hebrew verb עָצַב (’atsav) can carry one of three semantic nuances depending on the context: (1) “to be injured” (Ps 56:5; Eccl 10:9; 1 Chr 4:10); (2) “to experience emotional pain; to be depressed emotionally; to be worried” (2 Sam 19:2; Isa 54:6; Neh 8:10-11); (3) “to be embarrassed; to be insulted; to be offended” (to the point of anger at another or oneself; Gen 6:6; 45:5; 1 Sam 20:3, 34; 1 Kgs 1:6; Isa 63:10; Ps 78:40). This third category develops from the second by metonymy. In certain contexts emotional pain leads to embarrassment and/or anger. In this last use the subject sometimes directs his anger against the source of grief (see especially Gen 6:6). The third category fits best in Gen 34:7 because Jacob’s sons were not merely wounded emotionally. On the contrary, Shechem’s action prompted them to strike out in judgment against the source of their distress.

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

56 tn Heb “a disgraceful thing he did against Israel.”

57 tn Heb “by lying with the daughter of Jacob.” The infinitive here explains the preceding verb, indicating exactly how he had disgraced Jacob. The expression “to lie with” is a euphemism for sexual relations, or in this case, sexual assault.

58 tn Heb “and so it should not be done.” The negated imperfect has an obligatory nuance here, but there is also a generalizing tone. The narrator emphasizes that this particular type of crime (sexual assault) is especially reprehensible.

59 tn Heb “Shechem my son, his soul is attached to your daughter.” The verb means “to love” in the sense of being emotionally attached to or drawn to someone. This is a slightly different way of saying what was reported earlier (v. 3). However, there is no mention here of the offense. Even though Hamor is speaking to Dinah’s brothers, he refers to her as their daughter (see v. 17).

60 tn Heb “form marriage alliances with us.”

sn Intermarry with us. This includes the idea of becoming allied by marriage. The incident foreshadows the temptations Israel would eventually face when they entered the promised land (see Deut 7:3; Josh 23:12).

61 tn Heb “Give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves.” In the translation the words “let…marry” and “as wives” are supplied for clarity.

62 tn The imperfect verbal form has a permissive nuance here.

63 tn Heb “before you.”

64 tn The verb seems to carry the basic meaning “travel about freely,” although the substantival participial form refers to a trader (see E. A. Speiser, “The Verb sh£r in Genesis and Early Hebrew Movements,” BASOR 164 [1961]: 23-28); cf. NIV, NRSV “trade in it.”

65 tn Heb “her”; the referent (Dinah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

66 tn Heb “whatever you say.”

67 tn Or “pay.”

68 tn Heb “Make very great upon me the bride price and gift.” The imperatives are used in a rhetorical manner. Shechem’s point is that he will pay the price, no matter how expensive it might be.

69 tn The cohortative expresses Shechem’s resolve to have Dinah as his wife.

70 tn Heb “say.”

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

72 tn Heb “we are not able to do this thing, to give.” The second infinitive is in apposition to the first, explaining what they are not able to do.

73 tn The Hebrew word translated “disgrace” usually means “ridicule; taunt; reproach.” It can also refer to the reason the condition of shame or disgrace causes ridicule or a reproach.

74 tn Heb “if you are like us.”

75 tn The infinitive here explains how they would become like them.

76 tn The perfect verbal form with the vav (ו) consecutive introduces the apodosis of the conditional sentence.

77 tn The words “to marry” (and the words “as wives” in the following clause) are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.

78 tn Heb “listen to us.”

79 tn The perfect verbal form with the vav (ו) consecutive introduces the apodosis of the conditional sentence.

80 tn Heb “daughter.” Jacob’s sons call Dinah their daughter, even though she was their sister (see v. 8). This has been translated as “sister” for clarity.

81 tn Heb “and their words were good in the eyes of Hamor and in the eyes of Shechem son of Hamor.”

82 tn Heb “doing the thing.”

83 tn Heb “Jacob’s daughter.” The proper name “Dinah” is supplied in the translation for clarity.

84 tn The Hebrew verb כָּבֵד (kaved), translated “was…important,” has the primary meaning “to be heavy,” but here carries a secondary sense of “to be important” (that is, “heavy” in honor or respect).

85 tn The parenthetical disjunctive clause explains why the community would respond to him (see vv. 20-24).

86 sn The gate. In an ancient Near Eastern city the gate complex was the location for conducting important public business.

87 tn Heb “wide on both hands,” that is, in both directions.

88 tn The words “to marry” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.

89 tn Heb “when every one of our males is circumcised.”

90 tn The words “If we do so” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

91 tn Heb “all those going out the gate of his city.”

