Genesis 49:4

“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.”

King James Version (KJV)

Other Translations

Unstable as water, thou shalt not excell, because thou wentest vp to thy fathers bed: then defiledst thou it. He went vp to my couche.
- King James Version (1611) - View 1611 Bible Scan

"Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence, Because you went up to your father's bed; Then you defiled {it}--he went up to my couch.
- New American Standard Version (1995)

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.
- American Standard Version (1901)

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.
- Basic English Bible

Impetuous as the waters, thou shalt have no pre-eminence; Because thou wentest up to thy father's couch: Then defiledst thou [it]: he went up to my bed.
- Darby Bible

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.
- Webster's 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.
- World English Bible

Unstable as water, thou art not abundant; For thou hast gone up thy father's bed; Then thou hast polluted: My couch he went up!
- Youngs Literal Bible

Unstable as water, have not thou the excellency; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it--he went up to my couch.
- Jewish Publication Society Bible

Bible commentary

Wesley's Notes for Genesis 49:4


49:4 Thou shalt not excel - A being thou shalt have as a tribe, but not an excellency. No judge, prophet, or prince, are found of that tribe, nor any person of renown only Dathan and Abiram, who were noted for their impious rebellion. That tribe, as not aiming to excel, chose a settlement on the other side Jordan. The character fastened upon Reuben, for which he is laid under this mark of infamy, is, that he was unstable as water. His virtue was unstable, he had not the government of himself, and his own appetites. His honour consequently was unstable, it vanished into smoke, and became as water spilt upon the ground. Jacob charges him particularly with the sin for which he was disgraced, thou wentest up to thy father's bed - It was forty years ago that he had been guilty of this sin, yet now it is remembered against him. Reuben's sin left an indelible mark of infamy upon his family; a wound not to be healed without a scar.


Discussion for Genesis 49

  • Bruce
    Jesus is now in Heaven at the right hand of The Father.He sent His Spirit to guide us, give us comfort. He gives His Spirit to all who are Washed by The Blood of The Lamb! Jesus cannot be everywhere at one time He have a Body like us, His Spirit can.The Spirit wil be everywhere all at one Time. He will teach and guide us. We meet to praise Our Lord and to strengthen One another in The Faith. Amen.
  • Irene123
    Thomas Colbert, 9/10/'12 - SHILOH was a place in the O.T. that all the people gathered at to hear from God. Shiloh then was a shadow of Jesus, v. 10. Now in this N.T. age we still gather together at 'Shiloh', the church bldg., to hear from God. It's as simple as that. The ch. bldg. is where Jesus is now. He's everywhere at all times, OMNiSCIENT, yet more so when we gather - Heb. 10:25.
  • BSP
    Jacob cursed Simeon and Levi's anger. This shows he did not approve of their angry and murderous ways in connection with the men of Shechem.
  • Jane
    Dave read Gen 35:22 Reuben slept with Jacob's concubine.
  • great commentary! my friend and I found out heaps for our assignment
  • is the commentary only the small paragraph? me and my friends are studying Genius 49 and we were just wondering if that is all that we can really find out about Naphtali. The paragraph did clarify some information for us, thankyou.

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