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Genesis 46:3 - Exposition

And he said, I am God, the God of thy father —literally, I am the El (the Mighty One), the Elohim of thy father . Though in consequence of this phrase the section ( Genesis 46:1-7 ), indeed the entire chapter, is usually assigned to the Elohist (Tuch, Bleek, Vaihinger), yet the contents of this theophany are felt to be so substantially Jehovistic in their import (Hengstenberg), that certain critics have been constrained to give Genesis 46:1-5 to the Jehovist (Colenso), or, omitting the last clause of Genesis 46:5 , to the redactor (Davidson). In Genesis 28:13 the designation used is " I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father." As on that former occasion when setting out for Padanaram, so now, when departing for Egypt, he receives a comforting assurance. Fear not to go down into Egypt . Them was reason for Jacob's apprehensions, since Abraham had been in peril in the land of the Pharaohs ( Genesis 12:14-20 ), Isaac had been forbidden to go thither ( Genesis 26:2 ), and Egypt had been foreshadowed as a place of servitude for his descendants ( Genesis 15:13 ). מֵרְדָה is an irregular infinitive רֵדָה for רֶדֶת (cf. דֵּעַה for דַּעַת , Exodus 2:4 ), with מִן . prefixed after a verb of fearing. For I will there make of thee a great nation —literally, for to a great nation will I put thee there (cf. Genesis 21:13 ). Jacob had previously received the injunction, accompanied by the Divine benediction, to be fruitful and multiply ( Genesis 28:3 ). Twice over had it previously been predicted that he should develop into a multitudinous people ( Genesis 28:14 ; Genesis 35:11 ). The present promise was an indication that the fulfillment of the prophecy was at band.

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