92 tn Heb “listened to.”

93 tn Heb “all those going out the gate of his city.”

94 tn Heb “a man his sword.”

95 tn Heb “and they came upon the city, [which was] secure.” In this case “secure” means the city was caught unprepared and at peace, not expecting an attack.

96 tn Heb “came upon the slain.” Because of this statement the preceding phrase “Jacob’s sons” is frequently taken to mean the other sons of Jacob besides Simeon and Levi, but the text does not clearly affirm this.

97 tn Heb “because they violated their sister.” The plural verb is active in form, but with no expressed subject, it may be translated passive.

98 tn Heb “and what was in the city and what was in the field they took.”

99 tn Heb “they took captive and they plundered,” that is, “they captured as plunder.”

100 tn The traditional translation is “troubled me” (KJV, ASV), but the verb refers to personal or national disaster and suggests complete ruin (see Josh 7:25, Judg 11:35, Prov 11:17). The remainder of the verse describes the “trouble” Simeon and Levi had caused.

101 tn In the causative stem the Hebrew verb בָּאַשׁ (baash) means “to cause to stink, to have a foul smell.” In the contexts in which it is used it describes foul smells, stenches, or things that are odious. Jacob senses that the people in the land will find this act terribly repulsive. See P. R. Ackroyd, “The Hebrew Root באשׁ,” JTS 2 (1951): 31-36.

102 tn Jacob speaks in the first person as the head and representative of the entire family.

103 tn Heb “but they said.” The referent of “they” (Simeon and Levi) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

104 tn Heb “arise, go up.” The first imperative gives the command a sense of urgency.

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

106 sn God is calling on Jacob to fulfill his vow he made when he fled from…Esau (see Gen 28:20-22).

107 tn Heb “which are in your midst.”

108 sn The actions of removing false gods, becoming ritually clean, and changing garments would become necessary steps in Israel when approaching the Lord in worship.

109 tn Heb “let us arise and let us go up.” The first cohortative gives the statement a sense of urgency.

110 tn The cohortative with the prefixed conjunction here indicates purpose or consequence.

111 tn Heb “day of distress.” See Ps 20:1 which utilizes similar language.

112 tn Heb “in the way in which I went.” Jacob alludes here to God’s promise to be with him (see Gen 28:20).

113 tn Heb “in their hand.”

114 sn On the basis of a comparison with Gen 34 and Num 31, G. J. Wenham argues that the foreign gods and the rings could have been part of the plunder that came from the destruction of Shechem (Genesis [WBC], 2:324).

115 sn Jacob buried them. On the burial of the gods, see E. Nielson, “The Burial of the Foreign Gods,” ST 8 (1954/55): 102-22.

116 tn Or “terebinth.”

117 tn Heb “and they journeyed.”

118 tn Heb “and the fear of God was upon the cities which were round about them.” The expression “fear of God” apparently refers (1) to a fear of God (objective genitive; God is the object of their fear). (2) But it could mean “fear from God,” that is, fear which God placed in them (cf. NRSV “a terror from God”). Another option (3) is that the divine name is used as a superlative here, referring to “tremendous fear” (cf. NEB “were panic-stricken”; NASB “a great terror”).

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

120 tn Heb “and Jacob came to Luz which is in the land of Canaan – it is Bethel – he and all the people who were with him.”

121 sn The name El-Bethel means “God of Bethel.”

122 tn Heb “revealed themselves.” The verb נִגְלוּ (niglu), translated “revealed himself,” is plural, even though one expects the singular form with the plural of majesty. Perhaps אֱלֹהִים (’elohim) is here a numerical plural, referring both to God and the angelic beings that appeared to Jacob. See the note on the word “know” in Gen 3:5.

123 sn Deborah. This woman had been Rebekah’s nurse, but later attached herself to Jacob. She must have been about one hundred and eighty years old when she died.

124 tn “and he called its name.” There is no expressed subject, so the verb can be translated as passive.

125 tn Or “Allon Bacuth,” if one transliterates the Hebrew name (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV). An oak tree was revered in the ancient world and often designated as a shrine or landmark. This one was named for the weeping (mourning) occasioned by the death of Deborah.

126 tn Heb “and he called his name Israel.” The referent of the pronoun “he” (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn The name Israel means “God fights” (although some interpret the meaning as “he fights [with] God”). See Gen 32:28.

