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Genesis 12:1--50:26

Context
The Obedience of Abram

12:1 Now the Lord said 1  to Abram, 2 

“Go out 3  from your country, your relatives, and your father’s household

to the land that I will show you. 4 

12:2 Then I will make you 5  into a great nation, and I will bless you, 6 

and I will make your name great, 7 

so that you will exemplify divine blessing. 8 

12:3 I will bless those who bless you, 9 

but the one who treats you lightly 10  I must curse,

and all the families of the earth will bless one another 11  by your name.”

12:4 So Abram left, 12  just as the Lord had told him to do, 13  and Lot went with him. (Now 14  Abram was 75 years old 15  when he departed from Haran.) 12:5 And Abram took his wife Sarai, his nephew 16  Lot, and all the possessions they had accumulated and the people they had acquired 17  in Haran, and they left for 18  the land of Canaan. They entered the land of Canaan.

12:6 Abram traveled through the land as far as the oak tree 19  of Moreh 20  at Shechem. 21  (At that time the Canaanites were in the land.) 22  12:7 The Lord appeared to Abram and said, “To your descendants 23  I will give this land.” So Abram 24  built an altar there to the Lord, who had appeared to him.

12:8 Then he moved from there to the hill country east of Bethel 25  and pitched his tent, with Bethel on the west and Ai on the east. There he built an altar to the Lord and worshiped the Lord. 26  12:9 Abram continually journeyed by stages 27  down to the Negev. 28 

The Promised Blessing Jeopardized

12:10 There was a famine in the land, so Abram went down to Egypt 29  to stay for a while 30  because the famine was severe. 31  12:11 As he approached 32  Egypt, he said to his wife Sarai, “Look, 33  I know that you are a beautiful woman. 34  12:12 When the Egyptians see you they will say, ‘This is his wife.’ Then they will kill me but will keep you alive. 35  12:13 So tell them 36  you are my sister 37  so that it may go well 38  for me because of you and my life will be spared 39  on account of you.”

12:14 When Abram entered Egypt, the Egyptians saw that the woman was very beautiful. 12:15 When Pharaoh’s officials saw her, they praised her to Pharaoh. So Abram’s wife 40  was taken 41  into the household of Pharaoh, 42  12:16 and he did treat Abram well 43  on account of her. Abram received 44  sheep and cattle, male donkeys, male servants, female servants, female donkeys, and camels.

12:17 But the Lord struck Pharaoh and his household with severe diseases 45  because of Sarai, Abram’s wife. 12:18 So Pharaoh summoned Abram and said, “What is this 46  you have done to me? Why didn’t you tell me that she was your wife? 12:19 Why did you say, ‘She is my sister,’ so that I took her 47  to be my wife? 48  Here is your wife! 49  Take her and go!” 50  12:20 Pharaoh gave his men orders about Abram, 51  and so they expelled him, along with his wife and all his possessions.

Abram’s Solution to the Strife

13:1 So Abram went up from Egypt into the Negev. 52  He took his wife and all his possessions with him, as well as Lot. 53  13:2 (Now Abram was very wealthy 54  in livestock, silver, and gold.) 55 

13:3 And he journeyed from place to place 56  from the Negev as far as Bethel. 57  He returned 58  to the place where he had pitched his tent 59  at the beginning, between Bethel and Ai. 13:4 This was the place where he had first built the altar, 60  and there Abram worshiped the Lord. 61 

13:5 Now Lot, who was traveling 62  with Abram, also had 63  flocks, herds, and tents. 13:6 But the land could 64  not support them while they were living side by side. 65  Because their possessions were so great, they were not able to live 66  alongside one another. 13:7 So there were quarrels 67  between Abram’s herdsmen and Lot’s herdsmen. 68  (Now the Canaanites and the Perizzites were living in the land at that time.) 69 

13:8 Abram said to Lot, “Let there be no quarreling between me and you, and between my herdsmen and your herdsmen, for we are close relatives. 70  13:9 Is not the whole land before you? Separate yourself now from me. If you go 71  to the left, then I’ll go to the right, but if you go to the right, then I’ll go to the left.”

13:10 Lot looked up and saw 72  the whole region 73  of the Jordan. He noticed 74  that all of it was well-watered (before the Lord obliterated 75  Sodom and Gomorrah) 76  like the garden of the Lord, like the land of Egypt, 77  all the way to Zoar. 13:11 Lot chose for himself the whole region of the Jordan and traveled 78  toward the east.

So the relatives separated from each other. 79  13:12 Abram settled in the land of Canaan, but Lot settled among the cities of the Jordan plain 80  and pitched his tents next to Sodom. 13:13 (Now 81  the people 82  of Sodom were extremely wicked rebels against the Lord.) 83 

13:14 After Lot had departed, the Lord said to Abram, 84  “Look 85  from the place where you stand to the north, south, east, and west. 13:15 I will give all the land that you see to you and your descendants 86  forever. 13:16 And I will make your descendants like the dust of the earth, so that if anyone is able to count the dust of the earth, then your descendants also can be counted. 87  13:17 Get up and 88  walk throughout 89  the land, 90  for I will give it to you.”

13:18 So Abram moved his tents and went to live 91  by the oaks 92  of Mamre in Hebron, and he built an altar to the Lord there.

The Blessing of Victory for God’s People

14:1 At that time 93  Amraphel king of Shinar, 94  Arioch king of Ellasar, Kedorlaomer king of Elam, and Tidal king of nations 95  14:2 went to war 96  against Bera king of Sodom, Birsha king of Gomorrah, Shinab king of Admah, Shemeber king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar). 97  14:3 These last five kings 98  joined forces 99  in the Valley of Siddim (that is, the Salt Sea). 100  14:4 For twelve years 101  they had served Kedorlaomer, but in the thirteenth year 102  they rebelled. 103  14:5 In the fourteenth year, Kedorlaomer and the kings who were his allies came and defeated 104  the Rephaites in Ashteroth Karnaim, the Zuzites in Ham, the Emites in Shaveh Kiriathaim, 14:6 and the Horites in their hill country of Seir, as far as El Paran, which is near the desert. 105  14:7 Then they attacked En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh) again, 106  and they conquered all the territory of the Amalekites, as well as the Amorites who were living in Hazazon Tamar.

14:8 Then the king of Sodom, the king of Gomorrah, the king of Admah, the king of Zeboiim, and the king of Bela (that is, Zoar) went out and prepared for battle. In the Valley of Siddim they met 107  14:9 Kedorlaomer king of Elam, Tidal king of nations, 108  Amraphel king of Shinar, and Arioch king of Ellasar. Four kings fought against 109  five. 14:10 Now the Valley of Siddim was full of tar pits. 110  When the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah fled, they fell into them, 111  but some survivors 112  fled to the hills. 113  14:11 The four victorious kings 114  took all the possessions and food of Sodom and Gomorrah and left. 14:12 They also took Abram’s nephew 115  Lot and his possessions when 116  they left, for Lot 117  was living in Sodom. 118 

14:13 A fugitive 119  came and told Abram the Hebrew. 120  Now Abram was living by the oaks 121  of Mamre the Amorite, the brother 122  of Eshcol and Aner. (All these were allied by treaty 123  with Abram.) 124  14:14 When Abram heard that his nephew 125  had been taken captive, he mobilized 126  his 318 trained men who had been born in his household, and he pursued the invaders 127  as far as Dan. 128  14:15 Then, during the night, 129  Abram 130  divided his forces 131  against them and defeated them. He chased them as far as Hobah, which is north 132  of Damascus. 14:16 He retrieved all the stolen property. 133  He also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, as well as the women and the rest of 134  the people.

14:17 After Abram 135  returned from defeating Kedorlaomer and the kings who were with him, the king of Sodom went out to meet Abram 136  in the Valley of Shaveh (known as the King’s Valley). 137  14:18 Melchizedek king of Salem 138  brought out bread and wine. (Now he was the priest of the Most High God.) 139  14:19 He blessed Abram, saying,

“Blessed be Abram by 140  the Most High God,

Creator 141  of heaven and earth. 142 

14:20 Worthy of praise is 143  the Most High God,

who delivered 144  your enemies into your hand.”

Abram gave Melchizedek 145  a tenth of everything.

14:21 Then the king of Sodom said to Abram, “Give me the people and take the possessions for yourself.” 14:22 But Abram replied to the king of Sodom, “I raise my hand 146  to the Lord, the Most High God, Creator of heaven and earth, and vow 147  14:23 that I will take nothing 148  belonging to you, not even a thread or the strap of a sandal. That way you can never say, ‘It is I 149  who made Abram rich.’ 14:24 I will take nothing 150  except compensation for what the young men have eaten. 151  As for the share of the men who went with me – Aner, Eshcol, and Mamre – let them take their share.”

The Cutting of the Covenant

15:1 After these things the word of the Lord came to Abram in a vision: “Fear not, Abram! I am your shield 152  and the one who will reward you in great abundance.” 153 

15:2 But Abram said, “O sovereign Lord, 154  what will you give me since 155  I continue to be 156  childless, and my heir 157  is 158  Eliezer of Damascus?” 159  15:3 Abram added, 160  “Since 161  you have not given me a descendant, then look, one born in my house will be my heir!” 162 

15:4 But look, 163  the word of the Lord came to him: “This man 164  will not be your heir, 165  but instead 166  a son 167  who comes from your own body will be 168  your heir.” 169  15:5 The Lord 170  took him outside and said, “Gaze into the sky and count the stars – if you are able to count them!” Then he said to him, “So will your descendants be.”

15:6 Abram believed 171  the Lord, and the Lord 172  considered his response of faith 173  as proof of genuine loyalty. 174 

15:7 The Lord said 175  to him, “I am the Lord 176  who brought you out from Ur of the Chaldeans 177  to give you this land to possess.” 15:8 But 178  Abram 179  said, “O sovereign Lord, 180  by what 181  can I know that I am to possess it?”

15:9 The Lord 182  said to him, “Take for me a heifer, a goat, and a ram, each three years old, along with a dove and a young pigeon.” 15:10 So Abram 183  took all these for him and then cut them in two 184  and placed each half opposite the other, 185  but he did not cut the birds in half. 15:11 When birds of prey came down on the carcasses, Abram drove them away.

15:12 When the sun went down, Abram fell sound asleep, 186  and great terror overwhelmed him. 187  15:13 Then the Lord said to Abram, “Know for certain 188  that your descendants will be strangers 189  in a foreign country. 190  They will be enslaved and oppressed 191  for four hundred years. 15:14 But I will execute judgment on the nation that they will serve. 192  Afterward they will come out with many possessions. 15:15 But as for you, 193  you will go to your ancestors 194  in peace and be buried at a good old age. 195  15:16 In the fourth generation 196  your descendants 197  will return here, for the sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its limit.” 198 

15:17 When the sun had gone down and it was dark, a smoking firepot with a flaming torch 199  passed between the animal parts. 200  15:18 That day the Lord made a covenant 201  with Abram: “To your descendants I give 202  this land, from the river of Egypt 203  to the great river, the Euphrates River – 15:19 the land 204  of the Kenites, Kenizzites, Kadmonites, 15:20 Hittites, Perizzites, Rephaites, 15:21 Amorites, Canaanites, Girgashites, and Jebusites.” 205 

The Birth of Ishmael

16:1 Now Sarai, 206  Abram’s wife, had not given birth to any children, 207  but she had an Egyptian servant 208  named Hagar. 209  16:2 So Sarai said to Abram, “Since 210  the Lord has prevented me from having children, have sexual relations with 211  my servant. Perhaps I can have a family by her.” 212  Abram did what 213  Sarai told him.

16:3 So after Abram had lived 214  in Canaan for ten years, Sarai, Abram’s wife, gave Hagar, her Egyptian servant, 215  to her husband to be his wife. 216  16:4 He had sexual relations with 217  Hagar, and she became pregnant. 218  Once Hagar realized she was pregnant, she despised Sarai. 219  16:5 Then Sarai said to Abram, “You have brought this wrong on me! 220  I allowed my servant to have sexual relations with you, 221  but when she realized 222  that she was pregnant, she despised me. 223  May the Lord judge between you and me!” 224 

16:6 Abram said to Sarai, “Since your 225  servant is under your authority, 226  do to her whatever you think best.” 227  Then Sarai treated Hagar 228  harshly, 229  so she ran away from Sarai. 230 

16:7 The Lord’s angel 231  found Hagar near a spring of water in the desert – the spring that is along the road to Shur. 232  16:8 He said, “Hagar, servant of Sarai, where have you come from, and where are you going?” She replied, “I’m running away from 233  my mistress, Sarai.”

16:9 Then the Lord’s angel said to her, “Return to your mistress and submit 234  to her authority. 16:10 I will greatly multiply your descendants,” the Lord’s angel added, 235  “so that they will be too numerous to count.” 236  16:11 Then the Lord’s angel said to her,

“You are now 237  pregnant

and are about to give birth 238  to a son.

You are to name him Ishmael, 239 

for the Lord has heard your painful groans. 240 

16:12 He will be a wild donkey 241  of a man.

He will be hostile to everyone, 242 

and everyone will be hostile to him. 243 

He will live away from 244  his brothers.”

16:13 So Hagar named the Lord who spoke to her, “You are the God who sees me,” 245  for she said, “Here I have seen one who sees me!” 246  16:14 That is why the well was called 247  Beer Lahai Roi. 248  (It is located 249  between Kadesh and Bered.)

16:15 So Hagar gave birth to Abram’s son, whom Abram named Ishmael. 250  16:16 (Now 251  Abram was 86 years old 252  when Hagar gave birth to Ishmael.) 253 

The Sign of the Covenant

17:1 When Abram was 99 years old, 254  the Lord appeared to him and said, 255  “I am the sovereign God. 256  Walk 257  before me 258  and be blameless. 259  17:2 Then I will confirm my covenant 260  between me and you, and I will give you a multitude of descendants.” 261 

17:3 Abram bowed down with his face to the ground, 262  and God said to him, 263  17:4 “As for me, 264  this 265  is my covenant with you: You will be the father of a multitude of nations. 17:5 No longer will your name be 266  Abram. Instead, your name will be Abraham 267  because I will make you 268  the father of a multitude of nations. 17:6 I will make you 269  extremely 270  fruitful. I will make nations of you, and kings will descend from you. 271  17:7 I will confirm 272  my covenant as a perpetual 273  covenant between me and you. It will extend to your descendants after you throughout their generations. I will be your God and the God of your descendants after you. 274  17:8 I will give the whole land of Canaan – the land where you are now residing 275  – to you and your descendants after you as a permanent 276  possession. I will be their God.”

17:9 Then God said to Abraham, “As for you, you must keep 277  the covenantal requirement 278  I am imposing on you and your descendants after you throughout their generations. 17:10 This is my requirement that you and your descendants after you must keep: 279  Every male among you must be circumcised. 280  17:11 You must circumcise the flesh of your foreskins. This will be a reminder 281  of the covenant between me and you. 17:12 Throughout your generations every male among you who is eight days old 282  must be circumcised, whether born in your house or bought with money from any foreigner who is not one of your descendants. 17:13 They must indeed be circumcised, 283  whether born in your house or bought with money. The sign of my covenant 284  will be visible in your flesh as a permanent 285  reminder. 17:14 Any uncircumcised male 286  who has not been circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin will be cut off 287  from his people – he has failed to carry out my requirement.” 288 

17:15 Then God said to Abraham, “As for your wife, you must no longer call her Sarai; 289  Sarah 290  will be her name. 17:16 I will bless her and will give you a son through her. I will bless her and she will become a mother of nations. 291  Kings of countries 292  will come from her!”

17:17 Then Abraham bowed down with his face to the ground and laughed 293  as he said to himself, 294  “Can 295  a son be born to a man who is a hundred years old? 296  Can Sarah 297  bear a child at the age of ninety?” 298  17:18 Abraham said to God, “O that 299  Ishmael might live before you!” 300 

17:19 God said, “No, Sarah your wife is going to bear you a son, and you will name him Isaac. 301  I will confirm my covenant with him as a perpetual 302  covenant for his descendants after him. 17:20 As for Ishmael, I have heard you. 303  I will indeed bless him, make him fruitful, and give him a multitude of descendants. 304  He will become the father of twelve princes; 305  I will make him into a great nation. 17:21 But I will establish my covenant with Isaac, whom Sarah will bear to you at this set time next year.” 17:22 When he finished speaking with Abraham, God went up from him. 306 

17:23 Abraham took his son Ishmael and every male in his household (whether born in his house or bought with money) 307  and circumcised them 308  on that very same day, just as God had told him to do. 17:24 Now Abraham was 99 years old 309  when he was circumcised; 310  17:25 his son Ishmael was thirteen years old 311  when he was circumcised. 17:26 Abraham and his son Ishmael were circumcised on the very same day. 17:27 All the men of his household, whether born in his household or bought with money from a foreigner, were circumcised with him.

Three Special Visitors

18:1 The Lord appeared to Abraham 312  by the oaks 313  of Mamre while 314  he was sitting at the entrance 315  to his tent during the hottest time of the day. 18:2 Abraham 316  looked up 317  and saw 318  three men standing across 319  from him. When he saw them 320  he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low 321  to the ground. 322 

18:3 He said, “My lord, 323  if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant. 324  18:4 Let a little water be brought so that 325  you may all 326  wash your feet and rest under the tree. 18:5 And let me get 327  a bit of food 328  so that you may refresh yourselves 329  since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.” 330  “All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”

18:6 So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take 331  three measures 332  of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.” 333  18:7 Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant, 334  who quickly prepared it. 335  18:8 Abraham 336  then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food 337  before them. They ate while 338  he was standing near them under a tree.

18:9 Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There, 339  in the tent.” 18:10 One of them 340  said, “I will surely return 341  to you when the season comes round again, 342  and your wife Sarah will have a son!” 343  (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him. 344  18:11 Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years; 345  Sarah had long since passed menopause.) 346  18:12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking, 347  “After I am worn out will I have pleasure, 348  especially when my husband is old too?” 349 

18:13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why 350  did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really 351  have a child when I am old?’ 18:14 Is anything impossible 352  for the Lord? I will return to you when the season comes round again and Sarah will have a son.” 353  18:15 Then Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. But the Lord said, “No! You did laugh.” 354 

Abraham Pleads for Sodom

18:16 When the men got up to leave, 355  they looked out over 356  Sodom. (Now 357  Abraham was walking with them to see them on their way.) 358  18:17 Then the Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do? 359  18:18 After all, Abraham 360  will surely become 361  a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 362  using his name. 18:19 I have chosen him 363  so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep 364  the way of the Lord by doing 365  what is right and just. Then the Lord will give 366  to Abraham what he promised 367  him.”

18:20 So the Lord said, “The outcry against 368  Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant 369  18:21 that I must go down 370  and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests. 371  If not, 372  I want to know.”

18:22 The two men turned 373  and headed 374  toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the Lord. 375  18:23 Abraham approached and said, “Will you sweep away the godly along with the wicked? 18:24 What if there are fifty godly people in the city? Will you really wipe it out and not spare 376  the place for the sake of the fifty godly people who are in it? 18:25 Far be it from you to do such a thing – to kill the godly with the wicked, treating the godly and the wicked alike! Far be it from you! Will not the judge 377  of the whole earth do what is right?” 378 

18:26 So the Lord replied, “If I find in the city of Sodom fifty godly people, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

18:27 Then Abraham asked, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord 379  (although I am but dust and ashes), 380  18:28 what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy 381  the whole city because five are lacking?” 382  He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

18:29 Abraham 383  spoke to him again, 384  “What if forty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”

18:30 Then Abraham 385  said, “May the Lord not be angry 386  so that I may speak! 387  What if thirty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

18:31 Abraham 388  said, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”

18:32 Finally Abraham 389  said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”

18:33 The Lord went on his way 390  when he had finished speaking 391  to Abraham. Then Abraham returned home. 392 

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

19:1 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening while 393  Lot was sitting in the city’s gateway. 394  When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face toward the ground.

19:2 He said, “Here, my lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house. Stay the night 395  and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.” 396  “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.” 397 

19:3 But he urged 398  them persistently, so they turned aside with him and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them, including bread baked without yeast, and they ate. 19:4 Before they could lie down to sleep, 399  all the men – both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom – surrounded the house. 400  19:5 They shouted to Lot, 401  “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can have sex 402  with them!”

19:6 Lot went outside to them, shutting the door behind him. 19:7 He said, “No, my brothers! Don’t act so wickedly! 403  19:8 Look, I have two daughters who have never had sexual relations with 404  a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please. 405  Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection 406  of my roof.” 407 

19:9 “Out of our way!” 408  they cried, and “This man came to live here as a foreigner, 409  and now he dares to judge us! 410  We’ll do more harm 411  to you than to them!” They kept 412  pressing in on Lot until they were close enough 413  to break down the door.

19:10 So the men inside 414  reached out 415  and pulled Lot back into the house 416  as they shut the door. 19:11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, from the youngest to the oldest, 417  with blindness. The men outside 418  wore themselves out trying to find the door. 19:12 Then the two visitors 419  said to Lot, “Who else do you have here? 420  Do you have 421  any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or other relatives in the city? 422  Get them out of this 423  place 19:13 because we are about to destroy 424  it. The outcry against this place 425  is so great before the Lord that he 426  has sent us to destroy it.”

19:14 Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were going to marry his daughters. 427  He said, “Quick, get out of this place because the Lord is about to destroy 428  the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was ridiculing them. 429 

19:15 At dawn 430  the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here, 431  or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged!” 432  19:16 When Lot 433  hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the Lord had compassion on them. 434  They led them away and placed them 435  outside the city. 19:17 When they had brought them outside, they 436  said, “Run 437  for your lives! Don’t look 438  behind you or stop anywhere in the valley! 439  Escape to the mountains or you will be destroyed!”

19:18 But Lot said to them, “No, please, Lord! 440  19:19 Your 441  servant has found favor with you, 442  and you have shown me great 443  kindness 444  by sparing 445  my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because 446  this disaster will overtake 447  me and I’ll die. 448  19:20 Look, this town 449  over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one. 450  Let me go there. 451  It’s just a little place, isn’t it? 452  Then I’ll survive.” 453 

19:21 “Very well,” he replied, 454  “I will grant this request too 455  and will not overthrow 456  the town you mentioned. 19:22 Run there quickly, 457  for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.) 458 

19:23 The sun had just risen 459  over the land as Lot reached Zoar. 460  19:24 Then the Lord rained down 461  sulfur and fire 462  on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the Lord. 463  19:25 So he overthrew those cities and all that region, 464  including all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation that grew 465  from the ground. 19:26 But Lot’s 466  wife looked back longingly 467  and was turned into a pillar of salt.

19:27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went 468  to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 19:28 He looked out toward 469  Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of that region. 470  As he did so, he saw the smoke rising up from the land like smoke from a furnace. 471 

19:29 So when God destroyed 472  the cities of the region, 473  God honored 474  Abraham’s request. He removed Lot 475  from the midst of the destruction when he destroyed 476  the cities Lot had lived in.

19:30 Lot went up from Zoar with his two daughters and settled in the mountains because he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 19:31 Later the older daughter said 477  to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man anywhere nearby 478  to have sexual relations with us, 479  according to the way of all the world. 19:32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine 480  so we can have sexual relations 481  with him and preserve 482  our family line through our father.” 483 

19:33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine, 484  and the older daughter 485  came and had sexual relations with her father. 486  But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 487  19:34 So in the morning the older daughter 488  said to the younger, “Since I had sexual relations with my father last night, let’s make him drunk again tonight. 489  Then you go and have sexual relations with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.” 490  19:35 So they made their father drunk 491  that night as well, and the younger one came and had sexual relations with him. 492  But he was not aware that she had sexual relations with him and then got up. 493 

19:36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 19:37 The older daughter 494  gave birth to a son and named him Moab. 495  He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. 19:38 The younger daughter also gave birth to a son and named him Ben-Ammi. 496  He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.

Abraham and Abimelech

20:1 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev 497  region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident 498  in Gerar, 20:2 Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.

20:3 But God appeared 499  to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead 500  because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.” 501 

20:4 Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord, 502  would you really slaughter an innocent nation? 503  20:5 Did Abraham 504  not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said, 505  ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience 506  and with innocent hands!”

20:6 Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience. 507  That is why I have kept you 508  from sinning against me and why 509  I did not allow you to touch her. 20:7 But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed 510  he is a prophet 511  and he will pray for you; thus you will live. 512  But if you don’t give her back, 513  know that you will surely die 514  along with all who belong to you.”

20:8 Early in the morning 515  Abimelech summoned 516  all his servants. When he told them about all these things, 517  they 518  were terrified. 20:9 Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom? 519  You have done things to me that should not be done!” 520  20:10 Then Abimelech asked 521  Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?” 522 

20:11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought, 523  ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of 524  my wife.’ 20:12 What’s more, 525  she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 20:13 When God made me wander 526  from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me: 527  Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’”

20:14 So Abimelech gave 528  sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 20:15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.” 529 

20:16 To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given a thousand pieces of silver 530  to your ‘brother.’ 531  This is compensation for you so that you will stand vindicated before all who are with you.” 532 

20:17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 20:18 For the Lord 533  had caused infertility to strike every woman 534  in the household of Abimelech because he took 535  Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

The Birth of Isaac

21:1 The Lord visited 536  Sarah just as he had said he would and did 537  for Sarah what he had promised. 538  21:2 So Sarah became pregnant 539  and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the appointed time that God had told him. 21:3 Abraham named his son – whom Sarah bore to him – Isaac. 540  21:4 When his son Isaac was eight days old, 541  Abraham circumcised him just as God had commanded him to do. 542  21:5 (Now Abraham was a hundred years old when his son Isaac was born to him.) 543 

21:6 Sarah said, “God has made me laugh. 544  Everyone who hears about this 545  will laugh 546  with me.” 21:7 She went on to say, 547  “Who would 548  have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have given birth to a son for him in his old age!”

21:8 The child grew and was weaned. Abraham prepared 549  a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned. 550  21:9 But Sarah noticed 551  the son of Hagar the Egyptian – the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham – mocking. 552  21:10 So she said to Abraham, “Banish 553  that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son Isaac!”

21:11 Sarah’s demand displeased Abraham greatly because Ishmael was his son. 554  21:12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be upset 555  about the boy or your slave wife. Do 556  all that Sarah is telling 557  you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted. 558  21:13 But I will also make the son of the slave wife into a great nation, for he is your descendant too.”

21:14 Early in the morning Abraham took 559  some food 560  and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put them on her shoulders, gave her the child, 561  and sent her away. So she went wandering 562  aimlessly through the wilderness 563  of Beer Sheba. 21:15 When the water in the skin was gone, she shoved 564  the child under one of the shrubs. 21:16 Then she went and sat down by herself across from him at quite a distance, about a bowshot 565  away; for she thought, 566  “I refuse to watch the child die.” 567  So she sat across from him and wept uncontrollably. 568 

21:17 But God heard the boy’s voice. 569  The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What is the matter, 570  Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard 571  the boy’s voice right where he is crying. 21:18 Get up! Help the boy up and hold him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 21:19 Then God enabled Hagar to see a well of water. 572  She went over and filled the skin with water, and then gave the boy a drink.

21:20 God was with the boy as he grew. He lived in the wilderness and became an archer. 21:21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran. 573  His mother found a wife for him from the land of Egypt. 574 

21:22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you 575  in all that you do. 21:23 Now swear to me right here in God’s name 576  that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants. 577  Show me, and the land 578  where you are staying, 579  the same loyalty 580  that I have shown you.” 581 

21:24 Abraham said, “I swear to do this.” 582  21:25 But Abraham lodged a complaint 583  against Abimelech concerning a well 584  that Abimelech’s servants had seized. 585  21:26 “I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover, 586  you did not tell me. I did not hear about it until today.”

21:27 Abraham took some sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. The two of them made a treaty. 587  21:28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs apart from the flock by themselves. 21:29 Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning of these 588  seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 21:30 He replied, “You must take these seven ewe lambs from my hand as legal proof 589  that I dug this well.” 590  21:31 That is why he named that place 591  Beer Sheba, 592  because the two of them swore 593  an oath there.

21:32 So they made a treaty 594  at Beer Sheba. Then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, returned 595  to the land of the Philistines. 596  21:33 Abraham 597  planted a tamarisk tree 598  in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the Lord, 599  the eternal God. 21:34 So Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for quite some time. 600 

The Sacrifice of Isaac

22:1 Some time after these things God tested 601  Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham 602  replied. 22:2 God 603  said, “Take your son – your only son, whom you love, Isaac 604  – and go to the land of Moriah! 605  Offer him up there as a burnt offering 606  on one of the mountains which I will indicate to 607  you.”

22:3 Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey. 608  He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out 609  for the place God had spoken to him about.

22:4 On the third day Abraham caught sight of 610  the place in the distance. 22:5 So he 611  said to his servants, “You two stay 612  here with the donkey while 613  the boy and I go up there. We will worship 614  and then return to you.” 615 

22:6 Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. Then he took the fire and the knife in his hand, 616  and the two of them walked on together. 22:7 Isaac said to his father Abraham, 617  “My father?” “What is it, 618  my son?” he replied. “Here is the fire and the wood,” Isaac said, 619  “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” 22:8 “God will provide 620  for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.

22:9 When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there 621  and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up 622  his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 22:10 Then Abraham reached out his hand, took the knife, and prepared to slaughter 623  his son. 22:11 But the Lord’s angel 624  called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. 22:12 “Do not harm the boy!” 625  the angel said. 626  “Do not do anything to him, for now I know 627  that you fear 628  God because you did not withhold your son, your only son, from me.”

22:13 Abraham looked up 629  and saw 630  behind him 631  a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So he 632  went over and got the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 22:14 And Abraham called the name of that place “The Lord provides.” 633  It is said to this day, 634  “In the mountain of the Lord provision will be made.” 635 

22:15 The Lord’s angel called to Abraham a second time from heaven 22:16 and said, “‘I solemnly swear by my own name,’ 636  decrees the Lord, 637  ‘that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 22:17 I will indeed bless you, 638  and I will greatly multiply 639  your descendants 640  so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession 641  of the strongholds 642  of their enemies. 22:18 Because you have obeyed me, 643  all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 644  using the name of your descendants.’”

22:19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set out together 645  for Beer Sheba where Abraham stayed. 646 

22:20 After these things Abraham was told, “Milcah 647  also has borne children to your brother Nahor – 22:21 Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram), 648  22:22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 22:23 (Now 649  Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) These were the eight sons Milcah bore to Abraham’s brother Nahor. 22:24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore him children – Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

The Death of Sarah

23:1 Sarah lived 127 years. 650  23:2 Then she 651  died in Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her. 652 

23:3 Then Abraham got up from mourning his dead wife 653  and said to the sons of Heth, 654  23:4 “I am a temporary settler 655  among you. Grant 656  me ownership 657  of a burial site among you so that I may 658  bury my dead.” 659 

23:5 The sons of Heth answered Abraham, 660  23:6 “Listen, sir, 661  you are a mighty prince 662  among us! You may bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb to prevent you 663  from burying your dead.”

23:7 Abraham got up and bowed down to the local people, 664  the sons of Heth. 23:8 Then he said to them, “If you agree 665  that I may bury my dead, 666  then hear me out. 667  Ask 668  Ephron the son of Zohar 23:9 if he will sell 669  me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him sell it to me publicly 670  for the full price, 671  so that I may own it as a burial site.”

23:10 (Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth.) Ephron the Hethite 672  replied to Abraham in the hearing 673  of the sons of Heth – before all who entered the gate 674  of his city – 23:11 “No, my lord! Hear me out. I sell 675  you both the field and the cave that is in it. 676  In the presence of my people 677  I sell it to you. Bury your dead.”

23:12 Abraham bowed before the local people 23:13 and said to Ephron in their hearing, “Hear me, if you will. I pay 678  to you the price 679  of the field. Take it from me so that I may 680  bury my dead there.”

23:14 Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 23:15 “Hear me, my lord. The land is worth 681  400 pieces of silver, 682  but what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.”

23:16 So Abraham agreed to Ephron’s price 683  and weighed 684  out for him 685  the price 686  that Ephron had quoted 687  in the hearing of the sons of Heth – 400 pieces of silver, according to the standard measurement at the time. 688 

23:17 So Abraham secured 689  Ephron’s field in Machpelah, next to Mamre, including the field, the cave that was in it, and all the trees that were in the field and all around its border, 23:18 as his property in the presence of the sons of Heth before all who entered the gate of Ephron’s city. 690 

23:19 After this Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah next to Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 23:20 So Abraham secured the field and the cave that was in it as a burial site 691  from the sons of Heth.

The Wife for Isaac

24:1 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years, 692  and the Lord had blessed him 693  in everything. 24:2 Abraham said to his servant, the senior one 694  in his household who was in charge of everything he had, “Put your hand under my thigh 695  24:3 so that I may make you solemnly promise 696  by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth: You must not acquire 697  a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living. 24:4 You must go instead to my country and to my relatives 698  to find 699  a wife for my son Isaac.”

24:5 The servant asked him, “What if the woman is not willing to come back with me 700  to this land? Must I then 701  take your son back to the land from which you came?”

24:6 “Be careful 702  never to take my son back there!” Abraham told him. 703  24:7 “The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and the land of my relatives, 704  promised me with a solemn oath, 705  ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ He will send his angel 706  before you so that you may find 707  a wife for my son from there. 24:8 But if the woman is not willing to come back with you, 708  you will be free 709  from this oath of mine. But you must not take my son back there!” 24:9 So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and gave his solemn promise he would carry out his wishes. 710 

24:10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed with all kinds of gifts from his master at his disposal. 711  He journeyed 712  to the region of Aram Naharaim 713  and the city of Nahor. 24:11 He made the camels kneel down by the well 714  outside the city. It was evening, 715  the time when the women would go out to draw water. 24:12 He prayed, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, guide me today. 716  Be faithful 717  to my master Abraham. 24:13 Here I am, standing by the spring, 718  and the daughters of the people 719  who live in the town are coming out to draw water. 24:14 I will say to a young woman, ‘Please lower your jar so I may drink.’ May the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac reply, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’ 720  In this way I will know that you have been faithful to my master.” 721 

24:15 Before he had finished praying, there came Rebekah 722  with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah (Milcah was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor). 723  24:16 Now the young woman was very beautiful. She was a virgin; no man had ever had sexual relations with her. 724  She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came back up. 24:17 Abraham’s servant 725  ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a sip of water from your jug.” 24:18 “Drink, my lord,” she replied, and quickly lowering 726  her jug to her hands, she gave him a drink. 24:19 When she had done so, 727  she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have drunk as much as they want.” 24:20 She quickly emptied 728  her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw more water until she had drawn enough for all his camels. 24:21 Silently the man watched her with interest to determine 729  if the Lord had made his journey successful 730  or not.

24:22 After the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka 731  and two gold bracelets weighing ten shekels 732  and gave them to her. 733  24:23 “Whose daughter are you?” he asked. 734  “Tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”

24:24 She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom Milcah bore to Nahor. 735  24:25 We have plenty of straw and feed,” she added, 736  “and room for you 737  to spend the night.”

24:26 The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord, 24:27 saying “Praised be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his faithful love 738  for my master! The Lord has led me 739  to the house 740  of my master’s relatives!” 741 

24:28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household all about 742  these things. 24:29 (Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban.) 743  Laban rushed out to meet the man at the spring. 24:30 When he saw the bracelets on his sister’s wrists and the nose ring 744  and heard his sister Rebekah say, 745  “This is what the man said to me,” he went out to meet the man. There he was, standing 746  by the camels near the spring. 24:31 Laban said to him, 747  “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord! 748  Why are you standing out here when I have prepared 749  the house and a place for the camels?”

