Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
Jump to: Barnes • BI • Calvin • Clarke • Darby • Gill • GSB • Guzik • Homiletics • JFB • KAD • KJT • MHC • MHCW • PUL • WES • TSKDeuteronomy 33:28 : The Fountain Of Jacob shall be upon a land of corn, and wine, etc.
The daughters, בנות banoth, put here for branches, shoot over or run upon the wall - Alluding probably to the case of the vine, which requires to be supported by a wall, trees, etc. Some commentators have understood this literally, and have applied it to the Egyptian women, who were so struck with the beauty of Joseph as to get upon walls, the tops of houses, etc., to see him as he passed by. This is agreeable to the view taken of the subject by the Koran. See Clarke on Genesis 39:6 (note).
even a fruitful bough by a well; those are the most fruitful that are near a well or fountain of water, as such trees are which are planted by rivers of water, see Psalm 1:3 this being repeated may have respect to the two boughs or branches of Joseph's family, or the two fruitful and numerous tribes that sprung from him:
whose branches run over the wall; as such trees that are set against one, and by the reflected heat of the sun grow the more, and become more fruitful. The word for "branches" is "daughters", which some refer to the daughters of Manasseh and Zelophehad, who received their inheritance on both sides of Jordan; and others interpret it of the cities of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, as cities are sometimes called.Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
22. a fruitful bough, &c.—denotes the extraordinary increase of that tribe (compare Nu 1:33-35; Jos 17:17; De 33:17). The patriarch describes him as attacked by envy, revenge, temptation, ingratitude; yet still, by the grace of God, he triumphed over all opposition, so that he became the sustainer of Israel; and then he proceeds to shower blessings of every kind upon the head of this favorite son. The history of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh shows how fully these blessings were realized.Judges 18, as well as in the "romantic chivalry of the brave, gigantic Samson, when the cunning of the serpent he overthrew the mightiest foes" (Del.). שׁפיפן: κεράστης, the very poisonous horned serpent, which is of the colour of the sand, and as it lies upon the ground, merely stretching out its feelers, inflicts a fatal wound upon any who may tread upon it unawares (Diod. Sic. 3, 49; Pliny. 8, 23). Verses 22-26. - Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall - literally, son of a fruit tree, Joseph; son o/a fruit tree at the well; daughters run (each one of them: vide Gesenius, 'Grammar,' § 146, 4) over the wall. The structure of the clauses, the order of the words, the repetition of the thoughts, supply a glimpse into the fond emotion with which the aged prophet approached the blessing of his beloved son Joseph. Under the image of a fruit tree, probably a vine, as in Psalm 80, planted by a well, whence it draws forth necessary moisture, and, sending forth its young twigs or offshoots over the supporting walls, he pictures the fruitfulness and prosperity which should afterwards attend the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh, as the twofold representative of Joseph, with perhaps a backward glance at the service which Joseph had performed in Egypt by gathering up and dispensing the produce of the land for the salvation of his family and people. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him - literally, they provoked him, and shot at, and laid snares for him, masters of arrows, though Kalisch translates וָרֹבוּ, and they assembled in multitudes, which yields a sense sufficiently clear. It is sometimes alleged (Keil, Lange, 'Speaker's Commentary') that the words contain no allusion to the personal history of Joseph, but solely to the later fortunes of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh; but even if they do point to the subsequent hostilities which Joseph's descendants should incur (Joshua 17:16-18; Judges 12:4-6), it is almost morally certain that the image of the shooting archers which he selects to depict their adversaries was suggested to his mind by the early lot of his beloved son (Calvin, Rosenmüller, Kalisch, Gerlach, Murphy, and others). But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob. Notwithstanding the multitudinous and fierce assaults which had been made on Joseph, he had risen superior to his adversaries; his bow had continued firm and unbroken (cf. 1 Samuel 2:4; Job 12:19; Job 33:19), and his arms had been rendered active and flexible - neither ἐξελύθη τὰ νεῦρα βραχιόνων χειρὸς αὐτῶν, (LXX.), dissoluta sunt vincula brachiorum et manuum (Vulgate), as if Joseph s enemies were the subjects referred to; nor, "Therefore gold was placed upon his arms (Onkelos, Raehi, and others), referring to the gift of Pharaoh's ring - by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, i.e. God, who had proved himself to be Jacob's Mighty One by the powerful protection vouchsafed to his servant The title here ascribed to God occurs afterwards in Isaiah 1:24. From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel. If the clause is parenthetical, it may signify either that from the time of Joseph's exaltation he became the shepherd (who sustained) and the stone of (i.e. the rock which supported) Israel (Oleaster); or that from God, the Mighty One of Jacob, Joseph received strength to become the shepherd and stone of Israel (Pererius, Ainsworth, Lawson, Patrick, and others), in which capacity he served as a prefiguration of the Good Shepherd who was also to become the Rock or Foundation of his Church (Calvin, Pererius, Candiish, &c.); but if the clause is rather co-ordinate with that which precedes and that which follows, as the introductory particle מִן appears to suggest, then the words "shepherd and stone of Israel" will apply to God, and the sentiment will be that the hands of Joseph were made strong from the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, from there (i.e. from there where is, or from him who is) the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel (Keil, Kalisch, Murphy, Gerlach, Lange, et alii). Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee (literally, from the (led of thy father, and he shall help thee, i.e. who shall help thee); and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee - literally, and with (sc. the aid of) the Almighty, and he shall bless thee. It is unnecessary to change וְאֵת. into וְאֵל (LXX., Vulgate, Samaritan, Syriac, Ewald), or to insert מִן before אֵת, as thus, מֵאֵת (Knobel, Rosenmüller, Kalisch), since אֵת may be understood here, as in Genesis 4:1; Genesis 5:24, in the sense of helpful communion (Keil) - with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb. "From the God of Jacob, and by the help of the Almighty, should the rain and dew of heaven (Genesis 27:28), and fountains and brooks which spring from the great deep or the abyss of the earth, pour their fertilizing waters over Joseph's land, so that everything that had womb and breast should become pregnant, bring forth and suckle" (Keil). The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. The meaning is, according to this rendering, which some adopt (the Targums, Vulgate, Syriac, Saadias, Rosenmüller, Lange, Murphy, et alii), that the blessings which Jacob pronounced upon Joseph surpassed those which he himself had received from Abraham and Isaac, either as far as the primary mountains towered above the earth (Keil, Murphy), or, while exceeding the benedictions of his ancestors, those now delivered by himself would last while the hills endured (Rosenmüller, 'Speaker's Commentary'). But the words may be otherwise rendered: "The blessings of thy father prevail over, are mightier than the blessings of the mountains of eternity, the delight, or glory, or loveliness of the hills of eternity (LXX., Dathe, Michaelis, Gesenius, Bohlen, Kalisch, Gerlach, and others); and in favor of this may be adduced the beautiful parallelism between the last two clauses, which the received translation overlooks. They shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren - literally, of him, the separated (from nazar, to separate) from his brethren (Onkelos, Rashi, Rosenmüller, Keil, and others), though by some different renderings are preferred, as, e.g., the crowned among his brethren (LXX. Syriac, Targum of Jerusalem, Kimchi, Kalisch, Gerlach), taking nazir to signify he who wears the nezer, or royal diadem.
branches. Heb. daughters.
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