19:2 He said, “Here, my lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house. Stay the night 1 and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.” 2 “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.” 3
When they got up in the morning, he said, “Let me leave now so I can return to my master.” 8
32:22 During the night Jacob quickly took 16 his two wives, his two female servants, and his eleven sons 17 and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 18
1 tn The imperatives have the force of invitation.
2 tn These two verbs form a verbal hendiadys: “you can rise up early and go” means “you can go early.”
3 sn The town square refers to the wide street area at the gate complex of the city.
4 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’” The order of the introductory clause has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
5 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.
6 tn Heb The words “for you” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.
7 tn Heb “And they ate and drank, he and the men who [were] with him and they spent the night.”
8 tn Heb “Send me away to my master.”
9 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.
10 tn Heb “and he spent the night there because the sun had gone down.”
11 tn Heb “he took from the stones of the place,” which here means Jacob took one of the stones (see v. 18).
12 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.
13 tn Heb “lay down.”
14 tn The construction is a cognate accusative with the verb, expressing a specific sacrifice.
15 tn Heb “bread, food.” Presumably this was a type of peace offering, where the person bringing the offering ate the animal being sacrificed.
16 tn Heb “and he arose in that night and he took.” The first verb is adverbial, indicating that he carried out the crossing right away.
17 tn The Hebrew term used here is יֶלֶד (yeled) which typically describes male offspring. Some translations render the term “children” but this is a problem because by this time Jacob had twelve children in all, including one daughter, Dinah, born to Leah (Gen 30:21). Benjamin, his twelfth son and thirteenth child, was not born until later (Gen 35:16-19).
18 sn Hebrew narrative style often includes a summary statement of the whole passage followed by a more detailed report of the event. Here v. 22 is the summary statement, while v. 23 begins the detailed account.