G. J Spurrell.

Notes on the text of the book of Genesis : with an appendix online

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elsewhere called p^?. Rosenmiiller renders, ^ From that time
he {Joseph) was the shepherd and stone of Israel;' cf. D^P
in Hos. 2, 17 (Heb.) ; R. V. renders, ^ Frovi thence is the
Shepherd, the Stone ' etc., which may be explained as meaning,
'■From therice' i.e. from God, Joseph became a guardian and
defence of his people, viz. in Egypt. The Pesh. and Onq.
(apparently) read Dt^'tD^ instead of D^P; cf. Ps. 20, 2, but this,
though removing the awkward expression Df'P, does not stand
very appropriately in parallelism with "•T'n. In all probability
the text, as it stands at present, is corrupt.

25. ■]'^2^^ ^Wl. The JD continues the thought con-


tained in ver. 24, connecting ver. 25 with the preceding
verse ; but in this verse two blessings are inserted. ' The
same God, who has hitherto helped him, will also give him
the following blessings,' Di. "]UX i^ND, cf. 31, 5. 42. 48, 15.
Ex. 15, 2. 18, 4.

'?Jl"ri>^1 = ^i'i|V!*), the suffix being strengthened by the
energetic nun; cf. note on 3, 9. Render, ^ So may He help
thee;' cf. Ex. 12, 3. Num. 16, 5. Is. 43, 4. Ps. 69, 33. The
weak waw with the imperf. (voluntative) takes the place of
the perf. with waw conv., after words standing alone, in
language of an excited and impassioned character ; see Ewald,
§ 347 a; Driver, § 125; so "J^il^l in the next clause.

"^"Tt!} n^^V ^ And with the Almighty I i.e. with the help
of the Almighty. The Pesh., Sam. Ver., and Heb.-Sam., and
a few MSS. read 7N1, a reading which is perhaps supported
by the LXX\ Vulg., Saadiah. Bleek, Hitzig, Tuch, and
Ewald adopt this reading, as being more suitable, the shorter
title "'"11^ being as a rule (it occurs however twice, Num. 24,
4 and 1 6) used without 7N at a later period of the language
(it is very common in the book of Job). If this reading be
preferred, the force of }D in ']U^5 h'^'O extends to n::' ^X ; so
Judg. 5, 9. Is. 15, 8. Hab. 3, 15 ; see Ewald, § 351 a.

'\^ D*^^\2? MDin. niDia is the ace. after ^T^l'^^^' may
he bless the blessings of I i.e. with the blessings of. Cf. on 33, 5.

7V?^. Cf. 27, 39 ^yo D"'DB^n h^\y\. The D^DK^ niDnn are
the dew, rain, sunshine; cf. 27, 28. 39. The Dinn T\'2'\1 are
the springs, rivers, brooks, which are regarded as springing

^ The LXX render b ©eos b l^uos, which corresponds with their render-
ing of nvb bs in 17, 1 b 06os aov (see the note on that passage). 28, 3
{jjLOv). 35, II {aov), 43, 14 {jiov). 48, 3 (>ou). Ex. 6, 3 (0eos ojv avTuiv).

CHAP. 49, VER. 26. 399

from the subterranean Dinn, and fertilizing the ground. The
Dmi DHtt' n^ll are every kind of animal fruitfulness ; contrast
Hos. 9, 14. Compare Joseph's blessing in Deut. 33, 13 ff.
with this verse, where the similarity in thought and language
is most striking.

