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The prophecy concerning
Reuben, Simeon, and Levi. A. M. 2315.. and the beginning of my strength, then defiledst thou it :. i he went A. M. 2315. B. C. 1689.
B. C. 1689. the excellency of dignity, and the up to my couch. excellency of power :
5 Simeon and Levi are ' brethren; min4 Unstable as water, thou 6 shalt not excel; struments of cruelty are in their habitations. because thou h wentest up to thy father's bed; 6 O my soul, come not thou into their
e Deut. xxi. 17; Psa. lxxvii. 51. -'Heb. do not thou ercel. Or, my couch is gone.- * Chap. xxix. 33, 34. — * Prov. xviii. 61 Chron. v. 1. - Chap. xxxv. 22; 1 Chron. v. l; Deut. 9. mðr, their swords are weapons of violence.- -- Ch. xxxiv. xxvii. 20.
25.- Prov. i. 15, 16. prophetic gift or foresight; and that this was probably ject, passing over a transaction covertly, which delithe case with Jacob. But it would be derogatory to cacy forbade Jacob to enlarge on. For the crime of the dignity of the prophecies delivered in this chap- Reuben, see the notes on chap. xxxv. 22. ter, to suppose that they came by any other means
5. Simeon and Levi, brethren : than direct inspiration, as to their main matter, though
They have accomplished their fraudulent purposes. certain circumstances appear to be left to the patri
6. Into their secret council my soul did not come ; arch himself, in which he might express his own
In their confederacy my honour was not united : feelings both as a father and as a judge. This is
For in their anger they slew a man,(v'x ish, a noble,) strikingly evident, 1. In the case of Reuben, from
And in their pleasure they murdered a prince. whom he had received the grossest insult, however
7. Cursed was their anger, for it was fierce ! the passage relative to him may be understood ; and,
And their excessive wrath, for it was inflexible ! 2. In the case of Joseph, the tenderly beloved son of
I will divide them out in Jacob, his most beloved wife Rachel, in the prophecy con
And I will disperse them in Israel. cerning whom he gives full vent to all those tender
Verse 5. Simeon and Levi are brethren] Not only and affectionate emotions which, as a father and a husband, do him endless credit.
springing from the same parents, but they have the
same kind of disposition, headstrong, deceitful, vindic3. Reuben, my first-born art thou !
live, and cruel. My might, and the prime of my strength,
They have accomplished, c.] Our margin has it, Excelling in eminence, and excelling in power : Their swords are weapons of violence, i. e. Their 4. Pouring out like the waters :—thou shalt not excel, swords, which they should have used in defence of
For thou wentest up to the bed of thy father, their persons or the honourable protection of their
Then thou didst defile: to my couch he went up! families, they have employed in the base and dastardly Verse 3. Reuben as the first-born had a right to a
murder of an innocent people. double portion of all that the father had ; 'see Deut. from our translation, and confirms the translation
The Septuagint gives a different turn to this line xxi. 17. The eminence or dignity mentioned here may refer
given above : Συνετελεσαν αδικιαν εξαιρεσεως αυτων to the priesthood ; the power, to the regal government They have accomplished the iniquily of their purpose ; or kingdom. In this sense it has been understood by Samaritan text we read 3203 calu, they have accom
with which the Samaritan Version agrees. In the all the ancient Targumists. The Targum of Onkelos paraphrases is thus : “ Thou shouldst have received plished, instead of the Hebrew obą keley, weapons or inthree portions, the birthright, the priesthood, and the struments
, which reading most critics prefer : and as to kingdom :" and to this the Targums of Jonathan ben dulent purposes, and which our translation on almost
onnan mecherotheyhem, translated above their frauUzziel and Jerusalem add : “ But because thou hast sinned, the birthright is given to Joseph, the kingdom
no authority renders their habitations, it must either to Judah, and the priesthood to Levi.” That the
come from the Æthiopic 103 macar, he counselled, debirthright was given to the sons of Joseph we have
vised stratagems, fc., (see Castel,) or from the Arabic the fullest proof from 1 Chron. v. 1.
womacara, he deceived, practised deceit, plotted, &c.,
, Verse 4. Pouring out like the waters] This is an which is nearly of the same import. This gives not obscure sentence because unfinished. It evidently only a consistent but evidently the true sense. relates to the defilement of his father's couch ; and Verse 6. Into their secret council, &c.] Jacob here the word ino pachaz, here translated pouring out, and exculpates himself from all participation in the guilt in our Version unstable, has a bad meaning in other of Simeon and Levi in the murder of the Shechemites. places of the Scripture, being applied to dissolute, de- He most solemnly declares that he knew nothing of bauched, and licentious conduct.
