3 “Reuben, you are ymy firstborn,
my might, and the zfirstfruits of my strength,
preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
because you awent up to your father’s bed;
then you defiled it—he went up to my couch!
5 b“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons cof violence are their swords.
For in their anger they killed men,
and in their willfulness they fhamstrung oxen.
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will gdivide them in Jacob
and scatter them in Israel.
8 “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.
9 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.
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.
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
and that the land was pleasant,
so he bowed his shoulder to bear,
and sbecame a servant at forced labor.
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.
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
25 hby the God of your father who will help you,
with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that crouches beneath,
blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents,
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.”
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.
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
Or between its saddlebags
Gad sounds like the Hebrew for raiders and raid
Or he gives beautiful words, or that bears fawns of the fold
Or Joseph is a wild donkey, a wild donkey beside a spring, his wild colts beside the wall
Hebrew the arms of his hands
Or by the name of the Shepherd
A slight emendation yields (compare Septuagint) the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills