Genesis 49:14
Verse (Click for Chapter)
New International Version
"Issachar is a rawboned donkey lying down among the sheep pens.

New Living Translation
"Issachar is a sturdy donkey, resting between two saddlepacks.

English Standard Version
“Issachar is a strong donkey, crouching between the sheepfolds.

New American Standard Bible
"Issachar is a strong donkey, Lying down between the sheepfolds.

King James Bible
Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Issachar is a strong donkey lying down between the saddlebags.

International Standard Version
"Issachar is a strong donkey, resting between sheepfolds.

NET Bible
Issachar is a strong-boned donkey lying down between two saddlebags.

New Heart English Bible
"Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the saddlebags.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
"[Issachar] is a strong donkey, lying down between the saddlebags.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Issachar is a large-boned ass, Couching down between the sheep-folds.

New American Standard 1977
“Issachar is a strong donkey,
            Lying down between the sheepfolds.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens;

King James 2000 Bible
Issachar is a strong donkey crouching down between two burdens:

American King James Version
Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:

American Standard Version
Issachar is a strong ass, Couching down between the sheepfolds:

Douay-Rheims Bible
Issachar shall be a strong ass lying down between the borders.

Darby Bible Translation
Issachar is a bony ass, Crouching down between two hurdles.

English Revised Version
Issachar is a strong ass, Couching down between the sheepfolds:

Webster's Bible Translation
Issachar is a strong ass, couching down between two burdens:

World English Bible
"Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the saddlebags.

Young's Literal Translation
Issacher is a strong ass, Crouching between the two folds;
Study Bible
Jacob Blesses his Sons
13"Zebulun will dwell at the seashore; And he shall be a haven for ships, And his flank shall be toward Sidon. 14"Issachar is a strong donkey, Lying down between the sheepfolds. 15"When he saw that a resting place was good And that the land was pleasant, He bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, And became a slave at forced labor.…
Cross References
Genesis 49:15
"When he saw that a resting place was good And that the land was pleasant, He bowed his shoulder to bear burdens, And became a slave at forced labor.

Numbers 32:16
Then they came near to him and said, "We will build here sheepfolds for our livestock and cities for our little ones;

Judges 5:16
"Why did you sit among the sheepfolds, To hear the piping for the flocks? Among the divisions of Reuben There were great searchings of heart.

Psalm 68:13
When you lie down among the sheepfolds, You are like the wings of a dove covered with silver, And its pinions with glistening gold.

Psalm 78:70
He also chose David His servant And took him from the sheepfolds;
Treasury of Scripture

Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:

Genesis 30:18 And Leah said, God has given me my hire, because I have given my …

Deuteronomy 33:18 And of Zebulun he said, Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out; and, …

Joshua 19:17-23 And the fourth lot came out to Issachar, for the children of Issachar …

Judges 5:15 And the princes of Issachar were with Deborah; even Issachar, and …

Judges 10:1 And after Abimelech there arose to defend Israel Tola the son of …

1 Chronicles 12:32 And of the children of Issachar, which were men that had understanding …

(14) Issachar.--The description of Issachar's lot is derived partly from the cognizance he had chosen for his signet, and partly from his personal character, He had taken for his symbol the ass--a very noble, active, spirited, and enduring animal in the East. (See Genesis 16:12, where Ishmael is compared to the wild ass, which adds to these qualities the love of freedom.) His real character was slothful, inactive, and commonplace. Jacob therefore likens him to a "strong ass;" Heb., an ass of bone, that is, one coarsely bred, as animals of high parentage have small bones. He is thus fit only to be a drudge, and with the laziness of a cart-horse lies down "between two burdens." The word occurs again in Judges 5:16, and is there more correctly rendered sheepfolds. More exactly it means the pens in which the cattle were folded during the nights of summer; and it is in the dual form, because these pens were divided into two parts for the larger and smaller cattle. Thus Issachar, stretched at ease between his cattle-pens, gives us the idea of a tribe occupied with pastoral pursuits, and destitute of all higher aspirations.