24:32 So Abraham’s servant 750  went to the house and unloaded 751  the camels. Straw and feed were given 752  to the camels, and water was provided so that he and the men who were with him could wash their feet. 753  24:33 When food was served, 754  he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I want to say.” 755  “Tell us,” Laban said. 756 

24:34 “I am the servant of Abraham,” he began. 24:35 “The Lord has richly blessed my master and he has become very wealthy. 757  The Lord 758  has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 24:36 My master’s wife Sarah bore a son to him 759  when she was old, 760  and my master 761  has given him everything he owns. 24:37 My master made me swear an oath. He said, ‘You must not acquire a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 24:38 but you must go to the family of my father and to my relatives to find 762  a wife for my son.’ 24:39 But I said to my master, ‘What if the woman does not want to go 763  with me?’ 764  24:40 He answered, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked, 765  will send his angel with you. He will make your journey a success and you will find a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father’s family. 24:41 You will be free from your oath 766  if you go to my relatives and they will not give her to you. Then you will be free from your oath.’ 24:42 When I came to the spring today, I prayed, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you have decided to make my journey successful, 767  may events unfold as follows: 768  24:43 Here I am, standing by the spring. 769  When 770  the young woman goes out to draw water, I’ll say, “Give me a little water to drink from your jug.” 24:44 Then she will reply to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too.” May that woman be the one whom the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’

24:45 “Before I finished praying in my heart, 771  along came Rebekah 772  with her water jug on her shoulder! She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 24:46 She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels water. 24:47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘The daughter of Bethuel the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to Nahor.’ 773  I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 24:48 Then I bowed down and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right path to find the granddaughter 774  of my master’s brother for his son. 24:49 Now, if you will show faithful love to my master, tell me. But if not, tell me as well, so that I may go on my way.” 775 

24:50 Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “This is the Lord’s doing. 776  Our wishes are of no concern. 777  24:51 Rebekah stands here before you. Take her and go so that she may become 778  the wife of your master’s son, just as the Lord has decided.” 779 

24:52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 24:53 Then he 780  brought out gold, silver jewelry, and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave valuable gifts to her brother and to her mother. 24:54 After this, he and the men who were with him ate a meal and stayed there overnight. 781 

When they got up in the morning, he said, “Let me leave now so I can return to my master.” 782  24:55 But Rebekah’s 783  brother and her mother replied, “Let the girl stay with us a few more days, perhaps ten. Then she can go.” 24:56 But he said to them, “Don’t detain me – the Lord 784  has granted me success on my journey. Let me leave now so I may return 785  to my master.” 24:57 Then they said, “We’ll call the girl and find out what she wants to do.” 786  24:58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want 787  to go with this man?” She replied, “I want to go.”

24:59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, accompanied by her female attendant, with Abraham’s servant and his men. 24:60 They blessed Rebekah with these words: 788 

“Our sister, may you become the mother 789  of thousands of ten thousands!

May your descendants possess the strongholds 790  of their enemies.”

24:61 Then Rebekah and her female servants mounted the camels and rode away with 791  the man. So Abraham’s servant 792  took Rebekah and left.

24:62 Now 793  Isaac came from 794  Beer Lahai Roi, 795  for 796  he was living in the Negev. 797  24:63 He 798  went out to relax 799  in the field in the early evening. 800  Then he looked up 801  and saw that 802  there were camels approaching. 24:64 Rebekah looked up 803  and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 24:65 and asked 804  Abraham’s servant, 805  “Who is that man walking in the field toward us?” “That is my master,” the servant replied. 806  So she took her veil and covered herself.

24:66 The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 24:67 Then Isaac brought Rebekah 807  into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took her 808  as his wife and loved her. 809  So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death. 810 

The Death of Abraham

25:1 Abraham had taken 811  another 812  wife, named Keturah. 25:2 She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. 25:3 Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan. 813  The descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites. 25:4 The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were descendants 814  of Keturah.

25:5 Everything he owned Abraham left to his son Isaac. 25:6 But while he was still alive, Abraham gave gifts to the sons of his concubines 815  and sent them off to the east, away from his son Isaac. 816 

25:7 Abraham lived a total of 817  175 years. 25:8 Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man who had lived a full life. 818  He joined his ancestors. 819  25:9 His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah 820  near Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar, the Hethite. 25:10 This was the field Abraham had purchased from the sons of Heth. 821  There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 25:11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed 822  his son Isaac. Isaac lived near Beer Lahai Roi. 823 

The Sons of Ishmael

25:12 This is the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael, 824  whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham.

25:13 These are the names of Ishmael’s sons, by their names according to their records: 825  Nebaioth (Ishmael’s firstborn), Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 25:14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 25:15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 25:16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names by their settlements and their camps – twelve princes 826  according to their clans.

25:17 Ishmael lived a total of 827  137 years. He breathed his last and died; then he joined his ancestors. 828  25:18 His descendants 829  settled from Havilah to Shur, which runs next 830  to Egypt all the way 831  to Asshur. 832  They settled 833  away from all their relatives. 834 

Jacob and Esau

25:19 This is the account of Isaac, 835  the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac. 25:20 When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, 836  the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. 837 

25:21 Isaac prayed to 838  the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 25:22 But the children struggled 839  inside her, and she said, “If it is going to be like this, I’m not so sure I want to be pregnant!” 840  So she asked the Lord, 841  25:23 and the Lord said to her,

“Two nations 842  are in your womb,

and two peoples will be separated from within you.

One people will be stronger than the other,

and the older will serve the younger.”

25:24 When the time came for Rebekah to give birth, 843  there were 844  twins in her womb. 25:25 The first came out reddish 845  all over, 846  like a hairy 847  garment, so they named him Esau. 848  25:26 When his brother came out with 849  his hand clutching Esau’s heel, they named him Jacob. 850  Isaac was sixty years old 851  when they were born.

25:27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skilled 852  hunter, a man of the open fields, but Jacob was an even-tempered man, living in tents. 853  25:28 Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for fresh game, 854  but Rebekah loved 855  Jacob.

25:29 Now Jacob cooked some stew, 856  and when Esau came in from the open fields, he was famished. 25:30 So Esau said to Jacob, “Feed 857  me some of the red stuff – yes, this red stuff – because I’m starving!” (That is why he was also called 858  Edom.) 859 

25:31 But Jacob replied, “First 860  sell me your birthright.” 25:32 “Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die! What use is the birthright to me?” 861  25:33 But Jacob said, “Swear an oath to me now.” 862  So Esau 863  swore an oath to him and sold his birthright 864  to Jacob.

25:34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew; Esau ate and drank, then got up and went out. 865  So Esau despised his birthright. 866 

Isaac and Abimelech

26:1 There was a famine in the land, subsequent to the earlier famine that occurred 867  in the days of Abraham. 868  Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar. 26:2 The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt; 869  settle down in the land that I will point out to you. 870  26:3 Stay 871  in this land. Then I will be with you and will bless you, 872  for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants, 873  and I will fulfill 874  the solemn promise I made 875  to your father Abraham. 26:4 I will multiply your descendants so they will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them 876  all these lands. All the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants. 877  26:5 All this will come to pass 878  because Abraham obeyed me 879  and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.” 880  26:6 So Isaac settled in Gerar.

26:7 When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he replied, “She is my sister.” 881  He was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” for he thought to himself, 882  “The men of this place will kill me to get 883  Rebekah because she is very beautiful.”

26:8 After Isaac 884  had been there a long time, 885  Abimelech king of the Philistines happened to look out a window and observed 886  Isaac caressing 887  his wife Rebekah. 26:9 So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really 888  your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac replied, “Because I thought someone might kill me to get her.” 889 

26:10 Then Abimelech exclaimed, “What in the world have you done to us? 890  One of the men 891  might easily have had sexual relations with 892  your wife, and you would have brought guilt on us!” 26:11 So Abimelech commanded all the people, “Whoever touches 893  this man or his wife will surely be put to death.” 894 

26:12 When Isaac planted in that land, he reaped in the same year a hundred times what he had sown, 895  because the Lord blessed him. 896  26:13 The man became wealthy. 897  His influence continued to grow 898  until he became very prominent. 26:14 He had 899  so many sheep 900  and cattle 901  and such a great household of servants that the Philistines became jealous 902  of him. 26:15 So the Philistines took dirt and filled up 903  all the wells that his father’s servants had dug back in the days of his father Abraham.

26:16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave us and go elsewhere, 904  for you have become much more powerful 905  than we are.” 26:17 So Isaac left there and settled in the Gerar Valley. 906  26:18 Isaac reopened 907  the wells that had been dug 908  back in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up 909  after Abraham died. Isaac 910  gave these wells 911  the same names his father had given them. 912 

26:19 When Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well with fresh flowing 913  water there, 26:20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled 914  with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water belongs to us!” So Isaac 915  named the well 916  Esek 917  because they argued with him about it. 918  26:21 His servants 919  dug another well, but they quarreled over it too, so Isaac named it 920  Sitnah. 921  26:22 Then he moved away from there and dug another well. They did not quarrel over it, so Isaac 922  named it 923  Rehoboth, 924  saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will prosper in the land.”

26:23 From there Isaac 925  went up to Beer Sheba. 26:24 The Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” 26:25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped 926  the Lord. He pitched his tent there, and his servants dug a well. 927 

26:26 Now Abimelech had come 928  to him from Gerar along with 929  Ahuzzah his friend 930  and Phicol the commander of his army. 26:27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me? You hate me 931  and sent me away from you.” 26:28 They replied, “We could plainly see 932  that the Lord is with you. So we decided there should be 933  a pact between us 934  – between us 935  and you. Allow us to make 936  a treaty with you 26:29 so that 937  you will not do us any harm, just as we have not harmed 938  you, but have always treated you well 939  before sending you away 940  in peace. Now you are blessed by the Lord.” 941 

26:30 So Isaac 942  held a feast for them and they celebrated. 943  26:31 Early in the morning the men made a treaty with each other. 944  Isaac sent them off; they separated on good terms. 945 

26:32 That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We’ve found water,” they reported. 946  26:33 So he named it Shibah; 947  that is why the name of the city has been Beer Sheba 948  to this day.

26:34 When 949  Esau was forty years old, 950  he married 951  Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, as well as Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 26:35 They caused Isaac and Rebekah great anxiety. 952 

Jacob Cheats Esau out of the Blessing

27:1 When 953  Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he was almost blind, 954  he called his older 955  son Esau and said to him, “My son!” “Here I am!” Esau 956  replied. 27:2 Isaac 957  said, “Since 958  I am so old, I could die at any time. 959  27:3 Therefore, take your weapons – your quiver and your bow – and go out into the open fields and hunt down some wild game 960  for me. 27:4 Then prepare for me some tasty food, the kind I love, and bring it to me. Then 961  I will eat it so that I may bless you 962  before I die.”

27:5 Now Rebekah had been listening while Isaac spoke to his son Esau. 963  When Esau went out to the open fields to hunt down some wild game and bring it back, 964  27:6 Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father tell your brother Esau, 27:7 ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare for me some tasty food. Then I will eat 965  it and bless you 966  in the presence of the Lord 967  before I die.’ 27:8 Now then, my son, do 968  exactly what I tell you! 969  27:9 Go to the flock and get me two of the best young goats. I’ll prepare 970  them in a tasty way for your father, just the way he loves them. 27:10 Then you will take 971  it to your father. Thus he will eat it 972  and 973  bless you before he dies.”

27:11 “But Esau my brother is a hairy man,” Jacob protested to his mother Rebekah, “and I have smooth skin! 974  27:12 My father may touch me! Then he’ll think I’m mocking him 975  and I’ll bring a curse on myself instead of a blessing.” 27:13 So his mother told him, “Any curse against you will fall on me, 976  my son! Just obey me! 977  Go and get them for me!”

27:14 So he went and got the goats 978  and brought them to his mother. She 979  prepared some tasty food, just the way his father loved it. 27:15 Then Rebekah took her older son Esau’s best clothes, which she had with her in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. 27:16 She put the skins of the young goats 980  on his hands 981  and the smooth part of his neck. 27:17 Then she handed 982  the tasty food and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.

27:18 He went to his father and said, “My father!” Isaac 983  replied, “Here I am. Which are you, my son?” 984  27:19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I’ve done as you told me. Now sit up 985  and eat some of my wild game so that you can bless me.” 986  27:20 But Isaac asked his son, “How in the world 987  did you find it so quickly, 988  my son?” “Because the Lord your God brought it to me,” 989  he replied. 990  27:21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you, 991  my son, and know for certain if you really are my son Esau.” 992  27:22 So Jacob went over to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are Esau’s.” 27:23 He did not recognize him because his hands were hairy, like his brother Esau’s hands. So Isaac blessed Jacob. 993  27:24 Then he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?” “I am,” Jacob 994  replied. 27:25 Isaac 995  said, “Bring some of the wild game for me to eat, my son. 996  Then I will bless you.” 997  So Jacob 998  brought it to him, and he ate it. He also brought him wine, and Isaac 999  drank. 27:26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here and kiss me, my son.” 27:27 So Jacob 1000  went over and kissed him. When Isaac caught the scent 1001  of his clothing, he blessed him, saying,

“Yes, 1002  my son smells

like the scent of an open field

which the Lord has blessed.

27:28 May God give you

the dew of the sky 1003 

and the richness 1004  of the earth,

and plenty of grain and new wine.

27:29 May peoples serve you

and nations bow down to you.

You will be 1005  lord 1006  over your brothers,

and the sons of your mother will bow down to you. 1007 

May those who curse you be cursed,

and those who bless you be blessed.”

27:30 Isaac had just finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely left 1008  his father’s 1009  presence, when his brother Esau returned from the hunt. 1010  27:31 He also prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Esau 1011  said to him, “My father, get up 1012  and eat some of your son’s wild game. Then you can bless me.” 1013  27:32 His father Isaac asked, 1014  “Who are you?” “I am your firstborn son,” 1015  he replied, “Esau!” 27:33 Isaac began to shake violently 1016  and asked, “Then who else hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it just before you arrived, and I blessed him. 1017  He will indeed be blessed!”

27:34 When Esau heard 1018  his father’s words, he wailed loudly and bitterly. 1019  He said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!” 27:35 But Isaac 1020  replied, “Your brother came in here deceitfully and took away 1021  your blessing.” 27:36 Esau exclaimed, “‘Jacob’ is the right name for him! 1022  He has tripped me up 1023  two times! He took away my birthright, and now, look, he has taken away my blessing!” Then he asked, “Have you not kept back a blessing for me?”

27:37 Isaac replied to Esau, “Look! I have made him lord over you. I have made all his relatives his servants and provided him with grain and new wine. What is left that I can do for you, my son?” 27:38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only that one blessing, my father? Bless me too!” 1024  Then Esau wept loudly. 1025 

27:39 So his father Isaac said to him,

“Indeed, 1026  your home will be

away from the richness 1027  of the earth,

and away from the dew of the sky above.

27:40 You will live by your sword

but you will serve your brother.

When you grow restless,

you will tear off his yoke

from your neck.” 1028 

27:41 So Esau hated 1029  Jacob because of the blessing his father had given to his brother. 1030  Esau said privately, 1031  “The time 1032  of mourning for my father is near; then I will kill 1033  my brother Jacob!”

27:42 When Rebekah heard what her older son Esau had said, 1034  she quickly summoned 1035  her younger son Jacob and told him, “Look, your brother Esau is planning to get revenge by killing you. 1036  27:43 Now then, my son, do what I say. 1037  Run away immediately 1038  to my brother Laban in Haran. 27:44 Live with him for a little while 1039  until your brother’s rage subsides. 27:45 Stay there 1040  until your brother’s anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I’ll send someone to bring you back from there. 1041  Why should I lose both of you in one day?” 1042 

27:46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am deeply depressed 1043  because of these daughters of Heth. 1044  If Jacob were to marry one of these daughters of Heth who live in this land, I would want to die!” 1045 

28:1 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman! 1046  28:2 Leave immediately 1047  for Paddan Aram! Go to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, and find yourself a wife there, among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. 28:3 May the sovereign God 1048  bless you! May he make you fruitful and give you a multitude of descendants! 1049  Then you will become 1050  a large nation. 1051  28:4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing he gave to Abraham 1052  so that you may possess the land 1053  God gave to Abraham, the land where you have been living as a temporary resident.” 1054  28:5 So Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean and brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.

28:6 Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him off to Paddan Aram to find a wife there. 1055  As he blessed him, 1056  Isaac commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.” 1057  28:7 Jacob obeyed his father and mother and left for Paddan Aram. 28:8 Then Esau realized 1058  that the Canaanite women 1059  were displeasing to 1060  his father Isaac. 28:9 So Esau went to Ishmael and married 1061  Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael, along with the wives he already had.

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

28:10 Meanwhile Jacob left Beer Sheba and set out for Haran. 28:11 He reached a certain place 1062  where he decided to camp because the sun had gone down. 1063  He took one of the stones 1064  and placed it near his head. 1065  Then he fell asleep 1066  in that place 28:12 and had a dream. 1067  He saw 1068  a stairway 1069  erected on the earth with its top reaching to the heavens. The angels of God were going up and coming down it 28:13 and the Lord stood at its top. He said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of your father Isaac. 1070  I will give you and your descendants the ground 1071  you are lying on. 28:14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, 1072  and you will spread out 1073  to the west, east, north, and south. All the families of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 1074  using your name and that of your descendants. 1075  28:15 I am with you! 1076  I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you!”

28:16 Then Jacob woke up 1077  and thought, 1078  “Surely the Lord is in this place, but I did not realize it!” 28:17 He was afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! This is nothing else than the house of God! This is the gate of heaven!”

28:18 Early 1079  in the morning Jacob 1080  took the stone he had placed near his head 1081  and set it up as a sacred stone. 1082  Then he poured oil on top of it. 28:19 He called that place Bethel, 1083  although the former name of the town was Luz. 28:20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God is with me and protects me on this journey I am taking and gives me food 1084  to eat and clothing to wear, 28:21 and I return safely to my father’s home, 1085  then the Lord will become my God. 28:22 Then this stone 1086  that I have set up as a sacred stone will be the house of God, and I will surely 1087  give you back a tenth of everything you give me.” 1088 

The Marriages of Jacob

29:1 So Jacob moved on 1089  and came to the land of the eastern people. 1090  29:2 He saw 1091  in the field a well with 1092  three flocks of sheep lying beside it, because the flocks were watered from that well. Now 1093  a large stone covered the mouth of the well. 29:3 When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds 1094  would roll the stone off the mouth of the well and water the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place over the well’s mouth.

29:4 Jacob asked them, “My brothers, where are you from?” They replied, “We’re from Haran.” 29:5 So he said to them, “Do you know Laban, the grandson 1095  of Nahor?” “We know him,” 1096  they said. 29:6 “Is he well?” 1097  Jacob asked. They replied, “He is well. 1098  Now look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.” 29:7 Then Jacob 1099  said, “Since it is still the middle of the day, 1100  it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. You should water the sheep and then go and let them graze some more.” 1101  29:8 “We can’t,” they said, “until all the flocks are gathered and the stone is rolled off the mouth of the well. Then we water 1102  the sheep.”

29:9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was tending them. 1103  29:10 When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban, 1104  and the sheep of his uncle Laban, he 1105  went over 1106  and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban. 1107  29:11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep loudly. 1108  29:12 When Jacob explained 1109  to Rachel that he was a relative of her father 1110  and the son of Rebekah, she ran and told her father. 29:13 When Laban heard this news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he rushed out to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob 1111  told Laban how he was related to him. 1112  29:14 Then Laban said to him, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.” 1113  So Jacob 1114  stayed with him for a month. 1115 

29:15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Should you work 1116  for me for nothing because you are my relative? 1117  Tell me what your wages should be.” 29:16 (Now Laban had two daughters; 1118  the older one was named Leah, and the younger one Rachel. 29:17 Leah’s eyes were tender, 1119  but Rachel had a lovely figure and beautiful appearance.) 1120  29:18 Since Jacob had fallen in love with 1121  Rachel, he said, “I’ll serve you seven years in exchange for your younger daughter Rachel.” 29:19 Laban replied, “I’d rather give her to you than to another man. 1122  Stay with me.” 29:20 So Jacob worked for seven years to acquire Rachel. 1123  But they seemed like only a few days to him 1124  because his love for her was so great. 1125 

29:21 Finally Jacob said 1126  to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time of service is up. 1127  I want to have marital relations with her.” 1128  29:22 So Laban invited all the people 1129  of that place and prepared a feast. 29:23 In the evening he brought his daughter Leah 1130  to Jacob, 1131  and Jacob 1132  had marital relations with her. 1133  29:24 (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 1134 

29:25 In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah! 1135  So Jacob 1136  said to Laban, “What in the world have you done to me! 1137  Didn’t I work for you in exchange for Rachel? Why have you tricked 1138  me?” 29:26 “It is not our custom here,” 1139  Laban replied, “to give the younger daughter in marriage 1140  before the firstborn. 29:27 Complete my older daughter’s bridal week. 1141  Then we will give you the younger one 1142  too, in exchange for seven more years of work.” 1143 

29:28 Jacob did as Laban said. 1144  When Jacob 1145  completed Leah’s bridal week, 1146  Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 1147  29:29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 1148  29:30 Jacob 1149  had marital relations 1150  with Rachel as well. He loved Rachel more than Leah, so he worked for Laban 1151  for seven more years. 1152 

The Family of Jacob

29:31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, 1153  he enabled her to become pregnant 1154  while Rachel remained childless. 29:32 So Leah became pregnant 1155  and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, 1156  for she said, “The Lord has looked with pity on my oppressed condition. 1157  Surely my husband will love me now.”

29:33 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Because the Lord heard that I was unloved, 1158  he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon. 1159 

29:34 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Now this time my husband will show me affection, 1160  because I have given birth to three sons for him.” That is why he was named Levi. 1161 

29:35 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” That is why she named him Judah. 1162  Then she stopped having children.

30:1 When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she 1163  became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children 1164  or I’ll die!” 30:2 Jacob became furious 1165  with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” 1166  30:3 She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Have sexual relations with 1167  her so that she can bear 1168  children 1169  for me 1170  and I can have a family through her.” 1171 

30:4 So Rachel 1172  gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob had marital relations with 1173  her. 30:5 Bilhah became pregnant 1174  and gave Jacob a son. 1175  30:6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer 1176  and given me a son.” That is why 1177  she named him Dan. 1178 

30:7 Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, became pregnant again and gave Jacob another son. 1179  30:8 Then Rachel said, “I have fought a desperate struggle with my sister, but I have won.” 1180  So she named him Naphtali. 1181 

30:9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave 1182  her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 30:10 Soon Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob a son. 1183  30:11 Leah said, “How fortunate!” 1184  So she named him Gad. 1185 

30:12 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob another son. 1186  30:13 Leah said, “How happy I am, 1187  for women 1188  will call me happy!” So she named him Asher. 1189 

30:14 At the time 1190  of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants 1191  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, 1192  “Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,” 1193  Rachel said, “he may sleep 1194  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 1195  with me because I have paid for your services 1196  with my son’s mandrakes.” So he had marital relations 1197  with her that night. 30:17 God paid attention 1198  to Leah; she became pregnant 1199  and gave Jacob a son for the fifth time. 1200  30:18 Then Leah said, “God has granted me a reward 1201  because I gave my servant to my husband as a wife.” 1202  So she named him Issachar. 1203 

30:19 Leah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a son for the sixth time. 1204  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. 1205 

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

30:22 Then God took note of 1206  Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. 1207  30:23 She became pregnant 1208  and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.” 1209  30:24 She named him Joseph, 1210  saying, “May the Lord give me yet another son.”

The Flocks of Jacob

30:25 After Rachel had given birth 1211  to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send 1212  me on my way so that I can go 1213  home to my own country. 1214  30:26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you. 1215  Then I’ll depart, 1216  because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.” 1217 

30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here, 1218  for I have learned by divination 1219  that the Lord has blessed me on account of you.” 30:28 He added, “Just name your wages – I’ll pay whatever you want.” 1220 

30:29 “You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied, 1221  “and how well your livestock have fared under my care. 1222  30:30 Indeed, 1223  you had little before I arrived, 1224  but now your possessions have increased many times over. 1225  The Lord has blessed you wherever I worked. 1226  But now, how long must it be before I do something for my own family too?” 1227 

30:31 So Laban asked, 1228  “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,” 1229  Jacob replied, 1230  “but if you agree to this one condition, 1231  I will continue to care for 1232  your flocks and protect them: 30:32 Let me walk among 1233  all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, 1234  and the spotted or speckled goats. 1235  These animals will be my wages. 1236  30:33 My integrity will testify for me 1237  later on. 1238  When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on, 1239  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.” 1240  30:34 “Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.” 1241 

30:35 So that day Laban 1242  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 1243  of his sons. 30:36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey, 1244  while 1245  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. 1246  30:39 When the sheep mated 1247  in front of the branches, they 1248  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 1249  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, 1250  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. 1251  So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban 1252  and the stronger animals to Jacob. 30:43 In this way Jacob 1253  became extremely prosperous. He owned 1254  large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.

Jacob’s Flight from Laban

31:1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were complaining, 1255  “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father! He has gotten rich 1256  at our father’s expense!” 1257  31:2 When Jacob saw the look on Laban’s face, he could tell his attitude toward him had changed. 1258 

31:3 The Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers 1259  and to your relatives. I will be with you.” 1260  31:4 So Jacob sent a message for Rachel and Leah 1261  to come to the field 1262  where his flocks were. 1263  31:5 There he said to them, “I can tell that your father’s attitude toward me has changed, 1264  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, 1265  31:7 but your father has humiliated 1266  me and changed my wages ten times. But God has not permitted him to do me any harm. 31:8 If he said, 1267  ‘The speckled animals 1268  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 1269  during breeding season I saw 1270  in a dream that the male goats mating with 1271  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 1272  that all the male goats mating with 1273  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, 1274  where you anointed 1275  the sacred stone and made a vow to me. 1276  Now leave this land immediately 1277  and return to your native land.’”

31:14 Then Rachel and Leah replied to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance 1278  in our father’s house? 31:15 Hasn’t he treated us like foreigners? He not only sold us, but completely wasted 1279  the money paid for us! 1280  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. 1281  31:18 He took 1282  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. 1283 

31:19 While Laban had gone to shear his sheep, 1284  Rachel stole the household idols 1285  that belonged to her father. 31:20 Jacob also deceived 1286  Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was leaving. 1287  31:21 He left 1288  with all he owned. He quickly crossed 1289  the Euphrates River 1290  and headed for 1291  the hill country of Gilead.

31:22 Three days later Laban discovered Jacob had left. 1292  31:23 So he took his relatives 1293  with him and pursued Jacob 1294  for seven days. 1295  He caught up with 1296  him in the hill country of Gilead. 31:24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him, 1297  “Be careful 1298  that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.” 1299 

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. 1300  31:26 “What have you done?” Laban demanded of Jacob. “You’ve deceived me 1301  and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war! 1302  31:27 Why did you run away secretly 1303  and deceive me? 1304  Why didn’t you tell me so I could send you off with a celebration complete with singing, tambourines, and harps? 1305  31:28 You didn’t even allow me to kiss my daughters and my grandchildren 1306  good-bye. You have acted foolishly! 31:29 I have 1307  the power to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful 1308  that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’ 1309  31:30 Now I understand that 1310  you have gone away 1311  because you longed desperately 1312  for your father’s house. Yet why did you steal my gods?” 1313 

31:31 “I left secretly because I was afraid!” 1314  Jacob replied to Laban. “I thought 1315  you might take your daughters away from me by force. 1316  31:32 Whoever has taken your gods will be put to death! 1317  In the presence of our relatives 1318  identify whatever is yours and take it.” 1319  (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.) 1320 

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. 1321  Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 1322  31:34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle 1323  and sat on them.) 1324  Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them. 1325  31:35 Rachel 1326  said to her father, “Don’t be angry, 1327  my lord. I cannot stand up 1328  in your presence because I am having my period.” 1329  So he searched thoroughly, 1330  but did not find the idols.

31:36 Jacob became angry 1331  and argued with Laban. “What did I do wrong?” he demanded of Laban. 1332  “What sin of mine prompted you to chase after me in hot pursuit? 1333  31:37 When you searched through all my goods, did you find anything that belonged to you? 1334  Set it here before my relatives and yours, 1335  and let them settle the dispute between the two of us! 1336 

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. 1337  You always made me pay for every missing animal, 1338  whether it was taken by day or at night. 31:40 I was consumed by scorching heat 1339  during the day and by piercing cold 1340  at night, and I went without sleep. 1341  31:41 This was my lot 1342  for twenty years in your house: I worked like a slave 1343  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 1344  – 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, 1345  and he rebuked you last night.”

31:43 Laban replied 1346  to Jacob, “These women 1347  are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren, 1348  and these flocks are my flocks. All that you see belongs to me. But how can I harm these daughters of mine today 1349  or the children to whom they have given birth? 31:44 So now, come, let’s make a formal agreement, 1350  you and I, and it will be 1351  proof that we have made peace.” 1352 

31:45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a memorial pillar. 31:46 Then he 1353  said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they brought stones and put them in a pile. 1354  They ate there by the pile of stones. 31:47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha, 1355  but Jacob called it Galeed. 1356 

31:48 Laban said, “This pile of stones is a witness of our agreement 1357  today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 31:49 It was also called Mizpah 1358  because he said, “May the Lord watch 1359  between us 1360  when we are out of sight of one another. 1361  31:50 If you mistreat my daughters or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one else is with us, realize 1362  that God is witness to your actions.” 1363 

31:51 “Here is this pile of stones and this pillar I have set up between me and you,” Laban said to Jacob. 1364  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. 1365  31:53 May the God of Abraham and the god of Nahor, 1366  the gods of their father, judge between us.” Jacob took an oath by the God whom his father Isaac feared. 1367  31:54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice 1368  on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat the meal. 1369  They ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain.

31:55 (32:1) 1370  Early in the morning Laban kissed 1371  his grandchildren 1372  and his daughters goodbye and blessed them. Then Laban left and returned home. 1373 

Jacob Wrestles at Peniel

32:1 So Jacob went on his way and the angels of God 1374  met him. 32:2 When Jacob saw them, he exclaimed, 1375  “This is the camp of God!” So he named that place Mahanaim. 1376 

32:3 Jacob sent messengers on ahead 1377  to his brother Esau in the land of Seir, the region 1378  of Edom. 32:4 He commanded them, “This is what you must say to my lord Esau: ‘This is what your servant 1379  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 1380  this message 1381  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,” 1382  he thought, 1383  “then the other camp will be able to escape.” 1384 

32:9 Then Jacob prayed, 1385  “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O Lord, you said 1386  to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will make you prosper.’ 1387  32:10 I am not worthy of all the faithful love 1388  you have shown 1389  your servant. With only my walking stick 1390  I crossed the Jordan, 1391  but now I have become two camps. 32:11 Rescue me, 1392  I pray, from the hand 1393  of my brother Esau, 1394  for I am afraid he will come 1395  and attack me, as well as the mothers with their children. 1396  32:12 But you 1397  said, ‘I will certainly make you prosper 1398  and will make 1399  your descendants like the sand on the seashore, too numerous to count.’” 1400 

32:13 Jacob 1401  stayed there that night. Then he sent 1402  as a gift 1403  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 1404  his servants, who divided them into herds. 1405  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, 1406  “When my brother Esau meets you and asks, ‘To whom do you belong? 1407  Where are you going? Whose herds are you driving?’ 1408  32:18 then you must say, 1409  ‘They belong 1410  to your servant Jacob. 1411  They have been sent as a gift to my lord Esau. 1412  In fact Jacob himself is behind us.’” 1413 

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. 1414  32:20 You must also say, ‘In fact your servant Jacob is behind us.’” 1415  Jacob thought, 1416  “I will first appease him 1417  by sending a gift ahead of me. 1418  After that I will meet him. 1419  Perhaps he will accept me.” 1420  32:21 So the gifts were sent on ahead of him 1421  while he spent that night in the camp. 1422 

32:22 During the night Jacob quickly took 1423  his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons 1424  and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 1425  32:23 He took them and sent them across the stream along with all his possessions. 1426  32:24 So Jacob was left alone. Then a man 1427  wrestled 1428  with him until daybreak. 1429  32:25 When the man 1430  saw that he could not defeat Jacob, 1431  he struck 1432  the socket of his hip so the socket of Jacob’s hip was dislocated while he wrestled with him.

32:26 Then the man 1433  said, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking.” 1434  “I will not let you go,” Jacob replied, 1435  “unless you bless me.” 1436  32:27 The man asked him, 1437  “What is your name?” 1438  He answered, “Jacob.” 32:28 “No longer will your name be Jacob,” the man told him, 1439  “but Israel, 1440  because you have fought 1441  with God and with men and have prevailed.”

32:29 Then Jacob asked, “Please tell me your name.” 1442  “Why 1443  do you ask my name?” the man replied. 1444  Then he blessed 1445  Jacob 1446  there. 32:30 So Jacob named the place Peniel, 1447  explaining, 1448  “Certainly 1449  I have seen God face to face 1450  and have survived.” 1451 

32:31 The sun rose 1452  over him as he crossed over Penuel, 1453  but 1454  he was limping because of his hip. 32:32 That is why to this day 1455  the Israelites do not eat the sinew which is attached to the socket of the hip, because he struck 1456  the socket of Jacob’s hip near the attached sinew.

Jacob Meets Esau

33:1 Jacob looked up 1457  and saw that Esau was coming 1458  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. 1459  33:3 But Jacob 1460  himself went on ahead of them, and he bowed toward the ground seven times as he approached 1461  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 1462  looked up 1463  and saw the women and the children, he asked, “Who are these people with you?” Jacob 1464  replied, “The children whom God has graciously given 1465  your servant.” 33:6 The female servants came forward with their children and bowed down. 1466  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 1467  then asked, “What did you intend 1468  by sending all these herds to meet me?” 1469  Jacob 1470  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. 1471  “If I have found favor in your sight, accept 1472  my gift from my hand. Now that I have seen your face and you have accepted me, 1473  it is as if I have seen the face of God. 1474  33:11 Please take my present 1475  that was brought to you, for God has been generous 1476  to me and I have all I need.” 1477  When Jacob urged him, he took it. 1478 

33:12 Then Esau 1479  said, “Let’s be on our way! 1480  I will go in front of you.” 33:13 But Jacob 1481  said to him, “My lord knows that the children are young, 1482  and that I have to look after the sheep and cattle that are nursing their young. 1483  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, 1484  until I come to my lord at Seir.”

33:15 So Esau said, “Let me leave some of my men with you.” 1485  “Why do that?” Jacob replied. 1486  “My lord has already been kind enough to me.” 1487 

33:16 So that same day Esau made his way back 1488  to Seir. 33:17 But 1489  Jacob traveled to Succoth 1490  where he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was called 1491  Succoth. 1492 

33:18 After he left Paddan Aram, Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped near 1493  the city. 33:19 Then he purchased the portion of the field where he had pitched his tent; he bought it 1494  from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of money. 1495  33:20 There he set up an altar and called it “The God of Israel is God.” 1496 

Dinah and the Shechemites

34:1 Now Dinah, Leah’s daughter whom she bore to Jacob, went to meet 1497  the young women 1498  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, 1499  and sexually assaulted her. 1500  34:3 Then he became very attached 1501  to Dinah, Jacob’s daughter. He fell in love with the young woman and spoke romantically to her. 1502  34:4 Shechem said to his father Hamor, “Acquire this young girl as my wife.” 1503  34:5 When 1504  Jacob heard that Shechem 1505  had violated his daughter Dinah, his sons were with the livestock in the field. So Jacob remained silent 1506  until they came in.

34:6 Then Shechem’s father Hamor went to speak with Jacob about Dinah. 1507  34:7 Now Jacob’s sons had come in from the field when they heard the news. 1508  They 1509  were offended 1510  and very angry because Shechem 1511  had disgraced Israel 1512  by sexually assaulting 1513  Jacob’s daughter, a crime that should not be committed. 1514 

34:8 But Hamor made this appeal to them: “My son Shechem is in love with your daughter. 1515  Please give her to him as his wife. 34:9 Intermarry with us. 1516  Let us marry your daughters, and take our daughters as wives for yourselves. 1517  34:10 You may live 1518  among us, and the land will be open to you. 1519  Live in it, travel freely in it, 1520  and acquire property in it.”

34:11 Then Shechem said to Dinah’s 1521  father and brothers, “Let me find favor in your sight, and whatever you require of me 1522  I’ll give. 1523  34:12 You can make the bride price and the gift I must bring very expensive, 1524  and I’ll give 1525  whatever you ask 1526  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 1527  had violated their sister Dinah. 34:14 They said to them, “We cannot give 1528  our sister to a man who is not circumcised, for it would be a disgrace 1529  to us. 34:15 We will give you our consent on this one condition: You must become 1530  like us by circumcising 1531  all your males. 34:16 Then we will give 1532  you our daughters to marry, 1533  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 1534  by being circumcised, then we will take 1535  our sister 1536  and depart.”

