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Genesis 49

49
Chapter 49
Jacob blesses his sons
1Then Jacob called for all his sons. He said, ‘Come here to me. Then I can tell you what will happen to you, in future years. 2You sons of Jacob, come together now and listen to your father, Israel.’ #49:2 Jacob calls himself by both his old name, ‘Jacob’, and the new name that God has given to him, ‘Israel’. He says what is going to happen to each of his sons and to their descendants.
Reuben
3Jacob said, ‘Reuben you are my firstborn son. You were born first, when I was a strong young man. Of all my sons, you are the most famous and the strongest.
4Yet you are as wild as the sea. You had sex with your father's slave wife. This bad thing brought me shame. So you will not become great. #49:4 See Genesis 35:22.
Simeon and Levi
5Simeon and Levi are brothers. They use their swords as weapons to destroy people. #49:5 See Genesis 34:26.
6I will not join them when they decide to do bad things. I will not meet with them. They have killed people when they are angry. They have hurt animals because it makes them happy.
7Their anger is so strong that God will curse them. Their anger makes them do cruel things. So God will curse them. I will make your descendants separate from one another. They will live all over the country of Israel.
Judah
8Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will win against your enemies. Your father's sons will bend down towards the ground in front of you.
9Judah is like a young lion who has eaten good food. He has eaten what he killed and now he rests. Nobody would want to try and wake him up!
10Judah's descendants will always rule as king. They will continue to hold the stick and the sceptre that show the king's authority. They will do that until the man comes who truly has that authority. People from all nations will obey that king. #49:10 King David was from the tribe of Judah, and so was Jesus Christ. Jesus is the true King who rules for ever. A sceptre is something that a king holds. Its shape is like a stick with a ball on the top.
11Judah will tie his young donkey to a vine. It will be a vine that has the best grapes. He will wash his clothes in the red wine that is made from those grapes. #49:11 Vines were valuable plants in Old Testament times. Jacob is saying that Judah will be very rich. He will tie his donkey to the best of his valuable plants. He will wash his clothes in wine. He will be very rich.
12His eyes will become red because he drinks so much wine. His teeth will become white because he drinks so much milk.#49:12 Jacob is saying that Judah will have plenty of everything.
Zebulun
13Zebulun will live by the shore of the sea. His town will be a safe place for ships to stay. His land will go as far as Sidon.
Issachar
14Issachar is like a strong donkey that is lying down between two of its bags.
15He will see that he has a good place to live, with good land. Then he will agree to work hard. He will work like a slave for other people. #49:15 Jacob is saying that Issachar is strong. He is saying that he will work like a donkey. Donkeys carry heavy things in their bags. Issachar will work for other people, to get food and a nice place to stay.
Dan
16Dan will be a ruler for his people. His descendants will be equal with the other tribes of Israel. #49:16 The tribe of Dan was a small tribe, but they had the same authority as all the other tribes.
17He will be small and dangerous, like a snake that lies beside the road. He will be like a snake that bites the legs of horses so that the riders fall off.
18I trust you to save me from trouble, Lord. #49:18 Jacob prays for himself and then he continues.
Gad
19Robbers will attack Gad, but he will fight back against them.
Asher
20Asher will have much good food. It will be good enough for kings to eat.
Naphtali
21Naphtali is like a deer that runs freely and gives birth to beautiful babies.
Joseph
22Joseph is like a vine that has lots of fruit. It grows near a well and its branches go over a wall. #49:22 Jacob means that Joseph's descendants will go and live all over the land.
23His enemies will attack him with arrows. 24But he will hold his own bow strongly. He will shoot his arrows well. The Mighty One of Jacob will give Joseph strength. God, who is Israel's Shepherd and Rock, will help him. #49:24 Mighty One means the God who is very strong. It is a name for the Lord God. Shepherd is also a name for God (see Genesis 48:15). Rock of Israel, means that God is strong and does not change. Jacob knows that God will continue to help Joseph.
25The Almighty God, the God of your father, will help you and he will bless you. He will give you rain that comes from the sky above. He will give you water that comes up from below the ground. He will cause you and your animals to give birth to many children. That is how God will bless you.
26The blessings that I, your father, give to you are great! They are greater than any good things that the old mountains or hills can give to you. They are special blessings for you, Joseph, because you are the leader of your brothers.
Benjamin
27Benjamin is like a hungry wolf. He kills an animal and eats it in the morning. In the evening, he gives what remains to his people.’ #49:27 Jacob is saying that Benjamin will go out and kill his enemies in the morning. And he will return in the evening. In the evening, he will give what he has taken from his enemies to his people.
