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Genesis 24:29-33

Context
24:29 (Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban.) 1  Laban rushed out to meet the man at the spring. 24:30 When he saw the bracelets on his sister’s wrists and the nose ring 2  and heard his sister Rebekah say, 3  “This is what the man said to me,” he went out to meet the man. There he was, standing 4  by the camels near the spring. 24:31 Laban said to him, 5  “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord! 6  Why are you standing out here when I have prepared 7  the house and a place for the camels?”

24:32 So Abraham’s servant 8  went to the house and unloaded 9  the camels. Straw and feed were given 10  to the camels, and water was provided so that he and the men who were with him could wash their feet. 11  24:33 When food was served, 12  he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I want to say.” 13  “Tell us,” Laban said. 14 

1 tn The parenthetical disjunctive clause introduces the audience to Laban, who will eventually play an important role in the unfolding story.

2 tn Heb “And it was when he saw the nose ring and the bracelets on the arms of his sister.” The word order is altered in the translation for the sake of clarity.

3 tn Heb “and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying.”

4 tn Heb “and look, he was standing.” The disjunctive clause with the participle following the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) invites the audience to view the scene through Laban’s eyes.

5 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent (Laban) has been specified and the words “to him” supplied in the translation for clarity.

6 sn Laban’s obsession with wealth is apparent; to him it represents how one is blessed by the Lord. Already the author is laying the foundation for subsequent events in the narrative, where Laban’s greed becomes his dominant characteristic.

7 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial.

8 tn Heb “the man”; the referent (Abraham’s servant) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

9 tn Some translations (e.g., NEB, NASB, NRSV) understand Laban to be the subject of this and the following verbs or take the subject of this and the following verbs as indefinite (referring to an unnamed servant; e.g., NAB, NIV).

10 tn Heb “and [one] gave.” The verb without an expressed subject may be translated as passive.

11 tn Heb “and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.”

12 tn Heb “and food was placed before him.”

13 tn Heb “my words.”

14 tc Some ancient textual witnesses have a plural verb, “and they said.”

tn Heb “and he said, ‘Speak.’” The referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.



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