Genesis 28:3
And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
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(3) 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.

28:1-5 Jacob had blessings promised both as to this world and that which is to come; yet goes out to a hard service. This corrected him for the fraud on his father. The blessing shall be conferred on him, yet he shall smart for the indirect course taken to obtain it. Jacob is dismissed by his father with a solemn charge. He must not take a wife of the daughters of Canaan: those who profess religion, should not marry with those that care not for religion. Also with a solemn blessing. Isaac had before blessed him unwittingly; now he does it designedly. This blessing is more full than the former; it is a gospel blessing. This promise looks as high as heaven, of which Canaan was a type. That was the better country which Jacob and the other patriarchs had in view.Isaac has now become alive to the real destiny of Jacob. He therefore calls for him to bless him, and give him a command. The command is to take a wife, not from Kenaan, but from the kindred of his parents. The blessing comes from "God Almighty" (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.CHAPTER 28

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."

No text from Poole on this verse.

And God Almighty bless thee,.... This is not a new blessing, distinct from that in 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.

(g) "in Coetum", Pagninus, Montanus, &c.

And God Almighty bless thee, and make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, that thou mayest be a multitude of people;
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. Genesis 28:3Jacob's Departure from his Parents' House. - Rebekah's complaint reminded Isaac of his own call, and his consequent duty to provide for Jacob's marriage in a manner corresponding to the divine counsels of salvation.

Genesis 28:1-5

He called Jacob, therefore, and sent him to Padan-Aram to his mother's relations, with instructions to seek a wife there, and not among the daughters of Canaan, giving him at the same time the "blessing of Abraham," i.e., the blessing of promise, which Abraham had repeatedly received from the Lord, but which is more especially recorded in Genesis 17:2., and Genesis 22:16-18.

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