See Judg, ix. 4; the confederacy by which it was executed, nor of the Zeph. iii. 4; Jer. xxiii. 14, 32 ; xxix. 23.
secret council in which it was plotted. Thou shalt not excel] This tribe never rose to any If it should be said that the words xan tabo and eminence in Israel ; was not so numerous by one on techad should be translated in the future tense third as either Judah, Joseph, or Dan, when Moses or in the imperative, as in our translation, I shall not took the sum of them in the wilderness, Num, i. 21; contend ; though it is well known that the preterite is and was among the first that were carried into cap- often used for the future in Hebrew, and vice versa. tivity, 1 Chron. v. 26.
Taken thus, the words mark the strong detestation Then thou didst defile] Another unfinished sen- which this holy man's soul felt for the villany of his tence, similar to the former, and upon the same sub- sons : “My soul shall not come into their secret
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concerning Judah. A. M. 2315. · secret ; punto their assembly, and their wrath, for it was cruel: + I A. M. 2315. B. C. 1689.
9 mine honour, be not thou united : will divide them in Jacob, and scatfor ' in their anger they slew a man, and in ter them in Israel. their self-will they digged down a wall. 8 Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren 7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; shall praise ; "thy hand shall be in the neck
P Psa. Ixvi. 9; Eph. v. 11.- -9 Psa. xvi. 9; xxx. 12; lvii. 8. 5, 6, 7; 1 Chron. iv. 24, 39. Chap. xxix. 35; Deut. xxxii. 7. Chap. xxxiv, 26.-Or, houghed ozen.
-Josh. xix. 1; xxi. Psa. xviii. 40.
council. My honour shall not be united to their con- were not only separated from each other, but even federacy."
divided from themselves, according to this prediction For in their anger they slew a man] v'X ish, a of Jacob. noble, an honourable man, viz., Shechem. And in their pleasure) This marks the highest
8. Judah! thou! Thy brethren shall praise thee. degree of wickedness and settled malice, they were
Thy hand, in the neck of thine enemies : delighted with their deed. A similar spirit Saul of
The sons of thy father shall bow themselves to thee. Tarsus possessed previously to his conversion ; speak
9. A lion's whelp is Judah : ing of the martyrdom of St. Stephen, St. Luke says,
From the prey, my son, thou hast ascended. Acts viii. 1: Σαυλος δε ην συνευδοκων τη αναιρεσει
He couched, lying down like a strong lion,
And like a lioness ; who shall arouse him? durovo And-Saul was gladly consenting to his death. He was with the others highly delighted with it; and 10. From Judah the sceptre shall not depart,
Nor a teacher from his offspring, thus the prediction of our Lord was fulfilled, John
Until that Shiloh shall come, xvi. 2: Yea, the time cometh, that whosoever killeth
And to him shall be assembled the peoples. . you will think that he doeth God service. And it is represented as the highest pitch of profiligacy and 11. Binding his colt to the vine,
And to the choice vine the foals of his ass, wickedness, not only to sin, but to delight in it ; see Rom. i. 32. As the original word 7937 ratson signifies,
He washed his garments in wine, in general, pleasure, benevolence, delight, &c., it should
His clothes in the blood of the grape. neither be translated self-will nor wilfulness, as some
12. With wine shall his eyes be red,
And his teeth shall be white with milk. have done, but simply as above ; and the reasons appear sufficiently obvious. They murdered a prince Verse 8. Thy brethren shall praise thee.) As the Hamor, the father of Shechem. Instead of two shor, 'name Judah signifies praise, Jacob takes occasion from which we have translated a wall, and others an or, I its meaning to show that this tribe should be so emi. read 1 sar, a prince, which makes a consistent sense ; nent and glorious, that the rest of the tribes should (see Kennicott's first Dissertation, p. 56, &c.;) as there praise it; that is, they should acknowledge its supeis no evidence whatever that Simeon and Levi either rior dignity, as in its privileges it should be distinguished dug down a wall or houghed the oxen, as some have beyond all the others. On the prophecy relative to Jutranslated the passage ; (see the margin ;) on the con- dah, Dr. Hales has several judicious remarks, and has trary, the text, chap. xxxv. 28, 29, proves that they left very little to be farther desired on the subject. had taken for their own use the sheep, oren, asses, all Every reader will be glad to meet with them here. their wealth, their wives, and their little ones.
