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Genesis 49

49
1And Jacob called his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, and I will tell you what will befall you at the end of days. 2Assemble yourselves, and hear, ye sons of Jacob, And listen to Israel your father. 3Reuben, thou art my firstborn, My might, and the firstfruits of my vigour: Excellency of dignity, and excellency of strength. 4Impetuous as the waters, thou shalt have no pre-eminence; Because thou wentest up to thy father's couch: Then defiledst thou it: he went up to my bed.
5Simeon and Levi are brethren: Instruments of violence their swords. 6My soul, come not into their council; Mine honour, be not united with their assembly; For in their anger they slew men, And in their wantonness houghed oxen. 7Cursed be their anger, for it was violent; And their rage, for it was cruel! I will divide them in Jacob, And scatter them in Israel.
8Judah — as to thee, thy brethren will praise thee; Thy hand will be upon the neck of thine enemies; Thy father's children will bow down to thee. 9Judah is a young lion; From the prey, my son, thou art gone up. He stoopeth, he layeth himself down as a lion, And as a lioness: who will rouse him up? 10The sceptre will not depart from Judah, Nor the lawgiver from between his feet, Until Shiloh come, And to him will be the obedience of peoples. 11He bindeth his foal to the vine, And his ass's colt to the choice vine; He washeth his dress in wine, And his garment in the blood of grapes. 12The eyes are red with wine, And the teeth are white with milk.
13Zebulun will dwell at the shore of the seas; Yea, he will be at the shore of the ships, And his side toucheth upon Sidon. 14Issachar is a bony ass, Crouching down between two hurdles. 15And he saw the rest that it was good, And the land that it was pleasant; And he bowed his shoulder to bear, And was a tributary servant. 16Dan will judge his people, As another of the tribes of Israel. 17Dan will be a serpent on the way, A horned snake on the path, Which biteth the horse's heels, So that the rider falleth backwards. 18I wait for thy salvation, O Jehovah. 19Gad — troops will rush upon him; But he will rush upon the heel. 20Out of Asher, his bread shall be fat, And he will give royal dainties. 21Naphtali is a hind let loose; He giveth goodly words.
22Joseph is a fruitful bough; A fruitful bough by a well; His branches shoot over the wall. 23The archers have provoked him, And shot at, and hated him; 24But his bow abideth firm, And the arms of his hands are supple By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob. From thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel: 25From the ·God#GodHebrew: El of thy father, and he will help thee; And from the Almighty, and he will bless thee — With blessings of heaven from above, With blessings of the deep that lieth under, With blessings of the breast and of the womb. 26The blessings of thy father surpass the blessings of my ancestors, Unto the bounds of the everlasting hills: They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him that was separated from his brethren. 27Benjamin — as a wolf will he tear to pieces; In the morning he will devour the prey, And in the evening he will divide the booty.
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them; and he blessed them: every one according to his blessing he blessed them. 29And he charged them, and said to them, I am 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 to Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought of Ephron the Hittite along with the field for a possession of a sepulchre. 31There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebecca his wife; and there I buried Leah. 32The purchase of the field, and of the cave that is in it, was from the children of Heth. 33And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered his feet into the bed, and expired, and was gathered to his peoples.
49
Israel’s Prophecy concerning His Sons
1Then Jacob called for his sons and said, “Assemble yourselves [around me] that I may tell you what will happen to you and your descendants #See Deut 33, where Moses blesses the same tribes in a similar prophetic way.in the days to come.
2Gather together and hear, O sons of Jacob;
And listen to Israel (Jacob) your father.
3“Reuben, you are my #Reuben was the eldest of Jacob’s twelve sons and therefore entitled to the birthright, which would make him successor to his father as head of the family or tribe, and inheritor of a double portion of his father’s estate. But Reuben forfeited all this by his conduct with Bilhah, his father’s concubine (35:22). By adopting Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and giving each of them a portion of the inheritance, Jacob virtually gave Joseph the extra portion of the land that would have gone to Reuben. Judah became the tribal leader in Reuben’s place (49:8-10).firstborn;
My might, the beginning of my strength and vigor,
Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power [that should have been your birthright].
4But unstable and reckless and boiling over like water [in sinful lust], you shall #The fertile land once occupied by the tribe of Reuben was deserted by its settled inhabitants and given over to the tribal nomads of the desert. Because of his behavior, Reuben had forfeited his rights as the firstborn even before Jacob’s prophecy.not excel or have the preeminence [of the firstborn],
Because you went up to your father’s bed [with Bilhah];
You defiled it—he went up to my couch.
