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Genesis 49

49
Jacob Blesses His Sons
1 # For ver. 1-27, see Deut. 33:6-25 Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you #Num. 24:14; Deut. 4:30; 31:29; Isa. 2:2; Jer. 23:20; Dan. 2:28; 10:14; Hos. 3:5in days to come.
2“Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel your father.
3“Reuben, you are #ch. 29:32 my firstborn,
my might, and the #Deut. 21:17firstfruits of my strength,
preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
4Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence,
because you #ch. 35:22; 1 Chr. 5:1went up to your father’s bed;
then you defiled it—he went up to my couch!
5 # ch. 29:33, 34 “Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons #ch. 34:25, 26of violence are their swords.
6Let my soul come not into their council;
# [Ps. 16:9; 57:8] O my glory, #[Ps. 26:9] be not joined to their company.
For in their anger they killed men,
and in their willfulness they #Josh. 11:6, 9; 2 Sam. 8:4hamstrung oxen.
7Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce,
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will #See Num. 3:5-13; Josh. 19:1-9; 1 Chr. 4:24-39divide them in Jacob
and scatter them in Israel.
8“Judah, #ch. 29:35; [ch. 27:29] your brothers shall praise you;
# [Job 16:12] your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
# 1 Chr. 5:2 your father’s sons shall bow down before you.
9Judah is #Rev. 5:5; [Deut. 33:22; Hos. 5:14] a lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
# [Num. 23:24; 24:9] He stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?
10The #Num. 24:17; Zech. 10:11 scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff #Deut. 28:57from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;#49:10 By a slight revocalization; a slight emendation yields (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Targum) until he comes to whom it belongs; Hebrew until Shiloh comes, or until he comes to Shiloh
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
he has washed his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
12His #Prov. 23:29eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
13 # [Deut. 33:18, 19]; Josh. 19:10, 11 “Zebulun shall dwell at the #[Deut. 1:7; Josh. 9:1; Judg. 5:17]shore of the sea;
he shall become a haven for ships,
and his border shall be at Sidon.
14 # Judg. 5:16; [1 Chr. 12:32] “Issachar is a strong donkey,
crouching between the sheepfolds.#49:14 Or between its saddlebags
15He saw that a resting place was good,
and that the land was pleasant,
so he bowed his shoulder to bear,
and #Josh. 16:10became a servant at forced labor.
16 # [Deut. 33:22] “Dan shall #ch. 30:6judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan #Judg. 18:27shall be a serpent in the way,
a viper by the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that his rider falls backward.
18I #Ps. 25:5; 119:166, 174; Isa. 25:9; Mic. 7:7; [Luke 2:25]wait for your salvation, O Lord.
19 # [Deut. 33:20] “Raiders shall raid #See 1 Chr. 5:18-22Gad,#49:19 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for raiders and raid
but he shall raid at their heels.
20 # [Deut. 33:24] “Asher’s food shall be rich,
and he shall yield royal delicacies.
21 # [Deut. 33:23] “Naphtali is a doe let loose
that bears beautiful fawns.#49:21 Or he gives beautiful words, or that bears fawns of the fold
22“Joseph is #ch. 41:52; Josh. 17:14, 18a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring;
his branches run over the wall.#49:22 Or Joseph is a wild donkey, a wild donkey beside a spring, his wild colts beside the wall
23The archers #[ch. 37:24, 28; 39:20]bitterly attacked him,
shot at him, and harassed him severely,
24yet #Job 29:20 his bow remained unmoved;
his arms#49:24 Hebrew the arms of his hands were made agile
by the hands of the #Ps. 132:2, 5; Isa. 1:24 Mighty One of Jacob
(from there is #Ps. 23:1; 80:1 the Shepherd,#49:24 Or by the name of the Shepherd #Isa. 28:16; Eph. 2:20; 1 Pet. 2:4; [Deut. 32:4]the Stone of Israel),
25 # ch. 35:3; 50:17 by the God of your father who will help you,
by #ch. 17:1; 35:11 the Almighty#49:25 Hebrew Shaddai #Deut. 33:13who will bless you
with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that crouches beneath,
blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26The blessings of your father
are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents,
up to the bounties #Deut. 33:15; Hab. 3:6 of the everlasting hills.#49:26 A slight emendation yields (compare Septuagint) the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills
May they be #Deut. 33:16on the head of Joseph,
and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
27 # [Judg. 20:21, 25; Ezek. 22:27] “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
in the morning devouring the prey
and at evening #Zech. 14:1; [Ezek. 39:10]dividing the spoil.”
Jacob’s Death and Burial
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him. 29Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am to be #ver. 33; ch. 25:8 gathered to my people; #ch. 47:30 bury me with my fathers #ch. 50:13; [ch. 23:9]in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30in the cave that is in the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, #See ch. 23:16-18which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 31#ch. 23:19; 25:9 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There #ch. 35:29they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah— 32the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites.” 33When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and #ver. 29was gathered to his people.
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.