Genesis 31

Genesis 31


Now Jacob heardI, II that the sonsIII of LabanIV were saying,

Notes on verse 1a

I “heard” = shama. This is to hear, call, consent, or consider. It implies listening intelligently, giving attention, and, because of these two factors, obedience and action are often implied.
II {untranslated} = dabar. From dabar (to speak, declare, discuss). This is speech, a word, a matter, an affair, charge, command, message, promise, purpose, report, request. It is a word, which implies things that are spoken of in a wide sense.
III “sons” = ben. From banah (to build or obtain children). This is son, age, child. It is son in a literal or figurative sense.
IV “Laban” = Laban. From the same as laban (white); from laban (to be white or make a brick). This is Laban, meaning white.

“JacobV has takenVI all that was our father’s;VII he has gainedVIII all this wealthIX from what belonged to our father.”

Notes on verse 1b

V “Jacob” = Yaaqob. From the same as aqeb (heel, hind part, hoof, rear guard of an army, one who lies in wait, usurper). This is Isaac’s son and his descendants. The name means heel-catcher or supplanter.
VI “taken” = laqach. This is to take, accept, carry away, receive. It can also have the sense of take a wife or take in marriage.
VII “father’s” = ab. This is father, chief, or ancestor. It is father in a literal or figurative sense.
VIII “gained” = asah. This is to make, do, act, appoint, become in many senses.
IX “wealth” = kabod. From kabad (to be heavy, weighty, burdensome). This is weighty. Figuratively, glorious, abundant, riches, honor, splendor – a reference to one’s reputation or character. This word is often used to describe God and God’s presence.

And Jacob sawX that Laban did not regardXI himXII as favorably as he did before.XIII, XIV 

Notes on verse 2

X “saw” = raah. This is to see in a literal or figurative sense so stare, advise, think, view.
XI {untranslated} = paneh. From panah (to turn, face, appear). This is face in a literal or figurative sense. It could be face, presence, anger, respect. It can also be used of God to indicate divine favor or presence.
XII {untranslated} = hinneh. From hen (lo! Behold! If, though; an expression of surprise). This is to draw attention, show suddenness or surprise, or to emphasize the importance of the coming statement. See! Lo! Behold!
XIII “as before” = temol + shilshom. Temol may be from ethmol (formerly, before, yesterday, time); {from et (with, among, beside, including, toward, near); from anah (to meet, happen, approach)} + mul (front, opposite, toward); {from mul (to cut short, circumcise, blunt, destroy)}. This is ago, recently, yesterday, past. Shilshom is from shalash (to make triplicate, do a third time); from the same as shalosh (three, fork, three times). This is three days ago, before, yesterday in the past.
XIV Literally “Jacob saw Laban’s face and indeed – not toward him as before.”

Then the LordXV said to Jacob, “ReturnXVI to the landXVII of your ancestorsXVIII and to your kindred,XIX and I will beXX with you.” 

Notes on verse 3

XV “Lord” = YHVH. From havah (to be, become) or hayah (to come to pass, become, be). This is the name of the God of Israel, the self-existent and eternal one, the tetragrammaton. This pronunciation has been lost to time so “Lord” is generally used in its place.
XVI “return” = shub. To turn back, return, turn away – literally or figuratively. Doesn’t necessarily imply going back to where you started from. This is also the root verb for the Hebrew word for repentance “teshubah.”
XVII “land” = erets. Root may mean to be firm. This is earth, ground, field land, or country.
XVIII “ancestors” = ab. Same as “father’s” in v1. See note VII above.
XIX “kindred” = moledet. From yalad (to bear, bring forth, beget, calve, act as midwife, show lineage). This is kindred, offspring, birthplace, lineage, native country, or family.
XX “be” = hayah. Related to “Lord” in v3. See note XV above.

So Jacob sentXXI and calledXXII RachelXXIII and LeahXXIV into the fieldXXV where his flockXXVI was, 

Notes on verse 4

XXI “sent” = shalach. This is to send out, away, send for, forsake. It can also mean to divorce or set a slave free.
XXII “called” = qara. This is to call or call out – to call someone by name. Also used more broadly for calling forth.
XXIII “Rachel” = Rachel. From the same as rachel (a ewe, sheep). Its root may refer to travelling. This is Rachel, meaning “ewe.”
XXIV “Leah” = Leah. From laah (to be weary or exhausted, parched, faint, or tired; to be impatient or have a hard time; figuratively, being grieved or disgusted). This is Leah, meaning “weary” or “wild cow.” See
XXV “field” = sadeh. This is literally field, ground, soil, or land. It can be used to mean wild like a wild animal.
XXVI “flock” = tson. This is a flock of sheep and goats.

and said to them, “I see that your father does not regard me as favorably as he did before.XXVII But the GodXXVIII of my father has been with me. You knowXXIX that I have servedXXX your father with all my strength;XXXI 

Notes on verses 5-6

XXVII Literally “your father’s face is not toward me as before.” Similar to v2.
XXVIII “God” = Elohim.
XXIX “know” = yada. This is to know, acknowledge, advise, answer, be aware, be acquainted with. Properly, this is to figure something out by seeing. It includes ideas of observation, recognition, and care about something. It can be used causatively for instruction, designation, and punishment.
XXX “served” = abad. This is to work, serve, or compel. It can describe any kind of work or service (including religious devotion).  Also, till or cultivate. Used causatively, it can mean to enslave or keep in bondage.
XXXI “strength” = koach. Root may mean to be firm. This is power, strength, force. It can be literal or figurative, positive or negative. It can also mean capacity or means – what something produces. Additionally, it could refer to some kind of small reptile.

yet your father has cheatedXXXII me and changedXXXIII my wagesXXXIV

Notes on verse 7a

XXXII “cheated” = hathal. 10x in OT. This is to mock, deceive, or conduct business in a dubious fashion. It implies cheating.
XXXIII “changed” = chalaph. This is to slide by or rush like a flood. It can mean to pass through, change, sprout, renew, break a promise, pierce, or violate.
XXXIV “wages” = maskoreth. 4x in OT– 3x in Genesis & 1x in Ruth. From sakar (to hire, reward, earn). This is wages or reward.

tenXXXV times,XXXVI but God did not permitXXXVII him to harmXXXVIII me. 

