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    The Aramean & his threats – Ki Tavo

    Jacob talks with Laban, Foster Bible Pictures 1897

    In the chapter about bringing the first fruits (Deut. 26) the farmer had to say a declaration, Arami Oved Avi, which has two quite different translations – “My father (Jacob?) was a nomadic Aramean” or “An Aramean (Laban) destroyed my father”.

    In the first translation we see Jacob away from home and uncertain of the future; eventually his family settle in Israel and grow crops of which the first fruits were offered to God.

    In the second translation there was a dangerous threat but no destruction actually happened, though Rashi says that the intention was deemed to have been carried out. However, Jacob’s family eventually settled down, survived the threats of the enemy peoples, and made the land prosperous.

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