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Genesis 49

49
Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons
1And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may #Deut. 33:1, 6–25; (Amos 3:7)tell you what shall befall you #Num. 24:14; (Deut. 4:30); Is. 2:2; 39:6; Jer. 23:20; Heb. 1:2in the last days:
2“Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob,
And listen to Israel your father.
3“Reuben, you are #Gen. 29:32my firstborn,
My might and the beginning of my strength,
The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.
4Unstable as water, you shall not excel,
Because you #Gen. 35:22; Deut. 27:20; 1 Chr. 5:1went up to your father’s bed;
Then you defiled it
He went up to my couch.
5“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place.
6#Ps. 64:2; Prov. 1:15, 16Let not my soul enter their council;
Let not my honor be united #Ps. 26:9; Eph. 5:11to their assembly;
#Gen. 34:26For in their anger they slew a man,
And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox.
7Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
And their wrath, for it is cruel!
#Num. 18:24; Josh. 19:1, 9; 21:1–42; 1 Chr. 4:24–27I will divide them in Jacob
And scatter them in Israel.
8“Judah,#Deut. 33:7; Rev. 5:5 you are he whom your brothers shall praise;
#Ps. 18:40Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
#Gen. 27:29; 1 Chr. 5:2Your father’s children shall bow down before you.
9Judah is #Deut. 33:22; Ezek. 19:5–7; Mic. 5:8; (Rev. 5:5)a lion’s whelp;
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
#Num. 23:24; 24:9He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
And as a lion, who shall rouse him?
10#Num. 24:17; Jer. 30:21; Matt. 1:3; 2:6; Luke 3:33; Rev. 5:5The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor #Ps. 60:7a lawgiver from between his feet,
#Is. 11:1; (Matt. 21:9)Until Shiloh comes;
#Deut. 18:15; Ps. 2:6–9; 72:8–11; Is. 42:1, 4; 49:6; 60:1–5; (Luke 2:30–32)And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
11Binding his donkey to the vine,
And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
He washed his garments in wine,
And his clothes in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes are darker than wine,
And his teeth whiter than milk.
13“Zebulun#Deut. 33:18, 19; Josh. 19:10, 11 shall dwell by the haven of the sea;
He shall become a haven for ships,
And his border shall #Gen. 10:19; Josh. 11:8adjoin Sidon.
14“Issachar#1 Chr. 12:32 is a strong donkey,
Lying down between two burdens;
15He saw that rest was good,
And that the land was pleasant;
He bowed #1 Sam. 10:9his shoulder to bear a burden,
And became a band of slaves.
16“Dan#Gen. 30:6; Deut. 33:22; Judg. 18:26, 27 shall judge his people
As one of the tribes of Israel.
17#Judg. 18:27Dan shall be a serpent by the way,
A viper by the path,
That bites the horse’s heels
So that its rider shall fall backward.
18#Ex. 15:2; Ps. 25:5; 40:1–3; 119:166, 174; Is. 25:9; Mic. 7:7I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!
19“Gad,#Gen. 30:11; Deut. 33:20; 1 Chr. 5:18 a troop shall tramp upon him,
But he shall triumph at last.
20“Bread from #Deut. 33:24; Josh. 19:24–31Asher shall be rich,
And he shall yield royal dainties.
21“Naphtali#Deut. 33:23 is a deer let loose;
He uses beautiful words.
22“Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a well;
His branches run over the wall.
23The archers have #Gen. 37:4, 24; Ps. 118:13bitterly grieved him,
Shot at him and hated him.
24But his #Job 29:20; Ps. 37:15bow remained in strength,
And the arms of his hands were made strong
By the hands of #Ps. 132:2, 5; Is. 1:24; 49:26the Mighty God of Jacob
#Gen. 45:11; 47:12(From there #(Ps. 23:1; 80:1)is the Shepherd, #(Ps. 118:22); Is. 28:16; (1 Pet. 2:6–8)the Stone of Israel),
25#Gen. 28:13; 32:9; 35:3; 43:23; 50:17By the God of your father who will help you,
#Gen. 17:1; 35:11And by the Almighty #Deut. 33:13who will bless you
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26The blessings of your father
Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors,
#Deut. 33:15; Hab. 3:6Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
#Deut. 33:16They shall be on the head of Joseph,
And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.
27“Benjamin is a #Judg. 20:21, 25ravenous wolf;
In the morning he shall devour the prey,
#Num. 23:24; Esth. 8:11; Ezek. 39:10; Zech. 14:1And at night he shall divide the spoil.”
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them. And he blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing.
Jacob’s Death and Burial
29Then he charged them and said to them: “I #Gen. 15:15; 25:8; 35:29am to be gathered to my people; #Gen. 47:30; 2 Sam. 19:37bury me with my fathers #Gen. 23:16–20; 50:13in 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, #Gen. 23:3–20which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite as a possession for a burial place. 31#Gen. 23:19, 20; 25:9There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife, #Gen. 35:29; 50:13there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah. 32The field and the cave that is there were purchased from the sons of Heth.” 33And when Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
49
Jacob Blesses His Sons
1Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.
2“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob;
listen to your father Israel.
3“Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might, the first sign of my strength,
excelling in honor, excelling in power.
4Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel,
for you went up onto your father’s bed,
onto my couch and defiled it.
5“Simeon and Levi are brothers—
their swords#49:5 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain. are weapons of violence.
6Let me not enter their council,
let me not join their assembly,
for they have killed men in their anger
and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.
7Cursed be their anger, so fierce,
and their fury, so cruel!
I will scatter them in Jacob
and disperse them in Israel.
8“Judah,#49:8 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise. your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,#49:10 Or from his descendants
until he to whom it belongs#49:10 Or to whom tribute belongs; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain. shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
11He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.#49:12 Or will be dull from wine, / his teeth white from milk
13“Zebulun will live by the seashore
and become a haven for ships;
his border will extend toward Sidon.
14“Issachar is a rawboned#49:14 Or strong donkey
lying down among the sheep pens.#49:14 Or the campfires; or the saddlebags
15When he sees how good is his resting place
and how pleasant is his land,
he will bend his shoulder to the burden
and submit to forced labor.
16“Dan#49:16 Dan here means he provides justice. will provide justice for his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan will be a snake by the roadside,
a viper along the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that its rider tumbles backward.
18“I look for your deliverance, Lord.
19“Gad#49:19 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for attack and also for band of raiders. will be attacked by a band of raiders,
but he will attack them at their heels.
20“Asher’s food will be rich;
he will provide delicacies fit for a king.
21“Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns.#49:21 Or free; / he utters beautiful words
22“Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.#49:22 Or Joseph is a wild colt, / a wild colt near a spring, / a wild donkey on a terraced hill
23With bitterness archers attacked him;
they shot at him with hostility.
24But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed#49:23,24 Or archers will attack… will shoot… will remain… will stay limber,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25because of your father’s God, who helps you,
because of the Almighty,#49:25 Hebrew Shaddai who blesses you
with blessings of the skies above,
blessings of the deep springs below,
blessings of the breast and womb.
26Your father’s blessings are greater
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than#49:26 Or of my progenitors, / as great as the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among#49:26 Or of the one separated from his brothers.
27“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
in the morning he devours the prey,
in the evening he divides the plunder.”
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.
The Death of Jacob
29Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 31There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. 32The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.#49:32 Or the descendants of Heth
33When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.