Page 1

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49 (Gen 49:1) And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. It is most likely that as soon as the blessing of Joseph and his sons was over Jacob immediately asked messengers to call for his other sons so he could render to them their blessings also. There appears to be no interruption in time from chapter 48 and 49. TWELVETRIBES: TYPEOFSAINTS (Gen_49:1) 1.

Unstable Reubens

2.

Hurtful Simeons

3.

Cruel Levis

4.

Praiseworthy Judahs

5.

Sympathetic Zebuluns

6.

Burden bearing and serving Issachars

7.

Shrewd, crafty and backbiting Dans

8.

Overcoming Gads

9.

Nurturing Ashers

10.

Counseling Naphtalis

11.

Fruitful and Separated Josephs

12.

Destructive Benjamins

(Gen 49:2) Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 1


Once they came together, Jacob did not hesitate to begin his blessing upon them for he knew his time was up. He had little strength left and could only depend upon God to let him get through this event completely. His body was exhausted and it required him to bring all the strength that he had to bear upon this exercise. (Gen 49:3) Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: Having read this much about Reuben we would think that Jacob was about to bestow on him the greatest of blessings and probably that is what Reuben was thinking as he heard it, but Jacob was only building him up for the fall. He must have done this deliberately to convey to him the consequencesof his disgrace. He who should have been the example to others became despised. (Gen 49:4) Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch. Reuben had gone in unto Bilhah the handmaid of Rachel, Jacob’s favorite wife after Rachel died and Jacob heard of it and if he did anything in particular about it at the time we have no record, but now he let Reuben know that it cost him his place of the firstborn and that he would not get the birthright. He had nothing more to say to or of Reuben. (Gen 49:5) Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. When Dinah was defiled, these two conspired to destroy all the inhabitants of Shechem, to whom Jacob owed hospitality, having entered into agreement with them. Thus they were treacherous and committed a crime that Jacob would have to live down in the years to come. There was also a dread and fear of being near the area, as we see from his wish to send Joseph years earlier to see how his brothers were faring, knowing they were near Shechem. (Gen 49:6) O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 2


Though the brothers probably knew of Simeon and Levi’s intent and may have cooperated, Jacob was unaware of it and did not want to be a part of it. GLORY 9. Glory: distinction extended by common consent. GLORYGen_49:6Jos_1:8 Psa_24:10Who is this King of glory? The LORDof hosts, he is the King of glory. The Hebrew kawbode is susceptible of the various analogical meanings which are derived from its root, viz., ‘to be heavy,’ ‘honored,’ ‘rich,’ etc. 1. In Gen_31:1, ‘all this glory,’ Isa_10:3, ‘your glory,’ Isa_66:12‘the glory of

the Gentiles,’ all meaning wealth, abundance. 2. Psa_79:9, ‘the glory of thy name,’ i.e. honor, reputation. 3. Isa_35:2; Isa_60:13, cf. Isa_10:18, ‘the glory of Lebanon,’ i.e., ornament. 4. Isa_8:7, ‘the king of Assyria and all his glory,’ is rendered by Loweth

‘and all his force.’ To be heavy is the primary meaning of the root; hence kaw-bed means ‘the liver,’ the heaviest of all the viscera; just as the lungs, the lightest of all, are in our language called the lights (Taylor’s Heb. Concord). In some passagesit conveys the idea of the ancients respecting the bodily seat of certain passions. Among others, they thought the liver to be the seat of anger and love. Thus Horace describing jealous anger or resentment—‘My burning liver swells with angry bile.’ Thus Psa_16:9‘My heart is glad and’ literally, ‘My liver rejoiceth.’ Gen_49:6‘mine honor’ is rendered by the Sept. ‘My liver.’ Lam_2:11is literally rendered by our translators ‘My liver poured upon the earth,’ indicating violent grief. In some instances the literal rendering of the Hebrew idiom in our version is attended with obscurity. 1. 1Sa_2:8‘throne of glory’ is a ‘glorious throne.’

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 3


2. Psa_24:7-8 ‘the king of glory’ is ‘the glorious or majestic king.’ 3. Psa_29:3‘the God of glory’ is ‘the glorious God.’ 4. In the New Testament (Luk_2:9), the ‘glory of the Lord shone,’ is an

extreme splendor (see also Act_7:2). 5. In 1Co_2:8‘Lord of glory’ is ‘glorious or illustrious Lord.’ 6. Rom_8:18, ‘Spirit of God’ and ‘Spirit of Christ,’ are a godly and Christian

spirit, temper, or disposition. A MAN’SGLORYREFERSTO WHAT HE IS—AMAN’SHONORREFERSTO WHAT HASBEENBESTOWEDUPONHIM. [SEE ISBE GLORY]