26. The translation given above follows the reading iy ''"?.in ,
or perhaps better ^V ^1?J}, as "iin only occurs as a proper
name, and gives to niNn its ordinary meaning ' desire.' This
rendering suits the parallelism {ub)V T\V^^), and is supported
by Deut. 33, 15 (Dirmn). Hab. 3, 6 OynT), and the
rendering of the LXX, 6peo}v }iov'nxoiv, and is adopted by Ges.,
Ewald, Tuch, Kn., Wright, Di., C. P. Ges., sub voce, and
R. V. (margin). The Massoretic text is supported by the
Pesh., Onq.,Vulg., Saadiah, the Jewish commentators, A.V.,
and R. V. (text). The rendering then must be, ' The 5kssi??gs
of thy father have prevailed over the blessings of my pare7its,
up to the boundary of the eternal hills! ''lin must be separated
from "ly, following the accents, and taken in the sense
'parents,' while niNn must be translated ^boundary' from
^^?rl='/c' mark,' 'limit;' cf. Num. 34, yf. ; also niJH in
I Sam. 21, 14. Ez. 9, 4; see Ewald, § 186 b. The word
^l^n, however, = ' my parents,' seems very doubtful. Neither
the plural D'^l^n, nor dual D^lin occurs with this meaning, and
though the fem. i^'y\^ = ' mother ' is found in Song of Songs 3, 4.
Hos. 2, 7, the original meaning of the root, i.e. 'to conceive'
is still present in this word in both of the passages where
it occurs. The reading of the Sam. Vers, is uncertain,
but the Sam. Codex (Heb.-Sam.) has ^V "in. The later
Samaritans, however, pronounced the words IP ^y} 'my
7}iountain, up to' etc., and understood it of IMount Gerizim,
which was situated in the territory of the tribe of Joseph ;
see Tuch, p. 501. The LXX and Sam. Vers, read in the


first clause of the verse "]DN1 ^IN n3"i3, while the Jer. Targ.
exhibits traces of both the renderings discussed above,
viz. ^ my parents I and '■everlasting mountains;' see Geiger,
Urschrift^ p. 250.

1^^^^ -^n;] -rpnp^i ^iD^i^ u^^^i^. cf. Deut. 33, 16,

where these words recur. VriN "TiTJ = ' the prince of his
brethren! The Vulg. and Saadiah take TiTJ in the sense
^ Nazirite' a meaning which is unsuitable here. Onqelos
takes TtJ ^ the separated one* in the sense of '■prince' or
' leader! His rendering is ''^i^^^^ N^nQ N")n3 'the man {zvho is)
separated among his brethren;' so Saadiah. This is the view
adopted by most moderns, who, however, generally (following
the Pesh.) connect "^'•tj with the noun IJ?, 'diadem! cf. Lam.
4, 7, and K^xn^, though with no allusion to a kingdom in the
tribe of Joseph. The meaning cannot, however, be regarded
as certain.

Del. remarks that B^N"^P is chosen intentionally, as l^'^?m is
the usual expression for a curse coming upon any one, while
^"^"h is used for a blessing; cf. Deut. 33, 16. Prov. 10, 6.
II, 26.

Joseph receives not only the blessings of the eternal hills,
i.e. the rich and fruitful hill country of Ephraim and Manasseh
(cf. Jer. 50, 19. Deut. 32, 14), but the blessings that surpass
these, viz. the promises made by God to his forefathers.

27. ' Benjamin is a ravening wolf:

In the morning he devoureth the prey,
A nd at even divideth the spoil!

That Benjamin was a most warlike tribe is shewn by the
share it took in the struggle for freedom under Deborah
(Judg. 5, 14), and by the war it carried on with the other
tribes (Judg. 19 ff.) after the outrage committed at Gibeah.
Ehud, Saul, and Jonathan were also Benjamites.

CHAP. 49, VERS. 27-30. 401

P)^tO*^ nt^^T , lit. ' a wolf that ravejis,' the relative pronoun
being omitted. Cf. Is. 51, 12 nilD"' ^^^■='?nortal man;' Hos.
4, 14 p2"> N7 DV ^ a people without understanding ;' and see
Ges., §§ 107. 2 b. and 155. 2 b; M. R., § 159 a; Ewald,
§ 332 a; Driver, § 34; Dav., S., §§ 44. R. 3. and 142.

