33:17 But 1 Jacob traveled to Succoth 2 where he built himself a house and made shelters for his livestock. That is why the place was called 3 Succoth. 4
1 tn The disjunctive clause contrasts Jacob’s action with Esau’s.
2 sn But Jacob traveled to Succoth. There are several reasons why Jacob chose not to go to Mt. Seir after Esau. First, as he said, his herds and children probably could not keep up with the warriors. Second, he probably did not fully trust his brother. The current friendliness could change, and he could lose everything. And third, God did tell him to return to his land, not Seir. But Jacob is still not able to deal truthfully, probably because of fear of Esau.
3 tn Heb “why he called.” One could understand “Jacob” as the subject of the verb, but it is more likely that the subject is indefinite, in which case the verb is better translated as passive.
4 sn The name Succoth means “shelters,” an appropriate name in light of the shelters Jacob built there for his livestock.
5 tn Heb “in front of.”