Genesis 49:14

14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:

Genesis 49:14 Meaning and Commentary

Genesis 49:14

Issachar is a strong ass
Or as one, the note of similitude being wanting, as Ben Melech observes; "a bony" F5 one, as the word signifies; not one that is lean, and nothing but skin and bones, as some interpret it, but that is strong and robust, able to carry burdens; and this tribe is compared to an ass, not for stupidity and sluggishness, but for its strength, and its use in husbandry, in which this tribe was chiefly occupied: the Targums of Jonathan and Jarchi interpret this figuratively, of his being strong to bear the yoke of the law: and it is a notion of the Jews, that this tribe were skilful in the doctrines of the law, and the intercalation of years, &c. from ( 1 Chronicles 12:32 ) couching down between two burdens: one hanging on one side, and another on the other; which Kimchi and Ben Melech interpret of bales of goods; and may as well be understood of sacks of corn, or anything else, carried by these creatures, which, when they come into a good pasture, and for the sake of that and ease, will lie down with their burdens on them, and rise up again with them: the Targums of Onkelos and Jerusalem paraphrase it, "between two borders" {f}, or the borders of his brethren, as Jonathan, Zebulun and Dan, between which this tribe lay; and this is the reason Aben Ezra gives why Issachar, who was older than Zebulun, is mentioned after him, and between him and Dan, because his land lay between them; and so it may be observed, that in the division of the land in Joshua's time, Issachar's lot came up after Zebulun's, ( Joshua 19:10-23 ) but Doctor Lightfoot thinks F7 it refers to the two kingdoms, between which it lay, that of Phoenicia on one side, and that of Samaria on the other.


F5 (Mrg rmx) "Asinus osseus", Montanus, Tigurine version, Munster, Vatablus, Drusius, Piscator, Cartwright.
F6 (Mytpvmh Nyb) "inter terminos", V. L. "inter terminos duos", Pagninus, Montanus, Drusius, Cartwright; so Ainsworth, "inter duos finos", Tigurine version.
F7 Works, vol. 1. p. 698.

Genesis 49:14 In-Context

12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.
14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:
15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.
16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
The King James Version is in the public domain.