“ The prophecy begins with his name Judah, sigVerse 7. Cursed was their anger] The first motions nifying the praise of the Lord, which was given to of their violence were savage ; and their excessive or him at his birth by his mother Leah, chap. xxix. 35. overflowing wrath, 773y ebrah, for it was inflexible It then describes the warlike character of this tribe,
- neither the supplications of the males, nor the en- to which, by the Divine appointment, was assigned the treaties, tears, cries, and shrieks of the helpless females, first lot of the promised land, which was conquered could deter them from their murderous purpose; for accordingly by the pious and heroic Caleb ; the first this, ver. 5, they are said to have accomplished. who taid hands on the necks of his enemies, and routed
I will divide them out, op Srix achallekem, I will make and subdued them, Josh. xiv. 11; xv. 1; Judg. i. 1, them into lots, giving a portion of them to one tribe, 2; and led the way for their total subjugation under and a portion to another ; but they shall never attain David ; who, in allusion to this prediction, praises God, to any political consequence. This appears to have and says : Thou hast given me the necks of mine enebeen literally fulfilled. Levi had no inheritance mies, that I might destroy them that hate me, Psa. except forty-eight cities, 'scattered through different xviii. 40. In the different stages of its strength, this parts of the land of Canaan : and as to the tribe of tribe is compared to a lion's whelp, to a full grown Simeon, it is generally believed among the Jews that lion, and to a nursing lioness, the fiercest of all. they became schoolmasters to the other tribes ; and Hen a lion was the standard of Judah ; compare when they entered Canaan they had only a small por- Num. ii. 3, Ezek. i. 10. The city of David, where tion, a few towns and villages in the worst part of hè reposed himself after his conquests, secure in the Judah's lot, Josh. xix. 1, which afterwards, finding terror of his name, i Chron. xiv. 17, was called too little, they formed different colonies in districts Ariel, the lion of God, Isa. xxix. 1; and our Lord which they conquered from the Idumeans and Ama- himself, his most illustrious descendant, the Lion of lekites, 1 Chron. iv. 39, &c. Thus these two tribes the tribe of Judah, Rev. v. 5.
concerning Judah. A. M. 2315. of thine enemies ; w thy father's chil- | my son, thou art gone up: y he A. M. 2315.
dren shall bow down before thee. stooped down, he couched as a 9 Judah is 'a lion's whelp: from the prey, lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
B. C. 1689.
B. C. 1689.
w Chap. xxvii. 29; 1 Chron. v. 2.
Hos. v. 4; Rev. v. 5.
- Num. xxiii. 24 ; xxiv. 9
“ The duration of the power of this famous tribe is 36, as a prelude to his second coming in glory to next determined : “the sceptre of dominion, as it is restore again the kingdom to Israel.' understood Esth. viii. 4 ; Isa. xiv. 5, &c., or its civil “ The vengeance to be then inflicted on all the government, was not to cease or depart from Judah enemies of his Church, or congregation of faithful until the birth or coming of Shiloh, signifying the Christians, is expressed by the symbolical imagery of Apostle, as Christ is styled, Heb. iii. 1 ; nor was the washing his garments in wine, and his clothes in the native lawgiver, or expounder of the law, teacher, or blood of grapes ;' which to understand literally, would scribe, intimating their ecclesiastical polity, to cease, be incongruous and unusual any where, while it apuly until Shiloh should have a congregation of peoples, represents his garments crimsoned in the blood of his or religious followers, attached to him. And how foes, and their immense slaughter; an imagery freaccurately was this fulfilled in both these respects ! quently adopted in the prophetic scriptures.