Notes on verse 7b

XXXV “ten” = eser. Perhaps from asar (to tithe, render a tenth of). This is ten or -teen. While 7 is symbolically the number of perfection, ten is also symbolically a number of perfection (but to a lesser degree than 7 is).
XXXVI “times” = moneh. 2x in OT. From manah (to weigh out, reckon, count, number, set, tell; allotting or providing something officially). This is some kind of number that has been tallied out or something apportioned by weight. Figuratively, it is a chunk of time or an instance.
XXXVII “permit” = natan. This is to give, put, set, offer. It is to give literally or figuratively.
XXXVIII “harm” = ra’a’. This is to be evil, bad, afflict. Properly, it means to spoil – to destroy by breaking into pieces. Figuratively, it is to cause something to be worthless. It is bad in a physical, social, or moral sense – something that displeases, does harm or mischief, punishes or vexes.

If he said, ‘The speckledXXXIX shall be your wages,’XL then all the flock boreXLI speckled; and if he said, ‘The stripedXLII shall be your wages,’ then all the flock bore striped. 

Notes on verse 8

XXXIX “speckled” = naqod. 9x in OT– all in Genesis 30-31. This is speckled or spotted. Its root may refer to something that is branded or marked through a piercing action.
XL “wages” = sakar. Related to “wages” in v7. From sakar (see note XXXIV above). This is wages, payment, service, salary, worth, reward, or benefit.
XLI “bore” = yalad. Related to “kindred” in v3. See note XIX above.
XLII “striped” = aqod. 7x in OT– all in Genesis 30-31. Perhaps from aqad (to bind or tie using straps). This is striped or streaked as with bands.

Thus God has taken awayXLIII the livestockXLIV of your father, and givenXLV them to me.

Notes on verse 9

XLIII “taken away” = natsal. This is to snatch someone or something away in a good sense – as rescue, defend, or deliver – or in a bad sense – as strip or plunder.
XLIV “livestock” = miqneh. From qanah (to get, acquire, purchase, move to jealousy, buyer, keep cattle). This is something that is bought, which implies property or possession. However, it is generally used of livestock – cattle, flock, herds.
XLV “given” = natan. Same as “permit” in v7. See note XXXVII above.

10 “DuringXLVI the matingXLVII of the flock I once had a dreamXLVIII in which I looked upXLIX

Notes on verse 10a

XLVI “during” = eth. Probably from anah (to answer, sing, announce); from ad (forever, all, old); from adah (to pass on, advance, decorate oneself). This is a period or season. It can also mean whenever or continually.
XLVII “mating” = yacham. 10x in OT. This is to be hot, mate. It is figuratively, to conceive.
XLVIII “dream” = chalom. From chalam (properly, to bind solidly and so to be plump; to be healthy or strong, to recover; figuratively, to dream). This is a dream or dreamer.
XLIX “looked up” = nasa + ayin. Literally “lifted my eyes.” Nasa is to lift in a broad sense, literally and figuratively. So it could be to carry, take, or arise. It could also be bring forth, advance, accept. Ayin is eye in a literal or figurative sense so eye, appearance, favor, or a fountain (the eye of the landscape).

andL saw that the male goatsLI that leapedLII upon the flock were striped, speckled, and mottled.LIII 

Notes on verse 10b

L {untranslated} = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v2. See note XII above.
LI “male goats” = attud. From athod (to be ready, prepare, destined). This is something full grown or a leader. It can also refer to a male goat or ram.
LII “leaped” = alah. This is to go up, approach, ascend, be high, be a priority; to arise in a literal or figurative sense.
LIII “mottled” = barod. 4x in OT. From the same as barad (hailstone); from barad (to hail). This is spotted, dappled, grisled. It is something that is marked as by falling hail.

11 Then the angelLIV of God said to me in the dream, ‘Jacob,’ and I said, ‘Here I am!’LV 12 And he said, ‘LVILook up and see that all the goats that leap on the flock are striped, speckled, and mottled; for I have seen all that Laban is doingLVII to you. 

Notes on verses 11-12

LIV “angel” = malak. This is a messenger, an angel, or a deputy of some kind. Can be used for human messengers literally or for prophets, priests, or teachers as messengers of God. Also used for supernatural messengers i.e. angels.
LV “here I am” = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v2. See note XII above.
LVI {untranslated} = na. This particle is used for requests or for urging. It can be we pray, now, I ask you, oh. This is the same “na” in “hosanna.”
LVII “doing” = asah. Same as “gained” in v1. See note VIII above.

13 I am the GodLVIII of Bethel,LIX where you anointedLX a pillarLXI and madeLXII a vowLXIII to me.

Notes on verse 13a

LVIII “God” = El. Related to “God” in v5. See note XXVIII above.
LIX “Bethel” = Bethel. Related to “sons” in v1 & to “God” in v5 & “God” in v13. From bayit (house, household, palace, dungeon); {from banah (see note III above)} + el (see note LVIII above). This is Bethel, literally meaning “house of God.”
LX “anointed” = mashach. This is smear, paint, spread, or paint. It can also be to rub with oil or, otherwise stated, to anoint. This implies a consecration. This root verb is where the word “messiah” comes from.
LXI “pillar” = matstsebah. From natsab (to station, appoint, establish, take a stand). This is literally something that is stationed. So, it could refer to a column, a stump, some kind of image or idol, or a garrison.
LXII “made” = nadar. This is to vow or promise.
LXIII “vow” = neder. Related to “made” in v13. From nadar (see note LXII above). This is a vow – literally, that which was promised.