(Gen 49:7) Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel. Both of these tribes were divided and scattered in Israel. Simeon inherited land from the wilderness to Judah and were thus hemmed in. When the division of Judah and Israel came they were cut off and many assimilated into Judah and Israel. This curse upon Levi was turned into a blessing. Though they were scattered and divided in Israel as Jacob prophesied, yet they turned the curse into a blessing by becoming the priestly family. This was probably due to Moseslife and service to God. They received no inheritance, but were given 42 cities throughout the land of Canaan in which to dwell. (Gen 49:8) Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. From Judah would come King David and then all Israel bowed before him. Through David they defeated all surrounding nations. Judah means praise and he was praised by all. Judah also led the way in their journeys and their battles, as praise should always lead the way with God’s people. But the greatest descendant of all would be the Messiah. GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 4


(Gen 49:9) Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? He used the young lion as well as the old to depict the great victories of Judah. He would be satisfied like a young lion who had finished off his prey and now went up into the mountain to his den and awaited the next meal, and also as the old experienced lion who couches down and is so dangerous that none confront him. Victory is promised to Judah beyond any. (Gen 49:10) The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. Then suddenly Jacob receives this great revelation of the coming Messiah. The scepter will start with David but be handed down to the Messiah. Shiloh or the promised rest will come, and when He does the people will congregate to Him. Or as Isaiah puts it they will all go up to Zion (Isa_2:15). He will be the desire of all nations (Hag_2:7). No one has ever been able to figure out what Shiloh means, but all recognize that it is the Messiah he speaks of. One interpretation is that it means rest. FEET OF GOD BODY PARTS OF GOD: HAND FINGER FEET EAR MOUTH NOSE ARM FACE EYE Lawgiver [Messiah] is between His feet Gen_49:10 Enoch walked with God Gen_5:22 Darkness was under His feet Psa_18:9 They pierced His hands and feet Psa_22:16

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 5


His feet will be in the millennial temple Eze_43:7 Lame cast at Jesus feet Mat_15:30 Some worshipped at Jesus feet Mat_28:9 Mar_5:22; Mar_7:25 Luk_7:38; Luk_7:44; Luk_8:35, Luk_8:41; Luk_10:39; Luk_17:16 Joh_11:2; Joh_11:32; Joh_12:3 Rev_1:17; Rev_3:9 Sign of Jesus resurrection was to behold His feet Luk_24:39-40 All authority is under Jesus feet 1Co_15:25-27 John saw His feet as brass Rev_1:15; Rev_2:18 God raised up kings to His feet to do His bidding Isa_41:2 Serpent’s seed was to bruise the heel of the woman’s seed [Jesus] Gen_3:15 God walks among His people Gen_3:8 Lev_26:12 God walks contrary to the disobedient Lev_26:24, Lev_26:28, Lev_26:41

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 6


Jesus walked among the disciples Mat_4:18; Mat_14:25-26 Mar_6:48-49 Joh_1:36; Joh_6:19; Joh_7:1; Joh_10:23; Joh_11:54 \Genesis\Chapter 5\5:24\Enoch's walk with God - Genesis\Chapter 5\5:24\High ground Enoch's walk with God—In "Kitto's Daily Bible Readings" there is an exceedingly pleasing piece, illustrating what it must be to walk with God by the figure of a father's taking his little son by the hand and walking with him upon the breezy Hills. He says, "As that child walks with you, so do you walk with God. That child loves you now. The world -- the cold cruel world—hasnot yet come between his heart and yours. His love now is the purest and most beautiful he will ever feel, or you will ever receive. Cherish it well, and as that child walks lovingly with you, so do you walk lovingly with God." It is a delight to such children to be with their father. The roughnessof the way or of the weather is nothing to them: it is joy enough to go for a walk with father. There is a warm, tender, affectionate grip of the hand and a beaming smile of the eye as they look up to father while he conducts them over hill and dale. Such a walk is humble too, for the child looks upon its father as the greatest and wisest man that ever lived. He considers him to be the incarnation of everything that is strong and wise, and all that his father says or does he admires. As he walks along he feels for his father the utmost affection, but his reverence is equally strong: he is very near his father, but yet he is only a child, and looks up to his father as his king. Moreover, such a walk is one of perfect confidence. The boy is not afraid of missing his way, he trusts implicitly his father's guidance. His father's arm will screen him from all danger, and therefore he does not so much as give it a thought -- why should he? If care is needed as to the road, it is his father's businessto see to it, and the child, therefore, never dreams of anxiety -- why should he? If any difficult place is to be passed, the father will have to lift the boy over it, or help him through it; the child meanwhile is merry as a bird -- why should he not be? Thus should the believer walk with God, resting on eternal tendernessand rejoicing in undoubted love. What an instructive walk a child has with a wise, communicative parent! How many of his little puzzles are explained to him, how everything about him is illuminated by the father's wisdom. The boy, every step he takes, becomesthe wiser for such companionship. Oh, happy children of God, who have been taught of their Father while

