At the beginning of Vayishlach, Yaakov divides his possessions into two camps. Chizkuni, seemingly bothered by Rashi's question about the gender of "המחנה האחת", explains that it means (not "the one [FEMININE] camp" but) "the camp of the one [FEMININE]": Yaakov divided his camp into the camp of Lea and the camp of Rachel. Not that his wives themselves were divided — we see that all his wives were together — but, rather, targum Yonasan says, "למוהבות לאה ולמוהבות רחל", the two camps were "the gifts of Lea and the gifts of Rachel". I suppose this refers to whatever gifts they got from their family when they married or when they left with Yaakov, or other possessions of their own. (If anyone knows of a sourced explanation for what Yonasan means, though, I'd appreciate it.) My question is: Yaakov himself had amassed a good deal of property, and he had it with him, too. Which of the two camps did his own property go into, and, more critically, why is the division described as being between the wives' property? And if, as @Menachem suggests in a comment, there were three camps (one of Lea's property, one of Rachel's and one of the family), then why does the Tora say there were but two?


1 Answer 1


Rashi (Bereshit 31:33), says:

Jacob’s tent: That is, Rachel’s tent, for Jacob was usually with her, and so Scripture states: (below, 46:19): “The sons of Rachel, Jacob’s wife.” In reference to all of them, however, it does not say,“Jacob’s wife.” - [from Gen. Rabbah 74:9]

So perhaps the same thing applies here and Yaakov's stuff is included with Rachel's stuff.

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