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Kejadian 28:1--30:43

Konteks

28:1 So Isaac called for Jacob and blessed him. Then he commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman! 1  28:2 Leave immediately 2  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. 28:3 May the sovereign God 3  bless you! May he make you fruitful and give you a multitude of descendants! 4  Then you will become 5  a large nation. 6  28:4 May he give you and your descendants the blessing he gave to Abraham 7  so that you may possess the land 8  God gave to Abraham, the land where you have been living as a temporary resident.” 9  28:5 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.

28:6 Esau saw that Isaac had blessed Jacob and sent him off to Paddan Aram to find a wife there. 10  As he blessed him, 11  Isaac commanded him, “You must not marry a Canaanite woman.” 12  28:7 Jacob obeyed his father and mother and left for Paddan Aram. 28:8 Then Esau realized 13  that the Canaanite women 14  were displeasing to 15  his father Isaac. 28:9 So Esau went to Ishmael and married 16  Mahalath, the sister of Nebaioth and daughter of Abraham’s son Ishmael, along with the wives he already had.

Jacob’s Dream at Bethel

28:10 Meanwhile Jacob left Beer Sheba and set out for Haran. 28:11 He reached a certain place 17  where he decided to camp because the sun had gone down. 18  He took one of the stones 19  and placed it near his head. 20  Then he fell asleep 21  in that place 28:12 and had a dream. 22  He saw 23  a stairway 24  erected on the earth with its top reaching to the heavens. The angels of God were going up and coming down it 28:13 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. 25  I will give you and your descendants the ground 26  you are lying on. 28:14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, 27  and you will spread out 28  to the west, east, north, and south. All the families of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 29  using your name and that of your descendants. 30  28:15 I am with you! 31  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!”

28:16 Then Jacob woke up 32  and thought, 33  “Surely the Lord is in this place, but I did not realize it!” 28:17 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!”

28:18 Early 34  in the morning Jacob 35  took the stone he had placed near his head 36  and set it up as a sacred stone. 37  Then he poured oil on top of it. 28:19 He called that place Bethel, 38  although the former name of the town was Luz. 28:20 Then Jacob made a vow, saying, “If God is with me and protects me on this journey I am taking and gives me food 39  to eat and clothing to wear, 28:21 and I return safely to my father’s home, 40  then the Lord will become my God. 28:22 Then this stone 41  that I have set up as a sacred stone will be the house of God, and I will surely 42  give you back a tenth of everything you give me.” 43 

The Marriages of Jacob

29:1 So Jacob moved on 44  and came to the land of the eastern people. 45  29:2 He saw 46  in the field a well with 47  three flocks of sheep lying beside it, because the flocks were watered from that well. Now 48  a large stone covered the mouth of the well. 29:3 When all the flocks were gathered there, the shepherds 49  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.

29:4 Jacob asked them, “My brothers, where are you from?” They replied, “We’re from Haran.” 29:5 So he said to them, “Do you know Laban, the grandson 50  of Nahor?” “We know him,” 51  they said. 29:6 “Is he well?” 52  Jacob asked. They replied, “He is well. 53  Now look, here comes his daughter Rachel with the sheep.” 29:7 Then Jacob 54  said, “Since it is still the middle of the day, 55  it is not time for the flocks to be gathered. You should water the sheep and then go and let them graze some more.” 56  29:8 “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 57  the sheep.”

29:9 While he was still speaking with them, Rachel arrived with her father’s sheep, for she was tending them. 58  29:10 When Jacob saw Rachel, the daughter of his uncle Laban, 59  and the sheep of his uncle Laban, he 60  went over 61  and rolled the stone off the mouth of the well and watered the sheep of his uncle Laban. 62  29:11 Then Jacob kissed Rachel and began to weep loudly. 63  29:12 When Jacob explained 64  to Rachel that he was a relative of her father 65  and the son of Rebekah, she ran and told her father. 29:13 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 66  told Laban how he was related to him. 67  29:14 Then Laban said to him, “You are indeed my own flesh and blood.” 68  So Jacob 69  stayed with him for a month. 70 

