Jacob Blesses His Sons

49 wThen Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you xin days to come.

  “Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob,

listen to Israel your father.

  “Reuben, you are ymy firstborn,

my might, and the zfirstfruits of my strength,

preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.

  Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence,

because you awent up to your father’s bed;

then you defiled it—he went up to my couch!

  b“Simeon and Levi are brothers;

weapons cof violence are their swords.

  Let my soul come not into their council;

dO my glory, ebe not joined to their company.

For in their anger they killed men,

and in their willfulness they fhamstrung oxen.

  Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce,

and their wrath, for it is cruel!

I will gdivide them in Jacob

and scatter them in Israel.

  “Judah, hyour brothers shall praise you;

iyour hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;

jyour father’s sons shall bow down before you.

  Judah is ka lion’s cub;

from the prey, my son, you have gone up.

lHe stooped down; he crouched as a lion

and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?

  10  The mscepter shall not depart from Judah,

nor the ruler’s staff nfrom between his feet,

until tribute comes to him;1

and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

  11  Binding 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.

  12  His oeyes are darker than wine,

and his teeth whiter than milk.

  13  p“Zebulun shall dwell at the qshore of the sea;

he shall become a haven for ships,

and his border shall be at Sidon.

  14  r“Issachar is a strong donkey,

crouching between the sheepfolds.2

  15  He saw that a resting place was good,

and that the land was pleasant,

so he bowed his shoulder to bear,

and sbecame a servant at forced labor.

  16  t“Dan shall ujudge his people

as one of the tribes of Israel.

  17  Dan vshall be a serpent in the way,

a viper by the path,

that bites the horse’s heels

so that his rider falls backward.

  18  I wwait for your salvation, O Lord.

  19  x“Raiders shall raid yGad,3

but he shall raid at their heels.

  20  z“Asher’s food shall be rich,

and he shall yield royal delicacies.

  21  a“Naphtali is a doe let loose

that bears beautiful fawns.4

  22  “Joseph is ba fruitful bough,

a fruitful bough by a spring;

his branches run over the wall.5

  23  The archers cbitterly attacked him,

shot at him, and harassed him severely,

  24  yet dhis bow remained unmoved;

his arms6 were made agile

by the hands of the eMighty One of Jacob

(from there is fthe Shepherd,7 gthe Stone of Israel),

  25  hby the God of your father who will help you,

by ithe Almighty8 jwho will bless you

with blessings of heaven above,

blessings of the deep that crouches beneath,

blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

  26  The blessings of your father

are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents,

up to the bounties kof the everlasting hills.9

May they be lon the head of Joseph,

and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.

  27  m“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,

in the morning devouring the prey

and at evening ndividing the spoil.”

 Jacob’s Death and Burial

28 All 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.  29 Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am to be ogathered to my people; pbury me with my fathers qin the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,  30 in the cave that is in the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, rwhich Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place.  31 sThere they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There tthey buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah—  32 the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites.”  33 When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and uwas gathered to his people.

w

For ver. 1–27, see Deut. 33:6–25

x
y

ch. 29:32

z
a
b

ch. 29:33, 34

c

ch. 34:25, 26

d
e
f
g
h

ch. 29:35; [ch. 27:29]

i
j
k
l
m
n
1

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

o
p
q
r
2

Or between its saddlebags

s
t
u

ch. 30:6

v
w
x
y
3

Gad sounds like the Hebrew for raiders and raid

z
a
4

Or he gives beautiful words, or that bears fawns of the fold

b
5

Or Joseph is a wild donkey, a wild donkey beside a spring, his wild colts beside the wall

c

[ch. 37:24, 28; 39:20]

d
6

Hebrew the arms of his hands

e
f
7

Or by the name of the Shepherd

g
h

ch. 35:3; 50:17

i

ch. 17:1; 35:11

8

Hebrew Shaddai

j
k
9

A slight emendation yields (compare Septuagint) the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills

l
m
n
o

ver. 33; ch. 25:8

p

ch. 47:30

q

ch. 50:13; [ch. 23:9]

r

See ch. 23:16–18

s

ch. 23:19; 25:9

t

ch. 35:29

u

ver. 29

Loading