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Genesis 33:18-20

Context

33:18 After he left Paddan Aram, Jacob came safely to the city of Shechem in the land of Canaan, and he camped near 1  the city. 33:19 Then he purchased the portion of the field where he had pitched his tent; he bought it 2  from the sons of Hamor, Shechem’s father, for a hundred pieces of money. 3  33:20 There he set up an altar and called it “The God of Israel is God.” 4 

1 tn Heb “in front of.”

2 tn The words “he bought it” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text v. 19 is one long sentence.

3 tn The Hebrew word קְשִׂיטָה (qÿsitah) is generally understood to refer to a unit of money, but the value is unknown. (However, cf. REB, which renders the term as “sheep”).

4 tn Heb “God, the God of Israel.” Rather than translating the name, a number of modern translations merely transliterate it from the Hebrew as “El Elohe Israel” (cf. NIV, NRSV, REB). It is not entirely clear how the name should be interpreted grammatically. One option is to supply an equative verb, as in the translation: “The God of Israel [is] God.” Another interpretive option is “the God of Israel [is] strong [or “mighty”].” Buying the land and settling down for a while was a momentous step for the patriarch, so the commemorative naming of the altar is significant.



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