NowLXIV leaveLXV this land at once and return to the land of your birth.’”LXVI 

Notes on verse 13b

LXIV {untranslated} = qum. To arise, stand, accomplish, establish, abide. This is rising as in rising against, getting up after being sick or asleep, arising from one state to another, becoming powerful, or rising for action. It can also be standing in a figurative sense.
LXV “leave” = yatsa. This is to go or come out, bring forth, appear. It is to go out in a literal or figurative sense.
LXVI “birth” = moledet. Same as “kindred” in v3. See note XIX above.

14 Then Rachel and Leah answeredLXVII him, “Is there any portionLXVIII or inheritanceLXIX left to us in our father’s house?LXX 

Notes on verse 14

LXVII “answered” = anah. This is answer, respond, announce, sing, shout, or testify. It means to pay attention, which implies responding and, by extension, starting to talk. Used in a specific sense for singing, shouting, testifying, etc.
LXVIII “portion” = cheleq. From chalaq (to be smooth in a figurative sense; can refer to the stones that were part of casting lots – hence, apportion, share, distribute; figuratively, it can also mean to flatter). This is a division, lot, inheritance, legacy, or portion. It can also refer to a smooth tongue.
LXIX “inheritance” = nachalah. Related to nachal (to inherit, occupy, distribute, take as heritage). This is properly something that was inherited. It can mean occupancy generally or, more particularly, an heirloom or an estate. This can be an inheritance, gift, possession, or portion.
LXX “house” = bayit. Related to “sons” in v1 & “Bethel” in v13. See note LIX above.

15 Are we not regardedLXXI by him as foreigners?LXXII For he has soldLXXIII us, and he has been using upLXXIV the moneyLXXV given for us. 

Notes on verse 15

LXXI “regarded” = chashab. This is properly to braid or interpenetrate. Literally it is to create or to wear. Figuratively, it can mean plotting – generally in a negative sense. More broadly, this can also mean think, consider, or make account of.
LXXII “foreigners” = nokri. From neker (strange; to act foreign or strange; to disguise; can also be misfortune or unexpected calamity); from nakar (to recognize, examine, take notice, show, scrutinize). This is foreign, alien, stranger, extraordinary, adulteress. It is strange in many different senses – foreign, not being one’s relative, different, wonderful, relating to adultery.
LXXIII “sold” = makar. This is to sell – could be commerce/trade, a daughter to be married, someone into slavery. Figuratively, it can mean to surrender.
LXXIV “using up” = akalakal. This is to eat, devour, burn up, or otherwise consume. It can be eating in a literal or figurative sense. The word is repeated twice – the first second as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
LXXV “money” = keseph. From kasaph (to long for, be greedy; to become pale). This is silver or money.

16 All the propertyLXXVI that GodLXXVII has taken away from our father belongs to us and to our children;LXXVIII now then, do whatever God has said to you.”

Notes on verse 16

LXXVI “property” = osher. From ashar (to gain wealth, become rich, enrich; to accumulate). This is fortune or wealth.
LXXVII “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v5. See note XXVIII above.
LXXVIII “children” = ben. Same as “sons” in v1. See note III above.

17 So Jacob arose,LXXIX and setLXXX his children and his wivesLXXXI on camels;LXXXII 

Notes on verse 17

LXXIX “arose” = qum. Same as {untranslated} in v13. See note LXIV above.
LXXX “set” = nasa. Same as “looked up” in v10. See note XLIX above.
LXXXI “wives” = ishshah. From ish (man); perhaps from enosh (human, humankind, mortal); from anash (to be weak, sick, or frail). This is woman, wife, or female.
LXXXII “camels” = gamal. From gamal (how one deals with someone whether positively or negatively – so to reward, requite; to wean or the work that goes into something ripening). This is a camel as an animal of labor or one that bears burdens. The English word “camel” is from a Semitic source, perhaps Hebrew or others.

18 and he drove awayLXXXIII all his livestock, all the propertyLXXXIV that he had gained,LXXXV

Notes on verse 18a

LXXXIII “drove away” = nahag. This is to drive as in driving flocks, but also driving in animal or vehicle like a chariot. It can mean to carry away, lead, drive away, proceed, or guide. It can also relate to behavior and what one is accustomed to.
LXXXIV “property” = rekush. From rakash (to get, acquire property, collect). This is property, riches, possessions.
LXXXV “gained” = rakash. Related to “property” in v18. 5x in OT. See note LXXXIV above.

the livestock in his possessionLXXXVI that he had acquiredLXXXVII in Paddan-aram,LXXXVIII to goLXXXIX to his father IsaacXC in the land of Canaan.XCI

Notes on verse 18b

LXXXVI “possession” = qinyah. Related to “livestock” in v9. 10x in OT. From qanah (see note XLIV above). This is something acquired – property, riches, goods. It can also be a creature as something created.
LXXXVII “acquired” = rakash. Same as “gained” in v18. See note LXXXV above.
LXXXVIII “Paddan-aram” = Paddan Aram. 11x in OT. From pada (“to upgrade the operating standard) + rum (rise, bring up, being high, extol, exalt, haughty; to raise in a literal or figurative sense) OR from pada (see above) + aram (Aram, Syria, Mesopotamia – meaning elevated or citadel); {perhaps from armon (any fortified building – castle, citadel, palace)}. This is Paddan-aram, perhaps meaning “ultimate upgrade,” “plain of Aram,” “elevated ransom,” or “new Aramaic standard.” See
LXXXIX “go” = bo. This is to enter, come in, advance, fulfill, bring offerings, enter to worship, attack. It can also have a sexual connotation.
XC “Isaac” = Yitschaq. From tsachaq (to laugh, mock, play, make sport; this is laughing out loud whether in joy or in a scornful way). This is Isaac, meaning “he laughs.”
XCI “Canaan” = Kna’an. From kana’ (to be humble, subdue; properly, bend the knee). This is Canaan, his descendants, and the land where they settled. This could mean lowlands, describing their land or subjugated in reference to being conquered by Egypt. See

