Jacob’s Prophecy concerning His Sons
49 Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Assemble yourselves, so that I may tell you what will happen to you in the [a]days to come.
2 Gather together and listen, sons of Jacob;
Yes, listen to Israel your father.
3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn,
My might and the beginning of my strength,
Preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
4 [b]Uncontrollable as water, you shall not have preeminence,
Because you went up to your father’s bed;
Then you defiled it—he went up to my couch.
5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers;
Their [c]swords are implements of violence.
6 May my soul not enter into their council;
May my glory not be united with their assembly;
For in their anger they killed [d]men,
And in their self-will they lamed [e]oxen.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
And their wrath, for it is cruel.
I will scatter them in Jacob,
And disperse them among Israel.
8 “As for you, Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
Your father’s sons shall bow down to you.
9 Judah is a lion’s cub;
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He [f]crouches, he lies down as a lion,
And as a [g]lion, who [h]dares to stir him up?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
[i]Until Shiloh comes,
And to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11 He ties his foal to the vine,
And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine;
He washes his garments in wine,
And his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are [j]dull from wine,
And his teeth [k]white from milk.
13 “Zebulun will reside at the seashore;
And he shall be [l]a harbor for ships,
And his flank shall be toward Sidon.
14 “Issachar is a [m]strong donkey,
Lying down between the sheepfolds.
15 When he saw that a resting place was good
And that the land was pleasant,
He bowed his shoulder to carry burdens,
And became a slave at forced labor.
16 “Dan shall judge his people,
As one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a serpent in the way,
A horned viper in the path,
That bites the horse’s heels,
So that its rider falls backward.
18 For Your salvation I wait, Lord.
19 “As for Gad, a band of raiders shall attack him,
But he will attack at their [n]heels.
21 “Naphtali is a doe let loose;
He utters beautiful words.
22 “Joseph is a fruitful [r]branch,
A fruitful [s]branch by a spring;
Its [t]branches hang over a wall.
23 The archers provoked him,
And shot at him and were hostile toward him;
24 But his bow remained [u]firm,
And [v]his arms were agile,
From the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
(From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),
25 From the God of your father who helps you,
And [w]by the [x]Almighty who blesses 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 surpassed the blessings of my ancestors
Up to the [y]furthest boundary of the everlasting hills;
May they be on the head of Joseph,
And on the top of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.
27 “Benjamin is a [z]ravenous wolf;
In the morning he devours the prey,
And in the evening he divides the spoils.”
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them [aa]when he blessed them. He blessed them, every one [ab]with the blessing appropriate to him.
29 Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am about to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is opposite Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a [ac]burial site. 31 There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there I buried Leah— 32 the field and the cave that is in it, purchased from the sons of Heth.” 33 When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
- Genesis 49:1 Lit end of the days
- Genesis 49:4 Or Gushing over
- Genesis 49:5 Or plans; meaning uncertain
- Genesis 49:6 Lit a man
- Genesis 49:6 Lit an ox
- Genesis 49:9 Lit bows down
- Genesis 49:9 Lit lioness
- Genesis 49:9 Lit shall
- Genesis 49:10 Or Until he comes to Shiloh; or Until he comes to whom it belongs
- Genesis 49:12 Or darker than
- Genesis 49:12 Or whiter than
- Genesis 49:13 Lit a shore of ships
- Genesis 49:14 Lit donkey of bone
- Genesis 49:19 Lit heel
- Genesis 49:20 Lit From
- Genesis 49:20 Or bread
- Genesis 49:20 Lit fat
- Genesis 49:22 Lit son
- Genesis 49:22 Lit son
- Genesis 49:22 Lit daughters
- Genesis 49:24 I.e., in an unyielding position
- Genesis 49:24 Lit the arms of his hands
- Genesis 49:25 Or with
- Genesis 49:25 Heb Shaddai
- Genesis 49:26 Lit limit; or desire
- Genesis 49:27 Lit a wolf that tears
- Genesis 49:28 Lit and
- Genesis 49:28 Lit according to his blessing
- Genesis 49:30 Lit possession of a burial place