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Bible Commentaries

Bullinger's Companion Bible Notes

Genesis 49

Verse 1

Jacob. See notes on Genesis 32:28 ; Genesis 43:8 ; Genesis 45:26 , Genesis 45:28 . which shall befall you. This blessing (Genesis 49:28 ) is therefore direct prophecy.

the last days. First occurance of fourteen: Genesis 49:1 .Numbers 24:14 .Deuteronomy 4:30 ; Deuteronomy 31:29 . Isaiah 2:2 .Jeremiah 23:20 ; Jeremiah 30:24 ; Jeremiah 48:47 ; Jeremiah 49:39 . Ezekiel 38:16 . Daniel 2:28 ; Daniel 10:14 .Hosea 3:5 .Micah 4:1 . In ten of these rendered "latter days". A study of these will show that the prophecy (Genesis 49:1 ) and "blessing" (Genesis 49:28 ) extends to, and embraces the days of Messiah, and His first and second advents.

Verse 2

Israel. See notes on Genesis 32:28 ; Genesis 43:8 ; Genesis 45:26 , Genesis 45:28 .

Verse 3

Reuben. See Genesis 49:28 , Compare Genesis 46:8-25 , and App-45 .

Verse 4

Unstable as water. Figure of speech Simile. Compare Numbers 16:1 , Numbers 16:2 ; Numbers 32:1 .

water . . . thou. Figure of speech Ellipsis here ( App-6 . b). The word "unstable" = to flow down, and requires the Ellipsis to be filled up thus: "Flowing down as water [passes away, so] thou shalt not excel". What thus would pass away is set forth in Genesis 49:3 , and so it came to pass (1 Chronicles 5:1 ).

Verse 6

my soul = myself. Hebrew. nephesh. App-13 .

secret = council.

unto. Samaritan Pentateuch, The Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel, Septuagint, and Syriac insert "and" = "and into".

assembly. Hebrew. kahal = Greek. eeclesia. See Genesis 28:3 .

digged down a wall. Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint read "hamstrung an ox". Compare Genesis 34:26 .

Verse 7

divide. Fulfilled, Joshua 19:1 . 1 Chronicles 4:39-43 .Leviticus 25:32-34 . Levi's turned to blessing later, Exodus 32:26-29 . Deuteronomy 10:8 , Deuteronomy 10:9 .

Jacob. First occurance as used of the whole nation.

Israel. See note on Genesis 34:7 . Compare Genesis 47:27 .

Verse 8

Judah = Praise. Figure of speech Paronomasia ( App-6 ). " Jehuda, Joducha ".

bow down. Compare 2 Samuel 5:1-8 and Psalms 72:11 .Philippians 1:2 , Philippians 1:10 .

Verse 9

is. Figure of speech Metaphor. Rest of verse is Allegory. App-6 .

lion. See note on Numbers 2:32 .

Verse 10

sceptre. First occ Put by Metonymy (of Adjunct) for Him Who holds it. Septuagint and Targ read "ruler". See Numbers 24:17 . Psalms 45:6 . Zechariah 10:11 .

lawgiver. First occurance. Compare Numbers 21:18 . Deuteronomy 33:21 .Psalms 60:7 ; Psalms 108:8 . Isaiah 33:22 .

from between his feet = from his posterity. Put by Fig, Euphemy ( App-6 ). Septuagint and Targum of Onkelos read "from his thighs", i.e. "his seed". Compare Deuteronomy 28:57 .

until Shiloh come = until He, Shiloh, comes. So Aq., Sym., Syriac. Note the six Pentateuch titles: "Seed" (Genesis 3:15 ), "Shiloh" (Genesis 49:10 ), "Sceptre" (Genesis 49:10 ), "Shepherd" and "Stone" (Genesis 49:24 ), "Star" (Numbers 24:17 ).

gathering. Hebrew. yikhah = obedience, submission (not kabaz, as in Jeremiah 31:10 ). Note the Structure of this verse ( Alternation ). a | The Sceptre shall not depart from Judah, a | Until He, Shiloh, come [Whose right it is, Ez. Genesis 21:27 ] b | Nor a Lawgiver from his seed, b | And [until] to Him, [the Lawgiver, shall be] the obedience of the peoples.