“1. Shortly before the birth of Christ a decree was 6. The strength and wholesomer.ess of Shiloh's docissued by Augustus Cæsar that all the land of Judea trine are next represented by having his eyes red and Galilee should be enrolled, or a registry of persons with wine, and his teeth white with milk.' And thus taken, in which Christ was included, Luke ii. 1-7; the evangelical prophet, in similar strains, invites the whence Julian the apostate unwittingly objected to his world to embrace the Gospel :title of Christ or King, that he was born a subject of Cæsar!' About eleven years after Judea was made
Ho, every one that thirsteth, come to the waters, a Roman province, attached to Syria on the deposal
And he that hath no money ; come, buy and eat: and banishment of Archelaus, the son of Herod the
Yea, come, buy wine and milk, Great, for maladministration ; and an assessment of
Without money and without price.
Isa. lv, 1. properties or taring was carried into effect by Cyre- “On the last day of the feast of tabernacles it was nius, then governor of Syria, the same who before, as customary among the Jews for the people to bring the emperor's procurator, had made the enrolment, water from the fountain of Siloah or Siloam, which Luke ii. 2 ; Acts v. 37; and thenceforth Judea was they poured on the altar, singing the words of Isaiah, governed by a Roman deputy, and the judicial power xii. 3: With joy shall ye draw water from the founof life and death taken away from the Jews, John tain of salvation ; which the Targum interprets, With xviii. 31.
joy shall ye receive a new doctrine from the ELECT “ 2. Their ecclesiastical polity ceased with the of the just one;' and the feast itself was also called destruction of their city and temple by the Romans, Hosannah, Save, we beseech thee. And Isaiah has A. D. 70; at which time the Gospel had been preach. also described the apostasy of the Jews from their tued through the known world by the apostles, “his wit- telar God IMMANUEL, under the corresponding imagery nesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea, and in Samaria, of their rejecting the gently-flowing waters of Siloah, and unto the uttermost parts of the earth ;' Acts ii. 8; Isa. viii. 6–8. Rom. x. 18.
“ Hence our Lord, on the last day of the feast, sig. “Our Lord's triumphant entry into Jerusalem, be- nificantly invited the Jews to come unto him as the fore his crucifixion, riding on an ass, even a colt the true and living Fountain of waters, Jer. ii. 13. If foal of an ass, which by his direction his disciples any man thirst, let him come to me and drink;' John brought to him for this purpose,— Go into the village vii. 37. He also compared his doctrine to new wine, over against you, and presently ye shall find an ass which required to be put into new botlles, made of tied, and a colt with her; loose them, and bring them skins strong enough to contain it, Matt. ix. 17; while to me,' Matt. xxi. 2–5, remarkably fulfilling the pro- the Gospel is repeatedly represented as affording milk phecy of Zechariah, ix. 9, is no less a fulfilment of for babes, or the first principles of the oracles of God this prophecy of Shiloh, 'binding or tying his foal to for novices in the faith, as well as strong meat (and the vine, even his ass's colt to the choice vine.'. In strong wine) for masters in Christ or adepls, Matt. ancient times to ride upon white asses or ass-colts was xiii. 11; Heb. v. 12–14. the privilege of persons of high rank, princes, judges, “And our Lord's most significant miracle was and prophets, Judg. v. 10; x. 4; Num. xxii. 22. wrought at this fountain, when he gave sight to a man And as the children of Israel were symbolized by the forty years old, who had been blind from his birth, by vine, Psa. lxxx. 8, Hos. x. 1, and the men of Judah sending him, after he had anointed his eyes with by 'a (choice) vine of Sorek,' in the original, both moistened clay, to wash in the pool of Siloam, which here and in the beautiful allegory of Isaiah, v. 1-7, is the Greek pronunciation of the Hebrew hi Şiloah adopted by Jeremiah, ii. 21, and by our Lord, Matt. or Siloh, Isa. viii. 6, where the Septuagint version xxi. 31, who styled himself the true vine, John xv. 1; reads Ethway, signifying, according to the evangelist, 80 the union of both these images signified our Lord's ateoranuevos, sent forth, and consequently derived assumption, as the promised Shiloh, of the dignity of from nbin shalach, to send, John ix. 7. Our Lord the king of the Jews, not in a temporal but in a thus assuming to himself his two leading titles of spiritual sense, as he declared to Pilate, John xviii. Messiah, signifying anointed, and Shiloh, sent forth