29:15 Then Laban said to Jacob, “Should you work 71  for me for nothing because you are my relative? 72  Tell me what your wages should be.” 29:16 (Now Laban had two daughters; 73  the older one was named Leah, and the younger one Rachel. 29:17 Leah’s eyes were tender, 74  but Rachel had a lovely figure and beautiful appearance.) 75  29:18 Since Jacob had fallen in love with 76  Rachel, he said, “I’ll serve you seven years in exchange for your younger daughter Rachel.” 29:19 Laban replied, “I’d rather give her to you than to another man. 77  Stay with me.” 29:20 So Jacob worked for seven years to acquire Rachel. 78  But they seemed like only a few days to him 79  because his love for her was so great. 80 

29:21 Finally Jacob said 81  to Laban, “Give me my wife, for my time of service is up. 82  I want to have marital relations with her.” 83  29:22 So Laban invited all the people 84  of that place and prepared a feast. 29:23 In the evening he brought his daughter Leah 85  to Jacob, 86  and Jacob 87  had marital relations with her. 88  29:24 (Laban gave his female servant Zilpah to his daughter Leah to be her servant.) 89 

29:25 In the morning Jacob discovered it was Leah! 90  So Jacob 91  said to Laban, “What in the world have you done to me! 92  Didn’t I work for you in exchange for Rachel? Why have you tricked 93  me?” 29:26 “It is not our custom here,” 94  Laban replied, “to give the younger daughter in marriage 95  before the firstborn. 29:27 Complete my older daughter’s bridal week. 96  Then we will give you the younger one 97  too, in exchange for seven more years of work.” 98 

29:28 Jacob did as Laban said. 99  When Jacob 100  completed Leah’s bridal week, 101  Laban gave him his daughter Rachel to be his wife. 102  29:29 (Laban gave his female servant Bilhah to his daughter Rachel to be her servant.) 103  29:30 Jacob 104  had marital relations 105  with Rachel as well. He loved Rachel more than Leah, so he worked for Laban 106  for seven more years. 107 

The Family of Jacob

29:31 When the Lord saw that Leah was unloved, 108  he enabled her to become pregnant 109  while Rachel remained childless. 29:32 So Leah became pregnant 110  and gave birth to a son. She named him Reuben, 111  for she said, “The Lord has looked with pity on my oppressed condition. 112  Surely my husband will love me now.”

29:33 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Because the Lord heard that I was unloved, 113  he gave me this one too.” So she named him Simeon. 114 

29:34 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “Now this time my husband will show me affection, 115  because I have given birth to three sons for him.” That is why he was named Levi. 116 

29:35 She became pregnant again and had another son. She said, “This time I will praise the Lord.” That is why she named him Judah. 117  Then she stopped having children.

30:1 When Rachel saw that she could not give Jacob children, she 118  became jealous of her sister. She said to Jacob, “Give me children 119  or I’ll die!” 30:2 Jacob became furious 120  with Rachel and exclaimed, “Am I in the place of God, who has kept you from having children?” 121  30:3 She replied, “Here is my servant Bilhah! Have sexual relations with 122  her so that she can bear 123  children 124  for me 125  and I can have a family through her.” 126 

30:4 So Rachel 127  gave him her servant Bilhah as a wife, and Jacob had marital relations with 128  her. 30:5 Bilhah became pregnant 129  and gave Jacob a son. 130  30:6 Then Rachel said, “God has vindicated me. He has responded to my prayer 131  and given me a son.” That is why 132  she named him Dan. 133 

30:7 Bilhah, Rachel’s servant, became pregnant again and gave Jacob another son. 134  30:8 Then Rachel said, “I have fought a desperate struggle with my sister, but I have won.” 135  So she named him Naphtali. 136 

30:9 When Leah saw that she had stopped having children, she gave 137  her servant Zilpah to Jacob as a wife. 30:10 Soon Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob a son. 138  30:11 Leah said, “How fortunate!” 139  So she named him Gad. 140 

