Genesis 49:20
Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
(20) Asher.—The territory of this tribe, extending along the coast from Mount Carmel to Lebanon, was very productive. Zebulun, the trading tribe, could reach the sea only through their possessions.

Genesis 49:20. Out of Asher his bread shall be fat — This implies that it should be a rich tribe, replenished not only with bread for necessity, but with fatness, with dainties, royal dainties, and these exported out of Asher to other tribes, perhaps to other lands. The God of nature has provided for us not only necessaries but dainties, that we might call him a bountiful benefactor; yet, whereas all places are competently furnished with necessaries, only some places afford dainties. Corn is more common than spices. Were the supports of luxury as universal as the supports of life, the world, in consequence of the wickedness of man, would be worse than it is, and surely it is bad enough.49:19-21 Concerning Gad, Jacob alludes to his name, which signifies a troop, and foresees the character of that tribe. The cause of God and his people, though for a time it may seem to be baffled and run down, will be victorious at last. It represents the Christian's conflict. Grace in the soul is often foiled in its conflicts; troops of corruption overcome it, but the cause is God's, and grace will in the end come off conqueror, yea, more than conqueror, Ro 8:37. Asher should be a rich tribe. His inheritance bordered upon Carmel, which was fruitful to a proverb. Naphtali, is a hind let loose. We may consider it as a description of the character of this tribe. Unlike the laborious ox and ass; desirous of ease and liberty; active, but more noted for quick despatch than steady labour and perseverance. Like the suppliant who, with goodly words, craves mercy. Let not those of different tempers and gifts censure or envy one another.Asher shall have a soil abounding in wheat and oil. He occupies the low lands along the coast north of Karmel. Hence, the products of his country are fit to furnish the table of kings. Gad and Asher are placed before Naphtali, the second son of Bilhah. We cannot tell whether they were older, or for what other reason they occupy this place. It may be that Naphtali was of a less decisive or self-reliant character.Ge 49:20. Asher—"Blessed." Its allotment was the seacoast between Tyre and Carmel, a district fertile in the production of the finest corn and oil in all Palestine. i.e. Out of the land of

Asher. Or, As for or concerning Asher, his bread-corn shall be fuller and sweeter and better than ordinary; and he shall yield royal dainties; not only oil for ointments, but also delicious and excellent fruits, fit to be presented to a king. See Deu 33:24,25. Out of Asher his bread shall be fat,.... Which signifies that this tribe would have a sufficiency of food out of their own land, without being obliged to others, and that it would be of the best sort; it occupied a tract of land, as Andrichomius (l) says, reaching from great Zidon to Carmel of the sea, a space of twenty miles in length; and in breadth, from the great sea to Asor, and even to Naason, a space of nine miles; the land of this tribe is very fat, he says, and exceeding fruitful in wine and oil, especially in the best wheat: and in this tribe, as the same writer (m) observes, among other very fruitful places was the valley of Asher, called the fat valley, which began five miles from Ptolemais, and reached to the sea of Galilee, and contained more than ten miles in length; the soil of which was exceeding fat and fruitful, and produced the most delicate wine and wheat, and might be truly called the fat valley, see Deuteronomy 33:24.

and he shall yield royal dainties; food fit for kings, of all sorts, flesh, fish, and fowl: here King Solomon had one of his purveyors to provide food for him and his household, 1 Kings 4:16. Asher's country answered to his name, which signifies happy or blessed: in those parts Christ was much in the days of his flesh on earth; in Cana of this tribe he turned water into wine and in this country discoursed concerning the bread of life himself, who is the best of bread and royal dainties.

(l) Theatrum Terrae sanctae, p. 1.((m) lb. p. 13.

Out of Asher his {p} bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.

(p) He will abound in corn and pleasant fruits.

EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
20. Out of Asher] Almost certainly the marg. gives the right reading, Asher, his bread &c. The preposition rendered “out of” is the letter m, which is superfluous here, but is required for the pronoun “their,” in the words “their heel” at the close of the preceding verse. The name of the tribe will then open the verse as a kind of nominativus pendens, i.e. “As for Asher, his bread, &c.” Cf. Deuteronomy 32:4, “The Rock, his work is perfect.” So the versions, LXX, Lat., Syr.

bread shall be fat] Cf. Deuteronomy 33:24, “Blessed be Asher … and let him dip his foot in oil.”

yield royal dainties] The fertility of Asher’s land will supply the wants of the kings of Tyre and Sidon. In Jdg 5:17 Asher rests on the sea coast. There is a play intended on the name of the tribe Asher, and the Hebrew word for “happy” (cf. Genesis 30:13), referring to the “happiness” of its fertility. Cf. Arabia Felix.Verse 20. - Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties - literally, dainties of, or for, the king. The first clause may be otherwise rendered: Of Asher the bread shall be fat (Kalisch); fat shall be his bread (Murphy); Out of Asher (cometh) fat his bread (Keil). The import of the blessing is that Asher should possess a specially productive soil "Issachar is a bony ass, lying between the hurdles. He saw that rest was a good (טוב subst.), and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute." The foundation of this award also lies in the name שׂכר ישּׂא, which is probably interpreted with reference to the character of Issachar, and with an allusion to the relation between שׂכר and שׂכיר, a daily labourer, as an indication of the character and fate of his tribe. "Ease at the cost of liberty will be the characteristic of the tribe of Issachar" (Delitzsch). The simile of a bony, i.e., strongly-built ass, particularly adapted for carrying burdens, pointed to the fact that this tribe would content itself with material good, devote itself to the labour and burden of agriculture, and not strive after political power and rule. The figure also indicated "that Issachar would become a robust, powerful race of men, and receive a pleasant inheritance which would invite to comfortable repose." (According to Jos. de bell. Jude 3.3, 2, Lower Galilee, with the fruitful table land of Jezreel, was attractive even to τὸν ἥκιστα γῆς φιλόπονον). Hence, even if the simile of a bony ass contained nothing contemptible, it did not contribute to Issachar's glory. Like an idle beast of burden, he would rather submit to the yoke and be forced to do the work of a slave, than risk his possessions and his peace in the struggle for liberty. To bend the shoulder to the yoke, to come down to carrying burdens and become a mere serf, was unworthy of Israel, the nation of God that was called to rule, however it might befit its foes, especially the Canaanites upon whom the curse of slavery rested (Deuteronomy 20:11; Joshua 16:10; 1 Kings 9:20-21; Isaiah 10:27). This was probably also the reason why Issachar was noticed last among the sons of Leah. In the time of the Judges, however, Issachar acquired renown for heroic bravery in connection with Zebulun (Judges 5:14-15, Judges 5:18). The sons of Leah are followed by the four sons of the two maids, arranged, not according to their mothers or their ages, but according to the blessing pronounced upon them, so that the two warlike tribes stand first.
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