hebrew
1)

What is the meaning of the unusual expression "Vayusam Lefanav Le'echol"?

1.

Targum Yonasan: It hints at the fact that they served Eliezer poison 1 (from the word "Sam" - which has connotations of poison), in order to kill him. 2

2.

Ha'Emek Davar (32): The way it is written (va'Yisem) it implies that Lavan gave to him, but the way it is pronounced (va'Yusam) implies that Lavan commanded someone else to do so.


1

See also Ba'al ha'Turim.

2

Hadar Zekenim - this was in order to keep the money (the camels' loads. How would he convince the other men to let him keep everything? If they were not present ("Lefanav" implies that they served only Eliezer), he could say that he agreed with Eliezer to give his daughter for all of it. However, they served him before he explained his mission! Perhaps they assumed that he wanted to be Mekadesh Rivkah to himself! Or, after they heard his mission, they added nicer foods to his portion, with poison. - PF) Alternatively, Besu'el used to have Bi'ah with every girl of the city before her Chupah. (This is why his name is like Besulah.) He wanted to kill Eliezer, lest Rivkah marry, and people of his city force him to do so to his own daughter. (Besu'el could simply refuse to give Rivkah! Perhaps he feared lest they ignore his protest, or say that she already accepted. Would it not be better to tell Eliezer to take her covertly, and days later Besu'el will announce 'my daughter is missing!' Did Besu'el intend that she will never marry?! Perhaps he intended that she will marry after he dies. Or, before it is time for her to marry, he will move to another city.

2)

Who said "Daber!"?

1.

Oznayim la'Torah: It was probably Lavan, who considered himself the family spokesman. 1


1

See Pasuk 50.

3)

Why did Eliezer decline to eat before speaking?

1.

Hadar Zekenim, Riva: Refer to 24:34:151:2.

2.

Targum Yonasan: Because he noticed when they placed poison in his food. 1

3.

Malbim: He showed them that he came only for his mission. If they will not fulfill his request [to give Rivkah], he will not eat their food


1

Refer to 24:33:1:1. See Ba'al ha'Turim, who elaborates and explains how this saved his life.

4)

Why did he need to say "I will not eat"? We do not find that they insisted that he eat!

1.

Moshav Zekenim: This shows that it is Derech Eretz to eat when food is put in front of you. They need not tell you to eat.

5)

Why did he say "Ad Im Dibarti" (past tense)?

1.

Ha'Emek Davar: Had he said '[Ad] Im Adaber', this would imply until they promise to let him speak. Had he said 'Ad Acher she'Adaber', this would imply that he must speak first. Rather, he said an ambiguous expression; it will be according to their answer.

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