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Genesis 18-31 New English Translation (NET Bible)

Three Special Visitors

18 The Lord appeared to Abraham[a] by the oaks[b] of Mamre while[c] he was sitting at the entrance[d] to his tent during the hottest time of the day. Abraham[e] looked up[f] and saw[g] three men standing across from[h] him. When he saw them[i] he ran from the entrance of the tent to meet them and bowed low[j] to the ground.[k]

He said, “My lord,[l] if I have found favor in your sight, do not pass by and leave your servant.[m] Let a little water be brought so that[n] you may all[o] wash your feet and rest under the tree. And let me get[p] a bit of food[q] so that you may refresh yourselves[r] since you have passed by your servant’s home. After that you may be on your way.”[s] “All right,” they replied, “you may do as you say.”

So Abraham hurried into the tent and said to Sarah, “Quick! Take[t] three measures[u] of fine flour, knead it, and make bread.”[v] Then Abraham ran to the herd and chose a fine, tender calf, and gave it to a servant,[w] who quickly prepared it.[x] Abraham[y] then took some curds and milk, along with the calf that had been prepared, and placed the food[z] before them. They ate while[aa] he was standing near them under a tree.

Then they asked him, “Where is Sarah your wife?” He replied, “There,[ab] in the tent.” 10 One of them[ac] said, “I will surely return[ad] to you when the season comes round again,[ae] and your wife Sarah will have a son!”[af] (Now Sarah was listening at the entrance to the tent, not far behind him.[ag] 11 Abraham and Sarah were old and advancing in years;[ah] Sarah had long since passed menopause.)[ai] 12 So Sarah laughed to herself, thinking,[aj] “After I am worn out will I have pleasure,[ak] especially when my husband is old too?”[al]

13 The Lord said to Abraham, “Why[am] did Sarah laugh and say, ‘Will I really[an] have a child when I am old?’ 14 Is anything impossible[ao] for the Lord? I will return to you when the season comes round again and Sarah will have a son.”[ap] 15 Then Sarah lied, saying, “I did not laugh,” because she was afraid. But the Lord said, “No! You did laugh.”[aq]

Abraham Pleads for Sodom

16 When the men got up to leave,[ar] they looked out over[as] Sodom. (Now[at] Abraham was walking with them to see them on their way.)[au] 17 Then the Lord said, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do?[av] 18 After all, Abraham[aw] will surely become[ax] a great and powerful nation, and all the nations on the earth may receive blessing[ay] through him. 19 I have chosen him[az] so that he may command his children and his household after him to keep[ba] the way of the Lord by doing[bb] what is right and just. Then the Lord will give[bc] to Abraham what he promised[bd] him.”

20 So the Lord said, “The outcry against[be] Sodom and Gomorrah is so great and their sin so blatant[bf] 21 that I must go down[bg] and see if they are as wicked as the outcry suggests.[bh] If not,[bi] I want to know.”

22 The two men turned[bj] and headed[bk] toward Sodom, but Abraham was still standing before the Lord.[bl] 23 Abraham approached and said, “Will you really sweep away the godly along with the wicked? 24 What if there are fifty godly people in the city? Will you really wipe it out and not spare[bm] the place for the sake of the fifty godly people who are in it? 25 Far be it from you to do such a thing—to kill the godly with the wicked, treating the godly and the wicked alike! Far be it from you! Will not the judge[bn] of the whole earth do what is right?”[bo]

26 So the Lord replied, “If I find in the city of Sodom fifty godly people, I will spare the whole place for their sake.”

27 Then Abraham asked, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord[bp] (although I am but dust and ashes),[bq] 28 what if there are five less than the fifty godly people? Will you destroy[br] the whole city because five are lacking?”[bs] He replied, “I will not destroy it if I find forty-five there.”

29 Abraham[bt] spoke to him again,[bu] “What if forty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it for the sake of the forty.”

30 Then Abraham[bv] said, “May the Lord not be angry[bw] so that I may speak![bx] What if thirty are found there?” He replied, “I will not do it if I find thirty there.”

31 Abraham[by] said, “Since I have undertaken to speak to the Lord, what if only twenty are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the twenty.”

32 Finally Abraham[bz] said, “May the Lord not be angry so that I may speak just once more. What if ten are found there?” He replied, “I will not destroy it for the sake of the ten.”

33 The Lord went on his way[ca] when he had finished speaking[cb] to Abraham. Then Abraham returned home.[cc]

The Destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah

19 The two angels came to Sodom in the evening while[cd] Lot was sitting in the city’s gateway.[ce] When Lot saw them, he got up to meet them and bowed down with his face toward the ground.

He said, “Here, my lords, please turn aside to your servant’s house. Stay the night[cf] and wash your feet. Then you can be on your way early in the morning.”[cg] “No,” they replied, “we’ll spend the night in the town square.”[ch]

But he urged[ci] them persistently, so they turned aside with him and entered his house. He prepared a feast for them, including bread baked without yeast, and they ate. Before they could lie down to sleep,[cj] all the men—both young and old, from every part of the city of Sodom—surrounded the house.[ck] They shouted to Lot,[cl] “Where are the men who came to you tonight? Bring them out to us so we can take carnal knowledge of[cm] them!”

Lot went outside to them, shutting the door behind him. He said, “No, my brothers! Don’t act so wickedly![cn] Look, I have two daughters who have never been intimate with[co] a man. Let me bring them out to you, and you can do to them whatever you please.[cp] Only don’t do anything to these men, for they have come under the protection[cq] of my roof.”[cr]

“Out of our way!”[cs] they cried, “This man came to live here as a foreigner,[ct] and now he dares to judge us![cu] We’ll do more harm[cv] to you than to them!” They kept pressing in on Lot[cw] until they were close enough[cx] to break down the door.

10 So the men inside[cy] reached out[cz] and pulled Lot back into the house[da] as they shut the door. 11 Then they struck the men who were at the door of the house, from the youngest to the oldest,[db] with blindness. The men outside[dc] wore themselves out trying to find the door. 12 Then the two visitors[dd] said to Lot, “Who else do you have here?[de] Do you have[df] any sons-in-law, sons, daughters, or other relatives in the city?[dg] Get them out of this[dh] place 13 because we are about to destroy[di] it. The outcry against this place[dj] is so great before the Lord that he[dk] has sent us to destroy it.”

14 Then Lot went out and spoke to his sons-in-law who were going to marry his daughters.[dl] He said, “Quick, get out of this place because the Lord is about to destroy[dm] the city!” But his sons-in-law thought he was ridiculing them.[dn]

15 At dawn[do] the angels hurried Lot along, saying, “Get going! Take your wife and your two daughters who are here,[dp] or else you will be destroyed when the city is judged!”[dq] 16 When Lot[dr] hesitated, the men grabbed his hand and the hands of his wife and two daughters because the Lord had compassion on them.[ds] They led them away and placed them[dt] outside the city. 17 When they had brought them outside, they[du] said, “Run[dv] for your lives! Don’t look[dw] behind you or stop anywhere in the valley![dx] Escape to the mountains or you will be destroyed!”

18 But Lot said to them, “No, please, Lord![dy] 19 Your[dz] servant has found favor with you,[ea] and you have shown me great[eb] kindness[ec] by sparing[ed] my life. But I am not able to escape to the mountains because[ee] this disaster will overtake[ef] me and I’ll die.[eg] 20 Look, this town[eh] over here is close enough to escape to, and it’s just a little one.[ei] Let me go there.[ej] It’s just a little place, isn’t it?[ek] Then I’ll survive.”[el]

21 “Very well,” he replied,[em] “I will grant this request too[en] and will not overthrow[eo] the town you mentioned. 22 Run there quickly,[ep] for I cannot do anything until you arrive there.” (This incident explains why the town was called Zoar.)[eq]

23 The sun had just risen[er] over the land as Lot reached Zoar.[es] 24 Then the Lord rained down[et] sulfur and fire[eu] on Sodom and Gomorrah. It was sent down from the sky by the Lord.[ev] 25 So he overthrew those cities and all that region,[ew] including all the inhabitants of the cities and the vegetation that grew from the ground.[ex] 26 But Lot’s[ey] wife looked back longingly[ez] and was turned into a pillar of salt.

27 Abraham got up early in the morning and went[fa] to the place where he had stood before the Lord. 28 He looked out toward[fb] Sodom and Gomorrah and all the land of that region.[fc] As he did so, he saw the smoke rising up from the land like smoke from a furnace.[fd]

29 So when God destroyed[fe] the cities of the region,[ff] God honored[fg] Abraham’s request. He removed Lot[fh] from the midst of the destruction when he destroyed[fi] the cities Lot had lived in.

30 Lot went up from Zoar with his two daughters and settled in the mountains because he was afraid to live in Zoar. So he lived in a cave with his two daughters. 31 Later the older daughter said[fj] to the younger, “Our father is old, and there is no man in the country[fk] to sleep with us,[fl] the way everyone does. 32 Come, let’s make our father drunk with wine[fm] so we can go to bed with[fn] him and preserve[fo] our family line through our father.”[fp]

33 So that night they made their father drunk with wine,[fq] and the older daughter[fr] came in and went to bed with[fs] her father. But he was not aware of when she lay down with him or when she got up. 34 So in the morning the older daughter[ft] said to the younger, “Since I went to bed with[fu] my father last night, let’s make him drunk[fv] again tonight. Then you go in and go to bed with him so we can preserve our family line through our father.”[fw] 35 So they made their father drunk[fx] that night as well, and the younger one came and went to bed with him.[fy] But he was not aware of when she lay down with him or when she got up.

36 In this way both of Lot’s daughters became pregnant by their father. 37 The older daughter[fz] gave birth to a son and named him Moab.[ga] He is the ancestor of the Moabites of today. 38 The younger daughter also gave birth to a son and named him Ben Ammi.[gb] He is the ancestor of the Ammonites of today.

Abraham and Abimelech

20 Abraham journeyed from there to the Negev[gc] region and settled between Kadesh and Shur. While he lived as a temporary resident[gd] in Gerar, Abraham said about his wife Sarah, “She is my sister.” So Abimelech, king of Gerar, sent for Sarah and took her.

But God appeared[ge] to Abimelech in a dream at night and said to him, “You are as good as dead[gf] because of the woman you have taken, for she is someone else’s wife.”[gg]

Now Abimelech had not gone near her. He said, “Lord,[gh] would you really slaughter an innocent nation?[gi] Did Abraham[gj] not say to me, ‘She is my sister’? And she herself said,[gk] ‘He is my brother.’ I have done this with a clear conscience[gl] and with innocent hands!”

Then in the dream God replied to him, “Yes, I know that you have done this with a clear conscience.[gm] That is why I have kept you[gn] from sinning against me and why[go] I did not allow you to touch her. But now give back the man’s wife. Indeed[gp] he is a prophet[gq] and he will pray for you; thus you will live.[gr] But if you don’t give her back,[gs] know that you will surely die[gt] along with all who belong to you.”

Early in the morning[gu] Abimelech summoned[gv] all his servants. When he told them about all these things,[gw] they[gx] were terrified. Abimelech summoned Abraham and said to him, “What have you done to us? What sin did I commit against you that would cause you to bring such great guilt on me and my kingdom?[gy] You have done things to me that should not be done!”[gz] 10 Then Abimelech asked[ha] Abraham, “What prompted you to do this thing?”[hb]

11 Abraham replied, “Because I thought,[hc] ‘Surely no one fears God in this place. They will kill me because of[hd] my wife.’ 12 What’s more,[he] she is indeed my sister, my father’s daughter, but not my mother’s daughter. She became my wife. 13 When God made me wander[hf] from my father’s house, I told her, ‘This is what you can do to show your loyalty to me:[hg] Every place we go, say about me, “He is my brother.”’”

14 So Abimelech gave[hh] sheep, cattle, and male and female servants to Abraham. He also gave his wife Sarah back to him. 15 Then Abimelech said, “Look, my land is before you; live wherever you please.”[hi]

16 To Sarah he said, “Look, I have given 1,000 pieces of silver[hj] to your ‘brother.’[hk] This is compensation for you so that you will stand vindicated before all who are with you.”[hl]

17 Abraham prayed to God, and God healed Abimelech, as well as his wife and female slaves so that they were able to have children. 18 For the Lord[hm] had caused infertility to strike every woman[hn] in the household of Abimelech because he took[ho] Sarah, Abraham’s wife.

The Birth of Isaac

21 The Lord visited[hp] Sarah just as he had said he would and did[hq] for Sarah what he had promised.[hr] So Sarah became pregnant[hs] and bore Abraham a son in his old age at the appointed time that God had told him. Abraham named his son—whom Sarah bore to him—Isaac.[ht] When his son Isaac was eight days old,[hu] Abraham circumcised him just as God had commanded him to do.[hv] (Now Abraham was 100 years old when his son Isaac was born to him.)[hw]

Sarah said, “God has made me laugh.[hx] Everyone who hears about this[hy] will laugh[hz] with me.” She went on to say,[ia] “Who would[ib] have said to Abraham that Sarah would nurse children? Yet I have given birth to a son for him in his old age!”

The child grew and was weaned. Abraham prepared[ic] a great feast on the day that Isaac was weaned.[id] But Sarah noticed[ie] the son of Hagar the Egyptian—the son whom Hagar had borne to Abraham—mocking.[if] 10 So she said to Abraham, “Banish[ig] that slave woman and her son, for the son of that slave woman will not be an heir along with my son Isaac!”

11 Sarah’s demand displeased Abraham greatly because Ishmael was his son.[ih] 12 But God said to Abraham, “Do not be upset[ii] about the boy or your slave wife. Do[ij] all that Sarah is telling[ik] you because through Isaac your descendants will be counted.[il] 13 But I will also make the son of the slave wife into a great nation,[im] for he is your descendant too.”

14 Early in the morning Abraham took[in] some food[io] and a skin of water and gave them to Hagar. He put them on her shoulders, gave her the child,[ip] and sent her away. So she went wandering[iq] aimlessly through the wilderness[ir] of Beer Sheba. 15 When the water in the skin was gone, she shoved[is] the child under one of the shrubs. 16 Then she went and sat down by herself across from him at quite a distance, about a bowshot,[it] away; for she thought,[iu] “I refuse to watch the child die.”[iv] So she sat across from him and wept uncontrollably.[iw]

17 But God heard the boy’s voice.[ix] The angel of God called to Hagar from heaven and asked her, “What is the matter,[iy] Hagar? Don’t be afraid, for God has heard[iz] the boy’s voice right where he is crying. 18 Get up! Help the boy up and hold him by the hand, for I will make him into a great nation.” 19 Then God enabled Hagar to see a well of water.[ja] She went over and filled the skin with water, and then gave the boy a drink.

20 God was with the boy as he grew. He lived in the wilderness and became an archer. 21 He lived in the wilderness of Paran.[jb] His mother found a wife for him from the land of Egypt.[jc]

22 At that time Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, said to Abraham, “God is with you[jd] in all that you do. 23 Now swear to me right here in God’s name[je] that you will not deceive me, my children, or my descendants.[jf] Show me, and the land[jg] where you are staying,[jh] the same loyalty[ji] that I have shown you.”[jj]

24 Abraham said, “I swear to do this.”[jk] 25 But Abraham lodged a complaint against[jl] Abimelech concerning a well[jm] that Abimelech’s servants had seized.[jn] 26 “I do not know who has done this thing,” Abimelech replied. “Moreover,[jo] you did not tell me. I did not hear about it until today.”

27 Abraham took some sheep and cattle and gave them to Abimelech. The two of them made a treaty.[jp] 28 Then Abraham set seven ewe lambs apart from the flock by themselves. 29 Abimelech asked Abraham, “What is the meaning[jq] of these seven ewe lambs that you have set apart?” 30 He replied, “You must take these seven ewe lambs from my hand as legal proof[jr] that I dug this well.”[js] 31 That is why he named that place[jt] Beer Sheba,[ju] because the two of them swore an oath[jv] there.

32 So they made a treaty[jw] at Beer Sheba; then Abimelech and Phicol, the commander of his army, returned[jx] to the land of the Philistines.[jy] 33 Abraham[jz] planted a tamarisk tree[ka] in Beer Sheba. There he worshiped the Lord,[kb] the eternal God. 34 So Abraham stayed in the land of the Philistines for quite some time.[kc]

The Sacrifice of Isaac

22 Some time after these things God tested[kd] Abraham. He said to him, “Abraham!” “Here I am!” Abraham[ke] replied. God[kf] said, “Take your son—your only son, whom you love, Isaac[kg]—and go to the land of Moriah![kh] Offer him up there as a burnt offering[ki] on one of the mountains which I will indicate to[kj] you.”

Early in the morning Abraham got up and saddled his donkey.[kk] He took two of his young servants with him, along with his son Isaac. When he had cut the wood for the burnt offering, he started out[kl] for the place God had spoken to him about.

On the third day Abraham caught sight of[km] the place in the distance. So he[kn] said to his servants, “You two stay[ko] here with the donkey while[kp] the boy and I go up there. We will worship[kq] and then return to you.”[kr]

Abraham took the wood for the burnt offering and put it on his son Isaac. Then he took the fire and the knife in his hand,[ks] and the two of them walked on together. Isaac said to his father Abraham,[kt] “My father?” “What is it,[ku] my son?” he replied. “Here is the fire and the wood,” Isaac said,[kv] “but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” “God will provide[kw] for himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son,” Abraham replied. The two of them continued on together.

When they came to the place God had told him about, Abraham built the altar there[kx] and arranged the wood on it. Next he tied up[ky] his son Isaac and placed him on the altar on top of the wood. 10 Then Abraham reached out his hand, took the knife, and prepared to slaughter[kz] his son. 11 But the angel of the Lord[la] called to him from heaven, “Abraham! Abraham!” “Here I am!” he answered. 12 “Do not harm the boy!”[lb] the angel said.[lc] “Do not do anything to him, for now I know[ld] that you fear[le] God because you did not withhold your son, your only son, from me.”

13 Abraham looked up[lf] and saw[lg] behind him[lh] a ram caught in the bushes by its horns. So he[li] went over and got the ram and offered it up as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 And Abraham called the name of that place “The Lord provides.”[lj] It is said to this day,[lk] “In the mountain of the Lord provision will be made.”[ll]

15 The angel of the Lord called to Abraham a second time from heaven 16 and said, “I solemnly swear by my own name,[lm] decrees the Lord,[ln] that because you have done this and have not withheld your son, your only son, 17 I will indeed bless you,[lo] and I will greatly multiply[lp] your descendants[lq] so that they will be as countless as the stars in the sky or the grains of sand on the seashore. Your descendants will take possession of[lr] the strongholds[ls] of their enemies. 18 Because you have obeyed me,[lt] all the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another[lu] using the name of your descendants.”

19 Then Abraham returned to his servants, and they set out together[lv] for Beer Sheba where Abraham stayed.[lw]

20 After these things Abraham was told, “Milcah[lx] also has borne children to your brother Nahor— 21 Uz the firstborn, his brother Buz, Kemuel (the father of Aram),[ly] 22 Kesed, Hazo, Pildash, Jidlaph, and Bethuel.” 23 (Now[lz] Bethuel became the father of Rebekah.) These were the eight sons Milcah bore to Abraham’s brother Nahor. 24 His concubine, whose name was Reumah, also bore him children—Tebah, Gaham, Tahash, and Maacah.

The Death of Sarah

23 Sarah lived 127 years.[ma] Then she[mb] died in Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. Abraham went to mourn for Sarah and to weep for her.[mc]

Then Abraham got up from mourning his dead wife[md] and said to the sons of Heth,[me] “I am a foreign resident, a temporary settler,[mf] among you. Grant[mg] me ownership[mh] of a burial site among you so that I may[mi] bury my dead.”[mj]

The sons of Heth answered Abraham,[mk] “Listen, sir,[ml] you are a mighty prince[mm] among us! You may bury your dead in the choicest of our tombs. None of us will refuse you his tomb to prevent you[mn] from burying your dead.”

Abraham got up and bowed down to the local people,[mo] the sons of Heth. Then he said to them, “If you agree[mp] that I may bury my dead,[mq] then hear me out.[mr] Ask[ms] Ephron the son of Zohar if he will sell[mt] me the cave of Machpelah that belongs to him; it is at the end of his field. Let him sell it to me publicly[mu] for the full price,[mv] so that I may own it as a burial site.”

10 (Now Ephron was sitting among the sons of Heth.) Ephron the Hittite[mw] replied to Abraham in the hearing[mx] of the sons of Heth—before all who entered the gate[my] of his city— 11 “No, my lord! Hear me out. I sell[mz] you both the field and the cave that is in it.[na] In the presence of my people[nb] I sell it to you. Bury your dead.”

12 Abraham bowed before the local people 13 and said to Ephron in their hearing, “Hear me, if you will. I pay[nc] to you the price[nd] of the field. Take it from me so that I may[ne] bury my dead there.”

14 Ephron answered Abraham, saying to him, 15 “Hear me, my lord. The land is worth[nf] 400 pieces of silver,[ng] but what is that between me and you? So bury your dead.”

16 So Abraham agreed to Ephron’s price[nh] and weighed out[ni] for him[nj] the price[nk] that Ephron had quoted[nl] in the hearing of the sons of Heth—400 pieces of silver, according to the standard measurement at the time.[nm]

17 So Abraham secured[nn] Ephron’s field in Machpelah, next to Mamre, including the field, the cave that was in it, and all the trees that were in the field and all around its border, 18 as his property in the presence of the sons of Heth before all who entered the gate of Ephron’s city.[no]

19 After this Abraham buried his wife Sarah in the cave in the field of Machpelah next to Mamre (that is, Hebron) in the land of Canaan. 20 So Abraham secured the field and the cave that was in it as a burial site[np] from the sons of Heth.

The Wife for Isaac

24 Now Abraham was old, well advanced in years,[nq] and the Lord had blessed him[nr] in everything. Abraham said to his servant, the senior one[ns] in his household who was in charge of everything he had, “Put your hand under my thigh[nt] so that I may make you solemnly promise[nu] by the Lord, the God of heaven and the God of the earth: You must not acquire[nv] a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living. You must go instead to my country and to my relatives[nw] to find[nx] a wife for my son Isaac.”

The servant asked him, “What if the woman is not willing to come back with me[ny] to this land? Must I then[nz] take your son back to the land from which you came?”

“Be careful[oa] never to take my son back there!” Abraham told him.[ob] “The Lord, the God of heaven, who took me from my father’s house and the land of my relatives,[oc] promised me with a solemn oath,[od] ‘To your descendants I will give this land.’ He will send his angel[oe] before you so that you may find[of] a wife for my son from there. But if the woman is not willing to come back with you,[og] you will be free[oh] from this oath of mine. But you must not take my son back there!” So the servant placed his hand under the thigh of his master Abraham and gave his solemn promise he would carry out his wishes.[oi]

10 Then the servant took ten of his master’s camels and departed with all kinds of gifts from his master at his disposal.[oj] He journeyed[ok] to the region of Aram Naharaim[ol] and the city of Nahor. 11 He made the camels kneel down by the well[om] outside the city. It was evening,[on] the time when the women would go out to draw water. 12 He prayed, “O Lord, God of my master Abraham, guide me today.[oo] Be faithful[op] to my master Abraham. 13 Here I am, standing by the spring,[oq] and the daughters of the people[or] who live in the town are coming out to draw water. 14 I will say to a young woman, ‘Please lower your jar so I may drink.’ May the one you have chosen for your servant Isaac reply, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’[os] In this way I will know that you have been faithful to my master.”[ot]

15 Before he had finished praying, there came Rebekah[ou] with her water jug on her shoulder. She was the daughter of Bethuel son of Milcah (Milcah was the wife of Abraham’s brother Nahor).[ov] 16 Now the young woman was very beautiful. She was a virgin; no man had ever been physically intimate with her.[ow] She went down to the spring, filled her jug, and came back up. 17 Abraham’s servant[ox] ran to meet her and said, “Please give me a sip of water from your jug.” 18 “Drink, my lord,” she replied, and quickly lowering[oy] her jug to her hands, she gave him a drink. 19 When she had done so,[oz] she said, “I’ll draw water for your camels too, until they have drunk as much as they want.” 20 She quickly emptied[pa] her jug into the watering trough and ran back to the well to draw more water until she had drawn enough for all his camels. 21 Silently the man watched her with interest to determine[pb] if the Lord had made his journey successful[pc] or not.

22 After the camels had finished drinking, the man took out a gold nose ring weighing a beka[pd] and two gold wrist bracelets weighing ten shekels[pe] and gave them to her.[pf] 23 “Whose daughter are you?” he asked.[pg] “Tell me, is there room in your father’s house for us to spend the night?”

24 She said to him, “I am the daughter of Bethuel the son of Milcah, whom Milcah bore to Nahor.[ph] 25 We have plenty of straw and feed,” she added,[pi] “and room for you[pj] to spend the night.”

26 The man bowed his head and worshiped the Lord, 27 saying, “Praised be the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who has not abandoned his faithful love[pk] for my master! The Lord has led me[pl] to the house[pm] of my master’s relatives!”[pn]

28 The young woman ran and told her mother’s household all about[po] these things. 29 (Now Rebekah had a brother named Laban.)[pp] Laban rushed out to meet the man at the spring. 30 When he saw the bracelets on his sister’s wrists and the nose ring[pq] and heard his sister Rebekah say,[pr] “This is what the man said to me,” he went out to meet the man. There he was, standing[ps] by the camels near the spring. 31 Laban said to him,[pt] “Come, you who are blessed by the Lord![pu] Why are you standing out here when I have prepared[pv] the house and a place for the camels?”

32 So Abraham’s servant[pw] went to the house and unloaded[px] the camels. Straw and feed were given[py] to the camels, and water was provided so that he and the men who were with him could wash their feet.[pz] 33 When food was served,[qa] he said, “I will not eat until I have said what I want to say.”[qb] “Tell us,” Laban said.[qc]

34 “I am the servant of Abraham,” he began. 35 “The Lord has richly blessed my master and he has become very wealthy.[qd] The Lord[qe] has given him sheep and cattle, silver and gold, male and female servants, and camels and donkeys. 36 My master’s wife Sarah bore a son to him[qf] when she was old,[qg] and my master[qh] has given him everything he owns. 37 My master made me swear an oath. He said, ‘You must not acquire a wife for my son from the daughters of the Canaanites, among whom I am living, 38 but you must go to the family of my father and to my relatives to find[qi] a wife for my son.’ 39 But I said to my master, ‘What if the woman does not want to go[qj] with me?’[qk] 40 He answered, ‘The Lord, before whom I have walked,[ql] will send his angel with you. He will make your journey a success and you will find a wife for my son from among my relatives, from my father’s family. 41 You will be free from your oath[qm] if you go to my relatives and they will not give her to you. Then you will be free from your oath.’ 42 When I came to the spring today, I prayed, ‘O Lord, God of my master Abraham, if you have decided to make my journey successful,[qn] may events unfold as follows:[qo] 43 Here I am, standing by the spring.[qp] When[qq] the young woman goes out to draw water, I’ll say, “Please give me a little water to drink from your jug.” 44 Then she will reply to me, “Drink, and I’ll draw water for your camels too.” May that woman be the one whom the Lord has chosen for my master’s son.’

