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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.
49
1And Ya'akov called unto his banim, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the acharit hayamim (last days). 2Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye Bnei Ya'akov; and pay heed unto Yisroel Avichem. 3Reuven, thou art my bechor, my koach, and the reshit of my strength, the excellency of honor, and excellency of oz (power): 4Unstable as mayim, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to mishkevei avicha (thy father's bed, i.e. incest); then defiledst thou it; he went up to my couch. 5Shimon and Levi are achim; kelei chamas (instruments of violence) are in their swords. 6O my nefesh, enter not thou into their sod (secret, council); unto their kehal, mine kavod, be not thou united; for in their anger they slaughtered ish, and in their ratzon (self-will) they lamed shor (ox). 7Arur (cursed) be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel; I will dispense them in Ya'akov, and scatter them in Yisroel. 8Yehudah, thou art he whom thy achim yoducha (they will praise you); thy yad shall be in the oref (neck) of thine enemies; Bnei Avicha shall bow down before thee. 9Yehudah is the cub of an aryeh (lion); from the prey, beni (my son), thou hast gone up; he stooped down, he couched like an aryeh, and like a lioness; who shall rouse him? 10The shevet (sceptre) shall not depart from Yehudah, nor a Mekhokek (Lawgiver) from between his raglayim, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall be the obedience of the amim (peoples, nations). 11He ties his foal unto the gefen (vine), and his donkey's colt unto the choice vine; he will wash his levush (garments) in yayin, and his robe in the dahm anavim (blood of grapes); 12His eyes shall be darker with yayin, and his shinayim (teeth) whiter than cholov (milk). 13Zevulun shall dwell at the seashore; and he shall be a haven for oniyyot (ships); and his border shall be unto Tzidon. 14Yissakhar is a strong chamor (donkey) lying down between two saddlebags; 15And he saw that a menuchah (resting place) was tov, and haaretz that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became oved (submitting, enslaved) at forced labor. 16Dan yadin (shall judge) his people, as one of the Shivtei Yisroel. 17Dan shall be a nachash beside the derech, a viper along the orach (path) that biteth the ikkvei sus (the horse heels), so that its rider shall fall backward. 18I have waited for Thy Yeshuah (Salvation), Hashem. 19Gad, gedud (raider) shall raid him; but he shall raid akev ([at] the heel). 20Out of Asher his lechem shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties. 21Naphtali is a doe let loose; he giveth goodly sayings. 22Yosef is a ben of a fruittree, even ben of a fruit-tree near an ayin (spring, well); its daughters (i.e., branches) run over the wall; 23The ba'alei khitzim (archers) provoke him, and shoot at him, and hate him; 24But his keshet (bow) remained steady, and the arms of his hands remain strong, from the hands of the Avir Ya'akov, from there, from the Ro'eh, Even Yisroel; 25And from El Avicha, who shall help thee; and Shaddai, who shall make berakhah over thee with Birkat Shomayim above, Birkat Tehom that lieth beneath, Birkat Shadayim and of Rekhem. 26Birkat Avicha surpass the Birkat of my progenitors unto the utmost border of the giveot olam (everlasting hills); they shall come on the rosh Yosef, and on the brow of the Prince among his achim. 27Binyamin--a ze'ev (wolf) which tears in pieces; in the boker he shall devour the prey, and at erev he shall divide the plunder. 28All these are the Shivtei Yisroel; and this is it that Avichem spoke unto them, and made a berakhah on them; every one according to his berakhah he blessed them. 29And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people; bury me with Avotai in the me'arah (cave) that is in the sadeh of Ephron the Chitti, 30In the me'arah that is in the sadeh of Machpelah, which is near Mamre, in Eretz Kena'an, which Avraham bought with the sadeh of Ephron the Chitti for an achuzzat kever (burial estate). 31There they buried Avraham and Sarah his isha; there they buried Yitzchak and Rivkah his isha; and there I buried Leah. 32The purchase of the sadeh and of the me'arah (cave) that is therein was from the Bnei Chet (Heth). 33And when Ya'akov had made an end of commanding his banim, he gathered up his raglayim into the mittah, and expired, and was gathered unto his people.