New International Version
"Let Reuben live and not die, nor his people be few."
King James Bible
Let Reuben live, and not die; and let not his men be few.
Darby Bible Translation
Let Reuben live, and not die; And let his men be few.
World English Bible
"Let Reuben live, and not die; Nor let his men be few."
Young's Literal Translation
Let Reuben live, and not die, And let his men be a number.
Deuteronomy 33:6 Parallel
CommentaryClarke's Commentary on the Bible
Let Reuben live, and not die - Though his life and his blessings have been forfeited by his transgression with his father's concubine, Genesis 49:3, Genesis 49:4; and in his rebellion with Korah, Numbers 16:1-3, etc., let him not become extinct as a tribe in Israel. "It is very usual," says Mr. Ainsworth, "in the Scripture, to set down things of importance and earnestness, by affirmation of the one part, and denial of the other; Isaiah 38:1 : Thou shalt die, and not live; Numbers 4:19 : That they may live, and not die; Psalm 118:17 : I shall not die, but live; Genesis 43:8 : That we may live, and not die; Jeremiah 20:14 : Cursed be the day - let not that day be blessed; 1 John 2:4 : He is a liar, and the truth is not in him; 1 John 2:27 : Is truth, and no lie; John 1:20 : He confessed, and denied not; 1 Samuel 1:11 : Remember me, and not forget thy handmaid; Deuteronomy 9:7 : Remember, forget not; Deuteronomy 32:6 : O foolish people, and unwise. In all these places it is evident that there is a peculiar emphasis in this form of expression, as if he had said, Let him not only not die, but let him live in great and increasing peace and prosperity. Do not only not forget me, but keep me continually in remembrance. He denied not, but confessed Fully and Particularly. O foolish people - silly and stupid, and unwise - destitute of all true wisdom."
And let not his men be few - It is possible that this clause belongs to Simeon. In the Alexandrian copy of the Septuagint the clause stands thus: Και Συμεων εστω πολυς εν αριτμῳ, and let Simeon be very numerous, but none of the other versions insert the word. As the negative particle is not in the Hebrew, but is supplied in our translation, and the word Simeon is found in one of the most ancient and most authentic copies of the Septuagint version; and as Simeon is nowhere else mentioned here, if not implied in this place, probably the clause anciently stood: Let Reuben live, and not die; but let the men of Simeon be few. That this tribe was small when compared with the rest, and with what it once was, is evident enough from the first census, taken after they came out of Egypt, and that in the plains of Moab nearly forty years after. In the first, Simeon was 59,300; in the last, 22,200, a decrease of 37,100 men!
Treasury of Scripture Knowledge
LibraryIsrael the Beloved
'The beloved of the Lord shall dwell in safety by Him; and the Lord shall cover him all the day long, and he shall dwell between His shoulders.'--DEUT. xxxiii. 12. Benjamin was his father's favourite child, and the imagery of this promise is throughout drawn from the relations between such a child and its father. So far as the future history of the tribes is shadowed in these 'blessings' of this great ode, the reference of the text may be to the tribe of Benjamin, as specially distinguished by Saul …
Alexander Maclaren—Expositions of Holy Scripture
Shoes of Iron, and Strength Sufficient: a New Year's Promise
On Deut. xxxiii. Ii
The Best Things Work for Good to the Godly
"Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, the first sign of my strength, excelling in honor, excelling in power.
Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father's bed, onto my couch and defiled it.
These are the names of the men who are to assist you: from Reuben, Elizur son of Shedeur;
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