English Standard Version
Jacob Blesses His Sons
2 “Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel your father.
3 “Reuben, you are (C)my firstborn,
my might, and the (D)firstfruits of my strength,
preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
4 Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence,
because you (E)went up to your father's bed;
then you defiled it—he went up to my couch!
5 (F)“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons (G)of violence are their swords.
6 Let my soul come not into their council;
(H)O my glory, (I)be not joined to their company.
For in their anger they killed men,
and in their willfulness they (J)hamstrung oxen.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce,
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will (K)divide them in Jacob
and scatter them in Israel.
8 “Judah, (L)your brothers shall praise you;
(M)your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
(N)your father's sons shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is (O)a lion's cub;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
(P)He stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?
10 The (Q)scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff (R)from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;[a]
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 (S)eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
14 (V)“Issachar is a strong donkey,
crouching between the sheepfolds.[b]
15 He saw that a resting place was good,
and that the land was pleasant,
so he bowed his shoulder to bear,
and (W)became a servant at forced labor.
16 (X)“Dan shall (Y)judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan (Z)shall 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 (AA)wait for your salvation, O Lord.
20 (AD)“Asher's food shall be rich,
and he shall yield royal delicacies.
22 “Joseph is (AF)a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring;
his branches run over the wall.[e]
23 The archers (AG)bitterly attacked him,
shot at him, and harassed him severely,
24 yet (AH)his bow remained unmoved;
his arms[f] were made agile
by the hands of the (AI)Mighty One of Jacob
(from there is (AJ)the Shepherd,[g] (AK)the Stone of Israel),
25 (AL)by the God of your father who will help you,
by (AM)the Almighty[h] (AN)who 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 (AO)of the everlasting hills.[i]
May they be (AP)on the head of Joseph,
and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
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 (AS)gathered to my people; (AT)bury me with my fathers (AU)in 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, (AV)which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 31 (AW)There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There (AX)they 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 (AY)was gathered to his people.
- Genesis 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
- Genesis 49:14 Or between its saddlebags
- Genesis 49:19 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for raiders and raid
- Genesis 49:21 Or he gives beautiful words, or that bears fawns of the fold
- Genesis 49:22 Or Joseph is a wild donkey, a wild donkey beside a spring, his wild colts beside the wall
- Genesis 49:24 Hebrew the arms of his hands
- Genesis 49:24 Or by the name of the Shepherd
- Genesis 49:25 Hebrew Shaddai
- Genesis 49:26 A slight emendation yields (compare Septuagint) the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills
New International Version
Jacob Blesses His Sons(A)
49 Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.(B)
3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn,(E)
my might, the first sign of my strength,(F)
excelling in honor,(G) excelling in power.
4 Turbulent as the waters,(H) you will no longer excel,
for you went up onto your father’s bed,
onto my couch and defiled it.(I)
5 “Simeon(J) and Levi(K) are brothers—
their swords[a] are weapons of violence.(L)
6 Let me not enter their council,
let me not join their assembly,(M)
for they have killed men in their anger(N)
and hamstrung(O) oxen as they pleased.
7 Cursed be their anger, so fierce,
and their fury,(P) so cruel!(Q)
I will scatter them in Jacob
and disperse them in Israel.(R)
8 “Judah,[b](S) your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck(T) of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.(U)
9 You are a lion’s(V) cub,(W) Judah;(X)
you return from the prey,(Y) my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,(Z)
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,[c]
until he to whom it belongs[d] shall come(AA)
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.(AB)
11 He will tether his donkey(AC) to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;(AD)
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.(AE)
12 His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.[e](AF)
14 “Issachar(AI) is a rawboned[f] donkey
lying down among the sheep pens.[g](AJ)
15 When he sees how good is his resting place
and how pleasant is his land,(AK)
he will bend his shoulder to the burden(AL)
and submit to forced labor.(AM)
16 “Dan[h](AN) will provide justice for his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.(AO)
17 Dan(AP) will be a snake by the roadside,
a viper along the path,(AQ)
that bites the horse’s heels(AR)
so that its rider tumbles backward.
22 “Joseph(BB) is a fruitful vine,(BC)
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches(BD) climb over a wall.[k]
23 With bitterness archers attacked him;(BE)
they shot at him with hostility.(BF)
24 But his bow remained steady,(BG)
his strong arms(BH) stayed[l] limber,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,(BI)
because of the Shepherd,(BJ) the Rock of Israel,(BK)
25 because of your father’s God,(BL) who helps(BM) you,
because of the Almighty,[m](BN) who blesses you
with blessings of the skies above,
blessings of the deep springs below,(BO)
blessings of the breast(BP) and womb.(BQ)
26 Your father’s blessings are greater
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than[n] the bounty of the age-old hills.(BR)
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,(BS)
on the brow of the prince among[o] his brothers.(BT)
The Death of Jacob
29 Then he gave them these instructions:(CA) “I am about to be gathered to my people.(CB) Bury me with my fathers(CC) in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite,(CD) 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah,(CE) near Mamre(CF) in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field(CG) as a burial place(CH) from Ephron the Hittite. 31 There Abraham(CI) and his wife Sarah(CJ) were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah(CK) were buried, and there I buried Leah.(CL) 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.[p](CM)”
33 When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.(CN)
- Genesis 49:5 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
- Genesis 49:8 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise.
- Genesis 49:10 Or from his descendants
- Genesis 49:10 Or to whom tribute belongs; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
- Genesis 49:12 Or will be dull from wine, / his teeth white from milk
- Genesis 49:14 Or strong
- Genesis 49:14 Or the campfires; or the saddlebags
- Genesis 49:16 Dan here means he provides justice.
- Genesis 49:19 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for attack and also for band of raiders.
- Genesis 49:21 Or free; / he utters beautiful words
- Genesis 49:22 Or Joseph is a wild colt, / a wild colt near a spring, / a wild donkey on a terraced hill
- Genesis 49:24 Or archers will attack … will shoot … will remain … will stay
- Genesis 49:25 Hebrew Shaddai
- Genesis 49:26 Or of my progenitors, / as great as
- Genesis 49:26 Or of the one separated from
- Genesis 49:32 Or the descendants of Heth