B. C. 1689.
Shiloh's coming foretold.
CHAP. XLIX. Prophecy concerning Zebulun. A. M. 2315. 10 - The sceptre shall not depart 12 His feyes shall be red with A. M. 2315B. C. 1689.
from Judah, nor a lawgiver from wine, and his teeth white with between his feet, cuntil Shiloh come; d and milk.
. unto him shall the gathering of the people be. 13 % Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the
11 • Binding his foal unto the vine, and his sea ; and he shall be for a haven of ships ; ass's colt unto the choice vine ; he washed and his border shall be unto Zidon. his garments in wine, and his clothes in the 14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down blood of grapes:
between two burdens :
• Num. xxiv. 17; Jer. xxx. 21 ; Zech. x. 11.-_a Psa. Ix. 7; 33. Isa. ii. 2; xi. 10; xlii. 1, 4; xlix. 6, 7, 22, 23; lv. 4,5; rviii, 8, or Num. xxi. 18.- Lb Deut. xxviii. 57.- Isa. xi. 1; 1x. 1,3,4,5; Hag. ii. 7; Luke ii. 30, 31, 32.-€ 2 Kings xviii. 32. lai. Hl; Ezek. xxi. 27; Dan. ix. 25; Matt. xxi. 9; Luke i.-32, Prov. xxiii. 29. 5 Deut. xxxiii. 18, 19; Josh. xix. 10, 11.
or delegated from God; as he had done before at the Verse 10. From Judah the sceptre shall not depart] opening of his mission : • The Spirit of the Lord is The Jews have a quibble on the word wav shebet, upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the which we translate sceptre; they say it signifies a Gospel to the poor; he hath sent me forth (atteotahke) staff or rod, and that the meaning of it is, that “afflicto heal the broken-hearted, &c.; Luke iv. 18. tions shall not depart from the Jews till the Messiah
" And in the course of it he declared, I was not comes ;" that they are still under affliction, and theresent forth (ateotahnv) but unto the lost sheep of the fore the Messiah is not come. This is a miserable house of Israel, Matt. xv. 24, by a twofold reference shift to save a lost cause. Their chief Targumist, to his character in Jacob's prophecy of Shiloh and Onkelos, understood and translated the word nearly as SHEPHERD OF ISRAEL, Gen. xlix. 10–24. * This is wè do; and the same meaning is adopted by the Jerulise eternal, to know thee the only true God, and Jesus salem Targum, and by all the ancient versions, the Christ whom thou sentest forth,' (atteotechas,) to in- Arabic excepted, which has wijkazeeb, a rod; but struct and save mankind, John xvii. 3 ; and he thus in a very ancient MS. of the Pentateuch in my own distinguishes his own superior. mission from his com- possession the word besaw sebet is used, which signimission to his apostles : “As the Father hath sent
fies a tribe. ME, (afectałke ue,) so I send you,' TEỊTW vuas, John the Messiah shall come; and it did so; and after his
Judah shall continue a distinct tribe till XX. 21. Whence St. Paul expressly styles Jesus Christ 'the Apostle ('O ATOOTO205) and High Priest
coming it was confounded with the others, so that all
distinction has been ever since lost. of our profession,' Heb. iii. 1; and by an elaborate argument shows the superiority of his mission above
Nor a teacher from his offspring] I am sufficiently that of Moses, and of his priesthood above that of Aaron, in the sequel of the epistle. His priesthood mibbeyn raglaiv is from between his feet, and I am as was foretold by David to be a royal priesthood, after fully satisfied that it should never be so translated; the order of Melchizedek, Psa. cx. 4: But where shall from between the feet and out of the thigh simply we find his mission or apostleship foretold, except in
