1Then Jacob called his sons, and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in days to come.
2“Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob,
and hearken to Israel your father.
3Reuben, you are my first-born,
my might, and the first fruits of my strength,
pre-eminent in pride and pre-eminent in power.
4Unstable as water, you shall not have pre-eminence
because you went up to your father's bed;
then you defiled it—you#49.4 Gk Syr Tg: Heb he went up to my couch!
5Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons of violence are their swords.
6O my soul, come not into their council;
O my spirit,#49.6 Or glory be not joined to their company;
for in their anger they slay men,
and in their wantonness they hamstring oxen.
7Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will divide them in Jacob
and scatter them in Israel.
8Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
your father's sons shall bow down before you.
9 # Num 24.9; Rev 5.5. Judah is a lion's whelp;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down, he couched as a lion,
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him up?
10The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs;#49.10 Syr Compare Tg: Heb until Shiloh comes or until he comes to Shiloh
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11Binding his foal to the vine
and his ass's colt to the choice vine,
he washes his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes;
12his eyes shall be red with wine,
and his teeth white with milk.
13Zebulun shall dwell at the shore of the sea;
he shall become a haven for ships,
and his border shall be at Sidon.
14Issachar is a strong ass,
crouching between the sheepfolds;
15he saw that a resting place was good,
and that the land was pleasant;
so he bowed his shoulder to bear,
and became a slave at forced labor.
16Dan shall judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan shall be a serpent in the way,
a viper by the path,
that bites the horse's heels
so that his rider falls backward.
18I wait for thy salvation, O Lord.
19Raiders#49.19 Heb gedud, a raiding troop shall raid Gad,
but he shall raid at their heels.
20Asher's food shall be rich,
and he shall yield royal dainties.
21Naphtali is a hind let loose,
that bears comely fawns.#49.21 Or who gives beautiful words
22Joseph is a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring;
his branches run over the wall.
23The archers fiercely attacked him,
shot at him, and harassed him sorely;
24yet his bow remained unmoved,
his arms#49.24 Heb the arms of his hands were made agile
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
(by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel),
25by the God of your father who will help you,
by God Almighty#49.25 Heb El Shaddai who will bless you
with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that couches beneath,
blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26The blessings of your father
are mighty beyond the blessings of the eternal mountains,#49.26 Compare Gk: Heb of my progenitors to
the bounties of the everlasting hills;
may they be on the head of Joseph,
and on the brow of him who was separate from his brothers.
27Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
in the morning devouring the prey,
and at even dividing the spoil.”
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel; and this is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him. 29Then 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, 30in the cave that is in the field at Mach-pelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. 31There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah— 32the field and the cave that is in it were purchased from the Hittites.” 33When Jacob finished charging his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, and breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
Learn More About Revised Standard Version Old Tradition 1952
Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America
1¶ And Jacob called unto his sons and said, Gather yourselves together that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
2Gather yourselves together and hear, ye sons of Jacob, and hearken unto Israel your father.
3Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, principal in dignity, and the principal in power.
4Unstable as water, thou shalt not be principal because thou didst go up to thy father’s bed; then thou became defiled, going up to my couch.
5¶ Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of injustice are their weapons.
6Let my soul not enter into their secret; nor let my honour join their assembly; for in their anger they slew a man, and in their own will they dug down a wall.
7Cursed be their anger, which is strong, and their wrath, which is hard; I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.
8¶ Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s sons shall bow down before thee.
9Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up; he stooped down, he couched as a lion and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10The sceptre shall not be taken from Judah, nor the lawgiver from between his feet until Shiloh comes; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
11Binding his foal unto the vine and his ass’s colt unto the choice roots; he washed his garments in wine and his covering in the blood of grapes;
12His eyes red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
13¶ Zebulun shall dwell at the port of the sea; and he shall be for a port of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.
14Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens;
15and he saw that rest was good and the land that it was pleasant and bowed his shoulder to bear and became a servant unto tribute.
16Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
18I have waited for thy saving health, O Lord.
19Gad, an army shall invade him, but he shall invade at the last.
20Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield delight unto the king.
21Naphtali is a hind let loose, who shall give forth a good word.
22¶ Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a fountain, whose daughters run over the wall.
23The arches have sorely grieved him and shot at him and hated him;
24but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty one of Jacob; from there did the stone of Israel shepherd,
25by the God of thy father, who shall help thee, and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of the heavens above, with blessings of the deep that lies under, with blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26The blessings of thy father were greater than the blessings of my progenitors; unto the borders of the eternal hills they shall be upon the head of Joseph and on the crown of the Nazarite of his brethren.
27Benjamin, ravening wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and in the evening he shall divide the spoil.
28¶ All these were the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke unto them and blessed them; each one according to his blessing he blessed them.
29And he charged them and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron, the Hittite,
30in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron, the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.
31There they buried Abraham and Sarah, his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah, his wife; and there I buried Leah.
32The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the sons of Heth.
33And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed and expired and was gathered unto his people.
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