127 tn The name אֵל שַׁדַּי (’el shadday, “El Shaddai”) has often been translated “God Almighty,” primarily because Jerome translated it omnipotens (“all powerful”) in the Latin Vulgate. There has been much debate over the meaning of the name. For discussion see W. F. Albright, “The Names Shaddai and Abram,” JBL 54 (1935): 173-210; R. Gordis, “The Biblical Root sdy-sd,” JTS 41 (1940): 34-43; and especially T. N. D. Mettinger, In Search of God, 69-72. Shaddai/El Shaddai is the sovereign king of the world who grants, blesses, and judges. In the Book of Genesis he blesses the patriarchs with fertility and promises numerous descendants. Outside Genesis he both blesses/protects and takes away life/happiness. The patriarchs knew God primarily as El Shaddai (Exod 6:3). While the origin and meaning of this name are uncertain its significance is clear. The name is used in contexts where God appears as the source of fertility and life. For a fuller discussion see the note on “sovereign God” in Gen 17:1.

128 tn Heb “A nation and a company of nations will be from you and kings from your loins will come out.”

sn A nation…will descend from you. The promise is rooted in the Abrahamic promise (see Gen 17). God confirms what Isaac told Jacob (see Gen 28:3-4). Here, though, for the first time Jacob is promised kings as descendants.

129 tn The Hebrew verb translated “gave” refers to the Abrahamic promise of the land. However, the actual possession of that land lay in the future. The decree of the Lord made it certain; but it has the sense “promised to give.”

130 tn Heb “and to your offspring after you.”

131 tn Heb “went up from upon him in the place.”

132 tn Heb “and Jacob set up a sacred pillar in the place where he spoke with him, a sacred pillar of stone” (see the notes on the term “sacred stone” in Gen 28:18). This passage stands parallel to Gen 28:18-19, where Jacob set up a sacred stone, poured oil on it, and called the place Bethel. Some commentators see these as two traditions referring to the same event, but it is more likely that Jacob reconsecrated the place in fulfillment of the vow he had made here earlier. In support of this is the fact that the present narrative alludes to and is built on the previous one.

133 tn The verb נָסַךְ (nasakh) means “to pour out, to make libations,” and the noun נֶסֶךְ (nesekh) is a “drink-offering,” usually of wine or of blood. The verb יָצַק (yatsaq) means “to pour out,” often of anointing oil, but of other elements as well.

134 sn Called the name of the place. In view of the previous naming of Bethel in Gen 28:19, here Jacob was confirming or affirming the name through an official ritual marking the fulfillment of the vow. This place now did become Bethel, the house of God.

135 tn The name Bethel means “house of God” in Hebrew.

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

136 tn Heb “and there was still a stretch of the land to go to Ephrath.”

137 tn Normally the verb would be translated “she gave birth,” but because that obviously had not happened yet, it is better to translate the verb as ingressive, “began to give birth” (cf. NIV) or “went into labor.”

138 tn The construction uses a Hiphil infinitive, which E. A. Speiser classifies as an elative Hiphil. The contrast is with the previous Piel: there “she had hard labor,” and here, “her labor was at its hardest.” Failure to see this, Speiser notes, has led to redundant translations and misunderstandings (Genesis [AB], 273).

139 sn Another son. The episode recalls and fulfills the prayer of Rachel at the birth of Joseph (Gen 30:24): “may he add” another son.

140 tn Heb “in the going out of her life, for she was dying.” Rachel named the child with her dying breath.

141 sn The name Ben-Oni means “son of my suffering.” It is ironic that Rachel’s words to Jacob in Gen 30:1, “Give me children or I’ll die,” take a different turn here, for it was having the child that brought about her death.

142 tn The disjunctive clause is contrastive.

sn His father called him Benjamin. There was a preference for giving children good or positive names in the ancient world, and “son of my suffering” would not do (see the incident in 1 Chr 4:9-10), because it would be a reminder of the death of Rachel (in this connection, see also D. Daube, “The Night of Death,” HTR 61 [1968]: 629-32). So Jacob named him Benjamin, which means “son of the [or “my”] right hand.” The name Benjamin appears in the Mari texts. There have been attempts to connect this name to the resident tribe listed at Mari, “sons of the south” (since the term “right hand” can also mean “south” in Hebrew), but this assumes a different reading of the story. See J. Muilenburg, “The Birth of Benjamin,” JBL 75 (1956): 194-201.

143 sn This explanatory note links the earlier name Ephrath with the later name Bethlehem.

map For location see Map5 B1; Map7 E2; Map8 E2; Map10 B4.

144 tn Heb “standing stone.”

145 tn Or perhaps “it is known as” (cf. NEB).

146 sn The location of Migdal Eder is not given. It appears to be somewhere between Bethlehem and Hebron. Various traditions have identified it as at the shepherds’ fields near Bethlehem (the Hebrew name Migdal Eder means “tower of the flock”; see Mic 4:8) or located it near Solomon’s pools.

