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Genesis 49

49
Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons
1Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me, and I will tell you what will happen to each of you in the days to come.
2“Come and listen, you sons of Jacob;
listen to Israel, your father.
3“Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength,
the child of my vigorous youth.
You are first in rank and first in power.
4But you are as unruly as a flood,
and you will be first no longer.
For you went to bed with my wife;
you defiled my marriage couch.
5“Simeon and Levi are two of a kind;
their weapons are instruments of violence.
6May I never join in their meetings;
may I never be a party to their plans.
For in their anger they murdered men,
and they crippled oxen just for sport.
7A curse on their anger, for it is fierce;
a curse on their wrath, for it is cruel.
I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob;
I will disperse them throughout Israel.
8“Judah, your brothers will praise you.
You will grasp your enemies by the neck.
All your relatives will bow before you.
9Judah, my son, is a young lion
that has finished eating its prey.
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 his descendants,#49:10a Hebrew from between his feet.
until the coming of the one to whom it belongs,#49:10b Or until tribute is brought to him and the peoples obey; traditionally rendered until Shiloh comes.
the one whom all nations will honor.
11He ties his foal to a grapevine,
the colt of his donkey to a choice vine.
He washes his clothes in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth are whiter than milk.
13“Zebulun will settle by the seashore
and will be a harbor for ships;
his borders will extend to Sidon.
14“Issachar is a sturdy donkey,
resting between two saddlepacks.#49:14 Or sheepfolds, or hearths.
15When he sees how good the countryside is
and how pleasant the land,
he will bend his shoulder to the load
and submit himself to hard labor.
16“Dan will govern his people,
like any other tribe in Israel.
17Dan will be a snake beside the road,
a poisonous viper along the path
that bites the horse’s hooves
so its rider is thrown off.
18I trust in you for salvation, O Lord!
19“Gad will be attacked by marauding bands,
but he will attack them when they retreat.
20“Asher will dine on rich foods
and produce food fit for kings.
21“Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns.
22“Joseph is the foal of a wild donkey,
the foal of a wild donkey at a spring—
one of the wild donkeys on the ridge.#49:22 Or Joseph is a fruitful tree, / a fruitful tree beside a spring. / His branches reach over the wall. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain.
23Archers attacked him savagely;
they shot at him and harassed him.
24But his bow remained taut,
and his arms were strengthened
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.
25May the God of your father help you;
may the Almighty bless you
with the blessings of the heavens above,
and blessings of the watery depths below,
and blessings of the breasts and womb.
26May my fatherly blessings on you
surpass the blessings of my ancestors,#49:26 Or of the ancient mountains.
reaching to the heights of the eternal hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
who is a prince among his brothers.
27“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
devouring his enemies in the morning
and dividing his plunder in the evening.”
28These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he told his sons good-bye. He blessed each one with an appropriate message.
Jacob’s Death and Burial
29Then Jacob instructed them, “Soon I will die and join my ancestors. Bury me with my father and grandfather in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30This is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a permanent burial site. 31There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried. There Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, are buried. And there I buried Leah. 32It is the plot of land and the cave that my grandfather Abraham bought from the Hittites.”
33When Jacob had finished this charge to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and joined his ancestors in death.

Genesis 49

49
Jacob Blesses His Sons
Dt 33:1–29
1#Nu 24:14; Jer 23:20Jacob called to his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, so that I may tell you what will befall you in the last days.
2#Ps 34:11 Gather yourselves together and hear, sons of Jacob,
and listen to your father Israel.
3#Dt 21:17; Ge 29:32 Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might and the beginning of my strength,
the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power.
4#Ge 35:22; Dt 27:20 Unstable as water, you shall not excel,
because you went up to your father’s bed;
then you defiled it—he went up to my couch.
5#Ge 29:33–34; 34:25–31 Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons of violence are their swords.
6#Ps 26:9; Ge 34:30 Let my soul not enter into their council;
let my glory not be united with their assembly;
for in their anger they killed men
and in their self-will they hamstrung oxen.
7#Jos 19:1–9; 1Ch 4:24–31 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will divide them in Jacob
and scatter them in Israel.
8#1Ch 5:2; Ge 27:29 Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down before you.
9#Nu 24:9; Rev 5:5 Judah is a lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you have goneup.
He crouches and lies down like a lion;
and as a lion, who dares rouse him?
10#Nu 24:17; Ps 60:7 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
until Shiloh comes;
and to him will be the obedience of the people.
11#2Ki 18:32 He tethers his foal to the vine,
and his colt to the choicest vine;
he washes his garments in wine,
his clothes in the blood of grapes.
12#Pr 23:29 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
13#Dt 33:18–19; Ge 30:20 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea;
and he shall be a haven of ships.
His border shall be at Sidon.
14#Ge 30:18; 1Ch 12:32 Issachar is a strong donkey,
lying down between two burdens;
15he saw that a resting place was good,
and that the land was pleasant;
so he bowed his shoulder to bear the burden
and became a slave to forced labor.
16#Ge 30:6; Dt 33:22 Dan shall judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan shall be a serpent by the road,
a viper on the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that its rider will fall backward.
18#Ps 119:166; 119:174 I wait for Your salvation, O Lord!
19#Ge 30:11 Gad shall be attacked by raiding bands,
but he shall raid at their heels.
20#Ge 30:13; Dt 33:24–25 Asher’s food shall be rich,
and he shall yield royal delicacies.
21#Dt 33:23; Ge 30:8 Naphtali is a doe set loose;
he gives beautiful words.
22#Ge 41:52 Joseph is a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring,
whose branches run over the wall.
23#Ge 37:24; 37:28 The archers bitterly attacked him,
they shot at him and hated him.
24#Ps 132:2; 132:5 But his bow remained firm.
His arms were agile
because of the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25#Ge 28:13; 17:1 because of the God of your father who will help you,
and by the Almighty who will bless you
with blessings from heaven above,
blessings from the deep that lies beneath,
the blessings of the breasts and the womb.
26#Dt 33:15–16; Hab 3:6 The blessings of your father have surpassed
the blessings of my fathers,
up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
They will be on the head of Joseph,
and on the crown of the head of him who was set apart from his brothers.
27#Ge 35:18; Jdg 20:21 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
in the morning he devours the prey,
and at night he divides the spoil.”
28These are all the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He blessed them, each with the blessing appropriate to him.
The Death of Jacob
29#Ge 47:30; 50:13Then he charged them and said to them, “I am about to be gathered to 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 along with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place. 31#Ge 25:9; 35:29They buried Abraham and Sarah his wife there. They buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife there, and I buried Leah there. 32The field and the cave that is there were purchased from the children of Heth.”
33#Ge 49:29; 25:8When Jacob finished instructing his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.