[b-hebrew] names and puns

dwashbur at nyx.net dwashbur at nyx.net
Wed Oct 15 11:13:16 EDT 2008


On 14 Oct 2008 at 10:28, K Randolph wrote:

> Dave:
> 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.

Agreed, though I don't see Jacob as a slave to Laban but a hired hand.
 
> 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.

I don't see such a statement about being like two encampments ready for battle.  Where do 
you read this?
 
> 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.

Agreed, but as you say, a battle never occurred.  He gained Laban's wealth by his wits, not 
by his sword and bow.  Laban didn't dispute this in the argument that followed.  Basically, he 
had conned Jacob into all the labor to get Rachel, but Jacob won the "clash of the con-
artists" (the title of a paper I wrote on Gen 31 while in college) by finagling nearly all of 
Laban's flocks with a bit of selective breeding.  I don't see how this relates to the statement 
in 48:22.
 
> 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.

Okay, but as you acknowledge, Gen 31 specifically says a battle never happened.  In 48:22 
he specifically says he took this $KM with his sword and bow, indicating a battle.  That's 
why I don't see the connection.

How do you render $KM in 48:22, then?

Dave Washburn
"I'll hold the nail.  And when I nod my head, you hit it with the hammer."



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