45 “Before I finished praying in my heart,[qr] along came Rebekah[qs] with her water jug on her shoulder! She went down to the spring and drew water. So I said to her, ‘Please give me a drink.’ 46 She quickly lowered her jug from her shoulder and said, ‘Drink, and I’ll give your camels water too.’ So I drank, and she also gave the camels water. 47 Then I asked her, ‘Whose daughter are you?’ She replied, ‘The daughter of Bethuel the son of Nahor, whom Milcah bore to Nahor.’[qt] I put the ring in her nose and the bracelets on her wrists. 48 Then I bowed down and worshiped the Lord. I praised the Lord, the God of my master Abraham, who had led me on the right path to find the granddaughter[qu] of my master’s brother for his son. 49 Now, if you will show faithful love to my master, tell me. But if not, tell me as well, so that I may go on my way.”[qv]

50 Then Laban and Bethuel replied, “This is the Lord’s doing.[qw] Our wishes are of no concern.[qx] 51 Rebekah stands here before you. Take her and go so that she may become[qy] the wife of your master’s son, just as the Lord has decided.”[qz]

52 When Abraham’s servant heard their words, he bowed down to the ground before the Lord. 53 Then he[ra] brought out gold, silver jewelry, and clothing and gave them to Rebekah. He also gave valuable gifts to her brother and to her mother. 54 After this, he and the men who were with him ate a meal and stayed there overnight.[rb]

When they got up in the morning, he said, “Let me leave now so I can return to my master.”[rc] 55 But Rebekah’s[rd] brother and her mother replied, “Let the girl stay with us a few more days, perhaps ten. Then she can go.” 56 But he said to them, “Don’t detain me—the Lord[re] has granted me success on my journey. Let me leave now so I may return[rf] to my master.” 57 Then they said, “We’ll call the girl and find out what she wants to do.”[rg] 58 So they called Rebekah and asked her, “Do you want[rh] to go with this man?” She replied, “I want to go.”

59 So they sent their sister Rebekah on her way, accompanied by her female attendant, with Abraham’s servant and his men. 60 They blessed Rebekah with these words:[ri]

“Our sister, may you become the mother[rj] of thousands of ten thousands!
May your descendants possess the strongholds[rk] of their enemies.”

61 Then Rebekah and her female servants mounted the camels and rode away with[rl] the man. So Abraham’s servant[rm] took Rebekah and left.

62 Now[rn] Isaac came from[ro] Beer Lahai Roi,[rp] for[rq] he was living in the Negev.[rr] 63 He[rs] went out to relax[rt] in the field in the early evening.[ru] Then he looked up[rv] and saw that[rw] there were camels approaching. 64 Rebekah looked up[rx] and saw Isaac. She got down from her camel 65 and asked[ry] Abraham’s servant,[rz] “Who is that man walking in the field toward us?” “That is my master,” the servant replied.[sa] So she took her veil and covered herself.

66 The servant told Isaac everything that had happened. 67 Then Isaac brought Rebekah[sb] into his mother Sarah’s tent. He took her[sc] as his wife and loved her.[sd] So Isaac was comforted after his mother’s death.[se]

The Death of Abraham

25 Abraham had taken[sf] another[sg] wife, named Keturah. She bore him Zimran, Jokshan, Medan, Midian, Ishbak, and Shuah. Jokshan became the father of Sheba and Dedan.[sh] The descendants of Dedan were the Asshurites, Letushites, and Leummites. The sons of Midian were Ephah, Epher, Hanoch, Abida, and Eldaah. All these were descendants[si] of Keturah.

Everything he owned Abraham left to his son Isaac. But while he was still alive, Abraham gave gifts to the sons of his concubines[sj] and sent them off to the east, away from his son Isaac.[sk]

Abraham lived a total of[sl] 175 years. Then Abraham breathed his last and died at a good old age, an old man who had lived a full life.[sm] He joined his ancestors.[sn] His sons Isaac and Ishmael buried him in the cave of Machpelah[so] near Mamre, in the field of Ephron the son of Zohar, the Hittite.[sp] 10 This was the field Abraham had purchased from the sons of Heth.[sq] There Abraham was buried with his wife Sarah. 11 After Abraham’s death, God blessed[sr] his son Isaac. Isaac lived near Beer Lahai Roi.[ss]

The Sons of Ishmael

12 This is the account of Abraham’s son Ishmael,[st] whom Hagar the Egyptian, Sarah’s servant, bore to Abraham.

13 These are the names of Ishmael’s sons, by their names according to their records:[su] Nebaioth (Ishmael’s firstborn), Kedar, Adbeel, Mibsam, 14 Mishma, Dumah, Massa, 15 Hadad, Tema, Jetur, Naphish, and Kedemah. 16 These are the sons of Ishmael, and these are their names by their settlements and their camps—twelve princes[sv] according to their clans.

17 Ishmael lived a total of[sw] 137 years. He breathed his last and died; then he joined his ancestors.[sx] 18 His descendants[sy] settled from Havilah to Shur, which runs next to[sz] Egypt all the way[ta] to Asshur.[tb] They settled[tc] away from all their relatives.[td]

Jacob and Esau

19 This is the account of Isaac,[te] the son of Abraham.

Abraham became the father of Isaac. 20 When Isaac was forty years old, he married Rebekah,[tf] the daughter of Bethuel the Aramean from Paddan Aram and sister of Laban the Aramean.[tg]

21 Isaac prayed[th] to the Lord on behalf of his wife because she was childless. The Lord answered his prayer, and his wife Rebekah became pregnant. 22 But the children struggled[ti] inside her, and she said, “Why is this happening to me?”[tj] So she asked the Lord,[tk] 23 and the Lord said to her,

“Two nations[tl] are in your womb,
and two peoples will be separated from within you.
One people will be stronger than the other,
and the older will serve the younger.”

24 When the time came for Rebekah to give birth,[tm] there were[tn] twins in her womb. 25 The first came out reddish[to] all over,[tp] like a hairy[tq] garment, so they named him Esau.[tr] 26 When his brother came out with[ts] his hand clutching Esau’s heel, they named him Jacob.[tt] Isaac was sixty years old[tu] when they were born.

27 When the boys grew up, Esau became a skilled[tv] hunter, a man of the open fields, but Jacob was an even-tempered man, living in tents.[tw] 28 Isaac loved Esau because he had a taste for fresh game,[tx] but Rebekah loved[ty] Jacob.

29 Now Jacob cooked some stew,[tz] and when Esau came in from the open fields, he was famished. 30 So Esau said to Jacob, “Feed[ua] me some of the red stuff—yes, this red stuff—because I’m starving!” (That is why he was also called[ub] Edom.)[uc]

31 But Jacob replied, “First[ud] sell me your birthright.” 32 “Look,” said Esau, “I’m about to die! What use is the birthright to me?”[ue] 33 But Jacob said, “Swear an oath to me now.”[uf] So Esau[ug] swore an oath to him and sold his birthright[uh] to Jacob.

34 Then Jacob gave Esau some bread and lentil stew; Esau ate and drank, then got up and went out.[ui] So Esau despised his birthright.[uj]

Isaac and Abimelech

26 There was a famine in the land, subsequent to the earlier famine that occurred[uk] in the days of Abraham.[ul] Isaac went to Abimelech king of the Philistines at Gerar. The Lord appeared to Isaac and said, “Do not go down to Egypt;[um] settle down in the land that I will point out to you.[un] Stay[uo] in this land. Then I will be with you and will bless you,[up] for I will give all these lands to you and to your descendants,[uq] and I will fulfill[ur] the solemn promise I made[us] to your father Abraham. I will multiply your descendants so they will be as numerous as the stars in the sky, and I will give them[ut] all these lands. All the nations of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another using the name of your descendants.[uu] All this will come to pass[uv] because Abraham obeyed me[uw] and kept my charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws.”[ux] So Isaac settled in Gerar.

When the men of that place asked him about his wife, he replied, “She is my sister.”[uy] He was afraid to say, “She is my wife,” for he thought to himself,[uz] “The men of this place will kill me to get[va] Rebekah because she is very beautiful.”

After Isaac[vb] had been there a long time,[vc] Abimelech king of the Philistines happened to look out a window and observed[vd] Isaac caressing[ve] his wife Rebekah. So Abimelech summoned Isaac and said, “She is really[vf] your wife! Why did you say, ‘She is my sister’?” Isaac replied, “Because I thought someone might kill me to get her.”[vg]

10 Then Abimelech exclaimed, “What in the world have you done to us?[vh] One of the men[vi] nearly took your wife to bed,[vj] and you would have brought guilt on us!” 11 So Abimelech commanded all the people, “Whoever touches[vk] this man or his wife will surely be put to death.”[vl]

12 When Isaac planted in that land, he reaped in the same year a hundred times what he had sown,[vm] because the Lord blessed him.[vn] 13 The man became wealthy.[vo] His influence continued to grow[vp] until he became very prominent. 14 He had[vq] so many sheep[vr] and cattle[vs] and such a great household of servants that the Philistines became jealous of[vt] him. 15 So the Philistines took dirt and filled up[vu] all the wells that his father’s servants had dug back in the days of his father Abraham.

16 Then Abimelech said to Isaac, “Leave us and go elsewhere,[vv] for you have become much more powerful[vw] than we are.” 17 So Isaac left there and settled in the Gerar Valley.[vx] 18 Isaac reopened[vy] the wells that had been dug[vz] back in the days of his father Abraham, for the Philistines had stopped them up[wa] after Abraham died. Isaac[wb] gave these wells[wc] the same names his father had given them.[wd]

19 When Isaac’s servants dug in the valley and discovered a well with fresh flowing[we] water there, 20 the herdsmen of Gerar quarreled[wf] with Isaac’s herdsmen, saying, “The water belongs to us!” So Isaac[wg] named the well Esek[wh] because they argued with him about it.[wi] 21 His servants[wj] dug another well, but they quarreled over it too, so Isaac named it[wk] Sitnah.[wl] 22 Then he moved away from there and dug another well. They did not quarrel over it, so Isaac[wm] named it[wn] Rehoboth,[wo] saying, “For now the Lord has made room for us, and we will prosper in the land.”

23 From there Isaac[wp] went up to Beer Sheba. 24 The Lord appeared to him that night and said, “I am the God of your father Abraham. Do not be afraid, for I am with you. I will bless you and multiply your descendants for the sake of my servant Abraham.” 25 Then Isaac built an altar there and worshiped[wq] the Lord. He pitched his tent there, and his servants dug a well.[wr]

26 Now Abimelech had come[ws] to him from Gerar along with[wt] Ahuzzah his friend[wu] and Phicol the commander of his army. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me? You hate me[wv] and sent me away from you.” 28 They replied, “We could plainly see[ww] that the Lord is with you. So we decided there should be[wx] a pact between us[wy]—between us[wz] and you. Allow us to make[xa] a treaty with you 29 so that[xb] you will not do us any harm, just as we have not harmed[xc] you, but have always treated you well[xd] before sending you away[xe] in peace. Now you are blessed by the Lord.”[xf]

30 So Isaac[xg] held a feast for them and they celebrated.[xh] 31 Early in the morning the men made a treaty with each other.[xi] Isaac sent them off; they separated on good terms.[xj]

32 That day Isaac’s servants came and told him about the well they had dug. “We’ve found water,” they reported.[xk] 33 So he named it Shibah;[xl] that is why the name of the city has been Beer Sheba[xm] to this day.

34 When[xn] Esau was forty years old,[xo] he married[xp] Judith the daughter of Beeri the Hittite, as well as Basemath the daughter of Elon the Hittite. 35 They caused Isaac and Rebekah great anxiety.[xq]

Jacob Cheats Esau out of the Blessing

27 When[xr] Isaac was old and his eyes were so weak that he was almost blind,[xs] he called his older[xt] son Esau and said to him, “My son!” “Here I am!” Esau[xu] replied. Isaac[xv] said, “Since[xw] I am so old, I could die at any time.[xx] Therefore, take your weapons—your quiver and your bow—and go out into the open fields and hunt down some wild game[xy] for me. Then prepare for me some tasty food, the kind I love, and bring it to me. Then[xz] I will eat it so that I may bless you[ya] before I die.”

Now Rebekah had been listening while Isaac spoke to his son Esau.[yb] When Esau went out to the open fields to hunt down some wild game and bring it back,[yc] Rebekah said to her son Jacob, “Look, I overheard your father tell your brother Esau, ‘Bring me some wild game and prepare for me some tasty food. Then I will eat[yd] it and bless you[ye] in the presence of the Lord[yf] before I die.’ Now then, my son, do exactly[yg] what I tell you![yh] Go to the flock and get me two of the best young goats. I’ll prepare[yi] them in a tasty way for your father, just the way he loves them. 10 Then you will take[yj] it to your father. Thus he will eat it[yk] and[yl] bless you before he dies.”

11 “But Esau my brother is a hairy man,” Jacob protested to his mother Rebekah, “and I have smooth skin![ym] 12 My father may touch me! Then he’ll think I’m mocking him[yn] and I’ll bring a curse on myself instead of a blessing.” 13 So his mother told him, “Any curse against you will fall on me,[yo] my son! Just obey me![yp] Go and get them for me!”

14 So he went and got the goats[yq] and brought them to his mother. She[yr] prepared some tasty food, just the way his father loved it. 15 Then Rebekah took her older son Esau’s best clothes, which she had with her in the house, and put them on her younger son Jacob. 16 She put the skins of the young goats[ys] on his hands[yt] and the smooth part of his neck. 17 Then she handed[yu] the tasty food and the bread she had made to her son Jacob.

18 He went to his father and said, “My father!” Isaac[yv] replied, “Here I am. Which are you, my son?”[yw] 19 Jacob said to his father, “I am Esau, your firstborn. I’ve done as you told me. Now sit up[yx] and eat some of my wild game so that you can bless me.”[yy] 20 But Isaac asked his son, “How in the world[yz] did you find it so quickly,[za] my son?” “Because the Lord your God brought it to me,”[zb] he replied.[zc] 21 Then Isaac said to Jacob, “Come closer so I can touch you,[zd] my son, and know for certain if you really are my son Esau.”[ze] 22 So Jacob went over to his father Isaac, who felt him and said, “The voice is Jacob’s, but the hands are Esau’s.” 23 He did not recognize him because his hands were hairy, like his brother Esau’s hands. So Isaac blessed Jacob.[zf] 24 Then he asked, “Are you really my son Esau?” “I am,” Jacob[zg] replied. 25 Isaac[zh] said, “Bring some of the wild game for me to eat, my son.[zi] Then I will bless you.”[zj] So Jacob[zk] brought it to him, and he ate it. He also brought him wine, and Isaac[zl] drank. 26 Then his father Isaac said to him, “Come here and kiss me, my son.” 27 So Jacob[zm] went over and kissed him. When Isaac caught the scent[zn] of his clothing, he blessed him, saying,

“Yes,[zo] my son smells
like the scent of an open field
which the Lord has blessed.
28 May God give you
the dew of the sky[zp]
and the richness[zq] of the earth,
and plenty of grain and new wine.
29 May peoples serve you
and nations bow down to you.
You will be[zr] lord[zs] over your brothers,
and the sons of your mother will bow down to you.[zt]
May those who curse you be cursed,
and those who bless you be blessed.”

30 Isaac had just finished blessing Jacob, and Jacob had scarcely left[zu] his father’s[zv] presence, when his brother Esau returned from the hunt.[zw] 31 He also prepared some tasty food and brought it to his father. Esau[zx] said to him, “My father, get up[zy] and eat some of your son’s wild game. Then you can bless me.”[zz] 32 His father Isaac asked,[aaa] “Who are you?” “I am your firstborn son,”[aab] he replied, “Esau!” 33 Isaac began to shake violently[aac] and asked, “Then who else hunted game and brought it to me? I ate all of it just before you arrived, and I blessed him.[aad] He will indeed be blessed!”

34 When Esau heard[aae] his father’s words, he wailed loudly and bitterly.[aaf] He said to his father, “Bless me too, my father!” 35 But Isaac[aag] replied, “Your brother came in here deceitfully and took away[aah] your blessing.” 36 Esau exclaimed, “Jacob is the right name for him![aai] He has tripped me up[aaj] two times! He took away my birthright, and now, look, he has taken away my blessing!” Then he asked, “Have you not kept back a blessing for me?”

37 Isaac replied to Esau, “Look! I have made him lord over you. I have made all his relatives his servants and provided him with grain and new wine. What is left that I can do for you, my son?” 38 Esau said to his father, “Do you have only that one blessing, my father? Bless me too!”[aak] Then Esau wept loudly.[aal]

39 So his father Isaac said to him,

“See here,[aam] your home will be by[aan] the richness[aao] of the earth,
and by the dew of the sky above.
40 You will live by your sword
but you will serve your brother.
When you grow restless,
you will tear off his yoke
from your neck.”[aap]

41 So Esau hated[aaq] Jacob because of the blessing his father had given to his brother.[aar] Esau said privately,[aas] “The time[aat] of mourning for my father is near; then I will kill[aau] my brother Jacob!”

42 When Rebekah heard what her older son Esau had said,[aav] she quickly summoned[aaw] her younger son Jacob and told him, “Look, your brother Esau is planning to get revenge by killing you.[aax] 43 Now then, my son, do what I say.[aay] Run away immediately[aaz] to my brother Laban in Haran. 44 Live with him for a little while[aba] until your brother’s rage subsides. 45 Stay there[abb] until your brother’s anger against you subsides and he forgets what you did to him. Then I’ll send someone to bring you back from there.[abc] Why should I lose both of you in one day?”[abd]

46 Then Rebekah said to Isaac, “I am deeply depressed[abe] because of the daughters of Heth.[abf] If Jacob were to marry one of these daughters of Heth who live in this land, I would want to die!”[abg]

28 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman![abh] Leave immediately[abi] for Paddan Aram! Go to the house of Bethuel, your mother’s father, and find yourself a wife there, among the daughters of Laban, your mother’s brother. May the Sovereign God[abj] bless you! May he make you fruitful and give you a multitude of descendants![abk] Then you will become[abl] a large nation.[abm] May he give you and your descendants the blessing he gave to Abraham[abn] so that you may possess the land[abo] God gave to Abraham, the land where you have been living as a temporary resident.”[abp] So Isaac sent Jacob on his way, and he went to Paddan Aram, to Laban son of Bethuel the Aramean and brother of Rebekah, the mother of Jacob and Esau.

Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him off to Paddan Aram to find a wife there.[abq] As he blessed him,[abr] Isaac commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.”[abs] Jacob obeyed his father and mother and left for Paddan Aram. Then Esau realized[abt] that the Canaanite women[abu] were displeasing to[abv] his father Isaac. So Esau went to Ishmael and married[abw] Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael, along with the wives he already had.

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

10 Meanwhile Jacob left Beer Sheba and set out for Haran. 11 He reached a certain place[abx] where he decided to camp because the sun had gone down.[aby] He took one of the stones[abz] and placed it near his head.[aca] Then he fell asleep[acb] in that place 12 and had a dream.[acc] He saw[acd] a stairway[ace] erected on the earth with its top reaching to the heavens. The angels of God were going up and coming down it 13 and the Lord stood at its top. He said, “I am the Lord, the God of your grandfather Abraham and the God of your father Isaac.[acf] I will give you and your descendants the ground[acg] you are lying on. 14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth,[ach] and you will spread out[aci] to the west, east, north, and south. And so all the families of the earth may receive blessings[acj] through you and through your descendants. 15 I am with you![ack] I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I promised you!”

16 Then Jacob woke up[acl] and thought,[acm] “Surely the Lord is in this place, but I did not realize it!” 17 He was afraid and said, “What an awesome place this is! This is nothing else than the house of God! This is the gate of heaven!”

18 Early[acn] in the morning Jacob[aco] took the stone he had placed near his head[acp] and set it up as a sacred stone.[acq] Then he poured oil on top of it. 19 He called that place Bethel,[acr] although the former name of the town was Luz. 20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God is with me and protects me on this journey I am taking and gives me food[acs] to eat and clothing to wear, 21 and I return safely to my father’s home,[act] then the Lord will become my God. 22 Then this stone[acu] that I have set up as a sacred stone will be the house of God, and I will surely[acv] give you back a tenth of everything you give me.”[acw]

The Marriages of Jacob

29 So Jacob moved on[acx] and came to the land of the eastern people.[acy] He saw[acz] in the field a well with[ada] three flocks of sheep lying beside it, because the flocks were watered from that well. Now[adb] a large stone covered the mouth of the well. When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds[adc] would roll the stone off the mouth of the well and water the sheep. Then they would put the stone back in its place over the well’s mouth.

Jacob asked them, “My brothers, where are you from?” They replied, “We’re from Haran.” So he said to them, “Do you know Laban, the grandson[add] of Nahor?” “We know him,”[ade] they said. “Is he well?”[adf] Jacob asked. They replied, “He is well.[adg] Now look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.” Then Jacob[adh] said, “Since it is still the middle of the day,[adi] it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. You should water the sheep and then go and let them graze some more.”[adj] “We can’t,” they said, “until all the flocks are gathered and the stone is rolled off the mouth of the well. Then we water[adk] the sheep.”

While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was tending them.[adl] 10 When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban,[adm] and the sheep of his uncle Laban, he[adn] went over[ado] and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban.[adp] 11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep loudly.[adq] 12 When Jacob explained[adr] to Rachel that he was a relative of her father[ads] and the son of Rebekah, she ran and told her father. 13 When Laban heard this news about Jacob, his sister’s son, he rushed out to meet him. He embraced him and kissed him and brought him to his house. Jacob[adt] told Laban how he was related to him.[adu] 14 Then Laban said to him, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.”[adv] So Jacob[adw] stayed with him for a month.[adx]

15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Should you work[ady] for me for nothing because you are my relative?[adz] Tell me what your wages should be.” 16 (Now Laban had two daughters;[aea] the older one was named Leah, and the younger one Rachel. 17 Leah’s eyes were tender,[aeb] but Rachel had a lovely figure and beautiful appearance.)[aec] 18 Since Jacob had fallen in love with[aed] Rachel, he said, “I’ll serve you seven years in exchange for your younger daughter Rachel.” 19 Laban replied, “I’d rather give her to you than to another man.[aee] Stay with me.” 20 So Jacob worked for seven years to acquire Rachel.[aef] But they seemed like only a few days to him[aeg] because his love for her was so great.[aeh]

21 Finally Jacob said[aei] to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time of service is up.[aej] And I want to sleep with her.”[aek] 22 So Laban invited all the people[ael] of that place and prepared a feast. 23 In the evening he brought his daughter Leah[aem] to Jacob,[aen] and he slept with her.[aeo] 24 (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.)[aep]

25 In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah![aeq] So Jacob[aer] said to Laban, “What in the world have you done to me?[aes] Didn’t I work for you in exchange for Rachel? Why have you tricked[aet] me?” 26 “It is not our custom here,”[aeu] Laban replied, “to give the younger daughter in marriage[aev] before the firstborn. 27 Complete my older daughter’s bridal week.[aew] Then we will give you the younger one[aex] too, in exchange for seven more years of work.”[aey]

28 Jacob did as Laban said.[aez] When Jacob[afa] completed Leah’s bridal week,[afb] Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife.[afc] 29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.)[afd] 30 Jacob[afe] slept with[aff] Rachel as well. He also loved Rachel more than Leah. Then he worked for Laban[afg] for seven more years.

The Family of Jacob

31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved,[afh] he enabled her to become pregnant[afi] while Rachel remained childless. 32 So Leah became pregnant[afj] and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben,[afk] for she said, “The Lord has looked with pity on my oppressed condition.[afl] Surely my husband will love me now.”

33 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Because the Lord heard that I was unloved,[afm] he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon.[afn]

34 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Now this time my husband will show me affection,[afo] because I have given birth to three sons for him.” That is why he was named Levi.[afp]

35 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” That is why she named him Judah.[afq] Then she stopped having children.

30 When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she[afr] became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children[afs] or I’ll die!” Jacob became furious[aft] with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?”[afu] She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Sleep with[afv] her so that she can bear[afw] children[afx] for me[afy] and I can have a family through her.”[afz]

So Rachel[aga] gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob slept with[agb] her. Bilhah became pregnant[agc] and gave Jacob a son.[agd] Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer[age] and given me a son.” That is why[agf] she named him Dan.[agg]

Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, became pregnant again and gave Jacob another son.[agh] Then Rachel said, “I have fought a desperate struggle with my sister, but I have won.”[agi] So she named him Naphtali.[agj]

When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave[agk] her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 10 Soon Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob a son.[agl] 11 Leah said, “How fortunate!”[agm] So she named him Gad.[agn]

12 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob another son.[ago] 13 Leah said, “How happy I am,[agp] for women[agq] will call me happy!” So she named him Asher.[agr]

14 At the time[ags] of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants[agt] in a field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 15 But Leah replied,[agu] “Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,”[agv] Rachel said, “he may go to bed with[agw] you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 16 When Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep[agx] with me because I have paid for your services[agy] with my son’s mandrakes.” So he went to bed with[agz] her that night. 17 God paid attention[aha] to Leah; she became pregnant[ahb] and gave Jacob a son for the fifth time.[ahc] 18 Then Leah said, “God has granted me a reward[ahd] because I gave my servant to my husband as a wife.”[ahe] So she named him Issachar.[ahf]

19 Leah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a son for the sixth time.[ahg] 20 Then Leah said, “God has given me a good gift. Now my husband will honor me because I have given him six sons.” So she named him Zebulun.[ahh]

21 After that she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

22 Then God took note of[ahi] Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant.[ahj] 23 She became pregnant[ahk] and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.”[ahl] 24 She named him Joseph,[ahm] saying, “May the Lord give me yet another son.”

The Flocks of Jacob

25 After Rachel had given birth to[ahn] Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send[aho] me on my way so that I can go[ahp] home to my own country.[ahq] 26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you.[ahr] Then I’ll depart,[ahs] because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.”[aht]

27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here,[ahu] for I have learned by divination[ahv] that the Lord has blessed me on account of you.” 28 He added, “Just name your wages—I’ll pay whatever you want.”[ahw]

29 “You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied,[ahx] “and how well your livestock have fared under my care.[ahy] 30 Indeed,[ahz] you had little before I arrived,[aia] but now your possessions have increased many times over.[aib] The Lord has blessed you wherever I worked.[aic] But now, how long must it be before I do something for my own family too?”[aid]

31 So Laban asked,[aie] “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,”[aif] Jacob replied,[aig] “but if you agree to this one condition,[aih] I will continue to care for[aii] your flocks and protect them: 32 Let me walk among[aij] all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb,[aik] and the spotted or speckled goats.[ail] These animals will be my wages.[aim] 33 My integrity will testify for me[ain] later on.[aio] When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on,[aip] if I have in my possession any goat that is not speckled or spotted or any sheep that is not dark-colored, it will be considered stolen.”[aiq] 34 “Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.”[air]

35 So that day Laban[ais] removed the male goats that were streaked or spotted, all the female goats that were speckled or spotted (all that had any white on them), and all the dark-colored lambs, and put them in the care[ait] of his sons. 36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey,[aiu] while[aiv] Jacob was taking care of the rest of Laban’s flocks.

37 But Jacob took fresh-cut branches from poplar, almond, and plane trees. He made white streaks by peeling them, making the white inner wood in the branches visible. 38 Then he set up the peeled branches in all the watering troughs where the flocks came to drink. He set up the branches in front of the flocks when they were in heat and came to drink.[aiw] 39 When the sheep mated[aix] in front of the branches, they[aiy] gave birth to young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 40 Jacob removed these lambs, but he made the rest of the flock face[aiz] the streaked and completely dark-colored animals in Laban’s flock. So he made separate flocks for himself and did not mix them with Laban’s flocks. 41 When the stronger females were in heat,[aja] Jacob would set up the branches in the troughs in front of the flock, so they would mate near the branches. 42 But if the animals were weaker, he did not set the branches there.[ajb] So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban[ajc] and the stronger animals to Jacob. 43 In this way Jacob[ajd] became extremely prosperous. He owned[aje] large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.

Jacob’s Flight from Laban

31 Jacob heard that Laban’s sons were complaining,[ajf] “Jacob has taken everything that belonged to our father! He has gotten rich[ajg] at our father’s expense!”[ajh] When Jacob saw the look on Laban’s face, he could tell his attitude toward him had changed.[aji]

The Lord said to Jacob, “Return to the land of your fathers[ajj] and to your relatives. I will be with you.”[ajk] So Jacob sent a message for Rachel and Leah[ajl] to come to the field[ajm] where his flocks were.[ajn] There he said to them, “I can tell that your father’s attitude toward me has changed,[ajo] but the God of my father has been with me. You know that I’ve worked for your father as hard as I could,[ajp] but your father has humiliated[ajq] me and changed my wages ten times. But God has not permitted him to do me any harm. If he said,[ajr] ‘The speckled animals[ajs] 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. In this way God has snatched away your father’s livestock and given them to me.

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

14 Then Rachel and Leah replied to him, “Do we still have any portion or inheritance[akb] in our father’s house? 15 Hasn’t he treated us like foreigners? He not only sold us, but completely wasted[akc] the money paid for us![akd] 16 Surely all the wealth that God snatched away from our father belongs to us and to our children. So now do everything God has told you.”

17 So Jacob immediately put his children and his wives on the camels.[ake] 18 He took away[akf] all the livestock he had acquired in Paddan Aram and all his moveable property that he had accumulated. Then he set out toward the land of Canaan to return to his father Isaac.[akg]

19 While Laban had gone to shear his sheep,[akh] Rachel stole the household idols[aki] that belonged to her father. 20 Jacob also deceived[akj] Laban the Aramean by not telling him that he was leaving.[akk] 21 He left[akl] with all he owned. He quickly crossed[akm] the Euphrates River[akn] and headed for[ako] the hill country of Gilead.

22 Three days later Laban discovered Jacob had left.[akp] 23 So he took his relatives[akq] with him and pursued Jacob[akr] for seven days.[aks] He caught up with[akt] him in the hill country of Gilead. 24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream at night and warned him,[aku] “Be careful[akv] that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.”[akw]

25 Laban overtook Jacob, and when Jacob pitched his tent in the hill country of Gilead, Laban and his relatives set up camp there too.[akx] 26 “What have you done?” Laban demanded of Jacob. “You’ve deceived me[aky] and carried away my daughters as if they were captives of war![akz] 27 Why did you run away secretly[ala] and deceive me?[alb] Why didn’t you tell me so I could send you off with a celebration complete with singing, tambourines, and harps?[alc] 28 You didn’t even allow me to kiss my daughters and my grandchildren[ald] goodbye. You have acted foolishly! 29 I have the power[ale] to do you harm, but the God of your father told me last night, ‘Be careful[alf] that you neither bless nor curse Jacob.’[alg] 30 Now I understand that[alh] you have gone away[ali] because you longed desperately[alj] for your father’s house. Yet why did you steal my gods?”[alk]

31 “I left secretly because I was afraid!”[all] Jacob replied to Laban. “I thought[alm] you might take your daughters away from me by force.[aln] 32 Whoever has taken your gods will be put to death![alo] In the presence of our relatives[alp] identify whatever is yours and take it.”[alq] (Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen them.)[alr]

33 So Laban entered Jacob’s tent, and Leah’s tent, and the tent of the two female servants, but he did not find the idols.[als] Then he left Leah’s tent and entered Rachel’s.[alt] 34 (Now Rachel had taken the idols and put them inside her camel’s saddle[alu] and sat on them.)[alv] Laban searched the whole tent, but did not find them.[alw] 35 Rachel[alx] said to her father, “Don’t be angry,[aly] my lord. I cannot stand up[alz] in your presence because I am having my period.”[ama] So he searched thoroughly,[amb] but did not find the idols.

36 Jacob became angry[amc] and argued with Laban. “What did I do wrong?” he demanded of Laban.[amd] “What sin of mine prompted you to chase after me in hot pursuit?[ame] 37 When you searched through all my goods, did you find anything that belonged to you?[amf] Set it here before my relatives and yours,[amg] and let them settle the dispute between the two of us![amh]

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. 39 Animals torn by wild beasts I never brought to you; I always absorbed the loss myself.[ami] You always made me pay for every missing animal,[amj] whether it was taken by day or at night. 40 I was consumed by scorching heat[amk] during the day and by piercing cold[aml] at night, and I went without sleep.[amm] 41 This was my lot[amn] for twenty years in your house: I worked like a slave[amo] for you—fourteen years for your two daughters and six years for your flocks—but you changed my wages ten times! 42 If the God of my father—the God of Abraham, the one whom Isaac fears[amp]—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,[amq] and he rebuked you last night.”

43 Laban replied[amr] to Jacob, “These women[ams] are my daughters, these children are my grandchildren,[amt] and these flocks are my flocks. All that you see belongs to me. But how can I harm these daughters of mine today[amu] or the children to whom they have given birth? 44 So now, come, let’s make a formal agreement,[amv] you and I, and it will be[amw] proof that we have made peace.”[amx]

45 So Jacob took a stone and set it up as a memorial pillar. 46 Then he[amy] said to his relatives, “Gather stones.” So they brought stones and put them in a pile.[amz] They ate there by the pile of stones. 47 Laban called it Jegar Sahadutha,[ana] but Jacob called it Galeed.[anb]

48 Laban said, “This pile of stones is a witness of our agreement[anc] today.” That is why it was called Galeed. 49 It was also called Mizpah[and] because he said, “May the Lord watch[ane] between us[anf] when we are out of sight of one another.[ang] 50 If you mistreat my daughters or if you take wives besides my daughters, although no one else is with us, realize[anh] that God is witness to your actions.”[ani]

51 “Here is this pile of stones and this pillar I have set up between me and you,” Laban said to Jacob.[anj]