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 7


they have walked with Him! Enoch must have been a man of profound knowledge and great wisdom as to Divine things. He must have dived into the deep things of God beyond most men. His life must also have been a holy life, becausehe walked with God, and God never walks out of the way of holiness. If we walk with God, we must walk according to truth, justice, and love. The Lord has no company with the unjust and rebellious, and therefore we know that he who walked with God must have been an upright and holy man. Enoch's life must, moreover, have been a happy one. Who could be unhappy with such a companion! With God himself to be with us the way can never be dreary. Did Enoch walk with God?Then his pilgrimage must have been safe. Nothing can harm the man who is walking with the Lord God at his right hand. And oh, what an honourable thing it is to walk with the Eternal! Many a man would give thousands to walk with a king. (C. H. Spurgeon.) \Genesis\Chapter 5\5:24\High ground - Genesis\Chapter 5\5:24\Enoch I. WHAT IS IT TO WALK WITH GOD? 1. Reconciliation with God. 2. Spiritual life (Gal_5:25). 3. None walk with God closely but those who love Him supremely. 4. Those with whom we walk, and whom we love, we are desirous to please and oblige. And those who walk with God delight to do His will. 5. Communion with God. 6. Similarity of disposition and feeling. II. THEADVANTAGESARISINGFROMSUCHA WALK. 1. It gives a real enjoyment, for which we are not at all dependent on external things, and of which nothing in this world can deprive us. 2. It sweetens all earthly pleasures and pains. 3. The man who walks with God learns much of the will of God. 4. Such a walk is a preparation for the enjoyment of God in heaven. (Benson Bailey.) Enoch 1. Walking with God includes -(1) A true knowledge of God -- of His character and laws; of His will concerning us, etc. (2) Reconciliation to God (Amo_3:3). In Jesusalone can this be effected. GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 8


(3) (4) (5) (6)

Cheerful obedience to the commands of God (1Jo_2:3). Devotional intercourse with God. Meditation. Prayer. Praise. Assimilation to the holy image of God (2Co_3:18). Advancement in all the things of God.

2. Walking with God is associated with: (1) (2) (3) (4)

True dignity. Real pleasure. Permanent security. And Eternal advantages.

Walking with God Someadvantageswhich result from walking with God. (1) (2) (3) (4) (5)

Guidance in difficulties (Pro_3:6). "He shall direct." etc. (Psa_32:8). Preservation from falling (Psa_16:8). Assistance in weakness(Isa_41:10). Comfort in afflictions (Psa_46:1, and Psa_94:19). Improvement in piety (Pro_4:18).

(Biblical Illustrator) When Jesuswalked upon the water He showed that the things which bothered them were under His feet. (Gen 49:11) Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. Otherwise rendered "redder than wine," and "whiter than milk" (LXX., Vulgate, Targum of Jerusalem, et alii), as a description of Judah's person, which scarcely seemsso appropriate as the received translation (Calvin, Rosenmuller, Keil, Kalisch, Murphy, Lange, and others), which, completes the preceding picture of Judah s prosperity. Not only would Judah’s soil be so fertile that its vines should be employed for tying assesand colts to their branches, but the grapes of those vines should be so plentiful and luscious as to make wine run like the water in which he washed his clothes, while the wine and milk should be so exhilarating and invigorating as to impart a sparkling brilliance to the eyes and a charming whiteness to the GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 9


teeth. The aged prophet, it has been appropriately remarked, has here no thought of debauchery, but only paints before the mind's eye a picture of the richest and most ornate enjoyment (Lange). Minime consentaneum essevidetur profusam intemperiem et projectionem in benedictione censeri (Calvin). (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 49:12) His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. This is not saying he would be so intoxicated that his eyes were bloodshot, but that he would enjoy the abundance of wine that would make his eyes glisten. This was speaking of plenty that would come to Judah. Indeed they eventually became a nation within themselves with only Benjamin joined to them; separated from the other ten tribes during the reign of Rehoboam. (Gen 49:13) Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. This revealed to Zebulun that they were to be a commercial people, a people who dealt in the loading and unloading of ships to go to foreign ports for merchandise. The tribes of the last two sons of Leah Mosesunites together, and, like Jacob, places Zebulun, the younger, first. (F. Whitfield, M. A.)

(Gen 49:14) Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: Issachar would see great productivity from their land so that there would be merchandising, not from the ships like their brother, but on the land. They would be able to carry the heavy burdens of commerce. Jacob's language is clearly not that of reproof, but of praise, prophetically applied to them for their patience under what was heavy to be borne. (F. Whitfield, M. A.)

