Genesis 46:3 MEANING

Genesis 46:3
(3) I am God, the God of thy father.--Heb., I am the El, the Elohim of thy father. This is the last revelation given to Jacob, nor is any other supernatural event recorded until the vision of the burning bush (Exodus 3:4). It is brief, clear, and decisive, and every clause is weighty. Jacob is to migrate into Egypt, his race is to grow there into a nation, so that the stay there would be long; God's presence and blessing will accompany and remain with them, and finally will bring them back to the promised land. For himself, too, there is the promise that Joseph will tend his sick bed and be with him at his death.

Verse 3. - And he said, I am God, the God of thy father - literally, I am the El (the Mighty One), the Elohim of thy father. Though in consequence of this phrase the section (vers. 1-7), indeed the entire chapter, is usually assigned to the Elohist (Tuch, Bleek, Vaihinger), yet the contents of this theophany are felt to be so substantially Jehovistic in their import (Hengstenberg), that certain critics have been constrained to give verses 1-5 to the Jehovist (Colenso), or, omitting the last clause of ver. 5, to the redactor (Davidson). In Genesis 28:13 the designation used is "I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father." As on that former occasion when setting out for Padanaram, so now, when departing for Egypt, he receives a comforting assurance. Fear not to go down into Egypt. Them was reason for Jacob's apprehensions, since Abraham had been in peril in the land of the Pharaohs (Genesis 12:14-20), Isaac had been forbidden to go thither (Genesis 26:2), and Egypt had been foreshadowed as a place of servitude for his descendants (Genesis 15:13). מֵרְדָה is an irregular infinitive רֵדָה for רֶדֶת (cf. דֵּעַה for דַּעַת, Exodus 2:4), with מִן. prefixed after a verb of fearing (vide Ewald's 'Hebrews Synt.,' § 336). For I will there make of thee a great nation - literally, for to a great nation will I put thee there (cf. Genesis 21:13). Jacob had previously received the injunction, accompanied by the Divine benediction, to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 28:3). Twice over had it previously been predicted that he should develop into a multitudinous people (Genesis 28:14; Genesis 35:11). The present promise was an indication that the fulfillment of the prophecy was at band.

46:1-4 Even as to those events and undertakings which appear most joyful, we should seek counsel, assistance, and a blessing from the Lord. Attending on his ordinances, and receiving the pledges of his covenant love, we expect his presence, and that peace which it confers. In all removals we should be reminded of our removal out of this world. Nothing can encourage us to fear no evil when passing through the valley of the shadow of death, but the presence of Christ.And he said, I am God, the God of thy father,.... His father Isaac, who was now dead, and who is the rather mentioned, because in him Abraham's seed was to be called, and in his line the promise both of the land of Canaan, and of the Messiah, ran, and from him Jacob received the blessing; and this might be a confirmation of it to him, in that Jehovah calls himself his God; he first declares himself to be his God, and so able to perform whatever he should promise him, and his father's God, who would show him favour, as he had to him:

fear not to go down into Egypt; Jacob might have many fears arise in his mind about this journey, as interpreters generally observe; as lest it should not be agreeable to the will of God, since his father Isaac was forbidden to go into Egypt, when in like circumstances with him, Genesis 26:1; as well as he, might fear it would be too great a journey for him in his old age, some evil would befall him, or he die by the way and not see his son; or lest going with his family thither, and there continuing for some time, they might be tempted with the pleasantness and fruitfulness of the land, and settle there, and forget and neglect the promised land of Canaan; and especially lest they should be drawn into the idolatry of the Egyptians, and forsake the worship of the true God; and very probably he might call to mind the prophecy delivered to Abraham, of his seed being strangers and servants, and afflicted in a land not theirs for the space of four hundred years, Genesis 15:13; and Jacob might fear this step he was now taking would bring on, as indeed it did, the completion of this prediction, by which his offspring would be oppressed and diminished. The Targum of Jonathan makes this to be Jacob's principal fear;"fear not to go down into Egypt, because of the business of the servitude decreed with Abraham;''as also he might fear his going thither might seem to be a giving up his title to, and expectation of the promised land: to remove which fears the following is said:

for I will there make of thee a great nation: as he did; for though in process of time his seed were greatly afflicted here, yet the more they were afflicted, the more they multiplied; and their increase in Egypt was vastly greater than it had been in a like space of time before; for in the space of two hundred fifteen years before their descent into Egypt, they were become no more than seventy persons, whereas in the like number of years in Egypt, they became 600,000, besides children; see Genesis 46:27 Exodus 12:37.

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