^I'^tO^, pausal for K^'^\\ see on ver. 3, TV. Kn. remarks on
the comparison of Benjamin with a wolf, ' The figure of the
wolf occurs elsewhere in the O. T., only in a bad sense
(Zeph. 3, 3. Hab. i, 8. Jer. 5, 6. Ez. 22, 27); hence in
this passage it does not signify a full measure of praise,
though it recognises Benjamin's warlike capabilities.' Di.
supplements this remark by pointing out, ' that the lion has
already been used in ver. 9, and that only a comparison with
some small beast of prey would be fitting in the case of
Benjamin, the smallest of the tribes. The w^olf was used in
comparisons by non-Semitic peoples of antiquity in a good

nV 73^5*'. Cf. Num. 23, 24 511D ^3N^ ny.

28. On^^ "fin "inD^in^ lir^^ tr^^^. 'Each one with
that which was according to his blessing he blessed them,' "^"1?
being construed with a double ace, as in Deut. 12, 7. 15, 14;
cf. ver. 25. The LXX, Pesh., and Sam. omit lli'K. As the
text is very awkward, Del. emends to '^33 ^^^ ]^^^ ; cf. 2 Sam.
23, 21, where the Kri directs that ^"'^ is to be read instead
of itJ'N, and Num. 21, 30, where the Kri marks the 1 of 'W)^
with a point, as suspicious. With this emendation, the verse
may be compared with Ex. 36, 4 IDIDN^nD t^'^N K'\S* ; Lev. 15,
2 HNT '•3 K'^S* ^^^', Lev. 24, 15 Vp\>'' ^2 tJ'W* ^^^, and often.
Perhaps, however, it is better simply to omit 1t^'^C.

30. niton n^^ . . . n::p itr^. ^ which a. purchased

. . . with the field,' so 50, 13, Del.^ Kautzsch (see Ges.,

D d



§ 138. I. note i) and Di. prefer to connect "^tJ'X here and
50, 13, with the ace. 7]'i^r\'T\'i^=' which field;' but with this
construction, a suffix would be sufficient. The former way
seems simpler. Abraham's object was not so much to buy
the field, as to get possession of the grave which happened
to be in the field.

32. 1^1 n^p^. This verse does not seem to have any
connection with the rest of the narrative. Tuch regards
it as a parenthesis, referring to ver. 30; cf. Ps. 72, 14. Del.^
and Di. consider it a gloss on 30^.


2. I^nb^ Db^ tO:3n^. 'To embalm his father! Embalm-
ing the dead was an Egyptian custo-m, which was due to the
popular belief in a permanent union of the body and the
soul. The art was practised by a special class named rapi-
xevTui; see Herod, ii. 86 ff.; Diod. i. 91 ; Ebers in Riehm's
H. W.B., 352 f. The rapix^vrai are here called D''N2nn.
Joseph probably had his own special body of physicians.

3. D*^IO^nn. The plural is used according to Ges., § 124.
I a; Ewaldj § 179 a ('to embrace the scattered units into a
higher idea, thus to form the meaning of an abstract ').

DV Q'^ym}. For a king the Egyptians used to mourn
seventy-two days (Diod. i. 72). Jacob's death was mourned
for by the Egyptians out of respect to Joseph. On the
mourning customs of the Egyptians, see Herod, ii. 85 ; Diod.
i. 91 ; Wilkinson, Manners and Customs (1878 ed., iii. c. 16).

4. in^Dl. Object, gen.; see on 9, 2. n^D3 is formed like
IT'Jn, JT'DK^, by adding the ending n to the third radical %• see
Ewald, § 186 b; Stade, § 192 b.

CHAP. 49, VER. 32 — CHAP. 50, VER. II. 403

5. "^7 "^IT^lD. LXX (opv^a, SO the Vulg. and most moderns ;
cf. 26, 25. 2 Chron. 16, 14, a rendering which suits ""IDp;!
better than that adopted by Onq. and Pesh., '' I boughtl with
which Deut. 2, 6 DHND n^Jl D^D Dil may be compared.