(Gen 49:15) And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute. They would be a people who appreciated a pleasant land, one that was productive in agriculture and therefore they would not be a warlike people GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 10


like some of the others, eventually bringing about being subject to tribute, but apparently not to their disparagement. Where do we find him? It is between the borders. He is couched down between the borders. Now, if we give a spiritual application to these words, we may take them as describing an evil and unhappy condition. How awfully doesthe Lord rebuke those whosehearts are halting in indecision -- who are neither cold nor hot! To each of such lukewarm ones He declares, "I will spew thee out of My mouth." He would that they were either one thing or the other: either cold or hot. Indecision is to Him an abomination. Where, then, is it that the spiritual borderer couchesdown, and between what borders has he pitched his tent? Strictly speaking, he is not one of those who are neither for nor against religion, neither Christian nor heathen. He is professedly for that which is right. He appears, indeed, to many, to have pitched his tent within the kingdom of God, and yet he is in a very deplorable situation. He has mettled down, as it were, between Canaan and Egypt. He cannot exactly be classed with the people of the world; but still less can he be numbered with the children of God. He cannot properly be placed in the same rank with the crooked and perverse generation; but still less can he be accounted one of the chosen generation and royal priesthood. He is couched down between the borders of the kingdom of grace and the kingdom of Belial. (F. W. Krummacher, D. D.)

(Gen 49:16) Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan means judge and therefore judges or rulers shall come of him. So far Jacob had been going through the sons of Leah, and now he turned to the first of the children of the concubines. Dan was of Bilhah the handmaid of Rachel. When threatened by overwhelming power he will put forth his native force for the discomfiture of the foe. (Barnes Notes)

(Gen 49:17) Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. This prophecy respects the whole tribe, and points at the situation of it, which was "by the way", at the extreme part of the country; so that they had need of craft and policy as well as power to defend themselves against encroachers and invaders, and describes the general temper and disposition of this tribe, of which an instance may be seen in Jdg_18:1and it may have respect to the stumbling blocks and offences laid in this tribe

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 11


to the rest of the tribes, by the idol of Micah, and more especially by the golden calf set up in Dan by Jeroboam. (Gill) (Gen 49:18) I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD. Jacob recognized very early in his life the importance of spiritual things. For that reason he bought the birthright from Esauand later, through the intrigue of he and his mother obtained the blessing. In the blessing upon his sons he stopped and exclaimed this statement [Gen_49:18] right after blessing Dan and before Gad. It appears as a revelation. He had already mentioned that the Messiah would come through Judah [Gen_49:10] We know that at this point the Blessing was upon his mind and its part in the Salvation of Jehovah. (Gen_25:31-34) JACOB’S VIEW OF SALVATION Gen_49:18I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD. Jacob recognized very early in his life the importance of spiritual things. For that reason he bought the birthright from Esauand later, through the intrigue of he and his mother obtained the blessing. Gen_27:33 Gen_27:36 THEBIRTHRIGHT 1. The functions of priesthood in the family. The eldest son naturally became the priest in virtue of his priority of descent, provided no blemish or defect attached to him. Great respect was paid to him in the household, and, as the family widened into a tribe, this grew into a sustained authority, undefined save by custom, in all matters of common interest. Reuben was the first-born of the twelve patriarchs, and therefore the honor of the priesthood belonged to his tribe. God, however, transferred it from the tribe of Reuben to that of Levi (Num_3:12-13; Num_8:18). Hence

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 12


the firstborn of the other tribes were redeemed from serving God as priests by a sum not exceeding five shekels. 2. A “double portion" of the paternal property was allotted by the Mosaic law (Deu_21:15-17), nor could the caprice of the father deprive him of it. The rabbins believe that the elder brother received twice as much as any of the rest, and there is no reason to doubt the correctness of this opinion. When the first-born died before his father's property was divided, and left children, the right of the father descended to the children, and not to the brother next of age. Such was the inheritance of Joseph, his sons reckoning with his brethren, and becoming heads of tribes. This seemsto explain the request of Elisha for a " double portion" of Elijah's spirit (2Ki_2:9). In blessing Joseph’s sons, Jacob made them two tribes in Israel so that, by this means, Joseph would be the one obtaining the double portion of the birthright [Gen_48:5-6] 3. The first-born son succeeded to the official authority possessedby his father. If the latter was a king, the former was regarded as his legitimate successor, unless some unusual event or arrangement interfered (2Ch_21:3). 4. The Jewsattached a sacred import to the title of primogeniture (see Schottgen, Hor. Hebr. i, 922), and this explains the peculiar significance of the terms "first-born" and "first-begotten" as applied to the Messiah. Thus in Rom_8:29, it is written concerning the Son, "That he might be the first-born among many brethren;" and in Col_1:18, "Who is the beginning, the first-born from the dead; that in all things he might have the preeminence" (see also Heb_1:4-6). As the first-born had a double portion, so the Lord Jesus,as Mediator, has an inheritance superior to his brethren; he is exalted to the right hand of the Majesty on high, where he reigns until all his enemies shall be subdued. The universe is his rightful dominion in his mediatorial character. Again, he alone is a true priest; he fulfilled all the functions of the sacerdotal office; and the Levites, to whom, under the law, the priesthood was transferred from all the firstborn of Israel, derived