34:18 Their offer pleased Hamor and his son Shechem. 1537  34:19 The young man did not delay in doing what they asked 1538  because he wanted Jacob’s daughter Dinah 1539  badly. (Now he was more important 1540  than anyone in his father’s household.) 1541  34:20 So Hamor and his son Shechem went to the gate 1542  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 1543  for them. We will take their daughters for wives, and we will give them our daughters to marry. 1544  34:22 Only on this one condition will these men consent to live with us and become one people: They demand 1545  that every male among us be circumcised just as they are circumcised. 34:23 If we do so, 1546  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 1547  agreed with 1548  Hamor and his son Shechem. Every male who assembled at the city gate 1549  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 1550  and went to the unsuspecting city 1551  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 1552  and looted the city because their sister had been violated. 1553  34:28 They took their flocks, herds, and donkeys, as well as everything in the city and in the surrounding fields. 1554  34:29 They captured as plunder 1555  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 1556  on me by making me a foul odor 1557  among the inhabitants of the land – among the Canaanites and the Perizzites. I 1558  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, 1559  “Should he treat our sister like a common prostitute?”

The Return to Bethel

35:1 Then God said to Jacob, “Go up at once 1560  to Bethel 1561  and live there. Make an altar there to God, who appeared to you when you fled from your brother Esau.” 1562  35:2 So Jacob told his household and all who were with him, “Get rid of the foreign gods you have among you. 1563  Purify yourselves and change your clothes. 1564  35:3 Let us go up at once 1565  to Bethel. Then I will make 1566  an altar there to God, who responded to me in my time of distress 1567  and has been with me wherever I went.” 1568 

35:4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods that were in their possession 1569  and the rings that were in their ears. 1570  Jacob buried them 1571  under the oak 1572  near Shechem 35:5 and they started on their journey. 1573  The surrounding cities were afraid of God, 1574  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) 1575  in the land of Canaan. 1576  35:7 He built an altar there and named the place El Bethel 1577  because there God had revealed himself 1578  to him when he was fleeing from his brother. 35:8 (Deborah, 1579  Rebekah’s nurse, died and was buried under the oak below Bethel; thus it was named 1580  Oak of Weeping.) 1581 

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. 1582  35:11 Then God said to him, “I am the sovereign God. 1583  Be fruitful and multiply! A nation – even a company of nations – will descend from you; kings will be among your descendants! 1584  35:12 The land I gave 1585  to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you. To your descendants 1586  I will also give this land.” 35:13 Then God went up from the place 1587  where he spoke with him. 35:14 So Jacob set up a sacred stone pillar in the place where God spoke with him. 1588  He poured out a drink offering on it, and then he poured oil on it. 1589  35:15 Jacob named the place 1590  where God spoke with him Bethel. 1591 

35:16 They traveled on from Bethel, and when Ephrath was still some distance away, 1592  Rachel went into labor 1593  – and her labor was hard. 35:17 When her labor was at its hardest, 1594  the midwife said to her, “Don’t be afraid, for you are having another son.” 1595  35:18 With her dying breath, 1596  she named him Ben-Oni. 1597  But his father called him Benjamin instead. 1598  35:19 So Rachel died and was buried on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). 1599  35:20 Jacob set up a marker 1600  over her grave; it is 1601  the Marker of Rachel’s Grave to this day.

35:21 Then Israel traveled on and pitched his tent beyond Migdal Eder. 1602  35:22 While Israel was living in that land, Reuben had sexual relations with 1603  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, 1604  to Kiriath Arba 1605  (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 1606  35:28 Isaac lived to be 180 years old. 1607  35:29 Then Isaac breathed his last and joined his ancestors. 1608  He died an old man who had lived a full life. 1609  His sons Esau and Jacob buried him.

The Descendants of Esau

36:1 What follows is the account of Esau (also known as Edom). 1610 

36:2 Esau took his wives from the Canaanites: 1611  Adah the daughter of Elon the Hittite, and Oholibamah the daughter of Anah and granddaughter 1612  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 1613  Jacob his brother 36:7 because they had too many possessions to be able to stay together and the land where they had settled 1614  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. 1615 

36:9 This is the account of Esau, the father 1616  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 1617  of Esau’s wife Adah.

36:13 These were the sons of Reuel: Nahath, Zerah, Shammah, and Mizzah. These were the sons 1618  of Esau’s wife Basemath.

36:14 These were the sons of Esau’s wife Oholibamah the daughter of Anah and granddaughter 1619  of Zibeon: She bore Jeush, Jalam, and Korah to Esau.

36:15 These were the chiefs 1620  among the descendants 1621  of Esau, the sons of Eliphaz, Esau’s firstborn: chief Teman, chief Omar, chief Zepho, chief Kenaz, 36:16 chief Korah, 1622  chief Gatam, chief Amalek. These were the chiefs descended from Eliphaz in the land of Edom; these were the sons 1623  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 1624  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, 1625  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 1626  of Seir in the land of Edom.

36:22 The sons of Lotan were Hori and Homam; 1627  Lotan’s sister was Timna.

36:23 These were the sons of Shobal: Alvan, Manahath, Ebal, Shepho, 1628  and Onam.

36:24 These were the sons of Zibeon: Aiah and Anah (who discovered the hot springs 1629  in the wilderness as he pastured the donkeys of his father Zibeon).

36:25 These were the children 1630  of Anah: Dishon and Oholibamah, the daughter of Anah.

36:26 These were the sons of Dishon: 1631  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: 1632 

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 1633  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 1634  reigned in his place; the name of his city was Pau. 1635  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 1636  in the land they possessed. This was Esau, the father of the Edomites.

Joseph’s Dreams

37:1 But Jacob lived in the land where his father had stayed, 1637  in the land of Canaan. 1638 

37:2 This is the account of Jacob.

Joseph, his seventeen-year-old son, 1639  was taking care of 1640  the flocks with his brothers. Now he was a youngster 1641  working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. 1642  Joseph brought back a bad report about them 1643  to their father.

37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons 1644  because he was a son born to him late in life, 1645  and he made a special 1646  tunic for him. 37:4 When Joseph’s 1647  brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, 1648  they hated Joseph 1649  and were not able to speak to him kindly. 1650 

37:5 Joseph 1651  had a dream, 1652  and when he told his brothers about it, 1653  they hated him even more. 1654  37:6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 1655  37:7 There we were, 1656  binding sheaves of grain in the middle of the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose up and stood upright and your sheaves surrounded my sheaf and bowed down 1657  to it!” 37:8 Then his brothers asked him, “Do you really think you will rule over us or have dominion over us?” 1658  They hated him even more 1659  because of his dream and because of what he said. 1660 

37:9 Then he had another dream, 1661  and told it to his brothers. “Look,” 1662  he said. “I had another dream. The sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 37:10 When he told his father and his brothers, his father rebuked him, saying, “What is this dream that you had? 1663  Will I, your mother, and your brothers really come and bow down to you?” 1664  37:11 His brothers were jealous 1665  of him, but his father kept in mind what Joseph said. 1666 

37:12 When his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 37:13 Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers 1667  are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I will send you to them.” “I’m ready,” 1668  Joseph replied. 1669  37:14 So Jacob 1670  said to him, “Go now and check on 1671  the welfare 1672  of your brothers and of the flocks, and bring me word.” So Jacob 1673  sent him from the valley of Hebron.

37:15 When Joseph reached Shechem, 1674  a man found him wandering 1675  in the field, so the man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 37:16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Please tell 1676  me where they are grazing their flocks.” 37:17 The man said, “They left this area, 1677  for I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.

37:18 Now Joseph’s brothers 1678  saw him from a distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 37:19 They said to one another, “Here comes this master of dreams! 1679  37:20 Come now, let’s kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and then say that a wild 1680  animal ate him. Then we’ll see how his dreams turn out!” 1681 

37:21 When Reuben heard this, he rescued Joseph 1682  from their hands, 1683  saying, 1684  “Let’s not take his life!” 1685  37:22 Reuben continued, 1686  “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this cistern that is here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” 1687  (Reuben said this 1688  so he could rescue Joseph 1689  from them 1690  and take him back to his father.)

37:23 When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him 1691  of his tunic, the special tunic that he wore. 37:24 Then they took him and threw him into the cistern. (Now the cistern was empty; 1692  there was no water in it.)

37:25 When they sat down to eat their food, they looked up 1693  and saw 1694  a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh down to Egypt. 1695  37:26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 37:27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not lay a hand on him, 1696  for after all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 1697  37:28 So when the Midianite 1698  merchants passed by, Joseph’s brothers pulled 1699  him 1700  out of the cistern and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites 1701  then took Joseph to Egypt.

37:29 Later Reuben returned to the cistern to find that Joseph was not in it! 1702  He tore his clothes, 37:30 returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy isn’t there! And I, where can I go?” 37:31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a young goat, 1703  and dipped the tunic in the blood. 37:32 Then they brought the special tunic to their father 1704  and said, “We found this. Determine now whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”

37:33 He recognized it and exclaimed, “It is my son’s tunic! A wild animal has eaten him! 1705  Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 37:34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, 1706  and mourned for his son many days. 37:35 All his sons and daughters stood by 1707  him to console him, but he refused to be consoled. “No,” he said, “I will go to the grave mourning my son.” 1708  So Joseph’s 1709  father wept for him.

37:36 Now 1710  in Egypt the Midianites 1711  sold Joseph 1712  to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard. 1713 

Judah and Tamar

38:1 At that time Judah left 1714  his brothers and stayed 1715  with an Adullamite man 1716  named Hirah.

38:2 There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man 1717  named Shua. 1718  Judah acquired her as a wife 1719  and had marital relations with her. 1720  38:3 She became pregnant 1721  and had a son. Judah named 1722  him Er. 38:4 She became pregnant again and had another son, whom she named Onan. 38:5 Then she had 1723  yet another son, whom she named Shelah. She gave birth to him in Kezib. 1724 

38:6 Judah acquired 1725  a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar. 38:7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord killed him.

38:8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Have sexual relations with 1726  your brother’s wife and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her so that you may raise 1727  up a descendant for your brother.” 1728  38:9 But Onan knew that the child 1729  would not be considered his. 1730  So whenever 1731  he had sexual relations with 1732  his brother’s wife, he withdrew prematurely 1733  so as not to give his brother a descendant. 38:10 What he did was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord 1734  killed him too.

38:11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until Shelah my son grows up.” For he thought, 1735  “I don’t want him to die like his brothers.” 1736  So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.

38:12 After some time 1737  Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah was consoled, he left for Timnah to visit his sheepshearers, along with 1738  his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 38:13 Tamar was told, 1739  “Look, your father-in-law is going up 1740  to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 38:14 So she removed her widow’s clothes and covered herself with a veil. She wrapped herself and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the way to Timnah. (She did this because 1741  she saw that she had not been given to Shelah as a wife, even though he had now grown up.) 1742 

38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute 1743  because she had covered her face. 38:16 He turned aside to her along the road and said, “Come on! I want to have sex with you.” 1744  (He did not realize 1745  it was his daughter-in-law.) She asked, “What will you give me in exchange for having sex with you?” 1746  38:17 He replied, “I’ll send you a young goat from the flock.” She asked, “Will you give me a pledge until you send it?” 1747  38:18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?” She replied, “Your seal, your cord, and the staff that’s in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had sex with her. 1748  She became pregnant by him. 38:19 She left immediately, 1749  removed her veil, and put on her widow’s clothes.

38:20 Then Judah had his friend Hirah 1750  the Adullamite take a young goat to get back from the woman the items he had given in pledge, 1751  but Hirah 1752  could not find her. 38:21 He asked the men who were there, 1753  “Where is the cult prostitute 1754  who was at Enaim by the road?” But they replied, “There has been no cult prostitute here.” 38:22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. Moreover, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no cult prostitute here.’” 38:23 Judah said, “Let her keep the things 1755  for herself. Otherwise we will appear to be dishonest. 1756  I did indeed send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”

38:24 After three months Judah was told, 1757  “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has turned to prostitution, 1758  and as a result she has become pregnant.” 1759  Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” 38:25 While they were bringing her out, she sent word 1760  to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these belong.” 1761  Then she said, “Identify 1762  the one to whom the seal, cord, and staff belong.” 38:26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more upright 1763  than I am, because I wouldn’t give her to Shelah my son.” He did not have sexual relations with her 1764  again.

38:27 When it was time for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 38:28 While she was giving birth, one child 1765  put out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 38:29 But then he drew back his hand, and his brother came out before him. 1766  She said, “How you have broken out of the womb!” 1767  So he was named Perez. 1768  38:30 Afterward his brother came out – the one who had the scarlet thread on his hand – and he was named Zerah. 1769 

Joseph and Potiphar’s Wife

39:1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt. 1770  An Egyptian named Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard, 1771  purchased him from 1772  the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. 39:2 The Lord was with Joseph. He was successful 1773  and lived 1774  in the household of his Egyptian master. 39:3 His master observed that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made everything he was doing successful. 1775  39:4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal attendant. 1776  Potiphar appointed Joseph 1777  overseer of his household and put him in charge 1778  of everything he owned. 39:5 From the time 1779  Potiphar 1780  appointed him over his household and over all that he owned, the Lord blessed 1781  the Egyptian’s household for Joseph’s sake. The blessing of the Lord was on everything that he had, both 1782  in his house and in his fields. 1783  39:6 So Potiphar 1784  left 1785  everything he had in Joseph’s care; 1786  he gave no thought 1787  to anything except the food he ate. 1788 

Now Joseph was well built and good-looking. 1789  39:7 Soon after these things, his master’s wife took notice of 1790  Joseph and said, “Have sex with me.” 1791  39:8 But he refused, saying 1792  to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not give any thought 1793  to his household with me here, 1794  and everything that he owns he has put into my care. 1795  39:9 There is no one greater in this household than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife. So how could I do 1796  such a great evil and sin against God?” 39:10 Even though she continued to speak 1797  to Joseph day after day, he did not respond 1798  to her invitation to have sex with her. 1799 

39:11 One day 1800  he went into the house to do his work when none of the household servants 1801  were there in the house. 39:12 She grabbed him by his outer garment, saying, “Have sex with me!” But he left his outer garment in her hand and ran 1802  outside. 1803  39:13 When she saw that he had left his outer garment in her hand and had run outside, 39:14 she called for her household servants and said to them, “See, my husband brought 1804  in a Hebrew man 1805  to us to humiliate us. 1806  He tried to have sex with me, 1807  but I screamed loudly. 1808  39:15 When he heard me raise 1809  my voice and scream, he left his outer garment beside me and ran outside.”

39:16 So she laid his outer garment beside her until his master came home. 39:17 This is what she said to him: 1810  “That Hebrew slave 1811  you brought to us tried to humiliate me, 1812  39:18 but when I raised my voice and screamed, he left his outer garment and ran outside.”

39:19 When his master heard his wife say, 1813  “This is the way 1814  your slave treated me,” 1815  he became furious. 1816  39:20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the prison, 1817  the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in the prison. 1818 

39:21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him kindness. 1819  He granted him favor in the sight of the prison warden. 1820  39:22 The warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care. He was in charge of whatever they were doing. 1821  39:23 The warden did not concern himself 1822  with anything that was in Joseph’s 1823  care because the Lord was with him and whatever he was doing the Lord was making successful.

The Cupbearer and the Baker

40:1 After these things happened, the cupbearer 1824  to the king of Egypt and the royal baker 1825  offended 1826  their master, the king of Egypt. 40:2 Pharaoh was enraged with his two officials, 1827  the cupbearer and the baker, 40:3 so he imprisoned them in the house of the captain of the guard in the same facility where Joseph was confined. 40:4 The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be their attendant, and he served them. 1828 

They spent some time in custody. 1829  40:5 Both of them, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream 1830  the same night. 1831  Each man’s dream had its own meaning. 1832  40:6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were looking depressed. 1833  40:7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials, who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?” 1834  40:8 They told him, “We both had dreams, 1835  but there is no one to interpret them.” Joseph responded, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell them 1836  to me.”

40:9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: 1837  “In my dream, there was a vine in front of me. 40:10 On the vine there were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters ripened into grapes. 40:11 Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, squeezed them into his 1838  cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” 1839 

40:12 “This is its meaning,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches represent 1840  three days. 40:13 In three more days Pharaoh will reinstate you 1841  and restore you to your office. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you did before 1842  when you were cupbearer. 40:14 But remember me 1843  when it goes well for you, and show 1844  me kindness. 1845  Make mention 1846  of me to Pharaoh and bring me out of this prison, 1847  40:15 for I really was kidnapped 1848  from the land of the Hebrews and I have done nothing wrong here for which they should put me in a dungeon.”

40:16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the first dream was favorable, 1849  he said to Joseph, “I also appeared in my dream and there were three baskets of white bread 1850  on my head. 40:17 In the top basket there were baked goods of every kind for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them from the basket that was on my head.”

40:18 Joseph replied, “This is its meaning: The three baskets represent 1851  three days. 40:19 In three more days Pharaoh will decapitate you 1852  and impale you on a pole. Then the birds will eat your flesh from you.”

40:20 On the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday, so he gave a feast for all his servants. He “lifted up” 1853  the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker in the midst of his servants. 40:21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his former position 1854  so that he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand, 40:22 but the chief baker he impaled, just as Joseph had predicted. 1855  40:23 But the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph – he forgot him. 1856 

Joseph’s Rise to Power

41:1 At the end of two full years 1857  Pharaoh had a dream. 1858  As he was standing by the Nile, 41:2 seven fine-looking, fat cows were coming up out of the Nile, 1859  and they grazed in the reeds. 41:3 Then seven bad-looking, thin cows were coming up after them from the Nile, 1860  and they stood beside the other cows at the edge of the river. 1861  41:4 The bad-looking, thin cows ate the seven fine-looking, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.

41:5 Then he fell asleep again and had a second dream: There were seven heads of grain growing 1862  on one stalk, healthy 1863  and good. 41:6 Then 1864  seven heads of grain, thin and burned by the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:7 The thin heads swallowed up the seven healthy and full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it was a dream. 1865 

41:8 In the morning he 1866  was troubled, so he called for 1867  all the diviner-priests 1868  of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, 1869  but no one could interpret 1870  them for him. 1871  41:9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures. 1872  41:10 Pharaoh was enraged with his servants, and he put me in prison in the house of the captain of the guards – me and the chief baker. 41:11 We each had a dream one night; each of us had a dream with its own meaning. 1873  41:12 Now a young man, a Hebrew, a servant 1874  of the captain of the guards, 1875  was with us there. We told him our dreams, 1876  and he interpreted the meaning of each of our respective dreams for us. 1877  41:13 It happened just as he had said 1878  to us – Pharaoh 1879  restored me to my office, but he impaled the baker.” 1880 

41:14 Then Pharaoh summoned 1881  Joseph. So they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; he shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came before Pharaoh. 41:15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, 1882  and there is no one who can interpret 1883  it. But I have heard about you, that 1884  you can interpret dreams.” 1885  41:16 Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “It is not within my power, 1886  but God will speak concerning 1887  the welfare of Pharaoh.” 1888 

41:17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing 1889  by the edge of the Nile. 41:18 Then seven fat and fine-looking cows were coming up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the reeds. 1890  41:19 Then 1891  seven other cows came up after them; they were scrawny, very bad-looking, and lean. I had never seen such bad-looking cows 1892  as these in all the land of Egypt! 41:20 The lean, bad-looking cows ate up the seven 1893  fat cows. 41:21 When they had eaten them, 1894  no one would have known 1895  that they had done so, for they were just as bad-looking as before. Then I woke up. 41:22 I also saw in my dream 1896  seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, full and good. 41:23 Then 1897  seven heads of grain, withered and thin and burned with the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. So I told all this 1898  to the diviner-priests, but no one could tell me its meaning.” 1899 

41:25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both dreams of Pharaoh have the same meaning. 1900  God has revealed 1901  to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 1902  41:26 The seven good cows represent seven years, and the seven good heads of grain represent seven years. Both dreams have the same meaning. 1903  41:27 The seven lean, bad-looking cows that came up after them represent seven years, as do the seven empty heads of grain burned with the east wind. They represent 1904  seven years of famine. 41:28 This is just what I told 1905  Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 41:29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the whole land of Egypt. 41:30 But seven years of famine will occur 1906  after them, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will devastate 1907  the land. 41:31 The previous abundance of the land will not be remembered 1908  because of the famine that follows, for the famine will be very severe. 1909  41:32 The dream was repeated to Pharaoh 1910  because the matter has been decreed 1911  by God, and God will make it happen soon. 1912 

41:33 “So now Pharaoh should look 1913  for a wise and discerning man 1914  and give him authority 1915  over all the land of Egypt. 41:34 Pharaoh should do 1916  this – he should appoint 1917  officials 1918  throughout the land to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt 1919  during the seven years of abundance. 41:35 They should gather all the excess food 1920  during these good years that are coming. By Pharaoh’s authority 1921  they should store up grain so the cities will have food, 1922  and they should preserve it. 1923  41:36 This food should be held in storage for the land in preparation for the seven years of famine that will occur throughout the land of Egypt. In this way the land will survive the famine.” 1924 

41:37 This advice made sense to Pharaoh and all his officials. 1925  41:38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find a man like Joseph, 1926  one in whom the Spirit of God is present?” 1927  41:39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Because God has enabled you to know all this, there is no one as wise and discerning 1928  as you are! 41:40 You will oversee my household, and all my people will submit to your commands. 1929  Only I, the king, will be greater than you. 1930 

41:41 “See here,” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I place 1931  you in authority over all the land of Egypt.” 1932  41:42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his own hand and put it on Joseph’s. He clothed him with fine linen 1933  clothes and put a gold chain around his neck. 41:43 Pharaoh 1934  had him ride in the chariot used by his second-in-command, 1935  and they cried out before him, “Kneel down!” 1936  So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 41:44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission 1937  no one 1938  will move his hand or his foot 1939  in all the land of Egypt.” 41:45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. 1940  He also gave him Asenath 1941  daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, 1942  to be his wife. So Joseph took charge of 1943  all the land of Egypt.

41:46 Now Joseph was 30 years old 1944  when he began serving 1945  Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph was commissioned by 1946  Pharaoh and was in charge of 1947  all the land of Egypt. 41:47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced large, bountiful harvests. 1948  41:48 Joseph 1949  collected all the excess food 1950  in the land of Egypt during the seven years and stored it in the cities. 1951  In every city he put the food gathered from the fields around it. 41:49 Joseph stored up a vast amount of grain, like the sand of the sea, 1952  until he stopped measuring it because it was impossible to measure.

41:50 Two sons were born to Joseph before the famine came. 1953  Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, was their mother. 1954  41:51 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, 1955  saying, 1956  “Certainly 1957  God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” 41:52 He named the second child Ephraim, 1958  saying, 1959  “Certainly 1960  God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”

41:53 The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end. 41:54 Then the seven years of famine began, 1961  just as Joseph had predicted. There was famine in all the other lands, but throughout the land of Egypt there was food. 41:55 When all the land of Egypt experienced the famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh said to all the people of Egypt, 1962  “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”

41:56 While the famine was over all the earth, 1963  Joseph opened the storehouses 1964  and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 41:57 People from every country 1965  came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the famine was severe throughout the earth.

Joseph’s Brothers in Egypt

42:1 When Jacob heard 1966  there was grain in Egypt, he 1967  said to his sons, “Why are you looking at each other?” 1968  42:2 He then said, “Look, I hear that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy grain for us 1969  so that we may live 1970  and not die.” 1971 

42:3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 42:4 But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, 1972  for he said, 1973  “What if some accident 1974  happens 1975  to him?” 42:5 So Israel’s sons came to buy grain among the other travelers, 1976  for the famine was severe in the land of Canaan.

42:6 Now Joseph was the ruler of the country, the one who sold grain to all the people of the country. 1977  Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down 1978  before him with 1979  their faces to the ground. 42:7 When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger 1980  to them and spoke to them harshly. He asked, “Where do you come from?” They answered, 1981  “From the land of Canaan, to buy grain for food.” 1982 

42:8 Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. 42:9 Then Joseph remembered 1983  the dreams he had dreamed about them, and he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see if our land is vulnerable!” 1984 

42:10 But they exclaimed, 1985  “No, my lord! Your servants have come to buy grain for food! 42:11 We are all the sons of one man; we are honest men! Your servants are not spies.”

42:12 “No,” he insisted, “but you have come to see if our land is vulnerable.” 1986  42:13 They replied, “Your servants are from a family of twelve brothers. 1987  We are the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is with our father at this time, 1988  and one is no longer alive.” 1989 

42:14 But Joseph told them, “It is just as I said to you: 1990  You are spies! 42:15 You will be tested in this way: As surely as Pharaoh lives, 1991  you will not depart from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 42:16 One of you must go and get 1992  your brother, while 1993  the rest of you remain in prison. 1994  In this way your words may be tested to see if 1995  you are telling the truth. 1996  If not, then, as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 42:17 He imprisoned 1997  them all for three days. 42:18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do as I say 1998  and you will live, 1999  for I fear God. 2000  42:19 If you are honest men, leave one of your brothers confined here in prison 2001  while the rest of you go 2002  and take grain back for your hungry families. 2003  42:20 But you must bring 2004  your youngest brother to me. Then 2005  your words will be verified 2006  and you will not die.” They did as he said. 2007 

42:21 They said to one other, 2008  “Surely we’re being punished 2009  because of our brother, because we saw how distressed he was 2010  when he cried to us for mercy, but we refused to listen. That is why this distress 2011  has come on us!” 42:22 Reuben said to them, “Didn’t I say to you, ‘Don’t sin against the boy,’ but you wouldn’t listen? So now we must pay for shedding his blood!” 2012  42:23 (Now 2013  they did not know that Joseph could understand them, 2014  for he was speaking through an interpreter.) 2015  42:24 He turned away from them and wept. When he turned around and spoke to them again, 2016  he had Simeon taken 2017  from them and tied up 2018  before their eyes.

42:25 Then Joseph gave orders to fill 2019  their bags with grain, to return each man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. His orders were carried out. 2020  42:26 So they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left. 2021 

42:27 When one of them 2022  opened his sack to get feed for his donkey at their resting place, 2023  he saw his money in the mouth of his sack. 2024  42:28 He said to his brothers, “My money was returned! Here it is in my sack!” They were dismayed; 2025  they turned trembling one to another 2026  and said, “What in the world has God done to us?” 2027 

42:29 They returned to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan and told him all the things that had happened to them, saying, 42:30 “The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us and treated us 2028  as if we were 2029  spying on the land. 42:31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies! 42:32 We are from a family of twelve brothers; we are the sons of one father. 2030  One is no longer alive, 2031  and the youngest is with our father at this time 2032  in the land of Canaan.’

42:33 “Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain 2033  for your hungry households and go. 42:34 But bring your youngest brother back to me so I will know 2034  that you are honest men and not spies. 2035  Then I will give your brother back to you and you may move about freely in the land.’” 2036 

42:35 When they were emptying their sacks, there was each man’s bag of money in his sack! When they and their father saw the bags of money, they were afraid. 42:36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You are making me childless! Joseph is gone. 2037  Simeon is gone. 2038  And now you want to take 2039  Benjamin! Everything is against me.”

42:37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may 2040  put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my care 2041  and I will bring him back to you.” 42:38 But Jacob 2042  replied, “My son will not go down there with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. 2043  If an accident happens to him on the journey you have to make, then you will bring down my gray hair 2044  in sorrow to the grave.” 2045 

The Second Journey to Egypt

43:1 Now the famine was severe in the land. 2046  43:2 When they finished eating the grain they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Return, buy us a little more food.”

43:3 But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned 2047  us, ‘You will not see my face 2048  unless your brother is with you.’ 43:4 If you send 2049  our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy food for you. 43:5 But if you will not send him, we won’t go down there because the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’”

43:6 Israel said, “Why did you bring this trouble 2050  on me by telling 2051  the man you had one more brother?”

43:7 They replied, “The man questioned us 2052  thoroughly 2053  about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ 2054  So we answered him in this way. 2055  How could we possibly know 2056  that he would say, 2057  ‘Bring your brother down’?”

43:8 Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will go immediately. 2058  Then we will live 2059  and not die – we and you and our little ones. 43:9 I myself pledge security 2060  for him; you may hold me liable. If I do not bring him back to you and place him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. 2061  43:10 But if we had not delayed, we could have traveled there and back 2062  twice by now!”

43:11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and take a gift down to the man – a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachios and almonds. 43:12 Take double the money with you; 2063  you must take back 2064  the money that was returned in the mouths of your sacks – perhaps it was an oversight. 43:13 Take your brother too, and go right away 2065  to the man. 2066  43:14 May the sovereign God 2067  grant you mercy before the man so that he may release 2068  your other brother 2069  and Benjamin! As for me, if I lose my children I lose them.” 2070 

43:15 So the men took these gifts, and they took double the money with them, along with Benjamin. Then they hurried down to Egypt 2071  and stood before Joseph. 43:16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the servant who was over his household, “Bring the men to the house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for the men will eat with me at noon.” 43:17 The man did just as Joseph said; he 2072  brought the men into Joseph’s house. 2073 

43:18 But the men were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house. They said, “We are being brought in because of 2074  the money that was returned in our sacks last time. 2075  He wants to capture us, 2076  make us slaves, and take 2077  our donkeys!” 43:19 So they approached the man who was in charge of Joseph’s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 43:20 They said, “My lord, we did indeed come down 2078  the first time 2079  to buy food. 43:21 But when we came to the place where we spent the night, we opened our sacks and each of us found his money – the full amount 2080  – in the mouth of his sack. So we have returned it. 2081  43:22 We have brought additional money with us to buy food. We do not know who put the money in our sacks!”

43:23 “Everything is fine,” 2082  the man in charge of Joseph’s household told them. “Don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks. 2083  I had your money.” 2084  Then he brought Simeon out to them.

43:24 The servant in charge 2085  brought the men into Joseph’s house. He gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he gave food to their donkeys. 43:25 They got their gifts ready for Joseph’s arrival 2086  at noon, for they had heard 2087  that they were to have a meal 2088  there.

43:26 When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought inside, 2089  and they bowed down to the ground before him. 43:27 He asked them how they were doing. 2090  Then he said, “Is your aging father well, the one you spoke about? Is he still alive?” 43:28 “Your servant our father is well,” they replied. “He is still alive.” They bowed down in humility. 2091 

43:29 When Joseph looked up 2092  and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, “Is this your youngest brother, whom you told me about?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 2093  43:30 Joseph hurried out, for he was overcome by affection for his brother 2094  and was at the point of tears. 2095  So he went to his room and wept there.

43:31 Then he washed his face and came out. With composure he said, 2096  “Set out the food.” 43:32 They set a place for him, a separate place for his brothers, 2097  and another for the Egyptians who were eating with him. (The Egyptians are not able to eat with Hebrews, for the Egyptians think it is disgusting 2098  to do so.) 2099  43:33 They sat before him, arranged by order of birth, beginning with the firstborn and ending with the youngest. 2100  The men looked at each other in astonishment. 2101  43:34 He gave them portions of the food set before him, 2102  but the portion for Benjamin was five times greater than the portions for any of the others. They drank with Joseph until they all became drunk. 2103 

The Final Test

44:1 He instructed the servant who was over his household, “Fill the sacks of the men with as much food as they can carry and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. 44:2 Then put 2104  my cup – the silver cup – in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the money for his grain.” He did as Joseph instructed. 2105 

44:3 When morning came, 2106  the men and their donkeys were sent off. 2107  44:4 They had not gone very far from the city 2108  when Joseph said 2109  to the servant who was over his household, “Pursue the men at once! 2110  When you overtake 2111  them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 44:5 Doesn’t my master drink from this cup 2112  and use it for divination? 2113  You have done wrong!’” 2114 

44:6 When the man 2115  overtook them, he spoke these words to them. 44:7 They answered him, “Why does my lord say such things? 2116  Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 2117  44:8 Look, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. Why then would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 44:9 If one of us has it, 2118  he will die, and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves!”

44:10 He replied, “You have suggested your own punishment! 2119  The one who has it will become my slave, 2120  but the rest of 2121  you will go free.” 2122  44:11 So each man quickly lowered 2123  his sack to the ground and opened it. 44:12 Then the man 2124  searched. He began with the oldest and finished with the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack! 44:13 They all tore their clothes! Then each man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.

44:14 So Judah and his brothers 2125  came back to Joseph’s house. He was still there, 2126  and they threw themselves to the ground before him. 44:15 Joseph said to them, “What did you think you were doing? 2127  Don’t you know that a man like me can find out things like this by divination?” 2128 

44:16 Judah replied, “What can we say 2129  to my lord? What can we speak? How can we clear ourselves? 2130  God has exposed the sin of your servants! 2131  We are now my lord’s slaves, we and the one in whose possession the cup was found.”

44:17 But Joseph said, “Far be it from me to do this! The man in whose hand the cup was found will become my slave, but the rest of 2132  you may go back 2133  to your father in peace.”

44:18 Then Judah approached him and said, “My lord, please allow your servant to speak a word with you. 2134  Please do not get angry with your servant, 2135  for you are just like Pharaoh. 2136  44:19 My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 44:20 We said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and there is a young boy who was born when our father was old. 2137  The boy’s 2138  brother is dead. He is the only one of his mother’s sons left, 2139  and his father loves him.’

44:21 “Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see 2140  him.’ 2141  44:22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves his father, his father 2142  will die.’ 2143  44:23 But you said to your servants, ‘If your youngest brother does not come down with you, you will not see my face again.’ 44:24 When we returned to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.

44:25 “Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 44:26 But we replied, ‘We cannot go down there. 2144  If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go, 2145  for we won’t be permitted to see the man’s face if our youngest brother is not with us.’

44:27 “Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife gave me two sons. 2146  44:28 The first disappeared 2147  and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.” I have not seen him since. 44:29 If you take 2148  this one from me too and an accident happens to him, then you will bring down my gray hair 2149  in tragedy 2150  to the grave.’ 2151 

44:30 “So now, when I return to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us – his very life is bound up in his son’s life. 2152  44:31 When he sees the boy is not with us, 2153  he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father in sorrow to the grave. 44:32 Indeed, 2154  your servant pledged security for the boy with my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I will bear the blame before my father all my life.’

44:33 “So now, please let your servant remain as my lord’s slave instead of the boy. As for the boy, let him go back with his brothers. 44:34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see 2155  my father’s pain.” 2156 

The Reconciliation of the Brothers

45:1 Joseph was no longer able to control himself before all his attendants, 2157  so he cried out, “Make everyone go out from my presence!” No one remained 2158  with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 45:2 He wept loudly; 2159  the Egyptians heard it and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. 2160 

45:3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” His brothers could not answer him because they were dumbfounded before him. 45:4 Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me,” so they came near. Then he said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 45:5 Now, do not be upset and do not be angry with yourselves because you sold me here, 2161  for God sent me 2162  ahead of you to preserve life! 45:6 For these past two years there has been famine in 2163  the land and for five more years there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 45:7 God sent me 2164  ahead of you to preserve you 2165  on the earth and to save your lives 2166  by a great deliverance. 45:8 So now, it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me an adviser 2167  to Pharaoh, lord over all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 45:9 Now go up to my father quickly 2168  and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: “God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not delay! 45:10 You will live 2169  in the land of Goshen, and you will be near me – you, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and everything you have. 45:11 I will provide you with food 2170  there because there will be five more years of famine. Otherwise you would become poor – you, your household, and everyone who belongs to you.”’ 45:12 You and my brother Benjamin can certainly see with your own eyes that I really am the one who speaks to you. 2171  45:13 So tell 2172  my father about all my honor in Egypt and about everything you have seen. But bring my father down here quickly!” 2173 

45:14 Then he threw himself on the neck of his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 45:15 He kissed all his brothers and wept over them. After this his brothers talked with him.

45:16 Now it was reported 2174  in the household of Pharaoh, “Joseph’s brothers have arrived.” It pleased 2175  Pharaoh and his servants. 45:17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and go 2176  to the land of Canaan! 45:18 Get your father and your households and come to me! Then I will give you 2177  the best land in Egypt and you will eat 2178  the best 2179  of the land.’ 45:19 You are also commanded to say, 2180  ‘Do this: Take for yourselves wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives. Bring your father and come. 45:20 Don’t worry 2181  about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt will be yours.’”

