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
31:25 Laban overtook Jacob, and when Jacob pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead, Laban and his relatives set up camp there too. 4 31:26 “What have you done?” Laban demanded of Jacob. “You’ve deceived me 5 and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war! 6
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 “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.
6 tn Heb “and you have led away my daughters like captives of a sword.”