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 13


the efficacy of their ministrations from their connection with the great high-priest (McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia)

JACOB KNEW THE SIGNIF ICANCE OF BLESSING Basically ba4rak{ means endow with beneficial power. This meaning involves both the process of endowing and the condition of being endowed . Hence blessing originally involved a self-contained beneficial force which one could transmit to another and which stood in contrast to the destructive power of cursing The performance of a blessing involves a word invested with power and an action ratifying it. The actions that accompanied this pronouncement have a symbolic significance. Through physical contact they confer beneficial power by the laying on of hands. This is by the right hand (Gen. 48:13 ff.), or at least by the raising of the hands or the arms (Exod. 17:11), kissing or embracing (Gen. 48:10), and the touching of clothes (2 Ki. 2:13 f.), staffs (2 Ki. 4:29), or placing the hand under the thigh (Gen. 24:9; 47:29). The one who was to bestow the blessing fortified for bestowing it by eating a special food (Gen. 27:4). The imparted blessing works unconditionally and irrevocably . It is permanent and can neither be revoked nor rendered ineffective (Gen. 27:33; 2 Sam. 7:29). There are correspondingly different occasions for blessing. The most frequent form of expression is a greeting at meeting and parting (Gen. 47:7 ff.). A blessing was imparted particularly at the climactic points in life : at birth (Ruth 4:13 f.; cf. Lk. 2:34), marriage (Gen. 24:60) and death (Gen. 48:1 ff.; 49:28 ff.). In this connection it is important to note the blessing of the heir, by which the head of the family conveyed his power before his death chiefly to his first-born son, and thus passed it on to the next generation (Gen. 27:1 ff.; 48:1 ff.). The nature of the blessing is that of the conferring and transference of beneficial power, which produces fertility in men (Gen. 24:34-36) and in livestock and lands (Gen. 30:25 ff.). Blessing works vertically in the continued growth of succeeding generations (expressed in the genealogies of Gen. 5 and 11:10 ff.).

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 14


Horizontally it effects peace, security from enemies, good fortune and well- being for a tribe or group (expressed most comprehensively in the concept s]a4lo=m, wellbeing.

HE SAWTHEMESSIAHIN JUDAH Gen 49:8-12 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: [JESUS] thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. [DAVID—THENJESUS] 9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. 11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: 12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk. SHILOHis the peculiar epithet which was applied, in the prophetic benediction of Jacob on his death-bed (Gen 49:10), to JesusChrist and is thus worded: "The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver [a scribe, recording the decree uttered by the sovereign] from between his feet [the position frequently depicted on the Egyptian' monuments 'as occupied by the secretary of important persons], until Shiloh come and unto him the gathering, [obedience, as in Pr 30:17] of the people shall be." Here are the way ancient versions translated this passage: 1. SEPT:"A prince shall not fail from Judah; nor a captain out of his loins, until the things come that are laid up for him." In some copies another reading is found, for whom it is laid up, meaning, doubtless, in the kingdom-for whom the kingdom is laid up in reserve. 2. TARG.ONK:"One having the principality shall; not be taken from the house of Judah, nor a scribe from his children's children, until the Messiah come, whose the kingdom is." 3. TARG.JERUS:"Kings shall not fail from the house of Judah, nor skilful doctors of the law from their children's children, till the time when the king's Messiah shall come."

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 15


4. SYRIAC: "The scepter shall not fail from Judah, nor an expounder from between his feet, till he come whose it is;" i.e. the scepter; the right, the dominion. 5. ARABIC: "'The scepter: shall not be taken away from Judah, nor a lawgiver from under his rule, until he shall come whose it is." 6. SAMARITAN: "The scepter shall not be taken away from Judah, nor a leader from his banners, until the Pacific shall come." 7. LATIN VULGATE:"The scepter shall not be taken away from Judah, nor a leader from his thigh-donece yelet qui mittendus est, until he shall come who is to be sent." 8. TARG.JON:"Until the time when the king's Messiah shall come, the little one of his sons."

Tracing the root of Shiloh, we find it is to rest, to be at peace, and makes it equivalent to pacificator, peacemaker, or pacifier, and the allusion is to Solomon, whose name has a similar signification, and later on to the expected Messiah, who in Isaiah 9:6 is expressly called the "Prince of Peace." Thus the verse may run thus: The scepter shall not depart from Judah ... till rest come. [till he come to rest], and the nations obey him;" referring to the Messiah, who was to spring from the tribe of Judah. Judah had "the scepter and the lawgiver" till Shiloh came, and, this coming to Shiloh was a turning point in its history; The proper fulfillment began in David's time; and "the scepter and the lawgiver" are to be sought for in his line, to which the promises were made of an unending dominion. But before David came to hold the scepter, the city Shiloh had ceasedto be the religious center of the people of Israel. Thus, if we consider the Ark as the first reference to this prophecy, it now has to go beyond to David The name is now generally admitted to be an adjective meaning "peaceful," a title most appropriate to our Savior, and confirmed by parallels or imitations to which it will be necessary to refer. Shiloh was the name given to the place where the ark found a place of rest for itself (or, otherwise, the place which already bore this name was