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 18:1 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  2. Genesis 18:1 tn Or “terebinths.”
  3. Genesis 18:1 tn The disjunctive clause here is circumstantial to the main clause.
  4. Genesis 18:1 tn The Hebrew noun translated “entrance” is an adverbial accusative of place.
  5. Genesis 18:2 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  6. Genesis 18:2 tn Heb “lifted up his eyes.”
  7. Genesis 18:2 tn Heb “and saw, and look.” The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) draws attention to what he saw. The drawn-out description focuses the reader’s attention on Abraham’s deliberate, fixed gaze and indicates that what he is seeing is significant.
  8. Genesis 18:2 tn The Hebrew preposition עַל (ʿal) indicates the three men were nearby, but not close by, for Abraham had to run to meet them.
  9. Genesis 18:2 tn The pronoun “them” has been supplied in the translation for clarification. In the Hebrew text the verb has no stated object.
  10. Genesis 18:2 tn The form וַיִּשְׁתַּחוּ (vayyishtakhu, “and bowed low”) is from the verb הִשְׁתַּחֲוָה (hishtakhavah, “to worship, bow low to the ground”). It is probably from a root חָוָה (khavah), though some derive it from שָׁחָה (shakhah).
  11. Genesis 18:2 sn The reader knows this is a theophany. The three visitors are probably the Lord and two angels (see Gen 19:1). It is not certain how soon Abraham recognized the true identity of the visitors. His actions suggest he suspected this was something out of the ordinary, though it is possible that his lavish treatment of the visitors was done quite unwittingly. Bowing down to the ground would be reserved for obeisance of kings or worship of the Lord. Whether he was aware of it or not, Abraham’s action was most appropriate.
  12. Genesis 18:3 tc The MT has the form אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay, “Master”) which is reserved for God. This may reflect later scribal activity. The scribes, knowing it was the Lord, may have put the proper pointing with the word instead of the more common אֲדֹנִי (ʾadoni, “my master”).
  13. Genesis 18:3 tn Heb “do not pass by from upon your servant.”
  14. Genesis 18:4 tn The imperative after the jussive indicates purpose here.
  15. Genesis 18:4 tn The word “all” has been supplied in the translation because the Hebrew verb translated “wash” and the pronominal suffix on the word “feet” are plural, referring to all three of the visitors.
  16. Genesis 18:5 tn The Qal cohortative here probably has the nuance of polite request.
  17. Genesis 18:5 tn Heb “a piece of bread.” The Hebrew word לֶחֶם (lekhem) can refer either to bread specifically or to food in general. Based on Abraham’s directions to Sarah in v. 6, bread was certainly involved, but v. 7 indicates that Abraham had a more elaborate meal in mind.
  18. Genesis 18:5 tn Heb “strengthen your heart.” The imperative after the cohortative indicates purpose here.
  19. Genesis 18:5 tn Heb “so that you may refresh yourselves, after [which] you may be on your way—for therefore you passed by near your servant.”
  20. Genesis 18:6 tn The word “take” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the sentence lacks a verb other than the imperative “hurry.” The elliptical structure of the language reflects Abraham’s haste to get things ready quickly.
  21. Genesis 18:6 sn Three measures (Heb “three seahs”) was equivalent to about 20 quarts (22 liters) of flour, which would make a lot of bread. The animal prepared for the meal was far more than the three visitors needed. This was a banquet for royalty. Either it had been a lonely time for Abraham and the presence of visitors made him very happy, or he sensed this was a momentous visit.
  22. Genesis 18:6 sn The bread was the simple, round bread made by bedouins that is normally prepared quickly for visitors.
  23. Genesis 18:7 tn Heb “the young man.”
  24. Genesis 18:7 tn The construction uses the Piel preterite, “he hurried,” followed by the infinitive construct; the two probably form a verbal hendiadys: “he quickly prepared.”
  25. Genesis 18:8 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  26. Genesis 18:8 tn The words “the food” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the Hebrew text the verb has no stated object.
  27. Genesis 18:8 tn The disjunctive clause is a temporal circumstantial clause subordinate to the main verb.
  28. Genesis 18:9 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) often accompanies a gesture of pointing or a focused gaze.
  29. Genesis 18:10 tn Heb “he”; the referent (one of the three men introduced in v. 2) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Some English translations have specified the referent as the Lord (cf. RSV, NIV) based on vv. 1, 13, but the Hebrew text merely has “he said” at this point, referring to one of the three visitors. Aside from the introductory statement in v. 1, the incident is narrated from Abraham’s point of view, and the suspense is built up for the reader as Abraham’s elaborate banquet preparations in the preceding verses suggest he suspects these are important guests. But not until the promise of a son later in this verse does it become clear who is speaking. In v. 13 the Hebrew text explicitly mentions the Lord.
  30. Genesis 18:10 tn The Hebrew construction is emphatic, using the infinitive absolute with the imperfect tense.sn I will surely return. If Abraham had not yet figured out who this was, this interchange would have made it clear. Otherwise, how would a return visit from this man mean Sarah would have a son?
  31. Genesis 18:10 tn Heb “as/when the time lives” or “revives,” possibly referring to the springtime.
  32. Genesis 18:10 tn Heb “and there will be (הִנֵּה, hinneh) a son for Sarah.”
  33. Genesis 18:10 tn This is the first of two disjunctive parenthetical clauses preparing the reader for Sarah’s response (see v. 12).
  34. Genesis 18:11 tn Heb “days.”
  35. Genesis 18:11 tn Heb “it had ceased to be for Sarah [after] a way like women.”
  36. Genesis 18:12 tn Heb “saying.”
  37. Genesis 18:12 tn It has been suggested that this word should be translated “conception,” not “pleasure.” See A. A. McIntosh, “A Third Root ‘adah in Biblical Hebrew,” VT 24 (1974): 454-73.
  38. Genesis 18:12 tn The word “too” has been added in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  39. Genesis 18:13 tn Heb “Why, this?” The demonstrative pronoun following the interrogative pronoun is enclitic, emphasizing the Lord’s amazement: “Why on earth did Sarah laugh?”
  40. Genesis 18:13 tn The Hebrew construction uses both הַאַף (haʾaf) and אֻמְנָם (ʾumnam): “Indeed, truly, will I have a child?”
  41. Genesis 18:14 tn The Hebrew verb פָּלָא (palaʾ) means “to be wonderful, to be extraordinary, to be surpassing, to be amazing.”
  42. Genesis 18:14 sn Sarah will have a son. The passage brings God’s promise into clear focus. As long as it was a promise for the future, it really could be believed without much involvement. But now, when it seemed so impossible from the human standpoint, when the Lord fixed an exact date for the birth of the child, the promise became rather overwhelming to Abraham and Sarah. But then this was the Lord of creation, the one they had come to trust. The point of these narratives is that the creation of Abraham’s offspring, which eventually became Israel, is no less a miraculous work of creation than the creation of the world itself.
  43. Genesis 18:15 tn Heb “And he said, ‘No, but you did laugh.’” The referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  44. Genesis 18:16 tn Heb “And the men arose from there.”
  45. Genesis 18:16 tn Heb “toward the face of.”
  46. Genesis 18:16 tn The disjunctive parenthetical clause sets the stage for the following speech.
  47. Genesis 18:16 tn The Piel of שָׁלַח (shalakh) means “to lead out, to send out, to expel”; here it is used in the friendly sense of seeing the visitors on their way.
  48. Genesis 18:17 tn The active participle here refers to an action that is imminent.
  49. Genesis 18:18 tn Heb “And Abraham.” The disjunctive clause is probably causal, giving a reason why God should not hide his intentions from Abraham. One could translate, “Should I hide from Abraham what I am about to do, seeing that Abraham will surely become a great and powerful nation?”
  50. Genesis 18:18 tn The infinitive absolute lends emphasis to the finite verb that follows.
  51. Genesis 18:18 tn Or “find blessing.” The denominative verb בָּרַךְ (barakh) mainly occurs in the D-stems: Piel for actice, Pual for passive, Hitpael for middle or reflexive. Only in three formulations of the Abrahamic covenant does it occur in the Niphal. Few other verbs that occur in the Piel and Pual also occur in the Niphal but not the Qal; the tendency is for such Niphals to be middle rather than passive. The middle voice may be expressed here as “they may consider themselves blessed through him,” “they may find/receive blessing through him,” or “they may become blessed through him.” Verses 18-19 refer back to Gen 12:1-3 which include how others may receive blessing or cursing from the Lord.
  52. Genesis 18:19 tn Heb “For I have known him.” The verb יָדַע (yadaʿ) here means “to recognize and treat in a special manner, to choose” (see Amos 3:2). It indicates that Abraham stood in a special covenantal relationship with the Lord.
  53. Genesis 18:19 tn Heb “and they will keep.” The perfect verbal form with vav consecutive carries on the subjective nuance of the preceding imperfect verbal form (translated “so that he may command”).
  54. Genesis 18:19 tn The infinitive construct here indicates manner, explaining how Abraham’s children and his household will keep the way of the Lord.
  55. Genesis 18:19 tn Heb “bring on.” The infinitive after לְמַעַן (lemaʿan) indicates result here.
  56. Genesis 18:19 tn Heb “spoke to.”
  57. Genesis 18:20 tn Heb “the outcry of Sodom,” which apparently refers to the outcry for divine justice from those (unidentified persons) who observe its sinful ways.
  58. Genesis 18:20 tn Heb “heavy” or “severe.”sn Ezekiel 16:49-50 includes three types of sins of Sodom: failure to help the poor and needy while having prosperity, pride (or haughtiness), and committing abomination.
  59. Genesis 18:21 tn The cohortative indicates the Lord’s resolve.sn I must go down. The descent to “see” Sodom is a bold anthropomorphism, stressing the careful judgment of God. The language is reminiscent of the Lord going down to see the Tower of Babel in Gen 11:1-9.
  60. Genesis 18:21 tn Heb “[if] according to the outcry that has come to me they have done completely.” Even the Lord, who is well aware of the human capacity to sin, finds it hard to believe that anyone could be as bad as the “outcry” against Sodom and Gomorrah suggests.
  61. Genesis 18:21 sn The short phrase if not provides a ray of hope and inspires Abraham’s intercession.
  62. Genesis 18:22 tn Heb “And the men turned from there.” The word “two” is not in the Hebrew text, but is supplied here for clarity. Gen 19:1 mentions only two individuals (described as “angels”), while Abraham had entertained three visitors (18:2). The implication is that the Lord was the third visitor, who remained behind with Abraham here. The words “from there” are not included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  63. Genesis 18:22 tn Heb “went.”
  64. Genesis 18:22 tc An ancient Hebrew scribal tradition reads “but the Lord remained standing before Abraham.” This reading is problematic because the phrase “standing before” typically indicates intercession, but the Lord would certainly not be interceding before Abraham.
  65. Genesis 18:24 tn Heb “lift up,” perhaps in the sense of “bear with” (cf. NRSV “forgive”).
  66. Genesis 18:25 tn Or “ruler.”
  67. Genesis 18:25 sn Will not the judge of the whole earth do what is right? For discussion of this text see J. L. Crenshaw, “Popular Questioning of the Justice of God in Ancient Israel,” ZAW 82 (1970): 380-95, and C. S. Rodd, “Shall Not the Judge of All the Earth Do What Is Just?” ExpTim 83 (1972): 137-39.
  68. Genesis 18:27 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here and in vv. 30, 31, 32 is אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay).
  69. Genesis 18:27 tn The disjunctive clause is a concessive clause here, drawing out the humility as a contrast to the Lord.
  70. Genesis 18:28 tn The Hebrew verb שָׁחַת (shakhat, “to destroy”) was used earlier to describe the effect of the flood.
  71. Genesis 18:28 tn Heb “because of five.”
  72. Genesis 18:29 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  73. Genesis 18:29 tn The construction is a verbal hendiadys—the preterite (“he added”) is combined with an adverb “yet” and an infinitive “to speak.”
  74. Genesis 18:30 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  75. Genesis 18:30 tn Heb “let it not be hot to the Lord.” This is an idiom which means “may the Lord not be angry.”
  76. Genesis 18:30 tn After the jussive, the cohortative indicates purpose/result.
  77. Genesis 18:31 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  78. Genesis 18:32 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  79. Genesis 18:33 tn Heb “And the Lord went.”
  80. Genesis 18:33 tn The infinitive construct (“speaking”) serves as the direct object of the verb “finished.”
  81. Genesis 18:33 tn Heb “to his place.”
  82. Genesis 19:1 tn The disjunctive clause is temporal here, indicating what Lot was doing at the time of their arrival.
  83. Genesis 19:1 tn Heb “sitting in the gate of Sodom.” The phrase “the gate of Sodom” has been translated “the city’s gateway” for stylistic reasons.sn The expression sitting in the city’s gateway may mean that Lot was exercising some type of judicial function (see the use of the idiom in 2 Sam 19:8; Jer 26:10; 38:7; 39:3).
  84. Genesis 19:2 tn The imperatives have the force of invitation.
  85. Genesis 19:2 tn These two verbs form a verbal hendiadys: “you can rise up early and go” means “you can go early.”
  86. Genesis 19:2 sn The town square refers to the wide street area at the gate complex of the city.
  87. Genesis 19:3 tn The Hebrew verb פָּצַר (patsar, “to press, to insist”) ironically foreshadows the hostile actions of the men of the city (see v. 9, where the verb also appears). The repetition of the word serves to contrast Lot to his world.
  88. Genesis 19:4 tn The verb שָׁכַב (shakhav) means “to lie down, to recline,” that is, “to go to bed.” Here what appears to be an imperfect is a preterite after the adverb טֶרֶם (terem). The nuance of potential (perfect) fits well.
  89. Genesis 19:4 tn Heb “and the men of the city, the men of Sodom, surrounded the house, from the young to the old, all the people from the end [of the city].” The repetition of the phrase “men of” stresses all kinds of men.
  90. Genesis 19:5 tn The Hebrew text adds “and said to him.” This is redundant in English and has not been translated for stylistic reasons.
  91. Genesis 19:5 tn Heb “know.” The expression יָדַע (yadaʿ) “to know” is a euphemism for sexual relations. Elsewhere NET employs the English euphemism “be intimate with” for this use of יָדַע, but uses a different euphemism here because of the perverse overtones of force in this context. Their intent is to molest them, but their rhetoric tries to minimize their wickedness.sn The sin of the men of Sodom is debated. The fact that the sin involved a sexual act (see note on the phrase “take carnal knowledge of” in 19:5) precludes an association of the sin with inhospitality as is sometimes asserted (see W. Roth, “What of Sodom and Gomorrah? Homosexual Acts in the Old Testament,” Explor 1 [1974]: 7-14). The text at a minimum condemns forced sexual intercourse, i.e., rape. Other considerations, though, point to a condemnation of homosexual acts more generally. The narrator emphasizes the fact that the men of Sodom wanted to have sex with men: They demand that Lot release the angelic messengers (seen as men) to them for sex, and when Lot offers his daughters as a substitute they refuse them and attempt to take the angelic messengers by force. In addition the wider context of the Pentateuch condemns homosexual acts as sin (see, e.g., Lev 18:22). Thus a reading of this text within its narrative context, both immediate and broad, condemns not only the attempted rape but also the attempted homosexual act.
  92. Genesis 19:7 tn Heb “may my brothers not act wickedly.”
  93. Genesis 19:8 tn Heb “who have not known.” Here this expression is a euphemism for sexual relations.
  94. Genesis 19:8 tn Heb “according to what is good in your eyes.”
  95. Genesis 19:8 tn Heb “shadow.”
  96. Genesis 19:8 sn This chapter portrays Lot as a hypocrite. He is well aware of the way the men live in his city and is apparently comfortable in the midst of it. But when confronted by the angels, he finally draws the line. But he is nevertheless willing to sacrifice his daughters’ virginity to protect his guests. His opposition to the crowds leads to his rejection as a foreigner by those with whom he had chosen to live. The one who attempted to rescue his visitors ends up having to be rescued by them.
  97. Genesis 19:9 tn Heb “approach out there” which could be rendered “Get out of the way, stand back!”
  98. Genesis 19:9 tn Heb “to live as a resident foreigner.”
  99. Genesis 19:9 tn Heb “and he has judged, judging.” The infinitive absolute follows the finite verbal form for emphasis. This emphasis is reflected in the translation by the phrase “dares to judge.”
  100. Genesis 19:9 tn The verb “to do wickedly” is repeated here (see v. 7). It appears that whatever “wickedness” the men of Sodom had intended to do to Lot’s visitors—probably nothing short of homosexual rape—they were now ready to inflict on Lot.
  101. Genesis 19:9 tn Heb “and they pressed against the man, against Lot, exceedingly.”
  102. Genesis 19:9 tn Heb “and they drew near.”
  103. Genesis 19:10 tn Heb “the men,” referring to the angels inside Lot’s house. The word “inside” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
  104. Genesis 19:10 tn The Hebrew text adds “their hand.” These words have not been translated for stylistic reasons.
  105. Genesis 19:10 tn Heb “to them into the house.”
  106. Genesis 19:11 tn Heb “from the least to the greatest.”
  107. Genesis 19:11 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the men of Sodom outside the door) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  108. Genesis 19:12 tn Heb “the men,” referring to the angels inside Lot’s house. The word “visitors” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
  109. Genesis 19:12 tn Heb “Yet who [is there] to you here?”
  110. Genesis 19:12 tn The words “Do you have” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  111. Genesis 19:12 tn Heb “a son-in-law and your sons and your daughters and anyone who (is) to you in the city.”
  112. Genesis 19:12 tn Heb “the place.” The Hebrew article serves here as a demonstrative.
  113. Genesis 19:13 tn The Hebrew participle expresses an imminent action here.
  114. Genesis 19:13 tn Heb “for their outcry.” The words “this place” have been moved from earlier in the sentence for stylistic reasons, and "about" has been added.
  115. Genesis 19:13 tn Heb “the Lord.” The repetition of the divine name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun “he” for stylistic reasons.
  116. Genesis 19:14 sn The language has to be interpreted in the light of the context and the social customs. The men are called “sons-in-law” (literally “the takers of his daughters”), but the daughters had not yet had sex with a man. It is better to translate the phrase “who were going to marry his daughters.” Since formal marriage contracts were binding, the husbands-to-be could already be called sons-in-law.
  117. Genesis 19:14 tn The Hebrew active participle expresses an imminent action.
  118. Genesis 19:14 tn Heb “and he was like one taunting in the eyes of his sons-in-law.” These men mistakenly thought Lot was ridiculing them and their lifestyle. Their response illustrates how morally insensitive they had become.
  119. Genesis 19:15 tn Heb “When dawn came up.”
  120. Genesis 19:15 tn Heb “who are found.” The wording might imply he had other daughters living in the city, but the text does not explicitly state this.
  121. Genesis 19:15 tn Or “with the iniquity [i.e., punishment] of the city” (cf. NASB, NRSV).
  122. Genesis 19:16 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Lot) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  123. Genesis 19:16 tn Heb “in the compassion of the Lord to them.”
  124. Genesis 19:16 tn Heb “brought him out and placed him.” The third masculine singular suffixes refer specifically to Lot, though his wife and daughters accompanied him (see v. 17). For stylistic reasons these have been translated as plural pronouns (“them”).
  125. Genesis 19:17 tn Or “one of them”; Heb “he.” Several ancient versions (LXX, Vulgate, Syriac) read the plural “they.” See also the note on “your” in v. 19.
  126. Genesis 19:17 tn Heb “escape.”
  127. Genesis 19:17 tn The Hebrew verb translated “look” signifies an intense gaze, not a passing glance. This same verb is used later in v. 26 to describe Lot’s wife’s self-destructive look back at the city.
  128. Genesis 19:17 tn Or “in the plain”; Heb “in the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.
  129. Genesis 19:18 tn Or “my lords.” See the following note on the problem of identifying the addressee here. The Hebrew term is אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay).
  130. Genesis 19:19 tn The second person pronominal suffixes are singular in this verse (note “your eyes,” “you have made great,” and “you have acted”). Verse 18a seems to indicate that Lot is addressing the angels, but the use of the singular and the appearance of the divine title “Lord” (אֲדֹנָי, ʾadonay) in v. 18b suggests he is speaking to God.
  131. Genesis 19:19 tn Heb “in your eyes.”
  132. Genesis 19:19 tn Heb “you made great your kindness.”
  133. Genesis 19:19 tn Heb “kindness that you have done with me.”sn The Hebrew word חֶסֶד (khesed) can refer to “faithful love” or to “kindness,” depending on the context. The precise nuance here is uncertain.
  134. Genesis 19:19 tn The infinitive construct explains how God has shown Lot kindness.
  135. Genesis 19:19 tn Heb “lest.”
  136. Genesis 19:19 tn The Hebrew verb דָּבַק (davaq) normally means “to stick to, to cleave, to join.” Lot is afraid he cannot outrun the coming calamity.
  137. Genesis 19:19 tn The perfect verb form with vav consecutive carries the nuance of the imperfect verbal form before it.
  138. Genesis 19:20 tn The Hebrew word עִיר (ʿir) can refer to either a city or a town, depending on the size of the place. Given that this place was described by Lot later in this verse as a “little place,” the translation uses “town.”
  139. Genesis 19:20 tn Heb “Look, this town is near to flee to there. And it is little.”
  140. Genesis 19:20 tn Heb “Let me escape to there.” The cohortative here expresses Lot’s request.
  141. Genesis 19:20 tn Heb “Is it not little?”
  142. Genesis 19:20 tn Heb “my soul will live.” After the cohortative the jussive with vav conjunctive here indicates purpose/result.
  143. Genesis 19:21 tn Heb “And he said to him, ‘Look, . . . .’” The order of the clauses has been rearranged for stylistic reasons. The referent of the speaker (“he”) is somewhat ambiguous: It could be taken as the angel to whom Lot has been speaking (so NLT; note the singular references in vv. 18-19), or it could be that Lot is speaking directly to the Lord here. Most English translations leave the referent of the pronoun unspecified and maintain the ambiguity.
  144. Genesis 19:21 tn Heb “I have lifted up your face [i.e., shown you favor] also concerning this matter.”
  145. Genesis 19:21 tn The negated infinitive construct indicates either the consequence of God’s granting the request (“I have granted this request, so that I will not”) or the manner in which he will grant it (“I have granted your request by not destroying”).
  146. Genesis 19:22 tn Heb “Be quick! Escape to there!” The two imperatives form a verbal hendiadys, the first becoming adverbial.
  147. Genesis 19:22 tn Heb “Therefore the name of the city is called Zoar.” The name of the place, צוֹעַר (tsoʿar) apparently means “Little Place,” in light of the wordplay with the term “little” (מִצְעָר, mitsʿar) used twice by Lot to describe the town (v. 20).
  148. Genesis 19:23 sn The sun had just risen. There was very little time for Lot to escape between dawn (v. 15) and sunrise (here).
  149. Genesis 19:23 tn The juxtaposition of the two disjunctive clauses indicates synchronic action. The first action (the sun’s rising) occurred as the second (Lot’s entering Zoar) took place. The disjunctive clauses also signal closure for the preceding scene.
  150. Genesis 19:24 tn The disjunctive clause signals the beginning of the next scene and highlights God’s action.
  151. Genesis 19:24 tn Or “burning sulfur” (the traditional “fire and brimstone”).
  152. Genesis 19:24 tn Heb “from the Lord from the heavens.” The words “It was sent down” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.sn The text explicitly states that the sulfur and fire that fell on Sodom and Gomorrah was sent down from the sky by the Lord. What exactly this was, and how it happened, can only be left to intelligent speculation, but see J. P. Harland, “The Destruction of the Cities of the Plain,” BA 6 (1943): 41-54.
  153. Genesis 19:25 tn Or “and all the plain”; Heb “and all the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.
  154. Genesis 19:25 tn Heb “and what sprouts of the ground.”
  155. Genesis 19:26 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Lot) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  156. Genesis 19:26 tn The Hebrew verb means “to look intently; to gaze” (see 15:5).sn Longingly. Lot’s wife apparently identified with the doomed city and thereby showed lack of respect for God’s provision of salvation. She, like her daughters later, had allowed her thinking to be influenced by the culture of Sodom.
  157. Genesis 19:27 tn The words “and went” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  158. Genesis 19:28 tn Heb “upon the face of.”
  159. Genesis 19:28 tn Or “all the land of the plain”; Heb “and all the face of the land of the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.
  160. Genesis 19:28 tn Heb “And he saw, and look, the smoke of the land went up like the smoke of a furnace.”sn It is hard to imagine what was going on in Abraham’s mind, but this brief section in the narrative enables the reader to think about the human response to the judgment. Abraham had family in that area. He had rescued those people from the invasion. That was why he interceded. Yet he surely knew how wicked they were. That was why he got the number down to ten when he negotiated with God to save the city. But now he must have wondered, “What was the point?”
  161. Genesis 19:29 tn The construction is a temporal clause comprised of the temporal indicator, an infinitive construct with a preposition, and the subjective genitive.
  162. Genesis 19:29 tn Or “of the plain”; Heb “of the circle,” referring to the “circle” or oval area of the Jordan Valley.
  163. Genesis 19:29 tn Heb “remembered,” but this means more than mental recollection here. Abraham’s request (Gen 18:23-32) was that the Lord not destroy the righteous with the wicked. While the requisite minimum number of righteous people (ten, v. 32) needed for God to spare the cities was not found, God nevertheless rescued the righteous before destroying the wicked.sn God showed Abraham special consideration because of the covenantal relationship he had established with the patriarch. Yet the reader knows that God delivered the “righteous” (Lot’s designation in 2 Pet 2:7) before destroying their world—which is what he will do again at the end of the age.
  164. Genesis 19:29 sn God’s removal of Lot before the judgment is paradigmatic. He typically delivers the godly before destroying their world.
  165. Genesis 19:29 tn Heb “the overthrow when [he] overthrew.”
  166. Genesis 19:31 tn Heb “and the firstborn said.”
  167. Genesis 19:31 tn Or perhaps “on earth,” in which case the statement would be hyperbolic. sn Presumably there had been some men living in the town of Zoar to which Lot and his daughters had initially fled. Perhaps they feared that the destruction was more widespread than it really was, or perhaps they feared some sort of stigma following the disaster that fell on their former town.
  168. Genesis 19:31 tn Heb “to come over us according to the manner of the whole world.” “To come over us” is a euphemism for sexual relations. “According to the manner of the whole world” is an idiom for what is customary and normal, elsewhere (Josh 23:14; 1 Kgs 2:2) used to describe dying.
  169. Genesis 19:32 tn Heb “drink wine.”
  170. Genesis 19:32 tn Heb “and we will lie down with.” The cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive is subordinated to the preceding cohortative and indicates purpose or result. The phrase “to lie down with” is a euphemism for sexual relations; the translation, in turn, also supplies a euphemism.
  171. Genesis 19:32 tn Or “that we may preserve.” Here the cohortative with vav (ו) conjunctive indicates their ultimate goal.
  172. Genesis 19:32 tn Heb “and we will keep alive from our father descendants.”sn For a discussion of the cultural background of the daughters’ desire to preserve our family line see F. C. Fensham, “The Obliteration of the Family as Motif in the Near Eastern Literature,” AION 10 (1969): 191-99.
  173. Genesis 19:33 tn Heb “drink wine.”
  174. Genesis 19:33 tn Heb “the firstborn.”
  175. Genesis 19:33 tn Heb “came and lied down with.” Both of the expressions can be a euphemism for sexual relations. See the note at 2 Sam 12:24.
  176. Genesis 19:34 tn Heb “the firstborn.”
  177. Genesis 19:34 tn Heb “to lie with.” The phrase is a euphemism for sexual relations.
  178. Genesis 19:34 tn Heb “Let’s make him drink wine.”
  179. Genesis 19:34 tn Heb “And we will keep alive descendants from our father.”
  180. Genesis 19:35 tn Heb “drink wine.”
  181. Genesis 19:35 tn Heb “lied down with him.”
  182. Genesis 19:37 tn Heb “the firstborn.”
  183. Genesis 19:37 sn The meaning of the name Moab is not certain. The name sounds like the Hebrew phrase “from our father” (מֵאָבִינוּ, meʾavinu) which the daughters used twice (vv. 32, 34). This account is probably included in the narrative in order to portray the Moabites, who later became enemies of God’s people, in a negative light.
  184. Genesis 19:38 sn The name Ben Ammi means “son of my people.” Like the account of Moab’s birth, this story is probably included in the narrative to portray the Ammonites, another perennial enemy of Israel, in a negative light.
  185. Genesis 20:1 tn Or “the South [country]”; Heb “the land of the Negev.”sn Negev is the name for the southern desert region in the land of Canaan.
  186. Genesis 20:1 tn Heb “and he sojourned.”
  187. Genesis 20:3 tn Heb “came.”
  188. Genesis 20:3 tn Heb “Look, you [are] dead.” The Hebrew construction uses the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) with a second person pronominal particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) with by the participle. It is a highly rhetorical expression.
  189. Genesis 20:3 tn Heb “and she is owned by an owner.” The disjunctive clause is causal or explanatory in this case.
  190. Genesis 20:4 tn The Hebrew term translated “Lord” here is אֲדֹנָי (ʾadonay).
  191. Genesis 20:4 tn Apparently Abimelech assumes that God’s judgment will fall on his entire nation. Some, finding the reference to a nation problematic, prefer to emend the text and read, “Would you really kill someone who is innocent?” See E. A. Speiser, Genesis (AB), 149.
  192. Genesis 20:5 tn Heb “he”; the referent has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  193. Genesis 20:5 tn Heb “and she, even she.”
  194. Genesis 20:5 tn Heb “with the integrity of my heart.”
  195. Genesis 20:6 tn Heb “with the integrity of your heart.”
  196. Genesis 20:6 tn Heb “and I, even I, kept you.”
  197. Genesis 20:6 tn Heb “therefore.”
  198. Genesis 20:7 tn Or “for,” if the particle is understood as causal (as many English translations do) rather than asseverative.
  199. Genesis 20:7 sn For a discussion of the term prophet see N. Walker, “What is a Nabhi?” ZAW 73 (1961): 99-100.
  200. Genesis 20:7 tn After the preceding jussive (or imperfect), the imperative with vav conjunctive here indicates result.sn He will pray for you that you may live. Abraham was known as a man of God whose prayer would be effectual. Ironically and sadly, he was also known as a liar.
  201. Genesis 20:7 tn Heb “if there is not you returning.” The suffix on the particle becomes the subject of the negated clause.
  202. Genesis 20:7 tn The imperfect is preceded by the infinitive absolute to make the warning emphatic.
  203. Genesis 20:8 tn Heb “And Abimelech rose early in the morning and he summoned.”
  204. Genesis 20:8 tn The verb קָרָא (qaraʾ) followed by the preposition ל (lamed) means “to summon.”
  205. Genesis 20:8 tn Heb “And he spoke all these things in their ears.”
