31:24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him, 1 “Be careful 2 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.” 3
31:29 I have 4 the power to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful 5 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’ 6
31:42 If the God of my father – the God of Abraham, the one whom Isaac fears 7 – 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, 8 and he rebuked you last night.”
1 tn Heb “said to him.”
2 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.
3 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.
4 tn Heb “there is to my hand.”
5 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.
7 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.
8 tn Heb “My oppression and the work of my hands God saw.”