35:4 So they gave Jacob all the foreign gods that were in their possession 1 and the rings that were in their ears. 2 Jacob buried them 3 under the oak 4 near Shechem 35:5 and they started on their journey. 5 The surrounding cities were afraid of God, 6 and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob.
1 tn Heb “in their hand.”
2 sn On the basis of a comparison with Gen 34 and Num 31, G. J. Wenham argues that the foreign gods and the rings could have been part of the plunder that came from the destruction of Shechem (Genesis [WBC], 2:324).
3 sn Jacob buried them. On the burial of the gods, see E. Nielson, “The Burial of the Foreign Gods,” ST 8 (1954/55): 102-22.
4 tn Or “terebinth.”
5 tn Heb “and they journeyed.”
6 tn Heb “and the fear of God was upon the cities which were round about them.” The expression “fear of God” apparently refers (1) to a fear of God (objective genitive; God is the object of their fear). (2) But it could mean “fear from God,” that is, fear which God placed in them (cf. NRSV “a terror from God”). Another option (3) is that the divine name is used as a superlative here, referring to “tremendous fear” (cf. NEB “were panic-stricken”; NASB “a great terror”).
8 tn Heb “and Jacob came to Luz which is in the land of Canaan – it is Bethel – he and all the people who were with him.”