  206. Genesis 20:8 tn Heb “the men.” This has been replaced by the pronoun “they” in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  207. Genesis 20:9 tn Heb “How did I sin against you that you have brought on me and on my kingdom a great sin?” The expression “great sin” refers to adultery. For discussion of the cultural background of the passage, see J. J. Rabinowitz, “The Great Sin in Ancient Egyptian Marriage Contracts,” JNES 18 (1959): 73, and W. L. Moran, “The Scandal of the ‘Great Sin’ at Ugarit,” JNES 18 (1959): 280-81.
  208. Genesis 20:9 tn Heb “Deeds which should not be done you have done to me.” The imperfect has an obligatory nuance here.
  209. Genesis 20:10 tn Heb “And Abimelech said to.”
  210. Genesis 20:10 tn Heb “What did you see that you did this thing?” The question implies that Abraham had some motive for deceiving Abimelech.
  211. Genesis 20:11 tn Heb “Because I said.”
  212. Genesis 20:11 tn Heb “over the matter of.”
  213. Genesis 20:12 tn Heb “but also.”
  214. Genesis 20:13 tn The Hebrew verb is plural. This may be a case of grammatical agreement with the name for God, which is plural in form. However, when this plural name refers to the one true God, accompanying predicates are usually singular in form. Perhaps Abraham is accommodating his speech to Abimelech’s polytheistic perspective. (See GKC 463 §145.i.) If so, one should translate, “when the gods made me wander.”
  215. Genesis 20:13 tn Heb “This is your loyal deed which you can do for me.”
  216. Genesis 20:14 tn Heb “took and gave.”
  217. Genesis 20:15 tn Heb “In the [place that is] good in your eyes live!”
  218. Genesis 20:16 sn A thousand pieces [Heb “shekels”] of silver. The standards for weighing money varied considerably in the ancient Near East, but the generally accepted weight for the shekel is 11.5 grams (0.4 ounce). This makes the weight of silver here 11.5 kilograms, or 400 ounces (about 25 pounds).
  219. Genesis 20:16 sn To your ‘brother.’ Note the way that the king refers to Abraham. Was he being sarcastic? It was surely a rebuke to Sarah. What is amazing is how patient this king was. It is proof that the fear of God was in that place, contrary to what Abraham believed (see v. 11).
  220. Genesis 20:16 tn Heb “Look, it is for you a covering of the eyes, for all who are with you, and with all, and you are set right.” The exact meaning of the statement is unclear. Apparently it means that the gift of money somehow exonerates her in other people’s eyes. They will not look on her as compromised (see G. J. Wenham, Genesis [WBC], 2:74).
  221. Genesis 20:18 tn In the Hebrew text the clause begins with “because.”
  222. Genesis 20:18 tn Heb had completely closed up every womb.” In the Hebrew text infinitive absolute precedes the finite verb for emphasis.sn The Lord had closed up every womb. This fact indicates that Sarah was in Abimelech’s household for weeks or months before the dream revelation was given (20:6-7). No one in his household could have children after Sarah arrived on the scene.
  223. Genesis 20:18 tn Heb “because of the matter of.” The words “he took” are used in the translation for clarity.
  224. Genesis 21:1 sn The Hebrew verb translated “visit” (פָּקַד, paqad) often describes divine intervention for blessing or cursing; it indicates God’s special attention to an individual or a matter, always with respect to his people’s destiny. He may visit (that is, destroy) the Amalekites; he may visit (that is, deliver) his people in Egypt. Here he visits Sarah, to allow her to have the promised child. One’s destiny is changed when the Lord “visits.” For a more detailed study of the term, see G. André, Determining the Destiny (ConBOT).
  225. Genesis 21:1 tn Heb “and the Lord did.” The divine name has not been repeated here in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  226. Genesis 21:1 tn Heb “spoken.”
  227. Genesis 21:2 tn Or “she conceived.”
  228. Genesis 21:3 tn Heb “the one born to him, whom Sarah bore to him, Isaac.” The two modifying clauses, the first introduced with an article and the second with the relative pronoun, are placed in the middle of the sentence, before the name Isaac is stated. They are meant to underscore that this was indeed an actual birth to Abraham and Sarah in fulfillment of the promise.
  229. Genesis 21:4 tn Heb “Isaac his son, the son of eight days.”
  230. Genesis 21:4 sn Just as God had commanded him to do. With the birth of the promised child, Abraham obeyed the Lord by both naming (Gen 17:19) and circumcising Isaac (17:12).
  231. Genesis 21:5 tn The parenthetical disjunctive clause underscores how miraculous this birth was. Abraham was 100 years old. The fact that the genealogies give the ages of the fathers when their first son is born shows that this was considered a major milestone in one’s life (G. J. Wenham, Genesis [WBC], 2:80).
  232. Genesis 21:6 tn Heb “Laughter God has made for me.”
  233. Genesis 21:6 tn The words “about this” are supplied in the translation for clarification.
  234. Genesis 21:6 sn Sarah’s words play on the name “Isaac” in a final triumphant manner. God prepared “laughter” (צְחֹק, tsekhoq) for her, and everyone who hears about this “will laugh” (יִצְחַק, yitskhaq) with her. The laughter now signals great joy and fulfillment, not unbelief (cf. Gen 18:12-15).
  235. Genesis 21:7 tn Heb “said.”
  236. Genesis 21:7 tn The perfect form of the verb is used here to describe a hypothetical situation.
  237. Genesis 21:8 tn Heb “made.”
  238. Genesis 21:8 sn Children were weaned closer to the age of two or three in the ancient world, because infant mortality was high. If an infant grew to this stage, it was fairly certain he or she would live. Such an event called for a celebration, especially for parents who had waited so long for a child.
  239. Genesis 21:9 tn Heb “saw.”
  240. Genesis 21:9 tn The Piel participle used here is from the same root as the name “Isaac.” In the Piel stem the verb means “to jest; to make sport of; to play with,” not simply “to laugh,” which is the meaning of the verb in the Qal stem. What exactly Ishmael was doing is not clear. Interpreters have generally concluded that the boy was either (1) mocking Isaac (cf. NASB, NIV, NLT) or (2) merely playing with Isaac as if on equal footing (cf. NAB, NRSV). In either case Sarah saw it as a threat. The same participial form was used in Gen 19:14 to describe how some in Lot’s family viewed his attempt to warn them of impending doom. It also appears later in Gen 39:14, 17, where Potiphar accuses Joseph of mocking them. sn Mocking. Here Sarah interprets Ishmael’s actions as being sinister. Ishmael probably did not take the younger child seriously and Sarah saw this as a threat to Isaac. Paul in Gal 4:29 says that Ishmael persecuted Isaac. He uses a Greek word that can mean “to put to flight; to chase away; to pursue” and may be drawing on a rabbinic interpretation of the passage. In Paul’s analogical application of the passage, he points out that once the promised child Isaac (symbolizing Christ as the fulfillment of God’s promise) has come, there is no room left for the slave woman and her son (who symbolize the Mosaic law).
  241. Genesis 21:10 tn Heb “drive out.” The language may seem severe, but Sarah’s maternal instincts sensed a real danger in that Ishmael was not treating Isaac with the proper respect.
  242. Genesis 21:11 tn Heb “and the word was very wrong in the eyes of Abraham on account of his son.” The verb רָעַע (raʿaʿ) often refers to what is morally or ethically “evil.” It usage here suggests that Abraham thought Sarah’s demand was ethically (and perhaps legally) wrong.
  243. Genesis 21:12 tn Heb “Let it not be evil in your eyes.”
  244. Genesis 21:12 tn Heb “listen to her voice.” The idiomatic expression means “obey; comply.” Here her advice, though harsh, is necessary and conforms to the will of God. Later (see Gen 25), when Abraham has other sons, he sends them all away as well.
  245. Genesis 21:12 tn The imperfect verbal form here draws attention to an action that is underway.
  246. Genesis 21:12 tn Or perhaps “will be named”; Heb “for in Isaac offspring will be called to you.” The exact meaning of the statement is not clear, but it does indicate that God’s covenantal promises to Abraham will be realized through Isaac, not Ishmael.
  247. Genesis 21:13 tc The translation follows the Smr, LXX, Syriac, and Vulgate here in adding “great” (cf. 21:18); MT reads simply “a nation.”
  248. Genesis 21:14 tn Heb “and Abraham rose up early in the morning and he took.”
  249. Genesis 21:14 tn Heb “bread,” although the term can be used for food in general.
  250. Genesis 21:14 tn Heb “He put upon her shoulder, and the boy [or perhaps, “and with the boy”], and he sent her away.” It is unclear how “and the boy” relates syntactically to what precedes. Perhaps the words should be rearranged and the text read, “and he put [them] on her shoulder and he gave to Hagar the boy.”
  251. Genesis 21:14 tn Heb “she went and wandered.”
  252. Genesis 21:14 tn Or “desert,” although for English readers this usually connotes a sandy desert like the Sahara rather than the arid wasteland of this region with its sparse vegetation.
  253. Genesis 21:15 tn Heb “threw,” but the child, who was now thirteen years old, would not have been carried, let alone thrown under a bush. The exaggerated language suggests Ishmael is limp from dehydration and is being abandoned to die. See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 2:85.
  254. Genesis 21:16 sn A bowshot would be a distance of about 100 yards (90 meters).
  255. Genesis 21:16 tn Heb “said.”
  256. Genesis 21:16 tn Heb “I will not look on the death of the child.” The cohortative verbal form (note the negative particle אַל, ʾal) here expresses her resolve to avoid the stated action.
  257. Genesis 21:16 tn Heb “and she lifted up her voice and wept” (that is, she wept uncontrollably). The LXX reads “he” (referring to Ishmael) rather than “she” (referring to Hagar), but this is probably an attempt to harmonize this verse with the following one, which refers to the boy’s cries.
  258. Genesis 21:17 sn God heard the boy’s voice. The text has not to this point indicated that Ishmael was crying out, either in pain or in prayer. But the text here makes it clear that God heard him. Ishmael is clearly central to the story. Both the mother and the Lord are focused on the child’s imminent death.
  259. Genesis 21:17 tn Heb “What to you?”
  260. Genesis 21:17 sn Here the verb heard picks up the main motif of the name Ishmael (“God hears”), introduced back in chap. 16.
  261. Genesis 21:19 tn Heb “And God opened her eyes and she saw a well of water.” The referent (Hagar) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  262. Genesis 21:21 sn The wilderness of Paran is an area in the east central region of the Sinai peninsula, northeast from the traditional site of Mt. Sinai and with the Arabah and the Gulf of Aqaba as its eastern border.
  263. Genesis 21:21 tn Heb “And his mother took for him a wife from the land of Egypt.”
  264. Genesis 21:22 sn God is with you. Abimelech and Phicol recognized that Abraham enjoyed special divine provision and protection.
  265. Genesis 21:23 tn Heb “And now swear to me by God here.”
  266. Genesis 21:23 tn Heb “my offspring and my descendants.”
  267. Genesis 21:23 tn The word “land” refers by metonymy to the people in the land.
  268. Genesis 21:23 tn The Hebrew verb means “to stay, to live, to sojourn” as a temporary resident without ownership rights.
  269. Genesis 21:23 tn Or “kindness.”
  270. Genesis 21:23 tn Heb “According to the loyalty which I have done with you, do with me and with the land in which you are staying.”
  271. Genesis 21:24 tn Heb “I swear.” No object is specified in the Hebrew text, but the content of the oath requested by Abimelech is the implied object.
  272. Genesis 21:25 tn The Hebrew verb used here means “to argue; to dispute”; it can focus on the beginning of the dispute (as here), the dispute itself, or the resolution of a dispute (Isa 1:18). Apparently the complaint was lodged before the actual oath was taken.
  273. Genesis 21:25 tn Heb “concerning the matter of the well of water.”
  274. Genesis 21:25 tn The Hebrew verb used here means “to steal; to rob; to take violently.” The statement reflects Abraham’s perspective.
  275. Genesis 21:26 tn Heb “and also.”
  276. Genesis 21:27 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”
  277. Genesis 21:29 tn Heb “What are these?”
  278. Genesis 21:30 tn Heb “that it be for me for a witness.”
  279. Genesis 21:30 sn This well. Since the king wanted a treaty to share in Abraham’s good fortune, Abraham used the treaty to secure ownership of and protection for the well he dug. It would be useless to make a treaty to live in this territory if he had no rights to the water. Abraham consented to the treaty, but added his rider to it.
  280. Genesis 21:31 tn Heb “that is why he called that place.” Some translations render this as an impersonal passive, “that is why that place was called.”
  281. Genesis 21:31 sn The name Beer Sheba (בְּאֵר שָׁבַע, beʾer shavaʿ) means “well of the oath” or “well of the seven.” Both the verb “to swear” and the number “seven” have been used throughout the account. Now they are drawn in as part of the explanation of the significance of the name.
  282. Genesis 21:31 sn The verb forms a wordplay with the name Beer Sheba.
  283. Genesis 21:32 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”
  284. Genesis 21:32 tn Heb “arose and returned.”
  285. Genesis 21:32 sn The Philistines mentioned here may not be ethnically related to those who lived in Palestine in the time of the judges and the united monarchy. See D. M. Howard, “Philistines,” Peoples of the Old Testament World, 238.
  286. Genesis 21:33 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  287. Genesis 21:33 sn The planting of the tamarisk tree is a sign of Abraham’s intent to stay there for a long time, not a religious act. A growing tree in the Negev would be a lasting witness to God’s provision of water.
  288. Genesis 21:33 tn Heb “he called there in the name of the Lord.” The expression refers to worshiping the Lord through prayer and sacrifice (see Gen 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 26:25). See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:116, 281.
  289. Genesis 21:34 tn Heb “many days.”
  290. Genesis 22:1 sn The Hebrew verb used here means “to test; to try; to prove.” In this passage God tests Abraham to see if he would be obedient. See T. W. Mann, The Book of the Torah, 44-48. See also J. L. Crenshaw, A Whirlpool of Torment (OBT), 9-30; and J. I. Lawlor, “The Test of Abraham,” GTJ 1 (1980): 19-35.
  291. Genesis 22:1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  292. Genesis 22:2 tn Heb “he”; the referent (God) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  293. Genesis 22:2 sn Take your son…Isaac. The instructions are very clear, but the details are deliberate. With every additional description the commandment becomes more challenging.
  294. Genesis 22:2 sn There has been much debate over the location of Moriah; 2 Chr 3:1 suggests it may be the site where the temple was later built in Jerusalem.
  295. Genesis 22:2 sn A whole burnt offering signified the complete surrender of the worshiper and complete acceptance by God. The demand for a human sacrifice was certainly radical and may have seemed to Abraham out of character for God. Abraham would have to obey without fully understanding what God was about.
  296. Genesis 22:2 tn Heb “which I will say to.”
  297. Genesis 22:3 tn Heb “Abraham rose up early in the morning and saddled his donkey.”
  298. Genesis 22:3 tn Heb “he arose and he went.”
  299. Genesis 22:4 tn Heb “lifted up his eyes and saw.”
  300. Genesis 22:5 tn Heb “And Abraham.” The proper name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons.
  301. Genesis 22:5 tn The Hebrew verb is masculine plural, referring to the two young servants who accompanied Abraham and Isaac on the journey.
  302. Genesis 22:5 tn The disjunctive clause (with the compound subject preceding the verb) may be circumstantial and temporal.
  303. Genesis 22:5 tn This Hebrew word literally means “to bow oneself close to the ground.” It often means “to worship.”
  304. Genesis 22:5 sn It is impossible to know what Abraham was thinking when he said, “we will…return to you.” When he went he knew (1) that he was to sacrifice Isaac, and (2) that God intended to fulfill his earlier promises through Isaac. How he reconciled those facts is not clear in the text. Heb 11:17-19 suggests that Abraham believed God could restore Isaac to him through resurrection.
  305. Genesis 22:6 sn He took the fire and the knife in his hand. These details anticipate the sacrifice that lies ahead.
  306. Genesis 22:7 tn The Hebrew text adds “and said.” This is redundant and has not been translated for stylistic reasons.
  307. Genesis 22:7 tn Heb “Here I am” (cf. Gen 22:1).
  308. Genesis 22:7 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Here is the fire and the wood.’” The referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity. Here and in the following verse the order of the introductory clauses and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  309. Genesis 22:8 tn Heb “will see for himself.” The construction means “to look out for; to see to it; to provide.”sn God will provide is the central theme of the passage and the turning point in the story. Note Paul’s allusion to the story in Rom 8:32 (“how shall he not freely give us all things?”) as well as H. J. Schoeps, “The Sacrifice of Isaac in Paul’s Theology,” JBL 65 (1946): 385-92.
  310. Genesis 22:9 sn Abraham built an altar there. The theme of Abraham’s altar building culminates here. He has been a faithful worshiper. Will he continue to worship when called upon to make such a radical sacrifice?
  311. Genesis 22:9 sn Then he tied up. This text has given rise to an important theme in Judaism known as the Aqedah, from the Hebrew word for “binding.” When sacrifices were made in the sanctuary, God remembered the binding of Isaac, for which a substitute was offered. See D. Polish, “The Binding of Isaac,” Jud 6 (1957): 17-21.
  312. Genesis 22:10 tn Heb “in order to slaughter.”
  313. Genesis 22:11 sn Heb “the messenger of the Lord” (also in v. 15). Some identify the angel of the Lord as the preincarnate Christ because in some texts the angel is identified with the Lord himself. However, see the note on the phrase “the angel of the Lord” in Gen 16:7.
  314. Genesis 22:12 tn Heb “Do not extend your hand toward the boy.”
  315. Genesis 22:12 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Do not extend…’”; the referent (the angel) has been specified in the context for clarity. The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  316. Genesis 22:12 sn For now I know. The test was designed to see if Abraham would be obedient (see v. 1).
  317. Genesis 22:12 sn In this context fear refers by metonymy to obedience that grows from faith.
  318. Genesis 22:13 tn Heb “lifted his eyes.”
  319. Genesis 22:13 tn Heb “and saw, and look.” The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) draws attention to what Abraham saw and invites the audience to view the scene through his eyes.
  320. Genesis 22:13 tc The translation follows the reading of the MT; a number of Hebrew mss, the LXX, Syriac, and Smr read “one” (אֶחָד, ʾekhad) instead of “behind him” (אַחַר, ʾakhar).
  321. Genesis 22:13 tn Heb “Abraham”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  322. Genesis 22:14 tn Heb “the Lord sees” (יְהוָה יִרְאֶה, yehvah yirʾeh, traditionally transliterated “Jehovah Jireh”; see the note on the word “provide” in v. 8). By so naming the place Abraham preserved in the memory of God’s people the amazing event that took place there.
  323. Genesis 22:14 sn On the expression to this day see B. Childs, “A Study of the Formula ‘Until this Day’,” JBL 82 (1963): 279-92.
  324. Genesis 22:14 sn The saying connected with these events has some ambiguity, which was probably intended. The Niphal verb could be translated (1) “in the mountain of the Lord it will be seen/provided” or (2) “in the mountain the Lord will appear.” If the temple later stood here (see the note on “Moriah” in Gen 22:2), the latter interpretation might find support, for the people went to the temple to appear before the Lord, who “appeared” to them by providing for them his power and blessings. See S. R. Driver, Genesis, 219.
  325. Genesis 22:16 tn Heb “By myself I swear.”
  326. Genesis 22:16 tn Heb “the oracle of the Lord.” The phrase refers to a formal oracle or decree from the Lord.
  327. Genesis 22:17 tn The use of the infinitive absolute before the finite verbal form (either an imperfect or cohortative) emphasizes the certainty of the blessing.
  328. Genesis 22:17 tn Here too the infinitive absolute is used for emphasis before the following finite verb (either an imperfect or cohortative).sn I will greatly multiply. The Lord here ratifies his earlier promise to give Abram a multitude of descendants. For further discussion see R. B. Chisholm, “Evidence from Genesis,” A Case for Premillennialism, 35-54.
  329. Genesis 22:17 tn The Hebrew term זֶרַע (zeraʿ) occurring here and in v. 18 may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.
  330. Genesis 22:17 tn Or “inherit.”
  331. Genesis 22:17 tn Heb “gate,” which here stands for a walled city. To break through the gate complex would be to conquer the city, for the gate complex was the main area of defense (hence the translation “stronghold”).
  332. Genesis 22:18 tn In the Hebrew text this causal clause comes at the end of the sentence. The translation alters the word order for stylistic reasons.sn Because you have obeyed me. Abraham’s obedience brought God’s ratification of the earlier conditional promise (see Gen 12:2).
  333. Genesis 22:18 tn The denominative verb בָּרַךְ (barakh) is active in the Piel and passive in the Pual. Here it is in the Hitpael which is typically middle or reflexive. Traditionally it is rendered as passive (“will be blessed”) here. Some reference grammars consider the Hitpael to be passive on rare occasions but their examples can be disputed. The LXX translates with a passive spelling, but this does not mean the Hebrew is passive. For example, the LXX uses a passive spelling for the Hitpael in Gen 3:8 where the Hebrew says “they hid themselves from the Lord.” The English understanding of the Greek’s passive spelling does not mean that the Hebrew is passive, i.e., “they were hidden;” it merely reflects translation issues going from Hebrew to Greek (or from Semitic to Indo-European) and may reveal the broader range of meanings that the Greek spelling can convey. The Hitpael is better understood here as middle or reflexive/reciprocal, as in its other instances (Gen 26:4; Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2). One option would be to treat it like the middle voice Niphal cases in Gen 12:3; 18:18 and 28:14, “they may find blessing through your descendants.” This extends to the nation the Lord’s promise to Abraham to bless those who bless him. But one may expect the continued use of the Niphal for that and a distinct middle voice meaning of the Hitpael here. The Hitpael can mean to pronounce blessings on each other, as in Isa 65:16 where the expression of blessing each other through (or in the name of) the true God is parallel to taking oaths in the Lord’s name (as opposed to holding oneself accountable to other gods). For other examples of blessing formulae using an individual as an example of blessing, see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11. To pronounce blessings referring to the divinely blessed Israel who possesses its enemies’ gates (v. 17) also acknowledges Israel’s God. So the surface statement “they will bless themselves” (an option acknowledged in the note in the NASB) in the name of, or in light of, Abraham’s blessed descendants implies more than the speech act itself. It implies at least acknowledgment of Israel’s God and allows room for being allegiant to or joining with Israel’s God. This thought is consistent with being made great and successful internationally in v. 17 and is not opposed to the iterations with the Niphal of being able to receive blessing by blessing Israel.
  334. Genesis 22:19 tn Heb “and they arose and went together.”
  335. Genesis 22:19 tn Heb “and Abraham stayed in Beer Sheba.” This has been translated as a relative clause for stylistic reasons.
  336. Genesis 22:20 tn In the Hebrew text the sentence begins with הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) which draws attention to the statement.
  337. Genesis 22:21 sn This parenthetical note about Kemuel’s descendant is probably a later insertion by the author/compiler of Genesis and not part of the original announcement.
  338. Genesis 22:23 tn The disjunctive clause gives information that is important but parenthetical to the narrative. Rebekah would become the wife of Isaac (Gen 24:15).
  339. Genesis 23:1 tn Heb “And the life of Sarah was one hundred years and twenty years and seven years, the years of the life of Sarah.”
  340. Genesis 23:2 tn Heb “Sarah.” The proper name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“she”) for stylistic reasons.
  341. Genesis 23:2 sn Mourn…weep. The description here is of standard mourning rites (see K. A. Kitchen, NBD3 149-50). They would have been carried out in the presence of the corpse, probably in Sarah’s tent. So Abraham came in to mourn; then he rose up to go and bury his dead (v. 3).
  342. Genesis 23:3 tn Heb “And Abraham arose from upon the face of his dead.”
  343. Genesis 23:3 tn Heb “sons of Heth,” the gentilic of which is הִתִּי (hitti) “Hittites.” Some translations use “Hittites” here (also in vv. 5, 7, 10, 16, 18, 20). But these people were not the classical Hittites of Anatolia (in Asia Minor, modern Turkey). These sons of Heth are apparently a Canaanite group (see Gen 10:15). See H. A. Hoffner, Jr., “Hittites,” Peoples of the Old Testament World 152-53. But cf. also V. Hamilton, Genesis 18-50 (NICOT), 126-128.
  344. Genesis 23:4 tn Heb “a resident foreigner (גֵּר; ger) and an immigrant (תּוֹשָׁב; toshav).” The term גֵּר (ger) refers to a foreign resident, but with different social implications in different settings. The Patriarchs were foreign, temporary residents in parts of Canaan, who abided by the claims of local authorities (see Gen 20, 23, 26). The noun toshav (תּוֹשָׁב) is less common. Under Mosaic Law it refers to someone of lesser standing than a resident foreigner (גֵּר; ger) since the ger had given full covenantal allegiance to the Lord. While not referring to a citizen, the precise nuance of toshav as an immigrant, resident, or (temporary) settler, is not clear. But in this case it may be a case of hendiadys, where the two terms together mean “an alien resident.”
  345. Genesis 23:4 tn Heb “give,” which is used here as an idiom for “sell” (see v. 9). The idiom reflects the polite bartering that was done in the culture at the time.
  346. Genesis 23:4 tn Or “possession.”
  347. Genesis 23:4 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction expresses purpose.
  348. Genesis 23:4 tn Heb “bury my dead out of my sight.” The last phrase “out of my sight” has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  349. Genesis 23:5 tn Heb “answered Abraham saying to him.”
  350. Genesis 23:6 tn Heb “Hear us, my lord.”
  351. Genesis 23:6 tn Heb “prince of God.” The divine name may be used here as a means of expressing the superlative, “mighty prince.” The word for “prince” probably means “tribal chief” here. See M. H. Gottstein, “Nasiʾ ʾelohim (Gen 23:6),” VT 3 (1953) 298-99; and D. W. Thomas, “Consideration of Some Unusual Ways of Expressing the Superlative in Hebrew,” VT 3 (1953) 215-16.
  352. Genesis 23:6 tn The phrase “to prevent you” has been added in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  353. Genesis 23:7 tn Heb “to the people of the land” (also in v. 12).
  354. Genesis 23:8 tn Heb “If it is with your purpose.” The Hebrew noun נֶפֶשׁ (nefesh) here has the nuance “purpose” or perhaps “desire” (see BDB 661 s.v. נֶפֶשׁ).
  355. Genesis 23:8 tn Heb “bury my dead out of my sight.” The last phrase “out of my sight” has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  356. Genesis 23:8 tn Or “hear me.”
  357. Genesis 23:8 tn Heb “intercede for me with.”
  358. Genesis 23:9 tn Heb “give.” This is used here (also a second time later in this verse) as an idiom for “sell”; see the note on the word “grant” in v. 4.
  359. Genesis 23:9 tn Heb “in your presence.”
  360. Genesis 23:9 tn Heb “full silver.”
  361. Genesis 23:10 tn The Hebrew term is “Hittite,” but see the note on the name “Heth” in v. 3.
  362. Genesis 23:10 tn Heb “ears.” By metonymy the “ears” stand for the presence or proximity (i.e., within earshot) of the persons named.
  363. Genesis 23:10 sn On the expression all who entered the gate see E. A. Speiser, “‘Coming’ and ‘Going’ at the City Gate,” BASOR 144 (1956): 20-23; and G. Evans, “‘Coming’ and ‘Going’ at the City Gate: A Discussion of Professor Speiser’s Paper,” BASOR 150 (1958): 28-33.
  364. Genesis 23:11 tn Heb “give.” The perfect tense has here a present nuance; this is a formal, legally binding declaration. Abraham asked only for a burial site/cave within the field; Ephron agrees to sell him the entire field.
  365. Genesis 23:11 tn The Hebrew text adds “to you I give [i.e., sell] it.” This is redundant in English and has not been translated for stylistic reasons.
  366. Genesis 23:11 tn Heb “in the presence of the sons of my people.”
  367. Genesis 23:13 tn Heb “give.”
  368. Genesis 23:13 tn Heb “silver.”
  369. Genesis 23:13 tn After the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction expresses purpose or result.
  370. Genesis 23:15 tn The word “worth” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  371. Genesis 23:15 sn 400 pieces of silver. The standards for weighing money varied considerably in the ancient Near East, but the generally accepted weight for the shekel is 11.5 grams (0.4 ounce). This makes the weight of silver here 4.6 kilograms, or 160 ounces (about 10 pounds).
  372. Genesis 23:16 tn Heb “listened to Ephron.”
  373. Genesis 23:16 tn Heb “and Abraham weighed out.”
  374. Genesis 23:16 tn Heb “to Ephron.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  375. Genesis 23:16 tn Heb “silver.”
  376. Genesis 23:16 tn Heb “that he had spoken.” The referent (Ephron) has been specified here in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
  377. Genesis 23:16 tn Heb “passing for the merchant.” The final clause affirms that the measurement of silver was according to the standards used by the merchants of the time.
  378. Genesis 23:17 tn Heb “And it was conveyed.” The recipient, Abraham (mentioned in the Hebrew text at the beginning of v. 18) has been placed here in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  379. Genesis 23:18 tn Heb “his city”; the referent (Ephron) has been specified in the translation for clarity.sn See G. M. Tucker, “The Legal Background of Genesis 23, ” JBL 85 (1966):77-84; and M. R. Lehmann, “Abraham’s Purchase of Machpelah and Hittite Law,” BASOR 129 (1953): 15-18.
  380. Genesis 23:20 tn Heb “possession of a grave.”
  381. Genesis 24:1 tn Heb “days.”
  382. Genesis 24:1 tn Heb “Abraham.” The proper name has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun (“he”) for stylistic reasons.
  383. Genesis 24:2 tn The Hebrew term זָקֵן (zaqen) may refer to the servant who is oldest in age or senior in authority (or both).
  384. Genesis 24:2 sn Put your hand under my thigh. The taking of this oath had to do with the sanctity of the family and the continuation of the family line. See D. R. Freedman, “Put Your Hand Under My Thigh—the Patriarchal Oath,” BAR 2 (1976): 2-4, 42.
  385. Genesis 24:3 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose.
  386. Genesis 24:3 tn Heb “because you must not take.”
  387. Genesis 24:4 tn Heb “for to my country and my relatives you must go.”
  388. Genesis 24:4 tn Heb “and take.”
  389. Genesis 24:5 tn Heb “to go after me.”
  390. Genesis 24:5 tn In the Hebrew text the construction is emphatic; the infinitive absolute precedes the imperfect. However, it is difficult to reflect this emphasis in an English translation.
  391. Genesis 24:6 tn Heb “guard yourself.”
  392. Genesis 24:6 tn The introductory clause “And Abraham said to him” has been moved to the end of the opening sentence of direct discourse in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  393. Genesis 24:7 tn Or “the land of my birth.”
  394. Genesis 24:7 tn Heb “and who spoke to me and who swore to me, saying.”
  395. Genesis 24:7 tn Or “his messenger.”
  396. Genesis 24:7 tn Heb “before you and you will take.”
  397. Genesis 24:8 tn Heb “ to go after you.”
  398. Genesis 24:8 sn You will be free. If the prospective bride was not willing to accompany the servant back to Canaan, the servant would be released from his oath to Abraham.
  399. Genesis 24:9 tn Heb “and he swore to him concerning this matter.”
  400. Genesis 24:10 tn Heb “and every good thing of his master was in his hand.” The disjunctive clause is circumstantial, explaining that he took all kinds of gifts to be used at his discretion.
  401. Genesis 24:10 tn Heb “and he arose and went.”
