An Alphabetical Analysis
Volume 9 - Prophetic Truth - Page 95 of 223
too, is destined to be fruitful and multiply and replenish the earth at the
time of the end.
Genesis 48:4 and 19 must first of all be considered as two very
different words are translated 'multitude' here, and the marginal note in
earlier editions of The Companion Bible against verse 19 has been misplaced,
it should be transferred to verse 4:
'I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee
a multitude of people' (Gen. 48:4).
Here the word translated 'multitude' is the Hebrew qahal which means
'to assemble', 'to call' and is at times translated 'synagogue' in the LXX.
To this conception Stephen referred when he spoke of 'the church (ekklesia
"called out") in the wilderness' (Acts 7:38).  We turn back to Genesis 28:3
and we read that this promise was first of all given to Jacob when he left
home, and repeated to him on his return when he was named Israel (Gen.
35:10,11).  This promise, employing the word qahal, is made only to Jacob.
When the aged Jacob blessed Joseph and his sons he said:
'... let them grow into a multitude (Heb. rob) in the midst of the
earth' (Gen. 48:16).
Here the Hebrew word is rob, meaning abundance.
This promise echoes
the prayer of Jacob when he said:
'Thou saidst, I will surely do thee good, and make thy seed as the sand
of the sea, which cannot be numbered for multitude' (Gen. 32:12).
When Moses looked on Israel after they had come out of Egypt, he said,
'The Lord God of your fathers make you a thousand times so many more as ye
are, and bless you, as He hath promised' (Deut. 1:11), and in Deuteronomy
10:22 he reminded them:
'Thy fathers went down into Egypt with threescore and ten persons; and
now the Lord thy God hath made thee as the stars of heaven for
Israel's reduced numbers at the present time (Deut. 28:64 -67) are a
fulfilment of the threat:
'Ye shall be left few in number, whereas ye were as the stars of heaven
for multitude; because thou wouldest not obey the voice of the Lord thy
God' (Deut. 28:62).
We return to Genesis 48:19, where the word multitude is the Hebrew
melo.  This is the word translated 'replenish' in Genesis 1:28 and 9:1.  This
promise in Genesis 48:19 picks up the command to Adam and to Noah (see
'His seed shall become a multitude (Heb. melo) of nations' (Gen.
Rotherham reads, 'a filling up of the nations'.  Where man and the nations
have failed, Israel by grace and mercy shall ultimately succeed.  Israel is
destined to be a 'great nation' and the word great here refers not so much to
moral greatness, but to growth, expansion, augmentation, as in such
expressions as 'great lights' or a 'great city'.  Psalm 107:39 places the