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In Bereshis 31:33 the pasuk describes Lavan's search for his idols in Yaakov's tents:

וַיָּבֹא לָבָן בְּאֹהֶל יַעֲקֹב | וּבְאֹהֶל לֵאָה וּבְאֹהֶל שְׁתֵּי הָאֲמָהֹת וְלֹא מָצָא וַיֵּצֵא מֵאֹהֶל לֵאָה וַיָּבֹא בְּאֹהֶל רָחֵל: So Laban entered Jacob's tent and Leah's tent and the tent[s] of the two handmaids, but he did not find [them]; and he had come out of Leah's tent and entered Rachel's tent.

Rashi there explains that when it says Yaakov's tent that really also means Rachel's tent. He further explains (based on the midrash) that Lavan went back and searched Rachel's tent a second time because, "she was one who touches everything."

I'm having a hard time understanding the following

  1. If Yaakov's tent = Rachel's tent why isn't the pasuk consistent. Either call it Yaakov's tent both times or Rachel's tent both times.
  2. If Lavan went back to Rachel's tent after checking Leah's why doesn't the pasuk record things in that order, meaning why is the mention of checking the handmaid's tents inserted there?
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1 Answer 1

During the first time he went into "Yaakov's tesnt" because he was the main person that he suspected. When he went back, since he had already searched Yaakov's posessions completely, he had realized that he had not been thorough enough with Rachel's possessions. Apparently he first suspected Yaakov, then Leah as the "first wife". He then realized that Rachel could have been the one involved "because she was the one who touches everything". He then searched the handmaids' posessions because they could have been acting on orders. He did not search them first because he suspected their master or mistresses of having been involved. Since they were "sacred" objects he would not have suspected "servants" of daring to steal them.

From memory. I do not remember the exact sources.

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