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Genesis 47:31

Context

47:31 Jacob 1  said, “Swear to me that you will do so.” 2  So Joseph 3  gave him his word. 4  Then Israel bowed down 5  at the head of his bed. 6 

1 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Heb “swear on oath to me.” The words “that you will do so” have been supplied in the translation for clarity.

3 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

4 tn Heb “swore on oath to him.”

5 sn The Hebrew verb normally means “bow down,” especially in worship or prayer. Here it might simply mean “bend low,” perhaps from weakness or approaching death. The narrative is ambiguous at this point and remains open to all these interpretations.

6 tc The MT reads מִטָּה (mittah, “bed, couch”). The LXX reads the word as מַטֶּה (matteh, “staff, rod”) and interprets this to mean that Jacob bowed down in worship while leaning on the top of his staff. The LXX reading was used in turn by the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews (Heb 11:21).



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