19 Now Laban had goneXCII to shearXCIII his sheep,XCIV and Rachel stoleXCV her father’s household gods.XCVI 

Notes on verse 19

XCII “gone” = halak. This is go, come, walk. It is walk literally and figuratively and includes people and animals. It can be used figuratively for one’s moral life – how we walk according to God’s way or against it. It can also refer to the walk of life as in the course one’s life takes, the choices we make, etc.
XCIII “shear” = gazaz. 15x in OT. This is to cut off, shave, shear sheep. figuratively, it can mean to conquer an enemy.
XCIV “sheep” = tson. Same as “flock” in v4. See note XXVI above.
XCV “stole” = ganab. This is to steal in a stealthy way rather than through violence. It can also mean to deceive. There is a Yiddish word ganef that derives from this root. It means thief or scoundrel.
XCVI “household gods” = teraphim. 15x in OT. Perhaps from rapha (properly, to repair by stitching – figuratively to heal or cure; to make whole). This is a household idol or god. Sometimes it is simply rendered “teraphim.” It can refer to idolatry more generally. It may mean healer.

20 And Jacob deceivedXCVII, XCVIII Laban the Aramean,XCIX in that he did not tellC him that he intended to flee.CI 

Notes on verse 20

XCVII “deceived” = ganab. Same as “stole” in v19. See note XCV above.
XCVIII {untranslated} = leb. May be related to labab (to encourage; properly, to be encased as with fat; used in a good sense, this means to transport someone with love; used in a bad sense, it can mean to dull one’s senses). This is the heart, courage, one’s inner self, the mind, or the will. Heart is only used in a figurative sense in the Old and New Testaments.
XCIX “Aramean” = Arammi. Related to “Paddan-aram” in v18. 11x in OT. From aram (see note LXXXVIII above) OR from rum (see note LXXXVIII above). This is Aramean – someone from Aram or Syria. See
C “tell” = nagad. This is to declare, make conspicuous, stand in front, manifest, predict, explain.
CI “intended to flee” = barach. This is to flee, drive away, hurry, to bolt.

21 So he fled with all that he had; starting outCII he crossedCIII the Euphrates,CIV and setCV his faceCVI toward the hill country of Gilead.CVII

Notes on verse 21

CII “starting out” = qum. Same as {untranslated} in v13. See note LXIV above.
CIII “crossed” = abar. This is to pass over or cross over. It is used for transitions, whether literal or figurative. It can also mean to escape, alienate, or fail. This is the root verb from which “Hebrew” is drawn.
CIV “Euphrates” = nahar. Literally “river.” From nahar (to flow, sparkle, be cheerful). This is a stream, river, or flood. Particularly used for the Nile or Euphrates. Figuratively, this can mean prosperity.
CV “set” = sum. This is to put or place in a literal or figurative sense. It can be appoint, care, change, make, and may other things.
CVI “face” = paneh. Same as {untranslated} in v2. See note XI above.
CVII “Gilead” = Gilad. From gala (to lay bare, quarrel, expose) OR from gal’ed (heap of testimony); {from gal (wave, billow, rock pile; something rolled; a spring of water); {from galal (to roll, roll away, wallow, commit, remove; rolling in a literal or figurative sense)} + ed (witness, testimony, recorder); from ud (to admonish, repeat, duplicate, testify, restore, record, relieve)}}. This is Gilead, meaning “perpetual fountain” or “heap of testimony.” See

22 On the thirdCVIII dayCIX Laban was told that Jacob had fled. 23 So he took his kinsfolkCX with him and pursuedCXI him for sevenCXII days until he caught up withCXIII him in the hill country of Gilead. 

Notes on verses 22-23

CVIII “third” = shelishi. Related to “before” in v2. From the same as shalosh (see note XIII above). This is third or one-third of something.
CIX “day” = yom. Root may mean being hot. This is the day in a literal or figurative sense. It can also mean birth, age, daylight, continually or other references to time.
CX “kinsfolk” = ach. This is brother, kindred, another, other, like. It is literally brother, but it can also be someone who is similar, resembling, or related to.
CXI “pursued” = radaphderek. Radaph is to chase after, pursue, hunt, or persecute. It is running after someone or something, generally with hostile motives. Derek is from darak (to tread, march, to walk. Can also mean affixing a string to a box since one needs to step on it to bend it in the process; so also an archer). This is a road as a thing that is walked on. Can be used figuratively for the path that one’s life takes or how one chooses to live one’s life.
CXII “seven” = sheba. This is seven or by sevenfold. It can also be used to imply a week or an indefinite number. Symbolically, this is the number of fullness, sacredness, perfection.
CXIII “caught up with” = dabaq. This is to follow closely or abide fast, to cling or be joined together. Figuratively, it can mean to catch something by chasing after it, to overtake, or to stick. A man clings to his wife in Genesis 2:24, Shechem was deeply attracted to Dinah in Genesis 34:3, Ruth clung to Naomi in Ruth 1:14, Solomon clung to his foreign wives and concubines in 1 Kings 11:2. It is also used of a tongue sticking to the mouth, pursuing or overtaking as in battle, and also clinging to God.

24 But God came to Laban the Aramean in a dream by night,CXIV and said to him, “Take heedCXV that you sayCXVI not a word to Jacob, either goodCXVII or bad.”CXVIII

Notes on verse 24

CXIV “night” = layil. Properly, this refers to light twisting away. It is used for night or midnight. Figuratively, this can mean adversity.
CXV “take heed” = shamar. This is to keep, watch, or preserve. It means to guard something or to protect it as a thorny hedge protects something.
CXVI “say” = dabar. Related to {untranslated} in v1. See note II above.
CXVII “good” = tob. From tob (to be pleasing, to be good). This is good, beautiful, pleasant, agreeable, bountiful, at ease. This word is used for goodness as a concept, a good thing, a good person. This can refer to prosperity and welfare as well as joy, kindness, sweetness, and graciousness. So, this is ethically good, but also enjoyably good.
CXVIII “bad” = ra’. Related to “harm” in v7. From ra’a’ (see note XXXVIII above). This is bad, disagreeable, that which causes pain, misery, something having little or no value, something that is ethically bad, wicked, injury, calamity. This refers to anything that is not what it ought to be – a natural disaster, a disfigurement, an injury, a sin.

