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Genesis 49:4

    Genesis 49:4 Translations

    King James Version (KJV)

    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.

    American King James Version (AKJV)

    Unstable as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed; then defiled you it: he went up to my couch.

    American Standard Version (ASV)

    Boiling over as water, thou shalt not have the pre-eminence; Because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; Then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

    Basic English Translation (BBE)

    But because you were uncontrolled, the first place will not be yours; for you went up to your father's bed, even his bride-bed, and made it unclean.

    Webster's Revision

    Boiling over as water, thou shalt not have the pre-eminence; Because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; Then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

    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.

    English Revised Version (ERV)

    Unstable as water, thou shalt not have the excellency; Because thou wentest up to thy father's bed: Then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

    Clarke's Commentary on Genesis 49:4

    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.