Genesis 49:4
Parallel Verses
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.

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.

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.

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!

Genesis 49:4 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Pouring out like the waters - This is an obscure sentence because unfinished. It evidently relates to the defilement of his father's couch; and the word פחז pachaz, here translated pouring out, and in our Version unstable, has a bad meaning in other places of the Scripture, being applied to dissolute, debauched, and licentious conduct. See Judges 9:4; Zephaniah 3:4; Jeremiah 23:14, Jeremiah 23:32; Jeremiah 29:23.

Thou shalt not excel - This tribe never rose to any eminence in Israel; was not so numerous by one third as either Judah, Joseph, or Dan, when Moses took the sum of them in the wilderness, Numbers 1:21; and was among the first that were carried into captivity, 1 Chronicles 5:26.

Then thou didst defile - Another unfinished sentence, similar to the former, and upon the same subject, passing over a transaction covertly, which delicacy forbade Jacob to enlarge on. For the crime of Reuben, see Clarke on Genesis 35:22 (note).

5. Simeon and Levi, brethren: They have accomplished their fraudulent purposes.

6. Into their secret council my soul did not come; In their confederacy my honor was not united: For in their anger they slew a man, (איש ish, a noble), And in their pleasure they murdered a prince.

7. Cursed was their anger, for it was fierce! And their excessive wrath, for it was inflexible! I will divide them out in Jacob, And I will disperse them in Israel.

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Unstable.

James 1:6-8 But let him ask in faith, nothing wavering. For he that wavers 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...

2 Peter 3:16 As also in all his letters, speaking in them of these things; in which are some things hard to be understood...

thou shall not excel. Heb. do not thou 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...

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 dwelled in that land, that Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father's concubine: and Israel heard it...

Deuteronomy 5:21 Neither shall you desire your neighbor's wife, neither shall you covet your neighbor's house, his field, or his manservant...

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

1 Chronicles 5:1 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...

1 Corinthians 5:1 It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles...

he went up to my couch. or, my couch is gone.

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
Genesis 35:22
While Israel was living in that region, Reuben went in and slept with his father's concubine Bilhah, and Israel heard of it. Jacob had twelve sons:

Deuteronomy 27:20
"Cursed is anyone who sleeps with his father's wife, for he dishonors his father's bed." Then all the people shall say, "Amen!"

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

1 Chronicles 5:1
The sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel (he was the firstborn, but when he defiled his father's marriage bed, his rights as firstborn were given to the sons of Joseph son of Israel; so he could not be listed in the genealogical record in accordance with his birthright,

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