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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
Dt 33:1–29
1#Nu 24:14; Jer 23:20Jacob called to his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, so that I may tell you what will befall you in the last days.
2#Ps 34:11 Gather yourselves together and hear, sons of Jacob,
and listen to your father Israel.
3#Dt 21:17; Ge 29:32 Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might and the beginning of my strength,
the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power.
4#Ge 35:22; Dt 27:20 Unstable as water, you shall not excel,
because you went up to your father’s bed;
then you defiled it—he went up to my couch.
5#Ge 29:33–34; 34:25–31 Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons of violence are their swords.
6#Ps 26:9; Ge 34:30 Let my soul not enter into their council;
let my glory not be united with their assembly;
for in their anger they killed men
and in their self-will they hamstrung oxen.
7#Jos 19:1–9; 1Ch 4:24–31 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will divide them in Jacob
and scatter them in Israel.
8#1Ch 5:2; Ge 27:29 Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down before you.
9#Nu 24:9; Rev 5:5 Judah is a lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you have goneup.
He crouches and lies down like a lion;
and as a lion, who dares rouse him?
10#Nu 24:17; Ps 60:7 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor a lawgiver from between his feet,
until Shiloh comes;
and to him will be the obedience of the people.
11#2Ki 18:32 He tethers his foal to the vine,
and his colt to the choicest vine;
he washes his garments in wine,
his clothes in the blood of grapes.
12#Pr 23:29 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
13#Dt 33:18–19; Ge 30:20 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea;
and he shall be a haven of ships.
His border shall be at Sidon.
14#Ge 30:18; 1Ch 12:32 Issachar is a strong donkey,
lying down between two burdens;
15he saw that a resting place was good,
and that the land was pleasant;
so he bowed his shoulder to bear the burden
and became a slave to forced labor.
16#Ge 30:6; Dt 33:22 Dan shall judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan shall be a serpent by the road,
a viper on the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that its rider will fall backward.
18#Ps 119:166; 119:174 I wait for Your salvation, O Lord!
19#Ge 30:11 Gad shall be attacked by raiding bands,
but he shall raid at their heels.
20#Ge 30:13; Dt 33:24–25 Asher’s food shall be rich,
and he shall yield royal delicacies.
21#Dt 33:23; Ge 30:8 Naphtali is a doe set loose;
he gives beautiful words.
22#Ge 41:52 Joseph is a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring,
whose branches run over the wall.
23#Ge 37:24; 37:28 The archers bitterly attacked him,
they shot at him and hated him.
24#Ps 132:2; 132:5 But his bow remained firm.
His arms were agile
because of the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25#Ge 28:13; 17:1 because of the God of your father who will help you,
and by the Almighty who will bless you
with blessings from heaven above,
blessings from the deep that lies beneath,
the blessings of the breasts and the womb.
26#Dt 33:15–16; Hab 3:6 The blessings of your father have surpassed
the blessings of my fathers,
up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
They will be on the head of Joseph,
and on the crown of the head of him who was set apart from his brothers.
27#Ge 35:18; Jdg 20:21 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
in the morning he devours the prey,
and at night he divides the spoil.”
28These are all the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He blessed them, each with the blessing appropriate to him.
The Death of Jacob
29#Ge 47:30; 50:13Then he charged 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 before Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place. 31#Ge 25:9; 35:29They buried Abraham and Sarah his wife there. They buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife there, and I buried Leah there. 32The field and the cave that is there were purchased from the children of Heth.”
33#Ge 49:29; 25:8When Jacob finished instructing his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.