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Genesis 49:3–28

“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.

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