25 Laban overtookCXIX Jacob. Now Jacob had pitchedCXX his tentCXXI in the hill country, and Laban with his kinsfolk campedCXXII in the hill country of Gilead. 

Notes on verse 25

CXIX “overtook” = nasag. This is to reach in a literal or figurative sense. It is to overtake, catch, or be able to.
CXX “pitched” = taqa. This is to clap, clatter, thrust, sound an instrument, hammer a nail, be a bondsman.
CXXI “tent” = ohel. Perhaps from ahal (to shine, be clear). This is a tent, covering, home, or side pillar.
CXXII “camped” = taqa. Same as “pitched” in v25. See note CXX above.

26 Laban said to Jacob, “What have you done? You have deceived me,CXXIII and carried awayCXXIV my daughtersCXXV like captivesCXXVI of the sword.CXXVII 

Notes on verse 26

CXXIII “me” = lebab. Literally “heart.” Related to {untranslated} in v20. See note XCVIII above.
CXXIV “carried away” = nahag. Same as “drove away” in v18. See note LXXXIII above.
CXXV “daughters” = bat. Related to “sons” in v1 & “Bethel” in v13 & “house” in v14. From ben (see note III above). This is daughter in a literal or figurative sense.
CXXVI “captives” = shabah. This is to carry away into captivity, bring away, capture, lead away.
CXXVII “swords” = chereb. From charab (to attack, slay). This is any sharp instrument like a sword, dagger, axe, or mattock.

27 Why did you fleeCXXVIII secretlyCXXIX and deceive me and not tell me? I would have sent you away with mirthCXXX and songs, with tambourineCXXXI and lyre.CXXXII 

Notes on verse 27

CXXVIII “secretly” = chaba. This is to hide, hush, harden (like water freezing), or secret.
CXXIX “flee” = barach. Same as “intended to flee” in v20. See note CI above.
CXXX “mirth” = simchah. From samach (to rejoice, be glad; properly, to brighten up; also used figuratively). This is joy, rejoicing, pleasure, or glee.
CXXXI “tambourine” = toph. 17x in OT. Perhaps from taphaph (to play a drum, timbrel, or tambourine). This is a timbrel or tambourine.
CXXXII “lyre” = kinnor. Root may be to twang. This is a lyre or harp.

28 And why did you not permitCXXXIII me to kissCXXXIV my sons and my daughters farewell? What you have done is foolish.CXXXV 29 It is in my powerCXXXVI to do you harm; but the GodCXXXVII of your father spoke to me last night, saying, ‘Take heed that you speak to Jacob neither good nor bad.’ 

Notes on verses 28-29

CXXXIII “permit” = natash. Properly, this is to beat or pound as when something is beaten in order to expand or disperse. It can be leave, abandon, allow, neglect, spread, fall, or thrust out.
CXXXIV “kiss” = nashaq. This is to kiss in a literal or figurative sense. It can mean to touch, rule, or equip with weapons.
CXXXV “is foolish” = sakal. 8x in OT. Perhaps from kasal (being or becoming stupid or foolish; properly, being fat and so figuratively silly or foolish). This is being or acting foolishly, whether intentionally or unintentionally.
CXXXVI “in my power” = el + yad. Literally “in the power of my hand.” El is the same as “God” in v13. It can also refer to power, an idol, or one that is powerful. See note LVIII above. Yad is hand, ability, power. Hand in a literal sense, but also what one can do or the means by which one does it.
CXXXVII “God” = Elohim. Same as “God” in v5. See note XXVIII above.

30 Even though you had to goCXXXVIII because you longed greatly forCXXXIX your father’s house, why did you steal my gods?”CXL 

Notes on verse 30

CXXXVIII “had to go” = halak + halak. Halak is the same as “gone” in v19. See note XCII above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
CXXXIX “longed greatly for” = kasaph + kasaph. Related to “money” in v15. 6x in OT. See note LXXV above. The word is repeated twice – the first time as an Infinitive Absolute. The Infinitive Absolute serves to emphasize the sentiment of the word. It is rather like Foghorn Leghorn’s speech pattern, “I said, I said.”
CXL “gods” = elohim. Same as “God” in v5. See note XXVIII above.

31 Jacob answered Laban, “Because I was afraid,CXLI for I thought that you would take your daughters from me by force.CXLII 32 But anyone with whom you findCXLIII your gods shall not live.CXLIV In the presence ofCXLV our kinsfolk, point outCXLVI what I have that is yours, and take it.” Now Jacob did not know that Rachel had stolen the gods.

Notes on verses 31-32

CXLI “was afraid” = yare. This is to fear, be afraid, dreadful. It can also refer to fearful reverence – to fear in a moral sense is to say to revere, respect.
CXLII “take…by force” = gazal. This is snatch, take violently, seize, tear away. It can also mean flay or rob.
CXLIII “find” = matsa. This is to find, catch or acquire. It can also mean to come forth or appear. Figuratively, this can mean to meet or be together with.
CXLIV “live” = chayah. This is to live or keep alive in a literal or figurative sense. So, it an be revive, nourish, or save.
CXLV “in the presence of” = neged. Related to “tell” in v20 From nagad (see note C above). This is in front of, opposite to. It can refer to a counterpart or partner, one corresponding to or in the sight of.
CXLVI “point out” = nakar. Related to “foreigners” in v15. See note LXXII above.

