Genesis 48:7 MEANING

Genesis 48:7
(7) Rachel died by me.--Heb., died upon me, or as we should say, "died in my arms." The mention of Rachel is to account for an act so authoritative as the bestowal of the double portion of the firstborn upon Joseph. Jacob grounds the justification of his act, not upon her being the chief wife, but upon her untimely death, which prevented her bearing other sons. Even now Leah, if we count Levi, had six tribes, each handmaid two, and Rachel three.

The same is Beth-lehem.--A note added subsequently, when the place was famous as the birthplace of David. It would not be called Beth-lehem until corn was cultivated there.

Verse 7. - And as for me (literally, and I, the pronoun being emphatic), when I cams from Padan, - literally, in my coming, i.e. while on my journey, from Padam, or Padan-aram. This is the only place where the shorter designation is employed (cf. Genesis 25:20) - Rachel - the mention to Joseph of his beloved mother could not fail to kindle emotion in his breast, as obviously it had revived a pang of sorrow in that of the old man - " the remembrance of the never-to-be-forgotten one' causing a sudden spasm of feeling" (Delitzsch) - died by me - not for me in the sense of sharing with me my toils and perils, and so bringing on herself the deadly travail which cut her off (Lunge), which is too subtle and metaphysical in its refinement; but either upon me, i.e. as an heavy affliction falling on me (Rosenmüller, Gesenius, Murphy, et alii); or at my side, i.e. near me (Keil, Wordsworth, 'Speaker's Commentary'); or perhaps to me, meaning, This happened to me, or, I saw Rachel die (Kalisch); or possibly with a touch of tender emotion, Rachel to me, i.e. my Rachel died (Tayler Lewis) - in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way - literally, a length of ground; the LXX. add ἱππόδρομος, meaning probably such a distance as a horse can go without being over-worked (vide Genesis 35:16) - to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.

48:1-7 The death-beds of believers, with the prayers and counsels of dying persons, are suited to make serious impressions upon the young, the gay, and the prosperous: we shall do well to take children on such occasions, when it can be done properly. If the Lord please, it is very desirable to bear our dying testimony to his truth, to his faithfulness, and the pleasantness of his ways. And one would wish so to live, as to give energy and weight to our dying exhortations. All true believers are blessed at their death, but all do not depart equally full of spiritual consolations. Jacob adopted Joseph's two sons. Let them not succeed their father, in his power and grandeur in Egypt; but let them succeed in the inheritance of the promise made to Abraham. Thus the aged dying patriarch teaches these young persons to take their lot with the people of God. He appoints each of them to be the head of a tribe. Those are worthy of double honour, who, through God's grace, break through the temptations of worldly wealth and preferment, to embrace religion in disgrace and poverty. Jacob will have Ephraim and Manasseh to know, that it is better to be low, and in the church, than high, and out of it.And as for me, when I came from Padan,.... From Syria, from Laban's house:

Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan; his beloved wife, the mother of Joseph, on whose account he mentions her, and to show a reason why he took his sons as his own, because his mother dying so soon, he could have no more children by her; and she being his only lawful wife, Joseph was of right to be reckoned as the firstborn; and that as such he might have the double portion, he took his two sons as his own, and put them upon a level with them, even with Reuben and Simeon. By this it appears, as by the preceding account, that Rachel came with him into the land of Canaan, and there died:

in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath; about a mile, or two thousand cubits, as Jarchi observes:

and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; where she died, and dying in childbed, could not be kept so long as to carry her to Machpelah, the burying place of his ancestors; and especially as he had his flocks and herds with him, which could move but slowly; and what might make it more difficult to keep her long, and carry her thither, it might be, as Ben Melech conjectures, summertime; and the Vulgate Latin adds to the text, without any warrant from the original, "and it was springtime"; however, she was buried in the land of Canaan, and which is taken notice of, that Joseph might observe it: it follows:

the same is Bethlehem; that is, Ephrath; and so Bethlehem is called Bethlehem Ephratah, Micah 5:2; whether these are the words of Jacob, or of Moses, is not certain, but said with a view to the Messiah, the famous seed of Jacob that should be born there, and was.

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