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Genesis 14:14-16

Context
14:14 When Abram heard that his nephew 1  had been taken captive, he mobilized 2  his 318 trained men who had been born in his household, and he pursued the invaders 3  as far as Dan. 4  14:15 Then, during the night, 5  Abram 6  divided his forces 7  against them and defeated them. He chased them as far as Hobah, which is north 8  of Damascus. 14:16 He retrieved all the stolen property. 9  He also brought back his nephew Lot and his possessions, as well as the women and the rest of 10  the people.

1 tn Heb “his brother,” by extension, “relative.” Here and in v. 16 the more specific term “nephew” has been used in the translation for clarity. Lot was the son of Haran, Abram’s brother (Gen 11:27).

2 tn The verb וַיָּרֶק (vayyareq) is a rare form, probably related to the word רֵיק (req, “to be empty”). If so, it would be a very figurative use: “he emptied out” (or perhaps “unsheathed”) his men. The LXX has “mustered” (cf. NEB). E. A. Speiser (Genesis [AB], 103-4) suggests reading with the Samaritan Pentateuch a verb diq, cognate with Akkadian deku, “to mobilize” troops. If this view is accepted, one must assume that a confusion of the Hebrew letters ד (dalet) and ר (resh) led to the error in the traditional Hebrew text. These two letters are easily confused in all phases of ancient Hebrew script development. The present translation is based on this view.

3 tn The words “the invaders” have been supplied in the translation for clarification.

4 sn The use of the name Dan reflects a later perspective. The Danites did not migrate to this northern territory until centuries later (see Judg 18:29). Furthermore Dan was not even born until much later. By inserting this name a scribe has clarified the location of the region.

5 tn The Hebrew text simply has “night” as an adverbial accusative.

6 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abram) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “he divided himself…he and his servants.”

8 tn Heb “left.” Directions in ancient Israel were given in relation to the east rather than the north.

9 tn The word “stolen” is supplied in the translation for clarification.

10 tn The phrase “the rest of “ has been supplied in the translation for clarification.



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