33 So Laban went into Jacob’s tent, and into Leah’s tent, and into the tent of the twoCXLVII maids,CXLVIII but he did not find them. And he went outCXLIX of Leah’s tent, and enteredCL Rachel’s. 

Notes on verse 33

CXLVII “two” = shenayim. From sheni (double, again, another, second); from shanah (to fold, repeat, double, alter, or disguise). This is two, both, second, couple.
CXLVIII “maids” = amah. This is female servant or slave, handmaid.
CXLIX “went out” = yatsa. Same as “leave” in v13. See note LXV above.
CL “entered” = bo. Same as “go” in v18. See note LXXXIX above.

34 Now Rachel had taken the household gods and putCLI them in the camel’s saddle,CLII and satCLIII on them. Laban feltCLIV all about in the tent, but did not find them. 

Notes on verse 34

CLI “put” = sum. Same as “set” in v21. See note CV above.
CLII “saddle” = kar. 16x in OT. From karar (to dance, whirl). This is a ram, battering ram, lamb, pasture for sheep, camel’s saddle.
CLIII “sat” = yashab. This is to sit and so to remain and so to dwell. It is sitting for any reason – as a judge, in order to ambush, or just sitting quietly. Causatively, this can mean settling or marrying. This can also mean continue, endure, or establish.
CLIV “felt” = mashash. 9x in OT. This is to feel or to search around by feeling, to grope. It is often used of people groping about in the dark.

35 And she said to her father, “Let not my lordCLV be angryCLVI, CLVII that I cannotCLVIII rise beforeCLIX you,

Notes on verse 35a

CLV “lord” = adon. From a root that means ruling or being sovereign. This is lord, master, or owner.
CLVI “be angry” = charah. Perhaps related to charar (to be hot, burn, glow, melt, be scorched; figuratively, to incite passion, be angry). This is to be displeased, burn with anger, glow, become warn. Figuratively it is a blaze of anger, zeal, or jealousy.
CLVII {untranslated} = ayin. Literally “in their eyes.” Same as “looked up” in v10. See note XLIX above.
CLVIII “cannot” = lo + yakol. Yakol is to be able, endure, overcome, prevail.
CLIX “before” = paneh. Literally “before your face.” Same as {untranslated} in v2. See note XI above.

for the wayCLX of womenCLXI is upon me.” So he searched,CLXII but did not find the household gods.

Notes on verse 35b

CLX “way” = derek. Same as “pursued” in v23. See note CXI above.
CLXI “women” = ishshah. Same as “wives” in v17. See note LXXXI above.
CLXII “searched” = chaphas. This is to seek. In a causative sense, it can mean to hide or disguise oneself.

36 Then Jacob became angry, and upbraidedCLXIII Laban. Jacob saidCLXIV to Laban, “What is my offense?CLXV What is my sin,CLXVI that you have hotly pursuedCLXVII me? 37 Although you have felt about through all my goods,CLXVIII what have you found of all your household goods?

Notes on verses 36-37a

CLXIII “upbraided” = rib. This is properly to toss or grapple. It is used figuratively to mean wrangling and so for arguments, complaints, or disputes. It is used in a legal setting for pleading or defending a case.
CLXIV “said” = anah. Same as “answered” in v14. See note LXVII above.
CLXV “offense” = pesha. From pasha (to rebel, offend, quarrel; making a break from proper authority so can also refer to an apostate). This is transgression, rebellion, or sin. It could be a revolt on a national scale or an individual moral one.
CLXVI “sin” = chatta’ah. From chata’ (to miss or go wrong and so to sin, bear the blame; it can also include the sense of forfeiting or lacking). This is sin itself as well as punishment for sin. It is sometimes used specifically to refer to sin that is habitual.
CLXVII “hotly pursued” = dalaq. 9x in OT. This is to burn or flame in a literal or figurative sense. It can also be to chase or hotly pursue.
CLXVIII “goods” = keli. From kalah (to end, be finished, complete, prepare, consume, spent, or completely destroyed). This is something that was prepared – any implement, utensil, article, vessel, weapon, or instrument. Also includes jewels, weapons, bags, carriages, and furniture.

Set it here before my kinsfolk and your kinsfolk, so that they may decideCLXIX between us two. 38 These twentyCLXX years I have been with you; your ewesCLXXI and your female goatsCLXXII have not miscarried,CLXXIII

Notes on verses 37b-38a

CLXIX “decide” = yakach. This is to decide, be right, argue, or convince. It can also be to decide, convict, reason together, or reprove.
CLXX “twenty” = esrim. Related to “ten” in v7. From the same as eser (see note XXXV above). This is twenty or twentieth.
CLXXI “ewes” = rachel. Related to “Rachel” in v4. 4x in OT. See note XXIII above.
CLXXII “female goats” = ez. Perhaps from azaz (to be strong in a literal or figurative sense, overcome, be impudent). This is a female goat, but can refer to male goats when plural.
CLXXIII “miscarried” = shakol. This is a loss from death in a literal or figurative sense. It can specifically refer to a loss of children, whether a miscarriage, being barren, or not having children more broadly.

and I have not eatenCLXXIV the ramsCLXXV of your flocks. 39 That which was tornCLXXVI by wild beasts I did not bringCLXXVII to you;

Notes on verses 38b-39a

CLXXIV “eaten” = akal. Same as “using up” in v15. See note LXXIV above.
CLXXV “rams” = ayil. From the same as ul (mighty, strength, body, belly; root may mean to twist and that implies strength and power). This is strength so it is used to indicate things that are strong or powerful: political chiefs, rams, posts, trees, oaks.
CLXXVI “that which was torn” = terephah. 9x in OT. From tereph (prey, food, meat, leaf; something that has been torn – a morsel); from taraph (to tear or pluck off into pieces, to rend or catch; to supply with food). This is torn flesh, particularly torn and/or eaten by animals.
CLXXVII “bring” = bo. Same as “go” in v18. See note LXXXIX above.

