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Genesis 49

49
CHAPTER 49
1Forsooth Jacob called his sons, and said to them, Be ye gathered together, that I tell what things shall come to you in the last days;
2be ye gathered [together], and hear, ye sons of Jacob, hear ye Israel your father.
3Reuben, my first begotten son, thou art my strength, and the beginning of my sorrow; thou oughtest to be the former in gifts, the more in lordship;
4thou art shed [or poured] out as water; wax thou not, for thou ascend-edest [or went up] on the bed of thy father, and defouledest his bed.
5Simeon and Levi, brethren, fighting vessels of wickedness;
6my soul come not into the counsel of them, and my glory be not in the congregation of them; for in their strong vengeance, they killed a man, and in their [own] will, they under-mined the wall;
7cursed be the strong vengeance of them, for it is obstinate, and the indignation of them, for it is hard; I shall part them in Jacob, and I shall scatter them in Israel.
8Judah, thy brethren shall praise thee, thine hands shall be in the nolls of thine enemies; the sons of thy father shall worship thee.
9Judah, the whelp of a lion; my son, thou hast gone up to the prey; thou restedest, and hast lain as a lion, and as a lioness, who shall raise him?
10The sceptre shall not be taken away from Judah, and a duke of his hip, till he come that shall be sent, and he shall be the abiding of heathen men;
11and he shall tie his colt at the vinery [or vineyard], and his she-ass at the vine; O! my son, he shall wash his stole in wine, and his mantle in the blood of the grape;
12his eyes be fairer than wine, and his teeth be whiter than milk.
13Zebulun shall dwell in the brink of the sea, and in the standing of ships; and he shall stretch till to Sidon.
14Issachar, a strong ass, lying betwixt [the] terms,
15saw rest, that it was good, and saw the land, that it was best, and he underset his shoulder to bear, and he was made serving to tributes#49:15 Either to rent, (Or to pay rent or taxes), as it is in Hebrew..
16Dan shall deem his people, as also another lineage in Israel.
17Dan be made a serpent in the way, and a cerastes, that is, an horned adder, in the path, and bite he the feet of an horse, that the rider of him fall backward;
18Lord, I shall abide thine health.
19Gad shall be girded, and he shall fight before him, and he shall be girded behind.
20Asher, his bread shall be fat, and he shall give delights to kings.
21Naphtali shall be an hart sent out, and giving speeches of fairness.
22Joseph, a son increasing, a son increasing, and fair in beholding; [the] daughters run about on the wall,
23but his brethren wrathed at him, and chided him, and they had darts, and had envy to him.
24His bow sat in the Strong, that is, the Lord, and the bonds of his arms and his hands were unbound by the hand of the mighty God of Jacob; of him a shepherd went out, the stone of Israel.
25God of thy father shall be thine helper, and Almighty God shall bless thee, with blessings of heaven from above, and with blessings of the sea lying beneath, with blessings of teats, and of the womb;
26the blessings of thy father be comforted, that is, be better than the blessings of his fathers, till the desire of everlasting hills came; blessings be made on the head of Joseph, and in the noll of Nazarite, that is, holy, among his brethren.
27Benjamin, a ravishing wolf, shall eat the prey early, and in the eventide he shall part spoils.
28All these were in [the] twelve kindreds of Israel; their father spake these things to them, and he blessed them all by proper blessings,
29and he commanded to them, and said, I am soon to be gathered to my people; bury ye me with my fathers in the double den, that is in the land of Ephron the Hittite,
30 that is, in the den in the field at Machpelah, against Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which den Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite, into possession of a sepulchre.
31There they buried him, and Sarah his wife; also Isaac was buried there, with Rebecca his wife; there also Leah lieth buried.
32(This verse is omitted in the original text.)
33And when the behests were ended, by which he taught his sons, he gathered together his feet on the bed, and died, and he was put to his people.

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.