45:21 So the sons of Israel did as he said. 2182  Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had instructed, 2183  and he gave them provisions for the journey. 45:22 He gave sets of clothes to each one of them, 2184  but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of clothes. 2185  45:23 To his father he sent the following: 2186  ten donkeys loaded with the best products of Egypt and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, food, and provisions for his father’s journey. 45:24 Then he sent his brothers on their way and they left. He said to them, “As you travel don’t be overcome with fear.” 2187 

45:25 So they went up from Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 2188  45:26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!” Jacob was stunned, 2189  for he did not believe them. 45:27 But when they related to him everything Joseph had said to them, 2190  and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him, their father Jacob’s spirit revived. 45:28 Then Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive! I will go and see him before I die.”

The Family of Jacob goes to Egypt

46:1 So Israel began his journey, taking with him all that he had. 2191  When he came to Beer Sheba 2192  he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 46:2 God spoke to Israel in a vision during the night 2193  and said, “Jacob, Jacob!” He replied, “Here I am!” 46:3 He said, “I am God, 2194  the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 46:4 I will go down with you to Egypt and I myself will certainly bring you back from there. 2195  Joseph will close your eyes.” 2196 

46:5 Then Jacob started out 2197  from Beer Sheba, and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little children, and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent along to transport him. 46:6 Jacob and all his descendants took their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they went to Egypt. 2198  46:7 He brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, 2199  his daughters and granddaughters – all his descendants.

46:8 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt – Jacob and his sons:

Reuben, the firstborn of Jacob.

46:9 The sons of Reuben:

Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.

46:10 The sons of Simeon:

Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar,

and Shaul (the son of a Canaanite woman).

46:11 The sons of Levi:

Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

46:12 The sons of Judah:

Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah

(but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan).

The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.

46:13 The sons of Issachar:

Tola, Puah, 2200  Jashub, 2201  and Shimron.

46:14 The sons of Zebulun:

Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.

46:15 These were the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram, along with Dinah his daughter. His sons and daughters numbered thirty-three in all. 2202 

46:16 The sons of Gad:

Zephon, 2203  Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.

46:17 The sons of Asher:

Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and Serah their sister.

The sons of Beriah were Heber and Malkiel.

46:18 These were the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter. She bore these to Jacob, sixteen in all.

46:19 The sons of Rachel the wife of Jacob:

Joseph and Benjamin.

46:20 Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph in the land of Egypt. Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, 2204  bore them to him.

46:21 The sons of Benjamin: 2205 

Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard.

46:22 These were the sons of Rachel who were born to Jacob, fourteen in all.

46:23 The son of Dan: Hushim. 2206 

46:24 The sons of Naphtali:

Jahziel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.

46:25 These were the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter. She bore these to Jacob, seven in all.

46:26 All the direct descendants of Jacob who went to Egypt with him were sixty-six in number. (This number does not include the wives of Jacob’s sons.) 2207  46:27 Counting the two sons 2208  of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt, all the people of the household of Jacob who were in Egypt numbered seventy. 2209 

46:28 Jacob 2210  sent Judah before him to Joseph to accompany him to Goshen. 2211  So they came to the land of Goshen. 46:29 Joseph harnessed his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. When he met him, 2212  he hugged his neck and wept on his neck for quite some time.

46:30 Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” 2213  46:31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, 2214  ‘My brothers and my father’s household who were in the land of Canaan have come to me. 46:32 The men are shepherds; 2215  they take care of livestock. 2216  They have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ 46:33 Pharaoh will summon you and say, ‘What is your occupation?’ 46:34 Tell him, ‘Your servants have taken care of cattle 2217  from our youth until now, both we and our fathers,’ so that you may live in the land of Goshen, 2218  for everyone who takes care of sheep is disgusting 2219  to the Egyptians.”

Joseph’s Wise Administration

47:1 Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father, my brothers, their flocks and herds, and all that they own have arrived from the land of

Canaan. They are now 2220  in the land of Goshen.” 47:2 He took five of his brothers and introduced them to Pharaoh. 2221 

47:3 Pharaoh said to Joseph’s 2222  brothers, “What is your occupation?” They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants take care of flocks, just as our ancestors did.” 2223  47:4 Then they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to live as temporary residents 2224  in the land. There 2225  is no pasture for your servants’ flocks because the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. So now, please let your servants live in the land of Goshen.”

47:5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 47:6 The land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best region of the land. They may live in the land of Goshen. If you know of any highly capable men 2226  among them, put them in charge 2227  of my livestock.”

47:7 Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and presented him 2228  before Pharaoh. Jacob blessed 2229  Pharaoh. 47:8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How long have you lived?” 2230  47:9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, “All 2231  the years of my travels 2232  are 130. All 2233  the years of my life have been few and painful; 2234  the years of my travels are not as long as those of my ancestors.” 2235  47:10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence. 2236 

47:11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers. He gave them territory 2237  in the land of Egypt, in the best region of the land, the land of Rameses, 2238  just as Pharaoh had commanded. 47:12 Joseph also provided food for his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household, according to the number of their little children.

47:13 But there was no food in all the land because the famine was very severe; the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan wasted away 2239  because of the famine. 47:14 Joseph collected all the money that could be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan as payment 2240  for the grain they were buying. Then Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s palace. 2241  47:15 When the money from the lands of Egypt and Canaan was used up, all the Egyptians 2242  came to Joseph and said, “Give us food! Why should we die 2243  before your very eyes because our money has run out?”

47:16 Then Joseph said, “If your money is gone, bring your livestock, and I will give you food 2244  in exchange for 2245  your livestock.” 47:17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for their horses, the livestock of their flocks and herds, and their donkeys. 2246  He got them through that year by giving them food in exchange for livestock.

47:18 When that year was over, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We cannot hide from our 2247  lord that the money is used up and the livestock and the animals belong to our lord. Nothing remains before our lord except our bodies and our land. 47:19 Why should we die before your very eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we, with our land, will become 2248  Pharaoh’s slaves. 2249  Give us seed that we may live 2250  and not die. Then the land will not become desolate.” 2251 

47:20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. Each 2252  of the Egyptians sold his field, for the famine was severe. 2253  So the land became Pharaoh’s. 47:21 Joseph 2254  made all the people slaves 2255  from one end of Egypt’s border to the other end of it. 47:22 But he did not purchase the land of the priests because the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh and they ate from their allotment that Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

47:23 Joseph said to the people, “Since I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you. Cultivate 2256  the land. 47:24 When you gather in the crop, 2257  give 2258  one-fifth of it to Pharaoh, and the rest 2259  will be yours for seed for the fields and for you to eat, including those in your households and your little children.” 47:25 They replied, “You have saved our lives! You are showing us favor, 2260  and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 2261 

47:26 So Joseph made it a statute, 2262  which is in effect 2263  to this day throughout the land of Egypt: One-fifth belongs to Pharaoh. Only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s.

47:27 Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen, and they owned land there. They were fruitful and increased rapidly in number.

47:28 Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; the years 2264  of Jacob’s life were 147 in all. 47:29 The time 2265  for Israel to die approached, so he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, put your hand under my thigh 2266  and show me kindness and faithfulness. 2267  Do not bury me in Egypt, 47:30 but when I rest 2268  with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” Joseph 2269  said, “I will do as you say.”

47:31 Jacob 2270  said, “Swear to me that you will do so.” 2271  So Joseph 2272  gave him his word. 2273  Then Israel bowed down 2274  at the head of his bed. 2275 

Manasseh and Ephraim

48:1 After these things Joseph was told, 2276  “Your father is weakening.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. 48:2 When Jacob was told, 2277  “Your son Joseph has just 2278  come to you,” Israel regained strength and sat up on his bed. 48:3 Jacob said to Joseph, “The sovereign God 2279  appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 48:4 He said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful 2280  and will multiply you. 2281  I will make you into a group of nations, and I will give this land to your descendants 2282  as an everlasting possession.’ 2283 

48:5 “Now, as for your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, they will be mine. 2284  Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine just as Reuben and Simeon are. 48:6 Any children that you father 2285  after them will be yours; they will be listed 2286  under the names of their brothers in their inheritance. 2287  48:7 But as for me, when I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died – to my sorrow 2288  – in the land of Canaan. It happened along the way, some distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there on the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem). 2289 

48:8 When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he asked, “Who are these?” 48:9 Joseph said to his father, “They are the 2290  sons God has given me in this place.” His father 2291  said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.” 2292  48:10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing 2293  because of his age; he was not able to see well. So Joseph 2294  brought his sons 2295  near to him, and his father 2296  kissed them and embraced them. 48:11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected 2297  to see you 2298  again, but now God has allowed me to see your children 2299  too.”

48:12 So Joseph moved them from Israel’s knees 2300  and bowed down with his face to the ground. 48:13 Joseph positioned them; 2301  he put Ephraim on his right hand across from Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh on his left hand across from Israel’s right hand. Then Joseph brought them closer to his father. 2302  48:14 Israel stretched out his right hand and placed it on Ephraim’s head, although he was the younger. 2303  Crossing his hands, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, for Manasseh was the firstborn.

48:15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,

“May the God before whom my fathers

Abraham and Isaac walked –

the God who has been my shepherd 2304 

all my life long to this day,

48:16 the Angel 2305  who has protected me 2306 

from all harm –

bless these boys.

May my name be named in them, 2307 

and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac.

May they grow into a multitude on the earth.”

48:17 When Joseph saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him. 2308  So he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 48:18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”

48:19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a nation and he too will become great. In spite of this, his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will become a multitude 2309  of nations.” 48:20 So he blessed them that day, saying,

“By you 2310  will Israel bless, 2311  saying,

‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 2312 

48:21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you 2313  and will bring you back to the land of your fathers. 48:22 As one who is above your 2314  brothers, I give to you the mountain slope, 2315  which I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

The Blessing of Jacob

49:1 Jacob called for his sons and said, “Gather together so I can tell you 2316  what will happen to you in the future. 2317 

49:2 “Assemble and listen, you sons of Jacob;

listen to Israel, your father.

49:3 Reuben, you are my firstborn,

my might and the beginning of my strength,

outstanding in dignity, outstanding in power.

49:4 You are destructive 2318  like water and will not excel, 2319 

for you got on your father’s bed, 2320 

then you defiled it – he got on my couch! 2321 

49:5 Simeon and Levi are brothers,

weapons of violence are their knives! 2322 

49:6 O my soul, do not come into their council,

do not be united to their assembly, my heart, 2323 

for in their anger they have killed men,

and for pleasure they have hamstrung oxen.

49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce,

and their fury, for it was cruel.

I will divide them in Jacob,

and scatter them in Israel! 2324 

49:8 Judah, 2325  your brothers will praise you.

Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies,

your father’s sons will bow down before you.

49:9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah,

from the prey, my son, you have gone up.

He crouches and lies down like a lion;

like a lioness – who will rouse him?

49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,

nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, 2326 

until he comes to whom it belongs; 2327 

the nations will obey him. 2328 

49:11 Binding his foal to the vine,

and his colt to the choicest vine,

he will wash 2329  his garments in wine,

his robes in the blood of grapes.

49:12 His eyes will be dark from wine,

and his teeth white from milk. 2330 

49:13 Zebulun will live 2331  by the haven of the sea

and become a haven for ships;

his border will extend to Sidon. 2332 

49:14 Issachar is a strong-boned donkey

lying down between two saddlebags.

49:15 When he sees 2333  a good resting place,

and the pleasant land,

he will bend his shoulder to the burden

and become a slave laborer. 2334 

49:16 Dan 2335  will judge 2336  his people

as one of the tribes of Israel.

49:17 May Dan be a snake beside the road,

a viper by the path,

that bites the heels of the horse

so that its rider falls backward. 2337 

49:18 I wait for your deliverance, O Lord. 2338 

49:19 Gad will be raided by marauding bands,

but he will attack them at their heels. 2339 

49:20 Asher’s 2340  food will be rich, 2341 

and he will provide delicacies 2342  to royalty.

49:21 Naphtali is a free running doe, 2343 

he speaks delightful words. 2344 

49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, 2345 

a fruitful bough near a spring

whose branches 2346  climb over the wall.

49:23 The archers will attack him, 2347 

they will shoot at him and oppose him.

49:24 But his bow will remain steady,

and his hands 2348  will be skillful;

because of the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,

because of 2349  the Shepherd, the Rock 2350  of Israel,

49:25 because of the God of your father,

who will help you, 2351 

because of the sovereign God, 2352 

who will bless you 2353 

with blessings from the sky above,

blessings from the deep that lies below,

and blessings of the breasts and womb. 2354 

49:26 The blessings of your father are greater

than 2355  the blessings of the eternal mountains 2356 

or the desirable things of the age-old hills.

They will be on the head of Joseph

and on the brow of the prince of his brothers. 2357 

49:27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;

in the morning devouring the prey,

and in the evening dividing the plunder.”

49:28 These 2358  are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He gave each of them an appropriate blessing. 2359 

49:29 Then he instructed them, 2360  “I am about to go 2361  to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 49:30 It is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought for a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite. 49:31 There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah; there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah; and there I buried Leah. 49:32 The field and the cave in it were acquired from the sons of Heth.” 2362 

49:33 When Jacob finished giving these instructions to his sons, he pulled his feet up onto the bed, breathed his last breath, and went 2363  to his people.

The Burials of Jacob and Joseph

50:1 Then Joseph hugged his father’s face. 2364  He wept over him and kissed him. 50:2 Joseph instructed the physicians in his service 2365  to embalm his father, so the physicians embalmed Israel. 50:3 They took forty days, for that is the full time needed for embalming. 2366  The Egyptians mourned 2367  for him seventy days. 2368 

50:4 When the days of mourning 2369  had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s royal court, 2370  “If I have found favor in your sight, please say to Pharaoh, 2371  50:5 ‘My father made me swear an oath. He said, 2372  “I am about to die. Bury me 2373  in my tomb that I dug for myself there in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go and bury my father; then I will return.’” 50:6 So Pharaoh said, “Go and bury your father, just as he made you swear to do.” 2374 

50:7 So Joseph went up to bury his father; all Pharaoh’s officials went with him – the senior courtiers 2375  of his household, all the senior officials of the land of Egypt, 50:8 all Joseph’s household, his brothers, and his father’s household. But they left their little children and their flocks and herds in the land of Goshen. 50:9 Chariots and horsemen also went up with him, so it was a very large entourage. 2376 

50:10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad 2377  on the other side of the Jordan, they mourned there with very great and bitter sorrow. 2378  There Joseph observed a seven day period of mourning for his father. 50:11 When the Canaanites who lived in the land saw them mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a very sad occasion 2379  for the Egyptians.” That is why its name was called 2380  Abel Mizraim, 2381  which is beyond the Jordan.

50:12 So the sons of Jacob did for him just as he had instructed them. 50:13 His sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, near Mamre. This is the field Abraham purchased as a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite. 50:14 After he buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, along with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to bury his father.

50:15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge and wants to repay 2382  us in full 2383  for all the harm 2384  we did to him?” 50:16 So they sent word 2385  to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave these instructions before he died: 50:17 ‘Tell Joseph this: Please forgive the sin of your brothers and the wrong they did when they treated you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sin of the servants of the God of your father.” When this message was reported to him, Joseph wept. 2386  50:18 Then his brothers also came and threw themselves down before him; they said, “Here we are; we are your slaves.” 50:19 But Joseph answered them, “Don’t be afraid. Am 2387  I in the place of God? 50:20 As for you, you meant to harm me, 2388  but God intended it for a good purpose, so he could preserve the lives of many people, as you can see this day. 2389  50:21 So now, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your little children.” Then he consoled them and spoke kindly 2390  to them.

50:22 Joseph lived in Egypt, along with his father’s family. 2391  Joseph lived 110 years. 50:23 Joseph saw the descendants of Ephraim to the third generation. 2392  He also saw the children of Makir the son of Manasseh; they were given special inheritance rights by Joseph. 2393 

50:24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to you 2394  and lead you up from this land to the land he swore on oath to give 2395  to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 50:25 Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath. He said, “God will surely come to you. Then you must carry my bones up from this place.” 50:26 So Joseph died at the age of 110. 2396  After they embalmed him, his body 2397  was placed in a coffin in Egypt.

1 sn The Lord called Abram while he was in Ur (see Gen 15:7; Acts 7:2); but the sequence here makes it look like it was after the family left to migrate to Canaan (11:31-32). Genesis records the call of Abram at this place in the narrative because it is the formal beginning of the account of Abram. The record of Terah was brought to its end before this beginning.

2 tn The call of Abram begins with an imperative לֶךְ־לְךָ (lekh-lÿkha, “go out”) followed by three cohortatives (v. 2a) indicating purpose or consequence (“that I may” or “then I will”). If Abram leaves, then God will do these three things. The second imperative (v. 2b, literally “and be a blessing”) is subordinated to the preceding cohortatives and indicates God’s ultimate purpose in calling and blessing Abram. On the syntactical structure of vv. 1-2 see R. B. Chisholm, “Evidence from Genesis,” A Case for Premillennialism, 37. For a similar sequence of volitive forms see Gen 45:18.

sn It would be hard to overestimate the value of this call and this divine plan for the theology of the Bible. Here begins God’s plan to bring redemption to the world. The promises to Abram will be turned into a covenant in Gen 15 and 22 (here it is a call with conditional promises) and will then lead through the Bible to the work of the Messiah.

3 tn The initial command is the direct imperative (לֶךְ, lekh) from the verb הָלַךְ (halakh). It is followed by the lamed preposition with a pronominal suffix (לְךָ, lÿkha) emphasizing the subject of the imperative: “you leave.”

4 sn To the land that I will show you. The call of Abram illustrates the leading of the Lord. The command is to leave. The Lord’s word is very specific about what Abram is to leave (the three prepositional phrases narrow to his father’s household), but is not specific at all about where he is to go. God required faith, a point that Heb 11:8 notes.

5 tn The three first person verbs in v. 2a should be classified as cohortatives. The first two have pronominal suffixes, so the form itself does not indicate a cohortative. The third verb form is clearly cohortative.

6 sn I will bless you. The blessing of creation is now carried forward to the patriarch. In the garden God blessed Adam and Eve; in that blessing he gave them (1) a fruitful place, (2) endowed them with fertility to multiply, and (3) made them rulers over creation. That was all ruined at the fall. Now God begins to build his covenant people; in Gen 12-22 he promises to give Abram (1) a land flowing with milk and honey, (2) a great nation without number, and (3) kingship.

7 tn Or “I will make you famous.”

8 tn Heb “and be a blessing.” The verb form הְיֵה (hÿyeh) is the Qal imperative of the verb הָיָה (hayah). The vav (ו) with the imperative after the cohortatives indicates purpose or consequence. What does it mean for Abram to “be a blessing”? Will he be a channel or source of blessing for others, or a prime example of divine blessing? A similar statement occurs in Zech 8:13, where God assures his people, “You will be a blessing,” in contrast to the past when they “were a curse.” Certainly “curse” here does not refer to Israel being a source of a curse, but rather to the fact that they became a curse-word or byword among the nations, who regarded them as the epitome of an accursed people (see 2 Kgs 22:19; Jer 42:18; 44:8, 12, 22). Therefore the statement “be a blessing” seems to refer to Israel being transformed into a prime example of a blessed people, whose name will be used in blessing formulae, rather than in curses. If the statement “be a blessing” is understood in the same way in Gen 12:2, then it means that God would so bless Abram that other nations would hear of his fame and hold him up as a paradigm of divine blessing in their blessing formulae.

9 tn The Piel cohortative has as its object a Piel participle, masculine plural. Since the Lord binds himself to Abram by covenant, those who enrich Abram in any way share in the blessings.

10 tn In this part of God’s statement there are two significant changes that often go unnoticed. First, the parallel and contrasting participle מְקַלֶּלְךָ (mÿqallelkha) is now singular and not plural. All the versions and a few Masoretic mss read the plural. But if it had been plural, there would be no reason to change it to the singular and alter the parallelism. On the other hand, if it was indeed singular, it is easy to see why the versions would change it to match the first participle. The MT preserves the original reading: “the one who treats you lightly.” The point would be a contrast with the lavish way that God desires to bless many. The second change is in the vocabulary. The English usually says, “I will curse those who curse you.” But there are two different words for curse here. The first is קָלַל (qalal), which means “to be light” in the Qal, and in the Piel “to treat lightly, to treat with contempt, to curse.” The second verb is אָרַר (’arar), which means “to banish, to remove from the blessing.” The point is simple: Whoever treats Abram and the covenant with contempt as worthless God will banish from the blessing. It is important also to note that the verb is not a cohortative, but a simple imperfect. Since God is binding himself to Abram, this would then be an obligatory imperfect: “but the one who treats you with contempt I must curse.”

11 tn Theoretically the Niphal can be translated either as passive or reflexive/reciprocal. (The Niphal of “bless” is only used in formulations of the Abrahamic covenant. See Gen 12:2; 18:18; 28:14.) Traditionally the verb is taken as passive here, as if Abram were going to be a channel or source of blessing. But in later formulations of the Abrahamic covenant (see Gen 22:18; 26:4) the Hitpael replaces this Niphal form, suggesting a translation “will bless [i.e., “pronounce blessings on”] themselves [or “one another”].” The Hitpael of “bless” is used with a reflexive/reciprocal sense in Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2. Gen 12:2 predicts that Abram will be held up as a paradigm of divine blessing and that people will use his name in their blessing formulae. For examples of blessing formulae utilizing an individual as an example of blessing see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11.

12 sn So Abram left. This is the report of Abram’s obedience to God’s command (see v. 1).

13 tn Heb “just as the Lord said to him.”

14 tn The disjunctive clause (note the pattern conjunction + subject + implied “to be” verb) is parenthetical, telling the age of Abram when he left Haran.

15 tn Heb “was the son of five years and seventy year[s].”

sn Terah was 70 years old when he became the father of Abram, Nahor, and Haran (Gen 11:26). Terah was 205 when he died in Haran (11:32). Abram left Haran at the age of 75 after his father died. Abram was born when Terah was 130. Abram was not the firstborn – he is placed first in the list of three because of his importance. The same is true of the list in Gen 10:1 (Shem, Ham and Japheth). Ham was the youngest son (9:24). Japheth was the older brother of Shem (10:21), so the birth order of Noah’s sons was Japheth, Shem, and Ham.

16 tn Heb “the son of his brother.”

17 tn For the semantic nuance “acquire [property]” for the verb עָשָׂה (’asah), see BDB 795 s.v. עָשָׂה.

18 tn Heb “went out to go.”

19 tn Or “terebinth.”

20 sn The Hebrew word Moreh (מוֹרֶה, moreh) means “teacher.” It may well be that the place of this great oak tree was a Canaanite shrine where instruction took place.

21 tn Heb “as far as the place of Shechem, as far as the oak of Moreh.”

22 tn The disjunctive clause gives important information parenthetical in nature – the promised land was occupied by Canaanites.

23 tn The same Hebrew term זֶרַע (zera’) may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.

24 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abram) has been supplied in the translation for clarification.

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

26 tn Heb “he called in the name of the Lord.” The expression refers to worshiping the Lord through prayer and sacrifice (see Gen 4:26; 13:4; 21:33; 26:25). See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:116, 281.

27 tn The Hebrew verb נָסַע (nasa’) means “to journey”; more specifically it means to pull up the tent and move to another place. The construction here uses the preterite of this verb with its infinitive absolute to stress the activity of traveling. But it also adds the infinitive absolute of הָלַךְ (halakh) to stress that the traveling was continually going on. Thus “Abram journeyed, going and journeying” becomes “Abram continually journeyed by stages.”

28 tn Or “the South [country].”

sn Negev is the name for the southern desert region in the land of Canaan.

29 sn Abram went down to Egypt. The Abrahamic narrative foreshadows some of the events in the life of the nation of Israel. This sojourn in Egypt is typological of Israel’s bondage there. In both stories there is a famine that forces the family to Egypt, death is a danger to the males while the females are preserved alive, great plagues bring about their departure, there is a summons to stand before Pharaoh, and there is a return to the land of Canaan with great wealth.

30 tn The Hebrew verb גּוּר (gur), traditionally rendered “to sojourn,” means “to stay for a while.” The “stranger” (traditionally “sojourner”) is one who is a temporary resident, a visitor, one who is passing through. Abram had no intention of settling down in Egypt or owning property. He was only there to wait out the famine.

31 tn Heb “heavy in the land.” The words “in the land,” which also occur at the beginning of the verse in the Hebrew text, have not been repeated here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

32 tn Heb “drew near to enter.”

33 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) is deictic here; it draws attention to the following fact.

34 tn Heb “a woman beautiful of appearance are you.”

35 tn The Piel of the verb חָיָה (khayah, “to live”) means “to keep alive, to preserve alive,” and in some places “to make alive.” See D. Marcus, “The Verb ‘to Live’ in Ugaritic,” JSS 17 (1972): 76-82.

36 tn Heb “say.”

37 sn Tell them you are my sister. Abram’s motives may not be as selfish as they appear. He is aware of the danger to the family. His method of dealing with it is deception with a half truth, for Sarai really was his sister – but the Egyptians would not know that. Abram presumably thought that there would be negotiations for a marriage by anyone interested (as Laban does later for his sister Rebekah), giving him time to react. But the plan backfires because Pharaoh does not take the time to negotiate. There is a good deal of literature on the wife-sister issue. See (among others) E. A. Speiser, “The Wife-Sister Motif in the Patriarchal Narratives,” Oriental and Biblical Studies, 62-81; C. J. Mullo-Weir, “The Alleged Hurrian Wife-Sister Motif in Genesis,” GOT 22 (1967-1970): 14-25.

38 tn The Hebrew verb translated “go well” can encompass a whole range of favorable treatment, but the following clause indicates it means here that Abram’s life will be spared.

39 tn Heb “and my life will live.”

40 tn Heb “and the woman.” The word also means “wife”; the Hebrew article can express the possessive pronoun (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 19, §86). Here the proper name (Abram) has been used in the translation instead of a possessive pronoun (“his”) for clarity.

41 tn The Hebrew term וַתֻּקַּח (vattuqqakh, “was taken”) is a rare verbal form, an old Qal passive preterite from the verb “to take.” It is pointed as a Hophal would be by the Masoretes, but does not have a Hophal meaning.

42 tn The Hebrew text simply has “house of Pharaoh.” The word “house” refers to the household in general, more specifically to the royal harem.

43 sn He did treat Abram well. The construction of the parenthetical disjunctive clause, beginning with the conjunction on the prepositional phrase, draws attention to the irony of the story. Abram wanted Sarai to lie “so that it would go well” with him. Though he lost Sarai to Pharaoh, it did go well for him – he received a lavish bride price. See also G. W. Coats, “Despoiling the Egyptians,” VT 18 (1968): 450-57.

44 tn Heb “and there was to him.”

45 tn The cognate accusative adds emphasis to the verbal sentence: “he plagued with great plagues,” meaning the Lord inflicted numerous plagues, probably diseases (see Exod 15:26). The adjective “great” emphasizes that the plagues were severe and overwhelming.

46 tn The demonstrative pronoun translated “this” adds emphasis: “What in the world have you done to me?” (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 24, §118).

47 tn The preterite with vav (ו) consecutive here expresses consequence.

48 tn Heb “to me for a wife.”

49 tn Heb “Look, your wife!”

50 tn Heb “take and go.”

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

52 tn Or “the South [country]” (also in v. 3).

sn Negev is the name for the southern desert region in the land of Canaan.

53 tn Heb “And Abram went up from Egypt, he and his wife and all which was his, and Lot with him, to the Negev.”

54 tn Heb “heavy.”

55 tn This parenthetical clause, introduced by the vav (ו) disjunctive (translated “now”), provides information necessary to the point of the story.

56 tn Heb “on his journeys”; the verb and noun combination means to pick up the tents and move from camp to camp.

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

58 tn The words “he returned” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

59 tn Heb “where his tent had been.”

60 tn Heb “to the place of the altar which he had made there in the beginning” (cf. Gen 12:7-8).

61 tn Heb “he called in the name of the Lord.” The expression refers to worshiping the Lord through prayer and sacrifice (see Gen 4:26; 12:8; 21:33; 26:25). See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:116, 281.

62 tn Heb “was going.”

63 tn The Hebrew idiom is “to Lot…there was,” the preposition here expressing possession.

64 tn The potential nuance for the perfect tense is necessary here, and supported by the parallel clause that actually uses “to be able.”

65 tn The infinitive construct לָשֶׁבֶת (lashevet, from יָשַׁב, yashav) explains what it was that the land could not support: “the land could not support them to live side by side.” See further J. C. de Moor, “Lexical Remarks Concerning Yahad and Yahdaw,” VT 7 (1957): 350-55.

66 tn The same infinitive occurs here, serving as the object of the verb.

67 tn The Hebrew term רִיב (riv) means “strife, conflict, quarreling.” In later texts it has the meaning of “legal controversy, dispute.” See B. Gemser, “The rîb – or Controversy – Pattern in Hebrew Mentality,” Wisdom in Israel and in the Ancient Near East [VTSup], 120-37.

68 sn Since the quarreling was between the herdsmen, the dispute was no doubt over water and vegetation for the animals.

69 tn This parenthetical clause, introduced with the vav (ו) disjunctive (translated “now”), again provides critical information. It tells in part why the land cannot sustain these two bedouins, and it also hints of the danger of weakening the family by inner strife.

70 tn Heb “men, brothers [are] we.” Here “brothers” describes the closeness of the relationship, but could be misunderstood if taken literally, since Abram was Lot’s uncle.

71 tn The words “you go” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons both times in this verse.

72 tn Heb “lifted up his eyes and saw.” The expression draws attention to the act of looking, indicating that Lot took a good look. It also calls attention to the importance of what was seen.

73 tn Or “plain”; Heb “circle.”

74 tn The words “he noticed” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

75 sn Obliterated. The use of the term “destroy” (שַׁחֵת, shakhet) is reminiscent of the Noahic flood (Gen 6:13). Both at the flood and in Sodom the place was obliterated by catastrophe and only one family survived (see C. Westermann, Genesis, 2:178).

76 tn This short temporal clause (preposition + Piel infinitive construct + subjective genitive + direct object) is strategically placed in the middle of the lavish descriptions to sound an ominous note. The entire clause is parenthetical in nature. Most English translations place the clause at the end of v. 10 for stylistic reasons.

77 sn The narrative places emphasis on what Lot saw so that the reader can appreciate how it aroused his desire for the best land. It makes allusion to the garden of the Lord and to the land of Egypt for comparison. Just as the tree in the garden of Eden had awakened Eve’s desire, so the fertile valley attracted Lot. And just as certain memories of Egypt would cause the Israelites to want to turn back and abandon the trek to the promised land, so Lot headed for the good life.

78 tn Heb “Lot traveled.” The proper name has not been repeated in the translation at this point for stylistic reasons.

79 tn Heb “a man from upon his brother.”

sn Separated from each other. For a discussion of the significance of this event, see L. R. Helyer, “The Separation of Abram and Lot: Its Significance in the Patriarchal Narratives,” JSOT 26 (1983): 77-88.

80 tn Or “the cities of the plain”; Heb “[the cities of] the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.

81 tn Here is another significant parenthetical clause in the story, signaled by the vav (וו) disjunctive (translated “now”) on the noun at the beginning of the clause.

82 tn Heb “men.” However, this is generic in sense; it is unlikely that only the male residents of Sodom were sinners.

83 tn Heb “wicked and sinners against the Lord exceedingly.” The description of the sinfulness of the Sodomites is very emphatic. First, two nouns are used to form a hendiadys: “wicked and sinners” means “wicked sinners,” the first word becoming adjectival. The text is saying these were no ordinary sinners; they were wicked sinners, the type that cause pain for others. Then to this phrase is added “against the Lord,” stressing their violation of the laws of heaven and their culpability. Finally, to this is added מְאֹד (mÿod, “exceedingly,” translated here as “extremely”).

84 tn Heb “and the Lord said to Abram after Lot separated himself from with him.” The disjunctive clause at the beginning of the verse signals a new scene.

85 tn Heb “lift up your eyes and see.”

sn Look. Earlier Lot “looked up” (v. 10), but here Abram is told by God to do so. The repetition of the expression (Heb “lift up the eyes”) here underscores how the Lord will have the last word and actually do for Abram what Abram did for Lot – give him the land. It seems to be one of the ways that God rewards faith.

86 tn Heb “for all the land which you see to you I will give it and to your descendants.”

87 tn The translation “can be counted” (potential imperfect) is suggested by the use of יוּכַל (yukhal, “is able”) in the preceding clause.

88 tn The connective “and” is not present in the Hebrew text; it has been supplied for purposes of English style.

89 tn The Hitpael form הִתְהַלֵּךְ (hithallekh) means “to walk about”; it also can carry the ideas of moving about, traversing, going back and forth, or living in an area. It here has the connotation of traversing the land to survey it, to look it over.

90 tn Heb “the land to its length and to its breadth.” This phrase has not been included in the translation because it is somewhat redundant (see the note on the word “throughout” in this verse).

91 tn Heb “he came and lived.”

92 tn Or “terebinths.”

93 tn The sentence begins with the temporal indicator וַיְהִי (vayÿhi) followed by “in the days of.”

94 sn Shinar (also in v. 9) is the region of Babylonia.

95 tn Or “king of Goyim.” The Hebrew term גּוֹיִם (goyim) means “nations,” but a number of modern translations merely transliterate the Hebrew (cf. NEB “Goyim”; NIV, NRSV “Goiim”).

96 tn Heb “made war.”

sn Went to war. The conflict here reflects international warfare in the Early and Middle Bronze periods. The countries operated with overlords and vassals. Kings ruled over city states, or sometimes a number of city states (i.e., nations). Due to their treaties, when one went to war, those confederate with him joined him in battle. It appears here that it is Kedorlaomer’s war, because the western city states have rebelled against him (meaning they did not send products as tribute to keep him from invading them).

97 sn On the geographical background of vv. 1-2 see J. P. Harland, “Sodom and Gomorrah,” The Biblical Archaeologist Reader, 1:41-75; and D. N. Freedman, “The Real Story of the Ebla Tablets, Ebla and the Cities of the Plain,” BA 41 (1978): 143-64.

98 tn Heb “all these,” referring only to the last five kings named. The referent has been specified as “these last five kings” in the translation for clarity.

99 tn The Hebrew verb used here means “to join together; to unite; to be allied.” It stresses close associations, especially of friendships, marriages, or treaties.

100 sn The Salt Sea is the older name for the Dead Sea.

101 tn The sentence simply begins with “twelve years”; it serves as an adverbial accusative giving the duration of their bondage.

102 tn This is another adverbial accusative of time.

103 sn The story serves as a foreshadowing of the plight of the kingdom of Israel later. Eastern powers came and forced the western kingdoms into submission. Each year, then, they would send tribute east – to keep them away. Here, in the thirteenth year, they refused to send the tribute (just as later Hezekiah rebelled against Assyria). And so in the fourteenth year the eastern powers came to put them down again. This account from Abram’s life taught future generations that God can give victory over such threats – that people did not have to live in servitude to tyrants from the east.

104 tn The Hebrew verb נָכָה (nakhah) means “to attack, to strike, to smite.” In this context it appears that the strike was successful, and so a translation of “defeated” is preferable.

105 sn The line of attack ran down the eastern side of the Jordan Valley into the desert, and then turned and came up the valley to the cities of the plain.

106 tn Heb “they returned and came to En Mishpat (that is, Kadesh).” The two verbs together form a verbal hendiadys, the first serving as the adverb: “they returned and came” means “they came again.” Most English translations do not treat this as a hendiadys, but translate “they turned back” or something similar. Since in the context, however, “came again to” does not simply refer to travel but an assault against the place, the present translation expresses this as “attacked…again.”

107 tn Heb “against.”

108 tn Or “Goyim.” See the note on the word “nations” in 14:1.

109 tn The Hebrew text has simply “against.” The word “fought” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

110 tn Heb “Now the Valley of Siddim [was] pits, pits of tar.” This parenthetical disjunctive clause emphasizes the abundance of tar pits in the area through repetition of the noun “pits.”

sn The word for “tar” (or “bitumen”) occurs earlier in the story of the building of the tower in Babylon (see Gen 11:3).

111 tn Or “they were defeated there.” After a verb of motion the Hebrew particle שָׁם (sham) with the directional heh (שָׁמָּה, shammah) can mean “into it, therein” (BDB 1027 s.v. שָׁם).

112 tn Heb “the rest.”

113 sn The reference to the kings of Sodom and Gomorrah must mean the kings along with their armies. Most of them were defeated in the valley, but some of them escaped to the hills.

114 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the four victorious kings, see v. 9) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

115 tn Heb “Lot the son of his brother.”

116 tn Heb “and.”

