Genesis 49:4
New International Version
Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father's bed, onto my couch and defiled it.

New Living Translation
But you are as unruly as a flood, and you will be first no longer. For you went to bed with my wife; you defiled my marriage couch.

English Standard Version
Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it—he went up to my couch!

Berean Study Bible
Uncontrolled as the waters, you will no longer excel, because you went up to your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it.

New American Standard Bible
"Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence, Because you went up to your father's bed; Then you defiled it-- he went up to my couch.

King James Bible
Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

Christian Standard Bible
Turbulent as water, you will not excel, because you got into your father's bed and you defiled it--he got into my bed.

Contemporary English Version
Uncontrollable as a flood, you slept with my wife and disgraced my bed. And so you no longer deserve the place of honor.

Good News Translation
You are like a raging flood, But you will not be the most important, For you slept with my concubine And dishonored your father's bed.

Holman Christian Standard Bible
Turbulent as water, you will no longer excel, because you got into your father's bed and you defiled it--he got into my bed.

International Standard Version
But you're as undisciplined as a roaring river, so eventually you won't succeed, because you got in your father's bed, defiled it, and then approached my couch."

NET Bible
You are destructive like water and will not excel, for you got on your father's bed, then you defiled it--he got on my couch!

New Heart English Bible
Boiling over as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed, then defiled it. He went up to my couch.

GOD'S WORD® Translation
You will no longer be first because you were out of control like a flood and you climbed into your father's bed. Then you dishonored it. He climbed up on my couch.

JPS Tanakh 1917
Unstable as water, have not thou the excellency; Because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; Then defiledst thou it--he went up to my couch.

New American Standard 1977
“Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence, Because you went up to your father’s bed; Then you defiled it—he went up to my couch.

Jubilee Bible 2000
Unstable as water, thou shalt not be principal because thou didst go up to thy father's bed; then thou became defiled, going up to my couch.

King James 2000 Bible
Unstable as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed; then you defiled it: he went up to my couch.

American King James Version
Unstable as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed; then defiled you it: he went up to my couch.

American Standard Version
Boiling over as water, thou shalt not have the pre-eminence; Because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; Then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

Brenton Septuagint Translation
Thou wast insolent like water, burst not forth with violence, for thou wentest up to the bed of thy father; then thou defiledst the couch, whereupon thou wentest up.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Thou art poured out as water, grow thou not: because thou wentest up to thy father's bed, and didst defile his couch.

Darby Bible Translation
Impetuous as the waters, thou shalt have no pre-eminence; Because thou wentest up to thy father's couch: Then defiledst thou [it]: he went up to my bed.

English Revised Version
Unstable as water, thou shalt not have the excellency; Because thou wentest up to thy father's bed: Then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

Webster's Bible Translation
Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it; he went up to my couch.

World English Bible
Boiling over as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed, then defiled it. He went up to my couch.

Young's Literal Translation
Unstable as water, thou art not abundant; For thou hast gone up thy father's bed; Then thou hast polluted: My couch he went up!
Study Bible
Jacob Blesses His Sons
3Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power. 4Uncontrolled as the waters, you will no longer excel, because you went up to your father’s bed, onto my couch and defiled it. 5Simeon and Levi are brothers; their swords are weapons of violence.…
Cross References
Genesis 35:22
While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father's concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard about it. Jacob had twelve sons:

Deuteronomy 27:20
Cursed is he who sleeps with his father's wife, for he has violated his father's marriage bed.' And let all the people say, 'Amen!'

Deuteronomy 33:6
Let Reuben live and not die, nor his men be few."

1 Chronicles 5:1
These were the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel. Though he was the firstborn, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel, because Reuben defiled his father's bed. So he is not reckoned according to birthright.

Treasury of Scripture

Unstable as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed; then defiled you it: he went up to my couch.

Unstable.

James 1:6-8
But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavereth is like a wave of the sea driven with the wind and tossed…

2 Peter 2:14
Having eyes full of adultery, and that cannot cease from sin; beguiling unstable souls: an heart they have exercised with covetous practices; cursed children:

2 Peter 3:16
As also in all his epistles, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood, which they that are unlearned and unstable wrest, as they do also the other scriptures, unto their own destruction.

thou shall not excel.

