[b-hebrew] daughters jacob never spoke of

Yigal Levin leviny1 at mail.biu.ac.il
Wed Jun 21 01:15:27 EDT 2006

----- Original Message ----- 
From: "sujata" <shevaroys at yahoo.com>

> Gen 46:15 refers to 33 sons and daughters beside Dinah through Leah, but 
> the sons and grandsons listed in Gen 46:8-14 total to 33. Is the 
> translation "sons and daughters" correct?
>  Best,
>  sujata

Not quite. You are probably using a "politically correct" translation like 
NRSV. The Hebrew says: "These are the SONS of Leah which she bore Jacob in 
Paddan-aram, and Dinah his daughter, all souls, his sons and his daughters, 
thirty-three". Note "and his daughters". Even though the list does actually 
list 33, making it clear that no more than Dinah are counted, it still uses 
the plual "his daughters" in exactly the same way as it does in 37:35.

This means one of two things. Either either the plural is used losely, "sons 
and daughters" meaning "children", no matter what the actual ratio is, or 
there WERE other daughters, which were simply not "counted". Remember, we're 
discussing a patriarchal society, in which women did not "count", unless 
they were remarkable in their own right (there were such women), or unless 
they got their brothers into trouble, as in the case of Dinah. Since she had 
already been mentioned, the text continues to count her.

I would not object to either interpretation, as long as it fit the context 
of the text.


More information about the b-hebrew mailing list