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Genesis 31:19


31:19 While Laban had gone to shear his sheep, 1  Rachel stole the household idols 2  that belonged to her father.

Genesis 31:34-35

31:34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle 3  and sat on them.) 4  Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them. 5  31:35 Rachel 6  said to her father, “Don’t be angry, 7  my lord. I cannot stand up 8  in your presence because I am having my period.” 9  So he searched thoroughly, 10  but did not find the idols.

1 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.

2 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.

3 tn The “camel’s saddle” was probably some sort of basket-saddle, a cushioned saddle with a basket bound on. Cf. NAB “inside a camel cushion.”

4 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by a vav [ו] conjunction) provides another parenthetical statement necessary to the storyline.

5 tn The word “them” has been supplied in the translation for clarification.

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

7 tn Heb “let it not be hot in the eyes of my lord.” This idiom refers to anger, in this case as a result of Rachel’s failure to stand in the presence of her father as a sign of respect.

8 tn Heb “I am unable to rise.”

9 tn Heb “the way of women is to me.” This idiom refers to a woman’s menstrual period.

10 tn The word “thoroughly” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied.

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