Genesis 35:5 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 35:5, NIV: "Then they set out, and the terror of God fell on the towns all around them so that no one pursued them."

Genesis 35:5, ESV: "And as they journeyed, a terror from God fell upon the cities that were around them, so that they did not pursue the sons of Jacob."

Genesis 35:5, KJV: "And they journeyed: and the terror of God was upon the cities that were round about them, and they did not pursue after the sons of Jacob."

Genesis 35:5, NASB: "As they journeyed, there was a great terror upon the cities which were around them, and they did not pursue the sons of Jacob."

Genesis 35:5, NLT: "As they set out, a terror from God spread over the people in all the towns of that area, so no one attacked Jacob's family."

Genesis 35:5, CSB: "When they set out, a terror from God came over the cities around them, and they did not pursue Jacob's sons."

What does Genesis 35:5 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

In the previous chapter, Jacob's sons had slaughtered the men of the city of Shechem in retaliation for the rape of their sister Dinah (Genesis 34:25–27). They had gathered the Shechemites' wealth, their wives, and their children. Jacob's response was a fearful one: The people of the land of Canaan might decide to band together to destroy him and his household (Genesis 34:30).

Once again, however, God steps in to keep His promises and to protect Jacob and his family from any harm. This time, God's method is to cause "a terror" to fall on the people of the cities in the region. They had no courage to come after Jacob's company. This implies that Jacob was right to be concerned about the people of the region wanting to kill them in retaliation for their attack against Shechem. God had to shut down that impulse by placing a great fear of the Israelites in their hearts.