Genesis 49:1–33

Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons

49 And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may atell you what shall befall you bin the last days:

2 “Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob,

And listen to Israel your father.

3 “Reuben, you are cmy firstborn,

My might and the beginning of my strength,

The excellency of dignity and the excellency of power.

4 Unstable as water, you shall not excel,

Because you dwent up to your father’s bed;

Then you defiled it

He went up to my couch.

5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers;

Instruments of 1cruelty are in their dwelling place.

6 eLet not my soul enter their council;

Let not my honor be united fto their assembly;

gFor in their anger they slew a man,

And in their self-will they 2hamstrung an ox.

7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;

And their wrath, for it is cruel!

hI will divide them in Jacob

And scatter them in Israel.

8 “Judah, iyou are he whom your brothers shall praise;

jYour hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;

kYour father’s children shall bow down before you.

9 Judah is la lion’s whelp;

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

mHe 3bows down, he lies down as a lion;

And as a lion, who shall rouse him?

10 nThe 4scepter shall not depart from Judah,

Nor oa lawgiver from between his feet,

pUntil Shiloh comes;

qAnd to Him shall be the obedience of the people.

11 Binding his donkey to the vine,

And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,

He washed his garments in wine,

And his clothes in the blood of grapes.

12 His eyes are darker than wine,

And his teeth whiter than milk.

13 “Zebulun rshall dwell by the haven of the sea;

He shall become a haven for ships,

And his border shall sadjoin Sidon.

14 “Issachar tis a strong donkey,

Lying down between two burdens;

15 He saw that rest was good,

And that the land was pleasant;

He bowed uhis shoulder to bear a burden,

And became a band of slaves.

16 “Dan vshall judge his people

As one of the tribes of Israel.

17 wDan shall be a serpent by the way,

A viper by the path,

That bites the horse’s heels

So that its rider shall fall backward.

18 xI have waited for your salvation, O Lord!

19 “Gad, y5a troop shall 6tramp upon him,

But he shall 6triumph at last.

20 “Bread from zAsher shall be rich,

And he shall yield royal dainties.

21 “Naphtali ais a deer let loose;

He uses beautiful words.

22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough,

A fruitful bough by a well;

His branches run over the wall.

23 The archers have bbitterly grieved him,

Shot at him and hated him.

24 But his cbow remained in strength,

And the arms of his hands were 7made strong

By the hands of dthe Mighty God of Jacob

e(From there fis the Shepherd, gthe Stone of Israel),

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

iAnd by the Almighty jwho will bless you

With blessings of heaven above,

Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,

Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

26 The blessings of your father

Have excelled the blessings of my ancestors,

kUp to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills.

lThey shall be on the head of Joseph,

And on the crown of the head of him who was separate from his brothers.

27 “Benjamin is a mravenous wolf;

In the morning he shall devour the prey,

nAnd at night he shall divide the spoil.”

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them. And he blessed them; he blessed each one according to his own blessing.

Jacob’s Death and Burial

29 Then he charged them and said to them: “I oam to be gathered 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 of Machpelah, which is before Mamre in the land of Canaan, rwhich Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite as a possession for a burial place. 31 sThere they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife, tthere they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave that is there were purchased from the sons of Heth.” 33 And when Jacob had finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

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