Hebrews 11:21
Parallel Verses
New American Standard Bible
By faith Jacob, as he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.

King James Bible
By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

Darby Bible Translation
By faith Jacob when dying blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshipped on the top of his staff.

World English Bible
By faith, Jacob, when he was dying, blessed each of the sons of Joseph, and worshiped, leaning on the top of his staff.

Young's Literal Translation
by faith Jacob dying -- each of the sons of Joseph did bless, and did bow down upon the top of his staff;

Hebrews 11:21 Parallel
Commentary
Barnes' Notes on the Bible

By faith Jacob, when he was a dying - Genesis 47:31; Genesis 48:1-20. That is, when he was about to die. He saw his death near when he pronounced this blessing on Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph.

And worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff - This is an exact quotation from the Septuagint in Genesis 47:31. The English version of that place is, "and Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head," which is a proper translation, in the main, of the word מטּה miTTah. That word, however, with different vowel points - מטּה maTTeh, means a branch, a bough, a rod, a staff, and the translators of the Septuagint have so rendered it. The Masoretic points are of no authority, and either translation, therefore, would be proper. The word rendered "head" in Genesis 47:31 - "bed's head" - ראשׁ ro'sh, means properly head, but may there mean the top of anything, and there is no impropriety in applying it to the head or top of a staff. The word rendered in Genesis 47:31 as "bowed" - וישׁתחו wayishtachuw - implies properly the idea of "worshipping." It is bowing, or prostration for the purpose of worship or homage.

Though the Septuagint and the apostle here have, therefore, given a somewhat different version from that commonly given of the Hebrew, and sustained by the Masoretic pointing, yet it cannot be demonstrated that the version is unauthorized, or that it is not a fair translation of the Hebrew. It has also the probabilities of the case in its favour. Jacob was tenderly affected in view of the goodness of God, and of the assurance that he would be conveyed from Egypt when he died, and buried in the land of his fathers. Deeply impressed with this, nothing was more natural than that the old man should lean reverently forward and incline his head upon the top of his staff, and adore the covenant faithfulness of his God. Such an image is much more natural and probable than that he should "bow upon his bed's head" - a phrase which at best is not very intelligible. If this be the true account, then the apostle does not refer here to what was done when he "blessed the sons of Joseph," but to an act expressive of strong faith in God which had occurred just before. The meaning then is, "By faith when about to die he blessed the sons of Joseph; and by faith also he reverently bowed before God in the belief that when he died his remains would be conveyed to the promised land, and expressed his gratitude in an act of worship, leaning reverently on the top of his staff." The order in which these things are mentioned is of no consequence, and thus the whole difficulty in the case vanishes. Both the acts here referred to were expressive of strong confidence in God.

Hebrews 11:21 Parallel Commentaries

Library
February 3. "He Went Out, not Knowing Whither He Went" (Heb. xi. 8).
"He went out, not knowing whither He went" (Heb. xi. 8). It is faith without sight. When we can see, it is not faith but reasoning. In crossing the Atlantic we observed this very principle of faith. We saw no path upon the sea nor sign of the shore. And yet day by day we were marking our path upon the chart as exactly as if there had followed us a great chalk line upon the sea; and when we came within twenty miles of land we knew where we were as exactly as if we had seen it all three thousand miles
Rev. A. B. Simpson—Days of Heaven Upon Earth

The Pilgrim's Longings
Now, our position is very similar to theirs. As many of us as have believed in Christ have been called out. The very meaning of a church is, "called out by Christ." We have been separated. I trust we know what it is to have gone without the camp, bearing Christ's reproach. Henceforth, in this world we have no home, no true home for our spirits; our home is beyond the flood; we are looking for it amongst the unseen things; we are strangers and sojourners as all our fathers were, dwellers in this wilderness,
Charles Haddon Spurgeon—Spurgeon's Sermons Volume 18: 1872

The Voices of the Dead
"And by it he being dead yet speaketh." Hebrews xi. 4. Much of the communion of this earth is not by speech or actual contact, and the holiest influences fall upon us in silence. A monument or symbol shall convey a meaning which cannot be expressed; and a token of some departed one is more eloquent than words. The mere presence of a good and holy personage will move us to reverence and admiration, though he may say and do but little. So is there an impersonal presence of such an one; and, though
E. H. Chapin—The Crown of Thorns

The Practice of Piety; Directing a Christian How to Walk that He May Please God.
Whoever thou art that lookest into this book, never undertake to read it, unless thou first resolvest to become from thine heart an unfeigned Practitioner of Piety. Yet read it, and that speedily, lest, before thou hast read it over, God, by some unexpected death, cut thee off for thine inveterate impiety. The Practice of Piety consists-- First, In knowing the essence of God, and that in respect of, (I.) The diverse manner of being therein, which are three persons--Father, Son, and Holy Ghost. (II.)
Lewis Bayly—The Practice of Piety

Cross References
Genesis 47:31
He said, "Swear to me." So he swore to him. Then Israel bowed in worship at the head of the bed.

Genesis 48:1
Now it came about after these things that Joseph was told, "Behold, your father is sick." So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him.

Genesis 48:5
"Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are.

Genesis 48:16
The angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; And may my name live on in them, And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth."

Genesis 48:20
He blessed them that day, saying, "By you Israel will pronounce blessing, saying, 'May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!'" Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.

1 Kings 1:47
"Moreover, the king's servants came to bless our lord King David, saying, 'May your God make the name of Solomon better than your name and his throne greater than your throne!' And the king bowed himself on the bed.

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