mean progeny, natural offspring, for reasons which Jacob's prophecy of Shiloh? which was evidently so
surely need not be mentioned. The Targum of Jonaunderstood by Moses" when God offered to send him than ben Uzziel, and the Jerusalem Targum, apply as his ambassador to Pharaoh, and he declined -at first the whole of this prophecy, in a variety of very minute the arduous mission : "O my Lord, send I pray thee particulars, to the Messiah, and give no kind of counby the hand of Him whom thou will send; or by the tenance to the fictions of the modern Jews. promised Shiloh, Exod. iii. 10; iv. 13; by whom in 13. At the haven of the seas shall Zebulun dwell, his last blessing to the Israelites, parallel to that of
And he shall be a haven for ships. Jacob, he prayed that God would bring back Judah
And his border shall extend unto Sidon. to his people' from captivity, Deut. xxxiii. 7.
Verse 13. Zebulun's lot or portion in the division “ Here then we find the true meaning and deriva- of the Promised Land extended from the Mediterration of the much disputed term Shiloh in this prophecy
nean Sea on the west, to the lake of Gennesareth on
The of Jacob, which is fortunately preserved by the Vul- the east ; see his division, Josh. xix. 10, &c. gale, rendering qui mittendus est, he that is to be sent, Targum of Jonathan ben Uzziel paraphrases the pasand also by a rabbinical comment on Deut. xxii. 7: sage thus : “ Zebulun shall be on the coasts of the sea, If you keep this precept, you hasten the coming of and he shall rule over the havens ; he shall subdue the Messiah, who is called Sent.'
the provinces of the sea with his ships, and his border “ This important prophecy concerning Judah inti- shall extend unto Sidon.” mates, 1. The warlike character and conquests of this 14. Issachar is a strong ass tribe ; 2. The cessation of their civil and religious Couching between two burdens. polity at the first coming of Shiloh ; 3. His meek and 15. And he saw the resting place that it was good, lowly inauguration at that time, as spiritual King of
And the land that it was pleasant ; the Jews, riding on an ass like the ancient judges and
And he inclined his shoulder to the load, prophets; 4. His second coming as a warrior to
And became a servant unto tribute. trample on all his foes ; and, 5. To save and instruct Verse 14. Issachar is a strong ass] 07097n chamor his faithful people."-Hales’ Anal., vol. ii., p. 167, &c. Igarem is properly a strong-limbed ass; couching be
The prophecy concerning
Issachar and Dan A. M. 2315. 15 And he saw that rest was 16 i Dan shall judge his people, A. M. 2315. B. C. 1689.
B. C. 1689. good, and the land that it was of the tribes of Israel. pleasant; and bowed h his shoulder to bear, 17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, and became a servant unto tribute.
I an adder in the path, that biteth the horse hl Sam. X. 9. - Deut. xxxiii. 22 ; Judg. xviii. 1, 2.
* Judg. xviii. 27. Heb. an arrow-snake. tween two burdens-bearing patiently, as most under-phon, which is nowhere else to be found in the Bible, stand it, the fatigues of agriculture, and submitting to is thus translated by the Vulgate, and Bochart approves exorbitant tares rather that exert themselves to drive of the translation. The cerastes has its name from out the old inhabitants.
