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Genesis 31:26-30

31:26 “What have you done?” Laban demanded of Jacob. “You’ve deceived me 1  and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war! 2  31:27 Why did you run away secretly 3  and deceive me? 4  Why didn’t you tell me so I could send you off with a celebration complete with singing, tambourines, and harps? 5  31:28 You didn’t even allow me to kiss my daughters and my grandchildren 6  good-bye. You have acted foolishly! 31:29 I have 7  the power to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful 8  that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’ 9  31:30 Now I understand that 10  you have gone away 11  because you longed desperately 12  for your father’s house. Yet why did you steal my gods?” 13 

1 tn Heb “and you have stolen my heart.” This expression apparently means “to deceive” (see v. 20).

2 tn Heb “and you have led away my daughters like captives of a sword.”

3 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.”

4 tn Heb “and steal me.”

5 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?”

6 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.

7 tn Heb “there is to my hand.”

8 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.

9 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.

10 tn Heb “and now.” The words “I understand that” have been supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

11 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the perfect verbal form to emphasize the certainty of the action.

12 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the perfect verbal form to emphasize the degree of emotion involved.

13 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.

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