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.