Jacob reveals his sons’ destinies
1Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Gather around so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the coming days.
2Assemble yourselves and listen, sons of Jacob;
listen to Israel your father.
3Reuben, you are my oldest son,
my strength and my first contender,#49.3 Or first of my power
superior in status and superior in might.
4As wild as the waters, you won’t endure,
for you went up to your father’s bed,
you went up#49.4 LXX; MT he went up and violated my couch.
5Simeon and Levi are brothers,
weapons of violence their stock in trade.
6May I myself never enter their council.
May my honor never be linked to their group;
for when they were angry, they killed men,
and whenever they wished, they maimed oxen.
7Cursed be their anger; it is violent,
their rage; it is relentless.
I’ll divide them up within Jacob
and disperse them within Israel.
8Judah, you are the one your brothers will honor;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9Judah is a lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you rise up.
He lies down and crouches like a lion;
like a lioness—who dares disturb him?
10The scepter won’t depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from among his banners.#49.10 Sam; MT his feet
Gifts will be brought to him;
people will obey him.
11He ties his male donkey to the vine,
the colt of his female donkey to the vine’s branches.
He washes his clothes in wine,
his garments in the blood of grapes.
12His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
13Zebulun will live at the seashore;
he’ll live at the harbor of ships,
his border will be at Sidon.
14Issachar is a sturdy donkey,
bedding down beside the village hearths.#49.14 Or stubbornly lying beneath its saddlebags
15He saw that a resting place was good
and that the land was pleasant.
He lowered his shoulder to haul loads
and joined the work gangs.
16Dan#49.16 Or he judges, or settles disputes will settle disputes for his people,
as one of Israel’s tribes.
17Dan will be a snake on the road,
a serpent on the path,
biting a horse’s heels,
so its rider falls backward.
18I long for your victory, LORD.
19Gad#49.19 Or he attacks or good fortune will be attacked by attackers,
but he’ll attack their back.
20Asher#49.20 LXX, Syr, Vulg; MT from Asher grows fine foods,
and he will supply the king’s delicacies.
21Naphtali is a wild doe
that gives birth to beautiful fawns.#49.21 Or who gives beautiful words
22Joseph is a young bull,#49.22 Heb uncertain
a young bull by a spring,
who strides with oxen.#49.22 Heb uncertain
23They attacked him fiercely and fired arrows;
the archers attacked him furiously.
24But his bow stayed strong,
and his forearms were nimble,#49.24 Heb uncertain; or flexible
by the hands of the strong one of Jacob,
by the name of the shepherd, the rock of Israel,
25by God, your father, who supports you,
by the Almighty#49.25 Heb Shaddai or the Mountain One who blesses you
with blessings from the skies above
and blessings from the deep sea below,
blessings from breasts and womb.
26The blessings of your father exceed
the blessings of the eternal mountains,#49.26 LXX; Heb uncertain
the wealth of the everlasting hills.
May they all rest on Joseph’s head,
on the forehead of the one set apart from his brothers.
27Benjamin is a wolf who hunts:
in the morning he devours the prey;
in the evening he divides the plunder.”
28These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them. He blessed them by giving each man his own particular blessing.
Jacob’s death and burial
29Jacob ordered them, “I am soon to join my people. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave that’s in the field of Ephron the Hittite; 30in the cave that’s in the field of Machpelah near Mamre in the land of Canaan that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial property. 31That is where Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and where Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried, and where I buried Leah. 32It is the field and the cave in it that belonged to the Hittites.” 33After he finished giving orders to his sons, he put his feet up on the bed, took his last breath, and joined his people.
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1And Jacob called his sons, and said to them: Gather yourselves together that I may tell you the things that shall befall you in the last days.
2Gather yourselves together, and hear, O ye sons of Jacob: hearken to Israel your father.
3Ruben, my firstborn, thou art my strength, and the beginning of my sorrow: excelling in gifts, greater in command.
4Thou art poured out as water, grow thou not: because thou wentest up to thy father's bed, and didst defile his couch.
5Simeon and Levi brethren: vessels of iniquity, waging war.
6Let not my soul go into their counsel, nor my glory be in their assembly: because in their fury they slew a man, and in their selfwill they undermined a wall.
7Cursed be their fury, because it was stubborn: and their wrath because it was cruel. I Will divide them in Jacob, and will scatter them in Israel.
8Juda, thee shall thy brethren praise. Thy hands shall be on the necks of thy enemies: the sons of thy father shall bow down to thee.
9Juda is a lion's whelp: to the prey, my son, thou art gone up. Resting thou hast couched as a lion, and as a lioness. Who shall rouse him?
10The sceptre shall not be taken away from Juda, nor a ruler from his thigh, till he come that is to be sent: and he shall be the expectation of nations.
11Tying his foal to the vineyard, and his ass, O my son, to the vine. He shall wash his robe in wine, and his garment in the blood of the grape.
12His eyes are more beautiful than wine: and his teeth whiter than milk.
13Zabulon shall dwell on the sea-shore, and in the road of ships, reaching as far as Sidon.
14Issachar shall be a strong ass lying down between the borders.
15He saw rest that it was good: and the land that it was excellent. And he bowed his shoulder to carry, and became a servant under tribute.
16Dan shall judge his people like another tribe in Israel.
17Let Dan be a snake in the way, a serpent in the path, that biteth the horse's heels that his rider may fall backward.
18I will look for thy salvation, O Lord.
19Gad, being girded, shall fight before him: and he himself shall be girded backward.
20Aser: his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield dainties to kings.
21Nephtali: a hart let loose, and giving words of beauty.
22Joseph is a growing son, a growing son and comely to behold: the daughters run to and fro upon the wall.
23But they that held darts provoked him, and quarrelled with him, and envied him.
24His bow rested upon the strong, and the bands of his arms and his hands were loosed, by the hands of the mighty one of Jacob: thence he came forth a pastor, the stone of Israel.
25The God of thy father shall be thy helper, and the Almighty shall bless thee with the blessings of heaven above, with the blessings of the deep that lieth beneath, with the blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26The blessings of thy father are strengthened with the blessings of his fathers: until the desire of the everlasting hills should come. May they be upon the head of Joseph, and upon the crown of the Nazarite among his brethren.
27Benjamin a ravenous wolf, in the morning shall eat the prey, and in the evening shall divide the spoil.
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: these things their father spoke to them, and he blessed every one, with their proper blessings.
29And he charged them, saying: I am now going to be gathered to my people: bury me with my fathers in the double cave, which is in the field of Ephron the Hethite,
30Over against Mambre in the land of Chanaan, which Abraham bought together with the field of Ephron the Hethite for a possession to bury in.
31There they buried him, and Sara his wife. There was Isaac buried with Rebecca his wife. There also Lia doth lie buried.
32And when he had ended the commandments, wherewith he instructed his sons, he drew up his feet upon the bed, and died. And he was gathered to his people.
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