Gen 49:16 (was: Iron and Bronze)

Ben and Jo Crick ben.crick at
Fri Sep 13 10:01:50 EDT 2002

On Fri 13 Sep 2002 (10:14:53 +0200), pere.casanellas at wrote:
> 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.>>

 As the son of one of my former mentors, Gordon Wenham commands my respect.
 He writes (as quoted above) "It *may be a hint* that Dan was not *as strong
 as* the other tribes": not that Dan was 'not a tribe'. Rachel claimed Dan's
 birth to Bilhah as an answer to her direct prayer: God had "judged" her
 favourably, and therefore she called the boy's name "Dan" (chapter 30:6).

 Genesis 49:16 "Dan will judge his people *in accordance with his status as
 one of* the tribes of Israel: DaN YaDiYN. He was not disqualified because he
 left his inheritance, or because he was the first in idolatry, as verse 17
 hints (cf Judges 18). As one of the Tribes, he will dispense justice to all
 *Israel*, not just to the Danites.


 Revd Ben Crick BA CF, and Mrs Joanna (Goodwin) Crick
 <ben.crick at>
 232 Canterbury Road, Birchington, Kent, CT7 9TD (UK)

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