two little horns upon its head, and is remarkable for The two burdens literally mean the two sacks or the property here ascribed to the shephiphon. The panniers, one on each side of the animal's body; and word nix orach, which we translate path, signifies the couching down between these refers to the well-known track or rut made in the ground by the wheel of a propensity of the ass, whenever wearied or overload-cari, wagon, &c. And the description that Nicander ed, to lie down even with its burden on its back. gives of this serpent in his Theriaca perfectly agrees
Verse 15. He saw that rest] The inland portion with what is here said of the shephiphon. that was assigned to him between the other tribes. He inclined his shoulder to the load; the Chaldee pa
εν δ' αμαθοισιν raphrast gives this a widely different turn to that given
Η και άμα τροχιησι παρα στιβον ενδυκες ανει. ν. 262. it by most commentators: " He saw his portion that It lies under the sand, or in some cart rut by the way. it was good, and the land that it was fruitful; and he
It is intimated that this tribe should gain the prinshall subdue the provinces of the people, and drive outcipal part of its conquests more by cunning and stratheir inhabitants, and those who are left shall be his lagem, than by valour; and this is seen particularly servants, and his tributaries.” Grotius understands it in their conquest of Laish, Judges xviii., and even nearly in the same way. The pusillanimity which is in some of the transactions of Samson, such as burngenerally attributed to this tribe certainly does not ing the corn of the Philistines, and at last pulling down agree with the view in which they are exhibited in their temple, and destroying three thousand at one time, Scripture. In the song of Deborah this tribe is praised see Judg. xvi. 26–30. for the powerful assistance which it then afforded, Judg. v. 15. And in 1 Chron. vii. 1-5, they are ex
18. For thy salvation have I waited, O Lord ! pressly said to have been valiant men of might in all This is a remarkable ejaculation, and seems to stand their families, and in all their generations ; i. e., perfectly unconnected with all that went before and all through every period of their history. It appears they that follows; though it is probable that certain prowere a laborious, hardy, valiant tribe, patient in labour, phetic views which Jacob now had, and which he and invincible in war; bearing both these burdens does not explain, gave rise to it; and by this he at with great constancy whenever it was necessary. once expressed both his faith and hope in God. Both When Tola of this tribe judged Israel, the land had Jewish and Christian commentators have endeavoured rest twenty-three years, Judg. x. 1.
to find out the connection in which these words ex
isted in the mind of the patriarch. The Targum of 16. Dan shall judge his people, As one of the tribes of Israel.
Jonathan expresses the whole thus: “When Jacob 17. Dan shall be a serpent on the way,
saw Gideon the son of Joash, and Samson the son of
Manoah, which were to be saviours in a future age, A cerastes upon the track,
he said : I do not wait for the salvation of Gideon, I Biting the heels of the horse, And his rider shall fall backwards.
do not expect the salvation of Samson, because their
salvation is a temporal salvation ; but I wait for and Verse 16. Dan shall judge] Dan, whose name sig- expect thy salvation, O Lord, because thy salvation is nifies judgment, was the eldest of Jacob's sons by Bil- eternal.” And the Jerusalem Targum much to the hah, Rachel's maid, and he is here promised an equal same purpose : “Our father Jacob said : Wait not, my rule with those tribes that sprang from either Leah or soul, for the redemption of Gideon the son of Joash Rachel, the legal wives of Jacob.
which is temporal, nor the redemption of Samson which Some Jewish and some Christian writers under- is a created salvation ; but for the salvation which stand this prophecy of Samson, who sprang from this thou hast said by Thy WORD should come to thy peo tribe, and judged, or as the word might be translated ple the children of Israel :- my soul waits for this thy avenged, the people of Israel twenty years. See Judg. salvation.” Indeed these Targums understand almost xiii. 2; xv. 20.
the whole of these prophecies of the Messiah, and esVerse 17. Dan shall be a serpent] The original pecially what is said about Judah, every word of which word is vnij nachash, and we have seen on chap. iii. they refer to him. Thus the ancient Jews convict the that this has a great variety of significations. It is moderns of both false interpretations and vain expectaprobable that a serpent is here intended, but of what tions. As the tribe of Dan was the first that appears kind we know not; yet as the principal reference in to have been seduced from the true worship of God, the text is to guile, cunning, &c., the same creature (see Judg. xviii. 30,) some have thought that Jacob may be intended as in chap. iii.
refers particularly to this, and sees the end of the A cerastes upon the track] The word puo'ow shephi- I general apostasy only in the redemption by Jesus