30:12 Then Leah’s servant Zilpah gave Jacob another son. 141  30:13 Leah said, “How happy I am, 142  for women 143  will call me happy!” So she named him Asher. 144 

30:14 At the time 145  of the wheat harvest Reuben went out and found some mandrake plants 146  in a field and brought them to his mother Leah. Rachel said to Leah, “Give me some of your son’s mandrakes.” 30:15 But Leah replied, 147  “Wasn’t it enough that you’ve taken away my husband? Would you take away my son’s mandrakes too?” “All right,” 148  Rachel said, “he may sleep 149  with you tonight in exchange for your son’s mandrakes.” 30:16 When Jacob came in from the fields that evening, Leah went out to meet him and said, “You must sleep 150  with me because I have paid for your services 151  with my son’s mandrakes.” So he had marital relations 152  with her that night. 30:17 God paid attention 153  to Leah; she became pregnant 154  and gave Jacob a son for the fifth time. 155  30:18 Then Leah said, “God has granted me a reward 156  because I gave my servant to my husband as a wife.” 157  So she named him Issachar. 158 

30:19 Leah became pregnant again and gave Jacob a son for the sixth time. 159  30:20 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. 160 

30:21 After that she gave birth to a daughter and named her Dinah.

30:22 Then God took note of 161  Rachel. He paid attention to her and enabled her to become pregnant. 162  30:23 She became pregnant 163  and gave birth to a son. Then she said, “God has taken away my shame.” 164  30:24 She named him Joseph, 165  saying, “May the Lord give me yet another son.”

The Flocks of Jacob

30:25 After Rachel had given birth 166  to Joseph, Jacob said to Laban, “Send 167  me on my way so that I can go 168  home to my own country. 169  30:26 Let me take my wives and my children whom I have acquired by working for you. 170  Then I’ll depart, 171  because you know how hard I’ve worked for you.” 172 

30:27 But Laban said to him, “If I have found favor in your sight, please stay here, 173  for I have learned by divination 174  that the Lord has blessed me on account of you.” 30:28 He added, “Just name your wages – I’ll pay whatever you want.” 175 

30:29 “You know how I have worked for you,” Jacob replied, 176  “and how well your livestock have fared under my care. 177  30:30 Indeed, 178  you had little before I arrived, 179  but now your possessions have increased many times over. 180  The Lord has blessed you wherever I worked. 181  But now, how long must it be before I do something for my own family too?” 182 

30:31 So Laban asked, 183  “What should I give you?” “You don’t need to give me a thing,” 184  Jacob replied, 185  “but if you agree to this one condition, 186  I will continue to care for 187  your flocks and protect them: 30:32 Let me walk among 188  all your flocks today and remove from them every speckled or spotted sheep, every dark-colored lamb, 189  and the spotted or speckled goats. 190  These animals will be my wages. 191  30:33 My integrity will testify for me 192  later on. 193  When you come to verify that I’ve taken only the wages we agreed on, 194  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.” 195  30:34 “Agreed!” said Laban, “It will be as you say.” 196 

30:35 So that day Laban 197  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 198  of his sons. 30:36 Then he separated them from Jacob by a three-day journey, 199  while 200  Jacob was taking care of the rest of Laban’s flocks.

30:37 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. 30:38 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. 201  30:39 When the sheep mated 202  in front of the branches, they 203  gave birth to young that were streaked or speckled or spotted. 30:40 Jacob removed these lambs, but he made the rest of the flock face 204  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. 30:41 When the stronger females were in heat, 205  Jacob would set up the branches in the troughs in front of the flock, so they would mate near the branches. 30:42 But if the animals were weaker, he did not set the branches there. 206  So the weaker animals ended up belonging to Laban 207  and the stronger animals to Jacob. 30:43 In this way Jacob 208  became extremely prosperous. He owned 209  large flocks, male and female servants, camels, and donkeys.

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[28:1]  1 tn Heb “you must not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”

[28:2]  2 tn Heb “Arise! Go!” The first of the two imperatives is adverbial and stresses the immediacy of the departure.

