Genesis 49:6

Genesis 49:6

O my soul, come not thou into their secret
Their cabinet counsels, combinations and conspiracies; this Jacob said, as abhorring the wicked counsel they had took of slaying the Shechemites; and lest any should think he was concerned in it, or connived at it, he expressed a detestation of the fact on his dying bed: the future tense may be put for the past; and so Onkelos renders it, "my soul was not in their secret"; and so the other two Targums paraphrase it, that when they got and consulted together, his soul was not pleased and delighted with their counsel, but abhorred it; or "my soul shall not come", which Jarchi thinks prophetical refers to the case of Zimri, the son of Salu, of the tribe of Simeon, as the following clause to the affair of Korah, of the tribe of Levi, as foreseeing and disapproving them, and desiring they might not be called by his name, or his name called upon them, ( Numbers 25:14 ) ( 16:1 ) unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united;
the same thing expressed in different words; by his "honour or glory" he means his soul, the more honourable part of man, or his tongue, with which man glorifies God; and hereby Jacob intimates, that he did not in thought, and much less in express words, give any consent unto, and approbation of the deed of those two sons of his, and that he never was, nor never desired to be with them in their meetings and consultations: for in their anger they slew a man;
Hamor or Shechem, together with all the males of the city; and so "man" may be put for "men", the singular for the plural, as is frequent. The Targum of Jonathan is, a king and his governor; and the Targum of Jerusalem, kings with governors: and in their selfwill they digged down a wall;
not the wall of the city of Shechem, which does not appear to be walled, by their easy access into it; and if it was, they do not seem to have had proper instruments for such an undertaking, nor a sufficient number for such work, and which would have required longer time than they used, unless it was a poor wall indeed: rather the wall of Shechem's house, or the court before it, which they dug down, or broke through to get in and slay Hamor and Shechem, and take away their sister; though the word, as here pointed, always signifies an ox; and so the Samaritan and Septuagint versions render it, they hamstringed a bull, or houghed an ox, just in like manner as horses are said to be houghed, ( Joshua 11:6 Joshua 11:9 ) ( 2 Samuel 8:4 ) and which some understand F12 figuratively of a prince or ruler; so great personages are called bulls of Bashan, ( Psalms 22:12 ) and interpret it either of Hamor or of Shechem, who was a prince among his people, and furious in his lust towards Dinah, and so this clause is much the same with the former: and besides, him they enervated by circumcision, and took the advantage of this his condition at the worst, and slew him, which seems to be the true sense of the text, agreeably to ( Genesis 34:25 Genesis 34:26 ) but the Jerusalem Targum paraphrases it of Joseph, whom his brethren sold, who was like unto an ox; and so Jarchi interprets it of him, whom they designed to slay, see ( Deuteronomy 33:17 ) but it is better to take the words in a literal sense, either of the oxen that Simeon and Levi took from the Shechemites, which they plucked or drove away from their mangers, as some render the words F13; and some of them they might hough or hamstring, that they might not get away from them, see ( Genesis 34:28 ) or rather of Shechem himself, who was (rv) , "a prince", a word which has some likeness and affinity to this in the text.


FOOTNOTES:

F12 R. Jacob Ben Eleazer in Ben Melech, in loc.
F13 (rwv wrqe) "avulserunt boves", Junius & Tremellius, Piscator; others, "enervarunt bovem", Schmidt; so Ainsworth.
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