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Genesis 31:38-40

Context

31:38 “I have been with you for the past twenty years. Your ewes and female goats have not miscarried, nor have I eaten rams from your flocks. 31:39 Animals torn by wild beasts I never brought to you; I always absorbed the loss myself. 1  You always made me pay for every missing animal, 2  whether it was taken by day or at night. 31:40 I was consumed by scorching heat 3  during the day and by piercing cold 4  at night, and I went without sleep. 5 

1 tn The imperfect verbal form indicates that this was a customary or typical action.

2 tn Heb “from my hand you exacted it.” The imperfect verbal form again indicates that this was a customary or typical action. The words “for every missing animal” are supplied in the translation for clarity; the following clause in Hebrew, “stolen by day or stolen by night,” probably means “stolen by wild beasts” and refers to the same animals “torn by wild beasts” in the previous clause, although it may refer to animals stolen by people. The translation used here, “missing,” is ambiguous enough to cover either eventuality.

3 tn Or “by drought.”

4 tn Heb “frost, ice,” though when contrasted with the חֹרֶב (khorev, “drought, parching heat”) of the day, “piercing cold” is more appropriate as a contrast.

5 tn Heb “and my sleep fled from my eyes.”



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