28All these are the 12 tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He told each of his sons what was right for them and their descendants. #49:28 The descendants of each of Jacob's sons would become a separate group of people. Those are the tribes of Israel (Jacob).
Jacob dies and Joseph buries him
29Then Jacob said to his 12 sons, ‘I am soon going to die. You must take my dead body back to Canaan. Bury me there with my ancestors. Bury me in the cave in the field that belonged to Ephron the Hittite. 30The cave is at Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan. Abraham bought this cave from Ephron as a place to bury his family. 31That is where they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah. They also buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah there. I buried Leah there too. 32Abraham bought the cave and the field from the Hittites.’ 33Jacob finished telling his sons what they should do. Then he lay down on his bed again. He breathed for the last time and he died there.
49
1Then Iaakob called his sonnes, and sayde, Gather your selues together, that I may tell you what shall come to you in the last dayes. 2Gather your selues together, and heare, ye sonnes of Iaakob, and hearken vnto Israel your father. 3Reuben mine eldest sonne, thou art my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellencie of dignitie, and the excellencie of power: 4Thou wast light as water: thou shalt not be excellent, because thou wentest vp to thy fathers bed: then diddest thou defile my bed, thy dignitie is gone. 5Simeon and Leui, brethren in euill, the instruments of crueltie are in their habitations. 6Into their secret let not my soule come: my glory, be not thou ioyned with their assembly: for in their wrath they slew a man, and in their selfe will they digged downe a wall. 7Cursed be their wrath, for it was fierce, and their rage, for it was cruell: I will deuide them in Iaakob, and scatter them in Israel. 8Thou Iudah, thy brethre shall praise thee: thine hande shalbe in the necke of thine enemies: thy fathers sonnes shall bowe downe vnto thee. 9Iudah, as a Lions whelpe shalt thou come vp from the spoyle, my sonne. He shall lye downe and couche as a Lion, and as a Lionesse: Who shall stirre him vp? 10The scepter shall not depart from Iudah, nor a Lawegiuer from betweene his feete, vntill Shiloh come, and the people shall be gathered vnto him. 11He shall binde his Asse foale vnto ye vine, and his Asses colte vnto the best vine. hee shall wash his garment in wine, and his cloke in the blood of grapes. 12His eyes shalbe red with wine, and his teeth white with milke. 13Zebulun shall dwell by the sea side, and he shalbe an hauen for shippes: and his border shalbe vnto Zidon. 14Issachar shalbe a strong asse, couching downe betweene two burdens: 15And he shall see that rest is good, and that the land is pleasant, and he shall bow his shoulder to beare, and shalbe subiect vnto tribute. 16Dan shall iudge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 17Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder by the path, byting the horse heeles, so that his rider shall fall backward. 18O Lord, I haue waited for thy saluation. 19Gad, an hoste of men shall ouercome him, but he shall ouercome at the last. 20Concerning Asher, his bread shalbe fat, and he shall giue pleasures for a king. 21Naphtali shalbe a hinde let goe, giuing goodly wordes. 22Ioseph shalbe a fruitefull bough, euen a fruitful bough by the well side: the small boughs shall runne vpon the wall. 23And the archers grieued him, and shotte against him and hated him. 24But his bowe abode strong, and the hands of his armes were strengthened, by the handes of the mighty God of Iaakob, of whom was the feeder appointed, by the stone of Israel, 25Euen by the God of thy father, who shall helpe thee, and by the almightie, who shall blesse thee with heauenly blessinges from aboue, with blessings of the deepe, that lyeth beneath, with blessings of the brestes, and of the wombe. 26The blessings of thy father shalbe stronger then the blessings of mine elders: vnto the ende of the hilles of the worlde they shall be on the head of Ioseph, and on the top of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. 27Beniamin shall rauine as a wolfe: in the morning he shall deuoure the pray, and at night he shall deuide the spoyle. 28All these are the twelue tribes of Israel, and thus their father spake vnto them, and blessed them: euery one of them blessed hee with a seuerall blessing. 29And he charged them and sayd vnto them, I am ready to be gathered vnto my people: burie mee with my fathers in the caue, that is in the fielde of Ephron the Hittite, 30In the caue that is in the field of Machpelah besides Mamre in the land of Canaan: which caue Abraham bought with the fielde of Ephron the Hittite for a possession to burie in. 31There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife: there they buryed Izhak and Rebekah his wife: and there I buried Leah. 32The purchase of the fielde and the caue that is therein, was bought of the children of Heth. 33Thus Iaakob made an end of giuing charge to his sonnes, and plucked vp his feete into the bed and gaue vp the ghost, and was gathered to his people.