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

118 tn This disjunctive clause is circumstantial/causal, explaining that Lot was captured because he was living in Sodom at the time.

119 tn Heb “the fugitive.” The article carries a generic force or indicates that this fugitive is definite in the mind of the speaker.

120 sn E. A. Speiser (Genesis [AB], 103) suggests that part of this chapter came from an outside source since it refers to Abram the Hebrew. That is not impossible, given that the narrator likely utilized traditions and genealogies that had been collected and transmitted over the years. The meaning of the word “Hebrew” has proved elusive. It may be related to the verb “to cross over,” perhaps meaning “immigrant.” Or it might be derived from the name of Abram’s ancestor Eber (see Gen 11:14-16).

121 tn Or “terebinths.”

122 tn Or “a brother”; or “a relative”; or perhaps “an ally.”

123 tn Heb “possessors of a treaty with.” Since it is likely that the qualifying statement refers to all three (Mamre, Eshcol, and Aner) the words “all these” have been supplied in the translation to make this clear.

124 tn This parenthetical disjunctive clause explains how Abram came to be living in their territory, but it also explains why they must go to war with Abram.

125 tn Heb “his brother,” by extension, “relative.” Here and in v. 16 the more specific term “nephew” has been used in the translation for clarity. Lot was the son of Haran, Abram’s brother (Gen 11:27).

126 tn The verb וַיָּרֶק (vayyareq) is a rare form, probably related to the word רֵיק (req, “to be empty”). If so, it would be a very figurative use: “he emptied out” (or perhaps “unsheathed”) his men. The LXX has “mustered” (cf. NEB). E. A. Speiser (Genesis [AB], 103-4) suggests reading with the Samaritan Pentateuch a verb diq, cognate with Akkadian deku, “to mobilize” troops. If this view is accepted, one must assume that a confusion of the Hebrew letters ד (dalet) and ר (resh) led to the error in the traditional Hebrew text. These two letters are easily confused in all phases of ancient Hebrew script development. The present translation is based on this view.

127 tn The words “the invaders” have been supplied in the translation for clarification.

128 sn The use of the name Dan reflects a later perspective. The Danites did not migrate to this northern territory until centuries later (see Judg 18:29). Furthermore Dan was not even born until much later. By inserting this name a scribe has clarified the location of the region.

129 tn The Hebrew text simply has “night” as an adverbial accusative.

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

131 tn Heb “he divided himself…he and his servants.”

132 tn Heb “left.” Directions in ancient Israel were given in relation to the east rather than the north.

133 tn The word “stolen” is supplied in the translation for clarification.

134 tn The phrase “the rest of “ has been supplied in the translation for clarification.

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

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

137 sn The King’s Valley is possibly a reference to what came to be known later as the Kidron Valley.

138 sn Salem is traditionally identified as the Jebusite stronghold of old Jerusalem. Accordingly, there has been much speculation about its king. Though some have identified him with the preincarnate Christ or with Noah’s son Shem, it is far more likely that Melchizedek was a Canaanite royal priest whom God used to renew the promise of the blessing to Abram, perhaps because Abram considered Melchizedek his spiritual superior. But Melchizedek remains an enigma. In a book filled with genealogical records he appears on the scene without a genealogy and then disappears from the narrative. In Psalm 110 the Lord declares that the Davidic king is a royal priest after the pattern of Melchizedek.

139 tn The parenthetical disjunctive clause significantly identifies Melchizedek as a priest as well as a king.

sn It is his royal priestly status that makes Melchizedek a type of Christ: He was identified with Jerusalem, superior to the ancestor of Israel, and both a king and a priest. Unlike the normal Canaanites, this man served “God Most High” (אֵל עֶלְיוֹן, ’elelyon) – one sovereign God, who was the creator of all the universe. Abram had in him a spiritual brother.

140 tn The preposition לְ (lamed) introduces the agent after the passive participle.

141 tn Some translate “possessor of heaven and earth” (cf. NASB). But cognate evidence from Ugaritic indicates that there were two homonymic roots ָקנָה (qanah), one meaning “to create” (as in Gen 4:1) and the other “to obtain, to acquire, to possess.” While “possessor” would fit here, “creator” is the more likely due to the collocation with “heaven and earth.”

142 tn The terms translated “heaven” and “earth” are both objective genitives after the participle in construct.

143 tn Heb “blessed be.” For God to be “blessed” means that is praised. His reputation is enriched in the world as his name is praised.

144 sn Who delivered. The Hebrew verb מִגֵּן (miggen, “delivered”) foreshadows the statement by God to Abram in Gen 15:1, “I am your shield” (מָגֵן, magen). Melchizedek provided a theological interpretation of Abram’s military victory.

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

146 tn Abram takes an oath, raising his hand as a solemn gesture. The translation understands the perfect tense as having an instantaneous nuance: “Here and now I raise my hand.”

147 tn The words “and vow” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarification.

148 tn The oath formula is elliptical, reading simply: “…if I take.” It is as if Abram says, “[May the Lord deal with me] if I take,” meaning, “I will surely not take.” The positive oath would add the negative adverb and be the reverse: “[God will deal with me] if I do not take,” meaning, “I certainly will.”

149 tn The Hebrew text adds the independent pronoun (“I”) to the verb form for emphasis.

150 tn The words “I will take nothing” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

151 tn Heb “except only what the young men have eaten.”

152 sn The noun “shield” recalls the words of Melchizedek in 14:20. If God is the shield, then God will deliver. Abram need not fear reprisals from those he has fought.

153 tn Heb “your reward [in] great abundance.” When the phrase הַרְבּה מְאֹדֵ (harbeh mÿod) follows a noun it invariably modifies the noun and carries the nuance “very great” or “in great abundance.” (See its use in Gen 41:49; Deut 3:5; Josh 22:8; 2 Sam 8:8; 12:2; 1 Kgs 4:29; 10:10-11; 2 Chr 14:13; 32:27; Jer 40:12.) Here the noun “reward” is in apposition to “shield” and refers by metonymy to God as the source of the reward. Some translate here “your reward will be very great” (cf. NASB, NRSV), taking the statement as an independent clause and understanding the Hiphil infinitive absolute as a substitute for a finite verb. However, the construction הַרְבּה מְאֹדֵ is never used this way elsewhere, where it either modifies a noun (see the texts listed above) or serves as an adverb in relation to a finite verb (see Josh 13:1; 1 Sam 26:21; 2 Sam 12:30; 2 Kgs 21:16; 1 Chr 20:2; Neh 2:2).

sn Abram has just rejected all the spoils of war, and the Lord promises to reward him in great abundance. In walking by faith and living with integrity he cannot lose.

154 tn The Hebrew text has אֲדֹנָי יֱהוִה (’adonay yehvih, “Master, Lord”). Since the tetragrammaton (YHWH) usually is pointed with the vowels for the Hebrew word אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “master”) to avoid pronouncing the divine name, that would lead in this place to a repetition of אֲדֹנָי. So the tetragrammaton is here pointed with the vowels for the word אֱלֹהִים (’elohim, “God”) instead. That would produce the reading of the Hebrew as “Master, God” in the Jewish textual tradition. But the presence of “Master” before the holy name is rather compelling evidence that the original would have been “Master, Lord,” which is rendered here “sovereign Lord.”

155 tn The vav (ו) disjunctive at the beginning of the clause is circumstantial, expressing the cause or reason.

156 tn Heb “I am going.”

157 tn Heb “the son of the acquisition of my house.”

sn For the custom of designating a member of the household as heir, see C. H. Gordon, “Biblical Customs and the Nuzu Tablets,” Biblical Archaeologist Reader, 2:21-33.

158 tn The pronoun is anaphoric here, equivalent to the verb “to be” (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 23, §115).

159 sn The sentence in the Hebrew text employs a very effective wordplay on the name Damascus: “The son of the acquisition (בֶּן־מֶשֶׁק, ben-mesheq) of my house is Eliezer of Damascus (דַּמֶּשֶׁק, dammesheq).” The words are not the same; they have different sibilants. But the sound play gives the impression that “in the nomen is the omen.” Eliezer the Damascene will be Abram’s heir if Abram dies childless because “Damascus” seems to mean that. See M. F. Unger, “Some Comments on the Text of Genesis 15:2-3,” JBL 72 (1953): 49-50; H. L. Ginsberg, “Abram’s ‘Damascene’ Steward,” BASOR 200 (1970): 31-32.

160 tn Heb “And Abram said.”

161 tn The construction uses הֵן (hen) to introduce the foundational clause (“since…”), and וְהִנֵּה (vÿhinneh) to introduce the main clause (“then look…”).

162 tn Heb “is inheriting me.”

163 tn The disjunctive draws attention to God’s response and the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, translated “look”) mirrors Abram’s statement in v. 3 and highlights the fact that God responded to Abram.

164 tn The subject of the verb is the demonstrative pronoun, which can be translated “this one” or “this man.” That the Lord does not mention him by name is significant; often in ancient times the use of the name would bring legitimacy to inheritance and adoption cases.

165 tn Heb “inherit you.”

166 tn The Hebrew כִּי־אִם (ki-im) forms a very strong adversative.

167 tn Heb “he who”; the implied referent (Abram’s unborn son who will be his heir) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

168 tn The pronoun could also be an emphatic subject: “whoever comes out of your body, he will inherit you.”

169 tn Heb “will inherit you.”

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

171 tn The nonconsecutive vav (ו) is on a perfect verbal form. If the composer of the narrative had wanted to show simple sequence, he would have used the vav consecutive with the preterite. The perfect with vav conjunctive (where one expects the preterite with vav consecutive) in narrative contexts can have a variety of discourse functions, but here it probably serves to highlight Abram’s response to God’s promise. For a detailed discussion of the vav + perfect construction in Hebrew narrative, see R. Longacre, “Weqatal Forms in Biblical Hebrew Prose: A Discourse-modular Approach,” Biblical Hebrew and Discourse Linguistics, 50-98. The Hebrew verb אָמַן (’aman) means “to confirm, to support” in the Qal verbal stem. Its derivative nouns refer to something or someone that/who provides support, such as a “pillar,” “nurse,” or “guardian, trustee.” In the Niphal stem it comes to mean “to be faithful, to be reliable, to be dependable,” or “to be firm, to be sure.” In the Hiphil, the form used here, it takes on a declarative sense: “to consider something reliable [or “dependable”].” Abram regarded the God who made this promise as reliable and fully capable of making it a reality.

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

173 tn Heb “and he reckoned it to him.” The third feminine singular pronominal suffix refers back to Abram’s act of faith, mentioned in the preceding clause. On third feminine singular pronouns referring back to verbal ideas see GKC 440-41 §135.p. Some propose taking the suffix as proleptic, anticipating the following feminine noun (“righteousness”). In this case one might translate: “and he reckoned it to him – [namely] righteousness.” See O. P. Robertson, “Genesis 15:6: A New Covenant Exposition of an Old Covenant Text,” WTJ 42 (1980): 259-89.

174 tn Or “righteousness”; or “evidence of steadfast commitment.” The noun is an adverbial accusative. The verb translated “considered” (Heb “reckoned”) also appears with צְדָקָה (tsÿdaqah, “righteousness”) in Ps 106:31. Alluding to the events recorded in Numbers 25, the psalmist notes that Phinehas’ actions were “credited to him as righteousness for endless generations to come.” Reference is made to the unconditional, eternal covenant with which God rewarded Phinehas’ loyalty (Num 25:12-13). So צְדָקָה seems to carry by metonymy the meaning “loyal, rewardable behavior” here, a nuance that fits nicely in Genesis 15, where God responds to Abram’s faith by formally ratifying his promise to give Abram and his descendants the land. (See R. B. Chisholm, “Evidence from Genesis,” A Case for Premillennialism, 40.) In Phoenician and Old Aramaic inscriptions cognate nouns glossed as “correct, justifiable conduct” sometimes carry this same semantic nuance (DNWSI 2:962).

sn This episode is basic to the NT teaching of Paul on justification (Romans 4). Paul weaves this passage and Psalm 32 together, for both use this word. Paul explains that for the one who believes in the Lord, like Abram, God credits him with righteousness but does not credit his sins against him because he is forgiven. Justification does not mean that the believer is righteous; it means that God credits him with righteousness, so that in the records of heaven (as it were) he is declared righteous. See M. G. Kline, “Abram’s Amen,” WTJ 31 (1968): 1-11.

175 tn Heb “And he said.”

176 sn I am the Lord. The Lord initiates the covenant-making ceremony with a declaration of who he is and what he has done for Abram. The same form appears at the beginning of the covenant made at Sinai (see Exod 20:1).

177 sn The phrase of the Chaldeans is a later editorial clarification for the readers, designating the location of Ur. From all evidence there would have been no Chaldeans in existence at this early date; they are known in the time of the neo-Babylonian empire in the first millennium b.c.

178 tn Here the vav carries adversative force and is translated “but.”

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

180 tn See note on the phrase “sovereign Lord” in 15:2.

181 tn Or “how.”

182 tn Heb “He”; the referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

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

184 tn Heb “in the middle.”

185 tn Heb “to meet its neighbor.”

sn For discussion of this ritual see G. F. Hasel, “The Meaning of the Animal Rite in Genesis 15,” JSOT 19 (1981): 61-78.

186 tn Heb “a deep sleep fell on Abram.”

187 tn Heb “and look, terror, a great darkness was falling on him.”

188 tn The Hebrew construction is emphatic, with the Qal infinitive absolute followed by the imperfect from יָדַע (yada’, “know”). The imperfect here has an obligatory or imperatival force.

189 tn The Hebrew word גֵּר (ger, “sojourner, stranger”) is related to the verb גּוּר (gur, “to sojourn, to stay for awhile”). Abram’s descendants will stay in a land as resident aliens without rights of citizenship.

190 tn Heb “in a land not theirs.”

191 tn Heb “and they will serve them and they will oppress them.” The verb עִנּוּ, (’innu, a Piel form from עָנָה, ’anah, “to afflict, to oppress, to treat harshly”), is used in Exod 1:11 to describe the oppression of the Israelites in Egypt.

192 tn The participle דָּן (dan, from דִּין, din) is used here for the future: “I am judging” = “I will surely judge.” The judgment in this case will be condemnation and punishment. The translation “execute judgment on” implies that the judgment will certainly be carried out.

193 tn The vav with the pronoun before the verb calls special attention to the subject in contrast to the preceding subject.

194 sn You will go to your ancestors. This is a euphemistic expression for death.

195 tn Heb “in a good old age.”

196 sn The term generation is being used here in its widest sense to refer to a full life span. When the chronological factors are considered and the genealogies tabulated, there are four hundred years of bondage. This suggests that in this context a generation is equivalent to one hundred years.

197 tn Heb “they”; the referent (“your descendants”) has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

198 tn Heb “is not yet complete.”

sn The sin of the Amorites has not yet reached its limit. The justice of God is apparent. He will wait until the Amorites are fully deserving of judgment before he annihilates them and gives the land to Israel.

199 sn A smoking pot with a flaming torch. These same implements were used in Mesopotamian rituals designed to ward off evil (see E. A. Speiser, Genesis [AB], 113-14).

200 tn Heb “these pieces.”

201 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”

202 tn The perfect verbal form is understood as instantaneous (“I here and now give”). Another option is to understand it as rhetorical, indicating certitude (“I have given” meaning it is as good as done, i.e., “I will surely give”).

sn To your descendants I give this land. The Lord here unconditionally promises that Abram’s descendants will possess the land, but he does not yet ratify his earlier promises to give Abram a multitude of descendants and eternal possession of the land. The fulfillment of those aspects of the promise remain conditional (see Gen 17:1-8) and are ratified after Abraham offers up his son Isaac (see Gen 22:1-19). For a fuller discussion see R. B. Chisholm, “Evidence from Genesis,” A Case for Premillennialism, 35-54.

203 sn The river of Egypt is a wadi (a seasonal stream) on the northeastern border of Egypt, not to the River Nile.

204 tn The words “the land” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

205 tn Each of the names in the list has the Hebrew definite article, which is used here generically for the class of people identified.

206 tn The disjunctive clause signals the beginning of a new episode in the story.

207 sn On the cultural background of the story of Sarai’s childlessness see J. Van Seters, “The Problem of Childlessness in Near Eastern Law and the Patriarchs of Israel,” JBL 87 (1968): 401-8.

208 tn The Hebrew term שִׁפְחָה (shifkhah, translated “servant” here and in vv. 2, 3, 5, 6, and 8) refers to a menial female servant.

209 sn The passage records the birth of Ishmael to Abram through an Egyptian woman. The story illustrates the limits of Abram’s faith as he tries to obtain a son through social custom. The barrenness of Sarai poses a challenge to Abram’s faith, just as the famine did in chap. 12. As in chap. 12, an Egyptian figures prominently. (Perhaps Hagar was obtained as a slave during Abram’s stay in Egypt.)

210 tn Heb “look.” The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) introduces the foundational clause for the imperative to follow.

211 tn Heb “enter to.” The expression is a euphemism for sexual relations (also in v. 4).

sn The Hebrew expression translated have sexual relations with does not convey the intimacy of other expressions, such as “so and so knew his wife.” Sarai simply sees this as the social custom of having a child through a surrogate. For further discussion see C. F. Fensham, “The Son of a Handmaid in Northwest Semitic,” VT 19 (1969): 312-21.

212 tn Heb “perhaps I will be built from her.” Sarai hopes to have a family established through this surrogate mother.

213 tn Heb “listened to the voice of,” which is an idiom meaning “obeyed.”

sn Abram did what Sarai told him. This expression was first used in Gen 3:17 of Adam’s obeying his wife. In both cases the text highlights weak faith and how it jeopardized the plan of God.

214 tn Heb “at the end of ten years, to live, Abram.” The prepositional phrase introduces the temporal clause, the infinitive construct serves as the verb, and the name “Abram” is the subject.

215 tn Heb “the Egyptian, her female servant.”

216 sn To be his wife. Hagar became a slave wife, not on equal standing with Sarai. However, if Hagar produced the heir, she would be the primary wife in the eyes of society. When this eventually happened, Hagar become insolent, prompting Sarai’s anger.

217 tn Heb “entered to.” See the note on the same expression in v. 2.

218 tn Or “she conceived” (also in v. 5)

219 tn Heb “and she saw that she was pregnant and her mistress was despised in her eyes.” The Hebrew verb קָלַל (qalal) means “to despise, to treat lightly, to treat with contempt.” In Hagar’s opinion Sarai had been demoted.

220 tn Heb “my wrong is because of you.”

221 tn Heb “I placed my female servant in your bosom.”

222 tn Heb “saw.”

223 tn Heb “I was despised in her eyes.” The passive verb has been translated as active for stylistic reasons. Sarai was made to feel supplanted and worthless by Hagar the servant girl.

224 tn Heb “me and you.”

sn May the Lord judge between you and me. Sarai blamed Abram for Hagar’s attitude, not the pregnancy. Here she expects to be vindicated by the Lord who will prove Abram responsible. A colloquial rendering might be, “God will get you for this.” It may mean that she thought Abram had encouraged the servant girl in her elevated status.

225 tn The clause is introduced with the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh), introducing a foundational clause for the coming imperative: “since…do.”

226 tn Heb “in your hand.”

227 tn Heb “what is good in your eyes.”

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

229 tn In the Piel stem the verb עָנָה (’anah) means “to afflict, to oppress, to treat harshly, to mistreat.”

230 tn Heb “and she fled from her presence.” The referent of “her” (Sarai) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

231 tn Heb “the messenger of the Lord.” Some identify the angel of the Lord as the preincarnate Christ because in some texts the angel is identified with the Lord himself. However, it is more likely that the angel merely represents the Lord; he can speak for the Lord because he is sent with the Lord’s full authority. In some cases the angel is clearly distinct from the Lord (see Judg 6:11-23). It is not certain if the same angel is always in view. Though the proper name following the noun “angel” makes the construction definite, this may simply indicate that a definite angel sent from the Lord is referred to in any given context. It need not be the same angel on every occasion. Note the analogous expression “the servant of the Lord,” which refers to various individuals in the OT (see BDB 714 s.v. עֶבֶד).

232 tn Heb “And the angel of the Lord found her near the spring of water in the desert, near the spring on the way to Shur.”

233 tn Heb “from the presence of.”

234 tn The imperative וְהִתְעַנִּי (vÿhitanni) is the Hitpael of עָנָה (’anah, here translated “submit”), the same word used for Sarai’s harsh treatment of her. Hagar is instructed not only to submit to Sarai’s authority, but to whatever mistreatment that involves. God calls for Hagar to humble herself.

235 tn Heb “The Lord’s angel said, ‘I will greatly multiply your descendants….” The order of the clauses has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

236 tn Heb “cannot be numbered because of abundance.”

237 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) focuses on her immediate situation: “Here you are pregnant.”

238 tn The active participle refers here to something that is about to happen.

239 sn The name Ishmael consists of the imperfect or jussive form of the Hebrew verb with the theophoric element added as the subject. It means “God hears” or “may God hear.”

240 tn Heb “affliction,” which must refer here to Hagar’s painful groans of anguish.

sn This clause gives the explanation of the name Ishmael, using a wordplay. Ishmael’s name will be a reminder that “God hears” Hagar’s painful cries.

241 sn A wild donkey of a man. The prophecy is not an insult. The wild donkey lived a solitary existence in the desert away from society. Ishmael would be free-roaming, strong, and like a bedouin; he would enjoy the freedom his mother sought.

242 tn Heb “His hand will be against everyone.” The “hand” by metonymy represents strength. His free-roaming life style would put him in conflict with those who follow social conventions. There would not be open warfare, only friction because of his antagonism to their way of life.

243 tn Heb “And the hand of everyone will be against him.”

244 tn Heb “opposite, across from.” Ishmael would live on the edge of society (cf. NASB “to the east of”). Some take this as an idiom meaning “be at odds with” (cf. NRSV, NLT) or “live in hostility toward” (cf. NIV).

245 tn Heb “God of my seeing.” The pronominal suffix may be understood either as objective (“who sees me,” as in the translation) or subjective (“whom I see”).

246 tn Heb “after one who sees me.”

sn For a discussion of Hagar’s exclamation, see T. Booij, “Hagar’s Words in Genesis 16:13b,” VT 30 (1980): 1-7.

247 tn The verb does not have an expressed subject and so is rendered as passive in the translation.

248 sn The Hebrew name Beer Lahai Roi (בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי, bÿer lakhay roi) means “The well of the Living One who sees me.” The text suggests that God takes up the cause of those who are oppressed.

249 tn Heb “look.” The words “it is located” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

250 tn Heb “and Abram called the name of his son whom Hagar bore, Ishmael.”

sn Whom Abram named Ishmael. Hagar must have informed Abram of what the angel had told her. See the note on the name “Ishmael” in 16:11.

251 tn The disjunctive clause gives information that is parenthetical to the narrative.

252 tn Heb “the son of eighty-six years.”

253 tn The Hebrew text adds, “for Abram.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons; it is somewhat redundant given the three occurrences of Abram’s name in this and the previous verse.

254 tn Heb “the son of ninety-nine years.”

255 tn Heb “appeared to Abram and said to him.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) and the final phrase “to him” has been left untranslated for stylistic reasons.

256 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 (see discussion below) its significance is clear. The name is used in contexts where God appears as the source of fertility and life. In Gen 17:1-8 he appeared to Abram, introduced himself as El Shaddai, and announced his intention to make the patriarch fruitful. In the role of El Shaddai God repeated these words (now elevated to the status of a decree) to Jacob (35:11). Earlier Isaac had pronounced a blessing on Jacob in which he asked El Shaddai to make Jacob fruitful (28:3). Jacob later prayed that his sons would be treated with mercy when they returned to Egypt with Benjamin (43:14). The fertility theme is not as apparent here, though one must remember that Jacob viewed Benjamin as the sole remaining son of the favored and once-barren Rachel (see 29:31; 30:22-24; 35:16-18). It is quite natural that he would appeal to El Shaddai to preserve Benjamin’s life, for it was El Shaddai’s miraculous power which made it possible for Rachel to give him sons in the first place. In 48:3 Jacob, prior to blessing Joseph’s sons, told him how El Shaddai appeared to him at Bethel (see Gen 28) and promised to make him fruitful. When blessing Joseph on his deathbed Jacob referred to Shaddai (we should probably read “El Shaddai,” along with a few Hebrew mss, the Samaritan Pentateuch, the LXX, and Syriac) as the one who provides abundant blessings, including “blessings of the breast and womb” (49:25). (The direct association of the name with “breasts” suggests the name might mean “the one of the breast” [i.e., the one who gives fertility], but the juxtaposition is probably better explained as wordplay. Note the wordplay involving the name and the root שָׁדַד, shadad, “destroy”] in Isa 13:6 and in Joel 1:15.) Outside Genesis the name Shaddai (minus the element “El” [“God”]) is normally used when God is viewed as the sovereign king who blesses/protects or curses/brings judgment. The name appears in the introduction to two of Balaam’s oracles (Num 24:4, 16) of blessing upon Israel. Naomi employs the name when accusing the Lord of treating her bitterly by taking the lives of her husband and sons (Ruth 1:20-21). In Ps 68:14; Isa 13:6; and Joel 1:15 Shaddai judges his enemies through warfare, while Ps 91:1 depicts him as the protector of his people. (In Ezek 1:24 and 10:5 the sound of the cherubs’ wings is compared to Shaddai’s powerful voice. The reference may be to the mighty divine warrior’s battle cry which accompanies his angry judgment.) Finally, the name occurs 31 times in the Book of Job. Job and his “friends” assume that Shaddai is the sovereign king of the world (11:7; 37:23a) who is the source of life (33:4b) and is responsible for maintaining justice (8:3; 34:10-12; 37:23b). He provides abundant blessings, including children (22:17-18; 29:4-6), but he can also discipline, punish, and destroy (5:17; 6:4; 21:20; 23:16). It is not surprising to see the name so often in this book, where the theme of God’s justice is primary and even called into question (24:1; 27:2). The most likely proposal is that the name means “God, the one of the mountain” (an Akkadian cognate means “mountain,” to which the Hebrew שַׁד, shad, “breast”] is probably related). For a discussion of proposed derivations see T. N. D. Mettinger, In Search of God, 70-71. The name may originally have depicted God as the sovereign judge who, in Canaanite style, ruled from a sacred mountain. Isa 14:13 and Ezek 28:14, 16 associate such a mountain with God, while Ps 48:2 refers to Zion as “Zaphon,” the Canaanite Olympus from which the high god El ruled. (In Isa 14 the Canaanite god El may be in view. Note that Isaiah pictures pagan kings as taunting the king of Babylon, suggesting that pagan mythology may provide the background for the language and imagery.)

257 tn Or “Live out your life.” The Hebrew verb translated “walk” is the Hitpael; it means “to walk back and forth; to walk about; to live out one’s life.”

258 tn Or “in my presence.”

259 tn There are two imperatives here: “walk…and be blameless [or “perfect”].” The second imperative may be purely sequential (see the translation) or consequential: “walk before me and then you will be blameless.” How one interprets the sequence depends on the meaning of “walk before”: (1) If it simply refers in a neutral way to serving the Lord, then the second imperative is likely sequential. (2) But if it has a positive moral connotation (“serve me faithfully”), then the second imperative probably indicates purpose (or result). For other uses of the idiom see 1 Sam 2:30, 35 and 12:2 (where it occurs twice).

260 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative indicates consequence. If Abram is blameless, then the Lord will ratify the covenant. Earlier the Lord ratified part of his promise to Abram (see Gen 15:18-21), guaranteeing him that his descendants would live in the land. But the expanded form of the promise, which includes numerous descendants and eternal possession of the land, remains to be ratified. This expanded form of the promise is in view here (see vv. 2b, 4-8). See the note at Gen 15:18 and R. B. Chisholm, “Evidence from Genesis,” A Case for Premillennialism, 35-54.

261 tn Heb “I will multiply you exceedingly, exceedingly.” The repetition is emphatic.

262 tn Heb “And Abram fell on his face.” This expression probably means that Abram sank to his knees and put his forehead to the ground, although it is possible that he completely prostrated himself. In either case the posture indicates humility and reverence.

263 tn Heb “God spoke to him, saying.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.

264 tn Heb “I.”

265 tn Heb “is” (הִנֵּה, hinneh).

266 tn Heb “will your name be called.”

267 sn Your name will be Abraham. The renaming of Abram was a sign of confirmation to the patriarch. Every time the name was used it would be a reminder of God’s promise. “Abram” means “exalted father,” probably referring to Abram’s father Terah. The name looks to the past; Abram came from noble lineage. The name “Abraham” is a dialectical variant of the name Abram. But its significance is in the wordplay with אַב־הֲמוֹן (’av-hamon, “the father of a multitude,” which sounds like אַבְרָהָם, ’avraham, “Abraham”). The new name would be a reminder of God’s intention to make Abraham the father of a multitude. For a general discussion of renaming, see O. Eissfeldt, “Renaming in the Old Testament,” Words and Meanings, 70-83.

268 tn The perfect verbal form is used here in a rhetorical manner to emphasize God’s intention.

269 tn This verb starts a series of perfect verbal forms with vav (ו) consecutive to express God’s intentions.

270 tn Heb “exceedingly, exceedingly.” The repetition is emphatic.

271 tn Heb “and I will make you into nations, and kings will come out from you.”

272 tn The verb קוּם (qum, “to arise, to stand up”) in the Hiphil verbal stem means “to confirm, to give effect to, to carry out” (i.e., a covenant or oath; see BDB 878-79 s.v. קוּם).

273 tn Or “as an eternal.”

274 tn Heb “to be to you for God and to your descendants after you.”

275 tn The verbal root is גּוּר (gur, “to sojourn, to reside temporarily,” i.e., as a resident alien). It is the land in which Abram resides, but does not yet possess as his very own.

276 tn Or “as an eternal.”

277 tn The imperfect tense could be translated “you shall keep” as a binding command; but the obligatory nuance (“must”) captures the binding sense better.

278 tn Heb “my covenant.” The Hebrew word בְּרִית (bÿrit) can refer to (1) the agreement itself between two parties (see v. 7), (2) the promise made by one party to another (see vv. 2-3, 7), (3) an obligation placed by one party on another, or (4) a reminder of the agreement. In vv. 9-10 the word refers to a covenantal obligation which God gives to Abraham and his descendants.

279 tn Heb “This is my covenant that you must keep between me and you and your descendants after you.”

280 sn For a discussion of male circumcision as the sign of the covenant in this passage see M. V. Fox, “The Sign of the Covenant: Circumcision in the Light of the Priestly ‘ot Etiologies,” RB 81 (1974): 557-96.

281 tn Or “sign.”

282 tn Heb “the son of eight days.”

283 tn The emphatic construction employs the Niphal imperfect tense (collective singular) and the Niphal infinitive.

284 tn Heb “my covenant.” Here in v. 13 the Hebrew word בְּרִית (bÿrit) refers to the outward, visible sign, or reminder, of the covenant. For the range of meaning of the term, see the note on the word “requirement” in v. 9.

285 tn Or “an eternal.”

286 tn The disjunctive clause calls attention to the “uncircumcised male” and what will happen to him.

287 tn Heb “that person will be cut off.” The words “that person” have not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

sn The meaning of “cut off” has been discussed at great length. An entire tractate in the Mishnah is devoted to this subject (tractate Keritot). Being ostracized from the community is involved at the least, but it is not certain whether this refers to the death penalty.

288 tn Heb “he has broken my covenant.” The noun בְּרִית (bÿrit) here refers to the obligation required by God in conjunction with the covenantal agreement. For the range of meaning of the term, see the note on the word “requirement” in v. 9.

289 tn Heb “[As for] Sarai your wife, you must not call her name Sarai, for Sarah [will be] her name.”

290 sn Sarah. The name change seems to be a dialectical variation, both spellings meaning “princess” or “queen.” Like the name Abram, the name Sarai symbolized the past. The new name Sarah, like the name Abraham, would be a reminder of what God intended to do for Sarah in the future.

291 tn Heb “she will become nations.”

292 tn Heb “peoples.”

293 sn Laughed. The Hebrew verb used here provides the basis for the naming of Isaac: “And he laughed” is וַיִּצְחָק (vayyitskhaq); the name “Isaac” is יִצְחָק (yitskhaq), “he laughs.” Abraham’s (and Sarah’s, see 18:12) laughter signals disbelief, but when the boy is born, the laughter signals surprise and joy.

294 tn Heb “And he fell on his face and laughed and said in his heart.”

295 tn The imperfect verbal form here carries a potential nuance, as it expresses the disbelief of Abraham.

296 tn Heb “to the son of a hundred years.”

297 sn It is important to note that even though Abraham staggers at the announcement of the birth of a son, finding it almost too incredible, he nonetheless calls his wife Sarah, the new name given to remind him of the promise of God (v. 15).

298 tn Heb “the daughter of ninety years.”

299 tn The wish is introduced with the Hebrew particle לוּ (lu), “O that.”

300 tn Or “live with your blessing.”

301 tn Heb “will call his name Isaac.” The name means “he laughs,” or perhaps “may he laugh” (see the note on the word “laughed” in v. 17).

302 tn Or “as an eternal.”

303 sn The Hebrew verb translated “I have heard you” forms a wordplay with the name Ishmael, which means “God hears.” See the note on the name “Ishmael” in 16:11.

304 tn Heb “And I will multiply him exceedingly, exceedingly.” The repetition is emphatic.

305 tn For a discussion of the Hebrew word translated “princes,” see E. A. Speiser, “Background and Function of the Biblical Nasi’,” CBQ 25 (1963): 111-17.

306 tn Heb “And when he finished speaking with him, God went up from Abraham.” The sequence of pronouns and proper names has been modified in the translation for stylistic reasons.

sn God went up from him. The text draws attention to God’s dramatic exit and in so doing brings full closure to the scene.

307 tn Heb “Ishmael his son and all born in his house and all bought with money, every male among the men of the house of Abraham.”

308 tn Heb “circumcised the flesh of their foreskin.” The Hebrew expression is somewhat pleonastic and has been simplified in the translation.

309 tn Heb “the son of ninety-nine years.”

310 tn Heb “circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin” (also in v. 25).

311 tn Heb “the son of thirteen years.”

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

313 tn Or “terebinths.”

314 tn The disjunctive clause here is circumstantial to the main clause.

315 tn The Hebrew noun translated “entrance” is an adverbial accusative of place.

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

317 tn Heb “lifted up his eyes.”

318 tn Heb “and saw, and look.” The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) draws attention to what he saw. The drawn-out description focuses the reader’s attention on Abraham’s deliberate, fixed gaze and indicates that what he is seeing is significant.

319 tn The Hebrew preposition עַל (’al) indicates the three men were nearby, but not close by, for Abraham had to run to meet them.

320 tn The pronoun “them” has been supplied in the translation for clarification. In the Hebrew text the verb has no stated object.

321 tn The form וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ (vayyishtakhu, “and bowed low”) is from the verb הִשְׁתַּחֲוָה (hishtakhavah, “to worship, bow low to the ground”). It is probably from a root חָוָה (khavah), though some derive it from שָׁחָה (shakhah).

322 sn The reader knows this is a theophany. The three visitors are probably the Lord and two angels (see Gen 19:1). It is not certain how soon Abraham recognized the true identity of the visitors. His actions suggest he suspected this was something out of the ordinary, though it is possible that his lavish treatment of the visitors was done quite unwittingly. Bowing down to the ground would be reserved for obeisance of kings or worship of the Lord. Whether he was aware of it or not, Abraham’s action was most appropriate.

323 tc The MT has the form אֲדֹנָי (’adonay, “Master”) which is reserved for God. This may reflect later scribal activity. The scribes, knowing it was the Lord, may have put the proper pointing with the word instead of the more common אֲדֹנִי (’adoni, “my master”).

324 tn Heb “do not pass by from upon your servant.”

325 tn The imperative after the jussive indicates purpose here.

326 tn The word “all” has been supplied in the translation because the Hebrew verb translated “wash” and the pronominal suffix on the word “feet” are plural, referring to all three of the visitors.

327 tn The Qal cohortative here probably has the nuance of polite request.

328 tn Heb “a piece of bread.” The Hebrew word לֶחֶם (lekhem) can refer either to bread specifically or to food in general. Based on Abraham’s directions to Sarah in v. 6, bread was certainly involved, but v. 7 indicates that Abraham had a more elaborate meal in mind.

329 tn Heb “strengthen your heart.” The imperative after the cohortative indicates purpose here.

330 tn Heb “so that you may refresh yourselves, after [which] you may be on your way – for therefore you passed by near your servant.”