I bore the lossCLXXVIII of it myself; of my handCLXXIX you requiredCLXXX it, whether stolen by day or stolen by night. 

Notes on verse 39b

CLXXVIII “bore the loss” = chata. Related to “sin” in v36. See note CLXVI above.
CLXXIX “hand” = yad. Same as “in my power” in v29. See note CXXXVI above.
CLXXX “required” = baqash. This is to seek, ask, desire, or request. It can be any kind of searching. It can also mean to worship or pray – implies a striving for.

40 It was like this with me: by day the heatCLXXXI consumedCLXXXII me, and the coldCLXXXIII by night, and my sleep fledCLXXXIV from my eyes. 

Notes on verse 40

CLXXXI “heat” = choreb. Related to “sword” in v26. 16x in OT. From chereb (see note CXXVII above). This is drought, heat, desolation.
CLXXXII “consumed” = akal. Same as “using up” in v15. See note LXXIV above.
CLXXXIII “cold” = qerach. 7x in OT. Perhaps from qarach (to shave bald). This is ice, frost, or crystal. It could be ice as smooth like baldness is smooth. It can also be hail or, since they look similar, crystal rocks.
CLXXXIV “fled” = nadad. This is to wave back and forth. Figuratively, it is to flee, stray, flutter chase away, shake, or shrink. It can also refer to a fugitive.

41 These twenty years I have been in your house; I served you fourteenCLXXXV years for your two daughters, and six yearsCLXXXVI for your flock, and you have changed my wages ten times. 42 If the God of my father, the God of AbrahamCLXXXVII and the FearCLXXXVIII of Isaac, had not been on my side, surely now you would have sent me away empty-handed.CLXXXIX

Notes on verses 41-42a

CLXXXV “fourteen” = arba + asar. Arba is from raba (to make square or be four-sided). This is four. Asar is related to “ten” in v7 & “twenty” in v38. From the same as eser (see note XXXV above). It is -teen or -teenth.
CLXXXVI “six” = shesh. This is six. Figuratively, it can be a surplus since it is one more than the number of fingers on the hand.
CLXXXVII “Abraham” = Abraham. Related to “father’s” in v1 & “Paddan-Aram” in v18 & “Aramean” in v20. From the same as Abiram (exalted father, a high father – lofty) {from ab (see note VII above) + rum (see note LXXXVIII above)}. This is Abraham, father of many nations or father of a multitude.
CLXXXVIII “Fear” = pachad. From pachad (to dread, be afraid, thrill, be in awe; feeling startled from a sudden sound or alarm). This is dread, fear, awe, panic. It can also refer to what someone fears or dreads.
CLXXXIX “empty-handed” = reqam. 16x in OT. From riq (this is to be empty or to make empty; also vanity, emptiness, something worthily, in vain); from ruq (to pour out in a literal or figurative sense, hence, to be or make empty). This is emptily, empty-handed, without cause, in vain, ineffectually, or undeservedly.

God saw my afflictionCXC and the laborCXCI of my hands,CXCII and rebukedCXCIII you last night.”

Notes on verses 42b

CXC “affliction” = oniy. From anah (to be bowed down; humility or being browbeaten, oppressed, afflicted, or depressed; literal or figurative – depressed in mood or circumstance). This is misery, poverty, or affliction.
CXCI “labor” = yegia. 16x in OT. From yaga (to work, become weary, to gasp or be exhausted). This is that which comes from labor – product, possession, fruit, toil, wages, etc.
CXCII “hands” = kaph. From kaphaph (to bend – from a root meaning curve or bend down). This is palm of the hand or sole of the foot, footstep, grasp. Figuratively, it can also mean power.
CXCIII “rebuked” = yakach. Same as “decide” in v37. See note CLXIX above.

43 Then Laban answered and said to Jacob, “The daughters are my daughters, the children are my children, the flocks are my flocks, and all that you see is mine. But what can I do todayCXCIV about these daughters of mine, or about their children whom they have borne? 44 Come now, let us makeCXCV a covenant,CXCVI you and I; and let it be a witnessCXCVII between you and me.” 

Notes on verses 43-44

CXCIV “today” = yom. Same as “day” in v22. See note CIX above.
CXCV “make” = karat. This is to cut down, cut off, or make a covenant (idiom for making a covenant is “to cut a covenant”). It can also mean to destroy, fail, or consume.
CXCVI “covenant” = berit. Perhaps from barah (to eat, choose, make clear); perhaps from bar (grain, wheat); from bara (to select, purify, cleanse, test, brighten, polish). This is a compact, covenant, alliance, treaty, or league.
CXCVII “witness” = ed. Related to “Gilead” in v22. See note CVII above.

45 So Jacob took a stone,CXCVIII and set it upCXCIX as a pillar. 46 And Jacob said to his kinsfolk, “GatherCC stones,”

Notes on verses 45-46a

CXCVIII “stone” = eben. This is a stone, weight, or mason. It is part of the word “Ebenezer.”
CXCIX “set…up” = rum. Related to “Paddan-aram” in v18 & “Aramean” in v20 & “Abraham” in v42. See note LXXXVIII above.
CC “gather” = laqat. This is to pick up, glean, gather.

and they took stones, and madeCCI a heap;CCII and they ate there by the heap. 47 Laban called it Jegar-sahadutha:CCIII but Jacob called it Galeed.CCIV 

Notes on verses 46b-47

CCI “made” = asah. Same as “gained” in v1. See note VIII above.
CCII “heap” = gal. Related to “Gilead” in v21. See note CVII above.
CCIII “Jegar-sahadutha” = Yegar Sahadutha. 1x in OT. From Aramaic word (to gather) + Aramaic related to the Hebrew sahed (a witness, record of testimony, one who speaks for another in a legal setting). This is Jegar-sahadutha, meaning “heap [of stones] of the testimony.”
CCIV “Galeed” = Galed. Related to “Gilead” in v21 & “heap” in v46 & to “witness” in v44. 2x in OT. From gal (see note CVII above) + ed (see note CVII above). This is Galeed, meaning “witness pile,” “heap of testimony.”