147 tn Heb “and Reuben went and lay with.” The expression “lay with” is a euphemism for having sexual intercourse.

sn Reuben’s act of having sexual relations with Bilhah probably had other purposes than merely satisfying his sexual desire. By having sex with Bilhah, Reuben (Leah’s oldest son) would have prevented Bilhah from succeeding Rachel as the favorite wife, and by sleeping with his father’s concubine he would also be attempting to take over leadership of the clan – something Absalom foolishly attempted later on in Israel’s history (2 Sam 16:21-22).

148 tn This is an adverbial accusative of location.

149 tn The name “Kiriath Arba” is in apposition to the preceding name, “Mamre.”

150 tn The Hebrew verb גּוּר (gur), traditionally rendered “to sojourn,” refers to temporary settlement without ownership rights.

151 tn Heb “And the days of Isaac were one hundred and eighty years.”

152 tn Heb “and Isaac expired and died and he was gathered to his people.” In the ancient Israelite view he joined his deceased ancestors in Sheol, the land of the dead.

153 tn Heb “old and full of years.”

154 sn Chapter 36 records what became of Esau. It will list both his actual descendants as well as the people he subsumed under his tribal leadership, people who were aboriginal Edomites. The chapter is long and complicated (see further J. R. Bartlett, “The Edomite King-List of Genesis 36:31-39 and 1 Chronicles 1:43-50,” JTS 16 [1965]: 301-14; and W. J. Horowitz, “Were There Twelve Horite Tribes?” CBQ 35 [1973]: 69-71). In the format of the Book of Genesis, the line of Esau is “tidied up” before the account of Jacob is traced (37:2). As such the arrangement makes a strong contrast with Jacob. As F. Delitzsch says, “secular greatness in general grows up far more rapidly than spiritual greatness” (New Commentary on Genesis, 2:238). In other words, the progress of the world far out distances the progress of the righteous who are waiting for the promise.

155 tn Heb “from the daughters of Canaan.”

156 tn Heb “daughter,” but see Gen 36:24-25.

157 tn Heb “from before.”

158 tn Heb “land of their settlements.”

159 tn Traditionally “Mount Seir,” but in this case the expression בְּהַר שֵׂעִיר (bÿhar seir) refers to the hill country or highlands of Seir.

160 sn The term father in genealogical records needs to be carefully defined. It can refer to a literal father, a grandfather, a political overlord, or a founder.

161 tn Or “grandsons” (NIV); “descendants” (NEB).

162 tn Or “grandsons” (NIV); “descendants” (NEB).

163 tn Heb “daughter,” but see Gen 36:24-25.

164 tn Or “clan leaders” (so also throughout this chapter).

165 tn Or “sons.”

166 tc The Samaritan Pentateuch omits the name “Korah” (see v. 11 and 1 Chr 1:36).

167 tn Or “grandsons” (NIV); “descendants” (NEB).

168 tn Or “grandsons” (NIV); “descendants” (NEB).

169 sn The same pattern of sons, grandsons, and chiefs is now listed for Seir the Horite. “Seir” is both the name of the place and the name of the ancestor of these tribes. The name “Horite” is probably not to be identified with “Hurrian.” The clan of Esau settled in this area, intermarried with these Horites and eventually dispossessed them, so that they all became known as Edomites (Deut 2:12 telescopes the whole development).

170 tn Or “sons.”

171 tn Heb “Hemam”; this is probably a variant spelling of “Homam” (1 Chr 1:39); cf. NRSV, NLT “Heman.”

172 tn This name is given as “Shephi” in 1 Chr 1:40.

173 tn The meaning of this Hebrew term is uncertain; Syriac reads “water” and Vulgate reads “hot water.”

174 tn Heb “sons,” but since a daughter is included in the list, the word must be translated “children.”

175 tn Heb “Dishan,” but this must be either a scribal error or variant spelling, since “Dishan” is mentioned in v. 28 (see also v. 21).

176 tn Or perhaps “before any Israelite king ruled over [them].”

177 tn Typically the Hebrew expression “the River” refers to the Euphrates River, but it is not certain whether that is the case here. Among the modern English versions which take this as a reference to the Euphrates are NASB, NCV, NRSV, CEV, NLT. Cf. NAB, TEV “Rehoboth-on-the-River.”

178 tc Most mss of the MT read “Hadar” here; “Hadad” is the reading found in some Hebrew mss, the Samaritan Pentateuch, and Syriac (cf. also 1 Chr 1:50).

179 tn The name of the city is given as “Pai” in 1 Chr 1:50.

180 tn Or perhaps “territories”; Heb “dwelling places.”



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