Genesis 49:3

Ῥουβὴν, πρωτότοκός μου σύ, ἰσχύς μου καὶ ἀρχὴ τέκνων μου, σκληρὸς φέρεσθαι καὶ σκληρὸς αὐθάδης.

Rhouben, you are my firstborn, my strength and the first of my children, hard to bear and stubborn self-willed.

ראובן בכרי אתה כחי וראשׁית אוני יתר שׂאת ויתר עז׃


*   Ῥουβὴν, πρωτότοκός μου σύ, ἰσχύς μου | many LXX editions: Ῥουβὴν πρωτότοκός μου, σύ ἰσχύς μου, …
*   hard OR stubborn
*   hard to bear OR hard to put up with
*   self-willed OR stubborn
*   Hebrew יתר is translated as σκληρὸς.
*   John Gill:

Some versions render the words, “the beginning of my grief”, or “sorrow” (a), the word “Oni” sometimes so signifying, as Rachel called her youngest son “Benoni”, the son of my sorrow; but this is not true of Reuben, he was not the beginning of Jacob’s sorrow, for the ravishing of Dinah, and the slaughter and spoil of the Shechemites, by his sons, which gave him great sorrow and grief, were before the affair of Reuben’s lying with Bilhah:

the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power; that is, to him of right belonged excellent dignity, power, and authority in the family, a preeminence over his brethren, a double portion of goods, succession in government, and, as is commonly understood, the exercise of the priesthood; and so the Targums interpret it, that he should, had he not sinned, took three parts or portions above his brethren, the birthright, priesthood, and kingdom. Jacob observes this to him, that he might know what he had lost by sinning, and from what excellency and dignity, grandeur and power, he was fallen.

(z) “Nate. meae vires. ——–” Virgil. (a) ראשית אוני κεφαλαιον λυπης μου, Aquila; αρχη οδυνης, Symmachus apud Drusium; “principium doloris mei”, V. L. Tigurine version.

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