Genesis 49:4
Parallel Verses
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.

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
Wesley's Notes on the Bible

49:4 Thou shalt not excel - A being thou shalt have as a tribe, but not an excellency. No judge, prophet, or prince, are found of that tribe, nor any person of renown only Dathan and Abiram, who were noted for their impious rebellion. That tribe, as not aiming to excel, chose a settlement on the other side Jordan. The character fastened upon Reuben, for which he is laid under this mark of infamy, is, that he was unstable as water. His virtue was unstable, he had not the government of himself, and his own appetites. His honour consequently was unstable, it vanished into smoke, and became as water spilt upon the ground. Jacob charges him particularly with the sin for which he was disgraced, thou wentest up to thy father's bed - It was forty years ago that he had been guilty of this sin, yet now it is remembered against him. Reuben's sin left an indelible mark of infamy upon his family; a wound not to be healed without a scar.

Genesis 49:4 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Appendix viii. Rabbinic Traditions About Elijah, the Forerunner of the Messiah
To complete the evidence, presented in the text, as to the essential difference between the teaching of the ancient Synagogue about the Forerunner of the Messiah' and the history and mission of John the Baptist, as described in the New Testaments, we subjoin a full, though condensed, account of the earlier Rabbinic traditions about Elijah. Opinions differ as to the descent and birthplace of Elijah. According to some, he was from the land of Gilead (Bemid. R. 14), and of the tribe of Gad (Tanch. on
Alfred Edersheim—The Life and Times of Jesus the Messiah

His Throat is Most Sweet, Yea, He is Altogether Lovely. This is My Beloved, and this is My Friend, O Daughters of Jerusalem.
The good qualities of ordinary things may be sufficiently well expressed by ordinary phrases of commendation, but there are some subjects so above expression that they can only be worthily admired by declaring them above all praise. Such is the Divine Bridegroom, who, by the excess of His perfections, renders His Bride dumb when she endeavors most worthily to praise Him, that all hearts and minds may be attracted to Him. Her passion causes her to burst out into the praise of some of the excellencies
Madame Guyon—Song of Songs of Solomon

The Debt of Irenæus to Justin Martyr
If we are to proceed with safety in forming a judgment as to the relation between Justin and Irenæus in respect of the matter which they have in common, it will be necessary not merely to consider a number of selected parallels, but also to examine the treatment of a particular theme in the two writers. Let us set side by side, for example, c. 32 of Justin's First Apology with c. 57 of the Demonstration. Justin has been explaining to his Roman readers who the Jewish prophets were, and then
Irenæus—The Demonstration of the Apostolic Preaching

'Fruit which is Death'
'Israel is an empty vine, he bringeth forth fruit unto himself: according to the multitude of his fruit he hath increased the altars; according to the goodness of his land they have made goodly images. 2. Their heart is divided; now shall they be found faulty: He shall break down their altars, He shall spoil their images. 3. For now they shall say, We have no king, because we feared not the Lord; what then should a king do to us? 4. They have spoken words, swearing falsely in making a covenant: thus
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture

Cross References
Genesis 35:22
While he was living there, Reuben had intercourse with Bilhah, his father's concubine, and Jacob soon heard about it. These are the names of the twelve sons of Jacob:

Deuteronomy 27:20
'Cursed is anyone who has sexual intercourse with one of his father's wives, for he has violated his father.' And all the people will reply, 'Amen.'

Deuteronomy 33:6
Moses said this about the tribe of Reuben: "Let the tribe of Reuben live and not die out, though they are few in number."

1 Chronicles 5:1
The oldest son of Israel was Reuben. But since he dishonored his father by sleeping with one of his father's concubines, his birthright was given to the sons of his brother Joseph. For this reason, Reuben is not listed in the genealogical records as the firstborn son.

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