[28:3]  3 tn Heb “El Shaddai.” See the extended note on the phrase “sovereign God” in Gen 17:1.

[28:3]  4 tn Heb “and make you fruitful and multiply you.” See Gen 17:6, 20 for similar terminology.

[28:3]  5 tn The perfect verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here indicates consequence. The collocation הָיָה + preposition לְ (hayah + lÿ) means “become.”

[28:3]  6 tn Heb “an assembly of peoples.”

[28:4]  7 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.

[28:4]  8 tn The words “the land” have been supplied in the translation for clarity.

[28:4]  9 tn Heb “the land of your sojournings,” that is, the land where Jacob had been living as a resident alien, as his future descendants would after him.

[28:6]  10 tn Heb “to take for himself from there a wife.”

[28:6]  11 tn The infinitive construct with the preposition and the suffix form a temporal clause.

[28:6]  12 tn Heb “you must not take a wife from the daughters of Canaan.”

[28:8]  13 tn Heb “saw.”

[28:8]  14 tn Heb “the daughters of Canaan.”

[28:8]  15 tn Heb “evil in the eyes of.”

[28:9]  16 tn Heb “took for a wife.”

[28:11]  17 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.

[28:11]  18 tn Heb “and he spent the night there because the sun had gone down.”

[28:11]  19 tn Heb “he took from the stones of the place,” which here means Jacob took one of the stones (see v. 18).

[28:11]  20 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.

[28:11]  21 tn Heb “lay down.”

[28:12]  22 tn Heb “and dreamed.”

[28:12]  23 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).

[28:12]  24 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.

[28:13]  25 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.

[28:13]  26 tn The Hebrew term אֶרֶץ (’erets) 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.

[28:14]  27 tn This is the same Hebrew word translated “ground” in the preceding verse.

[28:14]  28 tn The verb is singular in the Hebrew; Jacob is addressed as the representative of his descendants.

[28:14]  29 tn Theoretically the Niphal stem can be translated either as passive or reflexive/reciprocal. (The Niphal of “bless” is only used in formulations of the Abrahamic covenant. See Gen 12:2; 18:18; 28:14.) Traditionally the verb is taken as passive here, as if Jacob were going to be a channel or source of blessing. But in other formulations of the Abrahamic covenant (see Gen 22:18; 26:4) the Hitpael replaces this Niphal form, suggesting a translation “will bless (i.e., pronounce blessings upon) themselves/one another.” The Hitpael of “bless” is used with a reflexive/reciprocal sense in Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2. Gen 28:14 predicts that Jacob will be held up as a paradigm of divine blessing and that people will use his name in their blessing formulae (see Gen 12:2 and 18:18 as well, where Abram/Abraham receives this promise). For examples of blessing formulae utilizing an individual as an example of blessing see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11.

[28:14]  30 tn Heb “and they will pronounce blessings by you, all the families of the earth, and by your offspring.”

[28:15]  31 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).

[28:16]  32 tn Heb “woke up from his sleep.” This has been simplified in the translation for stylistic reasons.

[28:16]  33 tn Heb “said.”

[28:18]  34 tn Heb “and he got up early…and he took.”

[28:18]  35 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[28:18]  36 tn See the note on this phrase in v. 11.

[28:18]  37 tn Heb “standing stone.”

[28:18]  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.

[28:19]  38 tn The name Bethel means “house of God” in Hebrew (see v. 17).

[28:19]  map For location see Map4 G4; Map5 C1; Map6 E3; Map7 D1; Map8 G3.

[28:20]  39 tn Heb “bread,” although the term can be used for food in general.

[28:21]  40 tn Heb “and I return in peace to the house of my father.”

[28:22]  41 tn The disjunctive clause structure (conjunction + noun/subject) is used to highlight the statement.

[28:22]  42 tn The infinitive absolute is used before the finite verb for emphasis.

[28:22]  43 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.

[29:1]  44 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.

