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Genesis 31:1-4

Jacob’s Flight from Laban

31:1 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were complaining, 1  “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father! He has gotten rich 2  at our father’s expense!” 3  31:2 When Jacob saw the look on Laban’s face, he could tell his attitude toward him had changed. 4 

31:3 The Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers 5  and to your relatives. I will be with you.” 6  31:4 So Jacob sent a message for Rachel and Leah 7  to come to the field 8  where his flocks were. 9 

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

2 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).

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

4 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.

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

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

7 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.

8 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.

9 tn Heb “to his flock.”

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