Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)Reuben . . . —The sons of the legitimate wives are placed first, then those of the concubines. Leah has precedence over Rachel; Bilhah over Zilpah. The children of each wife and concubine are given in order of seniority. The omission of Joseph from the list is explained in the last clause of Exodus 1:5.Exodus 1:3. And Benjamin — Who, though youngest of all, is placed before Dan, Naphtali, &c., because they were the children of the hand-maidens.Genesis 46:3 and in Genesis 15:13.
Every man and his household - It may be inferred from various notices that the total number of dependents was considerable, a point of importance in its bearings upon the history of the Exodus (compare Genesis 13:6; Genesis 14:14).
Ex 1:1-22. Increase of the Israelites.
1. Now these are the names—(See Ge 46:8-26).Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin,
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)Exodus 34:7. There is no practical difficulty in the way of this explanation, the only one which the language will allow. As Joseph's two sons were born before he was 37 years old (Genesis 41:50), and Ephraim therefore was born, at the latest, in his 36th year, and possibly in his 34th, since Joseph was married in his 31st year, he might have had grandsons by the time he was 56 or 60 years old, and great-grandsons when he was from 78 to 85, so that great-great-grandsons might have been born when he was 100 or 110 years old. To regard the "sons of the third generation" as children in the third generation (great-grandsons of Joseph and grandsons of Ephraim), as many commentators do, as though the construct בּני stood for the absolute, is evidently opposed to the context, since it is stated immediately afterwards, that sons of Machir, the son of Manasseh, i.e., great-grandsons, were also born upon his knees, i.e., so that he could take them also upon his knees and show them his paternal love. There is no reason for thinking of adoption in connection with these words. And if Joseph lived to see only the great-grandsons of Ephraim as well as of Manasseh, it is difficult to imagine why the same expression should not be applied to the grandchildren of Manasseh, as to the descendants of Ephraim.
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