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Genesis 32:9-12

Context

32:9 Then Jacob prayed, 1  “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac, O Lord, you said 2  to me, ‘Return to your land and to your relatives and I will make you prosper.’ 3  32:10 I am not worthy of all the faithful love 4  you have shown 5  your servant. With only my walking stick 6  I crossed the Jordan, 7  but now I have become two camps. 32:11 Rescue me, 8  I pray, from the hand 9  of my brother Esau, 10  for I am afraid he will come 11  and attack me, as well as the mothers with their children. 12  32:12 But you 13  said, ‘I will certainly make you prosper 14  and will make 15  your descendants like the sand on the seashore, too numerous to count.’” 16 

1 tn Heb “said.”

2 tn Heb “the one who said.”

3 tn Heb “I will cause good” or “I will treat well [or “favorably”].” The idea includes more than prosperity, though that is its essential meaning. Here the form is subordinated to the preceding imperative and indicates purpose or result. Jacob is reminding God of his promise in the hope that God will honor his word.

4 tn Heb “the loving deeds and faithfulness” (see 24:27, 49).

5 tn Heb “you have done with.”

6 tn Heb “for with my staff.” The Hebrew word מַקֵל (maqel), traditionally translated “staff,” has been rendered as “walking stick” because a “staff” in contemporary English refers typically to the support personnel in an organization.

7 tn Heb “this Jordan.”

8 tn The imperative has the force of a prayer here, not a command.

9 tn The “hand” here is a metonymy for “power.”

10 tn Heb “from the hand of my brother, from the hand of Esau.”

11 tn Heb “for I am afraid of him, lest he come.”

12 sn Heb “me, [the] mother upon [the] sons.” The first person pronoun “me” probably means here “me and mine,” as the following clause suggests.

13 tn Heb “But you, you said.” One of the occurrences of the pronoun “you” has been left untranslated for stylistic reasons.

sn Some commentators have thought this final verse of the prayer redundant, but it actually follows the predominant form of a lament in which God is motivated to act. The primary motivation Jacob can offer to God is God’s promise, and so he falls back on that at the end of the prayer.

14 tn Or “will certainly deal well with you.” The infinitive absolute appears before the imperfect, underscoring God’s promise to bless. The statement is more emphatic than in v. 9.

15 tn The form is the perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive, carrying the nuance of the preceding verb forward.

16 tn Heb “which cannot be counted because of abundance.” The imperfect verbal form indicates potential here.



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