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Genesis 31:5-13

Context
31:5 There he said to them, “I can tell that your father’s attitude toward me has changed, 1  but the God of my father has been with me. 31:6 You know that I’ve worked for your father as hard as I could, 2  31:7 but your father has humiliated 3  me and changed my wages ten times. But God has not permitted him to do me any harm. 31:8 If he said, 4  ‘The speckled animals 5  will be your wage,’ then the entire flock gave birth to speckled offspring. But if he said, ‘The streaked animals will be your wage,’ then the entire flock gave birth to streaked offspring. 31:9 In this way God has snatched away your father’s livestock and given them to me.

31:10 “Once 6  during breeding season I saw 7  in a dream that the male goats mating with 8  the flock were streaked, speckled, and spotted. 31:11 In the dream the angel of God said to me, ‘Jacob!’ ‘Here I am!’ I replied. 31:12 Then he said, ‘Observe 9  that all the male goats mating with 10  the flock are streaked, speckled, or spotted, for I have observed all that Laban has done to you. 31:13 I am the God of Bethel, 11  where you anointed 12  the sacred stone and made a vow to me. 13  Now leave this land immediately 14  and return to your native land.’”

Genesis 31:24

Context
31:24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him, 15  “Be careful 16  that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.” 17 

Genesis 31:29

Context
31:29 I have 18  the power to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful 19  that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’ 20 

Genesis 31:42

Context
31:42 If the God of my father – the God of Abraham, the one whom Isaac fears 21  – 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, 22  and he rebuked you last night.”

1 tn Heb “I see the face of your father, that he is not toward me as formerly.”

2 tn Heb “with all my strength.”

3 tn This rare verb means “to make a fool of” someone. It involves deceiving someone so that their public reputation suffers (see Exod 8:25).

4 tn In the protasis (“if” section) of this conditional clause, the imperfect verbal form has a customary nuance – whatever he would say worked to Jacob’s benefit.

5 tn Heb “speckled” (twice this verse). The word “animals” (after the first occurrence of “speckled”) and “offspring” (after the second) have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. The same two terms (“animals” and “offspring”) have been supplied after the two occurrences of “streaked” later in this verse.

6 tn The sentence begins with the temporal indicator, “and it happened at the time of.”

7 tn Heb “in the time of the breeding of the flock I lifted up my eyes and I saw.”

8 tn Heb “going up on,” that is, mounting for intercourse.

9 tn Heb “lift up (now) your eyes and see.”

10 tn Heb “going up on,” that is, mounting for intercourse.

11 map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

12 sn You anointed the sacred stone. In Gen 28:18 the text simply reported that Jacob poured oil on top of the stone. Now that pouring is interpreted by the Lord as an anointing. Jacob had consecrated the place.

13 sn And made a vow to me. The second clause reminds Jacob of the vow he made to the Lord when he anointed the stone (Gen 28:20-22). God is now going to take him back to the land, and so he will have to fulfill his vow.

14 tn Heb “arise, leave!” The first imperative draws attention to the need for immediate action.

sn Leave this land immediately. The decision to leave was a wise one in view of the changed attitude in Laban and his sons. But more than that, it was the will of God. Jacob needed to respond to God’s call – the circumstances simply made it easier.

15 tn Heb “said to him.”

16 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.

17 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.

18 tn Heb “there is to my hand.”

19 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.

20 tn Heb “from speaking with Jacob from good to evil.” The precise meaning of the expression, which occurs only here and in v. 24, is uncertain. See the note on the same phrase in v. 24.

21 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.

22 tn Heb “My oppression and the work of my hands God saw.”



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