And God Almighty bless you, and make you fruitful, and multiply you, that you may be a multitude of people;
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)God Almighty.—Heb., El Shaddai. As it was Isaac’s purpose in this blessing to confirm Jacob in the possession of the promises made to Abraham, he is careful to use the same title as that borne by God in the covenant whereby the land of Canaan was given to his seed, and of which the sacrament of circumcision was the seal. (See Genesis 17:1.)
A multitude of people.—Heb., a congregation of peoples. This is not the word used in Genesis 17:4, but one that signifies an assembly, especially one summoned for religious purposes. Like the Greek word for church, ecclesia, it comes from a root signifying” to convoke.” It subsequently became the regular phrase for “the congregation of Israel” (Leviticus 16:17), and implies even here that the nations descended from Jacob would have a religious significance.Genesis 17:1). It is that belonging to the chosen seed, "the blessing of Abraham." It embraces a numerous offspring, the land of promise, and all else that is included in the blessing of Abraham. "A congregation of peoples." This is the word "congregation" (קהל qâhāl) which is afterward applied to the assembled people of God, and to which the Greek ἐκκλησία ekklēsia, "ecclesia," corresponds. Jacob complies with his mother's advice and his father's command, and, at the same time, reaps the bitter fruit of his fraud against his brother in the hardship and treachery of an exile of twenty years. The aged Isaac is not without his share in the unpleasant consequences of endeavoring to go against the will of God.
Ge 28:1-19. Jacob's Departure.
1. Isaac called Jacob and blessed him—He entered fully into Rebekah's feelings, and the burden of his parting counsel to his son was to avoid a marriage alliance with any but the Mesopotamian branch of the family. At the same time he gave him a solemn blessing—pronounced before unwittingly, now designedly, and with a cordial spirit. It is more explicitly and fully given, and Jacob was thus acknowledged "the heir of the promise."Genesis 28:1, but the same; there it is expressed in general, here the particulars of it are given; and by which it appears, that Isaac's blessing Jacob was a prayer, wishing a blessing from God upon him, and was the prayer of faith, delivered out under the spirit of prophecy; and they are blessed indeed that are blessed of God, and they must needs be blessed who are blessed by the Almighty; for what is it he cannot do or give? The Targum of Jonathan adds,"with much riches;''but no doubt all kind of blessings are included, both temporal and spiritual:
and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee; with a numerous offspring:
that thou mayest be a multitude of people; or an "assembly" or "congregation" (g) of them; which may all unite in one body and make one nation, as the twelve tribes descending from Jacob did.And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)3. God Almighty] Heb. El Shaddai. This Divine Name is here communicated by Isaac to Jacob: see note on Genesis 17:1 (P).
make … multiply] See note on Genesis 1:22 : a phrase characteristic of P, cf. Genesis 8:17, Genesis 9:1; Genesis 9:7, Genesis 17:20, Genesis 35:11, Genesis 48:4.
a company of peoples] A phrase used in the blessings, in P’s narrative, Genesis 35:11, Genesis 48:4. The Heb. ḳ’hal ‘ammîm combines the two terms used for “assembly” (ḳâhâl) and “people” (‘am), as in Ezekiel 23:24; Ezekiel 32:3. LXX renders εἰς συναγωγὰς ἐθνῶν. Compare “a multitude of nations” in Genesis 17:5 (P).Verse 3. - And God Almighty - El Shaddai (vide Genesis 17:1) - bless thee, - the Abrahamic benediction in its fullest form was given by El Shaddai (vide Genesis 17:1-8) - and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be - literally, and thou shalt become (or grow to) - a multitude - an assembly, or congregation, or crowd called together, from a root signifying to call together (Gesenius), or to sweep up together (Furst); corresponding to ἐκκλησία ιν Greek - of people. Isaiah 1:24),
by fleeing to her brother Laban in Haran, and remaining there "some days," as she mildly puts it, until his brother's wrath was subdued. "For why should I lose you both in one day?" viz., Jacob through Esau's vengeance, and Esau as a murderer by the avenger of blood (Genesis 9:6, cf. 2 Samuel 14:6-7). In order to obtain Isaac's consent to this plan, without hurting his feelings by telling him of Esau's murderous intentions, she spoke to him of her troubles on account of the Hittite wives of Esau, and the weariness of life that she should feel if Jacob also were to marry one of the daughters of the land, and so introduced the idea of sending Jacob to her relations in Mesopotamia, with a view to his marriage there.
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