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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 [Israel] Blesses His 12 Sons
1Jacob called for his sons and said, “Come here, and let me tell you what will happen to you in the days to come.
2“Gather around and listen, sons of Jacob.
Listen to your father Israel.
3Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my strength, the very first son I had,
first in majesty and first in power.
4You will no longer be first
because you were out of control like a flood
and you climbed into your father’s bed.
Then you dishonored it.
He climbed up on my couch.
5Simeon and Levi are brothers.
Their swords are weapons of violence.
6Do not let me attend their secret meetings.
Do not let me join their assembly.
In their anger they murdered men.
At their whim they crippled cattle.
7May their anger be cursed because it’s so fierce.
May their fury be cursed because it’s so cruel.
I will divide them among ⌞the sons of⌟ Jacob
and scatter them among ⌞the tribes of⌟ Israel.
8Judah, your brothers will praise you.
Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies.
Your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9Judah, you are a lion cub.
You have come back from the kill, my son.
He lies down and rests like a lion.
He is like a lioness. Who dares to disturb him?
10A scepter will never depart from Judah
nor a ruler’s staff from between his feet
until Shiloh comes
and the people obey him.
11He will tie his donkey to a grapevine,
his colt to the best vine.
He will wash his clothes in wine,
his garments in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes are darker than wine.
His teeth are whiter than milk.
13Zebulun will live by the coast.
He will have ships by the coast.
His border will go as far as Sidon.
14Issachar is a strong donkey,
lying down between the saddlebags.
15When he sees that his resting place is good
and that the land is pleasant,
he will bend his back to the burden
and will become a slave laborer.
16Dan will hand down decisions  #49:16 There is a play on words here between Hebrew Dan and yadin (he will hand down decisions). for his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan will be a snake on a road,
a viper on a path,
that bites a horse’s heels
so that its rider falls off backwards.
18“I wait with hope for you to rescue me, O Lord.
19Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders,
but he will strike back at their heels.
20Asher’s food will be rich.
He will provide delicacies fit for a king.
21Naphtali is a doe set free
that has beautiful fawns.
22Joseph is a fruitful tree,
a fruitful tree by a spring,
with branches climbing over a wall.
23Archers provoked him,
shot at him,
and attacked him.
24But his bow stayed steady, and his arms remained limber
because of the help of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25because of the God of your father who helps you,
because of the Almighty who gives you
blessings from the heavens above,
blessings from the deep springs below the ground,
blessings from breasts and womb.
26The blessings of your father are greater than
the blessings of the oldest mountains
and the riches of the ancient hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
on the crown of the prince among his brothers.
27Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.
In the morning he devours his prey.
In the evening he divides the plunder.”
28These are the 12 tribes of Israel and what their father said to them when he gave each of them his special blessing.
29Then he gave them these instructions, “I am about to join my ancestors in death. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30Abraham bought the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, east of Mamre in Canaan, from Ephron the Hittite to use as a tomb. 31Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried there. Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried there. I also buried Leah there. 32The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.”
33When Jacob finished giving these instructions to his sons, he pulled his feet into his bed. He took his last breath and joined his ancestors in death.