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Genesis 31:14-19

Context

31:14 Then Rachel and Leah replied to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance 1  in our father’s house? 31:15 Hasn’t he treated us like foreigners? He not only sold us, but completely wasted 2  the money paid for us! 3  31:16 Surely all the wealth that God snatched away from our father belongs to us and to our children. So now do everything God has told you.”

31:17 So Jacob immediately put his children and his wives on the camels. 4  31:18 He took 5  away all the livestock he had acquired in Paddan Aram and all his moveable property that he had accumulated. Then he set out toward the land of Canaan to return to his father Isaac. 6 

31:19 While Laban had gone to shear his sheep, 7  Rachel stole the household idols 8  that belonged to her father.

1 tn The two nouns may form a hendiadys, meaning “a share in the inheritance” or “a portion to inherit.”

2 tn Heb “and he devoured, even devouring.” The infinitive absolute (following the finite verb here) is used for emphasis.

sn He sold us and…wasted our money. The precise nature of Rachel’s and Leah’s complaint is not entirely clear. Since Jacob had to work to pay for them, they probably mean that their father has cheated Jacob and therefore cheated them as well. See M. Burrows, “The Complaint of Laban’s Daughters,” JAOS 57 (1937): 250-76.

3 tn Heb “our money.” The word “money” is used figuratively here; it means the price paid for Leah and Rachel. A literal translation (“our money”) makes it sound as if Laban wasted money that belonged to Rachel and Leah, rather than the money paid for them.

4 tn Heb “and Jacob arose and he lifted up his sons and his wives on to the camels.”

5 tn Heb “drove,” but this is subject to misunderstanding in contemporary English.

6 tn Heb “and he led away all his cattle and all his moveable property which he acquired, the cattle he obtained, which he acquired in Paddan Aram to go to Isaac his father to the land of Canaan.”

7 tn This disjunctive clause (note the pattern conjunction + subject + verb) introduces a new scene. In the English translation it may be subordinated to the following clause.

8 tn Or “household gods.” Some translations merely transliterate the Hebrew term תְּרָפִים (tÿrafim) as “teraphim,” which apparently refers to household idols. Some contend that possession of these idols guaranteed the right of inheritance, but it is more likely that they were viewed simply as protective deities. See M. Greenberg, “Another Look at Rachel’s Theft of the Teraphim,” JBL 81 (1962): 239-48.



TIP #08: Use the Strong Number links to learn about the original Hebrew and Greek text. [ALL]
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