[b-hebrew] names and puns

K Randolph kwrandolph at gmail.com
Wed Oct 15 13:23:28 EDT 2008


On Wed, Oct 15, 2008 at 8:13 AM, <dwashbur at nyx.net> wrote:

> On 14 Oct 2008 at 10:28, K Randolph wrote:
> > Dave:
> > 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?
> Genesis 31:25. While the verse specifically mentions only Jacob's tent,
further reading indicates that his was one of a whole encampment. The text
is silent on how many other tents were involved.

The same with Laban's tent.

>From the linguistic structure of the verse I understand that there was a
distance between the two encampments, though they were very close.

> > 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.
> A battle doesn't need to occur for a force of arms to prevail, one side
could recognize that a battle is not worth it and give way without a battle,
either by a retreat or surrender.

Here in the U.S. firearms are used by citizens to protect themselves and
other innocent people from human predators, and it is said that up to 98% of
the times a firearm is used for this purpose, not a shot is fired. The mere
threat is enough that most criminals either surrender or flee. (This is why
when the citizens are disarmed, crime usually goes up.)

So likewise in Jacob's time, he didn't need a battle, merely the threat was
enough. It was a threat backed up by his sword and bow.

> How do you render $KM in 48:22, then?
> As I wrote before, I understand it as an idiomatic use of "shoulder" to
mean that he gets an additional benefit above his brothers, who Jacob took
from the hand of the Amorite (Laban) by force of arms (Genesis 31). Only
Benjamin was born in Canaan, all the others were born in Padan Aram.

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

Karl W. Randolph.

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list