Verses 14, 15. - Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens - literally, an ass of bone - hence a strong, powerful animal, asinus fortis (Vulgate), asinus walidi corporis (Gesenius), asinus robustus (Rosenmuller) - lying down between the folds, or cattle-pens, which received and protected the flocks by night, the dual being used probably because such pens were divided into two parts for different kinds of cattle (Gesenius, Keil, Kalisch, Murphy, 'Speaker s Commentary,' etc.), though the word mishpetaim has been also rendered ἀνὰ μέσον τῶν κλήρων (LXX.), inter terminos (Vulgate, Rosenmüller), "within their own boundaries" (Onkelos, Targums of Jerusalem and Jonathan), "between two burdens" (A. V., Lange, Murphy, etc.). And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant. Issachar was to manifest a keen appreciation of the land or portion of territory that should be assigned to him, and to renounce the warlike spirit and military enterprises of his brethren for the indolent and luxurious repose of his fat pastures, crouching between his sheep-folds, or rejoicing within his tents, like a lazy ass, capable indeed of mighty efforts, but too self-satisfied to put forth much exertion, devoting himself to agriculture and pastoral pursuits, and preferring rather to pay tribute to his brethren, in order to secure their protection, than to leave his ploughshare and cast aside his shepherd's crook to follow them into the tented field of war, as the patriarch next describes. And bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute - or a tributary servant. The phrase מַס־עֹבֵד, though sometimes used of servitude under a foreign sovereignty (Deuteronomy 20:11; Joshua 16:10), commonly refers to tribute rendered by labor (1 Kings 9:21; 2 Chronicles 8:8), and is correctly rendered ἄνθρωπος εἴς φόρον δουλεύων (Aquila), factusque est tributo serviens (Vulgate). The translation καὶ ἐγενήθη ἀνὴο γεωργος (LXX.) discovers in the clause an allusion to Issachar's agricultural pursuits. Issachar is a strong ass,.... Or as one, the note of similitude being wanting, as Ben Melech observes; "a bony" (e) one, as the word signifies; not one that is lean, and nothing but skin and bones, as some interpret it, but that is strong and robust, able to carry burdens; and this tribe is compared to an ass, not for stupidity and sluggishness, but for its strength, and its use in husbandry, in which this tribe was chiefly occupied: the Targums of Jonathan and Jarchi interpret this figuratively, of his being strong to bear the yoke of the law: and it is a notion of the Jews, that this tribe were skilful in the doctrines of the law, and the intercalation of years, &c. from 1 Chronicles 12:32 couching down between two burdens: one hanging on one side, and another on the other; which Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret of bales of goods; and may as well be understood of sacks of corn, or anything else, carried by these creatures, which, when they come into a good pasture, and for the sake of that and ease, will lie down with their burdens on them, and rise up again with them: the Targums of Onkelos and Jerusalem paraphrase it, "between two borders" (f), or the borders of his brethren, as Jonathan, Zebulun and Dan, between which this tribe lay; and this is the reason Aben Ezra gives why Issachar, who was older than Zebulun, is mentioned after him, and between him and Dan, because his land lay between them; and so it may be observed, that in the division of the land in Joshua's time, Issachar's lot came up after Zebulun's, Joshua 19:10 but Doctor Lightfoot thinks (g) it refers to the two kingdoms, between which it lay, that of Phoenicia on one side, and that of Samaria on the other.

(e) "Asinus osseus", Montanus, Tigurine version, Munster, Vatablus, Drusius, Piscator, Cartwright. (f) "inter terminos", V. L. "inter terminos duos", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius, Cartwright; so Ainsworth, "inter duos finos", Tigurine version. (g) Works, vol. 1. p. 698. Ge 49:14, 15. Issachar—

14. a strong ass couching down between two burdens—that is, it was to be active, patient, given to agricultural labors. It was established in lower Galilee—a "good land," settling down in the midst of the Canaanites, where, for the sake of quiet, they "bowed their shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute."49:13-18 Concerning Zebulun: if prophecy says, Zebulun shall be a haven of ships, be sure Providence will so plant him. God appoints the bounds of our habitation. It is our wisdom and duty to accommodate ourselves to our lot, and to improve it; if Zebulun dwell at the heaven of the sea, let him be for a haven of ships. Concerning Issachar: he saw that the land was pleasant, yielding not only pleasant prospects, but pleasant fruits to recompense his toils. Let us, with an eye of faith, see the heavenly rest to be good, and that land of promise to be pleasant; this will make our present services easy. Dan should, by art, and policy, and surprise, gain advantages against his enemies, like a serpent biting the heel of the traveller. Jacob, almost spent, and ready to faint, relieves himself with those words, I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord! The salvation he waited for was Christ, the promised Seed; now that he was going to be gathered to his people, he breathes after Him to whom the gathering of the people shall be. He declared plainly that he sought heaven, the better country, Heb 11:13,14. Now he is going to enjoy the salvation, he comforts himself that he had waited for the salvation. Christ, as our way to heaven, is to be waited on; and heaven, as our rest in Christ, is to be waited for. It is the comfort of a dying saint thus to have waited for the salvation of the Lord; for then he shall have what he has been waiting for.
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