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Genesis 49

49
Jacob’s Last Words
1Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather around, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the days to come.#49:1 Or in the last days#Nm 24:14; Dt 4:30; 31:29; Is 2:2; Jr 23:20; Dn 2:28; 10:14; Hs 3:5
2Come together and listen, sons of Jacob;
listen to your father Israel:
3Reuben, you are my firstborn,#Gn 29:32
my strength and the firstfruits of my virility,#Dt 21:17
excelling in prominence, excelling in power.
4Turbulent as water, you will not excel,
because you got into your father’s bed#Gn 35:22
and you defiled it — he#49:4 LXX, Syr, Tg read you got into my bed.
5Simeon and Levi are brothers;
their knives are vicious weapons.#Gn 34:25,30
6May I never enter their council;
may I never join their assembly.
For in their anger they kill men,
and on a whim they hamstring oxen.
7Their anger is cursed, for it is strong,
and their fury, for it is cruel!
I will disperse them throughout Jacob
and scatter them throughout Israel.#Ex 32:28; Nm 3:5–13; Dt 33:10; Jos 19:1–9; 1Ch 4:24–39; 2Ch 34:6; Neh 11:25–28
8Judah, your brothers will praise you.#Gn 29:35
Your hand will be on the necks of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.#Gn 27:29; 1Ch 5:2
9Judah is a young lion#Nm 24:9; Ezk 19:5–7; Mc 5:8; Rv 5:5  —
my son, you return from the kill.
He crouches; he lies down like a lion
or a lioness — who dares to rouse him?
10The scepter will not depart from Judah
or the staff from between his feet
until he whose right it is comes#49:10 Or until tribute comes to him, or until Shiloh comes, or until he comes to Shiloh#Nm 2:9; 10:14; 24:17; Jdg 1:1–2; Ps 60:7; 108:8; Ezk 21:27
and the obedience of the peoples belongs to him.#Ps 2:6–9; 72:8–11; Is 42:1,4; 49:6
11He ties his donkey to a vine,
and the colt of his donkey to the choice vine.
He washes his clothes in wine
and his robes in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth are whiter than milk.
13Zebulun will live by the seashore
and will be a harbor for ships,
and his territory will be next to Sidon.#Dt 33:19; Jos 19:10–16
14Issachar is a strong donkey
lying down between the saddlebags.#49:14 Or sheep pens
15He saw that his resting place was good
and that the land was pleasant,
so he leaned his shoulder to bear a load
and became a forced laborer.#Jdg 5:15–16
16Dan will judge his people#Dt 33:22; Jdg 13:2,25; 18:25–27
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan will be a snake by the road,
a viper beside the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that its rider falls backward.
18I wait for your salvation, Lord.
19Gad will be attacked by raiders,
but he will attack their heels.#Dt 33:20; 1Ch 5:18–22; Jr 49:1
20Asher’s#49:19–20 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads their heel. 20 From Asher food will be rich,
and he will produce royal delicacies.#Dt 33:24–25; Jos 19:24–31; Jdg 5:17; 1Kg 4:7
21Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns.#Jos 19:32–39
22Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine beside a spring;
its branches#49:22 Lit daughters climb over the wall.#49:22 Hb obscure
23The archers attacked him,
shot at him, and were hostile toward him.
24Yet his bow remained steady,
and his strong arms were made agile
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,#Gn 31:42; Ps 132:2,5; Is 1:24; 49:26
by the name of#49:24 Syr, Tg; MT reads Jacob, from there the Shepherd,#Gn 48:15; Ps 23:1; Jr 31:10 the Rock of Israel,#Ps 118:22; Is 28:16; 1Pt 2:6–8
25by the God of your father who helps you,
and by the Almighty who blesses you
with blessings of the heavens above,
blessings of the deep that lies below,
and blessings of the breasts and the womb.
26The blessings of your father excel
the blessings of my ancestors#49:26 Or of the mountains
and#49:26 Lit to the bounty of the ancient hills.#49:26 Hb obscure#Dt 33:15–16
May they rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince of his brothers.
27Benjamin is a wolf; he tears his prey.
In the morning he devours the prey,
and in the evening he divides the plunder.”#Jdg 5:14; 20:21; 1Sm 14:47–48
28These are the tribes of Israel, twelve in all, and this is what their father said to them. He blessed them, and he blessed each one with a suitable blessing.
Jacob’s Burial Instructions
29Then he commanded them, “I am about to be gathered to my people.#Gn 25:8 Bury me with my ancestors#Gn 47:30 in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hethite.#Gn 23:16–20; 50:13 30The cave is in the field of Machpelah near Mamre, in the land of Canaan. This is the field Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hethite as burial property.#Gn 23:3–20 31Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried there,#Gn 23:19; 25:9 Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried there,#Gn 35:29 and I buried Leah there.#Gn 48:7 32The field and the cave in it were purchased from the Hethites.” 33When Jacob had finished giving charges to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, took his last breath, and was gathered to his people.
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.