Genesis 46:8
And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn.

Numbers 32:1-42
Now the children of Reuben and the children of Gad had a very great multitude of cattle: and when they saw the land of Jazer, and the land of Gilead, that, behold, the place was a place for cattle; …

Deuteronomy 33:6
Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few.

because.

Genesis 35:22
And it came to pass, when Israel dwelt in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard it. Now the sons of Jacob were twelve:

Deuteronomy 5:21
Neither shalt thou desire thy neighbour's wife, neither shalt thou covet thy neighbour's house, his field, or his manservant, or his maidservant, his ox, or his ass, or any thing that is thy neighbour's.

Deuteronomy 27:20
Cursed be he that lieth with his father's wife; because he uncovereth his father's skirt. And all the people shall say, Amen.

he went up to my couch.







Lexicon
Uncontrolled
פַּ֤חַז (pa·ḥaz)
Noun - masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 6349: Wantonness, recklessness

as the waters,
כַּמַּ֙יִם֙ (kam·ma·yim)
Preposition-k, Article | Noun - masculine plural
Strong's Hebrew 4325: Water, juice, urine, semen

you will no
אַל־ (’al-)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 408: Not

longer excel,
תּוֹתַ֔ר (tō·w·ṯar)
Verb - Hifil - Imperfect Jussive - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 3498: To jut over, exceed, to excel, to remain, be left, to leave, cause to abound, preserve

because
כִּ֥י (kî)
Conjunction
Strong's Hebrew 3588: A relative conjunction

you went up
עָלִ֖יתָ (‘ā·lî·ṯā)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5927: To ascend, in, actively

to your father’s
אָבִ֑יךָ (’ā·ḇî·ḵā)
Noun - masculine singular construct | second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 1: Father

bed,
מִשְׁכְּבֵ֣י (miš·kə·ḇê)
Noun - masculine plural construct
Strong's Hebrew 4904: Place of lying, a couch, act of lying

onto
עָלָֽה׃ (‘ā·lāh)
Verb - Qal - Perfect - third person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 5927: To ascend, in, actively

my couch
יְצוּעִ֥י (yə·ṣū·‘î)
Noun - masculine singular construct | first person common singular
Strong's Hebrew 3326: Spread, a bed, an extension, wing, lean-to

and
אָ֥ז (’āz)
Adverb
Strong's Hebrew 227: At that time, place, therefore

defiled it.
חִלַּ֖לְתָּ (ḥil·lal·tā)
Verb - Piel - Perfect - second person masculine singular
Strong's Hebrew 2490: To bore, to wound, to dissolve, to profane, to break, to begin, to play
(4) Unstable.--This translation is shown to be right by the use of the word in Judges 9:4; Zephaniah 3:4, in both which places it is translated light. Out of this sense of lightness and frivolity naturally arose the meaning which the word has in Syriac of wantonness. In Arabic it means boastful, another side of feebleness. With this sense the comparison with water well agrees; for it is its nature to seek a dull level, and while yielding to every impression to retain none. The other meaning given to it by many able critics is "boiling over like water," a description of the unrestrained violence of Reuben's passions.

Thou shalt not excel.--That is, thou shalt not have that excellency which was thine by right of birth.

49:3-7 Reuben was the first-born; but by gross sin, he forfeited the birthright. The character of Reuben is, that he was unstable as water. Men do not thrive, because they do not fix. Reuben's sin left a lasting infamy upon his family. Let us never do evil, then we need not fear being told of it. Simeon and Levi were passionate and revengeful. The murder of the Shechemites is a proof of this. Jacob protested against that barbarous act. Our soul is our honour; by its powers we are distinguished from, and raised above, the beasts that perish. We ought, from our hearts, to abhor all bloody and mischievous men. Cursed be their anger. Jacob does not curse their persons, but their lusts. I will divide them. The sentence as it respects Levi was turned into a blessing. This tribe performed an acceptable service in their zeal against the worshippers of the golden calf, Ex 32. Being set apart to God as priests, they were in that character scattered through the nation of Israel.
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OT Law: Genesis 49:4 Boiling over as water you shall not (Gen. Ge Gn) Christian Bible Study Resources, Dictionary, Concordance and Search Tools
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