4:10 But the Lord said, “What have you done? 1 The voice 2 of your brother’s blood is crying out to me from the ground!
37:10 When he told his father and his brothers, his father rebuked him, saying, “What is this dream that you had? 3 Will I, your mother, and your brothers really come and bow down to you?” 4
44:15 Joseph said to them, “What did you think you were doing? 5 Don’t you know that a man like me can find out things like this by divination?” 6
2 tn The word “voice” is a personification; the evidence of Abel’s shed blood condemns Cain, just as a human eyewitness would testify in court. For helpful insights, see G. von Rad, Biblical Interpretations in Preaching; and L. Morris, “The Biblical Use of the Term ‘Blood,’” JTS 6 (1955/56): 77-82.
3 sn The question What is this dream that you had? expresses Jacob’s dismay at what he perceives to be Joseph’s audacity.
4 tn Heb “Coming, will we come, I and your mother and your brothers, to bow down to you to the ground?” The verb “come” is preceded by the infinitive absolute, which lends emphasis. It is as if Jacob said, “You don’t really think we will come…to bow down…do you?”
5 tn Heb “What is this deed you have done?” The demonstrative pronoun (“this”) adds emphasis to the question. A literal translation seems to contradict the following statement, in which Joseph affirms that he is able to divine such matters. Thus here the emotive force of the question has been reflected in the translation, “What did you think you were doing?”
6 tn Heb “[is] fully able to divine,” meaning that he can find things out by divination. The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis, stressing his ability to do this.