Genesis 49:3
Parallel Verses
New International Version
"Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power.

King James Bible
Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:

Darby Bible Translation
Reuben, thou art my firstborn, My might, and the firstfruits of my vigour: Excellency of dignity, and excellency of strength.

World English Bible
"Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength; excelling in dignity, and excelling in power.

Young's Literal Translation
Reuben! my first-born thou, My power, and beginning of my strength, The abundance of exaltation, And the abundance of strength;

Genesis 49:3 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Reuben as the first-born had a right to a double portion of all that the father had; see Deuteronomy 21:17

The eminence or dignity mentioned here may refer to the priesthood; the power, to the regal government or kingdom - In this sense it has been understood by all the ancient Targumists. The Targum of Onkelos paraphrases it thus: "Thou shouldst have received three portions, the birthright, the priesthood, and the kingdom:" and to this the Targums of Jonathan ben Uzziel and Jerusalem add: "But because thou hast sinned, the birthright is given to Joseph, the kingdom to Judah, and the priesthood to Levi." That the birthright was given to the sons of Joseph we have the fullest proof from 1 Chronicles 5:1.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

my firstborn.

Genesis 29:32 And Leah conceived, and bore a son, and she called his name Reuben: for she said, Surely the LORD has looked on my affliction...

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.

Genesis 48:18 And Joseph said to his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.

Numbers 1:20 And the children of Reuben, Israel's oldest son, by their generations, after their families, by the house of their fathers...

Numbers 26:5 Reuben, the oldest son of Israel: the children of Reuben; Hanoch, of whom comes the family of the Hanochites: of Pallu...

1 Chronicles 2:1 These are the sons of Israel; Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, and Zebulun,

1 Chronicles 5:1,3 Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but for as much as he defiled his father's bed...

my might.

Deuteronomy 21:17 But he shall acknowledge the son of the hated for the firstborn, by giving him a double portion of all that he has...

Psalm 78:51 And smote all the firstborn in Egypt; the chief of their strength in the tabernacles of Ham:

Psalm 105:36 He smote also all the firstborn in their land, the chief of all their strength.

Library
The Shepherd, the Stone of Israel
'... The mighty God of Jacob. From thence is the Shepherd, the stone of Israel.'--GENESIS xlix. 24. A slight alteration in the rendering will probably bring out the meaning of these words more correctly. The last two clauses should perhaps not be read as a separate sentence. Striking out the supplement 'is,' and letting the previous sentence run on to the end of the verse, we get a series of names of God, in apposition with each other, as the sources of the strength promised to the arms of the hands
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

The Messianic Prophecies in the Pentateuch.
In the Messianic prophecies contained in Genesis we cannot fail to perceive a remarkable progress in clearness and definiteness. The first Messianic prediction, which was uttered immediately after the fall of Adam, is also the most indefinite. Opposed to the awful threatening there stands the consolatory promise, that the dominion of sin, and of the evil arising from sin, shall not last for ever, but that the seed of the woman shall, at some future time, overthrow their dreaded conqueror. With the
Ernst Wilhelm Hengstenberg—Christology of the Old Testament

General Notes by the American Editor
1. The whole subject of the Apocalypse is so treated, [2318] in the Speaker's Commentary, as to elucidate many questions suggested by the primitive commentators of this series, and to furnish the latest judgments of critics on the subject. It is so immense a matter, however, as to render annotations on patristic specialties impossible in a work like this. Every reader must feel how apposite is the sententious saying of Augustine: "Apocalypsis Joannis tot sacramenta quot verba." 2. The seven spirits,
Victorinus—Commentary on the Apocolypse of the Blessed John

The Holy Spirit and the Incarnation of the Word. ...
The Holy Spirit and the Incarnation of the Word. We are so familiar with the part assigned in our Creeds to the Holy Spirit in connection with our Lord's birth, that the passage now to be quoted from Justin may at first sight seem very surprising. It may be well to approach it by citing some words from the learned and orthodox Waterland, who in 1734, in his book on The Trinity (c. vi: Works, III, 571: Oxford, 1843), wrote as follows in reference to a passage of St Irenæus: "I may remark by
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

Cross References
Revelation 3:14
"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: These are the words of the Amen, the faithful and true witness, the ruler of God's creation.

Deuteronomy 21:17
He must acknowledge the son of his unloved wife as the firstborn by giving him a double share of all he has. That son is the first sign of his father's strength. The right of the firstborn belongs to him.

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

Psalm 78:51
He struck down all the firstborn of Egypt, the firstfruits of manhood in the tents of Ham.

Psalm 105:36
Then he struck down all the firstborn in their land, the firstfruits of all their manhood.

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Abundance Beginning Dignity Exaltation Excellence Excellency Excelling First Firstborn First-Born First-Fruit Firstfruits First-Fruits Fruits Honor Oldest Power Pre-Eminence Preeminent Pre-Eminent Pride Reuben Sign Strength Vigour
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Abundance Beginning Dignity Exaltation Excellence Excellency Excelling First Firstborn First-Born First-Fruit Firstfruits First-Fruits Fruits Honor Oldest Power Pre-Eminence Preeminent Pre-Eminent Pride Reuben Sign Strength Vigour
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