|Genesis 49 |
1 Then Jacob called to his sons and said, "Gather yourselves together, so that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the days to come.
2 Gather yourselves together and hear, you sons of Jacob; and listen to Israel your father.
3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength; the excellence of dignity and of power.
4 But as unstable and turbulent as waters, you shall not excel, because you went to your father's bed, you went up to my couch and defiled it.
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers; their swords are weapons of violence.
6 O my soul, do not come into their secret council; let not my honor be united with their assembly, for in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they disabled oxen.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
8 Judah, you are the one whom your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father's children shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is a lion's whelp! With the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches down like a lion, and like a lioness who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until Shiloh [the Messiah-the peaceful one] comes to whom it belongs, and to him shall be the gathering and obedience of the people.
11 Tethering his donkey to the vine and his foal to the choicest vine, he washes his clothes in wine and his garment in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun shall dwell at the seashore, and shall be a haven for ships; his border shall be toward Sidon.
14 Issachar is a strong donkey couching down between two burdens.
15 He saw that rest was good and that the land was pleasant; and bowed he his shoulder to bear a burden and became a servant at forced labor.
16 Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, a viper in the path, that bites the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
18 I have waited for your salvation, O LORD.
19 Gad — a troop shall attack him, but he shall raid at their heels and overcome them at last.
20 Asher's food shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties.
21 Naphtali is a deer let loose; he utters beautiful words.
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall.
23 The archers have sorely grieved him; they have shot at him and hated him.
24 But his bow remained strong, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob (by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel),
25 Even by the God of your father, who shall help you, and by the Almighty, who shall bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26 My blessings [your father] are greater than the blessings of my forefathers, and as lasting as the bounty of the everlasting hills. They shall rest on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the head of him who was separated as a prince from his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the plunder."
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them as he blessed them, blessing each one according to the blessing appropriate to him.
29 He charged them and said to them, "I am 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 east of Mamre in the land of Canaan, that Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite as a possession for 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 that is in it was from the children of Heth."
33 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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