Gen 49:16 (was: Iron and Bronze)

Dave Washburn dwashbur at
Fri Sep 13 08:41:19 EDT 2002

I think you've misunderstood Ian's view here.  Wenham merely says 
that Dan wasn't as strong as the other tribes, whereas Ian claims 
that the text says Dan wasn't actually a tribe at all.

> The commentary of Genesis by Gordon J. Wenham (Word Biblical Commentary) 
> seems to favour the interpretation of Ian Hutchesson:
> Translation: <<6 Dan will vindicate his people
> like any of the tribes of Israel.>>
> Commentary: <<"Like one of the tribes of Israel" is a puzzling phrase. 
> Since the descendants of Dan are always seen as a tribe of Israel, why does 
> Jacob need to draw attention to it? It may be a hint that Dan was not as 
> strong as the other tribes: Judges describes the Danites' forced migration 
> from their original area in the southwest of Canaan to the north. But like 
> those of other bigger tribes, Dan's victories will help all Israel.>>
> --
> Pere Casanellas
> E-mail: pere.casanellas at
> Barcelona
> At 22:23 12/09/2002 -0600, Dave Washburn wrote:
> > > >> Even Genesis seems dimly aware of Dan's position. See
> > > >> Gen 49:16, which says, "Dan shall judge his people as if
> > > >> one of the tribes of Israel." -- k'xd $b+y y$r'l --, ie
> > > >> Dan was not a tribe of Israel, but shall perform like
> > > >> one
> > > >
> > > >How on earth do you justify translating K(XD "as *if* one"?  That's
> > > >not what it says, and every English translation I have found reads
> > > >"as one of the tribes," which means something very different.
> > >
> > > Sorry, Dave, but what on earth do you mean by "as one of the
> > > tribes"?
> >
> >"As a member of the president's cabinet, he enjoys special
> >privileges..."  There's nothing mysterious about "as one of the tribes"
> >at all, it's perfectly good English and perfectly good Hebrew.  But the
> >context of the thread makes it clear why you want to play word
> >games with it, so I didn't expect you to respond any differently.
> >
> >The text doesn't say that Dan *is* a tribe of Israel,
> > > but is *like* a tribe of Israel. k- normally supplies a simile
> > > to show that something [A] is like something else [B], ie A is
> > > not B, suggesting Dan was not a tribe of Israel.
> >
> >"Normally"?  Don't make me laugh.  K- has a wide range of
> >meanings and no one of them is more "normal" than the other.  It's
> >clear you've finally learned to read some Hebrew in the last couple
> >of years, but bear in mind that a little knowledge is a dangerous
> >thing.  The meaning that best fits this verse can be paraphrased
> >something like "Dan will judge his people from within inasmuch as
> >he is one of them."  The verse is an obvious play on the name Dan
> >who, being (as) one of the tribes of Israel, will emerge as a judge
> >over the nation as a whole.  There's not even a hint anywhere in the
> >context that he wasn't really a tribe.
> >
> >Furthermore, if you maintain that this meaning of K- is so "normal"
> >you need to explain why every English version on the market
> >disagrees with you.  If you can't follow the meaning of the English
> >phrase, that's not the fault of the text.
> >
> >I won't pursue this any further, so go ahead and have the last word
> >and I'll leave it to the rest of the group to decide which translation is
> >more likely.
> >
> >
> >Dave Washburn
> ---
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Dave Washburn
"Don't let your mind wander.  
It's too little to be left alone."

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