[29:1]  45 tn Heb “the land of the sons of the east.”

[29:2]  46 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.

[29:2]  47 tn Heb “and look, there.”

[29:2]  48 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by the noun with the prefixed conjunction) provides supplemental information that is important to the story.

[29:3]  49 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the shepherds) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[29:5]  50 tn Heb “son.”

[29:5]  51 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.

[29:6]  52 tn Heb “and he said to them, ‘Is there peace to him?’”

[29:6]  53 tn Heb “peace.”

[29:7]  54 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[29:7]  55 tn Heb “the day is great.”

[29:7]  56 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.

[29:8]  57 tn The perfect verbal forms with the vav (ו) consecutive carry on the sequence begun by the initial imperfect form.

[29:9]  58 tn Heb “was a shepherdess.”

[29:10]  59 tn Heb “Laban, the brother of his mother” (twice in this verse).

[29:10]  60 tn Heb “Jacob.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

[29:10]  61 tn Heb “drew near, approached.”

[29:10]  62 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).

[29:11]  63 tn Heb “and he lifted up his voice and wept.” The idiom calls deliberate attention to the fact that Jacob wept out loud.

[29:12]  64 tn Heb “declared.”

[29:12]  65 tn Heb “that he [was] the brother of her father.”

[29:13]  66 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[29:13]  67 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).

[29:14]  68 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).

[29:14]  69 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[29:14]  70 tn Heb “a month of days.”

[29:15]  71 tn The verb is the perfect with the vav (ו) consecutive; the nuance in the question is deliberative.

[29:15]  72 tn Heb “my brother.” The term “brother” is used in a loose sense; actually Jacob was Laban’s nephew.

[29:16]  73 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.

[29:17]  74 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.

[29:17]  75 tn Heb “and Rachel was beautiful of form and beautiful of appearance.”

[29:18]  76 tn Heb “Jacob loved.”

[29:19]  77 tn Heb “Better my giving her to you than my giving her to another man.”

[29:20]  78 tn Heb “in exchange for Rachel.”

[29:20]  79 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.

[29:20]  80 tn Heb “because of his love for her.” The words “was so great” are supplied for stylistic reasons.

[29:21]  81 tn Heb “and Jacob said.”

[29:21]  82 tn Heb “my days are fulfilled.”

[29:21]  83 tn Heb “and I will go in to her.” The verb is a cohortative; it may be subordinated to the preceding request, “that I may go in,” or it may be an independent clause expressing his desire. The verb “go in” in this context refers to sexual intercourse (i.e., the consummation of the marriage).

[29:22]  84 tn Heb “men.”

[29:23]  85 tn Heb “and it happened in the evening that he took Leah his daughter and brought her.”

[29:23]  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).

[29:23]  86 tn Heb “to him”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[29:23]  87 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[29:23]  88 tn Heb “went in to her.” The expression “went in to” in this context refers to sexual intercourse, i.e., the consummation of the marriage.

[29:24]  89 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.

[29:25]  90 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.

[29:25]  91 tn Heb “and he said”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[29:25]  92 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?”

[29:25]  93 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.

[29:26]  94 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.

[29:26]  95 tn Heb “to give the younger.” The words “daughter” and “in marriage” are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.

[29:27]  96 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.

[29:27]  sn Bridal week. An ancient Hebrew marriage ceremony included an entire week of festivities (cf. Judg 14:12).

[29:27]  97 tn Heb “this other one.”

[29:27]  98 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.”

[29:27]  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.

[29:28]  99 tn Heb “and Jacob did so.” The words “as Laban said” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

[29:28]  100 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[29:28]  101 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.

[29:28]  102 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.

[29:29]  103 tn Heb “and Laban gave to Rachel his daughter Bilhah his female servant, for her for a servant.”

[29:30]  104 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[29:30]  105 tn Heb “went in also to Rachel.” The expression “went in to” in this context refers to sexual intercourse, i.e., the consummation of the marriage.

[29:30]  106 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[29:30]  107 tn Heb “and he loved also Rachel, more than Leah, and he served with him still seven other years.”