  402. Genesis 24:10 tn The words “the region of” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for clarity.sn Aram Naharaim means in Hebrew “Aram of the Two Rivers,” a region in northern Mesopotamia.
  403. Genesis 24:11 tn Heb “well of water.”
  404. Genesis 24:11 tn Heb “at the time of evening.”
  405. Genesis 24:12 tn Heb “make it happen before me today.” Although a number of English translations understand this as a request for success in the task (cf. NASB, NIV, NRSV) it is more likely that the servant is requesting an omen or sign from God (v. 14).
  406. Genesis 24:12 tn Heb “act in loyal love with” or “show kindness to.”
  407. Genesis 24:13 tn Heb “the spring of water.”
  408. Genesis 24:13 tn Heb “the men.”
  409. Genesis 24:14 sn I will also give your camels water. It would be an enormous test for a young woman to water ten camels. The idea is that such a woman would not only be industrious but hospitable and generous.
  410. Genesis 24:14 tn Heb “And let the young woman to whom I say, ‘Lower your jar that I may drink,’ and she says, ‘Drink and I will also give your camels water,’—her you have appointed for your servant, for Isaac, and by it I will know that you have acted in faithfulness with my master.”
  411. Genesis 24:15 tn Heb “Look, Rebekah was coming out!” Using the participle introduced with הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator dramatically transports the audience back into the event and invites them to see Rebekah through the servant’s eyes.
  412. Genesis 24:15 tn Heb “Look, Rebekah was coming out—[she] who was born to Bethuel, the son of Milcah, the wife of Nahor, the brother of Abraham—and her jug [was] on her shoulder.” The order of the clauses has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  413. Genesis 24:16 tn Heb “And the young woman was very good of appearance, a virgin, and a man had not known her.” The first two terms נַעֲרָה (naʿarah) and בְּתוּלָה (betulah) can refer to young girls, either unmarried or married; see Judges 9:3 and Joel 1:8, respectively, for examples of a married נַעֲרָה (naʿarah) and בְּתוּלָה (betulah). While the term בְּתוּלָה (betulah) does not have to mean “virgin” it can refer to a girl who is a virgin. Further, in legal literature it is used as a technical term for “virgin” (Exod 22:16-17; Deut 22:19, 23, 28). Akkadian behaves similarly in that the cognate term batultu, meaning an adolescent girl but not necessarily a “virgin,” is used to mean “virgin” in Neo-Assyrian laws and Neo-Babylonian marriage contracts (CAD B 173-174). This passage is not legal literature, so the meaning “virgin” is clarified by an additional clause. The expression “to know” is a euphemism for sexual relations, and the English euphemism “be intimate with” is close in meaning to the Hebrew. The Semitic languages may have lacked a term that specifically meant “virgin” and so promoted other terms to indicate a virgin, whether by the context of the type of literature (e.g. legal literature) or by the addition of explanatory clauses.
  414. Genesis 24:17 tn Heb “and the servant.” The word “Abraham’s” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  415. Genesis 24:18 tn Heb “and she hurried and lowered.”
  416. Genesis 24:19 tn Heb “when she had finished giving him a drink.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  417. Genesis 24:20 tn Heb “and she hurried and emptied.”
  418. Genesis 24:21 tn Heb “to know.”
  419. Genesis 24:21 tn The Hebrew term צָלָה (tsalah), meaning “to make successful” in the Hiphil verbal stem, is a key term in the story (see vv. 40, 42, 56).
  420. Genesis 24:22 sn A beka weighed about 5-6 grams (0.2 ounce).
  421. Genesis 24:22 sn A shekel weighed about 11.5 grams (0.4 ounce) although weights varied locally, so these bracelets weighed about 4 ounces (115 grams).
  422. Genesis 24:22 tn The words “and gave them to her” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied (cf. Gen 24:30).
  423. Genesis 24:23 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Whose daughter are you?’” The order of the introductory clause has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  424. Genesis 24:24 tn Heb “whom she bore to Nahor.” The referent (Milcah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  425. Genesis 24:25 tn Heb “and she said, ‘We have plenty of both straw and feed.’” The order of the introductory clause has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  426. Genesis 24:25 tn Heb The words “for you” are not in the Hebrew text, but are implied.
  427. Genesis 24:27 tn Heb “his faithfulness and his commitment.”
  428. Genesis 24:27 tn Heb “As for me—in the way the Lord led me.”
  429. Genesis 24:27 tn Here “house” is an adverbial accusative of termination.
  430. Genesis 24:27 tn Heb “brothers.”
  431. Genesis 24:28 tn Heb “according to.”
  432. Genesis 24:29 tn The parenthetical disjunctive clause introduces the audience to Laban, who will eventually play an important role in the unfolding story.
  433. Genesis 24:30 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.
  434. Genesis 24:30 tn Heb “and when he heard the words of Rebekah his sister, saying.”
  435. Genesis 24:30 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.
  436. Genesis 24:31 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent (Laban) has been specified and the words “to him” supplied in the translation for clarity.
  437. Genesis 24:31 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.
  438. Genesis 24:31 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial.
  439. Genesis 24:32 tn Heb “the man”; the referent (Abraham’s servant) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  440. Genesis 24:32 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).
  441. Genesis 24:32 tn Heb “and [one] gave.” The verb without an expressed subject may be translated as passive.
  442. Genesis 24:32 tn Heb “and water to wash his feet and the feet of the men who were with him.”
  443. Genesis 24:33 tn Heb “and food was placed before him.”
  444. Genesis 24:33 tn Heb “my words.”
  445. Genesis 24:33 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.
  446. Genesis 24:35 tn Heb “become great.” In this context the statement refers primarily to Abraham’s material wealth, although reputation and influence are not excluded.
  447. Genesis 24:35 tn Heb “and he.” The referent (the Lord) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  448. Genesis 24:36 tn Heb “to my master.” This has been replaced by the pronoun “him” in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  449. Genesis 24:36 tn Heb “after her old age.”
  450. Genesis 24:36 tn Heb “and he.” The referent (the servant’s master, Abraham) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  451. Genesis 24:38 tn Heb “but to the house of my father you must go and to my family and you must take a wife for my son.”
  452. Genesis 24:39 tn The imperfect is used here in a modal sense to indicate desire.
  453. Genesis 24:39 tn Heb “after me.”
  454. Genesis 24:40 tn The verb is the Hitpael of הָלַךְ (halakh), meaning “live one’s life” (see Gen 17:1). The statement may simply refer to serving the Lord or it may have a more positive moral connotation (“serve faithfully”).
  455. Genesis 24:41 tn Heb “my oath” (twice in this verse). From the Hebrew perspective the oath belonged to the person to whom it was sworn (Abraham), although in contemporary English an oath is typically viewed as belonging to the person who swears it (the servant).
  456. Genesis 24:42 tn Heb “if you are making successful my way on which I am going.”
  457. Genesis 24:42 tn The words “may events unfold as follows” are supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
  458. Genesis 24:43 tn Heb “the spring of water.”
  459. Genesis 24:43 tn Heb “and it will be.”
  460. Genesis 24:45 tn Heb “As for me, before I finished speaking to my heart.” The adverb טֶרֶם (terem) indicates the verb is a preterite; the infinitive that follows is the direct object.
  461. Genesis 24:45 tn Heb “Look, Rebekah was coming out.” As in 24:15, the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) is used here for dramatic effect.
  462. Genesis 24:47 tn Heb “whom Milcah bore to him.” The referent (Nahor) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  463. Genesis 24:48 tn Heb “daughter.” Rebekah was actually the granddaughter of Nahor, Abraham’s brother. One can either translate the Hebrew term בַּת (bat) as “daughter,” in which case the term אָח (ʾakh) must be translated more generally as “relative” rather than “brother” (cf. NASB, NRSV) or one can translate בַּת as “granddaughter,” in which case אָח may be translated “brother” (cf. NIV).
  464. Genesis 24:49 tn Heb “and I will turn to the right or to the left.” The expression apparently means that Abraham’s servant will know where he should go if there is no further business here.
  465. Genesis 24:50 tn Heb “From the Lord the matter has gone out.”
  466. Genesis 24:50 tn Heb “We are not able to speak to you bad or good.” This means that Laban and Bethuel could not say one way or the other what they wanted, for they viewed it as God’s will.
  467. Genesis 24:51 tn Following the imperatives, the jussive with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.
  468. Genesis 24:51 tn Heb “as the Lord has spoken.”
  469. Genesis 24:53 tn Heb “the servant”; the noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  470. Genesis 24:54 tn Heb “And they ate and drank, he and the men who [were] with him and they spent the night.”
  471. Genesis 24:54 tn Heb “Send me away to my master.”
  472. Genesis 24:55 tn Heb “her”; the referent (Rebekah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  473. Genesis 24:56 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial, indicating a reason for the preceding request.
  474. Genesis 24:56 tn After the preceding imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.
  475. Genesis 24:57 tn Heb “and we will ask her mouth.”
  476. Genesis 24:58 tn The imperfect verbal form here has a modal nuance, expressing desire.
  477. Genesis 24:60 tn Heb “and said to her.”
  478. Genesis 24:60 tn Heb “become thousands of ten thousands.”sn May you become the mother of thousands of ten thousands. The blessing expresses their prayer that she produce children and start a family line that will greatly increase (cf. Gen 17:16).
  479. Genesis 24:60 tn Heb “gate,” which here stands for a walled city. In an ancient Near Eastern city the gate complex was the main area of defense (hence the translation “stronghold”). A similar phrase occurs in Gen 22:17.
  480. Genesis 24:61 tn Heb “And she arose, Rebekah and her female servants, and they rode upon camels and went after.”
  481. Genesis 24:61 tn Heb “the servant”; the word “Abraham’s” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  482. Genesis 24:62 tn The disjunctive clause switches the audience’s attention to Isaac and signals a new episode in the story.
  483. Genesis 24:62 tn Heb “from the way of.”
  484. Genesis 24:62 sn The Hebrew name Beer Lahai Roi (בְּאֵר לַחַי רֹאִי, beʾer lakhay roʾi) means “The well of the Living One who sees me.” See Gen 16:14.
  485. Genesis 24:62 tn This disjunctive clause is explanatory.
  486. Genesis 24:62 tn Or “the South [country].”sn Negev is the name for the southern desert region in the land of Canaan.
  487. Genesis 24:63 tn Heb “Isaac”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  488. Genesis 24:63 tn The meaning of this Hebrew term is uncertain (cf. NASB, NIV “to meditate”; NRSV “to walk”).
  489. Genesis 24:63 tn Heb “at the turning of the evening.”
  490. Genesis 24:63 tn Heb “And he lifted up his eyes.” This idiom emphasizes the careful look Isaac had at the approaching caravan.
  491. Genesis 24:63 tn Heb “and look.” The clause introduced by the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) invites the audience to view the scene through Isaac’s eyes.
  492. Genesis 24:64 tn Heb “lifted up her eyes.”
  493. Genesis 24:65 tn Heb “and she said to.”
  494. Genesis 24:65 tn Heb “the servant.” The word “Abraham’s” has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
  495. Genesis 24:65 tn Heb “and the servant said.” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  496. Genesis 24:67 tn Heb “her”; the referent has been specified here in the translation for clarity.
  497. Genesis 24:67 tn Heb “Rebekah”; here the proper name was replaced by the pronoun (“her”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  498. Genesis 24:67 tn Heb “and he took Rebekah and she became his wife and he loved her.”
  499. Genesis 24:67 tn Heb “after his mother.” This must refer to Sarah’s death.
  500. Genesis 25:1 tn Or “took.”sn Abraham had taken another wife. These events are not necessarily in chronological order following the events of the preceding chapter. They are listed here to summarize Abraham’s other descendants before the narrative of his death.
  501. Genesis 25:1 tn Heb “And Abraham added and took.”
  502. Genesis 25:3 sn The names Sheba and Dedan appear in Gen 10:7 as descendants of Ham through Cush and Raamah. Since these two names are usually interpreted to be place names, one plausible suggestion is that some of Abraham’s descendants lived in those regions and took names linked with it.
  503. Genesis 25:4 tn Or “sons.”
  504. Genesis 25:6 tn Heb “the sons of the concubines who [belonged] to Abraham.”
  505. Genesis 25:6 tn Heb “And he sent them away from upon Isaac his son, while he was still living, eastward to the land of the east.”
  506. Genesis 25:7 tn Heb “and these are the days of the years of the lifetime of Abraham that he lived.” The normal genealogical formula is expanded here due to the importance of the life of Abraham.
  507. Genesis 25:8 tn Heb “old and full.”
  508. Genesis 25:8 tn Heb “And he was gathered to his people.” In the ancient Israelite view he joined his deceased ancestors in Sheol, the land of the dead.
  509. Genesis 25:9 sn The cave of Machpelah was the place Abraham had purchased as a burial place for his wife Sarah (Gen 23:17-18).
  510. Genesis 25:9 tn The Hebrew term “Hittite” derives from the name Heth; see the note at Gen 23:3.
  511. Genesis 25:10 tn See the note on the phrase “sons of Heth” in Gen 23:3.
  512. Genesis 25:11 sn God blessed Isaac. The Hebrew verb “bless” in this passage must include all the gifts that God granted to Isaac. But fertility was not one of them, at least not for 20 years, because Rebekah was barren as well (see v. 21).
  513. Genesis 25:11 sn Beer Lahai Roi. See the note on this place name in Gen 24:62.
  514. Genesis 25:12 sn This is the account of Ishmael. The Book of Genesis tends to tidy up the family records at every turning point. Here, before proceeding with the story of Isaac’s family, the narrative traces Ishmael’s family line. Later, before discussing Jacob’s family, the narrative traces Esau’s family line (see Gen 36).
  515. Genesis 25:13 tn The meaning of this line is not easily understood. The sons of Ishmael are listed here “by their names” and “according to their descendants.”
  516. Genesis 25:16 tn Or “tribal chieftains.”
  517. Genesis 25:17 tn Heb “And these are the days of the years of Ishmael.”
  518. Genesis 25:17 tn Heb “And he was gathered to his people.” In the ancient Israelite view he joined his deceased ancestors in Sheol, the land of the dead.
  519. Genesis 25:18 tn Heb “they”; the referent (Ishmael’s descendants) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  520. Genesis 25:18 tn Heb “which is by the face of,” or near the border. The territory ran along the border of Egypt.
  521. Genesis 25:18 tn Heb “as you go.”
  522. Genesis 25:18 sn The name Asshur refers here to a tribal area in the Sinai.
  523. Genesis 25:18 tn Heb “he fell.”
  524. Genesis 25:18 tn Heb “upon the face of all his brothers.” This last expression, obviously alluding to the earlier oracle about Ishmael (Gen 16:12), could mean that the descendants of Ishmael lived in hostility to others or that they lived in a territory that was opposite the lands of their relatives. While there is some ambiguity about the meaning, the line probably does give a hint of the Ishmaelite-Israelite conflicts to come.
  525. Genesis 25:19 sn This is the account of Isaac. What follows for several chapters is not the account of Isaac, except briefly, but the account of Jacob and Esau. The next chapters tell what became of Isaac and his family.
  526. Genesis 25:20 tn Heb “And Isaac was the son of forty years when he took Rebekah.”
  527. Genesis 25:20 sn Some valuable information is provided here. We learn here that Isaac married thirty-five years before Abraham died, that Rebekah was barren for 20 years, and that Abraham would have lived to see Jacob and Esau begin to grow up. The death of Abraham was recorded in the first part of the chapter as a “tidying up” of one generation before beginning the account of the next.
  528. Genesis 25:21 tn The Hebrew verb עָתַר (ʿatar), translated “prayed” here, appears in the story of God’s judgment on Egypt in which Moses asked the Lord to remove the plagues. The cognate word in Arabic means “to slaughter for sacrifice,” and the word is used in Zeph 3:10 to describe worshipers who bring offerings. Perhaps some ritual accompanied Isaac’s prayer here.
  529. Genesis 25:22 tn The Hebrew word used here suggests a violent struggle that was out of the ordinary.
  530. Genesis 25:22 tn Heb “If [it is] so, why [am] I this [way]?” Rebekah wanted to know what was happening to her, but the question itself reflects a growing despair over the struggle of the unborn children.
  531. Genesis 25:22 sn Asked the Lord. In other passages (e.g., 1 Sam 9:9) this expression refers to inquiring of a prophet, but no details are provided here.
  532. Genesis 25:23 sn By metonymy the two children in her womb are described as two nations of which the two children, Jacob and Esau, would become the fathers. The language suggests there would be a struggle between these nations, with one being stronger than the other. The oracle reveals that all of Jacob’s scheming was unnecessary in the final analysis. He would have become the dominant nation without using deception to steal his brother’s blessing.
  533. Genesis 25:24 tn Heb “And her days were filled to give birth.”
  534. Genesis 25:24 tn Heb “look!” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the audience to view the scene as if they were actually present at the birth.
  535. Genesis 25:25 sn Reddish. The Hebrew word translated “reddish” is אַדְמוֹנִי (ʾadmoni), which forms a wordplay on the Edomites, Esau’s descendants. The writer sees in Esau’s appearance at birth a sign of what was to come. After all, the reader has already been made aware of the “nations” that were being born.
  536. Genesis 25:25 tn Heb “all of him.”
  537. Genesis 25:25 sn Hairy. Here is another wordplay involving the descendants of Esau. The Hebrew word translated “hairy” is שֵׂעָר (seʿar); the Edomites will later live in Mount Seir, perhaps named for its wooded nature.
  538. Genesis 25:25 tn Heb “And they called his name Esau.” The name “Esau” (עֵשָׂו, ʿesav) is not etymologically related to שֵׂעָר (seʿar), but it draws on some of the sounds.
  539. Genesis 25:26 tn The disjunctive clause describes an important circumstance accompanying the birth. Whereas Esau was passive at birth, Jacob was active.
  540. Genesis 25:26 tn Heb “And he called his name Jacob.” Some ancient witnesses read “they called his name Jacob” (see v. 25). In either case the subject is indefinite.sn The name Jacob is a play on the Hebrew word for “heel” (עָקֵב, ʿaqev). The name (since it is a verb) probably means something like “may he protect,” that is, as a rearguard, dogging the heels. It did not have a negative connotation until Esau redefined it. This name was probably chosen because of the immediate association with the incident of grabbing the heel. After receiving such an oracle, the parents would have preserved in memory almost every detail of the unusual births.
  541. Genesis 25:26 tn Heb “the son of sixty years.”
  542. Genesis 25:27 tn Heb “knowing.”
  543. Genesis 25:27 tn The disjunctive clause juxtaposes Jacob with Esau and draws attention to the striking contrasts. In contrast to Esau, a man of the field, Jacob was civilized, as the phrase “living in tents” signifies. Whereas Esau was a skillful hunter, Jacob was calm and even-tempered (תָּם, tam), which normally has the idea of “blameless.”
  544. Genesis 25:28 tn Heb “the taste of game was in his mouth.” The word for “game,” “venison” is here the same Hebrew word as “hunter” in the last verse. Here it is a metonymy, referring to that which the hunter kills.
  545. Genesis 25:28 tn The disjunctive clause juxtaposes Rebekah with Jacob and draws attention to the contrast. The verb here is a participle, drawing attention to Rebekah’s continuing, enduring love for her son.
  546. Genesis 25:29 sn Jacob cooked some stew. There are some significant words and wordplays in this story that help clarify the points of the story. The verb “cook” is זִיד (zid), which sounds like the word for “hunter” (צַיִד, tsayid). This is deliberate, for the hunter becomes the hunted in this story. The word זִיד means “to cook, to boil,” but by the sound play with צַיִד it comes to mean “set a trap by cooking.” The usage of the word shows that it can also have the connotation of acting presumptuously (as in boiling over). This too may be a comment on the scene. For further discussion of the rhetorical devices in the Jacob narratives, see J. P. Fokkelman, Narrative Art in Genesis (SSN).
  547. Genesis 25:30 tn The rare term לָעַט (laʿat), translated “feed,” is used in later Hebrew for feeding animals (see Jastrow, 714). If this nuance was attached to the word in the biblical period, then it may depict Esau in a negative light, comparing him to a hungry animal. Famished Esau comes in from the hunt, only to enter the trap. He can only point at the red stew and ask Jacob to feed him.
  548. Genesis 25:30 tn The verb has no expressed subject and so is given a passive translation.
  549. Genesis 25:30 sn Esau’s descendants would eventually be called Edom. Edom was the place where they lived, so-named probably because of the reddish nature of the hills. The writer can use the word “red” to describe the stew that Esau gasped for to convey the nature of Esau and his descendants. They were a lusty, passionate, and profane people who lived for the moment. Again, the wordplay is meant to capture the “omen in the nomen.”
  550. Genesis 25:31 tn Heb “today.”
  551. Genesis 25:32 tn Heb “And what is this to me, a birthright?”
  552. Genesis 25:33 tn Heb “Swear to me today.”
  553. Genesis 25:33 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Esau) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  554. Genesis 25:33 sn And sold his birthright. There is evidence from Hurrian culture that rights of inheritance were occasionally sold or transferred. Here Esau is portrayed as a profane person who would at the moment rather have a meal than the right to inherit. He will soon forget this trade and seek his father’s blessing in spite of it.
  555. Genesis 25:34 sn The style here is typical of Hebrew narrative; after the tension is resolved with the dialogue, the working out of it is recorded in a rapid sequence of verbs (“gave”; “ate”; “drank”; “got up”; “went out”). See also Gen 3:1-7 for another example.
  556. Genesis 25:34 sn So Esau despised his birthright. This clause, which concludes the episode, is a summary statement which reveals the underlying significance of Esau’s actions. “To despise” means to treat something as worthless or with contempt. Esau’s willingness to sell his birthright was evidence that he considered it to be unimportant.
  557. Genesis 26:1 tn Heb “in addition to the first famine which was.”
  558. Genesis 26:1 sn This account is parallel to two similar stories about Abraham (see Gen 12:10-20; 20:1-18). Many scholars do not believe there were three similar incidents, only one that got borrowed and duplicated. Many regard the account about Isaac as the original, which then was attached to the more important person, Abraham, with supernatural elements being added. For a critique of such an approach, see R. Alter, The Art of Biblical Narrative, 47-62. It is more likely that the story illustrates the proverb “like father, like son” (see T. W. Mann, The Book of the Torah, 53). In typical human fashion the son follows his father’s example of lying to avoid problems. The appearance of similar events reported in a similar way underscores the fact that the blessing has now passed to Isaac, even if he fails as his father did.
  559. Genesis 26:2 sn Do not go down to Egypt. The words echo Gen 12:10, which reports that “Abram went down to Egypt,” but state the opposite.
  560. Genesis 26:2 tn Heb “say to you.”
  561. Genesis 26:3 tn The Hebrew verb גּוּר (gur) means “to live temporarily without ownership of land.” Abraham’s family will not actually possess the land of Canaan until the Israelite conquest hundreds of years later.
  562. Genesis 26:3 tn After the imperative “stay” the two prefixed verb forms with prefixed conjunction here indicate consequence.sn I will be with you and I will bless you. The promise of divine presence is a promise to intervene to protect and to bless.
  563. Genesis 26:3 tn The Hebrew term זֶרַע (zeraʿ) occurring here and in v. 18 may mean “seed” (for planting), “offspring” (occasionally of animals, but usually of people), or “descendants” depending on the context.sn To you and to your descendants. The Abrahamic blessing will pass to Isaac. Everything included in that blessing will now belong to the son, and in turn will be passed on to his sons. But there is a contingency involved: If they are to enjoy the full blessings, they will have to obey the word of the Lord. And so obedience is enjoined here with the example of how well Abraham obeyed.
  564. Genesis 26:3 tn The Hiphil stem of the verb קוּם (qum) here means “to fulfill, to bring to realization.” For other examples of this use of this verb form, see Lev 26:9; Num 23:19; Deut 8:18; 9:5; 1 Sam 1:23; 1 Kgs 6:12; Jer 11:5.
  565. Genesis 26:3 tn Heb “the oath which I swore.”sn The solemn promise I made. See Gen 15:18-20; 22:16-18.
  566. Genesis 26:4 tn Heb “your descendants.”
  567. Genesis 26:4 tn The Hitpael is understood here as reflexive/reciprocal, “will bless [i.e., pronounce blessings on] themselves/one another.” It could possibly it could mean “they may find/receive blessing;” see the note at Gen 22:18. Elsewhere the Hitpael of the verb “to bless” is used with a reflexive/reciprocal sense in Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2. For examples of blessing formulae utilizing an individual as an example of blessing see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11. For the meaning of the Niphal in formulations of the Abrahamic covenant see notes at Gen 12:3; 18:18; 28:14. NASB presents the traditional passive rendering “will be blessed” with a note that it may mean “bless themselves.”
  568. Genesis 26:5 tn The words “All this will come to pass” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for stylistic reasons.
  569. Genesis 26:5 tn Heb “listened to my voice.”
  570. Genesis 26:5 sn My charge, my commandments, my statutes, and my laws. The language of this verse is clearly interpretive, for Abraham did not have all these laws. The terms are legal designations for sections of the Mosaic law and presuppose the existence of the law. Some Rabbinic views actually conclude that Abraham had fulfilled the whole law before it was given (see m. Qiddushin 4:14). Some scholars argue that this story could only have been written after the law was given (C. Westermann, Genesis, 2:424-25). But the simplest explanation is that the narrator (traditionally taken to be Moses the Lawgiver) elaborated on the simple report of Abraham’s obedience by using terms with which the Israelites were familiar. In this way he depicts Abraham as the model of obedience to God’s commands, whose example Israel should follow.
  571. Genesis 26:7 sn Rebekah, unlike Sarah, was not actually her husband’s sister.
  572. Genesis 26:7 tn Heb “lest.” The words “for he thought to himself” are supplied because the next clause is written with a first person pronoun, showing that Isaac was saying or thinking this.
  573. Genesis 26:7 tn Heb “kill me on account of.”
  574. Genesis 26:8 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  575. Genesis 26:8 tn Heb “and it happened when the days were long to him there.”
  576. Genesis 26:8 tn Heb “window and saw, and look, Isaac.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the audience to view the scene through Abimelech’s eyes.
  577. Genesis 26:8 tn Or “fondling.”sn The Hebrew word מְצַחֵק (metsakheq), from the root צָחַק (tsakhaq, “laugh”), forms a sound play with the name “Isaac” right before it. Here it depicts an action, probably caressing or fondling, that indicated immediately that Rebekah was Isaac’s wife, not his sister. Isaac’s deception made a mockery of God’s covenantal promise. Ignoring God’s promise to protect and bless him, Isaac lied to protect himself and acted in bad faith to the men of Gerar.
  578. Genesis 26:9 tn Heb “Surely, look!” See N. H. Snaith, “The meaning of the Hebrew אַךְ,” VT 14 (1964): 221-25.
  579. Genesis 26:9 tn Heb “Because I said, ‘Lest I die on account of her.’” Since the verb “said” probably means “said to myself” (i.e., “thought”) here, the direct discourse in the Hebrew statement has been converted to indirect discourse in the translation. In addition the simple prepositional phrase “on account of her” has been clarified in the translation as “to get her” (cf. v. 7).
  580. Genesis 26:10 tn Heb “What is this you have done to us?” The Hebrew demonstrative pronoun “this” adds emphasis: “What in the world have you done to us?” (R. J. Williams, Hebrew Syntax, 24, §118).
  581. Genesis 26:10 tn Heb “people.”tc The LXX reads τις τοῦ γένους μου (tis tou genous mou) “one of my kin.”
  582. Genesis 26:10 tn Heb “almost lied down with.” The verb שָׁכַב (shakhav) “to lie down” can imply going to bed to sleep or be a euphemism for sexual relations. Here the verb is modified by the prepositional phrase with כ (kaf; “like, as”) and מְעַט (meʿat; “little, brief”). When כִּמְעַט (kimʿat) modifies a perfect verb it means that someone almost did something (Ps 73:2; 119:87; Prov 5:14); with an imperfect verb it means to do something soon. This verse uses a perfect verb. Most translations employ a modal translation: “one of the people might easily (or “might soon”) have laid with your wife.” But the perfect verb is not typically modal, unless marked by other factors. The vav plus perfect consecutive (or veqatal) may be modal; or the perfect may be modal if signaled by another word such as אִם (ʾim; “if”) or לוּ or לוּלֵא (lu or luleʾ; “would that,” “unless”). If כִּמְעַט (kimʿat), which is not commonly used, can mark the perfect verb as modal, then “one of the people might have gone to bed with her” would be an appropriate translation. The options “it might have happened” and “it nearly happened” are fairly close in meaning.
  583. Genesis 26:11 tn Heb “strikes.” Here the verb has the nuance “to harm in any way.” It would include assaulting the woman or killing the man.
  584. Genesis 26:11 tn The use of the infinitive absolute before the imperfect makes the construction emphatic.
  585. Genesis 26:12 tn Heb “a hundredfold.”
  586. Genesis 26:12 tn This final clause explains why Isaac had such a bountiful harvest.
  587. Genesis 26:13 tn Heb “great.” In this context the statement refers primarily to Isaac’s material wealth, although reputation and influence are included.
  588. Genesis 26:13 tn Heb “and he went, going and becoming great.” The construction stresses that his growth in possessions and power continued steadily.
  589. Genesis 26:14 tn Heb “and there was to him.”
  590. Genesis 26:14 tn Heb “possessions of sheep.”
  591. Genesis 26:14 tn Heb “possessions of cattle.”
  592. Genesis 26:14 tn The Hebrew verb translated “became jealous of” refers here to intense jealousy or envy that leads to hostile action (see v. 15).
  593. Genesis 26:15 tn Heb “and the Philistines stopped them up and filled them with dirt.”
  594. Genesis 26:16 tn Heb “Go away from us.”
  595. Genesis 26:16 sn You have become much more powerful. This explanation for the expulsion of Isaac from Philistine territory foreshadows the words used later by the Egyptians to justify their oppression of Israel (see Exod 1:9).
  596. Genesis 26:17 tn Heb “and he camped in the Valley of Gerar and he lived there.”sn This valley was actually a wadi (a dry river bed where the water would flow in the rainy season, but this would have been rare in the Negev). The water table under it would have been higher than in the desert because of water soaking in during the torrents, making it easier to find water when digging wells. However, this does not minimize the blessing of the Lord, for the men of the region knew this too, but did not have the same results.
  597. Genesis 26:18 tn Heb “he returned and dug,” meaning “he dug again” or “he reopened.”
  598. Genesis 26:18 tn Heb “that they dug.” Since the subject is indefinite, the verb is translated as passive.
  599. Genesis 26:18 tn Heb “and the Philistines had stopped them up.” This clause explains why Isaac had to reopen them.
