His honour is a firstling of his ox, And his horns are horns of a reem; By them peoples he doth push together To the ends of earth; And they are the myriads of Ephraim, And they are the thousands of Manasseh.
Deuteronomy 33:17 Additional TranslationsClarke's Commentary on the Bible
His glory is like the firstling of his bullock - This similitude is very obscure. A bullock was the most excellent of animals among the Jews, not only because of its acceptableness in sacrifice to God, but because of its great usefulness in agriculture. There is something peculiarly noble and dignified in the appearance of the ox, and his greatest ornament are his fine horns; these the inspired penman has particularly in view, as the following clause proves; and it is well known that in Scriptural language horns are the emblem of strength, glory, and sovereignty; Psalm 75:5, Psalm 75:10; Psalm 89:17, Psalm 89:24; Psalm 112:9; Daniel 8:3, etc.; Luke 1:69; Revelation 17:3, etc.
His horns are like the horns of unicorns - ראם reem, which we translate unicorn, from the μονοκερως monokeros of the Septuagint, signifies, according to Bochart, the mountain goat; and according to others, the rhinoceros, a very large quadruped with one great horn on his nose, from which circumstance his name is derived. See the notes on Numbers 23:22; Numbers 24:8. Reem is in the singular number, and because the horns of a unicorn, a one-horned animal, would have appeared absurd, our translators, with an unfaithfulness not common to them, put the word in the plural number.
To the ends of the earth - Of the land of Canaan, for Joshua with his armies conquered all this land, and drove the ancient inhabitants out before him.
They are the ten thousands of Ephraim, etc. - That is, The horns signify the ten thousands of Ephraim, and the thousands of Manasseh. Jacob prophesied, Genesis 48:19, that the younger should be greater than the elder; so here Tens of thousands are given to Ephraim, and only thousands to Manasseh. See the census, Numbers 1:33-35 (note).
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
1 Chronicles 5:1 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but for as much as he defiled his father's bed...
Numbers 23:22 God brought them out of Egypt; he has as it were the strength of an unicorn.
Numbers 24:8 God brought him forth out of Egypt; he has as it were the strength of an unicorn: he shall eat up the nations his enemies...
Job 39:9,10 Will the unicorn be willing to serve you, or abide by your crib...
Psalm 22:21 Save me from the lion's mouth: for you have heard me from the horns of the unicorns.
Psalm 29:6 He makes them also to skip like a calf; Lebanon and Sirion like a young unicorn.
Psalm 92:10 But my horn shall you exalt like the horn of an unicorn: I shall be anointed with fresh oil.
Isaiah 34:7 And the unicorns shall come down with them, and the bullocks with the bulls; and their land shall be soaked with blood...
unicorns [heb] an unicorn
he shall push
1 Kings 22:11 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah made him horns of iron: and he said, Thus said the LORD, With these shall you push the Syrians...
2 Chronicles 18:10 And Zedekiah the son of Chenaanah had made him horns of iron, and said, Thus said the LORD...
Psalm 44:5 Through you will we push down our enemies: through your name will we tread them under that rise up against us.
the ten thousands
Genesis 48:19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great...
Numbers 26:34,37 These are the families of Manasseh, and those that were numbered of them, fifty and two thousand and seven hundred...
Hosea 5:3 I know Ephraim, and Israel is not hid from me: for now, O Ephraim, you commit prostitution, and Israel is defiled.
Hosea 6:4 O Ephraim, what shall I do to you? O Judah, what shall I do to you? for your goodness is as a morning cloud...
Hosea 7:1 When I would have healed Israel, then the iniquity of Ephraim was discovered, and the wickedness of Samaria: for they commit falsehood...
Deuteronomy 33:17 Parallel CommentariesBuffalo Bull Bullock Earth Ends Ephraim Herd Honour Horns Majesty Manasseh Mountain Myriads Once Ox Peoples Push Reem Ten Thousands Together Unicorns Wild Wild-Ox WoundedBuffalo Bull Bullock Earth Ends Ephraim Herd Honour Horns Majesty Manasseh Mountain Myriads Once Ox Peoples Push Reem Ten Thousands Together Unicorns Wild Wild-Ox WoundedTHE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.
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