10. ItOt^n ]n^ IV. ' To the threshing-floor of thorns ;'
probably not ^ the threshingfloor of At ad! The locality is not
further known.

jT^^n *^2Vn, i.e. on the eastern side of Jordan, the nar-
rator being in Palestine.

"O^rS^ TO2U). Cf. I Sam. 31, 13. Judith 16, 24. Ecclus.
22, 12.

11. D^'^!^^^ >'?^- ''?? i^ay be taken either as a verb,
'Egypt moiirnsl or as a noun, 'the meadow of Egypt ^ cf. the
proper names, HDyD JT-n i>3N*, D'^D i?3N*, D^t:t^n i'DN, ni?inD ^as,
D^DID i?3N ; but this rendering * meadow of Egypt ' merely
expresses the views of the punctuators. Tuch and Kn.
explain the name as a meadow, as fertile as Egypt; cf.
13, 10. Di. thinks this unnecessary, pointing out that plenty
of historical reasons can be conjectured for the origin of such
a name, from the fact that the Egyptians for a long period
were the rulers of Palestine before the time of Moses ; as we
now know from the Tel-el-Amarna Letters. The narrator
evidently means that the words should be read D"'"^2fD P3N
' mourning of the Egyptians^ so the LXX have here HeV^os
AtyvTTTou, and the Vulg. ' Planctus Egypti! The position of
D^IVO i'D^? is not known. It has been identified by some
(Knobel, Ritter, etc.) with rhyr\ n^n, on the southern boundary
of Benjamin, the modern 'Ain Hajla, a little north of the
Dead Sea (cf. Rob., Bibl. Researches, i. p. 544 ; Bad., Pal.,
p. 170), following Hieron., who in the Onom. identifies Area
Atad with rhm nu. But this identification is precarious,

D d 2



as Hieron/s account is not trustworthy ; and npjn n"*! is
also on the western, and not the eastern side of Jordan ; see
further, Di., p. 476 ; Del.^ p. 535.

13. mlrn n«. ' wm thejieid;' cf. 49, 30.

15. ?1D1^ liSniOtZ}'^ "h. ' If Joseph were to hate us!' cf. Ez.
14, 15. Ex. 4, I 'h ^^''^N'' ^ jni 'aiidifthey will not believe meV
LXX here, /L117 ttotc ixvTja-iKaKrja-j] rjixtv 'Icoo-t)^. The imperf. in the
protasis, where no apodosis follows, denoting either a wish or
(as here) 2. /ear; see Driver, § 142; Ewald, § 358 a, who
compares a similar aposiopesis in Ps. 27, 13 ; see also M. R.,
§ 165; Ges., § 159. 3. C. 2; Dav., S., § 131. R. i.

1 6. m^*^*! . ^ And they sent a message! LXX /cal jrapayevovTo,
Pesh. q.2>Ido, possibly a free translation, the translators not
understanding IIV^I.

17. i^3i^ is only found once again in the Pent., viz. Ex.
32, 31 N3N\ Ewald, § 262 a, — cf. Stade, § 373, — remarks
that the Massora regards WN always as consisting of two
w^ords (t?3"HK) ; hence the double accents here and in Ex. I.e.
The tone is on the penult.

V'Cd^h ^^ ^\L\ . . VtTD «: ^t\ i(^: = ' to forgive' (cf.
18, 24) is here construed, for the sake of variety, with the
ace. and dat.; so with dat. of offence in Ex. 23, 21. Josh. 24,
19 (all E) ; see Ewald, § 282 d.

19. "^^t^ D''n^^^ nnnn ^^. 'For ami in God's place?'
so in 30, 2 ; see the note there. Del. proposes a slightly
different meaning here as an alternative, * Am I authorised to
interfere in what God does, am I not obliged to submit myself

to Him ? ' Aq. on \ir] Geo? eyd) ; Symm. \XT] yap avTi Qeov eyco

€iVt ; Onq. renders ^5JN ;p_ \6rn n^^ 'for a fearer ofY. am /,'
possibly reading '"p"^ T\V\T\ (from rlb.«. D'HSn he thinks has arisen out of "?«, just as niniox
out of HDN.

