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Genesis 49

49
1Jacob called his sons together, and said, “Gather round so I can tell you what's going to happen to you in the future. 2Come here, sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel your father.
3Reuben. You are my firstborn, conceived when I was strong, born when I was vigorous! You were above all others in position, above all others in power. 4But you boil over like water, so you won't be above anyone anymore, because you went and slept with my concubine;#49:4. See 35:22. you violated my marriage bed.
5Simeon and Levi are two of the same kind—they use their weapons for destructive violence.#49:5. See 34:25. 6I refuse to be part of their decisions; I refuse to participate in what they do. For they killed men in their anger; they crippled cattle just for fun. 7I curse their anger because it is too harsh; I curse their fury because it is too cruel! I will separate their descendants throughout Jacob; I will scatter them throughout Israel.
8Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will defeat your enemies. Your father's sons shall bow down to you in respect. 9My son Judah is a young lion coming back from eating its prey. He crouches and lies down like a lion. Like a lion, who would dare to disturb him? 10Judah will always hold the scepter, and the staff of authority will always be at his feet until Shiloh#49:10. “Shiloh”: there is considerable disagreement among commentators over this word. Many see this as a prophecy relating to the Messiah. comes; the nations will obey him. 11He ties his donkey to the vine, his donkey's colt to the best vine. He washes his clothes in wine, his robes in the red juice of grapes.#49:11. The intent of this verse is that the descendants of Judah would have such prosperity that they could afford to tie donkeys to their vines and have so much wine they could wash their clothes with it. 12His eyes sparkle more than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk.
13Zebulun will live on the seashore and provide a harbor for ships; his territory will extend towards Sidon.
14Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between two saddle bags.#49:14. “Saddle bags”: or, “sheepfolds.” 15He sees that the place where he's resting is good, and the land is lovely, so he's willing to lower his back to accept the burden and to work as a slave.
16Dan will judge#49:16. Dan means judge, see 30:6. his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 17Dan will be as dangerous as a snake beside the road, a viper by the path that bites the horse's heel, throwing its rider off backwards.
18I trust in you to save me, Lord.
19Raiders will attack Gad, but he will attack their heels.
20Asher will have delicious food—he'll produce fancy food for royalty.
21Naphtali is a deer that's free to run; it gives birth to beautiful fawns.#49:21. “Gives birth to beautiful fawns”: or “gives beautiful words.”
22Joseph is a fruitful tree, a fruitful tree beside a spring, whose branches climb over the wall. 23The archers viciously attacked him; they shot their arrows at him with hate. 24But he held his bow steady, and his arms and hands moved quickly in the strength of the Mighty One of Jacob, who is called the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. 25The God of your father will help you and the Almighty will bless you with blessings from the heavens above, with blessings from the depths below, with blessings for many children.#49:25. “Many children”: literally “breasts and womb.” 26The blessings your father received were greater than the blessings of his forefathers, more than the blessings of the eternal mountains.#49:26. The Hebrew of this verse is unclear. May they be upon the head of Joseph, on the forehead of the one set apart as a leader from his brothers.
27Benjamin is a vicious wolf. In the morning he destroys his enemies,#49:27. “Destroys his enemies”: literally “eats the prey.” in the evening he divides the loot.”
28These are all of the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father told them as he blessed them, each according to their respective blessings.
29Then he gave them the following instructions: “I'm going to die soon. Bury me with my forefathers 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 together with the field from Ephron the Hittite to own as a burial site. 31Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried there, Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried there, and I buried Leah there. 32The field and the cave were bought from the Hittites.”
33When Jacob finished giving these instructions he pulled up his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and joined his forefathers in death.
49
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.