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Genesis 49

49
1Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather around. I want to tell you what you can expect in the days to come.”
2Come together, listen sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel your father.
3-4Reuben, you’re my firstborn,
my strength, first proof of my manhood,
at the top in honor and at the top in power,
But like a bucket of water spilled,
you’ll be at the top no more,
Because you climbed into your father’s marriage bed,
mounting that couch, and you defiled it.
5-6Simeon and Levi are two of a kind,
ready to fight at the drop of a hat.
I don’t want anything to do with their vendettas,
want no part in their bitter feuds;
They kill men in fits of temper,
slash oxen on a whim.
7A curse on their uncontrolled anger,
on their indiscriminate wrath.
I’ll throw them out with the trash;
I’ll shred and scatter them like confetti throughout Israel.
8-12You, Judah, your brothers will praise you:
Your fingers on your enemies’ throat,
while your brothers honor you.
You’re a lion’s cub, Judah,
home fresh from the kill, my son.
Look at him, crouched like a lion, king of beasts;
who dares mess with him?
The scepter shall not leave Judah;
he’ll keep a firm grip on the command staff
Until the ultimate ruler comes
and the nations obey him.
He’ll tie up his donkey to the grapevine,
his purebred prize to a sturdy branch.
He will wash his shirt in wine
and his cloak in the blood of grapes,
His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.
13Zebulun settles down on the seashore;
he’s a safe harbor for ships,
right alongside Sidon.
14-15Issachar is one tough donkey
crouching between the corrals;
When he saw how good the place was,
how pleasant the country,
He gave up his freedom
and went to work as a slave.
16-17Dan will handle matters of justice for his people;
he will hold his own just fine among the tribes of Israel.
Dan is only a small snake in the grass,
a lethal serpent in ambush by the road
When he strikes a horse in the heel,
and brings its huge rider crashing down.
18I wait in hope
for your salvation, God.
19Gad will be attacked by bandits,
but he will trip them up.
20Asher will become famous for rich foods,
candies and sweets fit for kings.
21-26Naphtali is a deer running free
that gives birth to lovely fawns.
Joseph is a wild donkey,
a wild donkey by a spring,
spirited donkeys on a hill.
The archers with malice attacked,
shooting their hate-tipped arrows;
But he held steady under fire,
his bow firm, his arms limber,
With the backing of the Champion of Jacob,
the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.
The God of your father—may he help you!
And may The Strong God—may he give you his blessings,
Blessings tumbling out of the skies,
blessings bursting up from the Earth—
blessings of breasts and womb.
May the blessings of your father
exceed the blessings of the ancient mountains,
surpass the delights of the eternal hills;
May they rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the one consecrated among his brothers.
27Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
all morning he gorges on his kill,
at evening divides up what’s left over.
28All these are the tribes of Israel, the twelve tribes. And this is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each one with his own special farewell blessing.
29-32Then he instructed them: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave which is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, the cave in the field of Machpelah facing Mamre in the land of Canaan, the field Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial plot. Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried there; Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried there; I also buried Leah there. The field and the cave were bought from the Hittites.”
33Jacob finished instructing his sons, pulled his feet into bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
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.