Deuteronomy 26:5
Parallel Verses
New International Version
Then you shall declare before the LORD your God: "My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down into Egypt with a few people and lived there and became a great nation, powerful and numerous.

New Living Translation
"You must then say in the presence of the LORD your God, 'My ancestor Jacob was a wandering Aramean who went to live as a foreigner in Egypt. His family arrived few in number, but in Egypt they became a large and mighty nation.

English Standard Version
“And you shall make response before the LORD your God, ‘A wandering Aramean was my father. And he went down into Egypt and sojourned there, few in number, and there he became a nation, great, mighty, and populous.

New American Standard Bible
"You shall answer and say before the LORD your God, 'My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; but there he became a great, mighty and populous nation.

King James Bible
And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
You are to respond by saying in the presence of the LORD your God: My father was a wandering Aramean. He went down to Egypt with a few people and lived there. There he became a great, powerful, and populous nation.

International Standard Version
Then you are to affirm and declare in the presence of the LORD your God: 'A wandering Aramean was my ancestor, who went down to Egypt and traveled there with very few family members, yet there he became a great, powerful, and populous nation.

NET Bible
Then you must affirm before the LORD your God, "A wandering Aramean was my ancestor, and he went down to Egypt and lived there as a foreigner with a household few in number, but there he became a great, powerful, and numerous people.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You will make this formal statement in the presence of the LORD your God: "My ancestors were wandering Arameans. There were only a few of them when they went to Egypt and lived as foreigners. But then they became a great, powerful, and large nation.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Then thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, My father, the Syrian, perishing of hunger went down into Egypt and sojourned there with a few and became there a nation, great, mighty, and many;

King James 2000 Bible
And you shall speak and say before the LORD your God, An Aramean ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:

American King James Version
And you shall speak and say before the LORD your God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:

American Standard Version
And thou shalt answer and say before Jehovah thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father; and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there, few in number; and he became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous.

Douay-Rheims Bible
And thou shalt speak thus in the sight of the Lord thy God: The Syrian pursued my father, who went down into Egypt, and sojourned there in a very small number, and grew into a nation great and strong and of an infinite multitude.

Darby Bible Translation
And thou shalt speak and say before Jehovah thy God, A perishing Aramean was my father, and he went down to Egypt with a few, and sojourned there, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous.

English Revised Version
And thou shalt answer and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there, few in number; and he became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:

Webster's Bible Translation
And thou shalt speak and say before the LORD thy God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down to Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:

World English Bible
You shall answer and say before Yahweh your God, "A Syrian ready to perish was my father; and he went down into Egypt, and lived there, few in number; and he became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous.

Young's Literal Translation
And thou hast answered and said before Jehovah thy God, A perishing Aramaean is my father! and he goeth down to Egypt, and sojourneth there with few men, and becometh there a nation, great, mighty, and numerous;
Parallel Commentaries
Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary

26:1-11 When God has made good his promises to us, he expects we should own it to the honour of his faithfulness. And our creature comforts are doubly sweet, when we see them flowing from the fountain of the promise. The person who offered his first-fruits, must remember and own the mean origin of that nation, of which he was a member. A Syrian ready to perish was my father. Jacob is here called a Syrian. Their nation in its infancy sojourned in Egypt as strangers, they served there as slaves. They were a poor, despised, oppressed people in Egypt; and though become rich and great, had no reason to be proud, secure, or forgetful of God. He must thankfully acknowledge God's great goodness to Israel. The comfort we have in our own enjoyments, should lead us to be thankful for our share in public peace and plenty; and with present mercies we should bless the Lord for the former mercies we remember, and the further mercies we expect and hope for. He must offer his basket of first-fruits. Whatever good thing God gives us, it is his will that we make the most comfortable use we can of it, tracing the streams to the Fountain of all consolation.

Pulpit Commentary

Verse 5. - A Syrian ready to perish was my father. The reference is to Jacob, the stem-father of the twelve tribes, he is here called a Syrian, or Aramaean, because of his long residence in Mesopotamia (Genesis 29-31.), whence Abraham had originally come (Genesis 11:31), and because there the family of which he was the head was founded. The translation "ready to perish" fairly represents the Hebrew; the verb אָבַד means not merely to stray or wander, but also to lose one's self, to perish, to be in danger of perishing (cf. Deuteronomy 4:26; Job 29:13; Proverbs 31:6, etc.). Different renderings of this clause have been given. The Targum, Vulgate, Luther, etc., have, "The Aramaean (i.e. Laban) oppressed my father;" The LXX., Συρίαν ἀπέλιπεν ὁ πατήρ μου ("My father left Syria"); others, "To the Aramaean my father wandered." But these either follow another reading than that of the received text, or they are expedients to soften down the apparent ignominy of the description. The probable allusion to the wandering, nomadic life of the patriarch, however, is not to be lost sight cf. With a few; literally, in men of few; i.e. consisting of few men, as a small company; the father and head of the tribe is named for those belonging to him (cf. Genesis 34:30; Genesis 46:27). A great nation, etc. (cf. Exodus 1:7, 9).

Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible

And thou shalt speak and say before the Lord thy God,.... Speak with a loud voice, lifting up the voice, as Jarchi interprets it; or "answer" (e), to the question the priest will ask, saying, what is this thou hast brought? as Aben Ezra remarks; and this being said in the tabernacle, and before the priest of the Lord, and as in the presence of the Lord, is represented as said before him, which is as follows:

a Syrian ready to perish was my father; meaning Jacob, who though born in Canaan, his mother was a Syrian, and his grandfather Abraham was of Chaldea, a part of Syria; and Jacob married two wives in Syria, and all his children were born there but Benjamin, and where he lived twenty years; and sometimes persons are denominated, as from the place of their birth, so from the place of their dwelling, as Christ was called a Nazarene from Nazareth, where he dwelt, though he was born at Bethlehem, Matthew 2:23; and Jether, though an Israelite, as Aben Ezra observes, is called an Ishmaelite, perhaps because he dwelt some time among that people, 1 Chronicles 2:17. Now Jacob might be said to be ready to perish when he fled for his life from his brother Esau, and was poor and penniless when he came to Laban; so the last mentioned writer interprets this phrase; to which may be added, that when in his service he was exposed to cold and heat, and had his wages frequently changed, and afterwards, when obliged to flee from Laban, was pursued by him with an intention to do him mischief, had not the Lord prevented him. The reason of this part of the confession was to show that it was not owing to the greatness of their ancestors from whence they sprung, whose condition was mean, but to the gift of God, and his goodness, that they enjoyed the land of Canaan. So every sensible soul, when he brings his sacrifice of praise to God for his mercies, especially spiritual ones, frankly acknowledges his lost perishing condition by nature, of which he is sensible; and that in order to magnify the riches of the grace of God in his salvation, to endear Christ as a Saviour the more, and to keep humble, and make thankful:

and he went down into Egypt; not directly, but some years after his former afflicted circumstances; so the Targum of Jonathan expresses it,"after these things he went down into Egypt;''after he had been in perishing circumstances in Syria, and when he was sore pressed with famine in Canaan:

and sojourned there with a few; with seventy souls, as Jarchi:

and became there a great nation, mighty and populous; insomuch that the king of Egypt was jealous of them, lest through their strength and numbers they should get away from them, when any favourable incident happened; they being when they came out from thence six hundred thousand men able to bear arms, besides women and children.

(e) "et respondebis", Montanus, Vatablus; "et respondens dices", Munster.

Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

5. thou shalt say … A Syrian ready to perish was my father—rather, "a wandering Syrian." The ancestors of the Hebrews were nomad shepherds, either Syrians by birth as Abraham, or by long residence as Jacob. When they were established as a nation in the possession of the promised land, they were indebted to God's unmerited goodness for their distinguished privileges, and in token of gratitude they brought this basket of first-fruits.

Deuteronomy 26:5 Additional Commentaries
Context
Offering Firstfruits and Tithes
4"Then the priest shall take the basket from your hand and set it down before the altar of the LORD your God. 5"You shall answer and say before the LORD your God, 'My father was a wandering Aramean, and he went down to Egypt and sojourned there, few in number; but there he became a great, mighty and populous nation. 6'And the Egyptians treated us harshly and afflicted us, and imposed hard labor on us.…
Cross References
Genesis 12:2
"I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing.

Genesis 43:1
Now the famine was still severe in the land.

Genesis 46:3
"I am God, the God of your father," he said. "Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there.

Genesis 46:6
So Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt, taking with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan.

Genesis 46:27
With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob's family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.

Genesis 47:4
They also said to him, "We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants' flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen."

Genesis 47:27
Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.

Exodus 1:7
but the Israelites were exceedingly fruitful; they multiplied greatly, increased in numbers and became so numerous that the land was filled with them.

Deuteronomy 1:10
The LORD your God has increased your numbers so that today you are as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Deuteronomy 10:22
Your ancestors who went down into Egypt were seventy in all, and now the LORD your God has made you as numerous as the stars in the sky.

Deuteronomy 26:4
The priest shall take the basket from your hands and set it down in front of the altar of the LORD your God.
Treasury of Scripture

And you shall speak and say before the LORD your God, A Syrian ready to perish was my father, and he went down into Egypt, and sojourned there with a few, and became there a nation, great, mighty, and populous:

A Syrian Jacob being called a Syrian from his long residence in Padan-aram

Genesis 24:4 But you shall go to my country, and to my kindred, and take a wife …

Genesis 25:20 And Isaac was forty years old when he took Rebekah to wife, the daughter …

Genesis 28:5 And Isaac sent away Jacob: and he went to Padanaram to Laban, son …

Genesis 31:20,24 And Jacob stole away unawares to Laban the Syrian, in that he told …

Hosea 12:12 And Jacob fled into the country of Syria, and Israel served for a …

ready

Genesis 27:41 And Esau hated Jacob because of the blessing with which his father …

Genesis 31:40 Thus I was; in the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by …

Genesis 43:1,2,12 And the famine was sore in the land…

Genesis 45:7,11 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, …

Isaiah 51:1,2 Listen to me, you that follow after righteousness, you that seek …

he went down

Genesis 46:1-7 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, …

Psalm 105:23,24 Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham…

Acts 7:15 So Jacob went down into Egypt, and died, he, and our fathers,

a few

Deuteronomy 7:7 The LORD did not set his love on you, nor choose you, because you …

Genesis 46:27 And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: …

Exodus 1:5 And all the souls that came out of the loins of Jacob were seventy …

became

Deuteronomy 10:22 Your fathers went down into Egypt with three score and ten persons…

Genesis 47:27 And Israel dwelled in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; …

Exodus 1:7,12 And the children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, …

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