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    Glory of the Lord – Vayyetzei

    Jacob lays down to sleep, by José de Ribera, 1639

    When Jacob left home he found himself out in the wilderness and slept with a stone for his pillow. The Torah says that the Lord stood above him (Gen. 28:13).

    Instead of “The Lord”, Targum Onkelos says “the glory of the Lord”. As usual the Targum avoids anthropomorphic terms for God. Both versions have the same aim, showing that Jacob was in no danger because he was protected by the Almighty – but the Targum insists that we should not say that God Himself was watching over him; the protection came through a Divine attribute.

    The general practice is that when the Bible uses an image of God we interpret it metaphorically.

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