  600. Genesis 26:18 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  601. Genesis 26:18 tn Heb “them”; the referent (the wells) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  602. Genesis 26:18 tn Heb “called names to them according to the names that his father called them.”
  603. Genesis 26:19 tn Heb “living.” This expression refers to a well supplied by subterranean streams (see Song 4:15).
  604. Genesis 26:20 tn The Hebrew verb translated “quarreled” describes a conflict that often has legal ramifications.
  605. Genesis 26:20 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  606. Genesis 26:20 sn The name Esek means “argument” in Hebrew. The following causal clause explains that Isaac gave the well this name as a reminder of the conflict its discovery had created. In the Hebrew text there is a wordplay, for the name is derived from the verb translated “argued.”
  607. Genesis 26:20 tn The words “about it” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  608. Genesis 26:21 tn Heb “they”; the referent (Isaac’s servants) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  609. Genesis 26:21 tn Heb “and he called its name.” The referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  610. Genesis 26:21 sn The name Sitnah (שִׂטְנָה, sitnah) is derived from a Hebrew verbal root meaning “to oppose; to be an adversary” (cf. Job 1:6). The name was a reminder that the digging of this well caused “opposition” from the Philistines.
  611. Genesis 26:22 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  612. Genesis 26:22 tn Heb “and he called its name.”
  613. Genesis 26:22 sn The name Rehoboth (רְהֹבוֹת, rehovot) is derived from a verbal root meaning “to make room.” The name was a reminder that God had made room for them. The story shows Isaac’s patience with the opposition; it also shows how God’s blessing outdistanced the men of Gerar. They could not stop it or seize it any longer.
  614. Genesis 26:23 tn Heb “and he went up from there”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  615. Genesis 26:25 tn Heb “called in the name of.” The expression refers to worshiping the Lord through prayer and sacrifice (see Gen 4:26; 12:8; 13:4; 21:33). See G. J. Wenham, Genesis (WBC), 1:116.
  616. Genesis 26:25 tn Heb “and they dug there, the servants of Isaac, a well.”
  617. Genesis 26:26 tn The disjunctive clause supplies pertinent supplemental information. The past perfect is used because the following narrative records the treaty at Beer Sheba. Prior to this we are told that Isaac settled in Beer Sheba; presumably this treaty would have allowed him to do that. However, it may be that he settled there and then made the treaty by which he renamed the place Beer Sheba. In this case one may translate “Now Abimelech came to him.”
  618. Genesis 26:26 tn Heb “and.”
  619. Genesis 26:26 tn Many modern translations render the Hebrew term מֵרֵעַ (mereaʾ) as “councillor” or “adviser,” but the term may not designate an official position but simply a close personal friend.
  620. Genesis 26:27 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial, expressing the reason for his question.
  621. Genesis 26:28 tn The infinitive absolute before the verb emphasizes the clarity of their perception.
  622. Genesis 26:28 tn Heb “And we said, ‘Let there be.’” The direct discourse in the Hebrew text has been rendered as indirect discourse in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  623. Genesis 26:28 tn The pronoun “us” here is inclusive—it refers to the Philistine contingent on the one hand and Isaac on the other.
  624. Genesis 26:28 tn The pronoun “us” here is exclusive—it refers to just the Philistine contingent (the following “you” refers to Isaac).
  625. Genesis 26:28 tn The translation assumes that the cohortative expresses their request. Another option is to understand the cohortative as indicating resolve: “We want to make.’”
  626. Genesis 26:29 tn The oath formula is used: “if you do us harm” means “so that you will not do.”
  627. Genesis 26:29 tn Heb “touched.”
  628. Genesis 26:29 tn Heb “and just as we have done only good with you.”
  629. Genesis 26:29 tn Heb “and we sent you away.”
  630. Genesis 26:29 tn The Philistine leaders are making an observation, not pronouncing a blessing, so the translation reads “you are blessed” rather than “may you be blessed” (cf. NAB).
  631. Genesis 26:30 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  632. Genesis 26:30 tn Heb “and they ate and drank.”
  633. Genesis 26:31 tn Heb “and they got up early and they swore an oath, a man to his brother.”
  634. Genesis 26:31 tn Heb “and they went from him in peace.”
  635. Genesis 26:32 tn Heb “and they said to him, ‘We have found water.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  636. Genesis 26:33 sn The name Shibah (שִׁבְעָה, shivʿah) means (or at least sounds like) the word meaning “oath.” The name was a reminder of the oath sworn by Isaac and the Philistines to solidify their treaty.
  637. Genesis 26:33 sn The name Beer Sheba (בְּאֵר שָׁבַע, beʾer shavaʿ) means “well of an oath” or “well of seven.” According to Gen 21:31 Abraham gave Beer Sheba its name when he made a treaty with the Philistines. Because of the parallels between this earlier story and the account in 26:26-33, some scholars see chaps. 21 and 26 as two versions (or doublets) of one original story. However, if one takes the text as it stands, it appears that Isaac made a later treaty agreement with the people of the land that was similar to his father’s. Abraham dug a well at the site and named the place Beer Sheba; Isaac dug another well there and named the well Shibah. Later generations then associated the name Beer Sheba with Isaac, even though Abraham gave the place its name at an earlier time.
  638. Genesis 26:34 tn The sentence begins with the temporal indicator (“and it happened”), making this clause subordinate to the next.
  639. Genesis 26:34 tn Heb “the son of forty years.”
  640. Genesis 26:34 tn Heb “took as a wife.”
  641. Genesis 26:35 tn Heb “And they were [a source of ] bitterness in spirit to Isaac and to Rebekah.”
  642. Genesis 27:1 tn The clause begins with the temporal indicator (“and it happened”), making it subordinate to the main clause that follows later in the sentence.
  643. Genesis 27:1 tn Heb “and his eyes were weak from seeing.”
  644. Genesis 27:1 tn Heb “greater” (in terms of age).
  645. Genesis 27:1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Esau) is specified in the translation for clarity.
  646. Genesis 27:2 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Isaac) is specified in the translation for clarity.
  647. Genesis 27:2 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) here introduces a logically foundational statement, upon which the coming instruction will be based.
  648. Genesis 27:2 tn Heb “I do not know the day of my death.”
  649. Genesis 27:3 tn The Hebrew word is to be spelled either צַיִד (tsayid) following the marginal reading (Qere), or צֵידָה (tsedah) following the consonantal text (Kethib). Either way it is from the same root as the imperative צוּדָה (tsudah, “hunt down”).
  650. Genesis 27:4 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative (with the prefixed conjunction) indicates purpose or result.
  651. Genesis 27:4 tn Heb “so that my soul may bless you.” The use of נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) as the subject emphasizes that the blessing will be made with all Isaac’s desire and vitality. The conjunction “so that” closely relates the meal to the blessing, suggesting that this will be a ritual meal in conjunction with the giving of a formal blessing.
  652. Genesis 27:5 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by a conjunction with the subject, followed by the predicate) here introduces a new scene in the story.
  653. Genesis 27:5 tc The LXX adds here “to his father,” which may have been accidentally omitted in the MT.
  654. Genesis 27:7 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative (with the prefixed conjunction) indicates purpose or result.
  655. Genesis 27:7 tn The cohortative, with the prefixed conjunction, also expresses logical sequence. See vv. 4, 19, 27.
  656. Genesis 27:7 tn In her report to Jacob, Rebekah plays down Isaac’s strong desire to bless Esau by leaving out נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”), but by adding the phrase “in the presence of the Lord,” she stresses how serious this matter is.
  657. Genesis 27:8 tn Heb “listen to my voice.” The Hebrew idiom means “to comply; to obey.”
  658. Genesis 27:8 tn Heb “to that which I am commanding you.”
  659. Genesis 27:9 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative (with the prefixed conjunction) indicates purpose or result.
  660. Genesis 27:10 tn The form is the perfect tense with the vav (ו) consecutive. It carries forward the tone of instruction initiated by the command to “go…and get” in the preceding verse.
  661. Genesis 27:10 tn The form is the perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; it carries the future nuance of the preceding verbs of instruction, but by switching the subject to Jacob, indicates the expected result of the subterfuge.
  662. Genesis 27:10 tn Heb “so that.” The conjunction indicates purpose or result.
  663. Genesis 27:11 tn Heb “And Jacob said to Rebekah his mother, ‘Look, Esau my brother is a hairy man, but I am a smooth [skinned] man.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  664. Genesis 27:12 tn Heb “Perhaps my father will feel me and I will be in his eyes like a mocker.” The Hebrew expression “I will be in his eyes like” means “I would appear to him as.”
  665. Genesis 27:13 tn Heb “upon me your curse.”
  666. Genesis 27:13 tn Heb “only listen to my voice.”
  667. Genesis 27:14 tn The words “the goats” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  668. Genesis 27:14 tn Heb “his mother.” This has been replaced by the pronoun “she” in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  669. Genesis 27:16 tn In the Hebrew text the object (“the skins of the young goats”) precedes the verb. The disjunctive clause draws attention to this key element in the subterfuge.
  670. Genesis 27:16 tn The word “hands” probably includes the forearms here. How the skins were attached is not specified in the Hebrew text; cf. NLT “she made him a pair of gloves.”
  671. Genesis 27:17 tn Heb “gave…into the hand of her . . . .”
  672. Genesis 27:18 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  673. Genesis 27:18 sn Which are you, my son? Isaac’s first question shows that the deception is going to require more subterfuge than Rebekah had anticipated. Jacob will have to pull off the deceit.
  674. Genesis 27:19 tn Heb “get up and sit.” This may mean simply “sit up,” or it may indicate that he was to get up from his couch and sit at a table.
  675. Genesis 27:19 tn Heb “so that your soul may bless me.” These words, though not reported by Rebekah to Jacob (see v. 7) accurately reflect what Isaac actually said to Esau (see v. 4). Perhaps Jacob knew more than Rebekah realized, but it is more likely that this was an idiom for sincere blessing with which Jacob was familiar. At any rate, his use of the precise wording was a nice, convincing touch.
  676. Genesis 27:20 tn Heb “What is this?” The enclitic pronoun “this” adds emphasis to the question, which is comparable to the English rhetorical question, “How in the world?”
  677. Genesis 27:20 tn Heb “you hastened to find.” In translation the infinitive becomes the main verb and the first verb becomes adverbial.
  678. Genesis 27:20 tn Heb “caused to meet before me.”
  679. Genesis 27:20 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Because the Lord your God….’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  680. Genesis 27:21 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative (with prefixed conjunction) indicates purpose or result.
  681. Genesis 27:21 tn Heb “Are you this one, Esau, my son, or not?” On the use of the interrogative particle here, see BDB 210 s.v. הֲ.
  682. Genesis 27:23 tn Heb “and he blessed him.” The referents of the pronouns “he” (Isaac) and “him” (Jacob) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
  683. Genesis 27:24 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  684. Genesis 27:25 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  685. Genesis 27:25 tn Heb “Bring near to me and I will eat of the wild game, my son.” Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.
  686. Genesis 27:25 tn Heb “so that my soul may bless you.” The presence of נַפְשִׁי (nafshi, “my soul”) as subject emphasizes Isaac’s heartfelt desire to do this. The conjunction indicates that the ritual meal must be first eaten before the formal blessing may be given.
  687. Genesis 27:25 tn Heb “and he brought”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  688. Genesis 27:25 tn Heb “and he drank”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  689. Genesis 27:27 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  690. Genesis 27:27 tn Heb “and he smelled the smell”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  691. Genesis 27:27 tn Heb “see.”
  692. Genesis 27:28 tn Heb “and from the dew of the sky.”
  693. Genesis 27:28 tn Heb “and from the fatness.”
  694. Genesis 27:29 tn Heb “and be.” The verb is an imperative, which is used rhetorically in this oracle of blessing. It is an invitation to exercise authority over his brothers and indicates that he is granted such authority by the patriarch of the family. Furthermore, the blessing enables the recipient to accomplish this.
  695. Genesis 27:29 tn The Hebrew word is גְבִיר (gevir, “lord, mighty one”). The one being blessed will be stronger and therefore more powerful than his brother. See Gen 25:23. The feminine form of this rare noun means “mistress” or “queen-mother.”
  696. Genesis 27:29 tn Following the imperative, the prefixed verbal form (which is either an imperfect or a jussive) with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.
  697. Genesis 27:30 tn The use of the infinitive absolute before the finite form of the verb makes the construction emphatic.
  698. Genesis 27:30 tn Heb “the presence of Isaac his father.” The repetition of the proper name (“Isaac”) was replaced by the referent (“his father’s…”) for stylistic reasons.
  699. Genesis 27:30 tn Heb “and Esau his brother came from his hunt.”
  700. Genesis 27:31 tn Heb “and he said to his father”; the referent of “he” (Esau) has been specified in the translation for clarity, while the words “his father” have been replaced by the pronoun “him” for stylistic reasons.
  701. Genesis 27:31 tn Or “arise” (i.e., sit up).
  702. Genesis 27:31 tn Heb “so that your soul may bless me.”
  703. Genesis 27:32 tn Heb “said.”
  704. Genesis 27:32 tn Heb “and he said, ‘I [am] your son, your firstborn.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged for stylistic reasons.
  705. Genesis 27:33 tn Heb “and Isaac trembled with a great trembling to excess.” The verb “trembled” is joined with a cognate accusative, which is modified by an adjective “great,” and a prepositional phrase “to excess.” All of this is emphatic, showing the violence of Isaac’s reaction to the news.
  706. Genesis 27:33 tn Heb “Who then is he who hunted game and brought [it] to me so that I ate from all before you arrived and blessed him?”
  707. Genesis 27:34 tn The temporal clause is introduced with the temporal indicator and has the infinitive as its verb.
  708. Genesis 27:34 tn Heb “and he yelled [with] a great and bitter yell to excess.”
  709. Genesis 27:35 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Isaac) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  710. Genesis 27:35 tn Or “took”; “received.”
  711. Genesis 27:36 tn Heb “Is he not rightly named Jacob?” The rhetorical question, since it expects a positive reply, has been translated as a declarative statement.
  712. Genesis 27:36 sn He has tripped me up. When originally given, the name Jacob was a play on the word “heel” (see Gen 25:26). The name (since it is a verb) probably means something like “may he protect,” that is, as a rearguard, dogging the heels. This name was probably chosen because of the immediate association with the incident of grabbing the heel. Esau gives the name “Jacob” a negative connotation here, the meaning “to trip up; to supplant.”
  713. Genesis 27:38 tn Heb “Bless me, me also, my father.” The words “my father” have not been repeated in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  714. Genesis 27:38 tn Heb “and Esau lifted his voice and wept.”
  715. Genesis 27:39 tn The particle הִנֵּה (hinneh) calls for someone’s attention.
  716. Genesis 27:39 tn Or “next to.” The preposition מִן (min) generally indicates the source of something or separation from something, and so is often rendered “from.” Older translations (KJV, ASV, Douay-Rheims, Young’s, JPS) took the preposition as indicating source: “of the fatness of the earth.” More recent translations (NASB, NIV, ESV, NLV) take it as separative: “away from the fatness.” In Jacob’s blessing the preposition works with the verb “give” and indicates source. In Esau’s blessing the preposition functions in a nominal clause and modifies “your dwelling.” HALOT says that מִן can point “to the place… where something can be found” and thus means “in” in Gen 2:8; Lev 14:41; 2 Sam 5:13; Ezra 1:4; Job 30:30; Isa 5:26; 23:7 (HALOT 597, s.v.). In combination with the verb “to dwell,” the preposition מִן means “by,” “next to,” or “across from” (Ruth 2:14; 1 Sam 20:25; Ezek 16:46; Jonah 4:5). The closest parallel for the noun “dwelling” is Gen 10:30 where מִן as “away from” is not possible (rather “at” or “beginning at.”) sn In contrast to Jacob, to whom God will give some of earth’s fatness and heaven’s dew, Esau will dwell next to these. Esau himself continues to dwell with Isaac in Canaan, so perhaps he dwells “at” or “in” the richness of the land. But the land of his descendants, Edom, is more arid and might be considered “next to” or “across from” Canaan. The main contrast seems to be that God will give Jacob something, while Esau will have access to two of the same things. “Grain” and “wine” are not repeated for Esau, which may also reflect different conditions in Edom and Canaan.
  717. Genesis 27:39 tn Heb “from the fatness.”
  718. Genesis 27:40 sn You will tear off his yoke from your neck. It may be that this prophetic blessing found its fulfillment when Jerusalem fell and Edom got its revenge. The oracle makes Edom subservient to Israel and suggests the Edomites would live away from the best land and be forced to sustain themselves by violent measures.
  719. Genesis 27:41 tn Or “bore a grudge against” (cf. NAB, NASB, NIV). The Hebrew verb שָׂטַם (satam) describes persistent hatred.
  720. Genesis 27:41 tn Heb “because of the blessing which his father blessed him.”
  721. Genesis 27:41 tn Heb “said in his heart.” The expression may mean “said to himself.” Even if this is the case, v. 42 makes it clear that he must have shared his intentions with someone, because the news reached Rebekah.
  722. Genesis 27:41 tn Heb “days.”
  723. Genesis 27:41 tn The cohortative here expresses Esau’s determined resolve to kill Jacob.
  724. Genesis 27:42 tn Heb “and the words of Esau her older son were told to Rebekah.”
  725. Genesis 27:42 tn Heb “she sent and called for.”
  726. Genesis 27:42 tn Heb “is consoling himself with respect to you to kill you.” The only way Esau had of dealing with his anger at the moment was to plan to kill his brother after the death of Isaac.
  727. Genesis 27:43 tn Heb “listen to my voice.”
  728. Genesis 27:43 tn Heb “arise, flee.”
  729. Genesis 27:44 tn Heb “a few days.” Rebekah probably downplays the length of time Jacob will be gone, perhaps to encourage him and assure him that things will settle down soon. She probably expects Esau’s anger to die down quickly. However, Jacob ends up being gone 20 years and he never sees Rebekah again.
  730. Genesis 27:45 tn The words “stay there” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  731. Genesis 27:45 tn Heb “and I will send and I will take you from there.” The verb “send” has no object in the Hebrew text; one must be supplied in the translation. Either “someone” or “a message” could be supplied, but since in those times a message would require a messenger, “someone” has been used.
  732. Genesis 27:45 tn If Jacob stayed, he would be killed and Esau would be forced to run away.
  733. Genesis 27:46 tn Heb “loathe my life.” The Hebrew verb translated “loathe” refers to strong disgust (see Lev 20:23).
  734. Genesis 27:46 tn Some translate the Hebrew term “Heth” as “Hittites” here (see also Gen 23:3), but this gives the impression that these people were the classical Hittites of Anatolia. However, there is no known connection between these sons of Heth, apparently a Canaanite group (see Gen 10:15), and the Hittites of Asia Minor. See H. A. Hoffner, Jr., “Hittites,” Peoples of the Old Testament World, 152-53.
  735. Genesis 27:46 tn Heb “If Jacob takes a wife from the daughters of Heth, like these, from the daughters of the land, why to me life?”
  736. Genesis 28:1 tn Heb “you must not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”
  737. Genesis 28:2 tn Heb “Arise! Go!” The first of the two imperatives is adverbial and stresses the immediacy of the departure.
  738. Genesis 28:3 tn Heb “El Shaddai.” See the extended note on the phrase “sovereign God” in Gen 17:1.
  739. Genesis 28:3 tn Heb “and make you fruitful and multiply you.” See Gen 17:6, 20 for similar terminology.
  740. Genesis 28:3 tn The perfect verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here indicates consequence. The collocation הָיָה plus preposition ל (hayah plus lamed) means “become.”
  741. Genesis 28:3 tn Heb “an assembly of peoples.”
  742. Genesis 28:4 tn Heb “and may he give to you the blessing of Abraham, to you and to your offspring with you.” The name “Abraham” is an objective genitive here; this refers to the blessing that God gave to Abraham.
  743. Genesis 28:4 tn The words “the land” have been supplied in the translation for clarity.
  744. Genesis 28:4 tn Heb “the land of your sojournings,” that is, the land where Jacob had been living as a resident foreigner, as his future descendants would after him.
  745. Genesis 28:6 tn Heb “to take for himself from there a wife.”
  746. Genesis 28:6 tn The infinitive construct with the preposition and the suffix form a temporal clause.
  747. Genesis 28:6 tn Heb “you must not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”
  748. Genesis 28:8 tn Heb “saw.”
  749. Genesis 28:8 tn Heb “the daughters of Canaan.”
  750. Genesis 28:8 tn Heb “evil in the eyes of.”
  751. Genesis 28:9 tn Heb “took for a wife.”
  752. Genesis 28:11 tn Heb “the place.” The article may indicate simply that the place is definite in the mind of the narrator. However, as the story unfolds the place is transformed into a holy place. See A. P. Ross, “Jacob’s Vision: The Founding of Bethel,” BSac 142 (1985): 224-37.
  753. Genesis 28:11 tn Heb “and he spent the night there because the sun had gone down.”
  754. Genesis 28:11 tn Heb “he took from the stones of the place,” which here means Jacob took one of the stones (see v. 18).
  755. Genesis 28:11 tn Heb “and he put [it at] the place of his head.” The text does not actually say the stone was placed under his head to serve as a pillow, although most interpreters and translators assume this. It is possible the stone served some other purpose. Jacob does not seem to have been a committed monotheist yet (see v. 20-21) so he may have believed it contained some spiritual power. Note that later in the story he anticipates the stone becoming the residence of God (see v. 22). Many cultures throughout the world view certain types of stones as magical and/or sacred. See J. G. Fraser, Folklore in the Old Testament, 231-37.
  756. Genesis 28:11 tn Heb “lay down.”
  757. Genesis 28:12 tn Heb “and dreamed.”
  758. Genesis 28:12 tn Heb “and look.” The scene which Jacob witnessed is described in three clauses introduced with הִנֵּה (hinneh). In this way the narrator invites the reader to witness the scene through Jacob’s eyes. J. P. Fokkelman points out that the particle goes with a lifted arm and an open mouth: “There, a ladder! Oh, angels! and look, the Lord himself” (Narrative Art in Genesis [SSN], 51-52).
  759. Genesis 28:12 tn The Hebrew noun סֻלָּם (sullam, “ladder, stairway”) occurs only here in the OT, but there appears to be an Akkadian cognate simmiltu (with metathesis of the second and third consonants and a feminine ending) which has a specialized meaning of “stairway, ramp.” See H. R. Cohen, Biblical Hapax Legomena (SBLDS), 34. For further discussion see C. Houtman, “What Did Jacob See in His Dream at Bethel? Some Remarks on Genesis 28:10-22, ” VT 27 (1977): 337-52; J. G. Griffiths, “The Celestial Ladder and the Gate of Heaven,” ExpTim 76 (1964/65): 229-30; and A. R. Millard, “The Celestial Ladder and the Gate of Heaven,” ExpTim 78 (1966/67): 86-87.
  760. Genesis 28:13 tn Heb “the God of your father Abraham and the God of Isaac.” The Hebrew word for “father” can typically be used in a broader sense than the English word, in this case referring to Abraham (who was Jacob’s grandfather). For stylistic reasons and for clarity, the words “your father” are supplied with “Isaac” in the translation.
  761. Genesis 28:13 tn The Hebrew term אֶרֶץ (ʾerets) can mean “[the] earth,” “land,” “region,” “piece of ground,” or “ground” depending on the context. Here the term specifically refers to the plot of ground on which Jacob was lying, but at the same time this stands by metonymy for the entire land of Canaan.
  762. Genesis 28:14 tn This is the same Hebrew word translated “ground” in the preceding verse.
  763. Genesis 28:14 tn The verb is singular in the Hebrew; Jacob is addressed as the representative of his descendants.
  764. Genesis 28:14 tn The translation understands the Niphal stem to be middle voice here; the normal passive for בָּרַךְ (barakh) is Pual. The middle voice may be expressed here as “they may consider themselves blessed,” “they may receive/find blessing,” “the may become blessed.” See the notes at 12:3 and 18:18.
  765. Genesis 28:15 tn Heb “Look, I [am] with you.” The clause is a nominal clause; the verb to be supplied could be present (as in the translation) or future, “Look, I [will be] with you” (cf. NEB).
  766. Genesis 28:16 tn Heb “woke up from his sleep.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  767. Genesis 28:16 tn Heb “said.”
  768. Genesis 28:18 tn Heb “and he got up early…and he took.”
  769. Genesis 28:18 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  770. Genesis 28:18 tn See the note on this phrase in v. 11.
  771. Genesis 28:18 tn Heb “standing stone.”sn Sacred stone. Such a stone could be used as a boundary marker, a burial stone, or as a shrine. Here the stone is intended to be a reminder of the stairway that was “erected” and on which the Lord “stood.” (In Hebrew the word translated “sacred stone” is derived from the verb translated “erected” in v. 12 and “stood” in v. 13.) Since the top of the stairway reached the heavens where the Lord stood, Jacob poured oil on the top of the stone. See C. F. Graesser, “Standing Stones in Ancient Palestine,” BA 35 (1972): 34-63; and E. Stockton, “Sacred Pillars in the Bible,” ABR 20 (1972): 16-32.
  772. Genesis 28:19 tn The name Bethel means “house of God” in Hebrew (see v. 17).
  773. Genesis 28:20 tn Heb “bread,” although the term can be used for food in general.
  774. Genesis 28:21 tn Heb “and I return in peace to the house of my father.”
  775. Genesis 28:22 tn The disjunctive clause structure (conjunction + noun/subject) is used to highlight the statement.
  776. Genesis 28:22 tn The infinitive absolute is used before the finite verb for emphasis.
  777. Genesis 28:22 tn Heb “and all which you give to me I will surely give a tenth of it to you.” The disjunctive clause structure (conjunction + noun/object) highlights this statement as well.
  778. Genesis 29:1 tn Heb “and Jacob lifted up his feet.” This unusual expression suggests that Jacob had a new lease on life now that God had promised him the blessing he had so desperately tried to gain by his own efforts. The text portrays him as having a new step in his walk.
  779. Genesis 29:1 tn Heb “the land of the sons of the east.”
  780. Genesis 29:2 tn Heb “and he saw, and look.” As in Gen 28:12-15, the narrator uses the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) here and in the next clause to draw the reader into the story.
  781. Genesis 29:2 tn Heb “and look, there.”
  782. Genesis 29:2 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by the noun with the prefixed conjunction) provides supplemental information that is important to the story.
  783. Genesis 29:3 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the shepherds) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  784. Genesis 29:5 tn Heb “son.”
  785. Genesis 29:5 tn Heb “and they said, ‘We know.’” The word “him” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons. In the translation several introductory clauses throughout this section have been placed after the direct discourse they introduce for stylistic reasons as well.
  786. Genesis 29:6 tn Heb “and he said to them, ‘Is there peace to him?’”
  787. Genesis 29:6 tn Heb “peace.”
  788. Genesis 29:7 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  789. Genesis 29:7 tn Heb “the day is great.”
  790. Genesis 29:7 tn Heb “water the sheep and go and pasture [them].” The verbal forms are imperatives, but Jacob would hardly be giving direct orders to someone else’s shepherds. The nuance here is probably one of advice.
  791. Genesis 29:8 tn The perfect verbal forms with the vav (ו) consecutive carry on the sequence begun by the initial imperfect form.
  792. Genesis 29:9 tn Heb “was a shepherdess.”
  793. Genesis 29:10 tn Heb “Laban, the brother of his mother” (twice in this verse).
  794. Genesis 29:10 tn Heb “Jacob.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  795. Genesis 29:10 tn Heb “drew near, approached.”
  796. Genesis 29:10 tn Heb “Laban, the brother of his mother.” The text says nothing initially about the beauty of Rachel. But the reader is struck by the repetition of “Laban the brother of his mother.” G. J. Wenham is no doubt correct when he observes that Jacob’s primary motive at this stage is to ingratiate himself with Laban (Genesis [WBC], 2:231).
  797. Genesis 29:11 tn Heb “and he lifted up his voice and wept.” The idiom calls deliberate attention to the fact that Jacob wept out loud.
  798. Genesis 29:12 tn Heb “declared.”
  799. Genesis 29:12 tn Heb “that he [was] the brother of her father.”
  800. Genesis 29:13 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  801. Genesis 29:13 tn Heb “and he told to Laban all these things.” This might mean Jacob told Laban how he happened to be there, but Laban’s response (see v. 14) suggests “all these things” refers to what Jacob had previously told Rachel (see v. 12).
  802. Genesis 29:14 tn Heb “indeed, my bone and my flesh are you.” The expression sounds warm enough, but the presence of “indeed” may suggest that Laban had to be convinced of Jacob’s identity before permitting him to stay. To be one’s “bone and flesh” is to be someone’s blood relative. For example, the phrase describes the relationship between Abimelech and the Shechemites (Judg 9:2; his mother was a Shechemite); David and the Israelites (2 Sam 5:1); David and the elders of Judah (2 Sam 19:12); and David and his nephew Amasa (2 Sam 19:13; see 2 Sam 17:2; 1 Chr 2:16-17).
  803. Genesis 29:14 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  804. Genesis 29:14 tn Heb “a month of days.”
  805. Genesis 29:15 tn The verb is the perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; the nuance in the question is deliberative.
  806. Genesis 29:15 tn Heb “my brother.” The term “brother” is used in a loose sense; actually Jacob was Laban’s nephew.
  807. Genesis 29:16 tn Heb “and to Laban [there were] two daughters.” The disjunctive clause (introduced here by a conjunction and a prepositional phrase) provides supplemental material that is important to the story. Since this material is parenthetical in nature, vv. 16-17 have been set in parentheses in the translation.
  808. Genesis 29:17 tn Heb “and the eyes of Leah were tender.” The disjunctive clause (introduced here by a conjunction and a noun) continues the parenthesis begun in v. 16. It is not clear what is meant by “tender” (or “delicate”) eyes. The expression may mean she had appealing eyes (cf. NAB, NRSV, NLT), though some suggest that they were plain, not having the brightness normally expected. Either way, she did not measure up to her gorgeous sister.
  809. Genesis 29:17 tn Heb “and Rachel was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance.”
  810. Genesis 29:18 tn Heb “Jacob loved.”
  811. Genesis 29:19 tn Heb “Better my giving her to you than my giving her to another man.”
  812. Genesis 29:20 tn Heb “in exchange for Rachel.”
  813. Genesis 29:20 sn But they seemed like only a few days to him. This need not mean that the time passed quickly. More likely it means that the price seemed insignificant when compared to what he was getting in the bargain.