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 16


selected as the resting-place of the ark), becauseit expressed the hope of the people that in this place they should find " one greater than the Temple;" Shiloh the place may have reminded them continually of this prophecy of Shiloh, the person, and kept alive the faith of the people in "him that was to come." Similar to this is the name Jerusalem, "possession of peace," or "foundation of peace," “ provider of peace,” to which the ark was' afterwards carried as Jehovah's place of rest forever, which he had desired, and in which the Lord whom they sought should suddenly come to his temple. This reference to the person Shiloh in the name of the place where the people met with God has a parallel in the history of the most prominent persons after the scepter and the lawgiver actually came to Judah. For David named his son and successor Solomon , a name which in Hebrew bears a much closer analogy to Shiloh than the English reader might suppose, both being also the same in meaning , David had been restrained from building the Temple becausehe had shed blood abundantly; but he gave the name Solomon to him who was to build it, for he was to be "a man of rest," and the Lord was to give "peace and quietness to Israel in his days" (1 Ch 22:8,9). This also illustrates the following words of the prophecy," until the Peaceful One comes, and unto him shall the gathering of the peoples be." The peoples, in the plural, are admitted by almost universal consent to be the heathen nations, attracted by this Peaceful One who gives them rest (see Mt 11:28-30; 23:37). This thought comes out more and more beautifully as the precise signification of the gathering of the peoples is contemplated; whether it be "attachment," or "trust," or, most simply and probably, "filial obedience," as in Pr 30:17. The line of blessing had been distinctly marked out in the caseof the three successive patriarchs; now, when the third of these saw that blessing expanding over twelve contemporary patriarchs, it was most natural that Jacob, who had been so anxious to obtain it for himself, should name the one from whom the seed of blessing in the highest sense was to come. The blessing pronounced on Judah is one complete homogeneous whole. It begins with laying emphasis on his name, "He that shall be praised,” a verb which certainly is used habitually, exclusively, of God; as if to hint that there is a mysterious fullness of blessing in Judah's casewhich involves something more than human. It promises him all praise and favor from his brethren; and in the middle of this it places his invincible superiority to his GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 17


enemies. It compares him to a lion, in respect of his resistless activity, and of his safety when he lies down; and on this metaphor it enlarges throughout a verse. It carries the blessing onward to its culmination in Shiloh: for there is no change of subject. since Shiloh is a part of Judah, its head and noblest part; and there is no limitation in the word "until." which has an inclusive (not an exclusive) meaning in this as in many passages,as much as to say, "The scepter does not 'depart till Shiloh comes, and of course after his coming there is no risk of its departure." And so Judah, at whose head is Shiloh, enjoys a rest at once: glorious and luxurious in the Promised Land, possessing all the fullness of God's goodness,as is related of the earthly Solomon's reign (1 Ki 4:24,25;5:4,5), and as shall be realized more nobly in the reign of the heavenly Solomon, whose life on earth already contrasted with that of 'his: ascetic forerunner in certain respects, to which- his enemies called attention for a malignant purpose (Lk 7:33,34). The prophecies of Balaam refer more than once to the blessing pronounced on Judah, the lion-like course of the people, the royal honor in store for them, and the leader by whom all the noblest' things were to be achieved. Especially Nu 24:17, "I shall see him, but not now; I shall behold him, but not nigh; there shall come a star out of Jacob, and a scepter shall rise out of Israel, and shall smite the corners of Moab and destroy all the children of Sheth," of tumult or of pride. Perhaps this distance of the time of fulfillment of the prophecy may be the reason of the extreme brevity of the blessing of Mosespronounced on Judah; though its brevity may be also owing to this, that it, is an allusions to the fuller blessing of Jacob. Again, in the age in which the scepter and the lawgiver appeared in Judah, we are at a loss to know what earlier stepping-stone led to the language of Ps2 and 110, and to that of Nathan's prophecy of the perpetuity and glory of David's line, if Shiloh be not a person. Ps72, in particular, is the expansion of the faith in his glorious and peaceful reign. In the prophecies of Isaiah there are several references to the Messiah in language which seems connected with this one; the very name " Prince of Peace" (9:6) is an interpretation of Shiloh. And in Ezekiel 21:25-27 there is a reference which few critics have hesitated to acknowledge, and whose influence upon the ancient translators must yet be noticed: "And thou profane wicked prince of Israel, whose day is come, when iniquity shall have an end, thus saith the Lord, Remove the diadem and take off the crown; this shall not be the same exalt him that is low, and abasehim that is high. I will overturn, overturn, overturn it: and it shall be no more, until he come whose

