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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 reveals his sons’ destinies
1Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Gather around so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the coming days.
2Assemble yourselves and listen, sons of Jacob;
listen to Israel your father.
3Reuben, you are my oldest son,
my strength and my first contender,#49.3 Or first of my power
superior in status and superior in might.
4As wild as the waters, you won’t endure,
for you went up to your father’s bed,
you went up#49.4 LXX; MT he went up and violated my couch.
5Simeon and Levi are brothers,
weapons of violence their stock in trade.
6May I myself never enter their council.
May my honor never be linked to their group;
for when they were angry, they killed men,
and whenever they wished, they maimed oxen.
7Cursed be their anger; it is violent,
their rage; it is relentless.
I’ll divide them up within Jacob
and disperse them within Israel.
8Judah, you are the one your brothers will honor;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9Judah is a lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you rise up.
He lies down and crouches like a lion;
like a lioness—who dares disturb him?
10The scepter won’t depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from among his banners.#49.10 Sam; MT his feet
Gifts will be brought to him;
people will obey him.
11He ties his male donkey to the vine,
the colt of his female donkey to the vine’s branches.
He washes his clothes in wine,
his garments in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
13Zebulun will live at the seashore;
he’ll live at the harbor of ships,
his border will be at Sidon.
14Issachar is a sturdy donkey,
bedding down beside the village hearths.#49.14 Or stubbornly lying beneath its saddlebags
15He saw that a resting place was good
and that the land was pleasant.
He lowered his shoulder to haul loads
and joined the work gangs.
16Dan#49.16 Or he judges, or settles disputes will settle disputes for his people,
as one of Israel’s tribes.
17Dan will be a snake on the road,
a serpent on the path,
biting a horse’s heels,
so its rider falls backward.
18I long for your victory, LORD.
19Gad#49.19 Or he attacks or good fortune will be attacked by attackers,
but he’ll attack their back.
20Asher#49.20 LXX, Syr, Vulg; MT from Asher grows fine foods,
and he will supply the king’s delicacies.
21Naphtali is a wild doe
that gives birth to beautiful fawns.#49.21 Or who gives beautiful words
22Joseph is a young bull,#49.22 Heb uncertain
a young bull by a spring,
who strides with oxen.#49.22 Heb uncertain
23They attacked him fiercely and fired arrows;
the archers attacked him furiously.
24But his bow stayed strong,
and his forearms were nimble,#49.24 Heb uncertain; or flexible
by the hands of the strong one of Jacob,
by the name of the shepherd, the rock of Israel,
25by God, your father, who supports you,
by the Almighty#49.25 Heb Shaddai or the Mountain One who blesses you
with blessings from the skies above
and blessings from the deep sea below,
blessings from breasts and womb.
26The blessings of your father exceed
the blessings of the eternal mountains,#49.26 LXX; Heb uncertain
the wealth of the everlasting hills.
May they all rest on Joseph’s head,
on the forehead of the one set apart from his brothers.
27Benjamin is a wolf who hunts:
in the morning he devours the prey;
in the evening he divides the plunder.”
28These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them. He blessed them by giving each man his own particular blessing.
Jacob’s death and burial
29Jacob ordered them, “I am soon to join my people. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave that’s in the field of Ephron the Hittite; 30in the cave that’s in the field of Machpelah near Mamre in the land of Canaan that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial property. 31That is where Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and where Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried, and where I buried Leah. 32It is the field and the cave in it that belonged to the Hittites.” 33After he finished giving orders to his sons, he put his feet up on the bed, took his last breath, and joined his people.