The above is a brief account of the various views that are held as to
the origin of "?« and D^rib^, but none appears to be entirely free from

^ Jahrbuch, x. 11, and Lehj-buch, § 178 b.

^ Orientalia, ii. p. 3ff. 3 ^;/ ^_ ^^ ijr^ 1880, pp. 760-776.

* Noldeke's view, as far as the derivation of bw from blN is concerned, is
the same as Gesenius' referred to in note 8, p. 408, differing only as to the
meaning borne by bl «.

^ Genesis^, p. 18.

« In his article in the Th. S. W., 1882, Heft iv.


That FJ^M comes from a root n^«, as Fleischer and Delitzsch main-
tain, is, as has been already shewn, doubtful. In favour of Ewald's
view may be urged the fact that it connects both bii and D'ribw, by
deriving them from a root Tihii, and the existence of proper names
compounded with ?« exhibiting traces of % e.g. «in"'b«, "^."?i?^^N, and
others^, though it is only fair to admit that the evidence from proper
names ought not to be pressed, as the ■• may be the suffix of the first
person and not the third radical. But it does not account for the presence
of the n in D^ribx, and if bx is abridged from D^ribN, it is not clear why
bvt is found chiefly in poetical passages where we should naturally
expect antique forms.

Lagarde, in so far as he derives b« from a root nb«, agrees with
Ewald, though he assigns to this root a different meaning, viz. * fo
stretch out to^ Apart from the fact that the meaning thus assigned to
nb« is conjectural, he can hardly be said to have proved against
Noldeke that the e of b« is short, and that it does not belong to a root
"i"y. The evidence Noldeke adduces from the occurrence of Semitic
proper names in Greek inscriptions, in favour of a long e in b^^ does
not seem to have been met by Lagarde, and in failing to observe the
Aramaic use of b«^, he has exposed himself to Noldeke's objection,
supported by the Syriac, that formations like p, P].3, etc., point to r"y
or Vy stems*. Noldeke's own view of "?« (which is in the main the
same as Gesenius held 5) does not appear adequately to account for the
shortening of the e in *?« in the proper names Hip^b^, «in'bN, etc.®,
nor for the ' in the latter name, which would seem to imply a root n"b'.
It also does not take into account the Assyrian ihi, which has always a
short i, and which never appears as ehi or ilu^.

Nestle's view has been examined by Noldeke^, who points out that
the usage of language is against it, that the explanation of Q'n'jM as an
extended form of bx is precarious, for only one clear case of this occurs
in Hebrew (viz. ninn« from nn«; cf. Earth, N.B., p. 8), and the cases
that are found in the other Semitic dialects always have, in the expanded

^ This also applies to Dillmann's view.

2 See M. B.A. W., i88o, p. 760 f. 3 See Af. B. A. IV., p. 772.

* See M. B. A. W., p. 773. ' Cf. note 4 on p. 409.

^ Noldeke accounts for this on the ground that an unusual shortening of
vowels is often found in proper names.

■^ Though, as has been just said, this might be the pronom. affix.

^ Del., Par., pp. 163-165. Brown in The Presbyteria?i Review^HQwYork),
1882, p. 407.

9 In the S.B.A. IV., 1882, pp. 1175-1192.


form, the plural feminine ending, whether the word itself be masc. or
fem.^ Noldeke also remarks that long o for long a is difficult (the long
a in nino« goes back to short a^), and that if the e of bw is long, the
-7- in D'ribN is difficult to explain.

The following points seem to require a satisfactory explanation before
the derivation of "?« and D'rtb.N can be definitely fixed, (i) Are the two
words really connected one with the other, and derived from the same

Online LibraryG. J SpurrellNotes on the text of the book of Genesis : with an appendix → online text (page 33 of 35)