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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 Jacob calleth unto his sons and saith, ‘Be gathered together, and I declare to you that which doth happen with you in the latter end of the days.
2‘Be assembled, and hear, sons of Jacob, And hearken unto Israel your father.
3Reuben! my first-born thou, My power, and beginning of my strength, The abundance of exaltation, And the abundance of strength;
4Unstable as water, thou art not abundant; For thou hast gone up thy father's bed; Then thou hast polluted: My couch he went up!
5Simeon and Levi [are] brethren! Instruments of violence — their espousals!
6Into their secret, come not, O my soul! Unto their assembly be not united, O mine honour; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will eradicated a prince.
7Cursed [is] their anger, for [it is] fierce, And their wrath, for [it is] sharp; I divide them in Jacob, And I scatter them in Israel.
8Judah! thou — thy brethren praise thee! Thy hand [is] on the neck of thine enemies, Sons of thy father bow themselves to thee.
9A lion's whelp [is] Judah, For prey, my son, thou hast gone up; He hath bent, he hath crouched as a lion, And as a lioness; who causeth him to arise?
10The sceptre turneth not aside from Judah, And a lawgiver from between his feet, Till his Seed come; And his [is] the obedience of peoples.
11Binding to the vine his ass, And to the choice vine the colt of his ass, He hath washed in wine his clothing, And in the blood of grapes his covering;
12Red [are] eyes with wine, And white [are] teeth with milk!
13Zebulun at a haven of the seas doth dwell, And he [is] for a haven of ships; And his side [is] unto Zidon.
14Issacher [is] a strong ass, Crouching between the two folds;
15And he seeth rest that [it is] good, And the land that [it is] pleasant, And he inclineth his shoulder to bear, And is to tribute a servant.
16Dan doth judge his people, As one of the tribes of Israel;
17Dan is a serpent by the way, An adder by the path, Which is biting the horse's heels, And its rider falleth backward.
18For Thy salvation I have waited, Jehovah!
19Gad! a troop assaulteth him, But he assaulteth last.
20Out of Asher his bread [is] fat; And he giveth dainties of a king.
21Naphtali [is] a hind sent away, Who is giving beauteous young ones.
22Joseph [is] a fruitful son; A fruitful son by a fountain, Daughters step over the wall;
23And embitter him — yea, they have striven, Yea, hate him do archers;
24And his bow abideth in strength, And strengthened are the arms of his hands By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, Whence is a shepherd, a son of Israel.
25By the God of thy father who helpeth thee, And the Mighty One who blesseth thee, Blessings of the heavens from above, Blessings of the deep lying under, Blessings of breasts and womb; —
26Thy father's blessings have been mighty Above the blessings of my progenitors, Unto the limit of the heights age-during They are for the head of Joseph, And for the crown of the one Separate [from] his brethren.
27Benjamin! a wolf teareth; In the morning he eateth prey, And at evening he apportioneth spoil.’
28All these [are] the twelve tribes of Israel, and this [is] that which their father hath spoken unto them, and he blesseth them; each according to his blessing he hath blessed them.
29And he commandeth them, and saith unto them, ‘I am being gathered unto my people; bury me by my fathers, at the cave which [is] in the field of Ephron the Hittite;
30in the cave which [is] in the field of Machpelah, which [is] on the front of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place;
31(there they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah);
32the purchase of the field and of the cave which [is] in it, [is] from Sons of Heth.’
33And Jacob finisheth commanding his sons, and gathereth up his feet unto the bed, and expireth, and is gathered unto his people.