28:3 May the sovereign God 1 bless you! May he make you fruitful and give you a multitude of descendants! 2 Then you will become 3 a large nation. 4
28:14 Your descendants will be like the dust of the earth, 5 and you will spread out 6 to the west, east, north, and south. All the families of the earth will pronounce blessings on one another 7 using your name and that of your descendants. 8
3 tn The perfect verbal form with vav (ו) consecutive here indicates consequence. The collocation הָיָה + preposition לְ (hayah + lÿ) means “become.”
4 tn Heb “an assembly of peoples.”
5 tn This is the same Hebrew word translated “ground” in the preceding verse.
6 tn The verb is singular in the Hebrew; Jacob is addressed as the representative of his descendants.
7 tn Theoretically the Niphal stem can be translated either as passive or reflexive/reciprocal. (The Niphal of “bless” is only used in formulations of the Abrahamic covenant. See Gen 12:2; 18:18; 28:14.) Traditionally the verb is taken as passive here, as if Jacob were going to be a channel or source of blessing. But in other formulations of the Abrahamic covenant (see Gen 22:18; 26:4) the Hitpael replaces this Niphal form, suggesting a translation “will bless (i.e., pronounce blessings upon) themselves/one another.” The Hitpael of “bless” is used with a reflexive/reciprocal sense in Deut 29:18; Ps 72:17; Isa 65:16; Jer 4:2. Gen 28:14 predicts that Jacob will be held up as a paradigm of divine blessing and that people will use his name in their blessing formulae (see Gen 12:2 and 18:18 as well, where Abram/Abraham receives this promise). For examples of blessing formulae utilizing an individual as an example of blessing see Gen 48:20 and Ruth 4:11.
8 tn Heb “and they will pronounce blessings by you, all the families of the earth, and by your offspring.”