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 18


right it is; and I will give it him." To mention no more, there are names given to our Lord in the New Test. which must be traced back to this prophecy: such are found in Eph 2:14, "For he is our peace," and especially in Rv 5:5, “ the Lion of the tribe of Judah." The scepter took a long time before appearing in Judah; Israel had to wait for centuries in faith that kings would arise in the line of promise, although they had not been long of arising in the rejected line of Esau(Ge 17:16; 35:11; 36:31). The lapse of centuries required only that Judah be kept together the predicted rod should come forth of the stump of Jesse(Isa 11:1). We rest in faith on Gabriel's words to Mary, "The Lord God shall give unto him the throne of his father David; and he shall reign over the house of Jacob forever; and of his kingdom there shall be no end" (Lk 1:32,33). At the time when the scepter did first appear in Judah the law of the kingdom on this point was laid down explicitly by Nathan (2 Sa7:12-16), of which we have a more expanded statement, throughout Ps89. (McClintock and Strong Encyclopedia) (Gen 49:19) Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last. There is a play upon the name of Gad which is “troop,” and he would be a tribe of warfare, living along the Jordan with the constant attacks from the Ammonites and Amorites. Thesetribes would at times overcome, but Gad overcame at last for they obtained this requested land east of the Jordan along with Reuben and half the tribe of Manasseh. (Gen 49:20) Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties. Asher would have very productive soil and therefore they would be looked up to as the people who could spread a good table. This is similar to all great plantation owners who have produced renown abundance of food, and built an envied economy. The way the men had lived played an important part in Jacob's blessing and prophecy. Our past also affects our present and future. By sunrise tomorrow, our actions of today will have becomepart of the past. Yet they will already have begun

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 19


to shape the future. What actions can you chooseor avoid that will positively shape your future? (Life Application Study Bible)

(Gen 49:21) Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words. Naphtali, the last mentioned of the concubine children, will be a skillful warrior, agile as a hind let loose, and be well known for their literary skills. They were later famous for eloquence and song. [Naphtali is a hind let loose] The hind or “gazelle” is agile and nimble. When free on its native hills, it roams with instinctive confidence and delight. It is timid and irresolute in confinement. This is probably the character of Naphtali. “He giveth goodly words.” Here we pass from the figure to the reality. Eloquencein prose and verse was characteristic of this particular tribe. The only important historical event in which they are concerned is the defeat of Jabin’s host, which is celebrated in the song of Deborah and Barak Jdg_4:5. In this passagewe may study the character of the tribe. (Barnes Notes)

(Gen 49:22) Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall: This blessing is here upon Joseph, but had earlier been divided between the two sons of Joseph, so that there would be a tribe of Ephraim and a tribe of Manasseh. Joseph would have the double portion of the birthright and Judah would have its seed blessing. Joseph would be very productive, since it would be a vine by a well, with plenty of resources, and would spread out over the wall, and even in their inheritance they continued to go beyond anyone else among the tribes. Manasseh spread beyond the Jordan to mix with the tribes of Gadand Reuben, and both Ephraim and Manasseh spread themselves beyond their tribe limits on the western side. (Gen 49:23) The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: We do not know when Jacob learned of this treachery by his other sons onto his favorite Joseph, but now that it was time for blessing he would refer to it and show that their efforts were in vain, for his favorite had risen in triumph after all, and their being here proved it. Had it been left

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 20


up to Jacob, even the seed promise that was through Judah would have been through Joseph instead. (Gen 49:24) But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) Jacob knew as did Joseph, where his triumph lay. It was in (H46 'abiyr aw-beer') the Mighty God of Jacob. Six times this term aw-beer is used, and it is always referring to God. This is the first time He is called the God of Jacob, but will be continually referred to as such into the future. It was to Joseph this was spoken. To speak of God as the God of Jacob entails all Jacob went through and connects with his pause in Gen_49:18 where Jacob waited for God’s salvation. Joseph became a servant becausehe was a "stone (of offense) in Israel" (Gen_49:24), as Jesuswas the "stone which the builders rejected, the same is become the head of the corner," (Mat_21:42—Isa_28:16) (Gen 49:25) Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: This was his favorite and he continued to heap blessings upon him far beyond all his other sons. Even by the El of your father, and by the Shaddai, who will bless you. Three terms referring to God used in expressing the blessing of God upon Joseph. This fruitfulness attaches to Joseph in two respects. First, he is the prudent gatherer and the inexhaustible dispenser of the produce of Egypt, by which the lives of his father and brethren were preserved. And then he is in prospect the twofold tribe, that bursts the bounds assigned to a twelfth of the chosen people, and overspreads the area of two tribes. (Barnes Notes)

(Gen 49:26) The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 21


Jacob saw in the blessings he was passing on to his sons, even greater blessings than he had received from his fathers, for now they had increased into twelve tribes and there was conveyed to them the promise of the Messiah, and the prosperity of the Land God promised to His people. Note that Jacob is trying to tie Joseph, and the two tribes which will come from him, back to the God of Israel, the Creator, the Redeemer. Why? Well, these tribes, especially Ephraim, led Israel into idolatry. Jeroboam, who led in the rebellion and placed the two golden calves at Israel's borders, came from the tribe of Ephraim. So here on his deathbed, Jacob calls them back, back to the God of his father. (McGee)

