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Genesis 49

49
Jacob [Israel] Blesses His 12 Sons
1Jacob called for his sons and said, “Come here, and let me tell you what will happen to you in the days to come.
2“Gather around and listen, sons of Jacob.
Listen to your father Israel.
3Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my strength, the very first son I had,
first in majesty and first in power.
4You will no longer be first
because you were out of control like a flood
and you climbed into your father’s bed.
Then you dishonored it.
He climbed up on my couch.
5Simeon and Levi are brothers.
Their swords are weapons of violence.
6Do not let me attend their secret meetings.
Do not let me join their assembly.
In their anger they murdered men.
At their whim they crippled cattle.
7May their anger be cursed because it’s so fierce.
May their fury be cursed because it’s so cruel.
I will divide them among ⌞the sons of⌟ Jacob
and scatter them among ⌞the tribes of⌟ Israel.
8Judah, your brothers will praise you.
Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies.
Your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9Judah, you are a lion cub.
You have come back from the kill, my son.
He lies down and rests like a lion.
He is like a lioness. Who dares to disturb him?
10A scepter will never depart from Judah
nor a ruler’s staff from between his feet
until Shiloh comes
and the people obey him.
11He will tie his donkey to a grapevine,
his colt to the best vine.
He will wash his clothes in wine,
his garments in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes are darker than wine.
His teeth are whiter than milk.
13Zebulun will live by the coast.
He will have ships by the coast.
His border will go as far as Sidon.
14Issachar is a strong donkey,
lying down between the saddlebags.
15When he sees that his resting place is good
and that the land is pleasant,
he will bend his back to the burden
and will become a slave laborer.
16Dan will hand down decisions  #49:16 There is a play on words here between Hebrew Dan and yadin (he will hand down decisions). for his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan will be a snake on a road,
a viper on a path,
that bites a horse’s heels
so that its rider falls off backwards.
18“I wait with hope for you to rescue me, O Lord.
19Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders,
but he will strike back at their heels.
20Asher’s food will be rich.
He will provide delicacies fit for a king.
21Naphtali is a doe set free
that has beautiful fawns.
22Joseph is a fruitful tree,
a fruitful tree by a spring,
with branches climbing over a wall.
23Archers provoked him,
shot at him,
and attacked him.
24But his bow stayed steady, and his arms remained limber
because of the help of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25because of the God of your father who helps you,
because of the Almighty who gives you
blessings from the heavens above,
blessings from the deep springs below the ground,
blessings from breasts and womb.
26The blessings of your father are greater than
the blessings of the oldest mountains
and the riches of the ancient hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
on the crown of the prince among his brothers.
27Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.
In the morning he devours his prey.
In the evening he divides the plunder.”
28These are the 12 tribes of Israel and what their father said to them when he gave each of them his special blessing.
29Then he gave them these instructions, “I am about to join my ancestors in death. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30Abraham bought the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, east of Mamre in Canaan, from Ephron the Hittite to use as a tomb. 31Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried there. Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried there. I also buried Leah there. 32The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.”
33When Jacob finished giving these instructions to his sons, he pulled his feet into his bed. He took his last breath and joined his ancestors in death.
49
Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons
1And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may #Deut. 33:1, 6–25; (Amos 3:7)tell you what shall befall you #Num. 24:14; (Deut. 4:30); Is. 2:2; 39:6; Jer. 23:20; Heb. 1:2in the last days:
2“Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob,
And listen to Israel your father.
3“Reuben, you are #Gen. 29:32my firstborn,
My might and the beginning of my strength,
The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.
4Unstable as water, you shall not excel,
Because you #Gen. 35:22; Deut. 27:20; 1 Chr. 5:1went up to your father’s bed;
Then you defiled it
He went up to my couch.
5“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
Instruments of cruelty are in their dwelling place.
6#Ps. 64:2; Prov. 1:15, 16Let not my soul enter their council;
Let not my honor be united #Ps. 26:9; Eph. 5:11to their assembly;
#Gen. 34:26For in their anger they slew a man,
And in their self-will they hamstrung an ox.
7Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
And their wrath, for it is cruel!
#Num. 18:24; Josh. 19:1, 9; 21:1–42; 1 Chr. 4:24–27I will divide them in Jacob
And scatter them in Israel.
