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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
Jacob blesses his sons
1Then Jacob called for his sons and said: ‘Gather round so that I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.
2‘Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob;
listen to your father Israel.
3‘Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might, the first sign of my strength,
excelling in honour, excelling in power.
4Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel,
for you went up onto your father’s bed,
onto my couch and defiled it.
5‘Simeon and Levi are brothers –
their swords#49:5 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain. are weapons of violence.
6Let me not enter their council,
let me not join their assembly,
for they have killed men in their anger
and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.
7Cursed be their anger, so fierce,
and their fury, so cruel!
I will scatter them in Jacob
and disperse them in Israel.
8‘Judah,#49:8 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise. your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness – who dares to rouse him?
10The sceptre will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,#49:10 Or from his descendants
until he to whom it belongs#49:10 Or to whom tribute belongs; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain. shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
11He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.#49:12 Or will be dull from wine, / his teeth white from milk
13‘Zebulun will live by the seashore
and become a haven for ships;
his border will extend towards Sidon.
14‘Issachar is a scrawny#49:14 Or strong donkey
lying down among the sheepfolds.#49:14 Or the campfires; or the saddlebags
15When he sees how good is his resting-place
and how pleasant is his land,
he will bend his shoulder to the burden
and submit to forced labour.
16‘Dan#49:16 Dan here means he provides justice. will provide justice for his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan will be a snake by the roadside,
a viper along the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that its rider tumbles backwards.
18‘I look for your deliverance, Lord.
19‘Gad#49:19 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for attack and also for band of raiders. will be attacked by a band of raiders,
but he will attack them at their heels.
20‘Asher’s food will be rich;
he will provide delicacies fit for a king.
21‘Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns.#49:21 Or free; / he utters beautiful words
22‘Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.#49:22 Or Joseph is a wild colt, / a wild colt near a spring, / a wild donkey on a terraced hill
23With bitterness archers attacked him;
they shot at him with hostility.
24But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed#49:23,24 Or archers will attack… will shoot… will remain… will stay supple,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25because of your father’s God, who helps you,
because of the Almighty,#49:25 Hebrew Shaddai who blesses you
with blessings of the skies above,
blessings of the deep springs below,
blessings of the breast and womb.
26Your father’s blessings are greater
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than#49:26 Or of my progenitors, / as great as the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among#49:26 Or of the one separated from his brothers.
27‘Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
in the morning he devours the prey,
in the evening he divides the plunder.’
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.
The death of Jacob
29Then he gave them these instructions: ‘I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 31There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. 32The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.#49:32 Or the descendants of Heth
33When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.