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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
1And Ya'akov called unto his banim, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the acharit hayamim (last days). 2Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye Bnei Ya'akov; and pay heed unto Yisroel Avichem. 3Reuven, thou art my bechor, my koach, and the reshit of my strength, the excellency of honor, and excellency of oz (power): 4Unstable as mayim, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to mishkevei avicha (thy father's bed, i.e. incest); then defiledst thou it; he went up to my couch. 5Shimon and Levi are achim; kelei chamas (instruments of violence) are in their swords. 6O my nefesh, enter not thou into their sod (secret, council); unto their kehal, mine kavod, be not thou united; for in their anger they slaughtered ish, and in their ratzon (self-will) they lamed shor (ox). 7Arur (cursed) be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel; I will dispense them in Ya'akov, and scatter them in Yisroel. 8Yehudah, thou art he whom thy achim yoducha (they will praise you); thy yad shall be in the oref (neck) of thine enemies; Bnei Avicha shall bow down before thee. 9Yehudah is the cub of an aryeh (lion); from the prey, beni (my son), thou hast gone up; he stooped down, he couched like an aryeh, and like a lioness; who shall rouse him? 10The shevet (sceptre) shall not depart from Yehudah, nor a Mekhokek (Lawgiver) from between his raglayim, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall be the obedience of the amim (peoples, nations). 11He ties his foal unto the gefen (vine), and his donkey's colt unto the choice vine; he will wash his levush (garments) in yayin, and his robe in the dahm anavim (blood of grapes); 12His eyes shall be darker with yayin, and his shinayim (teeth) whiter than cholov (milk). 13Zevulun shall dwell at the seashore; and he shall be a haven for oniyyot (ships); and his border shall be unto Tzidon. 14Yissakhar is a strong chamor (donkey) lying down between two saddlebags; 15And he saw that a menuchah (resting place) was tov, and haaretz that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became oved (submitting, enslaved) at forced labor. 16Dan yadin (shall judge) his people, as one of the Shivtei Yisroel. 17Dan shall be a nachash beside the derech, a viper along the orach (path) that biteth the ikkvei sus (the horse heels), so that its rider shall fall backward. 18I have waited for Thy Yeshuah (Salvation), Hashem. 19Gad, gedud (raider) shall raid him; but he shall raid akev ([at] the heel). 20Out of Asher his lechem shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties. 21Naphtali is a doe let loose; he giveth goodly sayings. 22Yosef is a ben of a fruittree, even ben of a fruit-tree near an ayin (spring, well); its daughters (i.e., branches) run over the wall; 23The ba'alei khitzim (archers) provoke him, and shoot at him, and hate him; 24But his keshet (bow) remained steady, and the arms of his hands remain strong, from the hands of the Avir Ya'akov, from there, from the Ro'eh, Even Yisroel; 25And from El Avicha, who shall help thee; and Shaddai, who shall make berakhah over thee with Birkat Shomayim above, Birkat Tehom that lieth beneath, Birkat Shadayim and of Rekhem. 26Birkat Avicha surpass the Birkat of my progenitors unto the utmost border of the giveot olam (everlasting hills); they shall come on the rosh Yosef, and on the brow of the Prince among his achim. 27Binyamin--a ze'ev (wolf) which tears in pieces; in the boker he shall devour the prey, and at erev he shall divide the plunder. 28All these are the Shivtei Yisroel; and this is it that Avichem spoke unto them, and made a berakhah on them; every one according to his berakhah he blessed them. 29And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people; bury me with Avotai in the me'arah (cave) that is in the sadeh of Ephron the Chitti, 30In the me'arah that is in the sadeh of Machpelah, which is near Mamre, in Eretz Kena'an, which Avraham bought with the sadeh of Ephron the Chitti for an achuzzat kever (burial estate). 31There they buried Avraham and Sarah his isha; there they buried Yitzchak and Rivkah his isha; and there I buried Leah. 32The purchase of the sadeh and of the me'arah (cave) that is therein was from the Bnei Chet (Heth). 33And when Ya'akov had made an end of commanding his banim, he gathered up his raglayim into the mittah, and expired, and was gathered unto his people.