JVK "...be fruitful and multiply, a nation and a company of
nations shall be of you....."
NKJV "...be fruitful and multiply, a nation and a company of
nations shall proceed from you....."
Fenton "...be fruitful and multiply. A nation and an
Assembly of nations shall come from you....."
Amplified Bible "...be fruitful and multiply; a nation and
a company of nations shall come from you....."
Lamsa, from Ancient Eastern Manuscripts "...be fruitful and
multiply; a people and a multitude of peoples shall come from
Septuagint(Greek OT) "...increase and multiply; for nations
and gatherings of nations shall be of you....."
Hebrew/English Interlinear by Green, Sr. "...be fruitful
and multiply; a nation and a company of nations shall be of
There are other translations that wander away from the literal
The literal Hebrew reads: "fruitful(Strong's #6509)
multiply(Strong's #7235) nation(not numbered in the Interlinear,
but it is the Hebrew "goy" - nation, people, heathen, see below)
company(Strong's #6951) nations(Strong's #1471) shall be(Strong's
#1961) from you(not numbered in the Interlinear)."
This verse uses both the SINGULAR "goy" - nation, people,
heathen, AND the PLURAL "goyim" - nations, peoples.
Let's study the Hebrew words "goy" and "goyim."
FROM THE THEOLOGICAL WORDBOOK OF THE OT
GOY, pages 153-154, Vol.1.
" Gentile, heathen, nation, people......It is difficult to
ascertain the exact definition of the term. However, if one
takes the various usages into consideration, as well as some
seemingly related terms, gaw, gew, gewa, the back part of the
body; gew, Aramaic for midst; and g wiya, living body or corpse
(see below), one must conclude that the basic idea is that of a
defined body or group of people, or a specific large segment of a
given body.........The synonym 'am' is used largely for a group
of people or for people in general. However sometimes.......it
may refer to a nation.......The term goy is used especially to
refer to specifically defined political, ethnic or territorial
groups of people without intending to ascribe a specific
religious or moral connotation. Thus, in Gen.10:5 the writer
speaks of defined groups of people according to their
territories. When God speaks to Abraham about Egypt as a strong
nation the term 'goy' is used. Elisha prayed that invading Syria,
this 'goy' might be blinded (1 Kings 6:18). In this general
ethnic sense the term may even be used of Abraham's seed. Thus
God said to Abraham, 'I will make of you a great nation,' i.e. a
political, territorial, identified people (Gen.12:2; 17:20;
21:18). In Ex.33:13 Moses, referring to Israel, a distinct body
of people, says, 'This goy (i.e., nation) is thy people ('am).'
In Deut. 4:6-7, Moses speaks of the Israelite nation as a
political, ethnic body (goy) which is a wise and understanding
people ('am), existing as, and recognized by other nations as, a
specific national identity (Ps 83:4 [H 5]). It is necessary to
stress that the Scriptures speak of Israel's existing as a
distinct nation in Moses' time because of the widespread
misapprehension that Israel became a nation only after entering
Canaan. Israel was a nation in Moses time, just as it was in
Joshua's time (Josh. 3:17; 4:1; 5:6). So also in Jeremiah's time
and thereafter, in spite of the exile (Jer.31:36)."
The above information is very edifying, please take your
time and read it once more. You may want to spend some time with
Strong's Concordance to see the many places where this word is
used throughout the OT.
GOYIM, pages 153,154, Vol.1.
".......goyim on the other hand more usually refers to
nations, especially the surrounding pagan nations.......The term
(goyim) is used a number of specific ways. When a number of
specific nations are referred to, it is this plural form that is
used and the translators have rendered it as 'nations'
(Gen.10:31; Jud.2:23; Isa.61:11) or as 'people' (Zech 12;3, KJV).
The plural form is employed also to refer to the people dwelling
in and around Canaan; these were definite ethnic, political,
territorial groups, whom Israel as a nation was to dispossess
(Deut.4:38; Josh.23:13) or among whom, for testing and judgment,
Israel was to live (Jud.2:21, 23). but the plural form is also
used occasionally to refer to the various national entities that
were to proceed from Abraham (Gen.17:4-6). Sarah also was to be a
mother of nations (Gen.17:16)........the term 'goy' and 'goyim'
increasingly takes the meaning of 'gentiles' or 'heathen,' in
reference to the non-covenant, non-believing peoples considered
as national groups. However, Israel is still repeatedly
spoken of as 'goy' .....when foreigners speak of her (Deut.4:6).
Israel is spoken of as a holy nation (goy) because of her
covenant status, her redemption and circumcision (Josh.5:8).
However, the rule is that the uncircumcised are the 'goyim'
(Jer.9:25).......Moses, and the prophets particularly, warned
Israel that if they lived and worshipped as the 'goyim,' they
would share in the judgment due the heathen (Deut.32:28; Isa.1:4;
Again, I ask you to read the above information once more and
meditate upon it.
