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Genesis 49

49
The Last Words of Jacob
1Jacob called for his sons and said, “Gather around, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the future:
2“Come together and listen, sons of Jacob.
Listen to your father Israel.
3“Reuben, my first-born, you are my strength
And the first child of my manhood,
The proudest and strongest of all my sons.
4You are like a raging flood,
But you will not be the most important,
For you slept with my concubine
And dishonored your father's bed.
5“Simeon and Levi are brothers.
They use their weapons to commit violence.
6I will not join in their secret talks,
Nor will I take part in their meetings,
For they killed people in anger
And they crippled bulls for sport.
7A curse be on their anger, because it is so fierce,
And on their fury, because it is so cruel.
I will scatter them throughout the land of Israel.
I will disperse them among its people.
8“Judah, your brothers will praise you.
You hold your enemies by the neck.
Your brothers will bow down before you.
9 # Nu 24.9; Rev 5.5 Judah is like a lion,
Killing his victim and returning to his den,
Stretching out and lying down.
No one dares disturb him.
10Judah will hold the royal scepter,
And his descendants will always rule.
Nations will bring him tribute#49.10: Probable text Nations … tribute; Hebrew unclear.
And bow in obedience before him.
11He ties his young donkey to a grapevine,
To the very best of the vines.
He washes his clothes in blood-red wine.
12His eyes are bloodshot from drinking wine,
His teeth white from drinking milk.#49.12: His eyes … milk; or His eyes are darker than wine, his teeth are whiter than milk.
13“Zebulun will live beside the sea.
His shore will be a haven for ships.
His territory will reach as far as Sidon.
14“Issachar is no better than a donkey
That lies stretched out between its saddlebags.
15But he sees that the resting place is good
And that the land is delightful.
So he bends his back to carry the load
And is forced to work as a slave.
16“Dan will be a ruler for his people.
They will be like the other tribes of Israel.
17Dan will be a snake at the side of the road,
A poisonous snake beside the path,
That strikes at the horse's heel,
So that the rider is thrown off backward.
18“I wait for your deliverance, Lord.
19“Gad will be attacked by a band of robbers,
But he will turn and pursue them.
20“Asher's land will produce rich food.
He will provide food fit for a king.
21“Naphtali is a deer that runs free,
Who bears lovely fawns.#49.21: Naphtali … fawns or Naphtali is a spreading tree that puts out lovely branches.
22“Joseph is like a wild donkey by a spring,
A wild colt on a hillside.#49.22: Joseph … hillside; or Joseph is like a tree by a spring, a fruitful tree that spreads over a wall.
23His enemies attack him fiercely
And pursue him with their bows and arrows.
24But his bow remains steady,
And his arms are made strong#49.24: But … strong; or But their bows were broken and splintered, the muscles of their arms torn apart.
By the power of the Mighty God of Jacob,
By the Shepherd, the Protector of Israel.
25It is your father's God who helps you,
The Almighty God who blesses you
With blessings of rain from above
And of deep waters from beneath the ground,
Blessings of many cattle and children,
26Blessings of grain and flowers,#49.26: Probable text grain and flowers; Hebrew your fathers are mightier than.
Blessings of ancient mountains,#49.26: One ancient translation ancient mountains; Hebrew my ancestors to.
Delightful things from everlasting hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
On the brow of the one set apart from his brothers.
27“Benjamin is like a vicious wolf.
Morning and evening he kills and devours.”
28These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he spoke a suitable word of farewell to each son.
The Death and Burial of Jacob
29Then Jacob commanded his sons, “Now that I am going to join my people in death, bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30#Gn 23.3-20 at Machpelah east of Mamre in the land of Canaan. Abraham bought this cave and field from Ephron for a burial ground. 31#Gn 25.9,10; Gn 35.29 That is where they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah; that is where they buried Isaac and his wife Rebecca; and that is where I buried Leah. 32The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites. Bury me there.” 33#Ac 7.15 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he lay back down and died.
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.