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Genesis 31:53-54

Context
31:53 May the God of Abraham and the god of Nahor, 1  the gods of their father, judge between us.” Jacob took an oath by the God whom his father Isaac feared. 2  31:54 Then Jacob offered a sacrifice 3  on the mountain and invited his relatives to eat the meal. 4  They ate the meal and spent the night on the mountain.

1 tn The God of Abraham and the god of Nahor. The Hebrew verb translated “judge” is plural, suggesting that Laban has more than one “god” in mind. The Samaritan Pentateuch and the LXX, apparently in an effort to make the statement monotheistic, have a singular verb. In this case one could translate, “May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” However, Laban had a polytheistic world view, as evidenced by his possession of household idols (cf. 31:19). The translation uses “God” when referring to Abraham’s God, for Genesis makes it clear that Abraham worshiped the one true God. It employs “god” when referring to Nahor’s god, for in the Hebrew text Laban refers to a different god here, probably one of the local deities.

2 tn Heb “by the fear of his father Isaac.” See the note on the word “fears” in v. 42.

3 tn The construction is a cognate accusative with the verb, expressing a specific sacrifice.

4 tn Heb “bread, food.” Presumably this was a type of peace offering, where the person bringing the offering ate the animal being sacrificed.



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