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Genesis 31:30-35

31:30 Now I understand that 1  you have gone away 2  because you longed desperately 3  for your father’s house. Yet why did you steal my gods?” 4 

31:31 “I left secretly because I was afraid!” 5  Jacob replied to Laban. “I thought 6  you might take your daughters away from me by force. 7  31:32 Whoever has taken your gods will be put to death! 8  In the presence of our relatives 9  identify whatever is yours and take it.” 10  (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.) 11 

31:33 So Laban entered Jacob’s tent, and Leah’s tent, and the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find the idols. 12  Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s. 13  31:34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle 14  and sat on them.) 15  Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them. 16  31:35 Rachel 17  said to her father, “Don’t be angry, 18  my lord. I cannot stand up 19  in your presence because I am having my period.” 20  So he searched thoroughly, 21  but did not find the idols.

1 tn Heb “and now.” The words “I understand that” have been supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

2 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the perfect verbal form to emphasize the certainty of the action.

3 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the perfect verbal form to emphasize the degree of emotion involved.

4 sn Yet why did you steal my gods? This last sentence is dropped into the speech rather suddenly. See C. Mabee, “Jacob and Laban: The Structure of Judicial Proceedings,” VT 30 (1980): 192-207, and G. W. Coats, “Self-Abasement and Insult Formulas,” JBL 91 (1972): 90-92.

5 tn Heb “and Jacob answered and said to Laban, ‘Because I was afraid.’” This statement is a not a response to the question about Laban’s household gods that immediately precedes, but to the earlier question about Jacob’s motivation for leaving so quickly and secretly (see v. 27). For this reason the words “I left secretly” are supplied in the translation to indicate the connection to Laban’s earlier question in v. 27. Additionally the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse have been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

6 tn Heb “for I said.”

7 tn Heb “lest you steal your daughters from with me.”

8 tn Heb “With whomever you find your gods, he will not live.”

9 tn Heb “brothers.”

10 tn Heb “recognize for yourself what is with me and take for yourself.”

11 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced here by a vav [ו] conjunction) provides supplemental material that is important to the story. Since this material is parenthetical in nature, it has been placed in parentheses in the translation.

12 tn No direct object is specified for the verb “find” in the Hebrew text. The words “the idols” have been supplied in the translation for clarification.

13 tn Heb “and he went out from the tent of Leah and went into the tent of Rachel.”

14 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.”

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

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

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

18 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.

19 tn Heb “I am unable to rise.”

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

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

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