Genesis 49:3
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
"Reuben, you are my firstborn; My might and the beginning of my strength, Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.

King James Bible
Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:

Darby Bible Translation
Reuben, thou art my firstborn, My might, and the firstfruits of my vigour: Excellency of dignity, and excellency of strength.

World English Bible
"Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength; excelling in dignity, and excelling in power.

Young's Literal Translation
Reuben! my first-born thou, My power, and beginning of my strength, The abundance of exaltation, And the abundance of strength;

Genesis 49:3 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

Reuben, as the first-born by nature, has the first place in the benedictory address. My might. In times and places in which a man's right depends on his might, a large family of sons is the source of strength and safety. "The excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power" - the rank and authority which belong to the first-born. "Boiling over as water." That which boils over perishes at the same time that it is pernicious. This is here transferred in a figure to the passionate nature of Reuben. "Thou shalt not excel." There is here an allusion to the excellency of dignity and power. By the boiling over of his unhallowed passions Reuben lost all the excellence that primogeniture confers. By the dispensation of Providence the double portion went to Joseph, the first-born of Rachel; the chieftainship to Judah; and the priesthood to Levi. The cause of this forfeiture is then assigned. In the last sentence the patriarch in a spirit of indignant sorrow passes from the direct address to the indirect narrative. "To my couch he went up." The doom here pronounced upon Reuben is still a blessing, as he is not excluded from a tribe's share in the promised land. But, as in the case of the others, this blessing is abated and modified by his past conduct. His tribe has its seat on the east of the Jordan, and never comes to any eminence in the commonwealth of Israel.

Genesis 49:3 Parallel Commentaries

Library
Instability
Now, my brethren, if it be so in earthly things, it is so also in spiritual. Instability in religion is a thing which every man despises, although every man has, to a degree, the evil in himself, but stability in the firm profession and practice of godliness, will always win respect, even from the worldly, and certainly will not be forgotten by him whose smile is honor and whose praise is glory, even the great Lord and Master, before whom we stand or fall. I have many characters here to-day whom
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 3: 1857

Bunsen's Biblical Researches.
When geologists began to ask whether changes in the earth's structure might be explained by causes still in operation, they did not disprove the possibility of great convulsions, but they lessened necessity for imagining them. So, if a theologian has his eyes opened to the Divine energy as continuous and omnipresent, he lessens the sharp contrast of epochs in Revelation, but need not assume that the stream has never varied in its flow. Devotion raises time present into the sacredness of the past;
Frederick Temple—Essays and Reviews: The Education of the World

A Preliminary Discourse to Catechising
'If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled.' - Col 1:23. Intending next Lord's day to enter upon the work of catechising, it will not be amiss to give you a preliminary discourse, to show you how needful it is for Christians to be well instructed in the grounds of religion. If ye continue in the faith grounded and settled.' I. It is the duty of Christians to be settled in the doctrine of faith. II. The best way for Christians to be settled is to be well grounded. I. It is the duty of Christians
Thomas Watson—A Body of Divinity

Fifthly, as this Revelation, to the Judgment of Right and Sober Reason,
appears of itself highly credible and probable, and abundantly recommends itself in its native simplicity, merely by its own intrinsic goodness and excellency, to the practice of the most rational and considering men, who are desirous in all their actions to have satisfaction and comfort and good hope within themselves, from the conscience of what they do: So it is moreover positively and directly proved to be actually and immediately sent to us from God, by the many infallible signs and miracles
Samuel Clarke—A Discourse Concerning the Being and Attributes of God

Cross References
Revelation 3:14
"To the angel of the church in Laodicea write: The Amen, the faithful and true Witness, the Beginning of the creation of God, says this:

Deuteronomy 21:17
"But he shall acknowledge the firstborn, the son of the unloved, by giving him a double portion of all that he has, for he is the beginning of his strength; to him belongs the right of the firstborn.

Deuteronomy 33:6
"May Reuben live and not die, Nor his men be few."

Psalm 78:51
And smote all the firstborn in Egypt, The first issue of their virility in the tents of Ham.

Psalm 105:36
He also struck down all the firstborn in their land, The first fruits of all their vigor.

Jump to Previous
Abundance Beginning Dignity Exaltation Excellence Excellency Excelling First Firstborn First-Born First-Fruit Firstfruits First-Fruits Fruits Honor Oldest Power Pre-Eminence Preeminent Pre-Eminent Pride Reuben Sign Strength Vigour
Jump to Next
Abundance Beginning Dignity Exaltation Excellence Excellency Excelling First Firstborn First-Born First-Fruit Firstfruits First-Fruits Fruits Honor Oldest Power Pre-Eminence Preeminent Pre-Eminent Pride Reuben Sign Strength Vigour
Links
Genesis 49:3 NIV
Genesis 49:3 NLT
Genesis 49:3 ESV
Genesis 49:3 NASB
Genesis 49:3 KJV

Genesis 49:3 Bible Apps
Genesis 49:3 Biblia Paralela
Genesis 49:3 Chinese Bible
Genesis 49:3 French Bible
Genesis 49:3 German Bible

Genesis 49:3 Commentaries

Bible Hub
Genesis 49:2
Top of Page
Top of Page