12:4 If any household is too small9 for a lamb,10 the man11 and his next-door neighbor12 are to take13 a lamb according to the number of people—you will make your count for the lamb according to how much each one can eat.14
tn The clause uses the comparative min (מִן) construction: יִמְעַט הַבַּיִת מִהְיֹת מִשֶּׂה (yim’at habbayit mihyot miseh, “the house is small from being from a lamb,” or “too small for a lamb”). It clearly means that if there were not enough people in the household to have a lamb by themselves, they should join with another family. For the use of the comparative, see GKC 430 §133.c.
tn Heb “he and his neighbor”; the referent (the man) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
tn Heb “who is near to his house.”
tn The construction uses a perfect tense with a vav (ו) consecutive after a conditional clause: “if the household is too small … then he and his neighbor will take.”
tn Heb “[every] man according to his eating.”
sn The reference is normally taken to mean whatever each person could eat. B. Jacob (Exodus, 299) suggests, however, that the reference may not be to each individual person’s appetite, but to each family. Each man who is the head of a household was to determine how much his family could eat, and this in turn would determine how many families shared the lamb.