31:42 If the God of my father – the God of Abraham, the one whom Isaac fears 1 – had not been with me, you would certainly have sent me away empty-handed! But God saw how I was oppressed and how hard I worked, 2 and he rebuked you last night.”
31:53 May the God of Abraham and the god of Nahor, 3 the gods of their father, judge between us.” Jacob took an oath by the God whom his father Isaac feared. 4
1 tn Heb “the fear of Isaac,” that is, the one whom Isaac feared and respected. For further discussion of this title see M. Malul, “More on pahad yitschaq (Gen. 31:42,53) and the Oath by the Thigh,” VT 35 (1985): 192-200.
2 tn Heb “My oppression and the work of my hands God saw.”
3 tn The God of Abraham and the god of Nahor. The Hebrew verb translated “judge” is plural, suggesting that Laban has more than one “god” in mind. The Samaritan Pentateuch and the LXX, apparently in an effort to make the statement monotheistic, have a singular verb. In this case one could translate, “May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor, the God of their father, judge between us.” However, Laban had a polytheistic world view, as evidenced by his possession of household idols (cf. 31:19). The translation uses “God” when referring to Abraham’s God, for Genesis makes it clear that Abraham worshiped the one true God. It employs “god” when referring to Nahor’s god, for in the Hebrew text Laban refers to a different god here, probably one of the local deities.