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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 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.