Genesis 49:17
Parallel Verses
English Standard Version
Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that his rider falls backward.

King James Bible
Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

American Standard Version
Dan shall be a serpent in the way, An adder in the path, That biteth the horse's heels, So that his rider falleth backward.

Douay-Rheims Bible
Let Dan be a snake in the way, a serpent in the path, that biteth the horse's heels that his rider may fall backward.

English Revised Version
Dan shall be a serpent in the way, An adder in the path, That biteth the horse's heels, So that his rider falleth backward.

Webster's Bible Translation
Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse-heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.

Genesis 49:17 Parallel
Commentary
Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament

In Genesis 49:11 and Genesis 49:12 Jacob finishes his blessing on Judah by depicting the abundance of his possessions in the promised land. "Binding his she-ass to the vine, and to the choice vine his ass's colt; he washes his garment in wine, and his cloak in the blood of the grape: dull are the eyes with wine, and white the teeth with milk." The participle אסרי has the old connecting vowel, i, before a word with a preposition (like Isaiah 22:16; Micah 7:14, etc.); and בּני in the construct state, as in Genesis 31:39. The subject is not Shiloh, but Judah, to whom the whole blessing applies. The former would only be possible, if the fathers and Luther were right in regarding the whole as an allegorical description of Christ, or if Hoffmann's opinion were correct, that it would be quite unsuitable to describe Judah, the lion-like warrior and ruler, as binding his ass to a vine, coming so peacefully upon his ass, and remaining in his vineyard. But are lion-like courage and strength irreconcilable with a readiness for peace? Besides, the notion that riding upon an ass is an image of a peaceful disposition seems quite unwarranted; and the supposition that the ass is introduced as an animal of peace, in contrast with the war-horse, is founded upon Zechariah 9:9, and applied to the words of the patriarch in a most unhistorical manner. This contrast did not exist till a much later period, when the Israelites and Canaanites had introduced war-horses, and is not applicable at all to the age and circumstances of the patriarchs, since at that time the only animals there were to ride, beside camels, were asses and she-asses (Genesis 22:3 cf. Exodus 4:20; Numbers 22:21); and even in the time of the Judges, and down to David's time, riding upon asses was a distinction of nobility or superior rank (Judges 1:14; Judges 10:4; Judges 12:14; 2 Samuel 19:27). Lastly, even in Genesis 49:9, Genesis 49:10 Judah is not depicted as a lion eager for prey, or as loving war and engaged in constant strife, but, according to Hoffmann's own words, "as having attained, even before the coming of Shiloh, to a rest acquired by victory over surrounding foes, and as seated in his place with the insignia of his dominion." Now, when Judah's conflicts are over, and he has come to rest, he also may bind his ass to the vine and enjoy in peaceful repose the abundance of his inheritance. Of wine and milk, the most valuable productions of his land, he will have such a superabundance, that, as Jacob hyperbolically expresses it, he may wash his clothes in the blood of the grape, and enjoy them so plentifully, that his eyes shall be inflamed with wine, and his teeth become white with milk.

(Note: Jam de situ regionis loquitur, quae sorte filiis Judae obtigit. Significat autem tantam illic fore vitium copiam, ut passim obviae prostent non secus atque alibi vepres vel infrugifera arbusta. Nam quum ad sepes ligari soleant asini, vites ad hunc contemptibilem usum aeputat. Eodem pertinet quae sequuntur hyperbolicae loquendi formae, quod Judas lavabit vestem suam in vino, et oculis eritrubicundus. Tantam enim vini abundantiam fore intelligit, ut promiscue ad lotiones, perinde ut aqua effundi queat sine magno dispendio; assiduo autem largioreque illius potu rubedinem contracturi sint oculi. Calvin.)

The soil of Judah produced the best wine in Canaan, near Hebron and Engedi (Numbers 13:23-24; Sol 1:4; 2 Chronicles 26:10 cf. Joel 1:7.), and had excellent pasture land in the desert by Tekoah and Carmel, to the south of Hebron (1 Samuel 25:2; Amos 1:1; 2 Chronicles 26:10). סוּתה: contracted from סווּתה, from סוה to envelope, synonymous with מסוה a veil (Exodus 34:33).

Genesis 49:17 Parallel Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

shall be.

Judges 14:1-15:20 And Samson went down to Timnath, and saw a woman in Timnath of the daughters of the Philistines...

Judges 16:22-30 However, the hair of his head began to grow again after he was shaven...

Judges 18:22-31 And when they were a good way from the house of Micah, the men that were in the houses near to Micah's house were gathered together...

1 Chronicles 12:35 And of the Danites expert in war twenty and eight thousand and six hundred.

an adder. Heb. an arrow-snake.

Cross References
Genesis 49:16
"Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.

Genesis 49:18
I wait for your salvation, O LORD.

Proverbs 23:32
In the end it bites like a serpent and stings like an adder.

Ecclesiastes 10:11
If the serpent bites before it is charmed, there is no advantage to the charmer.

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ESV Text Edition: 2016. The Holy Bible, English Standard Version® copyright © 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers.
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