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49 And Jacob calleth unto his sons and saith, `Be gathered together, and I declare to you that which doth happen with you in the latter end of the days.

`Be assembled, and hear, sons of Jacob, And hearken unto Israel your father.

Reuben! my first-born thou, My power, and beginning of my strength, The abundance of exaltation, And the abundance of strength;

Unstable as water, thou art not abundant; For thou hast gone up thy father's bed; Then thou hast polluted: My couch he went up!

Simeon and Levi [are] brethren! Instruments of violence -- their espousals!

Into their secret, come not, O my soul! Unto their assembly be not united, O mine honour; For in their anger they slew a man, And in their self-will eradicated a prince.

Cursed [is] their anger, for [it is] fierce, And their wrath, for [it is] sharp; I divide them in Jacob, And I scatter them in Israel.

Judah! thou -- thy brethren praise thee! Thy hand [is] on the neck of thine enemies, Sons of thy father bow themselves to thee.

A lion's whelp [is] Judah, For prey, my son, thou hast gone up; He hath bent, he hath crouched as a lion, And as a lioness; who causeth him to arise?

10 The sceptre turneth not aside from Judah, And a lawgiver from between his feet, Till his Seed come; And his [is] the obedience of peoples.

11 Binding to the vine his ass, And to the choice vine the colt of his ass, He hath washed in wine his clothing, And in the blood of grapes his covering;

12 Red [are] eyes with wine, And white [are] teeth with milk!

13 Zebulun at a haven of the seas doth dwell, And he [is] for a haven of ships; And his side [is] unto Zidon.

14 Issacher [is] a strong ass, Crouching between the two folds;

15 And he seeth rest that [it is] good, And the land that [it is] pleasant, And he inclineth his shoulder to bear, And is to tribute a servant.

16 Dan doth judge his people, As one of the tribes of Israel;

17 Dan is a serpent by the way, An adder by the path, Which is biting the horse's heels, And its rider falleth backward.

18 For Thy salvation I have waited, Jehovah!

19 Gad! a troop assaulteth him, But he assaulteth last.

20 Out of Asher his bread [is] fat; And he giveth dainties of a king.

21 Naphtali [is] a hind sent away, Who is giving beauteous young ones.

22 Joseph [is] a fruitful son; A fruitful son by a fountain, Daughters step over the wall;

23 And embitter him -- yea, they have striven, Yea, hate him do archers;

24 And his bow abideth in strength, And strengthened are the arms of his hands By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, Whence is a shepherd, a son of Israel.

25 By the God of thy father who helpeth thee, And the Mighty One who blesseth thee, Blessings of the heavens from above, Blessings of the deep lying under, Blessings of breasts and womb; --

26 Thy father's blessings have been mighty Above the blessings of my progenitors, Unto the limit of the heights age-during They are for the head of Joseph, And for the crown of the one Separate [from] his brethren.

27 Benjamin! a wolf teareth; In the morning he eateth prey, And at evening he apportioneth spoil.'

28 All these [are] the twelve tribes of Israel, and this [is] that which their father hath spoken unto them, and he blesseth them; each according to his blessing he hath blessed them.

29 And he commandeth them, and saith unto them, `I am being gathered unto my people; bury me by my fathers, at the cave which [is] in the field of Ephron the Hittite;

30 in the cave which [is] in the field of Machpelah, which [is] on the front of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place;

31 (there they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah);

32 the purchase of the field and of the cave which [is] in it, [is] from Sons of Heth.'

33 And Jacob finisheth commanding his sons, and gathereth up his feet unto the bed, and expireth, and is gathered unto his people.

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)

“Assemble(C) and listen, sons of Jacob;
    listen to your father Israel.(D)

“Reuben, you are my firstborn,(E)
    my might, the first sign of my strength,(F)
    excelling in honor,(G) excelling in power.
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)

“Simeon(J) and Levi(K) are brothers—
    their swords[a] are weapons of violence.(L)
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.
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)

“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)
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)

13 “Zebulun(AG) will live by the seashore
    and become a haven for ships;
    his border will extend toward Sidon.(AH)

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.

18 “I look for your deliverance,(AS) Lord.(AT)

19 “Gad[i](AU) will be attacked by a band of raiders,
    but he will attack them at their heels.(AV)

20 “Asher’s(AW) food will be rich;(AX)
    he will provide delicacies fit for a king.(AY)

21 “Naphtali(AZ) is a doe set free
    that bears beautiful fawns.[j](BA)

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)

27 “Benjamin(BU) is a ravenous wolf;(BV)
    in the morning he devours the prey,(BW)
    in the evening he divides the plunder.”(BX)

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel,(BY) and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing(BZ) appropriate to him.

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)

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 49:5 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  2. Genesis 49:8 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise.
  3. Genesis 49:10 Or from his descendants
  4. Genesis 49:10 Or to whom tribute belongs; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  5. Genesis 49:12 Or will be dull from wine, / his teeth white from milk
  6. Genesis 49:14 Or strong
  7. Genesis 49:14 Or the campfires; or the saddlebags
  8. Genesis 49:16 Dan here means he provides justice.
  9. Genesis 49:19 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for attack and also for band of raiders.
  10. Genesis 49:21 Or free; / he utters beautiful words
  11. Genesis 49:22 Or Joseph is a wild colt, / a wild colt near a spring, / a wild donkey on a terraced hill
  12. Genesis 49:24 Or archers will attack … will shoot … will remain … will stay
  13. Genesis 49:25 Hebrew Shaddai
  14. Genesis 49:26 Or of my progenitors, / as great as
  15. Genesis 49:26 Or of the one separated from
  16. Genesis 49:32 Or the descendants of Heth

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