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Ver. 144DYDWO TI This expression doth not occur any where else in Scripture, except in Judges, chap. v. ver. 16, where it is very properly rendered, in the present English translation, among the sheepfolds, since the following words in that sentence are, to bear the bleatings of the flocks. And we find in Isaiah, chap. xxvi. ver. 12, noun 135 answ rendered, thou wilt ordain peace to us; and it is allowed, by every grammarian, that the word ordain means here, to arrange in proper order; as in Ezekiel, chap. xxiv. ver. 3, 90 Doll is rendered, set on a pot; by which I think 1 am justified in rendering this verse according to the following translation, Issachar is like a bony ass
couching between two rows of sheep.' Ver. 15.- Issachar is here described as a lover of his ease, being inclined rather to bear the burden of taxes than to go out to war.
Ver. 16.-(Dan shall judge.) This means, that Israel shall have a judge of this tribe, as well as they had of any other tribe of Israel; and this plainly describes Samson. Note, the Hebrew expression may mean, “ Dan shall avenge his people," alluding to the destruction he caused among the Philistines. And Jacob, in his vision, seeing his downfall, breaks forth into this exclamation, in verse 18. “I have “ waited for thy salvation, O Lord!”
Ver. 20.-This describes the fruitfulness of the land of Asher. Ver. 21.- This is wrong translated; for it means, that Naphtali is like a hind sent as a present, and he that receives the present always gives fair words. But, how to express this meaning in a simple translation is above my skill: some expositors refer it to Deborah, who was of that tribe, and Scripture calls her a hind. If so, I would propose the following version.
“Out of Naphtali shall proceed a hind let loose, that gives fair words."
END OF THE FIRST BOOK OF MOSES, CALLED
Which contains one thousand five hundred and thirty-four Verses, in Fifty
Chapters, and is divided by the Jews into twelve Weekly Portions.
THE ARGUMENT.. The Jews, who are accustomed to name their books from the words with which they begin, named this Bereshith, which is, In the beginning. But the Greeks. naming their books from the subject which they treat of, have called this Genesis, or Generation, because it discovers to us the Creation of the world. It contains the most remarkable transactions that happened for two thousand three hundred and sixtynine years after the Creation. It gives us a minute account of the progress of the Creation, from its first calling matter into being, to its reducing confusion into the amiable order in which we now trace the footsteps of infinite paternal Wisdom. It describes the primitive condition of mankind, gives us a graphical history of the human mind, and enables us to solve the problem, which embarrassed the heathen world, I mean the introduction of moral evil; it points out to us, though under obscure types, the great doctrine of redemption, is replete with noble examples to animate our virtues, or repress our vices, and every where calls upon us to adore and imitate the wisdom, the justice, the goodness, and the providence of our beneficent Creator.
«The servants of the God of thy father," to which the commentators answer, that they observed thus: It is verily true, that, as our brother, we trespassed against thee; first, in casting thee into the pit, and afterwards selling thee for a slave. But, on the other hand, if it is considered that it was decreed by God that we were to be strangers, "and shall serve them, and they shall afflict them four hundred years." It was consequently necessary that you should come to Egypt, and that we should come and bow ourselves to thee, as you dreamt; and that we and all our families should come to Egypt; and therefore we are only to be considered as the instruments in the hand of Providence: and this was the reason for the expression of the servants of the God of thy father-we were only his servants in doing what he had ordained. And this you also observed, when you said, "So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God.'
OBSERVATIONS ON CHAP. XLIX.
JACOB, in the first verse of this chapter, orders his sons to assemble together, and that he would reveal what would happen to them in the latter days; then stops short, and, without telling them any thing, bids them again to assemble themselves, and then telleth them only their situation in the land, without foretelling any future event, except to Judah and Dan; and, even in regard to them, he goes no farther than the reign of David. The Rabins say to this, that Jacob intended, at first, to reveal to them the time of the future redemption, but that God would not permit it.
Ver. 4.-To understand this verse properly, I must observe, that the verb by has several meanings. The first, and most common acceptation of this verb is, to go up; the second is, to rise up; as in Genesis, chap. ii. ver. 6. the third is, to be cut off, or cease to be: and in this sense the last words of this verse should be taken, meaning, that, since the time that Reuben lay with Bilhah, Jacob ceased to cohabit with her. Ver. 7.-This alludes to Levi's possessing the several cities allotted them, scattered all over the country; and Simeon's share being intermixed with the portion of Judah.
Ver. 8.-This announces, that Judah should have the command over the rest of the tribes, which we see was fulfilled by the narrative in Judges, chap. i. and ii. when they (enquiring of the Lord, after the death of Joshua, who should go up first to fight against the Canaanites) were answered, JUDAH. And so, in Judges, chap. xx. ver. 18, the same question being asked as to going against the Benjaminites, the answer was again, JUDAH,
Ver. 9. Here the verb by must be taken in the second sense, to rise up, and alludes to the prey David had taken from the Amalekites when he dwelt in Ziklag. Vide first Samuel, chap. xxx. ver. 26.
Ver. 11, 12.-These two verses describe only the fruitfulness of the land of their possession.
Ver. 13. This is only a description of the situation of the inheritance of Zebulun.