hebrew
1)

What is the exact meaning of "Va'yefatach ha'Gemalim"?

1.

Rashi and Targum Yonasan: "And he un-muzzled the camels." 1

2.

Ramban: 'And he loosened the harness or untied the ropes (of the camel-train)'.


1

Citing a Midrash, the Ramban comments that it cannot mean that, since the camels of Avraham cannot have been worse than the donkey of Rebbi Pinchas ben Ya'ir, which refused to eat untithed food. Consequently, it would not have been necessary to muzzle them in the first place. (Rashi can hold that Avraham did not want to rely on miracles, or was concerned lest people suspect that his camels eat from others' property - PF). Refer also to 24:10:1:1*.

2)

Who opened the camels' muzzles, provided them with straw and fodder, and water to wash the feet of Eliezer and his men?

1.

Rashi, Targum Onkelos, Targum Yonasan: Eliezer himself.

2.

Ramban: "The man" who entered the house was Eliezer, but the one to do the above was Lavan. 1


1

As it is most unlikely for Eliezer - who was a guest, to have done so himself. (We find a similar phrase in Parshas Vayeshev, Bereishis 37:38, where it was the Midyani merchants who were passing, but it was the brothers, who were mentioned earlier, who withdrew Yosef from the pit.)

3)

Why does the Torah mention the men who were with him here?

1.

Oznayim la'Torah: Refer to 24:10:1:5:1 1 .

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