(Gen 49:27) Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil. Benjamin the last born and the last blessed, would be a warlike tribe as was shown in both the leaders produced by this tribe (Ehud and Saul) and they were almost exterminated becauseof it in the caseof the Levite and his concubine. Benjamin was closely identified with Judah, so much so that Benjamin went with the tribe of Judah at the division of the kingdom. The tribe of Benjamin was the only one that stayed with the house of David. (McGee)

(Gen 49:28) All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them. They were always to come up with twelve tribes when discussing the tribes of Israel, though it had to be juggled according to what you are speaking of. When you were not referring to inheritance you could say twelve and include Ephraim and Manasseh, and exclude Levi so you retained twelve. When speaking of a nation established by God you would refer to Judah and include Levi as the twelfth. But you must always arrive at twelve. (Gen 49:29) And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, Jacob saw in this burial place more than a cemetery. It was the gathering place of the patriarchs and their wives. Thesewere the holders of the GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 22


covenant promise, and they were to be buried together. He and his wife being the last to be buried there. The patriarch Jacob, in his last request, says, "Bury me with my fathers"; and this feeling has illustration all along the agesin different races and climes. What is it but the outward symbol of that which is deepest in the heart? What is it but an expression of the preciousnessof these earthly relationships? Bury me with my fathers. Of course in the grave, with silence and darkness,there is no device or knowledge. Sofar as the perishing bodies are concerned, it cannot matter essentially where they reposewhen the spirit has fled. And yet they are the tenements of thought and will. They are associated with all that is most expressive in our being. With them are grouped the activities, the endearments, the acquirements, the possessions,that make up our estimate of life. When the patriarch said, "Bury me with my fathers," he thought of those whom he revered and loved, whoseremains were lying in the sepulchre of Machpelah; he thought of the holy friendships that had consecrated and sweetened his years; and those forms of parent and wife and kindred seemedendued with life and feeling in the strong ardour of his soul. (H. N. Powers)

(Gen 49:30) In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace. This was the only part of the inheritance Abraham ever received and it was bought. Stephen would later say that Abraham did not receive any of the inheritance, not even a place to put his foot on. You do not walk on graves, so he was right, Abraham owned none of Canaan except a burial plot. His heart was very much upon it, not so much from a natural affection to his native soil as from a principle of faith in the promise of God, that Canaan should be the inheritance of his seed in due time. Thus he would keep up in his sons a remembrance of the Promised Land, and not only would have their acquaintance with it renewed by a journey thither on that occasion, but their desire towards it and their expectation of it preserved. (Matthew Henry)

(Gen 49:31) There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. Jacob never loved Leah, but she will at last be with him in the tomb. He would only do that becausein his spiritual nature he recognized that there GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 23


are things ordained by God in His purpose of redemption that must be fulfilled, like the younger placed above the older, and the concept of double portion to the inheritor of birthright, and the blessing that will come upon the promised seed. All these spiritual things made him superior to Esau. (Gen 49:32) The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth. They had the title deed to that place, for on the day Abraham obtained it, there were witnessesthat the land was purchased to express forever that this land was Abraham’s and could not be contested. Which is repeated for the certainty of it, and that it might be taken notice of, that both the field and cave were bought by Abraham of Ephron the Hittite, and that the children of Heth were witnessesof the bargain, and of the payment of the money, and by whom the estate was made sure to Abraham; all which might be urged, if any controversy should arise about it; seeGen_23:16(Gill)

(Gen 49:33) And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people. The strength of the old patriarch was gone. He hardly had enough to draw his legs back into the bed, leaned back and breathed his last. He was now gathered unto his people. JACOBAND ISRAEL (Gen_49:33) One name was given to him by man (Jacob, which means supplanter). One name was given to him by God (Gen_32:28). (Israel, which means Prince of God). At one moment he trusts God (as Israel). The next he does not believe. Sometimes the Bible usesJacob when referring to the old nature (Gen_45:26), and Israel when speaking of the new nature (Gen_45:28)

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 24


Israel knew to bless Ephraim over Manasseh (Gen_48:14) Israel blessed the sons of Jacob (Gen_49:2). Jacob called them (verse Gen_49:1). Gen_49:33Jacob died Gen_50:2They embalmed Israel At death my old nature will be no more. Only the new nature will be preserved.

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49—PAGE 25

GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 49  

2. Hurtful Simeons 5. Sympathetic Zebuluns 9. Nurturing Ashers 4. Praiseworthy Judahs 3. Cruel Levis (Gen 49:1) And Jacob called unto his so...

Read more
Read more
Similar to
Popular now
Just for you