8“Judah,#Deut. 33:7; Rev. 5:5 you are he whom your brothers shall praise;
#Ps. 18:40Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
#Gen. 27:29; 1 Chr. 5:2Your father’s children shall bow down before you.
9Judah is #Deut. 33:22; Ezek. 19:5–7; Mic. 5:8; (Rev. 5:5)a lion’s whelp;
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
#Num. 23:24; 24:9He bows down, he lies down as a lion;
And as a lion, who shall rouse him?
10#Num. 24:17; Jer. 30:21; Matt. 1:3; 2:6; Luke 3:33; Rev. 5:5The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
Nor #Ps. 60:7a lawgiver from between his feet,
#Is. 11:1; (Matt. 21:9)Until Shiloh comes;
#Deut. 18:15; Ps. 2:6–9; 72:8–11; Is. 42:1, 4; 49:6; 60:1–5; (Luke 2:30–32)And to Him shall be the obedience of the people.
11Binding his donkey to the vine,
And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
He washed his garments in wine,
And his clothes in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes are darker than wine,
And his teeth whiter than milk.
13“Zebulun#Deut. 33:18, 19; Josh. 19:10, 11 shall dwell by the haven of the sea;
He shall become a haven for ships,
And his border shall #Gen. 10:19; Josh. 11:8adjoin Sidon.
14“Issachar#1 Chr. 12:32 is a strong donkey,
Lying down between two burdens;
15He saw that rest was good,
And that the land was pleasant;
He bowed #1 Sam. 10:9his shoulder to bear a burden,
And became a band of slaves.
16“Dan#Gen. 30:6; Deut. 33:22; Judg. 18:26, 27 shall judge his people
As one of the tribes of Israel.
17#Judg. 18:27Dan shall be a serpent by the way,
A viper by the path,
That bites the horse’s heels
So that its rider shall fall backward.
18#Ex. 15:2; Ps. 25:5; 40:1–3; 119:166, 174; Is. 25:9; Mic. 7:7I have waited for your salvation, O Lord!
19“Gad,#Gen. 30:11; Deut. 33:20; 1 Chr. 5:18 a troop shall tramp upon him,
But he shall triumph at last.
20“Bread from #Deut. 33:24; Josh. 19:24–31Asher shall be rich,
And he shall yield royal dainties.
21“Naphtali#Deut. 33:23 is a deer let loose;
He uses beautiful words.
22“Joseph is a fruitful bough,
A fruitful bough by a well;
His branches run over the wall.
23The archers have #Gen. 37:4, 24; Ps. 118:13bitterly grieved him,
Shot at him and hated him.
24But his #Job 29:20; Ps. 37:15bow remained in strength,
And the arms of his hands were made strong
By the hands of #Ps. 132:2, 5; Is. 1:24; 49:26the Mighty God of Jacob
#Gen. 45:11; 47:12(From there #(Ps. 23:1; 80:1)is the Shepherd, #(Ps. 118:22); Is. 28:16; (1 Pet. 2:6–8)the Stone of Israel),
25#Gen. 28:13; 32:9; 35:3; 43:23; 50:17By the God of your father who will help you,
#Gen. 17:1; 35:11And by the Almighty #Deut. 33:13who will bless 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 excelled the blessings of my ancestors,
#Deut. 33:15; Hab. 3:6Up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.
#Deut. 33:16They shall be on the head of Joseph,
And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.
27“Benjamin is a #Judg. 20:21, 25ravenous wolf;
In the morning he shall devour the prey,
#Num. 23:24; Esth. 8:11; Ezek. 39:10; Zech. 14:1And at night he shall divide the spoil.”
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them. And he blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing.
Jacob’s Death and Burial
29Then he charged them and said to them: “I #Gen. 15:15; 25:8; 35:29am to be gathered to my people; #Gen. 47:30; 2 Sam. 19:37bury me with my fathers #Gen. 23:16–20; 50:13in 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, #Gen. 23:3–20which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite as a possession for a burial place. 31#Gen. 23:19, 20; 25:9There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife, #Gen. 35:29; 50:13there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah. 32The field and the cave that is there were purchased from the sons of Heth.” 33And when Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.