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Genesis 49

49
Genesis 49
1¶ And Jacob called unto his sons and said, Gather yourselves together that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
2Gather yourselves together and hear, ye sons of Jacob, and hearken unto Israel your father.
3Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, principal in dignity, and the principal in power.
4Unstable as water, thou shalt not be principal because thou didst go up to thy father’s bed; then thou became defiled, going up to my couch.
5¶ Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of injustice are their weapons.
6Let my soul not enter into their secret; nor let my honour join their assembly; for in their anger they slew a man, and in their own will they dug down a wall.
7Cursed be their anger, which is strong, and their wrath, which is hard; I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.
8¶ Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s sons shall bow down before thee.
9Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up; he stooped down, he couched as a lion and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10The sceptre shall not be taken from Judah, nor the lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh comes; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
11Binding his foal unto the vine and his ass’s colt unto the choice roots; he washed his garments in wine and his covering in the blood of grapes;
12His eyes red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
13¶ Zebulun shall dwell at the port of the sea; and he shall be for a port of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.
14Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens;
15and he saw that rest was good and the land that it was pleasant and bowed his shoulder to bear and became a servant unto tribute.
16Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
18I have waited for thy saving health, O Lord.
19Gad, an army shall invade him, but he shall invade at the last.
20Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield delight unto the king.
21Naphtali is a hind let loose, who shall give forth a good word.
22¶ Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a fountain, whose daughters run over the wall.
23The arches have sorely grieved him and shot at him and hated him;
24but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty one of Jacob; from there did the stone of Israel shepherd,
25by the God of thy father, who shall help thee, and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of the heavens above, with blessings of the deep that lies under, with blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26The blessings of thy father were greater than the blessings of my progenitors; unto the borders of the eternal hills they shall be upon the head of Joseph and on the crown of the Nazarite of his brethren.
27Benjamin, ravening wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and in the evening he shall divide the spoil.
28¶ All these were the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke unto them and blessed them; each one according to his blessing he blessed them.
29And he charged them and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron, the Hittite,
30in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron, the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.
31There they buried Abraham and Sarah, his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah, his wife; and there I buried Leah.
32The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the sons of Heth.
33And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed and expired and was gathered unto his people.
49
Jacob Blesses His Sons
1Then Jacob called his sons to him. He said, “Come here to me. I will tell you what will happen to you in the future.
2“Come together and listen, sons of Jacob.
Listen to Israel, your father.
3“Reuben, my first son, you are my strength.
Your birth showed I could be a father.
You have the highest position among my sons.
You are the most powerful.
4But you are uncontrolled like water.
So you will no longer lead your brothers.
This is because you got into your father’s bed.
You shamed me by having physical relations with my slave girl.
5“Simeon and Levi are brothers.
They used their swords to do violence.
6I will not join their secret talks.
I will not meet with them to plan evil.
They killed men because they were angry.
And they crippled oxen just for fun.
7May their anger be cursed, because it is too violent.
May their violence be cursed, because it is too cruel.
I will divide them up among the tribes of Jacob.
I will scatter them through all the tribes of Israel.
8“Judah, your brothers will praise you.
You will grab your enemies by the neck.
Your brothers will bow down to you.
9Judah is like a young lion.
You have returned from killing, my son.
Like a lion, he stretches out and lies down to rest.
No one is brave enough to wake him.
10Men from Judah’s family will be kings.
Someone from Judah will always be on the throne.
Judah will rule until the real king comes.
And the nations will obey him.
11He ties his donkey to a grapevine.
He ties his young donkey to the best branch.
He can afford to use wine to wash his clothes.
He even uses grape juice to wash his robes.
12His eyes are bright from drinking wine.
His teeth are white from drinking milk.
13“Zebulun will live near the sea.
His shore will be a safe place for ships.
His land will reach as far as Sidon.
14“Issachar is like a strong donkey.
He lies down while carrying his load.
15He will see his resting place is good.
He will see how pleasant his land is.
Then he will put his back to the load.
He will become a slave.
16“Dan will rule his own people
like the other tribes in Israel.
17Dan will be like a snake by the side of the road.
He will be like a dangerous snake lying near the path.
That snake bites a horse’s leg.
And the rider is thrown off backward.
18“Lord, I wait for your salvation.
19“Robbers will attack Gad.
But he will defeat them and drive them away.
20“Asher’s land will grow much good food.
He will grow food fit for a king.
21“Naphtali is like a female deer that runs free.
She has beautiful fawns.
22“Joseph is like a grapevine that produces much fruit.
He is like a healthy vine watered by a spring.
He is like a vine whose branches grow over the wall.
23Men attack him violently with arrows.
They shoot at him angrily.
24But he aims his bow well.
His arms are made strong.
He gets his power from the Mighty God of Jacob.
He gets his strength from the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.
25Your father’s God helps you.
God All-Powerful blesses you.
He blesses you with rain from above.
He blesses you with water from springs below.
He blesses you with many babies born to your wives.
He blesses you with many young ones born to your animals.
26The blessings of your father are greater
than the blessings of the oldest mountains.
They are greater than the good things of the long-lasting hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph.
May they rest on the forehead of the one who was separated from his brothers.
27“Benjamin is like a hungry wolf.
In the morning he eats what he has caught.
In the evening he divides what he has taken.”
28These are the 12 tribes of Israel. And this is what their father said to them. He gave each son the blessing that was right for him. 29Then Israel gave them a command. He said, “I am about to die. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30That cave is in the field of Machpelah east of Mamre. It is in the land of Canaan. Abraham bought that field from Ephron the Hittite for a burying place. 31Abraham and Sarah his wife are buried there. Isaac and Rebekah his wife are buried there. I buried my wife Leah there. 32The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittite people.” 33After Jacob finished talking to his sons, he lay down. He put his feet back on the bed, took his last breath and died.