[29:31]  108 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.

[29:31]  109 tn Heb “he opened up her womb.”

[29:32]  110 tn Or “Leah conceived” (also in vv. 33, 34, 35).

[29:32]  111 sn The name Reuben (רְאוּבֵן, rÿuven) means “look, a son.”

[29:32]  112 tn Heb “looked on my affliction.”

[29:32]  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.

[29:33]  113 tn Heb “hated.” See the note on the word “unloved” in v. 31.

[29:33]  114 sn The name Simeon (שִׁמְעוֹן, shimon) is derived from the verbal root שָׁמַע (shama’) and means “hearing.” The name is appropriate since it is reminder that the Lord “heard” about Leah’s unloved condition and responded with pity.

[29:34]  115 tn Heb “will be joined to me.”

[29:34]  116 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.

[29:35]  117 sn The name Judah (יְהוּדָה, yÿhudah) 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.

[30:1]  118 tn Heb “Rachel.” The proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“she”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

[30:1]  119 tn Heb “sons.”

[30:2]  120 tn Heb “and the anger of Jacob was hot.”

[30:2]  121 tn Heb “who has withheld from you the fruit of the womb.”

[30:3]  122 tn Heb “go in to.” The expression “go in to” in this context refers to sexual intercourse.

[30:3]  123 tn After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with the conjunction indicates the immediate purpose of the proposed activity.

[30:3]  124 tn The word “children” is not in the Hebrew text but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.

[30:3]  125 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.

[30:3]  126 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. בָנָה).

[30:4]  127 tn Heb “and she”; the referent (Rachel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[30:4]  128 tn Heb “went in to.” The expression “went in to” in this context refers to sexual intercourse.

[30:5]  129 tn Or “Bilhah conceived” (also in v. 7).

[30:5]  130 tn Heb “and she bore for Jacob a son.”

[30:6]  131 tn Heb “and also he has heard my voice.” The expression means that God responded positively to Rachel’s cry and granted her request.

[30:6]  132 tn Or “therefore.”

[30:6]  133 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.

[30:7]  134 tn Heb “and she became pregnant again and Bilhah, the servant of Rachel, bore a second son for Jacob.”

[30:8]  135 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.

[30:8]  136 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.”

[30:9]  137 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.”

[30:10]  138 tn Heb “and Zilpah, the servant of Leah, bore for Jacob a son.”

[30:11]  139 tc The statement in the Kethib (consonantal text) appears to mean literally “with good fortune,” if one takes the initial בְּ (bet) as a preposition indicating accompaniment. The Qere (marginal reading) means “good fortune has arrived.”

[30:11]  140 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.

[30:12]  141 tn Heb “and Zilpah, the servant of Leah, bore a second son for Jacob.”

[30:13]  142 tn The Hebrew statement apparently means “with my happiness.”

[30:13]  143 tn Heb “daughters.”

[30:13]  144 sn The name Asher (אָשֶׁר, ’asher) 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.

[30:14]  145 tn Heb “during the days.”

[30:14]  146 sn Mandrake plants were popularly believed to be an aphrodisiac in the culture of the time.

[30:15]  147 tn Heb “and she said to her”; the referent of the pronoun “she” (Leah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[30:15]  148 tn Heb “therefore.”

[30:15]  149 tn Heb “lie down.” The expression “lie down with” in this context (here and in the following verse) refers to sexual intercourse. The imperfect verbal form has a permissive nuance here.

[30:16]  150 tn Heb “must come in to me.” The imperfect verbal form has an obligatory nuance here. She has acquired him for the night and feels he is obligated to have sexual relations with her.

[30:16]  151 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.

[30:16]  152 tn This is the same Hebrew verb (שָׁכַב, shakhav) translated “sleep with” in v. 15. In direct discourse the more euphemistic “sleep with” was used, but here in the narrative “marital relations” reflects more clearly the emphasis on sexual intercourse.

[30:17]  153 tn Heb “listened to.”