331 tn The word “take” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the sentence lacks a verb other than the imperative “hurry.” The elliptical structure of the language reflects Abraham’s haste to get things ready quickly.

332 sn Three measures (Heb “three seahs”) was equivalent to about twenty quarts (twenty-two liters) of flour, which would make a lot of bread. The animal prepared for the meal was far more than the three visitors needed. This was a banquet for royalty. Either it had been a lonely time for Abraham and the presence of visitors made him very happy, or he sensed this was a momentous visit.

333 sn The bread was the simple, round bread made by bedouins that is normally prepared quickly for visitors.

334 tn Heb “the young man.”

335 tn The construction uses the Piel preterite, “he hurried,” followed by the infinitive construct; the two probably form a verbal hendiadys: “he quickly prepared.”

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

337 tn The words “the food” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the verb has no stated object.

338 tn The disjunctive clause is a temporal circumstantial clause subordinate to the main verb.

339 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) often accompanies a gesture of pointing or a focused gaze.

340 tn Heb “he”; the referent (one of the three men introduced in v. 2) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Some English translations have specified the referent as the Lord (cf. RSV, NIV) based on vv. 1, 13, but the Hebrew text merely has “he said” at this point, referring to one of the three visitors. Aside from the introductory statement in v. 1, the incident is narrated from Abraham’s point of view, and the suspense is built up for the reader as Abraham’s elaborate banquet preparations in the preceding verses suggest he suspects these are important guests. But not until the promise of a son later in this verse does it become clear who is speaking. In v. 13 the Hebrew text explicitly mentions the Lord.

341 tn The Hebrew construction is emphatic, using the infinitive absolute with the imperfect tense.

sn I will surely return. If Abraham had not yet figured out who this was, this interchange would have made it clear. Otherwise, how would a return visit from this man mean Sarah would have a son?

342 tn Heb “as/when the time lives” or “revives,” possibly referring to the springtime.

343 tn Heb “and there will be (הִנֵּה, hinneh) a son for Sarah.”

344 tn This is the first of two disjunctive parenthetical clauses preparing the reader for Sarah’s response (see v. 12).

345 tn Heb “days.”

346 tn Heb “it had ceased to be for Sarah [after] a way like women.”

347 tn Heb “saying.”

348 tn It has been suggested that this word should be translated “conception,” not “pleasure.” See A. A. McIntosh, “A Third Root ‘adah in Biblical Hebrew,” VT 24 (1974): 454-73.

349 tn The word “too” has been added in the translation for stylistic reasons.

350 tn Heb “Why, this?” The demonstrative pronoun following the interrogative pronoun is enclitic, emphasizing the Lord’s amazement: “Why on earth did Sarah laugh?”

351 tn The Hebrew construction uses both הַאַף (haaf) and אֻמְנָם (’umnam): “Indeed, truly, will I have a child?”

352 tn The Hebrew verb פָּלָא (pala’) means “to be wonderful, to be extraordinary, to be surpassing, to be amazing.”

353 sn Sarah will have a son. The passage brings God’s promise into clear focus. As long as it was a promise for the future, it really could be believed without much involvement. But now, when it seemed so impossible from the human standpoint, when the Lord fixed an exact date for the birth of the child, the promise became rather overwhelming to Abraham and Sarah. But then this was the Lord of creation, the one they had come to trust. The point of these narratives is that the creation of Abraham’s offspring, which eventually became Israel, is no less a miraculous work of creation than the creation of the world itself.

354 tn Heb “And he said, ‘No, but you did laugh.’” The referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

355 tn Heb “And the men arose from there.”

356 tn Heb “toward the face of.”

357 tn The disjunctive parenthetical clause sets the stage for the following speech.

358 tn The Piel of שָׁלַח (shalakh) means “to lead out, to send out, to expel”; here it is used in the friendly sense of seeing the visitors on their way.

359 tn The active participle here refers to an action that is imminent.

360 tn Heb “And Abraham.” The disjunctive clause is probably causal, giving a reason why God should not hide his intentions from Abraham. One could translate, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation?”

361 tn The infinitive absolute lends emphasis to the finite verb that follows.

362 tn Theoretically the Niphal can be translated either as passive or reflexive/reciprocal. (The Niphal of “bless” is only used in formulations of the Abrahamic covenant. See Gen 12:2; 18:18; 28:14.) Traditionally the verb is taken as passive here, as if Abram were going to be a channel or source of blessing. But in later formulations of the Abrahamic covenant (see Gen 22:18; 26:4) the Hitpael replaces this Niphal form, suggesting a translation “will bless [i.e., “pronounce blessings upon”] themselves [or “one another”].” The Hitpael of “bless” is used with a reflexive/reciprocal sense in Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2. Gen 18:18 (like 12:2) predicts that Abraham will be held up as a paradigm of divine blessing and that people will use his name in their blessing formulae. For examples of blessing formulae utilizing an individual as an example of blessing see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11.

363 tn Heb “For I have known him.” The verb יָדַע (yada’) here means “to recognize and treat in a special manner, to choose” (see Amos 3:2). It indicates that Abraham stood in a special covenantal relationship with the Lord.

364 tn Heb “and they will keep.” The perfect verbal form with vav consecutive carries on the subjective nuance of the preceding imperfect verbal form (translated “so that he may command”).

365 tn The infinitive construct here indicates manner, explaining how Abraham’s children and his household will keep the way of the Lord.

366 tn Heb “bring on.” The infinitive after לְמַעַן (lÿmaan) indicates result here.

367 tn Heb “spoke to.”

368 tn Heb “the outcry of Sodom,” which apparently refers to the outcry for divine justice from those (unidentified persons) who observe its sinful ways.

369 tn Heb “heavy.”

370 tn The cohortative indicates the Lord’s resolve.

sn I must go down. The descent to “see” Sodom is a bold anthropomorphism, stressing the careful judgment of God. The language is reminiscent of the Lord going down to see the Tower of Babel in Gen 11:1-9.

371 tn Heb “[if] according to the outcry that has come to me they have done completely.” Even the Lord, who is well aware of the human capacity to sin, finds it hard to believe that anyone could be as bad as the “outcry” against Sodom and Gomorrah suggests.

372 sn The short phrase if not provides a ray of hope and inspires Abraham’s intercession.

373 tn Heb “And the men turned from there.” The word “two” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied here for clarity. Gen 19:1 mentions only two individuals (described as “angels”), while Abraham had entertained three visitors (18:2). The implication is that the Lord was the third visitor, who remained behind with Abraham here. The words “from there” are not included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

374 tn Heb “went.”

375 tc An ancient Hebrew scribal tradition reads “but the Lord remained standing before Abraham.” This reading is problematic because the phrase “standing before” typically indicates intercession, but the Lord would certainly not be interceding before Abraham.

376 tn Heb “lift up,” perhaps in the sense of “bear with” (cf. NRSV “forgive”).

377 tn Or “ruler.”

378 sn Will not the judge of the whole earth do what is right? For discussion of this text see J. L. Crenshaw, “Popular Questioning of the Justice of God in Ancient Israel,” ZAW 82 (1970): 380-95, and C. S. Rodd, “Shall Not the Judge of All the Earth Do What Is Just?” ExpTim 83 (1972): 137-39.

379 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here and in vv. 30, 31, 32 is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

380 tn The disjunctive clause is a concessive clause here, drawing out the humility as a contrast to the Lord.

381 tn The Hebrew verb שָׁחַת (shakhat, “to destroy”) was used earlier to describe the effect of the flood.

382 tn Heb “because of five.”

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

384 tn The construction is a verbal hendiadys – the preterite (“he added”) is combined with an adverb “yet” and an infinitive “to speak.”

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

386 tn Heb “let it not be hot to the Lord.” This is an idiom which means “may the Lord not be angry.”

387 tn After the jussive, the cohortative indicates purpose/result.

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

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

390 tn Heb “And the Lord went.”

391 tn The infinitive construct (“speaking”) serves as the direct object of the verb “finished.”

392 tn Heb “to his place.”

393 tn The disjunctive clause is temporal here, indicating what Lot was doing at the time of their arrival.

394 tn Heb “sitting in the gate of Sodom.” The phrase “the gate of Sodom” has been translated “the city’s gateway” for stylistic reasons.

sn The expression sitting in the city’s gateway may mean that Lot was exercising some type of judicial function (see the use of the idiom in 2 Sam 19:8; Jer 26:10; 38:7; 39:3).

395 tn The imperatives have the force of invitation.

396 tn These two verbs form a verbal hendiadys: “you can rise up early and go” means “you can go early.”

397 sn The town square refers to the wide street area at the gate complex of the city.

398 tn The Hebrew verb פָּצַר (patsar, “to press, to insist”) ironically foreshadows the hostile actions of the men of the city (see v. 9, where the verb also appears). The repetition of the word serves to contrast Lot to his world.

399 tn The verb שָׁכַב (shakhav) means “to lie down, to recline,” that is, “to go to bed.” Here what appears to be an imperfect is a preterite after the adverb טֶרֶם (terem). The nuance of potential (perfect) fits well.

400 tn Heb “and the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, from the young to the old, all the people from the end [of the city].” The repetition of the phrase “men of” stresses all kinds of men.

401 tn The Hebrew text adds “and said to him.” This is redundant in English and has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

402 tn The Hebrew verb יָדַע (yada’, “to know”) is used here in the sense of “to lie with” or “to have sex with” (as in Gen 4:1). That this is indeed the meaning is clear from Lot’s warning that they not do so wickedly, and his willingness to give them his daughters instead.

sn The sin of the men of Sodom is debated. The fact that the sin involved a sexual act (see note on the phrase “have sex” in 19:5) precludes an association of the sin with inhospitality as is sometimes asserted (see W. Roth, “What of Sodom and Gomorrah? Homosexual Acts in the Old Testament,” Explor 1 [1974]: 7-14). The text at a minimum condemns forced sexual intercourse, i.e., rape. Other considerations, though, point to a condemnation of homosexual acts more generally. The narrator emphasizes the fact that the men of Sodom wanted to have sex with men: They demand that Lot release the angelic messengers (seen as men) to them for sex, and when Lot offers his daughters as a substitute they refuse them and attempt to take the angelic messengers by force. In addition the wider context of the Pentateuch condemns homosexual acts as sin (see, e.g., Lev 18:22). Thus a reading of this text within its narrative context, both immediate and broad, condemns not only the attempted rape but also the attempted homosexual act.

403 tn Heb “may my brothers not act wickedly.”

404 tn Heb “who have not known.” Here this expression is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.

405 tn Heb “according to what is good in your eyes.”

406 tn Heb “shadow.”

407 sn This chapter portrays Lot as a hypocrite. He is well aware of the way the men live in his city and is apparently comfortable in the midst of it. But when confronted by the angels, he finally draws the line. But he is nevertheless willing to sacrifice his daughters’ virginity to protect his guests. His opposition to the crowds leads to his rejection as a foreigner by those with whom he had chosen to live. The one who attempted to rescue his visitors ends up having to be rescued by them.

408 tn Heb “approach out there” which could be rendered “Get out of the way, stand back!”

409 tn Heb “to live as a resident alien.”

410 tn Heb “and he has judged, judging.” The infinitive absolute follows the finite verbal form for emphasis. This emphasis is reflected in the translation by the phrase “dares to judge.”

411 tn The verb “to do wickedly” is repeated here (see v. 7). It appears that whatever “wickedness” the men of Sodom had intended to do to Lot’s visitors – probably nothing short of homosexual rape – they were now ready to inflict on Lot.

412 tn Heb “and they pressed against the man, against Lot, exceedingly.”

413 tn Heb “and they drew near.”

414 tn Heb “the men,” referring to the angels inside Lot’s house. The word “inside” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

415 tn The Hebrew text adds “their hand.” These words have not been translated for stylistic reasons.

416 tn Heb “to them into the house.”

417 tn Heb “from the least to the greatest.”

418 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the men of Sodom outside the door) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

419 tn Heb “the men,” referring to the angels inside Lot’s house. The word “visitors” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

420 tn Heb “Yet who [is there] to you here?”

421 tn The words “Do you have” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

422 tn Heb “a son-in-law and your sons and your daughters and anyone who (is) to you in the city.”

423 tn Heb “the place.” The Hebrew article serves here as a demonstrative.

424 tn The Hebrew participle expresses an imminent action here.

425 tn Heb “for their outcry.” The words “about this place” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

426 tn Heb “the Lord.” The repetition of the divine name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun “he” for stylistic reasons.

427 sn The language has to be interpreted in the light of the context and the social customs. The men are called “sons-in-law” (literally “the takers of his daughters”), but the daughters had not yet had sex with a man. It is better to translate the phrase “who were going to marry his daughters.” Since formal marriage contracts were binding, the husbands-to-be could already be called sons-in-law.

428 tn The Hebrew active participle expresses an imminent action.

429 tn Heb “and he was like one taunting in the eyes of his sons-in-law.” These men mistakenly thought Lot was ridiculing them and their lifestyle. Their response illustrates how morally insensitive they had become.

430 tn Heb “When dawn came up.”

431 tn Heb “who are found.” The wording might imply he had other daughters living in the city, but the text does not explicitly state this.

432 tn Or “with the iniquity [i.e., punishment] of the city” (cf. NASB, NRSV).

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

434 tn Heb “in the compassion of the Lord to them.”

435 tn Heb “brought him out and placed him.” The third masculine singular suffixes refer specifically to Lot, though his wife and daughters accompanied him (see v. 17). For stylistic reasons these have been translated as plural pronouns (“them”).

436 tn Or “one of them”; Heb “he.” Several ancient versions (LXX, Vulgate, Syriac) read the plural “they.” See also the note on “your” in v. 19.

437 tn Heb “escape.”

438 tn The Hebrew verb translated “look” signifies an intense gaze, not a passing glance. This same verb is used later in v. 26 to describe Lot’s wife’s self-destructive look back at the city.

439 tn Or “in the plain”; Heb “in the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.

440 tn Or “my lords.” See the following note on the problem of identifying the addressee here. The Hebrew term is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

441 tn The second person pronominal suffixes are singular in this verse (note “your eyes,” “you have made great,” and “you have acted”). Verse 18a seems to indicate that Lot is addressing the angels, but the use of the singular and the appearance of the divine title “Lord” (אֲדֹנָי, ’adonay) in v. 18b suggests he is speaking to God.

442 tn Heb “in your eyes.”

443 tn Heb “you made great your kindness.”

444 sn The Hebrew word חֶסֶד (khesed) can refer to “faithful love” or to “kindness,” depending on the context. The precise nuance here is uncertain.

445 tn The infinitive construct explains how God has shown Lot kindness.

446 tn Heb “lest.”

447 tn The Hebrew verb דָּבַק (davaq) normally means “to stick to, to cleave, to join.” Lot is afraid he cannot outrun the coming calamity.

448 tn The perfect verb form with vav consecutive carries the nuance of the imperfect verbal form before it.

449 tn The Hebrew word עִיר (’ir) can refer to either a city or a town, depending on the size of the place. Given that this place was described by Lot later in this verse as a “little place,” the translation uses “town.”

450 tn Heb “Look, this town is near to flee to there. And it is little.”

451 tn Heb “Let me escape to there.” The cohortative here expresses Lot’s request.

452 tn Heb “Is it not little?”

453 tn Heb “my soul will live.” After the cohortative the jussive with vav conjunctive here indicates purpose/result.

454 tn Heb “And he said, ‘Look, I will grant.’” The order of the clauses has been rearranged for stylistic reasons. The referent of the speaker (“he”) is somewhat ambiguous: It could be taken as the angel to whom Lot has been speaking (so NLT; note the singular references in vv. 18-19), or it could be that Lot is speaking directly to the Lord here. Most English translations leave the referent of the pronoun unspecified and maintain the ambiguity.

455 tn Heb “I have lifted up your face [i.e., shown you favor] also concerning this matter.”

456 tn The negated infinitive construct indicates either the consequence of God’s granting the request (“I have granted this request, so that I will not”) or the manner in which he will grant it (“I have granted your request by not destroying”).

457 tn Heb “Be quick! Escape to there!” The two imperatives form a verbal hendiadys, the first becoming adverbial.

458 tn Heb “Therefore the name of the city is called Zoar.” The name of the place, צוֹעַר (tsoar) apparently means “Little Place,” in light of the wordplay with the term “little” (מִצְעָר, mitsar) used twice by Lot to describe the town (v. 20).

459 sn The sun had just risen. There was very little time for Lot to escape between dawn (v. 15) and sunrise (here).

460 tn The juxtaposition of the two disjunctive clauses indicates synchronic action. The first action (the sun’s rising) occurred as the second (Lot’s entering Zoar) took place. The disjunctive clauses also signal closure for the preceding scene.

461 tn The disjunctive clause signals the beginning of the next scene and highlights God’s action.

462 tn Or “burning sulfur” (the traditional “fire and brimstone”).

463 tn Heb “from the Lord from the heavens.” The words “It was sent down” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

sn The text explicitly states that the sulfur and fire that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah was sent down from the sky by the Lord. What exactly this was, and how it happened, can only be left to intelligent speculation, but see J. P. Harland, “The Destruction of the Cities of the Plain,” BA 6 (1943): 41-54.

464 tn Or “and all the plain”; Heb “and all the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.

465 tn Heb “and the vegetation of the ground.”

466 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Lot) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

467 tn The Hebrew verb means “to look intently; to gaze” (see 15:5).

sn Longingly. Lot’s wife apparently identified with the doomed city and thereby showed lack of respect for God’s provision of salvation. She, like her daughters later, had allowed her thinking to be influenced by the culture of Sodom.

468 tn The words “and went” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

469 tn Heb “upon the face of.”

470 tn Or “all the land of the plain”; Heb “and all the face of the land of the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.

471 tn Heb “And he saw, and look, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.”

sn It is hard to imagine what was going on in Abraham’s mind, but this brief section in the narrative enables the reader to think about the human response to the judgment. Abraham had family in that area. He had rescued those people from the invasion. That was why he interceded. Yet he surely knew how wicked they were. That was why he got the number down to ten when he negotiated with God to save the city. But now he must have wondered, “What was the point?”

472 tn The construction is a temporal clause comprised of the temporal indicator, an infinitive construct with a preposition, and the subjective genitive.

473 tn Or “of the plain”; Heb “of the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.

474 tn Heb “remembered,” but this means more than mental recollection here. Abraham’s request (Gen 18:23-32) was that the Lord not destroy the righteous with the wicked. While the requisite minimum number of righteous people (ten, v. 32) needed for God to spare the cities was not found, God nevertheless rescued the righteous before destroying the wicked.

sn God showed Abraham special consideration because of the covenantal relationship he had established with the patriarch. Yet the reader knows that God delivered the “righteous” (Lot’s designation in 2 Pet 2:7) before destroying their world – which is what he will do again at the end of the age.

475 sn God’s removal of Lot before the judgment is paradigmatic. He typically delivers the godly before destroying their world.

476 tn Heb “the overthrow when [he] overthrew.”

477 tn Heb “and the firstborn said.”

478 tn Or perhaps “on earth,” in which case the statement would be hyperbolic; presumably there had been some men living in the town of Zoar to which Lot and his daughters had initially fled.

479 tn Heb “to enter upon us.” This is a euphemism for sexual relations.

480 tn Heb “drink wine.”

481 tn Heb “and we will lie down.” The cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive is subordinated to the preceding cohortative and indicates purpose/result.

482 tn Or “that we may preserve.” Here the cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates their ultimate goal.

483 tn Heb “and we will keep alive from our father descendants.”

sn For a discussion of the cultural background of the daughters’ desire to preserve our family line see F. C. Fensham, “The Obliteration of the Family as Motif in the Near Eastern Literature,” AION 10 (1969): 191-99.

484 tn Heb “drink wine.”

485 tn Heb “the firstborn.”

486 tn Heb “and the firstborn came and lied down with her father.” The expression “lied down with” here and in the following verses is a euphemism for sexual relations.

487 tn Heb “and he did not know when she lay down and when she arose.”

488 tn Heb “the firstborn.”

489 tn Heb “Look, I lied down with my father. Let’s make him drink wine again tonight.”

490 tn Heb “And go, lie down with him and we will keep alive from our father descendants.”

491 tn Heb “drink wine.”

492 tn Heb “lied down with him.”

493 tn Heb “And he did not know when she lied down and when she arose.”

494 tn Heb “the firstborn.”

495 sn The meaning of the name Moab is not certain. The name sounds like the Hebrew phrase “from our father” (מֵאָבִינוּ, meavinu) which the daughters used twice (vv. 32, 34). This account is probably included in the narrative in order to portray the Moabites, who later became enemies of God’s people, in a negative light.

496 sn The name Ben-Ammi means “son of my people.” Like the account of Moab’s birth, this story is probably included in the narrative to portray the Ammonites, another perennial enemy of Israel, in a negative light.

497 tn Or “the South [country]”; Heb “the land of the Negev.”

sn Negev is the name for the southern desert region in the land of Canaan.

498 tn Heb “and he sojourned.”

499 tn Heb “came.”

500 tn Heb “Look, you [are] dead.” The Hebrew construction uses the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) with a second person pronominal particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) with by the participle. It is a highly rhetorical expression.

501 tn Heb “and she is owned by an owner.” The disjunctive clause is causal or explanatory in this case.

502 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here is אֲדֹנָי (’adonay).

503 tn Apparently Abimelech assumes that God’s judgment will fall on his entire nation. Some, finding the reference to a nation problematic, prefer to emend the text and read, “Would you really kill someone who is innocent?” See E. A. Speiser, Genesis (AB), 149.

504 tn Heb “he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.

505 tn Heb “and she, even she.”

506 tn Heb “with the integrity of my heart.”

507 tn Heb “with the integrity of your heart.”

508 tn Heb “and I, even I, kept you.”

509 tn Heb “therefore.”

510 tn Or “for,” if the particle is understood as causal (as many English translations do) rather than asseverative.

511 sn For a discussion of the term prophet see N. Walker, “What is a Nabhi?” ZAW 73 (1961): 99-100.

512 tn After the preceding jussive (or imperfect), the imperative with vav conjunctive here indicates result.

sn He will pray for you that you may live. Abraham was known as a man of God whose prayer would be effectual. Ironically and sadly, he was also known as a liar.

513 tn Heb “if there is not you returning.” The suffix on the particle becomes the subject of the negated clause.

514 tn The imperfect is preceded by the infinitive absolute to make the warning emphatic.

515 tn Heb “And Abimelech rose early in the morning and he summoned.”

516 tn The verb קָרָא (qara’) followed by the preposition לְ (lamed) means “to summon.”

517 tn Heb “And he spoke all these things in their ears.”

518 tn Heb “the men.” This has been replaced by the pronoun “they” in the translation for stylistic reasons.

519 tn Heb “How did I sin against you that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin?” The expression “great sin” refers to adultery. For discussion of the cultural background of the passage, see J. J. Rabinowitz, “The Great Sin in Ancient Egyptian Marriage Contracts,” JNES 18 (1959): 73, and W. L. Moran, “The Scandal of the ‘Great Sin’ at Ugarit,” JNES 18 (1959): 280-81.

520 tn Heb “Deeds which should not be done you have done to me.” The imperfect has an obligatory nuance here.

521 tn Heb “And Abimelech said to.”

522 tn Heb “What did you see that you did this thing?” The question implies that Abraham had some motive for deceiving Abimelech.

523 tn Heb “Because I said.”

524 tn Heb “over the matter of.”

525 tn Heb “but also.”

526 tn The Hebrew verb is plural. This may be a case of grammatical agreement with the name for God, which is plural in form. However, when this plural name refers to the one true God, accompanying predicates are usually singular in form. Perhaps Abraham is accommodating his speech to Abimelech’s polytheistic perspective. (See GKC 463 §145.i.) If so, one should translate, “when the gods made me wander.”

527 tn Heb “This is your loyal deed which you can do for me.”

528 tn Heb “took and gave.”

529 tn Heb “In the [place that is] good in your eyes live!”

530 sn A thousand pieces [Heb “shekels”] of silver. The standards for weighing money varied considerably in the ancient Near East, but the generally accepted weight for the shekel is 11.5 grams (0.4 ounce). This makes the weight of silver here 11.5 kilograms, or 400 ounces (about 25 pounds).

531 sn To your ‘brother.’ Note the way that the king refers to Abraham. Was he being sarcastic? It was surely a rebuke to Sarah. What is amazing is how patient this king was. It is proof that the fear of God was in that place, contrary to what Abraham believed (see v. 11).

532 tn Heb “Look, it is for you a covering of the eyes, for all who are with you, and with all, and you are set right.” The exact meaning of the statement is unclear. Apparently it means that the gift of money somehow exonerates her in other people’s eyes. They will not look on her as compromised (see G. J. Wenham, Genesis [WBC], 2:74).

533 tn In the Hebrew text the clause begins with “because.”

534 tn Heb had completely closed up every womb.” In the Hebrew text infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.

sn The Lord had closed up every womb. This fact indicates that Sarah was in Abimelech’s household for weeks or months before the dream revelation was given (20:6-7). No one in his household could have children after Sarah arrived on the scene.

535 tn Heb “because of.” The words “he took” are supplied in the translation for clarity.

536 sn The Hebrew verb translated “visit” (פָּקַד, paqad ) often describes divine intervention for blessing or cursing; it indicates God’s special attention to an individual or a matter, always with respect to his people’s destiny. He may visit (that is, destroy) the Amalekites; he may visit (that is, deliver) his people in Egypt. Here he visits Sarah, to allow her to have the promised child. One’s destiny is changed when the Lord “visits.” For a more detailed study of the term, see G. André, Determining the Destiny (ConBOT).

537 tn Heb “and the Lord did.” The divine name has not been repeated here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

538 tn Heb “spoken.”

539 tn Or “she conceived.”

540 tn Heb “the one born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.” The two modifying clauses, the first introduced with an article and the second with the relative pronoun, are placed in the middle of the sentence, before the name Isaac is stated. They are meant to underscore that this was indeed an actual birth to Abraham and Sarah in fulfillment of the promise.

541 tn Heb “Isaac his son, the son of eight days.” The name “Isaac” is repeated in the translation for clarity.

542 sn Just as God had commanded him to do. With the birth of the promised child, Abraham obeyed the Lord by both naming (Gen 17:19) and circumcising Isaac (17:12).

543 tn The parenthetical disjunctive clause underscores how miraculous this birth was. Abraham was 100 years old. The fact that the genealogies give the ages of the fathers when their first son is born shows that this was considered a major milestone in one’s life (G. J. Wenham, Genesis [WBC], 2:80).

544 tn Heb “Laughter God has made for me.”

545 tn The words “about this” are supplied in the translation for clarification.

546 sn Sarah’s words play on the name “Isaac” in a final triumphant manner. God prepared “laughter” (צְחֹק, ysÿkhoq ) for her, and everyone who hears about this “will laugh” (יִצְחַק, yitskhaq ) with her. The laughter now signals great joy and fulfillment, not unbelief (cf. Gen 18:12-15).

547 tn Heb “said.”

548 tn The perfect form of the verb is used here to describe a hypothetical situation.

549 tn Heb “made.”

550 sn Children were weaned closer to the age of two or three in the ancient world, because infant mortality was high. If an infant grew to this stage, it was fairly certain he or she would live. Such an event called for a celebration, especially for parents who had waited so long for a child.

551 tn Heb “saw.”

552 tn The Piel participle used here is from the same root as the name “Isaac.” In the Piel stem the verb means “to jest; to make sport of; to play with,” not simply “to laugh,” which is the meaning of the verb in the Qal stem. What exactly Ishmael was doing is not clear. Interpreters have generally concluded that the boy was either (1) mocking Isaac (cf. NASB, NIV, NLT) or (2) merely playing with Isaac as if on equal footing (cf. NAB, NRSV). In either case Sarah saw it as a threat. The same participial form was used in Gen 19:14 to describe how some in Lot’s family viewed his attempt to warn them of impending doom. It also appears later in Gen 39:14, 17, where Potiphar accuses Joseph of mocking them.

sn Mocking. Here Sarah interprets Ishmael’s actions as being sinister. Ishmael probably did not take the younger child seriously and Sarah saw this as a threat to Isaac. Paul in Gal 4:29 says that Ishmael persecuted Isaac. He uses a Greek word that can mean “to put to flight; to chase away; to pursue” and may be drawing on a rabbinic interpretation of the passage. In Paul’s analogical application of the passage, he points out that once the promised child Isaac (symbolizing Christ as the fulfillment of God’s promise) has come, there is no room left for the slave woman and her son (who symbolize the Mosaic law).

553 tn Heb “drive out.” The language may seem severe, but Sarah’s maternal instincts sensed a real danger in that Ishmael was not treating Isaac with the proper respect.

554 tn Heb “and the word was very wrong in the eyes of Abraham on account of his son.” The verb רָעַע (raa’) often refers to what is morally or ethically “evil.” It usage here suggests that Abraham thought Sarah’s demand was ethically (and perhaps legally) wrong.

555 tn Heb “Let it not be evil in your eyes.”

556 tn Heb “listen to her voice.” The idiomatic expression means “obey; comply.” Here her advice, though harsh, is necessary and conforms to the will of God. Later (see Gen 25), when Abraham has other sons, he sends them all away as well.

557 tn The imperfect verbal form here draws attention to an action that is underway.

558 tn Or perhaps “will be named”; Heb “for in Isaac offspring will be called to you.” The exact meaning of the statement is not clear, but it does indicate that God’s covenantal promises to Abraham will be realized through Isaac, not Ishmael.

559 tn Heb “and Abraham rose up early in the morning and he took.”

560 tn Heb “bread,” although the term can be used for food in general.

561 tn Heb “He put upon her shoulder, and the boy [or perhaps, “and with the boy”], and he sent her away.” It is unclear how “and the boy” relates syntactically to what precedes. Perhaps the words should be rearranged and the text read, “and he put [them] on her shoulder and he gave to Hagar the boy.”

562 tn Heb “she went and wandered.”

563 tn Or “desert,” although for English readers this usually connotes a sandy desert like the Sahara rather than the arid wasteland of this region with its sparse vegetation.

564 tn Heb “threw,” but the child, who was now thirteen years old, would not have been carried, let alone thrown under a bush. The exaggerated language suggests Ishmael is limp from dehydration and is being abandoned to die. See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 2:85.

565 sn A bowshot would be a distance of about a hundred yards (ninety meters).

566 tn Heb “said.”

567 tn Heb “I will not look on the death of the child.” The cohortative verbal form (note the negative particle אַל,’al) here expresses her resolve to avoid the stated action.

568 tn Heb “and she lifted up her voice and wept” (that is, she wept uncontrollably). The LXX reads “he” (referring to Ishmael) rather than “she” (referring to Hagar), but this is probably an attempt to harmonize this verse with the following one, which refers to the boy’s cries.

569 sn God heard the boy’s voice. The text has not to this point indicated that Ishmael was crying out, either in pain or in prayer. But the text here makes it clear that God heard him. Ishmael is clearly central to the story. Both the mother and the Lord are focused on the child’s imminent death.

570 tn Heb “What to you?”

571 sn Here the verb heard picks up the main motif of the name Ishmael (“God hears”), introduced back in chap. 16.

572 tn Heb “And God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.” The referent (Hagar) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

573 sn The wilderness of Paran is an area in the east central region of the Sinai peninsula, northeast from the traditional site of Mt. Sinai and with the Arabah and the Gulf of Aqaba as its eastern border.

574 tn Heb “And his mother took for him a wife from the land of Egypt.”

575 sn God is with you. Abimelech and Phicol recognized that Abraham enjoyed special divine provision and protection.

576 tn Heb “And now swear to me by God here.”

577 tn Heb “my offspring and my descendants.”

578 tn The word “land” refers by metonymy to the people in the land.

579 tn The Hebrew verb means “to stay, to live, to sojourn” as a temporary resident without ownership rights.

580 tn Or “kindness.”

581 tn Heb “According to the loyalty which I have done with you, do with me and with the land in which you are staying.”

582 tn Heb “I swear.” No object is specified in the Hebrew text, but the content of the oath requested by Abimelech is the implied object.

583 tn The Hebrew verb used here means “to argue; to dispute”; it can focus on the beginning of the dispute (as here), the dispute itself, or the resolution of a dispute (Isa 1:18). Apparently the complaint was lodged before the actual oath was taken.

584 tn Heb “concerning the matter of the well of water.”

585 tn The Hebrew verb used here means “to steal; to rob; to take violently.” The statement reflects Abraham’s perspective.

586 tn Heb “and also.”

587 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”

588 tn Heb “What are these?”

589 tn Heb “that it be for me for a witness.”

590 sn This well. Since the king wanted a treaty to share in Abraham’s good fortune, Abraham used the treaty to secure ownership of and protection for the well he dug. It would be useless to make a treaty to live in this territory if he had no rights to the water. Abraham consented to the treaty, but added his rider to it.

591 tn Heb “that is why he called that place.” Some translations render this as an impersonal passive, “that is why that place was called.”

592 sn The name Beer Sheba (בְּאֵר שָׁבַע, bÿer shava’) means “well of the oath” or “well of the seven.” Both the verb “to swear” and the number “seven” have been used throughout the account. Now they are drawn in as part of the explanation of the significance of the name.

593 sn The verb forms a wordplay with the name Beer Sheba.

594 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”

595 tn Heb “arose and returned.”

596 sn The Philistines mentioned here may not be ethnically related to those who lived in Palestine in the time of the judges and the united monarchy. See D. M. Howard, “Philistines,” Peoples of the Old Testament World, 238.

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

598 sn The planting of the tamarisk tree is a sign of Abraham’s intent to stay there for a long time, not a religious act. A growing tree in the Negev would be a lasting witness to God’s provision of water.

599 tn Heb “he called there in the name of the Lord.” The expression refers to worshiping the Lord through prayer and sacrifice (see Gen 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 26:25). See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:116, 281.

600 tn Heb “many days.”

601 sn The Hebrew verb used here means “to test; to try; to prove.” In this passage God tests Abraham to see if he would be obedient. See T. W. Mann, The Book of the Torah, 44-48. See also J. L. Crenshaw, A Whirlpool of Torment (OBT), 9-30; and J. I. Lawlor, “The Test of Abraham,” GTJ 1 (1980): 19-35.

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

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

604 sn Take your son…Isaac. The instructions are very clear, but the details are deliberate. With every additional description the commandment becomes more challenging.

605 sn There has been much debate over the location of Moriah; 2 Chr 3:1 suggests it may be the site where the temple was later built in Jerusalem.

606 sn A whole burnt offering signified the complete surrender of the worshiper and complete acceptance by God. The demand for a human sacrifice was certainly radical and may have seemed to Abraham out of character for God. Abraham would have to obey without fully understanding what God was about.

607 tn Heb “which I will say to.”

608 tn Heb “Abraham rose up early in the morning and saddled his donkey.”

609 tn Heb “he arose and he went.”

610 tn Heb “lifted up his eyes and saw.”

611 tn Heb “And Abraham.” The proper name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons.

612 tn The Hebrew verb is masculine plural, referring to the two young servants who accompanied Abraham and Isaac on the journey.

613 tn The disjunctive clause (with the compound subject preceding the verb) may be circumstantial and temporal.

614 tn This Hebrew word literally means “to bow oneself close to the ground.” It often means “to worship.”

615 sn It is impossible to know what Abraham was thinking when he said, “we will…return to you.” When he went he knew (1) that he was to sacrifice Isaac, and (2) that God intended to fulfill his earlier promises through Isaac. How he reconciled those facts is not clear in the text. Heb 11:17-19 suggests that Abraham believed God could restore Isaac to him through resurrection.

616 sn He took the fire and the knife in his hand. These details anticipate the sacrifice that lies ahead.

617 tn The Hebrew text adds “and said.” This is redundant and has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

618 tn Heb “Here I am” (cf. Gen 22:1).

619 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Here is the fire and the wood.’” The referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here and in the following verse the order of the introductory clauses and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

620 tn Heb “will see for himself.” The construction means “to look out for; to see to it; to provide.”

sn God will provide is the central theme of the passage and the turning point in the story. Note Paul’s allusion to the story in Rom 8:32 (“how shall he not freely give us all things?”) as well as H. J. Schoeps, “The Sacrifice of Isaac in Paul’s Theology,” JBL 65 (1946): 385-92.

621 sn Abraham built an altar there. The theme of Abraham’s altar building culminates here. He has been a faithful worshiper. Will he continue to worship when called upon to make such a radical sacrifice?