5“Simeon and Levi are brothers [equally headstrong, deceitful, vindictive, and cruel];
Their swords are weapons of violence and revenge.
6O my soul, do not come into their secret council;
Let not my glory (honor) be united with their assembly [for I knew nothing of their plot];
Because in their anger they killed men [an honored man, Shechem, and the Shechemites],
And in their self-will they lamed oxen.
7Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce;
And their wrath, for it was cruel.
I will divide and disperse them in Jacob,
And #This prophecy was fulfilled when the tribe of Levi received no inheritance except forty-eight towns scattered throughout different parts of Canaan. The tribe of Simeon was originally given only a few towns and villages in the midst of the inheritance of the tribe of Judah (Josh 19:1).scatter them in [the midst of the land of] Israel.
8“Judah, you are the one whom your brothers shall praise;
Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
Your father’s sons shall bow down to you.
9Judah, a lion’s cub;
With the prey, my son, you have gone high up [the mountain].
He stooped down, he crouched like a lion,
And like a lion—who dares rouse him?
10The scepter [of royalty] shall not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until Shiloh [the Messiah, the Peaceful One] comes,
And to Him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11Tying #I.e. the tribe of Judah.his foal to the [strong] vine
And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
He washes his clothing in wine [because the grapevine produces abundantly],
And his robes in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes are darker and sparkle more than wine,
And his teeth whiter than milk.
13“Zebulun shall dwell at the seashore;
And he shall be a haven (landing place) for ships,
And his flank shall be toward Sidon.
14“Issachar is [like] a strong-boned donkey,
Crouching down between the sheepfolds.
15When he saw that the resting place was good
And that the land was pleasant,
He bowed his shoulder to bear [burdens],
And became a servant at forced labor.
16“Dan shall judge his people,
As one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan shall be a [venomous] serpent in the way,
A fanged snake in the path,
That bites the horse’s heels,
So that his rider falls backward.
18I wait for Your salvation, O Lord.
19“As for #The Hebrew word from which the name “Gad” is derived has two meanings. In this verse the Hebrew meaning is associated with a “raiding troop” but in 30:11 it is associated with “good fortune.”Gad—a raiding troop shall raid him,
But he shall raid at their heels and assault them [victoriously].
20“Asher’s food [supply] shall be rich and bountiful,
And he shall yield and deliver royal delights.
21“Naphtali is a doe let loose, [a swift warrior,]
Which yields branched antlers (eloquent words).
22“Joseph is a fruitful bough (a main branch of the vine),
A fruitful bough by a spring (a well, a fountain);
Its branches run over the wall [influencing others].
23The [skilled] archers have bitterly attacked and provoked him;
They have shot [at him] and harassed him.
24But his bow remained firm and steady [in the Strength that does not fail],
For his arms were made strong and agile
By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
(By the name of the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
25By the God of your father who will help you,
And by the #Heb Shaddai.Almighty who blesses you
With blessings of the heavens above,
Blessings lying in the deep that couches beneath,
Blessings of the [nursing] breasts and of the [fertile] womb.
26The blessings of your father
Are greater than the blessings of my ancestors [Abraham and Isaac]
Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills;
They shall be on the head of Joseph,
Even on the crown of the head of him who was the distinguished one and the one who is prince among (separate from) his brothers.
27“Benjamin is a #The tribe of Benjamin invariably displayed courage and ferocity, particularly in their war with the other tribes. The tribe of Benjamin was absorbed by the tribe of Judah and is not mentioned after the return from the Babylonian captivity, except in connection with its former land or as the source of some individual person. Ehud, Saul, Jonathan, and the apostle Paul were Benjamites.ravenous wolf;
In the morning he devours the prey,
And at night he divides the spoil.”
28All these are the [beginnings of the] twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each one according to the blessing appropriate to him. 29He charged them and said to them, “I am 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 in the field at Machpelah, east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, that Abraham bought, along with the field from Ephron the Hittite, to possess as a burial site. 31There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife, there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah— 32the field and the cave that is in it was purchased from the sons of Heth.” 33When Jacob (Israel) had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was #See note 25:8.gathered to his people [who had preceded him in death].