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Friday, December 1st, 2023
the Week of Christ the King / Proper 29 / Ordinary 34
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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 49

The Church Pulpit CommentaryChurch Pulpit Commentary

Verse 18


‘I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.’

Genesis 49:18

These words are a parenthesis in Jacob’s long blessing of his sons. The old man seemed to have been exhausted with the thoughts and visions which passed over his mind in such quick succession. He paused to take a spiritual inspiration: ‘I have waited for Thy salvation, O Lord.’

I. Such chapters of life, such seasons of suspense, such exercises of the quiet confidences of the soul, are to be found in every Christian’s experience. They may come in different ways to different men, but they are in some form or other a necessity to every man—an essential part of the discipline of the school of salvation.

II. These intervals of waiting must be filled up with four things: prayer, praise, fellowship, and work.

III. It will be a helpful thought to you as you wait, that if you wait, Christ waits. Whatever your longing is that the time be over, His longing is greater. There are many things that you have had that have turned to a curse, which would have been blessings if only there had been more ‘waiting.’

Rev. Jas. Vaughan.


(1) ‘Some modern critics have made objections to the genuineness of this “blessing.” Yet when we look into it, it appears to be quite congruous with the alleged occasion on which it was uttered.

Its very vagueness or generality; the indefiniteness both in its descriptions and in its reference to the future; its poetic imagery and absence of detailed predictions are quite consistent with its being what it is recorded as being,—a farewell address by Jacob to his sons, as he lay on his deathbed in Egypt, and looked onward to a return of his posterity into the land which God had promised should be theirs. The peculiar manner in which Jacob distinguished between the destinies of his sons shows that his natural predilections were guided and controlled.

Two features of the address are very observable, viz. Jacob’s anticipations of Israel’s future (the variety of character and destiny in those who should constitute the nation of Israel), and Jacob’s prediction of Israel’s Ruler (the central hope, connected with the “kingly” tribe of Judah).

The aged Patriarch had an ideal before him; not a map of historically defined events, but a kind of vision in which bright lights and dark shadows were intermingled, yet were all pointing onward to a time of triumph, when all peoples should be gathered together in submissive obedience to the Prince of Peace, who should come of Judah’s line.’

(2) ‘Jacob’s blessing fits perfectly the very place in which it appears. It is in harmony with all its surroundings.… There is pictured to us a very aged patriarch surrounded by his sons. He has lived an eventful life. He has had much care and sorrow, though claiming to have seen visions of the Almighty and to have conversed with angels. His sons have given him trouble. Their conduct has led him to study closely their individual characteristics. He lives in an age when great importance is attached to the idea of posterity, and of their fortunes, as the sources of people and races. This is more thought of than their immediate personal destiny.… Along with this were the ideas of covenant and promise,—which, whether real or visionary, were most peculiar to that time, and that particular family … Under these circumstances the aged patriarch at the approaching close of his long pilgrimage, gathers around him his sons, and his sons’ sons, to give them his blessing.’

Bibliographical Information
Nisbet, James. "Commentary on Genesis 49". The Church Pulpit Commentary. https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/cpc/genesis-49.html. 1876.
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