  814. Genesis 29:20 tn Heb “because of his love for her.” The words “was so great” are supplied for stylistic reasons.
  815. Genesis 29:21 tn Heb “and Jacob said.”
  816. Genesis 29:21 tn Heb “my days are fulfilled.”
  817. Genesis 29:21 tn Heb “I want to approach.” The verb בּוֹא (boʾ) with the preposition אֶל (ʾel) means “come to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for sexual relations. The verb is a cohortative; it may be subordinated to the preceding request, “so that I may sleep with,” or it may be an independent clause expressing his desire.
  818. Genesis 29:22 tn Heb “men.”
  819. Genesis 29:23 tn Heb “and it happened in the evening that he took Leah his daughter and brought her.”sn His daughter Leah. Laban’s deception of Jacob by giving him the older daughter instead of the younger was God’s way of disciplining the deceiver who tricked his older brother. D. Kidner says this account is “the very embodiment of anti-climax, and this moment a miniature of man’s disillusion, experienced from Eden onwards” (Genesis [TOTC], 160). G. von Rad notes, “That Laban secretly gave the unloved Leah to the man in love was, to be sure, a monstrous blow, a masterpiece of shameless treachery…It was certainly a move by which he won for himself far and wide the coarsest laughter” (Genesis [OTL], 291).
  820. Genesis 29:23 tn Heb “to him”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  821. Genesis 29:23 tn Heb “came to” or “approached,” a euphemism for sexual relations. See note at v. 21.
  822. Genesis 29:24 tn Heb “and Laban gave to her Zilpah his female servant, to Leah his daughter [for] a servant.” This clause gives information parenthetical to the narrative.
  823. Genesis 29:25 tn Heb “and it happened in the morning that look, it was Leah.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the reader to view the scene through Jacob’s eyes.
  824. Genesis 29:25 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  825. Genesis 29:25 tn Heb What is this you have done to me?” The use of the pronoun “this” is enclitic, adding emphasis to the question: “What in the world have you done to me?”
  826. Genesis 29:25 sn The Hebrew verb translated tricked here (רָמָה, ramah) is cognate to the noun used in Gen 27:35 to describe Jacob’s deception of Esau. Jacob is discovering that what goes around, comes around. See J. A. Diamond, “The Deception of Jacob: A New Perspective on an Ancient Solution to the Problem,” VT 34 (1984): 211-13.
  827. Genesis 29:26 tn Heb “and Laban said, ‘It is not done so in our place.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  828. Genesis 29:26 tn Heb “to give the younger.” The words “daughter” and “in marriage” are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
  829. Genesis 29:27 tn Heb “fulfill the period of seven of this one.” The referent of “this one” has been specified in the translation as “my older daughter” for clarity.sn Bridal week. An ancient Hebrew marriage ceremony included an entire week of festivities (cf. Judg 14:12).
  830. Genesis 29:27 tn Heb “this other one.”
  831. Genesis 29:27 tn Heb “and we will give to you also this one in exchange for labor which you will work with me, still seven other years.”sn In exchange for seven more years of work. See C. H. Gordon, “The Story of Jacob and Laban in the Light of the Nuzi Tablets,” BASOR 66 (1937): 25-27; and J. Van Seters, “Jacob’s Marriages and Ancient Near Eastern Customs: A Reassessment,” HTR 62 (1969): 377-95.
  832. Genesis 29:28 tn Heb “and Jacob did so.” The words “as Laban said” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  833. Genesis 29:28 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  834. Genesis 29:28 tn Heb “the seven of this one.” The referent of “this one” has been specified in the translation as Leah to avoid confusion with Rachel, mentioned later in the verse.
  835. Genesis 29:28 tn Heb “and he gave to him Rachel his daughter for him for a wife.” The referent of the pronoun “he” (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  836. Genesis 29:29 tn Heb “and Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his female servant, for her for a servant.”
  837. Genesis 29:30 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  838. Genesis 29:30 tn Heb “came to” or “approached,” a euphemism for sexual relations. See note at v. 21.
  839. Genesis 29:30 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  840. Genesis 29:31 tn Heb “hated.” The rhetorical device of overstatement is used (note v. 30, which says simply that Jacob loved Rachel more than he did Leah) to emphasize that Rachel, as Jacob’s true love and the primary object of his affections, had an advantage over Leah.
  841. Genesis 29:31 tn Heb “he opened up her womb.”
  842. Genesis 29:32 tn Or “Leah conceived” (also in vv. 33, 34, 35).
  843. Genesis 29:32 sn The name Reuben (רְאוּבֵן, reʾuven) means “look, a son.”
  844. Genesis 29:32 tn Heb “looked on my affliction.”sn Leah’s explanation of the name Reuben reflects a popular etymology, not an exact one. The name means literally “look, a son.” Playing on the Hebrew verb “look,” she observes that the Lord has “looked” with pity on her oppressed condition. See further S. R. Driver, Genesis, 273.
  845. Genesis 29:33 tn Heb “hated.” See the note on the word “unloved” in v. 31.
  846. Genesis 29:33 sn The name Simeon (שִׁמְעוֹן, shimʿon) is derived from the verbal root שָׁמַע (shamaʿ) and means “hearing.” The name is appropriate since it is reminder that the Lord “heard” about Leah’s unloved condition and responded with pity.
  847. Genesis 29:34 tn Heb “will be joined to me.”
  848. Genesis 29:34 sn The name Levi (לֵוִי, levi), the precise meaning of which is debated, was appropriate because it sounds like the verb לָוָה (lavah, “to join”), used in the statement recorded earlier in the verse.
  849. Genesis 29:35 sn The name Judah (יְהוּדָה, yehudah) means “he will be praised” and reflects the sentiment Leah expresses in the statement recorded earlier in the verse. For further discussion see W. F. Albright, “The Names ‘Israel’ and ‘Judah’ with an Excursus on the Etymology of Todah and Torah,” JBL 46 (1927): 151-85; and A. R. Millard, “The Meaning of the Name Judah,” ZAW 86 (1974): 216-18.
  850. Genesis 30:1 tn Heb “Rachel.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“she”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  851. Genesis 30:1 tn Heb “sons.”
  852. Genesis 30:2 tn Heb “and the anger of Jacob was hot.”
  853. Genesis 30:2 tn Heb “who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb.”
  854. Genesis 30:3 tn The Hebrew collocation of the verb בּוֹא (boʾ) and the preposition אֶל (ʾel) means “come to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for sexual relations. Similarly the translation employs a euphemism. For more on this phrase as a euphemism see the note at 2 Sam 12:24.
  855. Genesis 30:3 tn After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with the conjunction indicates the immediate purpose of the proposed activity.
  856. Genesis 30:3 tn The word “children” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  857. Genesis 30:3 tn Heb “upon my knees.” This is an idiomatic way of saying that Bilhah will be simply a surrogate mother. Rachel will adopt the child as her own.
  858. Genesis 30:3 tn Heb “and I will be built up, even I, from her.” The prefixed verbal form with the conjunction is subordinated to the preceding prefixed verbal form and gives the ultimate purpose for the proposed action. The idiom of “built up” here refers to having a family (see Gen 16:2, as well as Ruth 4:11 and BDB 125 s.v. בָּנָה).
  859. Genesis 30:4 tn Heb “and she”; the referent (Rachel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  860. Genesis 30:4 tn Heb “came to.” The expression בּוֹא אֶל (boʾ ʾel) means “come to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for sexual relations.
  861. Genesis 30:5 tn Or “Bilhah conceived” (also in v. 7).
  862. Genesis 30:5 tn Heb “and she bore for Jacob a son.”
  863. Genesis 30:6 tn Heb “and also he has heard my voice.” The expression means that God responded positively to Rachel’s cry and granted her request.
  864. Genesis 30:6 tn Or “therefore.”
  865. Genesis 30:6 sn The name Dan means “he vindicated” or “he judged.” The name plays on the verb used in the statement which appears earlier in the verse. The verb translated “vindicated” is from דִּין (din, “to judge, to vindicate”), the same verbal root from which the name is derived. Rachel sensed that God was righting the wrong.
  866. Genesis 30:7 tn Heb “and she became pregnant again and Bilhah, the servant of Rachel, bore a second son for Jacob.”
  867. Genesis 30:8 tn Heb “[with] a mighty struggle I have struggled with my sister, also I have prevailed.” The phrase “mighty struggle” reads literally “struggles of God.” The plural participle “struggles” reflects the ongoing nature of the struggle, while the divine name is used here idiomatically to emphasize the intensity of the struggle. See J. Skinner, Genesis (ICC), 387.
  868. Genesis 30:8 sn The name Naphtali (נַפְתָּלִי, naftali) must mean something like “my struggle” in view of the statement Rachel made in the preceding clause. The name plays on this earlier statement, “[with] a mighty struggle I have struggled with my sister.”
  869. Genesis 30:9 tn Heb “she took her servant Zilpah and gave her.” The verbs “took” and “gave” are treated as a hendiadys in the translation: “she gave.”
  870. Genesis 30:10 tn Heb “and Zilpah, the servant of Leah, bore for Jacob a son.”
  871. Genesis 30:11 tc The statement in the Kethib (consonantal text) appears to mean literally “with good fortune,” if one takes the initial ב (bet) as a preposition indicating accompaniment. The Qere (marginal reading) means “good fortune has arrived.”
  872. Genesis 30:11 sn The name Gad (גָּד, gad) means “good fortune.” The name reflects Leah’s feeling that good fortune has come her way, as expressed in her statement recorded earlier in the verse.
  873. Genesis 30:12 tn Heb “and Zilpah, the servant of Leah, bore a second son for Jacob.”
  874. Genesis 30:13 tn The Hebrew statement apparently means “with my happiness.”
  875. Genesis 30:13 tn Heb “daughters.”
  876. Genesis 30:13 sn The name Asher (אָשֶׁר, ʾasher) apparently means “happy one.” The name plays on the words used in the statement which appears earlier in the verse. Both the Hebrew noun and verb translated “happy” and “call me happy,” respectively, are derived from the same root as the name Asher.
  877. Genesis 30:14 tn Heb “during the days.”
  878. Genesis 30:14 sn Mandrake plants were popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac in the culture of the time.
  879. Genesis 30:15 tn Heb “and she said to her”; the referent of the pronoun “she” (Leah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  880. Genesis 30:15 tn Heb “therefore.”
  881. Genesis 30:15 tn Heb “lie down with.” The verb שָׁכַב (shakhav) “to lie down” can be a euphemism for going to bed for sexual relations.
  882. Genesis 30:16 tn Heb “must come to me.” The imperfect verbal form has an obligatory nuance here. The expression בּוֹא אֶל (boʾ ʾel) means “come to” or “approach,” but is also used as a euphemism for sexual relations.
  883. Genesis 30:16 tn Heb “I have surely hired.” The infinitive absolute precedes the finite verbal form for emphasis. The name Issachar (see v. 18) seems to be related to this expression.
  884. Genesis 30:16 tn Heb “lay down with.” See note at v. 15.
  885. Genesis 30:17 tn Heb “listened to.”
  886. Genesis 30:17 tn Or “she conceived” (also in v. 19).
  887. Genesis 30:17 tn Heb “and she bore for Jacob a fifth son,” i.e., this was the fifth son that Leah had given Jacob.
  888. Genesis 30:18 tn Heb “God has given my reward.”
  889. Genesis 30:18 tn The words “as a wife” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for clarity (cf. v. 9).sn Leah seems to regard the act of giving her servant Zilpah to her husband as a sacrifice, for which (she believes) God is now rewarding her with the birth of a son.
  890. Genesis 30:18 sn The name Issachar (יִשָּׁשכָר, yissakhar) appears to mean “man of reward” or possibly “there is reward.” The name plays on the word used in the statement made earlier in the verse. The Hebrew noun translated “reward” is derived from the same root as the name Issachar. The irony is that Rachel thought the mandrakes would work for her, and she was willing to trade one night for them. But in that one night Leah became pregnant.
  891. Genesis 30:19 tn Heb “and she bore a sixth son for Jacob,” i.e., this was the sixth son that Leah had given Jacob.
  892. Genesis 30:20 sn The name Zebulun (זְבֻלוּן, zevulun) apparently means “honor.” The name plays on the verb used in the statement made earlier in the verse. The Hebrew verb translated “will honor” and the name Zebulun derive from the same root.
  893. Genesis 30:22 tn Heb “remembered.”
  894. Genesis 30:22 tn Heb “and God listened to her and opened up her womb.” Since “God” is the subject of the previous clause, the noun has been replaced by the pronoun “he” in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  895. Genesis 30:23 tn Or “conceived.”
  896. Genesis 30:23 tn Heb “my reproach.” A “reproach” is a cutting taunt or painful ridicule, but here it probably refers by metonymy to Rachel’s barren condition, which was considered shameful in this culture and was the reason why she was the object of taunting and ridicule.
  897. Genesis 30:24 sn The name Joseph (יוֹסֵף, yosef) means “may he add.” The name expresses Rachel’s desire to have an additional son. In Hebrew the name sounds like the verb (אָסַף, ʾasaf) translated “taken away” in the earlier statement made in v. 23. So the name, while reflecting Rachel’s hope, was also a reminder that God had removed her shame.
  898. Genesis 30:25 tn The perfect verbal form is translated as a past perfect because Rachel’s giving birth to Joseph preceded Jacob’s conversation with Laban.
  899. Genesis 30:25 tn The imperatival form here expresses a request.sn For Jacob to ask to leave would mean that seven more years had passed. Thus all Jacob’s children were born within the range of seven years of each other, with Joseph coming right at the end of the seven years.
  900. Genesis 30:25 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.
  901. Genesis 30:25 tn Heb “to my place and to my land.”
  902. Genesis 30:26 tn Heb “give my wives and my children, for whom I have served you.” In one sense Laban had already “given” Jacob his two daughters as wives (Gen 29:21, 28). Here Jacob was asking for permission to take his own family along with him on the journey back to Canaan.
  903. Genesis 30:26 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.
  904. Genesis 30:26 tn Heb “for you, you know my service [with] which I have served you.”
  905. Genesis 30:27 tn The words “stay here” have been supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
  906. Genesis 30:27 tn Or perhaps “I have grown rich and the Lord has blessed me” (cf. NEB). See J. Finkelstein, “An Old Babylonian Herding Contract and Genesis 31:38f.,” JAOS 88 (1968): 34, n. 19.
  907. Genesis 30:28 tn Heb “set your wage for me so I may give [it].”
  908. Genesis 30:29 tn Heb “and he said to him, ‘You know how I have served you.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons, and the referent of the pronoun “he” (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  909. Genesis 30:29 tn Heb “and how your cattle were with me.”
  910. Genesis 30:30 tn Or “for.”
  911. Genesis 30:30 tn Heb “before me.”
  912. Genesis 30:30 tn Heb “and it has broken out with respect to abundance.”
  913. Genesis 30:30 tn Heb “at my foot.”
  914. Genesis 30:30 tn Heb “How long [until] I do, also I, for my house?”
  915. Genesis 30:31 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  916. Genesis 30:31 tn The negated imperfect verbal form has an obligatory nuance.
  917. Genesis 30:31 tn The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  918. Genesis 30:31 tn Heb “If you do for me this thing.”
  919. Genesis 30:31 tn Heb “I will return, I will tend,” an idiom meaning “I will continue tending.”
  920. Genesis 30:32 tn Heb “pass through.”
  921. Genesis 30:32 tn Or “every black lamb”; Heb “and every dark sheep among the lambs.”
  922. Genesis 30:32 tn Heb “and the spotted and speckled among the goats.”
  923. Genesis 30:32 tn Heb “and it will be my wage.” The referent collective singular pronoun (“it) has been specified as “these animals” in the translation for clarity.
  924. Genesis 30:33 tn Heb “will answer on my behalf.”
  925. Genesis 30:33 tn Heb “on the following day,” or “tomorrow.”
  926. Genesis 30:33 tn Heb “when you come concerning my wage before you.”sn Only the wage we agreed on. Jacob would have to be considered completely honest here, for he would have no control over the kind of animals born; and there could be no disagreement over which animals were his wages.
  927. Genesis 30:33 tn Heb “every one which is not speckled and spotted among the lambs and dark among the goats, stolen it is with me.”
  928. Genesis 30:34 tn Heb “and Laban said, ‘Good, let it be according to your word.’” On the asseverative use of the particle לוּ (lu) here, see HALOT 521 s.v. לוּ.
  929. Genesis 30:35 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  930. Genesis 30:35 tn Heb “and he gave [them] into the hand.”
  931. Genesis 30:36 tn Heb “and he put a journey of three days between himself and Jacob.”sn Three days’ traveling distance from Jacob. E. A. Speiser observes, “Laban is delighted with the terms, and promptly proceeds to violate the spirit of the bargain by removing to a safe distance all the grown animals that would be likely to produce the specified spots” (Genesis [AB], 238). Laban apparently thought that by separating out the spotted, striped, and dark colored animals he could minimize the production of spotted, striped, or dark offspring that would then belong to Jacob.
  932. Genesis 30:36 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by the vav [ו] with subject) is circumstantial; Laban removed the animals while Jacob was taking care of the rest.
  933. Genesis 30:38 sn He put the branches in front of the flocks…when they came to drink. It was generally believed that placing such “visual aids” before the animals as they were mating, it was possible to influence the appearance of their offspring. E. A. Speiser notes that “Jacob finds a way to outwit his father-in-law, through prenatal conditioning of the flock by visual aids—in conformance with universal folk beliefs” (Genesis [AB], 238). Nevertheless, in spite of Jacob’s efforts at animal husbandry, he still attributes the resulting success to God (see 31:5).
  934. Genesis 30:39 tn The Hebrew verb used here can mean “to be in heat” (see v. 38) or “to mate; to conceive; to become pregnant.” The latter nuance makes better sense in this verse, for the next clause describes them giving birth.
  935. Genesis 30:39 tn Heb “the sheep.” The noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“they”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  936. Genesis 30:40 tn Heb “and he set the faces of.”
  937. Genesis 30:41 tn Heb “and at every breeding-heat of the flock, the strong females.”
  938. Genesis 30:42 tn Heb “he did not put [them] in.” The referent of the [understood] direct object, “them,” has been specified as “the branches” in the translation for clarity.
  939. Genesis 30:42 tn Heb “were for Laban.”
  940. Genesis 30:43 tn Heb “the man”; Jacob’s name has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
  941. Genesis 30:43 tn Heb “and there were to him.”
  942. Genesis 31:1 tn Heb “and he heard the words of the sons of Laban, saying.”
  943. Genesis 31:1 sn The Hebrew word translated “gotten rich” (כָּבוֹד, kavod) has the basic idea of “weight.” If one is heavy with possessions, then that one is wealthy (13:2). Abraham, Jacob, and Joseph all became wealthy when they left the promised land. Jacob’s wealth foreshadows what will happen to Israel when they leave the land of Egypt (Exod 12:35-38).
  944. Genesis 31:1 tn Heb “and from that which belonged to our father he has gained all this wealth.”
  945. Genesis 31:2 tn Heb “and Jacob saw the face of Laban, and look, he was not with him as formerly.” Jacob knew from the expression on Laban’s face that his attitude toward him had changed—Jacob had become persona non grata.
  946. Genesis 31:3 tn Or perhaps “ancestors” (so NRSV), although the only “ancestors” Jacob had there were his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac.
  947. Genesis 31:3 sn I will be with you. Though Laban was no longer “with him,” the Lord promised to be.
  948. Genesis 31:4 tn Heb “sent and called for Rachel and for Leah.” Jacob did not go in person, but probably sent a servant with a message for his wives to meet him in the field.
  949. Genesis 31:4 tn Heb “the field.” The word is an adverbial accusative, indicating that this is where Jacob wanted them to meet him. The words “to come to” are supplied in the translation for clarification and stylistic reasons.
  950. Genesis 31:4 tn Heb “to his flock.”
  951. Genesis 31:5 tn Heb “I see the face of your father, that he is not toward me as formerly.”
  952. Genesis 31:6 tn Heb “with all my strength.”
  953. Genesis 31:7 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).
  954. Genesis 31:8 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.
  955. Genesis 31:8 tn Heb “speckled” (twice in this verse). The words “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.
  956. Genesis 31:10 tn The sentence begins with the temporal indicator, “and it happened at the time of.”
  957. Genesis 31:10 tn Heb “in the time of the breeding of the flock I lifted up my eyes and I saw.”
  958. Genesis 31:10 tn Heb “going up on,” that is, mounting for intercourse.
  959. Genesis 31:12 tn Heb “said, ‘Lift up (now) your eyes and see.”
  960. Genesis 31:12 tn Heb “going up on,” that is, mounting for intercourse.
  961. Genesis 31:13 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.
  962. Genesis 31:13 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.
  963. Genesis 31:13 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.
  964. Genesis 31:14 tn The two nouns may form a hendiadys, meaning “a share in the inheritance” or “a portion to inherit.”
  965. Genesis 31:15 tn Heb “and he devoured, even devouring.” The infinitive absolute (following the finite verb here) is used for emphasis.sn He sold us and…wasted our money. The precise nature of Rachel’s and Leah’s complaint is not entirely clear. Since Jacob had to work to pay for them, they probably mean that their father has cheated Jacob and therefore cheated them as well. See M. Burrows, “The Complaint of Laban’s Daughters,” JAOS 57 (1937): 250-76.
  966. Genesis 31:15 tn Heb “our money.” The word “money” is used figuratively here; it means the price paid for Leah and Rachel. A literal translation (“our money”) makes it sound as if Laban wasted money that belonged to Rachel and Leah, rather than the money paid for them.
  967. Genesis 31:17 tn Heb “and Jacob arose and he lifted up his sons and his wives on to the camels.”
  968. Genesis 31:18 tn Heb “drove away,” but this is subject to misunderstanding in contemporary English.
  969. Genesis 31:18 tn Heb “and he led away all his cattle and all his moveable property which he acquired, the cattle he obtained, which he acquired in Paddan Aram to go to Isaac his father to the land of Canaan.”
  970. Genesis 31:19 tn This disjunctive clause (note the pattern conjunction + subject + verb) introduces a new scene. In the English translation it may be subordinated to the following clause.
  971. Genesis 31:19 tn Or “household gods.” Some translations merely transliterate the Hebrew term תְּרָפִים (terafim) as “teraphim,” which apparently refers to household idols. Some contend that possession of these idols guaranteed the right of inheritance, but it is more likely that they were viewed simply as protective deities. See M. Greenberg, “Another Look at Rachel’s Theft of the Teraphim,” JBL 81 (1962): 239-48.
  972. Genesis 31:20 tn Heb “stole the heart of,” an expression which apparently means “to deceive.” The repetition of the verb “to steal” shows that Jacob and Rachel are kindred spirits. Any thought that Laban would have resigned himself to their departure was now out of the question.
  973. Genesis 31:20 tn Heb “fleeing,” which reflects Jacob’s viewpoint.
  974. Genesis 31:21 tn Heb “and he fled.”
  975. Genesis 31:21 tn Heb “he arose and crossed.” The first verb emphasizes that he wasted no time in getting across.
  976. Genesis 31:21 tn Heb “the river”; the referent (the Euphrates) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  977. Genesis 31:21 tn Heb “he set his face.”
  978. Genesis 31:22 tn Heb “and it was told to Laban on the third day that Jacob had fled.”
  979. Genesis 31:23 tn Heb “his brothers.”
  980. Genesis 31:23 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  981. Genesis 31:23 tn Heb “and he pursued after him a journey of seven days.”
  982. Genesis 31:23 tn Heb “drew close to.”
  983. Genesis 31:24 tn Heb “said to him.”
  984. Genesis 31:24 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.
  985. Genesis 31:24 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.
  986. Genesis 31:25 tn Heb “and Jacob pitched his tent in the hill country, and Laban pitched with his brothers in the hill country of Gilead.” The juxtaposition of disjunctive clauses (note the pattern vav plus subject plus verb in both clauses) indicates synchronism of action.
  987. Genesis 31:26 tn Heb “and you have stolen my heart.” This expression apparently means “to deceive” (see v. 20).
  988. Genesis 31:26 tn Heb “and you have led away my daughters like captives of a sword.”
  989. Genesis 31:27 tn Heb “Why did you hide in order to flee?” The verb “hide” and the infinitive “to flee” form a hendiadys, the infinitive becoming the main verb and the other the adverb: “flee secretly.”
  990. Genesis 31:27 tn Heb “and steal me.”
  991. Genesis 31:27 tn Heb “And [why did] you not tell me so I could send you off with joy and with songs, with a tambourine and with a harp?”
  992. Genesis 31:28 tn Heb “my sons and my daughters.” Here “sons” refers to “grandsons,” and has been translated “grandchildren” since at least one granddaughter, Dinah, was involved. The order has been reversed in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  993. Genesis 31:29 tn Heb “There is to the power of my hand.”
  994. Genesis 31:29 tn Heb “watch yourself,” which is a warning to be on guard against doing something that is inappropriate.
  995. Genesis 31:29 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.
  996. Genesis 31:30 tn Heb “and now.” The words “I understand that” have been supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
  997. Genesis 31:30 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the perfect verbal form to emphasize the certainty of the action.
  998. Genesis 31:30 tn The infinitive absolute appears before the perfect verbal form to emphasize the degree of emotion involved.
  999. Genesis 31:30 sn Yet why did you steal my gods? This last sentence is dropped into the speech rather suddenly. See C. Mabee, “Jacob and Laban: The Structure of Judicial Proceedings,” VT 30 (1980): 192-207, and G. W. Coats, “Self-Abasement and Insult Formulas,” JBL 91 (1972): 90-92.
  1000. Genesis 31:31 tn Heb “and Jacob answered and said to Laban, ‘Because I was afraid.’” This statement is a not a response to the question about Laban’s household gods that immediately precedes, but to the earlier question about Jacob’s motivation for leaving so quickly and secretly (see v. 27). For this reason the words “I left secretly” are supplied in the translation to indicate the connection to Laban’s earlier question in v. 27. Additionally the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse have been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  1001. Genesis 31:31 tn Heb “for I said.”
  1002. Genesis 31:31 tn Heb “lest you steal your daughters from with me.”
  1003. Genesis 31:32 tn Heb “With whomever you find your gods, he will not live.”
  1004. Genesis 31:32 tn Heb “brothers.”
  1005. Genesis 31:32 tn Heb “recognize for yourself what is with me and take for yourself.”
  1006. Genesis 31:32 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced here by a vav [ו] conjunction) provides supplemental material that is important to the story. Since this material is parenthetical in nature, it has been placed in parentheses in the translation.
  1007. Genesis 31:33 tn No direct object is specified for the verb “find” in the Hebrew text. The words “the idols” have been supplied in the translation for clarification.
  1008. Genesis 31:33 tn Heb “and he went out from the tent of Leah and went into the tent of Rachel.”
  1009. Genesis 31:34 tn The “camel’s saddle” was probably some sort of basket-saddle, a cushioned saddle with a basket bound on. Cf. NAB “inside a camel cushion.”
  1010. Genesis 31:34 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by a vav [ו] conjunction) provides another parenthetical statement necessary to the storyline.
  1011. Genesis 31:34 tn The word “them” has been supplied in the translation for clarification.
  1012. Genesis 31:35 tn Heb “she”; the referent (Rachel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
  1013. Genesis 31:35 tn Heb “let it not be hot in the eyes of my lord.” This idiom refers to anger, in this case as a result of Rachel’s failure to stand in the presence of her father as a sign of respect.
  1014. Genesis 31:35 tn Heb “I am unable to rise.”
  1015. Genesis 31:35 tn Heb “the way of women is to me.” This idiom refers to a woman’s menstrual period.
  1016. Genesis 31:35 tn The word “thoroughly” is not in the Hebrew text, but is implied.
  1017. Genesis 31:36 tn Heb “it was hot to Jacob.” This idiom refers to anger.
  1018. Genesis 31:36 tn Heb “and Jacob answered and said to Laban, ‘What is my sin?’” The proper name “Jacob” has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation and the order of the introductory clause and direct discourse rearranged for stylistic reasons.
  1019. Genesis 31:36 tn Heb “What is my sin that you have hotly pursued after me.” The Hebrew verb translated “pursue hotly” is used elsewhere of soldiers chasing defeated enemies (1 Sam 17:53).
  1020. Genesis 31:37 tn Heb “what did you find from all the goods of your house?”
  1021. Genesis 31:37 tn Heb “your relatives.” The word “relatives” has not been repeated in the translation here for stylistic reasons.
  1022. Genesis 31:37 tn Heb “that they may decide between us two.”
  1023. Genesis 31:39 tn The imperfect verbal form indicates that this was a customary or typical action.
  1024. Genesis 31:39 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.
  1025. Genesis 31:40 tn Or “by drought.”
  1026. Genesis 31:40 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.
  1027. Genesis 31:40 tn Heb “and my sleep fled from my eyes.”
  1028. Genesis 31:41 tn Heb “this to me.”
  1029. Genesis 31:41 tn Heb “served you,” but in this accusatory context the meaning is more “worked like a slave.”
  1030. Genesis 31:42 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.
  1031. Genesis 31:42 tn Heb “My oppression and the work of my hands God saw.”
  1032. Genesis 31:43 tn Heb “answered and said.”
  1033. Genesis 31:43 tn Heb “daughters.”
  1034. Genesis 31:43 tn Heb “children.”
  1035. Genesis 31:43 tn Heb “but to my daughters what can I do to these today?”
  1036. Genesis 31:44 tn Heb “cut a covenant.”
  1037. Genesis 31:44 tn The verb הָיָה (hayah) followed by the preposition ל (lamed) means “become.”
  1038. Genesis 31:44 tn Heb “and it will become a witness between me and you.”
  1039. Genesis 31:46 tn Heb “Jacob”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
  1040. Genesis 31:46 sn The Hebrew word for “pile” is גַּל (gal), which sounds like the name “Galeed” (גַּלְעֵד, galʿed). See v. 48.
  1041. Genesis 31:47 sn Jegar Sahadutha. Laban the Aramean gave the place an Aramaic name which means “witness pile” or “the pile is a witness.”
  1042. Genesis 31:47 sn Galeed also means “witness pile” or “the pile is a witness,” but this name is Canaanite or Western Semitic and closer to later Hebrew. Jacob, though certainly capable of speaking Aramaic, here prefers to use the western dialect.
  1043. Genesis 31:48 tn Heb “a witness between me and you.”
  1044. Genesis 31:49 tn Heb “and Mizpah.”
  1045. Genesis 31:49 sn The name Mizpah (מִצְפָּה, mitspah), which means “watchpost,” sounds like the verb translated “may he watch” (יִצֶף, yitsef). Neither Laban nor Jacob felt safe with each other, and so they agreed to go their separate ways, trusting the Lord to keep watch at the border. Jacob did not need this treaty, but Laban, perhaps because he had lost his household gods, felt he did.
  1046. Genesis 31:49 tn Heb “between me and you.”
  1047. Genesis 31:49 tn Heb “for we will be hidden, each man from his neighbor.”
  1048. Genesis 31:50 tn Heb “see.”
  1049. Genesis 31:50 tn Heb “between me and you.”
  1050. Genesis 31:51 tn Heb “and Laban said to Jacob, ‘Behold this heap and behold the pillar which I have set between me and you.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
New English Translation (NET)

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