Jacob Speaks Over His Sons
1Jacob called his sons and said to them: Gather together so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the last days.
2Be assembled and listen, sons of Jacob, and listen to Israel your father.
3Reuben, my firstborn are you, my vigor and firstborn of my power, endowed with extra dignity, endowed with extra strength—
4like water boiling over you will not have extra, for you got up into your father’s bed, when you defiled a maid’s couch.
5Simeon and Levi are brothers, instruments of violence are their knives.
6In their secret counsel may my soul not enter. In their contingent may my honor never be united. For in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they maimed oxen.
7Cursed be their anger for it was strong and their rage for it was cruel— I will disperse them in Jacob, I will scatter them in Israel.
8Judah, so you are— your brothers will praise you: Your hand will be on your enemies’ neck. Your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9A lion’s cub is Judah— from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches, lies down like a lion, or like a lioness— who would rouse him?
10The scepter will not pass from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he to whom it belongs will come. To him will be the obedience of the peoples.
11Binding his foal to the vine, his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he washes his garments in wine, and in the blood of grapes his robe.
12His eyes are darker than wine, and teeth that are whiter than milk.
13Zebulun will dwell by the seashore, and be by a harbor for ships— his distant border reaches Sidon.
14Issachar is a strong-boned donkey, lying down between two saddlebags.
15He saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant. He leaned his shoulder to bear a burden, and became a forced laborer.
16Dan will judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
17Let Dan be a serpent beside a road, a viper beside a path, who strikes a horse’s heels, so that its rider falls backward.
18For your salvation I wait, Adonai!
19Gad—attackers will attack him, but he will attack their heels.
20Asher—rich is his food— he will provide delicacies fit for a king.
21Naphtali is a doe let loose, who offers words of beauty.
22A fruitful son is Joseph, a fruitful son beside a spring— daughters walk along a wall.
23The archers were bitter and shot arrows and were hostile towards him.
24Yet his bow was always filled, and his arms quick-moving— by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob. From there a Shepherd, the Stone of Israel,
25from the God of your father who helps you, and Shaddai who blesses you, with blessings of heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of breasts and womb.
26The blessings of your father surpassed the blessings of the ancient mountains, the desire of the everlasting hills. May they be upon Joseph’s head, upon the crown of the one set apart from his brothers.
27Benjamin is a ravening wolf— in the morning he devours spoils, and in the evening divides plunder.
28These are the tribes of Israel, twelve in all, and this is what their father spoke to them. He blessed them, each one he blessed with a suitable blessing.
29Then he charged 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,
30in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, that is next to Mamre in the land of Canaan—the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a property for burial.
31There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah, and there I buried Leah.
32The field was purchased along with the cave in it from the sons of Het.”
33When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, then breathed his last and was gathered to his peoples.
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1Then Iaakob called his sonnes, and sayde, Gather your selues together, that I may tell you what shall come to you in the last dayes. 2Gather your selues together, and heare, ye sonnes of Iaakob, and hearken vnto Israel your father. 3Reuben mine eldest sonne, thou art my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellencie of dignitie, and the excellencie of power: 4Thou wast light as water: thou shalt not be excellent, because thou wentest vp to thy fathers bed: then diddest thou defile my bed, thy dignitie is gone. 5Simeon and Leui, brethren in euill, the instruments of crueltie are in their habitations. 6Into their secret let not my soule come: my glory, be not thou ioyned with their assembly: for in their wrath they slew a man, and in their selfe will they digged downe a wall. 7Cursed be their wrath, for it was fierce, and their rage, for it was cruell: I will deuide them in Iaakob, and scatter them in Israel. 8Thou Iudah, thy brethre shall praise thee: thine hande shalbe in the necke of thine enemies: thy fathers sonnes shall bowe downe vnto thee. 9Iudah, as a Lions whelpe shalt thou come vp from the spoyle, my sonne. He shall lye downe and couche as a Lion, and as a Lionesse: Who shall stirre him vp? 10The scepter shall not depart from Iudah, nor a Lawegiuer from betweene his feete, vntill Shiloh come, and the people shall be gathered vnto him. 11He shall binde his Asse foale vnto ye vine, and his Asses colte vnto the best vine. hee shall wash his garment in wine, and his cloke in the blood of grapes. 12His eyes shalbe red with wine, and his teeth white with milke. 13Zebulun shall dwell by the sea side, and he shalbe an hauen for shippes: and his border shalbe vnto Zidon. 14Issachar shalbe a strong asse, couching downe betweene two burdens: 15And he shall see that rest is good, and that the land is pleasant, and he shall bow his shoulder to beare, and shalbe subiect vnto tribute. 16Dan shall iudge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 17Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder by the path, byting the horse heeles, so that his rider shall fall backward. 18O Lord, I haue waited for thy saluation. 19Gad, an hoste of men shall ouercome him, but he shall ouercome at the last. 20Concerning Asher, his bread shalbe fat, and he shall giue pleasures for a king. 21Naphtali shalbe a hinde let goe, giuing goodly wordes. 22Ioseph shalbe a fruitefull bough, euen a fruitful bough by the well side: the small boughs shall runne vpon the wall. 23And the archers grieued him, and shotte against him and hated him. 24But his bowe abode strong, and the hands of his armes were strengthened, by the handes of the mighty God of Iaakob, of whom was the feeder appointed, by the stone of Israel, 25Euen by the God of thy father, who shall helpe thee, and by the almightie, who shall blesse thee with heauenly blessinges from aboue, with blessings of the deepe, that lyeth beneath, with blessings of the brestes, and of the wombe. 26The blessings of thy father shalbe stronger then the blessings of mine elders: vnto the ende of the hilles of the worlde they shall be on the head of Ioseph, and on the top of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. 27Beniamin shall rauine as a wolfe: in the morning he shall deuoure the pray, and at night he shall deuide the spoyle. 28All these are the twelue tribes of Israel, and thus their father spake vnto them, and blessed them: euery one of them blessed hee with a seuerall blessing. 29And he charged them and sayd vnto them, I am ready to be gathered vnto my people: burie mee with my fathers in the caue, that is in the fielde of Ephron the Hittite, 30In the caue that is in the field of Machpelah besides Mamre in the land of Canaan: which caue Abraham bought with the fielde of Ephron the Hittite for a possession to burie in. 31There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife: there they buryed Izhak and Rebekah his wife: and there I buried Leah. 32The purchase of the fielde and the caue that is therein, was bought of the children of Heth. 33Thus Iaakob made an end of giuing charge to his sonnes, and plucked vp his feete into the bed and gaue vp the ghost, and was gathered to his people.
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