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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 Jacob calleth unto his sons and saith, ‘Be gathered together, and I declare to you that which doth happen with you in the latter end of the days.
2‘Be assembled, and hear, sons of Jacob, And hearken unto Israel your father.
3Reuben! my first-born thou, My power, and beginning of my strength, The abundance of exaltation, And the abundance of strength;
4Unstable as water, thou art not abundant; For thou hast gone up thy father's bed; Then thou hast polluted: My couch he went up!
5Simeon and Levi [are] brethren! Instruments of violence — their espousals!
6Into their secret, come not, O my soul! Unto their assembly be not united, O mine honour; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will eradicated a prince.
7Cursed [is] their anger, for [it is] fierce, And their wrath, for [it is] sharp; I divide them in Jacob, And I scatter them in Israel.
8Judah! thou — thy brethren praise thee! Thy hand [is] on the neck of thine enemies, Sons of thy father bow themselves to thee.
9A lion's whelp [is] Judah, For prey, my son, thou hast gone up; He hath bent, he hath crouched as a lion, And as a lioness; who causeth him to arise?
10The sceptre turneth not aside from Judah, And a lawgiver from between his feet, Till his Seed come; And his [is] the obedience of peoples.
11Binding to the vine his ass, And to the choice vine the colt of his ass, He hath washed in wine his clothing, And in the blood of grapes his covering;
12Red [are] eyes with wine, And white [are] teeth with milk!
13Zebulun at a haven of the seas doth dwell, And he [is] for a haven of ships; And his side [is] unto Zidon.
14Issacher [is] a strong ass, Crouching between the two folds;
15And he seeth rest that [it is] good, And the land that [it is] pleasant, And he inclineth his shoulder to bear, And is to tribute a servant.
16Dan doth judge his people, As one of the tribes of Israel;
17Dan is a serpent by the way, An adder by the path, Which is biting the horse's heels, And its rider falleth backward.
18For Thy salvation I have waited, Jehovah!
19Gad! a troop assaulteth him, But he assaulteth last.
20Out of Asher his bread [is] fat; And he giveth dainties of a king.
21Naphtali [is] a hind sent away, Who is giving beauteous young ones.
22Joseph [is] a fruitful son; A fruitful son by a fountain, Daughters step over the wall;
23And embitter him — yea, they have striven, Yea, hate him do archers;
24And his bow abideth in strength, And strengthened are the arms of his hands By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, Whence is a shepherd, a son of Israel.
25By the God of thy father who helpeth thee, And the Mighty One who blesseth thee, Blessings of the heavens from above, Blessings of the deep lying under, Blessings of breasts and womb; —
26Thy father's blessings have been mighty Above the blessings of my progenitors, Unto the limit of the heights age-during They are for the head of Joseph, And for the crown of the one Separate [from] his brethren.
27Benjamin! a wolf teareth; In the morning he eateth prey, And at evening he apportioneth spoil.’
28All these [are] the twelve tribes of Israel, and this [is] that which their father hath spoken unto them, and he blesseth them; each according to his blessing he hath blessed them.
29And he commandeth them, and saith unto them, ‘I am being gathered unto my people; bury me by my fathers, at the cave which [is] in the field of Ephron the Hittite;
30in the cave which [is] in the field of Machpelah, which [is] on the front of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place;
31(there 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 which [is] in it, [is] from Sons of Heth.’
33And Jacob finisheth commanding his sons, and gathereth up his feet unto the bed, and expireth, and is gathered unto his people.