25:20 When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah, 1 the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean. 2
31:20 Jacob also deceived 3 Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was leaving. 4
31:24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him, 5 “Be careful 6 that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.” 7
1 tn Heb “And Isaac was the son of forty years when he took Rebekah.”
2 sn Some valuable information is provided here. We learn here that Isaac married thirty-five years before Abraham died, that Rebekah was barren for twenty years, and that Abraham would have lived to see Jacob and Esau begin to grow up. The death of Abraham was recorded in the first part of the chapter as a “tidying up” of one generation before beginning the account of the next.
3 tn Heb “stole the heart of,” an expression which apparently means “to deceive.” The repetition of the verb “to steal” shows that Jacob and Rachel are kindred spirits. Any thought that Laban would have resigned himself to their departure was now out of the question.
4 tn Heb “fleeing,” which reflects Jacob’s viewpoint.
5 tn Heb “said to him.”
6 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.
7 tn Heb “lest you speak with Jacob from good to evil.” The precise meaning of the expression, which occurs only here and in v. 29, is uncertain. Since Laban proceeded to speak to Jacob at length, it cannot mean to maintain silence. Nor does it seem to be a prohibition against criticism (see vv. 26-30). Most likely it refers to a formal pronouncement, whether it be a blessing or a curse. Laban was to avoid saying anything to Jacob that would be intended to enhance him or to harm him.