[b-hebrew] names and puns

dwashbur at nyx.net dwashbur at nyx.net
Wed Oct 15 13:22:24 EDT 2008

On 15 Oct 2008 at 10:23, K Randolph wrote:

> Dave:
> 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. 

Actually, it's not.  There's no indication that Jacob had any servants or hired help, but verse 
33 mentions three tents: Jacob's, Leah's and Rachel's.  After Laban has searched through 
all three of them, Jacob says in verse 37 "you have searched through all my goods."  That 
suggests that he was traveling fairly light, people-wise anyway.  

> The same with Laban's tent. 

It says Laban took his "brothers" with him.  It would appear that he did in fact have an armed 

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

Please explain the linguistic structure you see.  I'm not sure what you mean.
>     > 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. 

But Jacob never made any threats according to the text.  He invited Laban to look for the 
teraphim, and when they weren't found he called Laban on the carpet and shamed him into 
backing off.  Again, I just don't see it.

[snip - separate post]

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

More information about the b-hebrew mailing list