This specific prophecy and promise given to Jacob or
Israel(his new name) is then quite specific in some way. Out from
his seed there was to come a SINGULAR ethnic, political,
territorial, people or nation. They would be a people, a singular
people to themselves, in every sense of the word, and with every
right to be called "a people" or "a nation."
There was also to come from Jacob descendants - nations -
PLURAL. A group of people that were ethnically, politically, and
territorially, a group of AND IN EVERY SENSE nationS. People who
would be the same yet be more than a single nation, be nations -
Of course if we had ONLY this verse and no more said about
this nation and nations to come from Jacob, we could go hog wild
and speculate and ponder from now on out WHO and HOW this may
have transpired. Is this the Jews and the Arab nations
as they all come from Abraham? Ah, but the Arabs do not come
from Jacob, and this prophecy was concerning Jacob, not Abraham!
Well, we shall come back to how this prophecy was moved on
and given to even be more specific as to the people who were to
be the nation and company of nations in our next study. But for
now we shall continue in Genesis 35:11.
LET'S STUDY THE WORD FOR "COMPANY"
QAHAL, page 790, Vol.1 TWOT.
"qahal. Assembly, company, congregation........ Usually
'qahal' is translated 'ekklesia' in the LXX, but in thirty six
instances it is 'synagog.'.........The noun occurs twenty-two
times in the prophets, most frequently in Ezek. The verb occurs
thirty-nine times in the Niphal and Hiphil forms meaning 'to
assemble' or 'to gather.' The root 'qhl' occurs thirteen times
in the nonbiblical Qumran materials for gathering and for groups
of various sorts......
An assembly of any sort and purpose may be designated by
'qahal'...........The term may in other contexts designate an
assembled multitude of nations (Ge.35:11), peoples (Gen.28:3;
But the 'qahal' is especially an assembly for religious
purposes. the experience at Horeb for receiving the Law was 'the
day of assembly' (Deut.9:10; 10:4; 18:16). There were also
assemblies on other occasions for feasts, fasts, and worship ((2
Chr.20:5; 30:25; Neh.5:13; Joel 2:16)..........
'qahal' may also designate the congregation as an organized
body. There is 'q hal yisra el' (Deut.31:30), 'q hal YHWH'
(Num.16:3 etc.), and 'q hal elohim' (Neh. 13:1) and then at other
times merely 'the assembly' (haqqahal).
We encounter 'the assembly of the congregation of (q hal
adat) Israel' (Ex.12:6), and the 'assembly of the people of God'
(Jud. 20:2). Of special interest is the phrase 'congregation of
the Lord' (q hal YHWH) of which there are thirteen instances
(Num.16:3; 20:4; Deut.23:2-4; Mic. 2:5; 1 Chr.28:8). It is the
nearest OT equivalent of 'church of the Lord.' The LXX
'ekklesia kuriou' for this phrase."
There it is, THREE interesting studies on three words used
As we have seen from the above, Israel was A
nation(singular) under Moses. They never became a nation and an
assembly of nations under Moses. Israel was A nation under
Joshua as they went into the promised land to settle it. They
were not a nation and company of nations under Joshua. Israel
was A nation under Samuel, never a nation and congregation of
nations. Under King Saul, Israel was one nation, WITH ONE KING,
AND ONE CAPITAL CITY, not a nation and company of nations. Then
under the rule of King David, Israel remained as ONE NATION, WITH
ONE KING, and never became a nation and assembly of nations.
Under the kingship of Solomon the nation of Israel was A nation,
with only Solomon as head of state, President, Priminister, and
King, not a nation and company of nations.
It was not until AFTER Solomon's death that the single
nation of Israel was DIVIDED, and did become not a nation and
company of nations, but became TWO NATIONS, with two separate
religions, two separate capital cities(Samaria and Jerusalem),
two separate lines of kingly monarchs, with two separate
political and territorial areas that they governed.
Even under the situation of Israel now being two separate
nations in every sense of nationhood, neither nations ever became
a nation and company or congregation of nations before they were
carried away in their respective captivities by the Assyrians and
I submit to you that an assembly of nations coming from
Jacob, and as we shall see next time, coming from Jacob
through(because it was given them) the specific sons of
Joseph(Ephraim and Manesseh), is an assembly, or congregation or
group of nations that are from the same basic stock, but have
established their own independent nationhood, with separate
political and territorial boundaries, as any nation is a nation,
yet have voluntarily chosen to come together, stay together, as a
congregation or nations that will assemble together in a workable
association of mutual respect and brotherhood.
Next time we shall see how this prophecy was passed on in a
very specific way to the sons of Joseph, as we study a few
technical words from that passage of Scripture.
Written May 1997