622 sn Then he tied up. This text has given rise to an important theme in Judaism known as the Aqedah, from the Hebrew word for “binding.” When sacrifices were made in the sanctuary, God remembered the binding of Isaac, for which a substitute was offered. See D. Polish, “The Binding of Isaac,” Jud 6 (1957): 17-21.

623 tn Heb “in order to slaughter.”

624 sn Heb “the messenger of the Lord” (also in v. 15). Some identify the angel of the Lord as the preincarnate Christ because in some texts the angel is identified with the Lord himself. However, see the note on the phrase “the Lord’s angel” in Gen 16:7.

625 tn Heb “Do not extend your hand toward the boy.”

626 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Do not extend…’”; the referent (the angel) has been specified in the context for clarity. The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

627 sn For now I know. The test was designed to see if Abraham would be obedient (see v. 1).

628 sn In this context fear refers by metonymy to obedience that grows from faith.

629 tn Heb “lifted his eyes.”

630 tn Heb “and saw, and look.” The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) draws attention to what Abraham saw and invites the audience to view the scene through his eyes.

631 tc The translation follows the reading of the MT; a number of Hebrew mss, the LXX, Syriac, and Samaritan Pentateuch read “one” (אֶחָד, ’ekhad) instead of “behind him” (אַחַר, ’akhar).

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

633 tn Heb “the Lord sees” (יְהוָה יִרְאֶה, yÿhvah yireh, traditionally transliterated “Jehovah Jireh”; see the note on the word “provide” in v. 8). By so naming the place Abraham preserved in the memory of God’s people the amazing event that took place there.

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

635 sn The saying connected with these events has some ambiguity, which was probably intended. The Niphal verb could be translated (1) “in the mountain of the Lord it will be seen/provided” or (2) “in the mountain the Lord will appear.” If the temple later stood here (see the note on “Moriah” in Gen 22:2), the latter interpretation might find support, for the people went to the temple to appear before the Lord, who “appeared” to them by providing for them his power and blessings. See S. R. Driver, Genesis, 219.

636 tn Heb “By myself I swear.”

637 tn Heb “the oracle of the Lord.” The phrase refers to a formal oracle or decree from the Lord.

638 tn The use of the infinitive absolute before the finite verbal form (either an imperfect or cohortative) emphasizes the certainty of the blessing.

639 tn Here too the infinitive absolute is used for emphasis before the following finite verb (either an imperfect or cohortative).

sn I will greatly multiply. The Lord here ratifies his earlier promise to give Abram a multitude of descendants. For further discussion see R. B. Chisholm, “Evidence from Genesis,” A Case for Premillennialism, 35-54.

640 tn The Hebrew term זֶרַע (zera’) occurring here and in v. 18 may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.

641 tn Or “inherit.”

642 tn Heb “gate,” which here stands for a walled city. To break through the gate complex would be to conquer the city, for the gate complex was the main area of defense (hence the translation “stronghold”).

643 tn In the Hebrew text this causal clause comes at the end of the sentence. The translation alters the word order for stylistic reasons.

sn Because you have obeyed me. Abraham’s obedience brought God’s ratification of the earlier conditional promise (see Gen 12:2).

644 tn Traditionally the verb is taken as passive (“will be blessed”) here, as if Abraham’s descendants were going to be a channel or source of blessing to the nations. But the Hitpael is better understood here as reflexive/reciprocal, “will bless [i.e., pronounce blessings on] themselves/one another” (see also Gen 26:4). Elsewhere the Hitpael of the verb “to bless” is used with a reflexive/reciprocal sense in Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2. Gen 12:2 predicts that Abram will be held up as a paradigm of divine blessing and that people will use his name in their blessing formulae. For examples of blessing formulae utilizing an individual as an example of blessing see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11. Earlier formulations of this promise (see Gen 12:2; 18:18) use the Niphal stem. (See also Gen 28:14.)

645 tn Heb “and they arose and went together.”

646 tn Heb “and Abraham stayed in Beer Sheba. This has been translated as a relative clause for stylistic reasons.

647 tn In the Hebrew text the sentence begins with הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) which draws attention to the statement.

648 sn This parenthetical note about Kemuel’s descendant is probably a later insertion by the author/compiler of Genesis and not part of the original announcement.

649 tn The disjunctive clause gives information that is important but parenthetical to the narrative. Rebekah would become the wife of Isaac (Gen 24:15).

650 tn Heb “And the years of Sarah were one hundred years and twenty years and seven years, the years of the life of Sarah.”

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

652 sn Mourn…weep. The description here is of standard mourning rites (see K. A. Kitchen, NBD3 149-50). They would have been carried out in the presence of the corpse, probably in Sarah’s tent. So Abraham came in to mourn; then he rose up to go and bury his dead (v. 3).

653 tn Heb “And Abraham arose from upon the face of his dead.”

654 tn Some translate the Hebrew term “Heth” as “Hittites” here (also in vv. 5, 7, 10, 16, 18, 20), but this gives the impression that these people were the classical Hittites of Anatolia. However, there is no known connection between these sons of Heth, apparently a Canaanite group (see Gen 10:15), and the Hittites of Asia Minor. See H. A. Hoffner, Jr., “Hittites,” Peoples of the Old Testament World, 152-53.

655 tn Heb “a resident alien and a settler.”

656 tn Heb “give,” which is used here as an idiom for “sell” (see v. 9). The idiom reflects the polite bartering that was done in the culture at the time.

657 tn Or “possession.”

658 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction expresses purpose.

659 tn Heb “bury my dead out of my sight.” The last phrase “out of my sight” has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

660 tn Heb “answered Abraham saying to him.”

661 tn Heb “Hear us, my lord.”

662 tn Heb “prince of God.” The divine name may be used here as a means of expressing the superlative, “mighty prince.” The word for “prince” probably means “tribal chief” here. See M. H. Gottstein, “Nasi’ ‘elohim (Gen 23:6),” VT 3 (1953) 298-99; and D. W. Thomas, “Consideration of Some Unusual Ways of Expressing the Superlative in Hebrew,” VT 3 (1953) 215-16.

663 tn The phrase “to prevent you” has been added in the translation for stylistic reasons.

664 tn Heb “to the people of the land” (also in v. 12).

665 tn Heb “If it is with your purpose.” The Hebrew noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) here has the nuance “purpose” or perhaps “desire” (see BDB 661 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ).

666 tn Heb “bury my dead out of my sight.” The last phrase “out of my sight” has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.

667 tn Or “hear me.”

668 tn Heb “intercede for me with.”

669 tn Heb “give.” This is used here (also a second time later in this verse) as an idiom for “sell”; see the note on the word “grant” in v. 4.

670 tn Heb “in your presence.”

671 tn Heb “silver.”

672 tn Or perhaps “Hittite,” but see the note on the name “Heth” in v. 3.

673 tn Heb “ears.” By metonymy the “ears” stand for the presence or proximity (i.e., within earshot) of the persons named.

674 sn On the expression all who entered the gate see E. A. Speiser, “‘Coming’ and ‘Going’ at the City Gate,” BASOR 144 (1956): 20-23; and G. Evans, “‘Coming’ and ‘Going’ at the City Gate: A Discussion of Professor Speiser’s Paper,” BASOR 150 (1958): 28-33.

675 tn Heb “give.” The perfect tense has here a present nuance; this is a formal, legally binding declaration. Abraham asked only for a burial site/cave within the field; Ephron agrees to sell him the entire field.

676 tn The Hebrew text adds “to you I give [i.e., sell] it.” This is redundant in English and has not been translated for stylistic reasons.

677 tn Heb “in the presence of the sons of my people.”

678 tn Heb “give.”

679 tn Heb “silver.”

680 tn After the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction expresses purpose or result.

681 tn The word “worth” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

682 sn Four hundred pieces of silver. The standards for weighing money varied considerably in the ancient Near East, but the generally accepted weight for the shekel is 11.5 grams (0.4 ounce). This makes the weight of silver here 4.6 kilograms, or 160 ounces (about 10 pounds).

683 tn Heb “listened to Ephron.”

684 tn Heb “and Abraham weighed out.”

685 tn Heb “to Ephron.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

686 tn Heb “silver.”

687 tn Heb “that he had spoken.” The referent (Ephron) has been specified here in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

688 tn Heb “passing for the merchant.” The final clause affirms that the measurement of silver was according to the standards used by the merchants of the time.

689 tn Heb “And it was conveyed.” The recipient, Abraham (mentioned in the Hebrew text at the beginning of v. 18) has been placed here in the translation for stylistic reasons.

690 tn Heb “his city”; the referent (Ephron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

sn See G. M. Tucker, “The Legal Background of Genesis 23,” JBL 85 (1966):77-84; and M. R. Lehmann, “Abraham’s Purchase of Machpelah and Hittite Law,” BASOR 129 (1953): 15-18.

691 tn Heb “possession of a grave.”

692 tn Heb “days.”

693 tn Heb “Abraham.” The proper name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons.

694 tn The Hebrew term זָקֵן (zaqen) may refer to the servant who is oldest in age or senior in authority (or both).

695 sn Put your hand under my thigh. The taking of this oath had to do with the sanctity of the family and the continuation of the family line. See D. R. Freedman, “Put Your Hand Under My Thigh – the Patriarchal Oath,” BAR 2 (1976): 2-4, 42.

696 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose.

697 tn Heb “because you must not take.”

698 tn Heb “for to my country and my relatives you must go.”

699 tn Heb “and take.”

700 tn Heb “to go after me.”

701 tn In the Hebrew text the construction is emphatic; the infinitive absolute precedes the imperfect. However, it is difficult to reflect this emphasis in an English translation.

702 tn Heb “guard yourself.”

703 tn The introductory clause “And Abraham said to him” has been moved to the end of the opening sentence of direct discourse in the translation for stylistic reasons.

704 tn Or “the land of my birth.”

705 tn Heb “and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying.”

706 tn Or “his messenger.”

707 tn Heb “before you and you will take.”

708 tn Heb “ to go after you.”

709 sn You will be free. If the prospective bride was not willing to accompany the servant back to Canaan, the servant would be released from his oath to Abraham.

710 tn Heb “and he swore to him concerning this matter.”

711 tn Heb “and every good thing of his master was in his hand.” The disjunctive clause is circumstantial, explaining that he took all kinds of gifts to be used at his discretion.

712 tn Heb “and he arose and went.”

713 tn The words “the region of” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.

sn Aram Naharaim means in Hebrew “Aram of the Two Rivers,” a region in northern Mesopotamia.

714 tn Heb “well of water.”

715 tn Heb “at the time of evening.”

716 tn Heb “make it happen before me today.” Although a number of English translations understand this as a request for success in the task (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV) it is more likely that the servant is requesting an omen or sign from God (v. 14).

717 tn Heb “act in loyal love with” or “show kindness to.”

718 tn Heb “the spring of water.”

719 tn Heb “the men.”

720 sn I will also give your camels water. It would be an enormous test for a young woman to water ten camels. The idea is that such a woman would not only be industrious but hospitable and generous.

721 tn Heb “And let the young woman to whom I say, ‘Lower your jar that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink and I will also give your camels water,’ – her you have appointed for your servant, for Isaac, and by it I will know that you have acted in faithfulness with my master.”

722 tn Heb “Look, Rebekah was coming out!” Using the participle introduced with הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator dramatically transports the audience back into the event and invites them to see Rebekah through the servant’s eyes.

723 tn Heb “Look, Rebekah was coming out – [she] who was born to Bethuel, the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, the brother of Abraham – and her jug [was] on her shoulder.” The order of the clauses has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

724 tn Heb “And the young woman was very good of appearance, a virgin, and a man she had not known.” Some argue that the Hebrew noun translated “virgin” (בְּתוּלָה, bÿtulah) is better understood in a general sense, “young woman” (see Joel 1:8, where the word appears to refer to one who is married). In this case the circumstantial clause (“and a man she had not known”) would be restrictive, rather than descriptive. If the term actually means “virgin,” one wonders why the circumstantial clause is necessary (see Judg 21:12 as well). Perhaps the repetition emphasizes her sexual purity as a prerequisite for her role as the mother of the covenant community.

725 tn Heb “and the servant.” The word “Abraham’s” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

726 tn Heb “and she hurried and lowered.”

727 tn Heb “when she had finished giving him a drink.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.

728 tn Heb “and she hurried and emptied.”

729 tn Heb “to know.”

730 tn The Hebrew term צָלָה (tsalah), meaning “to make successful” in the Hiphil verbal stem, is a key term in the story (see vv. 40, 42, 56).

731 sn A beka weighed about 5-6 grams (0.2 ounce).

732 sn A shekel weighed about 11.5 grams (0.4 ounce) although weights varied locally, so these bracelets weighed about 4 ounces (115 grams).

733 tn The words “and gave them to her” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.

734 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’” The order of the introductory clause has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

735 tn Heb “whom she bore to Nahor.” The referent (Milcah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

736 tn Heb “and she said, ‘We have plenty of both straw and feed.’” The order of the introductory clause has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

737 tn Heb The words “for you” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.

738 tn Heb “his faithfulness and his commitment.”

739 tn Heb “As for me – in the way the Lord led me.”

740 tn Here “house” is an adverbial accusative of termination.

741 tn Heb “brothers.”

742 tn Heb “according to.”

743 tn The parenthetical disjunctive clause introduces the audience to Laban, who will eventually play an important role in the unfolding story.

744 tn Heb “And it was when he saw the nose ring and the bracelets on the arms of his sister.” The word order is altered in the translation for the sake of clarity.

745 tn Heb “and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying.”

746 tn Heb “and look, he was standing.” The disjunctive clause with the participle following the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) invites the audience to view the scene through Laban’s eyes.

747 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent (Laban) has been specified and the words “to him” supplied in the translation for clarity.

748 sn Laban’s obsession with wealth is apparent; to him it represents how one is blessed by the Lord. Already the author is laying the foundation for subsequent events in the narrative, where Laban’s greed becomes his dominant characteristic.

749 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial.

750 tn Heb “the man”; the referent (Abraham’s servant) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

751 tn Some translations (e.g., NEB, NASB, NRSV) understand Laban to be the subject of this and the following verbs or take the subject of this and the following verbs as indefinite (referring to an unnamed servant; e.g., NAB, NIV).

752 tn Heb “and [one] gave.” The verb without an expressed subject may be translated as passive.

753 tn Heb “and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.”

754 tn Heb “and food was placed before him.”

755 tn Heb “my words.”

756 tc Some ancient textual witnesses have a plural verb, “and they said.”

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

757 tn Heb “great.” In this context the statement refers primarily to Abraham’s material wealth, although reputation and influence are not excluded.

758 tn Heb “and he.” The referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

759 tn Heb “to my master.” This has been replaced by the pronoun “him” in the translation for stylistic reasons.

760 tn Heb “after her old age.”

761 tn Heb “and he.” The referent (the servant’s master, Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

762 tn Heb “but to the house of my father you must go and to my family and you must take a wife for my son.”

763 tn The imperfect is used here in a modal sense to indicate desire.

764 tn Heb “after me.”

765 tn The verb is the Hitpael of הָלַךְ (halakh), meaning “live one’s life” (see Gen 17:1). The statement may simply refer to serving the Lord or it may have a more positive moral connotation (“serve faithfully”).

766 tn Heb “my oath” (twice in this verse). From the Hebrew perspective the oath belonged to the person to whom it was sworn (Abraham), although in contemporary English an oath is typically viewed as belonging to the person who swears it (the servant).

767 tn Heb “if you are making successful my way on which I am going.”

768 tn The words “may events unfold as follows” are supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

769 tn Heb “the spring of water.”

770 tn Heb “and it will be.”

771 tn Heb “As for me, before I finished speaking to my heart.” The adverb טֶרֶם (terem) indicates the verb is a preterite; the infinitive that follows is the direct object.

772 tn Heb “Look, Rebekah was coming out.” As in 24:15, the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) is used here for dramatic effect.

773 tn Heb “whom Milcah bore to him.” The referent (Nahor) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

774 tn Heb “daughter.” Rebekah was actually the granddaughter of Nahor, Abraham’s brother. One can either translate the Hebrew term בַּת (bat) as “daughter,” in which case the term אָח (’akh) must be translated more generally as “relative” rather than “brother” (cf. NASB, NRSV) or one can translate בַּת as “granddaughter,” in which case אָח may be translated “brother” (cf. NIV).

775 tn Heb “and I will turn to the right or to the left.” The expression apparently means that Abraham’s servant will know where he should go if there is no further business here.

776 tn Heb “From the Lord the matter has gone out.”

777 tn Heb “We are not able to speak to you bad or good.” This means that Laban and Bethuel could not say one way or the other what they wanted, for they viewed it as God’s will.

778 tn Following the imperatives, the jussive with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

779 tn Heb “as the Lord has spoken.”

780 tn Heb “the servant”; the noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

781 tn Heb “And they ate and drank, he and the men who [were] with him and they spent the night.”

782 tn Heb “Send me away to my master.”

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

784 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial, indicating a reason for the preceding request.

785 tn After the preceding imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

786 tn Heb “and we will ask her mouth.”

787 tn The imperfect verbal form here has a modal nuance, expressing desire.

788 tn Heb “and said to her.”

789 tn Heb “become thousands of ten thousands.”

sn May you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands. The blessing expresses their prayer that she produce children and start a family line that will greatly increase (cf. Gen 17:16).

790 tn Heb “gate,” which here stands for a walled city. In an ancient Near Eastern city the gate complex was the main area of defense (hence the translation “stronghold”). A similar phrase occurs in Gen 22:17.

791 tn Heb “And she arose, Rebekah and her female servants, and they rode upon camels and went after.”

792 tn Heb “the servant”; the word “Abraham’s” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

793 tn The disjunctive clause switches the audience’s attention to Isaac and signals a new episode in the story.

794 tn Heb “from the way of.”

795 sn The Hebrew name Beer Lahai Roi (בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי, bÿer lakhay roi) means “The well of the Living One who sees me.” See Gen 16:14.

796 tn This disjunctive clause is explanatory.

797 tn Or “the South [country].”

sn Negev is the name for the southern desert region in the land of Canaan.

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

799 tn The meaning of this Hebrew term is uncertain (cf. NASB, NIV “to meditate”; NRSV “to walk”).

800 tn Heb “at the turning of the evening.”

801 tn Heb “And he lifted up his eyes.” This idiom emphasizes the careful look Isaac had at the approaching caravan.

802 tn Heb “and look.” The clause introduced by the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) invites the audience to view the scene through Isaac’s eyes.

803 tn Heb “lifted up her eyes.”

804 tn Heb “and she said to.”

805 tn Heb “the servant.” The word “Abraham’s” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

806 tn Heb “and the servant said.” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

807 tn Heb “her”; the referent has been specified here in the translation for clarity.

808 tn Heb “Rebekah”; here the proper name was replaced by the pronoun (“her”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

809 tn Heb “and he took Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her.”

810 tn Heb “after his mother.” This must refer to Sarah’s death.

811 tn Or “took.”

sn Abraham had taken another wife. These events are not necessarily in chronological order following the events of the preceding chapter. They are listed here to summarize Abraham’s other descendants before the narrative of his death.

812 tn Heb “And Abraham added and took.”

813 sn The names Sheba and Dedan appear in Gen 10:7 as descendants of Ham through Cush and Raamah. Since these two names are usually interpreted to be place names, one plausible suggestion is that some of Abraham’s descendants lived in those regions and took names linked with it.

814 tn Or “sons.”

815 tn Heb “the sons of the concubines who [belonged] to Abraham.”

816 tn Heb “And he sent them away from upon Isaac his son, while he was still living, eastward to the land of the east.”

817 tn Heb “and these are the days of the years of the lifetime of Abraham that he lived.” The normal genealogical formula is expanded here due to the importance of the life of Abraham.

818 tn Heb “old and full.”

819 tn Heb “And he was gathered to his people.” In the ancient Israelite view he joined his deceased ancestors in Sheol, the land of the dead.

820 sn The cave of Machpelah was the place Abraham had purchased as a burial place for his wife Sarah (Gen 23:17-18).

821 tn See the note on the phrase “sons of Heth” in Gen 23:3.

822 sn God blessed Isaac. The Hebrew verb “bless” in this passage must include all the gifts that God granted to Isaac. But fertility was not one of them, at least not for twenty years, because Rebekah was barren as well (see v. 21).

823 sn Beer Lahai Roi. See the note on this place name in Gen 24:62.

824 sn This is the account of Ishmael. The Book of Genesis tends to tidy up the family records at every turning point. Here, before proceeding with the story of Isaac’s family, the narrative traces Ishmael’s family line. Later, before discussing Jacob’s family, the narrative traces Esau’s family line (see Gen 36).

825 tn The meaning of this line is not easily understood. The sons of Ishmael are listed here “by their names” and “according to their descendants.”

826 tn Or “tribal chieftains.”

827 tn Heb “And these are the days of the years of Ishmael.”

828 tn Heb “And he was gathered to his people.” In the ancient Israelite view he joined his deceased ancestors in Sheol, the land of the dead.

829 tn Heb “they”; the referent (Ishmael’s descendants) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

830 tn Heb “which is by the face of,” or near the border. The territory ran along the border of Egypt.

831 tn Heb “as you go.”

832 sn The name Asshur refers here to a tribal area in the Sinai.

833 tn Heb “he fell.”

834 tn Heb “upon the face of all his brothers.” This last expression, obviously alluding to the earlier oracle about Ishmael (Gen 16:12), could mean that the descendants of Ishmael lived in hostility to others or that they lived in a territory that was opposite the lands of their relatives. While there is some ambiguity about the meaning, the line probably does give a hint of the Ishmaelite-Israelite conflicts to come.

835 sn This is the account of Isaac. What follows for several chapters is not the account of Isaac, except briefly, but the account of Jacob and Esau. The next chapters tell what became of Isaac and his family.

836 tn Heb “And Isaac was the son of forty years when he took Rebekah.”

837 sn Some valuable information is provided here. We learn here that Isaac married thirty-five years before Abraham died, that Rebekah was barren for twenty years, and that Abraham would have lived to see Jacob and Esau begin to grow up. The death of Abraham was recorded in the first part of the chapter as a “tidying up” of one generation before beginning the account of the next.

838 tn The Hebrew verb עָתַר (’atar), translated “prayed [to]” here, appears in the story of God’s judgment on Egypt in which Moses asked the Lord to remove the plagues. The cognate word in Arabic means “to slaughter for sacrifice,” and the word is used in Zeph 3:10 to describe worshipers who bring offerings. Perhaps some ritual accompanied Isaac’s prayer here.

839 tn The Hebrew word used here suggests a violent struggle that was out of the ordinary.

840 tn Heb “If [it is] so, why [am] I this [way]?” Rebekah wanted to know what was happening to her, but the question itself reflects a growing despair over the struggle of the unborn children.

841 sn Asked the Lord. In other passages (e.g., 1 Sam 9:9) this expression refers to inquiring of a prophet, but no details are provided here.

842 sn By metonymy the two children in her womb are described as two nations of which the two children, Jacob and Esau, would become the fathers. The language suggests there would be a struggle between these nations, with one being stronger than the other. The oracle reveals that all of Jacob’s scheming was unnecessary in the final analysis. He would have become the dominant nation without using deception to steal his brother’s blessing.

843 tn Heb “And her days were filled to give birth.”

844 tn Heb “look!” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the audience to view the scene as if they were actually present at the birth.

845 sn Reddish. The Hebrew word translated “reddish” is אַדְמוֹנִי (’admoni), which forms a wordplay on the Edomites, Esau’s descendants. The writer sees in Esau’s appearance at birth a sign of what was to come. After all, the reader has already been made aware of the “nations” that were being born.

846 tn Heb “all of him.”

847 sn Hairy. Here is another wordplay involving the descendants of Esau. The Hebrew word translated “hairy” is שֵׂעָר (sear); the Edomites will later live in Mount Seir, perhaps named for its wooded nature.

848 tn Heb “And they called his name Esau.” The name “Esau” (עֵשָׂו, ’esav) is not etymologically related to שֵׂעָר (sear), but it draws on some of the sounds.

849 tn The disjunctive clause describes an important circumstance accompanying the birth. Whereas Esau was passive at birth, Jacob was active.

850 tn Heb “And he called his name Jacob.” Some ancient witnesses read “they called his name Jacob” (see v. 25). In either case the subject is indefinite.

sn The name Jacob is a play on the Hebrew word for “heel” (עָקֵב, ’aqev). The name (since it is a verb) probably means something like “may he protect,” that is, as a rearguard, dogging the heels. It did not have a negative connotation until Esau redefined it. This name was probably chosen because of the immediate association with the incident of grabbing the heel. After receiving such an oracle, the parents would have preserved in memory almost every detail of the unusual births.

851 tn Heb “the son of sixty years.”

852 tn Heb “knowing.”

853 tn The disjunctive clause juxtaposes Jacob with Esau and draws attention to the striking contrasts. In contrast to Esau, a man of the field, Jacob was civilized, as the phrase “living in tents” signifies. Whereas Esau was a skillful hunter, Jacob was calm and even-tempered (תָּם, tam), which normally has the idea of “blameless.”

854 tn Heb “the taste of game was in his mouth.” The word for “game,” “venison” is here the same Hebrew word as “hunter” in the last verse. Here it is a metonymy, referring to that which the hunter kills.

855 tn The disjunctive clause juxtaposes Rebekah with Jacob and draws attention to the contrast. The verb here is a participle, drawing attention to Rebekah’s continuing, enduring love for her son.

856 sn Jacob cooked some stew. There are some significant words and wordplays in this story that help clarify the points of the story. The verb “cook” is זִיד (zid), which sounds like the word for “hunter” (צַיִד, tsayid). This is deliberate, for the hunter becomes the hunted in this story. The word זִיד means “to cook, to boil,” but by the sound play with צַיִד it comes to mean “set a trap by cooking.” The usage of the word shows that it can also have the connotation of acting presumptuously (as in boiling over). This too may be a comment on the scene. For further discussion of the rhetorical devices in the Jacob narratives, see J. P. Fokkelman, Narrative Art in Genesis (SSN).

857 tn The rare term לָעַט (laat), translated “feed,” is used in later Hebrew for feeding animals (see Jastrow, 714). If this nuance was attached to the word in the biblical period, then it may depict Esau in a negative light, comparing him to a hungry animal. Famished Esau comes in from the hunt, only to enter the trap. He can only point at the red stew and ask Jacob to feed him.

858 tn The verb has no expressed subject and so is given a passive translation.

859 sn Esau’s descendants would eventually be called Edom. Edom was the place where they lived, so-named probably because of the reddish nature of the hills. The writer can use the word “red” to describe the stew that Esau gasped for to convey the nature of Esau and his descendants. They were a lusty, passionate, and profane people who lived for the moment. Again, the wordplay is meant to capture the “omen in the nomen.”

860 tn Heb “today.”

861 tn Heb “And what is this to me, a birthright?”

862 tn Heb “Swear to me today.”

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

864 sn And sold his birthright. There is evidence from Hurrian culture that rights of inheritance were occasionally sold or transferred. Here Esau is portrayed as a profane person who would at the moment rather have a meal than the right to inherit. He will soon forget this trade and seek his father’s blessing in spite of it.

865 sn The style here is typical of Hebrew narrative; after the tension is resolved with the dialogue, the working out of it is recorded in a rapid sequence of verbs (“gave”; “ate”; “drank”; “got up”; “went out”). See also Gen 3:1-7 for another example.

866 sn So Esau despised his birthright. This clause, which concludes the episode, is a summary statement which reveals the underlying significance of Esau’s actions. “To despise” means to treat something as worthless or with contempt. Esau’s willingness to sell his birthright was evidence that he considered it to be unimportant.

867 tn Heb “in addition to the first famine which was.”

868 sn This account is parallel to two similar stories about Abraham (see Gen 12:10-20; 20:1-18). Many scholars do not believe there were three similar incidents, only one that got borrowed and duplicated. Many regard the account about Isaac as the original, which then was attached to the more important person, Abraham, with supernatural elements being added. For a critique of such an approach, see R. Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative, 47-62. It is more likely that the story illustrates the proverb “like father, like son” (see T. W. Mann, The Book of the Torah, 53). In typical human fashion the son follows his father’s example of lying to avoid problems. The appearance of similar events reported in a similar way underscores the fact that the blessing has now passed to Isaac, even if he fails as his father did.

869 sn Do not go down to Egypt. The words echo Gen 12:10, which reports that “Abram went down to Egypt,” but state the opposite.

870 tn Heb “say to you.”

871 tn The Hebrew verb גּוּר (gur) means “to live temporarily without ownership of land.” Abraham’s family will not actually possess the land of Canaan until the Israelite conquest hundreds of years later.

872 tn After the imperative “stay” the two prefixed verb forms with prefixed conjunction here indicate consequence.

sn I will be with you and I will bless you. The promise of divine presence is a promise to intervene to protect and to bless.

873 tn The Hebrew term זֶרַע (zera’) occurring here and in v. 18 may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.

sn To you and to your descendants. The Abrahamic blessing will pass to Isaac. Everything included in that blessing will now belong to the son, and in turn will be passed on to his sons. But there is a contingency involved: If they are to enjoy the full blessings, they will have to obey the word of the Lord. And so obedience is enjoined here with the example of how well Abraham obeyed.

874 tn The Hiphil stem of the verb קוּם (qum) here means “to fulfill, to bring to realization.” For other examples of this use of this verb form, see Lev 26:9; Num 23:19; Deut 8:18; 9:5; 1 Sam 1:23; 1 Kgs 6:12; Jer 11:5.

875 tn Heb “the oath which I swore.”

sn The solemn promise I made. See Gen 15:18-20; 22:16-18.

876 tn Heb “your descendants.”

877 tn Traditionally the verb is taken as passive (“will be blessed”) here, as if Abraham’s descendants were going to be a channel or source of blessing to the nations. But the Hitpael is better understood here as reflexive/reciprocal, “will bless [i.e., pronounce blessings on] themselves/one another” (see also Gen 22:18). Elsewhere the Hitpael of the verb “to bless” is used with a reflexive/reciprocal sense in Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2. Gen 12:2 predicts that Abram will be held up as a paradigm of divine blessing and that people will use his name in their blessing formulae. For examples of blessing formulae utilizing an individual as an example of blessing see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11. Earlier formulations of this promise (see Gen 12:2; 18:18) use the Niphal stem. (See also Gen 28:14.)

878 tn The words “All this will come to pass” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for stylistic reasons.

879 tn Heb “listened to my voice.”

880 sn My charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. The language of this verse is clearly interpretive, for Abraham did not have all these laws. The terms are legal designations for sections of the Mosaic law and presuppose the existence of the law. Some Rabbinic views actually conclude that Abraham had fulfilled the whole law before it was given (see m. Qiddushin 4:14). Some scholars argue that this story could only have been written after the law was given (C. Westermann, Genesis, 2:424-25). But the simplest explanation is that the narrator (traditionally taken to be Moses the Lawgiver) elaborated on the simple report of Abraham’s obedience by using terms with which the Israelites were familiar. In this way he depicts Abraham as the model of obedience to God’s commands, whose example Israel should follow.

881 sn Rebekah, unlike Sarah, was not actually her husband’s sister.

882 tn Heb “lest.” The words “for he thought to himself” are supplied because the next clause is written with a first person pronoun, showing that Isaac was saying or thinking this.

883 tn Heb “kill me on account of.”

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

885 tn Heb “and it happened when the days were long to him there.”

886 tn Heb “look, Isaac.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the audience to view the scene through Abimelech’s eyes.

887 tn Or “fondling.”

sn The Hebrew word מְצַחֵק (mÿtsakheq), from the root צָחַק (tsakhaq, “laugh”), forms a sound play with the name “Isaac” right before it. Here it depicts an action, probably caressing or fondling, that indicated immediately that Rebekah was Isaac’s wife, not his sister. Isaac’s deception made a mockery of God’s covenantal promise. Ignoring God’s promise to protect and bless him, Isaac lied to protect himself and acted in bad faith to the men of Gerar.

888 tn Heb “Surely, look!” See N. H. Snaith, “The meaning of Hebrew ‘ak,” VT 14 (1964): 221-25.

889 tn Heb “Because I said, ‘Lest I die on account of her.’” Since the verb “said” probably means “said to myself” (i.e., “thought”) here, the direct discourse in the Hebrew statement has been converted to indirect discourse in the translation. In addition the simple prepositional phrase “on account of her” has been clarified in the translation as “to get her” (cf. v. 7).

890 tn Heb “What is this you have done to us?” The Hebrew demonstrative pronoun “this” adds emphasis: “What in the world have you done to us?” (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 24, §118).

891 tn Heb “people.”

892 tn The Hebrew verb means “to lie down.” Here the expression “lie with” or “sleep with” is euphemistic for “have sexual relations with.”

893 tn Heb “strikes.” Here the verb has the nuance “to harm in any way.” It would include assaulting the woman or killing the man.

894 tn The use of the infinitive absolute before the imperfect makes the construction emphatic.

895 tn Heb “a hundredfold.”

896 tn This final clause explains why Isaac had such a bountiful harvest.

897 tn Heb “great.” In this context the statement refers primarily to Isaac’s material wealth, although reputation and influence are included.

898 tn Heb “and he went, going and becoming great.” The construction stresses that his growth in possessions and power continued steadily.

899 tn Heb “and there was to him.”

900 tn Heb “possessions of sheep.”

901 tn Heb “possessions of cattle.”

902 tn The Hebrew verb translated “became jealous” refers here to intense jealousy or envy that leads to hostile action (see v. 15).

903 tn Heb “and the Philistines stopped them up and filled them with dirt.”

904 tn Heb “Go away from us.”

905 sn You have become much more powerful. This explanation for the expulsion of Isaac from Philistine territory foreshadows the words used later by the Egyptians to justify their oppression of Israel (see Exod 1:9).

906 tn Heb “and he camped in the valley of Gerar and he lived there.”

sn This valley was actually a wadi (a dry river bed where the water would flow in the rainy season, but this would have been rare in the Negev). The water table under it would have been higher than in the desert because of water soaking in during the torrents, making it easier to find water when digging wells. However, this does not minimize the blessing of the Lord, for the men of the region knew this too, but did not have the same results.

907 tn Heb “he returned and dug,” meaning “he dug again” or “he reopened.”

908 tn Heb “that they dug.” Since the subject is indefinite, the verb is translated as passive.

909 tn Heb “and the Philistines had stopped them up.” This clause explains why Isaac had to reopen them.

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

911 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the wells) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

912 tn Heb “called names to them according to the names that his father called them.”

913 tn Heb “living.” This expression refers to a well supplied by subterranean streams (see Song 4:15).

914 tn The Hebrew verb translated “quarreled” describes a conflict that often has legal ramifications.

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

916 tn Heb “and he called the name of the well.”

917 sn The name Esek means “argument” in Hebrew. The following causal clause explains that Isaac gave the well this name as a reminder of the conflict its discovery had created. In the Hebrew text there is a wordplay, for the name is derived from the verb translated “argued.”

918 tn The words “about it” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

919 tn Heb “they”; the referent (Isaac’s servants) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

920 tn Heb “and he called its name.” The referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

921 sn The name Sitnah (שִׂטְנָה, sitnah) is derived from a Hebrew verbal root meaning “to oppose; to be an adversary” (cf. Job 1:6). The name was a reminder that the digging of this well caused “opposition” from the Philistines.

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

923 tn Heb “and he called its name.”

924 sn The name Rehoboth (רְהֹבוֹת, rehovot) is derived from a verbal root meaning “to make room.” The name was a reminder that God had made room for them. The story shows Isaac’s patience with the opposition; it also shows how God’s blessing outdistanced the men of Gerar. They could not stop it or seize it any longer.

925 tn Heb “and he went up from there”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

926 tn Heb “called in the name of.” The expression refers to worshiping the Lord through prayer and sacrifice (see Gen 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 21:33). See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:116.

927 tn Heb “and they dug there, the servants of Isaac, a well.”

928 tn The disjunctive clause supplies pertinent supplemental information. The past perfect is used because the following narrative records the treaty at Beer Sheba. Prior to this we are told that Isaac settled in Beer Sheba; presumably this treaty would have allowed him to do that. However, it may be that he settled there and then made the treaty by which he renamed the place Beer Sheba. In this case one may translate “Now Abimelech came to him.”

929 tn Heb “and.”

930 tn Many modern translations render the Hebrew term מֵרֵעַ (merea’) as “councillor” or “adviser,” but the term may not designate an official position but simply a close personal friend.