Verse 11

vine. So plentiful in Judah, that people were without care in such matters.

wine. Hebrew. yayin ( App-27 ). There was more than enough to lavish.

Verses 14-15

Issachar. Original Orth = he bringeth reward; referring to birth, Genesis 30:18 (compare Psalms 24:5 .Ecclesiastes 5:18 . Esther 2:9 , &c.) But here = a hireling. The prophecy is: "The hireling is the ass (or saddle-bearer) of strangers, Couching down among the folds; When he saw rest that it was good, And the land that it was pleasant:" &c. He preferred to pay tribute to the Canaanites rather than engage in the struggle to expel them.

Verse 16

Dan shall judge. Figure of speech Paronomasia. App-6 . Dan Jadin, Compare Genesis 30:6 . Fulfilled in Judges 15:20 .

tribes. Hebrew sceptres (Genesis 49:10 ). Figure of speech Metonymy (of Adjunct). Put for ruler.

Verse 17

a serpent. Beguiling to idolatry. The first tribe to do so. See note on Judges 18:30 . Hence omitted in Revelation 7:4 (compare Deuteronomy 29:18-21 .Leviticus 24:10-16 ; 1 Kings 12:30 . 2 Kings 10:29 ).

heels. Compare Genesis 3:15 .Jeremiah 8:16 , Jeremiah 8:17 .

Verse 18

salvation. Figure of speech Metonymy (of Effect). Put for Him Who brings deliverance from all the works of the old serpent (Isaiah 25:8 , Isaiah 25:9 . Matthew 24:13 ). See App-36 .

LORD. Hebrew. Jehovah. App-4 .

Verse 19

Gad. Hebrew. Gad gedud. Figure of speech Paronomasia. App-6 .

overcome him = "shall troop (or press) upon him, but he shall press upon their heel".

Verse 20

Out of The Hebrew letter "m", which should end Genesis 49:19 , making it "upon their heels", has been wrongly prefixed to the next word, "Asher", Genesis 49:20 , thus making "Asher" begin "Out of", unlike all the others. It should read: "He shall press upon their heels, Asher, his bread shall be, "&c. The Revised Version rightly keeps the Hebrew letter "m" at end of Genesis 49:19 , but repeats it at beginning of Genesis 49:20 , thus translating it twice!

bread. Put for all food. Figure of speech Synecdoche (of Species). App-6 .

Verse 21

let loose. Emphasis on freedom. he giveth = he it is that giveth.

goodly words = song of Deborah. Judges 5:18 .

Verse 22

Joseph. Compare Deuteronomy 33:13-17 .

whose branches run over the wall = branches [it hath] each hath overclimbed a wall.

Verse 23

sorely grieved. Compare Amos 6:6 .

Verse 24

God = One.

Verse 25

the. Should be 'El = GOD (with Samaritan Pentateuch, Septuagint, and Syriac)

Verse 26

separate = or set apart. Hebrew. nazir, the consecrated one.

Verse 27

ravin, &c. Compare the Benjamites, Judges 3:15 . 1 Samuel 11:6-11 ; 1 Samuel 14:13-48 . Acts 7:58 ; Acts 8:1 , Acts 8:3 ; Acts 9:13 , Acts 9:14 , Acts 9:21 ; Acts 22:4-8 . 1 Timothy 1:13 .

Verse 28

The sons collectively. See App-45 .

Verse 29

gathered unto my people. Figure of speech Euphemy. Put for "death and burial". See Genesis 49:33 . See note on Genesis 49:33 .

with my fathers. Compare Genesis 23:9 , Genesis 23:10 ; Genesis 47:30 .

Verse 30

bought. Compare Genesis 23:16 .

Verse 31

Abraham. The five previously buried there form an acrostic of the sixth. Isaac, Sarah, Rebekah, Abraham, Leah = Israel (Hebrews 11:13 ).

Verse 33

yielded up the ghost. The spirit going to God who gave it (Ecclesiastes 12:7 . Numbers 16:22 ; Numbers 27:16 ).

gathered unto his people. Refers to body, as the previous gathering (Genesis 49:33 ) refers to his feet. See on Genesis 49:29 . He was aged 147.

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Bibliographical Information
Bullinger, Ethelbert William. "Commentary on Genesis 49". "Bullinger's Companion bible Notes". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bul/genesis-49.html. 1909-1922.