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Genesis 49

49
1Then Jacob called his sons, and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in days to come.
2“Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob,
and hearken to Israel your father.
3Reuben, you are my first-born,
my might, and the first fruits of my strength,
pre-eminent in pride and pre-eminent in power.
4Unstable as water, you shall not have pre-eminence
because you went up to your father's bed;
then you defiled it—you#49.4 Gk Syr Tg: Heb he went up to my couch!
5Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons of violence are their swords.
6O my soul, come not into their council;
O my spirit,#49.6 Or glory be not joined to their company;
for in their anger they slay men,
and in their wantonness they hamstring oxen.
7Cursed 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.
8Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father's sons shall bow down before you.
9 # Num 24.9; Rev 5.5. Judah is a lion's whelp;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down, he couched as a lion,
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him up?
10The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs;#49.10 Syr Compare Tg: Heb until Shiloh comes or until he comes to Shiloh
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11Binding his foal to the vine
and his ass's colt to the choice vine,
he washes his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes;
12his eyes shall be red with wine,
and his teeth white with milk.
13Zebulun shall dwell at the shore of the sea;
he shall become a haven for ships,
and his border shall be at Sidon.
14Issachar is a strong ass,
crouching between the sheepfolds;
15he saw that a resting place was good,
and that the land was pleasant;
so he bowed his shoulder to bear,
and became a slave at forced labor.
16Dan shall judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan shall be a serpent in the way,
a viper by the path,
that bites the horse's heels
so that his rider falls backward.
18I wait for thy salvation, O Lord.
19Raiders#49.19 Heb gedud, a raiding troop shall raid Gad,
but he shall raid at their heels.
20Asher's food shall be rich,
and he shall yield royal dainties.
21Naphtali is a hind let loose,
that bears comely fawns.#49.21 Or who gives beautiful words
22Joseph is a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring;
his branches run over the wall.
23The archers fiercely attacked him,
shot at him, and harassed him sorely;
24yet his bow remained unmoved,
his arms#49.24 Heb the arms of his hands were made agile
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
(by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel),
25by the God of your father who will help you,
by God Almighty#49.25 Heb El Shaddai who will bless you
with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that couches beneath,
blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26The blessings of your father
are mighty beyond the blessings of the eternal mountains,#49.26 Compare Gk: Heb of my progenitors to
the bounties of the everlasting hills;
may they be on the head of Joseph,
and on the brow of him who was separate from his brothers.
27Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
in the morning devouring the prey,
and at even dividing the spoil.”
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel; and this is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him. 29Then he charged them, and said to them, “I am 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 at Mach-pelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 31There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah— 32the field and the cave that is in it were purchased from the Hittites.” 33When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
49
Jacob Blesses His Sons
1Jacob called his sons together and said:
My sons, I am Jacob,
your father Israel.
2Come, gather around,
as I tell your future.
3Reuben, you are my oldest,
born at the peak of my powers;
you were an honored leader.
4Uncontrollable as a flood,
you slept with my wife
and disgraced my bed.
And so you no longer deserve
the place of honor.
5Simeon and Levi,
you are brothers,
each a gruesome sword.
6I never want to take part
in your plans or deeds.
You slaughtered people
in your anger,
and you crippled cattle
for no reason.
7Now I place a curse on you
because of
your fierce anger.
Your descendants
will be scattered
among the tribes of Israel.
8Judah, you will be praised
by your brothers;
they will bow down to you,
as you defeat your enemies.
9 # Nu 24.9; Rev 5.5. My son, you are a lion
ready to eat your victim!
You are terribly fierce;
no one will bother you.
10You will have power and rule
until nations obey you#49.10 until … you: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
and come bringing gifts.
11You will tie your donkey
to a choice grapevine
and wash your clothes
in wine from those grapes.
12Your eyes are darker than wine,
your teeth whiter than milk.
13Zebulun, you will settle
along the seashore
and provide safe harbors
as far north as Sidon.
14Issachar, you are a strong donkey
resting in the meadows.#49.14 resting … meadows: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
15You found them so pleasant
that you worked too hard
and became a slave.
16Dan,#49.16 Dan: In Hebrew “Dan” means “justice” or “judgment.” you are the tribe
that will bring justice
to Israel.
17You are a snake that bites
the heel of a horse,
making its rider fall.
18Our Lord, I am waiting
for you to save us.
19Gad,#49.19 Gad: In Hebrew “Gad” sounds like “attack.” you will be attacked,
then attack your attackers.
20Asher, you will eat food
fancy enough for a king.
21Naphtali, you are a wild deer
with lovely fawns.#49.21 with lovely fawns: Or “speaking lovely words.”
22Joseph, you are a fruitful vine
growing near a stream
and climbing a wall.#49.22 wall: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
23Enemies attacked with arrows,
refusing to show mercy.
24But you stood your ground,
swiftly shooting back
with the help of Jacob's God,
the All-Powerful One—
his name is the Shepherd,
Israel's mighty rock.#49.24 mighty rock: The Hebrew text has “rock,” which is sometimes used in poetry to compare the Lord to a mountain where his people can run for protection from their enemies.
25Your help came from the God
your father worshiped,
from God All-Powerful.
God will bless you with rain
and streams from the earth;
he will bless you
with many descendants.
26My son, the blessings I give
are better than the promise
of ancient mountains
or eternal hills.#49.26 eternal hills: One possible meaning for the difficult Hebrew text.
Joseph, I pray these blessings
will come to you,
because you are the leader
of your brothers.
27Benjamin, you are a fierce wolf,
destroying your enemies
morning and evening.
28These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is how Jacob gave each of them their proper blessings.
Jacob's Death
29-31 # Gn 23.3-20; Gn 25.9,10; Gn 35.28,29. Jacob told his sons:
Soon I will die, and I want you to bury me in Machpelah Cave. Abraham bought this cave as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite, and it is near the town of Mamre in Canaan. Abraham and Sarah are buried there, and so are Isaac and Rebekah. I buried Leah there too. 32Both the cave and the land that goes with it were bought from the Hittites.
33 # Ac 7.15. When Jacob had finished giving these instructions to his sons, he lay down on his bed and died.