931 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial, expressing the reason for his question.

932 tn The infinitive absolute before the verb emphasizes the clarity of their perception.

933 tn Heb “And we said, ‘Let there be.’” The direct discourse in the Hebrew text has been rendered as indirect discourse in the translation for stylistic reasons.

934 tn The pronoun “us” here is inclusive – it refers to the Philistine contingent on the one hand and Isaac on the other.

935 tn The pronoun “us” here is exclusive – it refers to just the Philistine contingent (the following “you” refers to Isaac).

936 tn The translation assumes that the cohortative expresses their request. Another option is to understand the cohortative as indicating resolve: “We want to make.’”

937 tn The oath formula is used: “if you do us harm” means “so that you will not do.”

938 tn Heb “touched.”

939 tn Heb “and just as we have done only good with you.”

940 tn Heb “and we sent you away.”

941 tn The Philistine leaders are making an observation, not pronouncing a blessing, so the translation reads “you are blessed” rather than “may you be blessed” (cf. NAB).

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

943 tn Heb “and they ate and drank.”

944 tn Heb “and they got up early and they swore an oath, a man to his brother.”

945 tn Heb “and they went from him in peace.”

946 tn Heb “and they said to him, ‘We have found water.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

947 sn The name Shibah (שִׁבְעָה, shivah) means (or at least sounds like) the word meaning “oath.” The name was a reminder of the oath sworn by Isaac and the Philistines to solidify their treaty.

948 sn The name Beer Sheba (בְּאֵר שָׁבַע, bÿer shava’) means “well of an oath” or “well of seven.” According to Gen 21:31 Abraham gave Beer Sheba its name when he made a treaty with the Philistines. Because of the parallels between this earlier story and the account in 26:26-33, some scholars see chaps. 21 and 26 as two versions (or doublets) of one original story. However, if one takes the text as it stands, it appears that Isaac made a later treaty agreement with the people of the land that was similar to his father’s. Abraham dug a well at the site and named the place Beer Sheba; Isaac dug another well there and named the well Shibah. Later generations then associated the name Beer Sheba with Isaac, even though Abraham gave the place its name at an earlier time.

949 tn The sentence begins with the temporal indicator (“and it happened”), making this clause subordinate to the next.

950 tn Heb “the son of forty years.”

951 tn Heb “took as a wife.”

952 tn Heb “And they were [a source of ] bitterness in spirit to Isaac and to Rebekah.”

953 tn The clause begins with the temporal indicator (“and it happened”), making it subordinate to the main clause that follows later in the sentence.

954 tn Heb “and his eyes were weak from seeing.”

955 tn Heb “greater” (in terms of age).

956 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Esau) is specified in the translation for clarity.

957 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Isaac) is specified in the translation for clarity.

958 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) here introduces a logically foundational statement, upon which the coming instruction will be based.

959 tn Heb “I do not know the day of my death.”

960 tn The Hebrew word is to be spelled either צַיִד (tsayid) following the marginal reading (Qere), or צֵידָה (tsedah) following the consonantal text (Kethib). Either way it is from the same root as the imperative צוּדָה (tsudah, “hunt down”).

961 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative (with the prefixed conjunction) indicates purpose or result.

962 tn Heb “so that my soul may bless you.” The use of נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) as the subject emphasizes that the blessing will be made with all Isaac’s desire and vitality. The conjunction “so that” closely relates the meal to the blessing, suggesting that this will be a ritual meal in conjunction with the giving of a formal blessing.

963 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by a conjunction with the subject, followed by the predicate) here introduces a new scene in the story.

964 tc The LXX adds here “to his father,” which may have been accidentally omitted in the MT.

965 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative (with the prefixed conjunction) indicates purpose or result.

966 tn The cohortative, with the prefixed conjunction, also expresses logical sequence. See vv. 4, 19, 27.

967 tn In her report to Jacob, Rebekah plays down Isaac’s strong desire to bless Esau by leaving out נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”), but by adding the phrase “in the presence of the Lord,” she stresses how serious this matter is.

968 tn Heb “listen to my voice.” The Hebrew idiom means “to comply; to obey.”

969 tn Heb “to that which I am commanding you.”

970 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative (with the prefixed conjunction) indicates purpose or result.

971 tn The form is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive. It carries forward the tone of instruction initiated by the command to “go…and get” in the preceding verse.

972 tn The form is the perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; it carries the future nuance of the preceding verbs of instruction, but by switching the subject to Jacob, indicates the expected result of the subterfuge.

973 tn Heb “so that.” The conjunction indicates purpose or result.

974 tn Heb “And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, ‘Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, but I am a smooth [skinned] man.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

975 tn Heb “Perhaps my father will feel me and I will be in his eyes like a mocker.” The Hebrew expression “I will be in his eyes like” means “I would appear to him as.”

976 tn Heb “upon me your curse.”

977 tn Heb “only listen to my voice.”

978 tn The words “the goats” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

979 tn Heb “his mother.” This has been replaced by the pronoun “she” in the translation for stylistic reasons.

980 tn In the Hebrew text the object (“the skins of the young goats”) precedes the verb. The disjunctive clause draws attention to this key element in the subterfuge.

981 tn The word “hands” probably includes the forearms here. How the skins were attached is not specified in the Hebrew text; cf. NLT “she made him a pair of gloves.”

982 tn Heb “gave…into the hand of.”

983 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

984 sn Which are you, my son? Isaac’s first question shows that the deception is going to require more subterfuge than Rebekah had anticipated. Jacob will have to pull off the deceit.

985 tn Heb “get up and sit.” This may mean simply “sit up,” or it may indicate that he was to get up from his couch and sit at a table.

986 tn Heb “so that your soul may bless me.” These words, though not reported by Rebekah to Jacob (see v. 7) accurately reflect what Isaac actually said to Esau (see v. 4). Perhaps Jacob knew more than Rebekah realized, but it is more likely that this was an idiom for sincere blessing with which Jacob was familiar. At any rate, his use of the precise wording was a nice, convincing touch.

987 tn Heb “What is this?” The enclitic pronoun “this” adds emphasis to the question, which is comparable to the English rhetorical question, “How in the world?”

988 tn Heb “you hastened to find.” In translation the infinitive becomes the main verb and the first verb becomes adverbial.

989 tn Heb “caused to meet before me.”

990 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Because the Lord your God….’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

991 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative (with prefixed conjunction) indicates purpose or result.

992 tn Heb “Are you this one, Esau, my son, or not?” On the use of the interrogative particle here, see BDB 210 s.v. הֲ.

993 tn Heb “and he blessed him.” The referents of the pronouns “he” (Isaac) and “him” (Jacob) have been specified in the translation for clarity.

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

995 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

996 tn Heb “Bring near to me and I will eat of the wild game, my son.” Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

997 tn Heb “so that my soul may bless you.” The presence of נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) as subject emphasizes Isaac’s heartfelt desire to do this. The conjunction indicates that the ritual meal must be first eaten before the formal blessing may be given.

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

999 tn Heb “and he drank”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1000 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1001 tn Heb “and he smelled the smell”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1002 tn Heb “see.”

1003 tn Heb “and from the dew of the sky.”

1004 tn Heb “and from the fatness.”

1005 tn Heb “and be.” The verb is an imperative, which is used rhetorically in this oracle of blessing. It is an invitation to exercise authority his brothers and indicates that he is granted such authority by the patriarch of the family. Furthermore, the blessing enables the recipient to accomplish this.

1006 tn The Hebrew word is גְבִיר (gevir, “lord, mighty one”). The one being blessed will be stronger and therefore more powerful than his brother. See Gen 25:23. The feminine form of this rare noun means “mistress” or “queen-mother.”

1007 tn Following the imperative, the prefixed verbal form (which is either an imperfect or a jussive) with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

1008 tn The use of the infinitive absolute before the finite form of the verb makes the construction emphatic.

1009 tn Heb “the presence of Isaac his father.” The repetition of the proper name (“Isaac”) was

1010 tn Heb “and Esau his brother came from his hunt.”

1011 tn Heb “and he said to his father”; the referent of “he” (Esau) has been specified in the translation for clarity, while the words “his father” have been replaced by the pronoun “him” for stylistic reasons.

1012 tn Or “arise” (i.e., sit up).

1013 tn Heb “so that your soul may bless me.”

1014 tn Heb “said.”

1015 tn Heb “and he said, ‘I [am] your son, your firstborn.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged for stylistic reasons.

1016 tn Heb “and Isaac trembled with a great trembling to excess.” The verb “trembled” is joined with a cognate accusative, which is modified by an adjective “great,” and a prepositional phrase “to excess.” All of this is emphatic, showing the violence of Isaac’s reaction to the news.

1017 tn Heb “Who then is he who hunted game and brought [it] to me so that I ate from all before you arrived and blessed him?”

1018 tn The temporal clause is introduced with the temporal indicator and has the infinitive as its verb.

1019 tn Heb “and he yelled [with] a great and bitter yell to excess.”

1020 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1021 tn Or “took”; “received.”

1022 tn Heb “Is he not rightly named Jacob?” The rhetorical question, since it expects a positive reply, has been translated as a declarative statement.

1023 sn He has tripped me up. When originally given, the name Jacob was a play on the word “heel” (see Gen 25:26). The name (since it is a verb) probably means something like “may he protect,” that is, as a rearguard, dogging the heels. This name was probably chosen because of the immediate association with the incident of grabbing the heel. Esau gives the name “Jacob” a negative connotation here, the meaning “to trip up; to supplant.”

1024 tn Heb “Bless me, me also, my father.” The words “my father” have not been repeated in the translation for stylistic reasons.

1025 tn Heb “and Esau lifted his voice and wept.”

1026 tn Heb “look.”

1027 tn Heb “from the fatness.”

1028 sn You will tear off his yoke from your neck. It may be that this prophetic blessing found its fulfillment when Jerusalem fell and Edom got its revenge. The oracle makes Edom subservient to Israel and suggests the Edomites would live away from the best land and be forced to sustain themselves by violent measures.

1029 tn Or “bore a grudge against” (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV). The Hebrew verb שָׂטַם (satam) describes persistent hatred.

1030 tn Heb “because of the blessing which his father blessed him.”

1031 tn Heb “said in his heart.” The expression may mean “said to himself.” Even if this is the case, v. 42 makes it clear that he must have shared his intentions with someone, because the news reached Rebekah.

1032 tn Heb “days.”

1033 tn The cohortative here expresses Esau’s determined resolve to kill Jacob.

1034 tn Heb “and the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah.”

1035 tn Heb “she sent and called for.”

1036 tn Heb “is consoling himself with respect to you to kill you.” The only way Esau had of dealing with his anger at the moment was to plan to kill his brother after the death of Isaac.

1037 tn Heb “listen to my voice.”

1038 tn Heb “arise, flee.”

1039 tn Heb “a few days.” Rebekah probably downplays the length of time Jacob will be gone, perhaps to encourage him and assure him that things will settle down soon. She probably expects Esau’s anger to die down quickly. However, Jacob ends up being gone twenty years and he never sees Rebekah again.

1040 tn The words “stay there” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

1041 tn Heb “and I will send and I will take you from there.” The verb “send” has no object in the Hebrew text; one must be supplied in the translation. Either “someone” or “a message” could be supplied, but since in those times a message would require a messenger, “someone” has been used.

1042 tn If Jacob stayed, he would be killed and Esau would be forced to run away.

1043 tn Heb “loathe my life.” The Hebrew verb translated “loathe” refers to strong disgust (see Lev 20:23).

1044 tn Some translate the Hebrew term “Heth” as “Hittites” here (see also Gen 23:3), but this gives the impression that these people were the classical Hittites of Anatolia. However, there is no known connection between these sons of Heth, apparently a Canaanite group (see Gen 10:15), and the Hittites of Asia Minor. See H. A. Hoffner, Jr., “Hittites,” Peoples of the Old Testament World, 152-53.

1045 tn Heb “If Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth, like these, from the daughters of the land, why to me life?”

1046 tn Heb “you must not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”

1047 tn Heb “Arise! Go!” The first of the two imperatives is adverbial and stresses the immediacy of the departure.

1048 tn Heb “El Shaddai.” See the extended note on the phrase “sovereign God” in Gen 17:1.

1049 tn Heb “and make you fruitful and multiply you.” See Gen 17:6, 20 for similar terminology.

1050 tn The perfect verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here indicates consequence. The collocation הָיָה + preposition לְ (hayah + lÿ) means “become.”

1051 tn Heb “an assembly of peoples.”

1052 tn Heb “and may he give to you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your offspring with you.” The name “Abraham” is an objective genitive here; this refers to the blessing that God gave to Abraham.

1053 tn The words “the land” have been supplied in the translation for clarity.

1054 tn Heb “the land of your sojournings,” that is, the land where Jacob had been living as a resident alien, as his future descendants would after him.

1055 tn Heb “to take for himself from there a wife.”

1056 tn The infinitive construct with the preposition and the suffix form a temporal clause.

1057 tn Heb “you must not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”

1058 tn Heb “saw.”

1059 tn Heb “the daughters of Canaan.”

1060 tn Heb “evil in the eyes of.”

1061 tn Heb “took for a wife.”

1062 tn Heb “the place.” The article may indicate simply that the place is definite in the mind of the narrator. However, as the story unfolds the place is transformed into a holy place. See A. P. Ross, “Jacob’s Vision: The Founding of Bethel,” BSac 142 (1985): 224-37.

1063 tn Heb “and he spent the night there because the sun had gone down.”

1064 tn Heb “he took from the stones of the place,” which here means Jacob took one of the stones (see v. 18).

1065 tn Heb “and he put [it at] the place of his head.” The text does not actually say the stone was placed under his head to serve as a pillow, although most interpreters and translators assume this. It is possible the stone served some other purpose. Jacob does not seem to have been a committed monotheist yet (see v. 20-21) so he may have believed it contained some spiritual power. Note that later in the story he anticipates the stone becoming the residence of God (see v. 22). Many cultures throughout the world view certain types of stones as magical and/or sacred. See J. G. Fraser, Folklore in the Old Testament, 231-37.

1066 tn Heb “lay down.”

1067 tn Heb “and dreamed.”

1068 tn Heb “and look.” The scene which Jacob witnessed is described in three clauses introduced with הִנֵּה (hinneh). In this way the narrator invites the reader to witness the scene through Jacob’s eyes. J. P. Fokkelman points out that the particle goes with a lifted arm and an open mouth: “There, a ladder! Oh, angels! and look, the Lord himself” (Narrative Art in Genesis [SSN], 51-52).

1069 tn The Hebrew noun סֻלָּם (sullam, “ladder, stairway”) occurs only here in the OT, but there appears to be an Akkadian cognate simmiltu (with metathesis of the second and third consonants and a feminine ending) which has a specialized meaning of “stairway, ramp.” See H. R. Cohen, Biblical Hapax Legomena (SBLDS), 34. For further discussion see C. Houtman, “What Did Jacob See in His Dream at Bethel? Some Remarks on Genesis 28:10-22,” VT 27 (1977): 337-52; J. G. Griffiths, “The Celestial Ladder and the Gate of Heaven,” ExpTim 76 (1964/65): 229-30; and A. R. Millard, “The Celestial Ladder and the Gate of Heaven,” ExpTim 78 (1966/67): 86-87.

1070 tn Heb “the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac.” The Hebrew word for “father” can typically be used in a broader sense than the English word, in this case referring to Abraham (who was Jacob’s grandfather). For stylistic reasons and for clarity, the words “your father” are supplied with “Isaac” in the translation.

1071 tn The Hebrew term אֶרֶץ (’erets) can mean “[the] earth,” “land,” “region,” “piece of ground,” or “ground” depending on the context. Here the term specifically refers to the plot of ground on which Jacob was lying, but at the same time this stands by metonymy for the entire land of Canaan.

1072 tn This is the same Hebrew word translated “ground” in the preceding verse.

1073 tn The verb is singular in the Hebrew; Jacob is addressed as the representative of his descendants.

1074 tn Theoretically the Niphal stem can be translated either as passive or reflexive/reciprocal. (The Niphal of “bless” is only used in formulations of the Abrahamic covenant. See Gen 12:2; 18:18; 28:14.) Traditionally the verb is taken as passive here, as if Jacob were going to be a channel or source of blessing. But in other formulations of the Abrahamic covenant (see Gen 22:18; 26:4) the Hitpael replaces this Niphal form, suggesting a translation “will bless (i.e., pronounce blessings upon) themselves/one another.” The Hitpael of “bless” is used with a reflexive/reciprocal sense in Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2. Gen 28:14 predicts that Jacob will be held up as a paradigm of divine blessing and that people will use his name in their blessing formulae (see Gen 12:2 and 18:18 as well, where Abram/Abraham receives this promise). For examples of blessing formulae utilizing an individual as an example of blessing see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11.

1075 tn Heb “and they will pronounce blessings by you, all the families of the earth, and by your offspring.”

1076 tn Heb “Look, I [am] with you.” The clause is a nominal clause; the verb to be supplied could be present (as in the translation) or future, “Look, I [will be] with you” (cf. NEB).

1077 tn Heb “woke up from his sleep.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.

1078 tn Heb “said.”

1079 tn Heb “and he got up early…and he took.”

1080 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1081 tn See the note on this phrase in v. 11.

1082 tn Heb “standing stone.”

sn Sacred stone. Such a stone could be used as a boundary marker, a burial stone, or as a shrine. Here the stone is intended to be a reminder of the stairway that was “erected” and on which the Lord “stood.” (In Hebrew the word translated “sacred stone” is derived from the verb translated “erected” in v. 12 and “stood” in v. 13. Since the top of the stairway reached the heavens where the Lord stood, Jacob poured oil on the top of the stone. See C. F. Graesser, “Standing Stones in Ancient Palestine,” BA 35 (1972): 34-63; and E. Stockton, “Sacred Pillars in the Bible,” ABR 20 (1972): 16-32.

1083 tn The name Bethel means “house of God” in Hebrew (see v. 17).

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

1084 tn Heb “bread,” although the term can be used for food in general.

1085 tn Heb “and I return in peace to the house of my father.”

1086 tn The disjunctive clause structure (conjunction + noun/subject) is used to highlight the statement.

1087 tn The infinitive absolute is used before the finite verb for emphasis.

1088 tn Heb “and all which you give to me I will surely give a tenth of it to you.” The disjunctive clause structure (conjunction + noun/object) highlights this statement as well.

1089 tn Heb “and Jacob lifted up his feet.” This unusual expression suggests that Jacob had a new lease on life now that God had promised him the blessing he had so desperately tried to gain by his own efforts. The text portrays him as having a new step in his walk.

1090 tn Heb “the land of the sons of the east.”

1091 tn Heb “and he saw, and look.” As in Gen 28:12-15, the narrator uses the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) here and in the next clause to draw the reader into the story.

1092 tn Heb “and look, there.”

1093 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by the noun with the prefixed conjunction) provides supplemental information that is important to the story.

1094 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the shepherds) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1095 tn Heb “son.”

1096 tn Heb “and they said, ‘We know.’” The word “him” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the translation several introductory clauses throughout this section have been placed after the direct discourse they introduce for stylistic reasons as well.

1097 tn Heb “and he said to them, ‘Is there peace to him?’”

1098 tn Heb “peace.”

1099 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1100 tn Heb “the day is great.”

1101 tn Heb “water the sheep and go and pasture [them].” The verbal forms are imperatives, but Jacob would hardly be giving direct orders to someone else’s shepherds. The nuance here is probably one of advice.

1102 tn The perfect verbal forms with the vav (ו) consecutive carry on the sequence begun by the initial imperfect form.

1103 tn Heb “was a shepherdess.”

1104 tn Heb “Laban, the brother of his mother” (twice in this verse).

1105 tn Heb “Jacob.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

1106 tn Heb “drew near, approached.”

1107 tn Heb “Laban, the brother of his mother.” The text says nothing initially about the beauty of Rachel. But the reader is struck by the repetition of “Laban the brother of his mother.” G. J. Wenham is no doubt correct when he observes that Jacob’s primary motive at this stage is to ingratiate himself with Laban (Genesis [WBC], 2:231).

1108 tn Heb “and he lifted up his voice and wept.” The idiom calls deliberate attention to the fact that Jacob wept out loud.

1109 tn Heb “declared.”

1110 tn Heb “that he [was] the brother of her father.”

1111 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1112 tn Heb “and he told to Laban all these things.” This might mean Jacob told Laban how he happened to be there, but Laban’s response (see v. 14) suggests “all these things” refers to what Jacob had previously told Rachel (see v. 12).

1113 tn Heb “indeed, my bone and my flesh are you.” The expression sounds warm enough, but the presence of “indeed” may suggest that Laban had to be convinced of Jacob’s identity before permitting him to stay. To be one’s “bone and flesh” is to be someone’s blood relative. For example, the phrase describes the relationship between Abimelech and the Shechemites (Judg 9:2; his mother was a Shechemite); David and the Israelites (2 Sam 5:1); David and the elders of Judah (2 Sam 19:12,); and David and his nephew Amasa (2 Sam 19:13, see 2 Sam 17:2; 1 Chr 2:16-17).

1114 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1115 tn Heb “a month of days.”

1116 tn The verb is the perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; the nuance in the question is deliberative.

1117 tn Heb “my brother.” The term “brother” is used in a loose sense; actually Jacob was Laban’s nephew.

1118 tn Heb “and to Laban [there were] two daughters.” The disjunctive clause (introduced here by a conjunction and a prepositional phrase) provides supplemental material that is important to the story. Since this material is parenthetical in nature, vv. 16-17 have been set in parentheses in the translation.

1119 tn Heb “and the eyes of Leah were tender.” The disjunctive clause (introduced here by a conjunction and a noun) continues the parenthesis begun in v. 16. It is not clear what is meant by “tender” (or “delicate”) eyes. The expression may mean she had appealing eyes (cf. NAB, NRSV, NLT), though some suggest that they were plain, not having the brightness normally expected. Either way, she did not measure up to her gorgeous sister.

1120 tn Heb “and Rachel was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance.”

1121 tn Heb “Jacob loved.”

1122 tn Heb “Better my giving her to you than my giving her to another man.”

1123 tn Heb “in exchange for Rachel.”

1124 sn But they seemed like only a few days to him. This need not mean that the time passed quickly. More likely it means that the price seemed insignificant when compared to what he was getting in the bargain.

1125 tn Heb “because of his love for her.” The words “was so great” are supplied for stylistic reasons.

1126 tn Heb “and Jacob said.”

1127 tn Heb “my days are fulfilled.”

1128 tn Heb “and I will go in to her.” The verb is a cohortative; it may be subordinated to the preceding request, “that I may go in,” or it may be an independent clause expressing his desire. The verb “go in” in this context refers to sexual intercourse (i.e., the consummation of the marriage).

1129 tn Heb “men.”

1130 tn Heb “and it happened in the evening that he took Leah his daughter and brought her.”

sn His daughter Leah. Laban’s deception of Jacob by giving him the older daughter instead of the younger was God’s way of disciplining the deceiver who tricked his older brother. D. Kidner says this account is “the very embodiment of anti-climax, and this moment a miniature of man’s disillusion, experienced from Eden onwards” (Genesis [TOTC], 160). G. von Rad notes, “That Laban secretly gave the unloved Leah to the man in love was, to be sure, a monstrous blow, a masterpiece of shameless treachery…It was certainly a move by which he won for himself far and wide the coarsest laughter” (Genesis [OTL], 291).

1131 tn Heb “to him”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1132 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1133 tn Heb “went in to her.” The expression “went in to” in this context refers to sexual intercourse, i.e., the consummation of the marriage.

1134 tn Heb “and Laban gave to her Zilpah his female servant, to Leah his daughter [for] a servant.” This clause gives information parenthetical to the narrative.

1135 tn Heb “and it happened in the morning that look, it was Leah.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the reader to view the scene through Jacob’s eyes.

1136 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1137 tn Heb What is this you have done to me?” The use of the pronoun “this” is enclitic, adding emphasis to the question: “What in the world have you done to me?”

1138 sn The Hebrew verb translated tricked here (רָמָה, ramah) is cognate to the noun used in Gen 27:35 to describe Jacob’s deception of Esau. Jacob is discovering that what goes around, comes around. See J. A. Diamond, “The Deception of Jacob: A New Perspective on an Ancient Solution to the Problem,” VT 34 (1984): 211-13.

1139 tn Heb “and Laban said, ‘It is not done so in our place.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

1140 tn Heb “to give the younger.” The words “daughter” and “in marriage” are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

1141 tn Heb “fulfill the period of seven of this one.” The referent of “this one” has been specified in the translation as “my older daughter” for clarity.

sn Bridal week. An ancient Hebrew marriage ceremony included an entire week of festivities (cf. Judg 14:12).

1142 tn Heb “this other one.”

1143 tn Heb “and we will give to you also this one in exchange for labor which you will work with me, still seven other years.”

sn In exchange for seven more years of work. See C. H. Gordon, “The Story of Jacob and Laban in the Light of the Nuzi Tablets,” BASOR 66 (1937): 25-27; and J. Van Seters, “Jacob’s Marriages and Ancient Near Eastern Customs: A Reassessment,” HTR 62 (1969): 377-95.

1144 tn Heb “and Jacob did so.” The words “as Laban said” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

1145 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1146 tn Heb “the seven of this one.” The referent of “this one” has been specified in the translation as Leah to avoid confusion with Rachel, mentioned later in the verse.

1147 tn Heb “and he gave to him Rachel his daughter for him for a wife.” The referent of the pronoun “he” (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1148 tn Heb “and Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his female servant, for her for a servant.”

1149 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1150 tn Heb “went in also to Rachel.” The expression “went in to” in this context refers to sexual intercourse, i.e., the consummation of the marriage.

1151 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1152 tn Heb “and he loved also Rachel, more than Leah, and he served with him still seven other years.”

1153 tn Heb “hated.” The rhetorical device of overstatement is used (note v. 30, which says simply that Jacob loved Rachel more than he did Leah) to emphasize that Rachel, as Jacob’s true love and the primary object of his affections, had an advantage over Leah.

1154 tn Heb “he opened up her womb.”

1155 tn Or “Leah conceived” (also in vv. 33, 34, 35).

1156 sn The name Reuben (רְאוּבֵן, rÿuven) means “look, a son.”

1157 tn Heb “looked on my affliction.”

sn Leah’s explanation of the name Reuben reflects a popular etymology, not an exact one. The name means literally “look, a son.” Playing on the Hebrew verb “look,” she observes that the Lord has “looked” with pity on her oppressed condition. See further S. R. Driver, Genesis, 273.

1158 tn Heb “hated.” See the note on the word “unloved” in v. 31.

1159 sn The name Simeon (שִׁמְעוֹן, shimon) is derived from the verbal root שָׁמַע (shama’) and means “hearing.” The name is appropriate since it is reminder that the Lord “heard” about Leah’s unloved condition and responded with pity.

1160 tn Heb “will be joined to me.”

1161 sn The name Levi (לֵוִי, levi), the precise meaning of which is debated, was appropriate because it sounds like the verb לָוָה (lavah, “to join”), used in the statement recorded earlier in the verse.

1162 sn The name Judah (יְהוּדָה, yÿhudah) means “he will be praised” and reflects the sentiment Leah expresses in the statement recorded earlier in the verse. For further discussion see W. F. Albright, “The Names ‘Israel’ and ‘Judah’ with an Excursus on the Etymology of Todah and Torah,” JBL 46 (1927): 151-85; and A. R. Millard, “The Meaning of the Name Judah,” ZAW 86 (1974): 216-18.

1163 tn Heb “Rachel.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“she”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

1164 tn Heb “sons.”

1165 tn Heb “and the anger of Jacob was hot.”

1166 tn Heb “who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb.”

1167 tn Heb “go in to.” The expression “go in to” in this context refers to sexual intercourse.

1168 tn After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with the conjunction indicates the immediate purpose of the proposed activity.

1169 tn The word “children” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

1170 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.

1171 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).

1172 tn Heb “and she”; the referent (Rachel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1173 tn Heb “went in to.” The expression “went in to” in this context refers to sexual intercourse.

1174 tn Or “Bilhah conceived” (also in v. 7).

1175 tn Heb “and she bore for Jacob a son.”

1176 tn Heb “and also he has heard my voice.” The expression means that God responded positively to Rachel’s cry and granted her request.

1177 tn Or “therefore.”

1178 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.

1179 tn Heb “and she became pregnant again and Bilhah, the servant of Rachel, bore a second son for Jacob.”

1180 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.

1181 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.”

1182 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.”

1183 tn Heb “and Zilpah, the servant of Leah, bore for Jacob a son.”

1184 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.”

1185 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.

1186 tn Heb “and Zilpah, the servant of Leah, bore a second son for Jacob.”

1187 tn The Hebrew statement apparently means “with my happiness.”

1188 tn Heb “daughters.”

1189 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.

1190 tn Heb “during the days.”

1191 sn Mandrake plants were popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac in the culture of the time.

1192 tn Heb “and she said to her”; the referent of the pronoun “she” (Leah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1193 tn Heb “therefore.”

1194 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.

1195 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.

1196 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.

1197 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.

1198 tn Heb “listened to.”

1199 tn Or “she conceived” (also in v. 19).

1200 tn Heb “and she bore for Jacob a fifth son,” i.e., this was the fifth son that Leah had given Jacob.

1201 tn Heb “God has given my reward.”

1202 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.

1203 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.

1204 tn Heb “and she bore a sixth son for Jacob,” i.e., this was the sixth son that Leah had given Jacob.

1205 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.

1206 tn Heb “remembered.”

1207 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

1208 tn Or “conceived.”

1209 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.

1210 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.

1211 tn The perfect verbal form is translated as a past perfect because Rachel’s giving birth to Joseph preceded Jacob’s conversation with Laban.

1212 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.

1213 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

1214 tn Heb “to my place and to my land.”

1215 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.

1216 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

1217 tn Heb “for you, you know my service [with] which I have served you.”

1218 tn The words “please stay here” have been supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

1219 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.

1220 tn Heb “set your wage for me so I may give [it].”

1221 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.

1222 tn Heb “and how your cattle were with me.”

1223 tn Or “for.”

1224 tn Heb “before me.”

1225 tn Heb “and it has broken out with respect to abundance.”

1226 tn Heb “at my foot.”

1227 tn Heb “How long [until] I do, also I, for my house?”

1228 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1229 tn The negated imperfect verbal form has an obligatory nuance.

1230 tn The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

1231 tn Heb “If you do for me this thing.”

1232 tn Heb “I will return, I will tend,” an idiom meaning “I will continue tending.”

1233 tn Heb “pass through.”

1234 tn Or “every black lamb”; Heb “and every dark sheep among the lambs.”

1235 tn Heb “and the spotted and speckled among the goats.”

1236 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.

1237 tn Heb “will answer on my behalf.”

1238 tn Heb “on the following day,” or “tomorrow.”

1239 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.

1240 tn Heb “every one which is not speckled and spotted among the lambs and dark among the goats, stolen it is with me.”

1241 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.

1242 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1243 tn Heb “and he gave [them] into the hand.”

1244 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.

1245 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.

1246 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).

1247 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.

1248 tn Heb “the sheep.” The noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“they”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

1249 tn Heb “and he set the faces of.”

1250 tn Heb “and at every breeding-heat of the flock.”

1251 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.

1252 tn Heb “were for Laban.”

1253 tn Heb “the man”; Jacob’s name has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

1254 tn Heb “and there were to him.”

1255 tn Heb “and he heard the words of the sons of Laban, saying.”

1256 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).

1257 tn Heb “and from that which belonged to our father he has gained all this wealth.”

1258 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.

1259 tn Or perhaps “ancestors” (so NRSV), although the only “ancestors” Jacob had there were his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac.

1260 sn I will be with you. Though Laban was no longer “with him,” the Lord promised to be.

1261 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.

1262 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.

1263 tn Heb “to his flock.”

1264 tn Heb “I see the face of your father, that he is not toward me as formerly.”

1265 tn Heb “with all my strength.”

1266 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).

1267 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.

1268 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.

1269 tn The sentence begins with the temporal indicator, “and it happened at the time of.”

1270 tn Heb “in the time of the breeding of the flock I lifted up my eyes and I saw.”

1271 tn Heb “going up on,” that is, mounting for intercourse.

1272 tn Heb “lift up (now) your eyes and see.”

1273 tn Heb “going up on,” that is, mounting for intercourse.

1274 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

1275 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.

1276 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.

1277 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.

1278 tn The two nouns may form a hendiadys, meaning “a share in the inheritance” or “a portion to inherit.”

1279 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.

1280 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.

1281 tn Heb “and Jacob arose and he lifted up his sons and his wives on to the camels.”

1282 tn Heb “drove,” but this is subject to misunderstanding in contemporary English.

1283 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.”

1284 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.

1285 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.

1286 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.

1287 tn Heb “fleeing,” which reflects Jacob’s viewpoint.

1288 tn Heb “and he fled.”

1289 tn Heb “he arose and crossed.” The first verb emphasizes that he wasted no time in getting across.

1290 tn Heb “the river”; the referent (the Euphrates) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1291 tn Heb “he set his face.”

1292 tn Heb “and it was told to Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled.”

1293 tn Heb “his brothers.”

1294 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1295 tn Heb “and he pursued after him a journey of seven days.”

1296 tn Heb “drew close to.”

1297 tn Heb “said to him.”

1298 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.

1299 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.

1300 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.

1301 tn Heb “and you have stolen my heart.” This expression apparently means “to deceive” (see v. 20).

1302 tn Heb “and you have led away my daughters like captives of a sword.”

1303 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.”

1304 tn Heb “and steal me.”

1305 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?”

1306 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.

1307 tn Heb “there is to my hand.”

1308 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.

1309 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.

1310 tn Heb “and now.” The words “I understand that” have been supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

1311 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the perfect verbal form to emphasize the certainty of the action.

1312 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the perfect verbal form to emphasize the degree of emotion involved.

1313 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.

1314 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.

1315 tn Heb “for I said.”

1316 tn Heb “lest you steal your daughters from with me.”

1317 tn Heb “With whomever you find your gods, he will not live.”

1318 tn Heb “brothers.”

1319 tn Heb “recognize for yourself what is with me and take for yourself.”

1320 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.

1321 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.

1322 tn Heb “and he went out from the tent of Leah and went into the tent of Rachel.”

1323 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.”

1324 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by a vav [ו] conjunction) provides another parenthetical statement necessary to the storyline.

1325 tn The word “them” has been supplied in the translation for clarification.

1326 tn Heb “she”; the referent (Rachel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

1327 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.

1328 tn Heb “I am unable to rise.”

1329 tn Heb “the way of women is to me.” This idiom refers to a woman’s menstrual period.

1330 tn The word “thoroughly” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied.

1331 tn Heb “it was hot to Jacob.” This idiom refers to anger.

1332 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.

1333 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).

1334 tn Heb “what did you find from all the goods of your house?”

1335 tn Heb “your relatives.” The word “relatives” has not been repeated in the translation here for stylistic reasons.

1336 tn Heb “that they may decide between us two.”

1337 tn The imperfect verbal form indicates that this was a customary or typical action.

1338 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.

1339 tn Or “by drought.”

1340 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.

1341 tn Heb “and my sleep fled from my eyes.”

1342 tn Heb “this to me.”

1343 tn Heb “served you,” but in this accusatory context the meaning is more “worked like a slave.”

1344 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.

1345 tn Heb “My oppression and the work of my hands God saw.”

1346 tn Heb “answered and said.”

1347 tn Heb “daughters.”

1348 tn Heb “children.”

1349 tn Heb “but to my daughters what can I do to these today?”

1350 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”

1351 tn The verb הָיָה (hayah) followed by the preposition לְ (lÿ) means “become.”

1352 tn Heb “and it will become a witness between me and you.”

1353 tn Heb “Jacob”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

1354 sn The Hebrew word for “pile” is גַּל (gal), which sounds like the name “Galeed” (גַּלְעֵד, galed). See v. 48.

1355 sn Jegar Sahadutha. Laban the Aramean gave the place an Aramaic name which means “witness pile” or “the pile is a witness.”

1356 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.

1357 tn Heb “a witness between me and you.”

1358 tn Heb “and Mizpah.”

1359 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.

1360 tn Heb “between me and you.”

1361 tn Heb “for we will be hidden, each man from his neighbor.”

1362 tn Heb “see.”

1363 tn Heb “between me and you.”

1364 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.

1365 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.”

1366 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.