48 Laban said, “This heap is a witness between you and me today.” Therefore he calledCCV it Galeed, 49 and the pillar Mizpah,CCVI for he said, “The Lord watchCCVII between you and me, when we are absentCCVIII oneCCIX from the other.CCX 

Notes on verses 48-49

CCV “called” = qara + shem. Literally “called its name.” Qara is the same as “called” in v4. See note XXII above. Shem is related to “set” in v21. Perhaps from sum (see note CV above). This is name, fame, renown. A name was thought to indicate something essential about a person – something about their individuality. So, this word can also mean honor, authority, or character.
CCVI “Mizpah” = Mitspah. From tsaphah (to look out, look around, spy watchman, sentinel; leaning out to look far away; to await or observe). This is Mizpah, meaning “watchtower.”
CCVII “watch” = tsaphah. Related to “Mizpah” in v49. See note CCVI above.
CCVIII “are absent” = sathar. This is hide, conceal, or be absent. It is hiding because something is covered – used in a literal or figurative sense.
CCIX “one” = enosh. Related to “wives” in v17. See note LXXXI above.
CCX “other” = rea. From raah (perhaps association with). This is an associate, companion, friend, neighbor, or other. It can also be used for close family or for a lover.

50 If you ill-treatCCXI my daughters, or if you take wives in addition to my daughters, though no oneCCXII else is with us, rememberCCXIII that God is witness between you and me.”

Notes on verse 50

CCXI “ill-treat” = anah. Related to “affliction” in v42. See note CXC above.
CCXII “one” = ish. Related to “wives” in v17 & “one” in v49. See note LXXXI above.
CCXIII “remember” = raah. Same as “saw” in v2. See note X above.

51 Then Laban said to Jacob, “SeeCCXIV this heap and seeCCXV the pillar, which I have setCCXVI between you and me. 52 This heap is a witness, and the pillar is a witness,CCXVII that I will not passCCXVIII beyond this heap to you, and you will not pass beyond this heap and this pillar to me, for harm. 

Notes on verses 51-52

CCXIV “see” = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v2. See note XII above.
CCXV “see” = hinneh. Same as {untranslated} in v2. See note XII above.
CCXVI “set” = yarah. This is to throw, shoot, be stunned. It is to flow as water so figuratively to instruct or teach. This is the same root that “Jerusalem” and “Torah” draw from.
CCXVII “witness” = edah. Related to “Gilead” in v22 & “witness” in v44 & “Galeed” in v47. From ed (see note CVII above). This is testimony or witness.
CCXVIII “pass” = abar. Same as “crossed” in v21. See note CIII above.

53 May the God of Abraham and the God of Nahor”CCXIX—the God of their father—“judgeCCXX between us.” So Jacob sworeCCXXI by the Fear of his father Isaac, 

Notes on verse 53

CCXIX “Nahor” = Nachor. 18x in OT. From the same as nachar (nostril or snorting; root means to snort or snore). This is Nachor or Nahor, meaning “snorer.”
CCXX “judge” = shaphat. This is to judge, defend, pronounce judgment, condemn, or govern. It can refer to God judging or to human judges. This is pronouncing a verdict in favor or against so it implies consequences or punishment. It can also mean to litigate or govern as one with authority.
CCXXI “swore” = shaba. Related to “seven” in v23. From sheba (see note CXII above). This is to swear, curse, vow, make a covenant. Properly, it can mean to be complete. This is to seven oneself – as in affirming something so strongly it is as though it were said seven times.

54 and Jacob offeredCCXXII a sacrificeCCXXIII on the height and called his kinsfolk to eat bread;CCXXIV and they ate bread and tarried all nightCCXXV in the hill country.

Notes on verse 54

CCXXII “offered” = zabach. This is slaughtering an animal, generally for the purpose of sacrifice. It can mean kill or offer.
CCXXIII “sacrifice” = zebach. Related to “offered” in v54. From zabach (see note CCXXII above). This is a slaughter – literally of an animal. So, it implies the act or the animals used in sacrifice. Further, it can mean offering.
CCXXIV “bread” = lechem. From lacham (to eat, feed on). This is bread, food, loaf. It can refer to food more generally for people or for animals.
CCXXV “tarried all night” = lun. This is to stop – usually to lodge for the night. It can imply dwelling, enduring, or staying permanently. Figuratively, it can mean being obstinate, particularly with one’s words – to complain.

55 Early in the morningCCXXVI Laban rose up,CCXXVII and kissed his grandchildrenCCXXVIII and his daughters and blessedCCXXIX them; then he departedCCXXX and returned home.CCXXXI

Notes on verse 55

CCXXVI “morning” = boqer. From baqar (to seek, plow, break forth, admire, care for). This refers to the break of day. So it is dawn, early, morning, or morrow.
CCXXVII “early…rose up” = shakam. This is leaning one’s shoulder into a burden or load, whether a person or an animal. Thus, it meant starting or rising early.
CCXXVIII “grandchildren” = ben. Same as “sons” in v1. See note III above.
CCXXIX “blessed” = barak. This is to kneel, to bless. It is blessing God as part of worship and adoration or blessing humans to help them. It can be used as a euphemism to say curse God.
CCXXX “departed” = halak. Same as “gone” in v19. See note XCII above.
CCXXXI “home” = maqom. Related to {untranslated} in v13. From qum (see note LXIV above). This is a standing, which is to say a spot or space a place. It can also refer to a locality or a physical/mental condition. HaMaqom is also a Jewish name for God – the place, i.e. the Omnipresent One.

Image credit: “Rachel Hides Laban’s Idols” by Lambsongs – Jill Kemp & Richard Gunther.

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