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Genesis 49

49
Jacob’s Prophecy concerning His Sons
1Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Assemble yourselves, so that I may tell you what will happen to you in the #Lit end of the daysdays to come.
2Gather together and listen, sons of Jacob;
Yes, listen to Israel your father.
3“Reuben, you are my firstborn,
My might and the beginning of my strength,
Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
4 # Or Gushing over Uncontrollable as water, you shall not have preeminence,
Because you went up to your father’s bed;
Then you defiled it—he went up to my couch.
5“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
Their #Or plans; meaning uncertainswords are implements of violence.
6May my soul not enter into their council;
May my glory not be united with their assembly;
For in their anger they killed #Lit a manmen,
And in their self-will they lamed #Lit an oxoxen.
7Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
And their wrath, for it is cruel.
I will scatter them in Jacob,
And disperse them among Israel.
8“As for you, Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
Your father’s sons shall bow down to you.
9Judah is a lion’s cub;
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He #Lit bows downcrouches, he lies down as a lion,
And as a #Lit lionesslion, who #Lit shalldares to stir him up?
10The scepter will not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
# Or Until he comes to Shiloh; or Until he comes to whom it belongs Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11He ties his foal to the vine,
And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine;
He washes his garments in wine,
And his robes in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes are #Or darker thandull from wine,
And his teeth #Or whiter thanwhite from milk.
13“Zebulun will reside at the seashore;
And he shall be #Lit a shore of shipsa harbor for ships,
And his flank shall be toward Sidon.
14“Issachar is a #Lit donkey of bonestrong donkey,
Lying down between the sheepfolds.
15When he saw that a resting place was good
And that the land was pleasant,
He bowed his shoulder to carry burdens,
And became a slave at forced labor.
16“Dan shall judge his people,
As one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan shall be a serpent in the way,
A horned viper in the path,
That bites the horse’s heels,
So that its rider falls backward.
18For Your salvation I wait, Lord.
19“As for Gad, a band of raiders shall attack him,
But he will attack at their #Lit heelheels.
20#Lit FromAs for Asher, his #Or breadfood shall be #Lit fatrich,
And he will yield royal delicacies.
21“Naphtali is a doe let loose;
He utters beautiful words.
22“Joseph is a fruitful #Lit sonbranch,
A fruitful #Lit sonbranch by a spring;
Its #Lit daughtersbranches hang over a wall.
23The archers provoked him,
And shot at him and were hostile toward him;
24But his bow remained #I.e., in an unyielding positionfirm,
And #Lit the arms of his handshis arms were agile,
From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
(From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
25From the God of your father who helps you,
And #Or withby the #Heb ShaddaiAlmighty who blesses you
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26The blessings of your father
Have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors
Up to the #Lit limit; or desirefurthest boundary of the everlasting hills;
May they be on the head of Joseph,
And on the top of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.
27“Benjamin is a #Lit a wolf that tearsravenous wolf;
In the morning he devours the prey,
And in the evening he divides the spoils.”
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them #Lit andwhen he blessed them. He blessed them, every one #Lit according to his blessingwith the blessing appropriate to him.
Jacob Dies
29Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am about to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is opposite Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a #Lit possession of a burial placeburial site. 31There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah— 32the field and the cave that is in it, purchased from the sons of Heth.” 33When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
49
Jacob Gives Blessings to His Sons
1Then Jacob sent for his sons. He said, “Gather around me so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.
2“Sons of Jacob, come together and listen.
Listen to your father Israel.
3“Reuben, you are my oldest son.
You were my first child. You were the first sign of my strength.
You were first in honor. You were first in power.
4But you are as unsteady as water. So you won’t be first anymore.
You had sex with my concubine on my bed.
You lay on my couch and made it ‘unclean.’
5“Simeon and Levi are brothers.
Their swords have killed a lot of people.
6I won’t share in their plans.
I won’t have anything to do with them.
They became angry and killed people.
They cut the legs of oxen just for the fun of it.
7May the Lord put a curse on them
because of their terrible anger.
I will scatter them in Jacob’s land.
I will spread them around in Israel.
8“Judah, your brothers will praise you.
Your enemies will be brought under your control.
Your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9Judah, you are like a lion’s cub.
You return from hunting, my son.
Like a lion, you lie down and sleep.
You are like a mother lion. Who dares to wake you up?
10The right to rule will not leave Judah.
The ruler’s scepter will not be taken from between his feet.
It will be his until the king it belongs to will come.
The nations will obey that king.
11He will tie his donkey to a vine.
He will tie his colt to the very best branch.
He will wash his clothes in wine.
He will wash his robes in the red juice of grapes.
12His eyes will be darker than wine.
His teeth will be whiter than milk.
13“Zebulun will live by the seashore.
He will become a safe harbor for ships.
His border will go out toward Sidon.
14“Issachar is like a wild donkey
lying down among the sheep pens.
15He sees how good his resting place is.
He sees that his land is pleasant.
So he will carry a heavy load on his back.
He will obey when he’s forced to work.
16“Dan will do what is fair for his people.
He will do it as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan will be a snake by the side of the road.
He will be a poisonous snake along the path.
It bites the horse’s heels
so that the rider falls off backward.
18Lord, I look to you to save me.
19“Gad will be attacked by a group of robbers.
But he will attack them as they run away.
20“Asher’s food will be rich and sweet.
He will provide food that even a king would enjoy.
21“Naphtali is a female deer set free
and gives birth to beautiful fawns.
22“Joseph is a vine that grows a lot of fruit.
It grows close by a spring.
Its branches climb over a wall.
23Mean people shot arrows at him.
They shot at him because they were angry.
24But his bow remained steady.
His strong arms moved freely.
The hand of the Mighty God of Jacob was with him.
The Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, stood by him.
25Joseph, your father’s God helps you.
The Mighty God blesses you.
He gives you blessings from the sky above.
He gives you blessings from the deep springs below.
He blesses you with children and with a mother’s milk.
26Your father’s blessings are great.
They are greater than the blessings from the age-old mountains.
They are greater than the gifts from the ancient hills.
Let all those blessings rest on the head of Joseph.
Let them rest on the head of the one who is prince among his brothers.
27“Benjamin is a hungry wolf.
In the morning he eats what he has killed.
In the evening he shares what he has stolen.”
28All these are the 12 tribes of Israel. That’s what their father said to them when he blessed them. He gave each one the blessing that was just right for him.
Jacob Dies
29Then Jacob gave directions to his sons. He said, “I’m about to join the members of my family who have already died. Bury me with them in the cave in the field of Ephron, the Hittite. 30The cave is in the field of Machpelah near Mamre in Canaan. Abraham had bought it as a place where he could bury his wife’s body. He had bought the cave and the field from Ephron, the Hittite. 31The bodies of Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried there. So were the bodies of Isaac and his wife Rebekah. I also buried Leah’s body there. 32Abraham bought the field and the cave from the Hittites.”
33When Jacob had finished telling his sons what to do, he pulled his feet up into his bed. Then he took his last breath and died. He joined the members of his family who had already died.