Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be to Zidon.…
Looking at the characterization of Issachar, we may see the enervating influence, of too comfortable circumstances on a man or on a people. The inheritance of Issachar was pleasant, fertile, easily cultivated, and exceedingly remunerative. So his descendants came at length, for the most part, to take things easy, and submitted to outrages which those in poorer circumstances must have resisted even to the death. They grew indolent and luxurious, caring for little or nothing but their own ease, and sinking at last into mere tribute-payers. Now all this reminds us of the truth that conflict is absolutely necessary to strength of character. He who has no difficulties to contend with has therein the great misfortune of his life; for he has little or no motive for exertion, and without exertion he will be nothing in particular. It is a serious affliction to a man to be too well off, and many a son has been ruined because he inherited a fortune from his father. Unvarying prosperity is not by any means an unmingled blessing, and may be often a great evil. In the struggle for existence which adversity causes many may sink, but the "survival" is always "of the fittest," for it is of those who have been made by the struggle into manly, earnest, strong, heroic souls. Do not plume yourself, therefore, on your easy circumstances, for they may make you only selfish, indolent, and lacking in public spirit, like that son of Jacob who had his fitting symbol in the contented, because well-fed and Trot overloaded, ass. But, on the other hand, do not whimper over your poverty, for, bravely wrestled with and nobly overcome, that may be the very making of you. Too much money has undone many a youth; too little has been the spur that has urged on many another to put forth all his strength, and so has developed and increased that strength. When you are getting comfortable and easy, therefore, suspect yourself, and watch lest your patriotism should grow languid, your activity disappear, and self-sacrifice drop entirely out of your life.
(W. M. Taylor, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.