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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter XXIX

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Text Commentary

1And it came to pass, after Rachel had given birth to Joseph, Laban went to shear his sheep (a three day's journey each way). 2And Jacob saw that Laban was going to shear his sheep; and Jacob called Leah and Rachel and persuaded them to go 1 Lit. ‘and spoke kindly to them that they should go’. with him to the land of Canaan. 3He told them how he had seen everything in a dream, and how the Lord had given him instructions to return to his father's house; and they said, Wherever you go, we will go with you. 4And Jacob blessed the God of his father Isaac, and the God of his grandfather Abraham, and he made his preparations, and mounted his wives and his children, and took all his possessions, and crossed the river, and came to the land of Gilead; and Jacob kept his plan secret from Laban and did not tell him.

5And it was in the seventh year of the fourth week that Jacob started out for Gilead, in the first month, on the twenty-first day of the month. And Laban went after him and overtook Jacob in the highlands of Gilead, in the third month, on the thirteenth day of the month. 6And the Lord did not allow him to injure Jacob (for he appeared to him in a dream by night); and Laban talked with Jacob.

7And on the fifteenth day of the month 2 Lit. ‘of those days’. Jacob prepared a feast for Laban and all those who had come with him; and Jacob and Laban made an agreement that day under oath that neither would cross the highlands of Gilead with hostile intent against the other. 8And he erected a cairn there to stand as a witness: that is why that place is called The Cairn of Witness – after the cairn. 9(At one time 3 Or ‘previously’. they used to call the land of Gilead the land of the Rephaim; for it was the land of the Rephaim, and the Rephaim originated there 4 Lit. ‘were born there’. – giants, whose height was ten, nine, eight down to seven, cubits. 10And their settlements extended from the land of the Ammonites to Mount Hermon; and the seats of their kingdom were Karnaim and Ashtaroth and Edrei and Misur and Beon. 11And the Lord destroyed them because of the wickedness of their doings, for they were very wicked; and the Amorites replaced them, so wicked and sinful were they – there is no people in existence to-day that can compete with them in sin, 5 Lit. ‘that has filled up all their sins’. and that is why they perished. 6 Lit. ‘and they had (have) no longer length of life on earth’. )

12And Jacob sent Laban away, and he went back to Mesopotamia, the land of the East; and Jacob returned to the land of Gilead. 13And he crossed the Jabbok in the ninth month, on the eleventh day of the month. And on that day his brother Esau came to him, and was reconciled, 7 So Lat.: Eth. ‘they were reconciled with one another’. and left him for the land of Seir; and Jacob was living in tents.

14And in the first year of the fifth week in this jubilee he crossed the Jordan, and settled beyond the Jordan, and pastured his sheep from.… 8 Eth. ‘from the sea of the cairn to Bethshan and to Dothan and to (one MS adds ‘the forest of’) Akrabbim’: Lat. ‘a mare salso usque (Bethasan et usque Dothaim et usque) agruum Acrabin’. The area described would appear to lie west of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, and to extend from Bethshan and Dothan in the north to ‘the ascent of Akrabbim’ (cp. Num. xxxiv. 4; Josh. xv. 3 ), bordering on Edomite territory, in the south. 15And he sent to his father Isaac from his household goods, clothing and food and meat and drink and milk and butter and 16cheese and some dates of the valley (and to his mother Rebecca also), four times a year – between the times of the months, between ploughing and reaping, between autumn and winter, 9 Lit. ‘the rain’. and between winter and spring, 10 Jacob, that is, sent his gifts on the first day of the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth months (cp. vi. 23 above). to the tower of Abraham. 17(For Isaac had left the Well of the Oath and moved to the tower of his father Abraham and was living there, separately from his son Esau. 18For after Jacob had gone to Mesopotamia, Esau had married another wife, Mahalath, Ishmael's daughter, and had taken all his father's flocks, and his wives, and had gone and settled in the hill-country of Seir and left his father Isaac at the Well of the Oath alone. 19And Isaac had moved from the Well of the Oath and was living in the tower of his father Abraham on the highlands by Hebron.) 20And there Jacob sent everything he sent from time to time to his father and his mother, all they needed; and they blessed Jacob heart and soul.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘and spoke kindly to them that they should go’.

2 Lit. ‘of those days’.

3 Or ‘previously’.

4 Lit. ‘were born there’.

5 Lit. ‘that has filled up all their sins’.

6 Lit. ‘and they had (have) no longer length of life on earth’.

7 So Lat.: Eth. ‘they were reconciled with one another’.

8 Eth. ‘from the sea of the cairn to Bethshan and to Dothan and to (one MS adds ‘the forest of’) Akrabbim’: Lat. ‘a mare salso usque (Bethasan et usque Dothaim et usque) agruum Acrabin’. The area described would appear to lie west of the Jordan and the Dead Sea, and to extend from Bethshan and Dothan in the north to ‘the ascent of Akrabbim’ (cp. Num. xxxiv. 4; Josh. xv. 3 ), bordering on Edomite territory, in the south.

9 Lit. ‘the rain’.

10 Jacob, that is, sent his gifts on the first day of the first, fourth, seventh, and tenth months (cp. vi. 23 above).

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