[30:17]  154 tn Or “she conceived” (also in v. 19).

[30:17]  155 tn Heb “and she bore for Jacob a fifth son,” i.e., this was the fifth son that Leah had given Jacob.

[30:18]  156 tn Heb “God has given my reward.”

[30:18]  157 tn The words “as a wife” are not in the Hebrew text, but are supplied for clarity (cf. v. 9).

[30:18]  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.

[30:18]  158 sn The name Issachar (יְשָּׁשכָר, yishakhar) 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.

[30:19]  159 tn Heb “and she bore a sixth son for Jacob,” i.e., this was the sixth son that Leah had given Jacob.

[30:20]  160 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.

[30:22]  161 tn Heb “remembered.”

[30:22]  162 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

[30:23]  163 tn Or “conceived.”

[30:23]  164 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.

[30:24]  165 sn The name Joseph (יוֹסֵף, yoseph) means “may he add.” The name expresses Rachel’s desire to have an additional son. In Hebrew the name sounds like the verb (אָסַף,’asasf) 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.

[30:25]  166 tn The perfect verbal form is translated as a past perfect because Rachel’s giving birth to Joseph preceded Jacob’s conversation with Laban.

[30:25]  167 tn The imperatival form here expresses a request.

[30:25]  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.

[30:25]  168 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

[30:25]  169 tn Heb “to my place and to my land.”

[30:26]  170 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.

[30:26]  171 tn Following the imperative, the cohortative with the prefixed conjunction indicates purpose or result.

[30:26]  172 tn Heb “for you, you know my service [with] which I have served you.”

[30:27]  173 tn The words “please stay here” have been supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.

[30:27]  174 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.

[30:28]  175 tn Heb “set your wage for me so I may give [it].”

[30:29]  176 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.

[30:29]  177 tn Heb “and how your cattle were with me.”

[30:30]  178 tn Or “for.”

[30:30]  179 tn Heb “before me.”

[30:30]  180 tn Heb “and it has broken out with respect to abundance.”

[30:30]  181 tn Heb “at my foot.”

[30:30]  182 tn Heb “How long [until] I do, also I, for my house?”

[30:31]  183 tn Heb “and he said.” The referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[30:31]  184 tn The negated imperfect verbal form has an obligatory nuance.

[30:31]  185 tn The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.

[30:31]  186 tn Heb “If you do for me this thing.”

[30:31]  187 tn Heb “I will return, I will tend,” an idiom meaning “I will continue tending.”

[30:32]  188 tn Heb “pass through.”

[30:32]  189 tn Or “every black lamb”; Heb “and every dark sheep among the lambs.”

[30:32]  190 tn Heb “and the spotted and speckled among the goats.”

[30:32]  191 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.

[30:33]  192 tn Heb “will answer on my behalf.”

[30:33]  193 tn Heb “on the following day,” or “tomorrow.”

[30:33]  194 tn Heb “when you come concerning my wage before you.”

[30:33]  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.

[30:33]  195 tn Heb “every one which is not speckled and spotted among the lambs and dark among the goats, stolen it is with me.”

[30:34]  196 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.

[30:35]  197 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Laban) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

[30:35]  198 tn Heb “and he gave [them] into the hand.”

[30:36]  199 tn Heb “and he put a journey of three days between himself and Jacob.”

[30:36]  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.

[30:36]  200 tn The disjunctive clause (introduced by the vav with subject) is circumstantial/temporal; Laban removed the animals while Jacob was taking care of the rest.

[30:38]  201 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).

[30:39]  202 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.

[30:39]  203 tn Heb “the sheep.” The noun has been replaced by the pronoun (“they”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

[30:40]  204 tn Heb “and he set the faces of.”

[30:41]  205 tn Heb “and at every breeding-heat of the flock.”

[30:42]  206 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.

[30:42]  207 tn Heb “were for Laban.”

[30:43]  208 tn Heb “the man”; Jacob’s name has been supplied in the translation for clarity.

[30:43]  209 tn Heb “and there were to him.”



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