[b-hebrew] names and puns

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Tue Oct 14 13:28:38 EDT 2008

As I understand it, life in the early bronze age, when this is reported to
have occurred, was not a garden of pleasure, rather it was every man for
himself. A man had to be ready to fight to get and preserve himself, his
associates and possessions. Being a slave to a powerful person was not
necessarily bad, if the master treated slaves well as apparently Abraham,
Isaac and Jacob did.

When Laban caught up with Jacob, it is reported that the two encampments
were not together, rather they were like two encampments ready for battle.
Hence Laban's statement that his daughters and grandchildren were like
captives. The text is sparse and gives very few details, but those it gives
are enough to get this understanding.

Notice also that Jacob had come to the conclusion that Laban and his sons
resented that Jacob had acquired so much possessions while in the employ of
Laban, therefore to preserve his possessions, he thought it necessary to
flee suddenly. Again the implication is to be ready to fight should Laban
chase after him.

Fortunately, a battle never occurred.

Furthermore, even in the land of Canaan, Jacob was armed and ready to fight,
should the inhabitants of any of the towns have come out to do battle.

It is with this background that I understand Genesis 48:22 with its
reference to sword and bow.

Karl W. Randolph.

On Tue, Oct 14, 2008 at 7:06 AM, <dwashbur at nyx.net> wrote:

> I got the Laban connection and all; what I don't get is what you do with
> the statement about
> having taken whatever it was with sword and bow.  When Laban told Jacob in
> Gen 31:26
> that he had taken the stuff "like spoils of war" he was talking about the
> way Jacob just
> packed up and took off without so much as a by-your-leave, not how he
> acquired all of it.
> The story of how Jacob came to own most of Laban's assets is a great story
> of cunning, but not taking by force.  So what do you do with the sword & bow
> part?
> On 13 Oct 2008 at 22:41, K Randolph wrote:
> > Dave:
> >
> > We read in the text that Laban lived in Padan Aram, and he was called
> an Aramean (e.g. Genesis 31:20) while the town of Shechem was a Hivite
> town, further Jacob did not remain in Shechem after his sons (not he) took
> the town. Rather Jacob remained a tent dweller, moving from place to place
> until he went to Egypt.
> >
> > Therefore I understand Genesis 48:22 in the context of the statements
> as referring to his livestock which he took from an Aramean (Laban) rather
> than a piece of land in the territory of Canaan.
> >
> > Karl W. Randolph.
> >
> > On Mon, Oct 13, 2008 at 8:46 PM, <dwashbur at nyx.net> wrote:
> >
> > > Karl,
> > > I can't speak for Gabe, obviously, but I'm gonna need a LOT more
> exposition on this idea before I can respond to it.  I agree there's no
> connection with the town of Shechem, but I don't see the connection with Gen
> 31:26, either.  More info please, my friend!
> > >
> > > On 13 Oct 2008 at 20:49, K Randolph wrote:
> > >
> > > > Dave and Gabe:
> > > > Both of you are making an assumption that the property that Jacob
> took is land. But I understand it that the Amorite in question was Laban,
> his uncle and father-in-law, and the property was his wives, children
> and livestock, as mentioned in Genesis 31:26. Therefore the connection with
> the town of Shechem is completely spurious.
> > > >
> > > > Karl W. Randolph.

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