The Last Words of Jacob
1Jacob called for his sons and said, “Gather round, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the future:
2“Come together and listen, sons of Jacob.
Listen to your father Israel.
3“Reuben, my firstborn, you are my strength
And the first child of my manhood,
The proudest and strongest of all my sons.
4You are like a raging flood,
But you will not be the most important,
For you slept with my concubine
And dishonoured your father's bed.
5“Simeon and Levi are brothers.
They use their weapons to commit violence.
6I will not join in their secret talks,
Nor will I take part in their meetings,
For they killed men in anger
And they crippled bulls for sport.
7A curse be on their anger, because it is so fierce,
And on their fury, because it is so cruel.
I will scatter them throughout the land of Israel.
I will disperse them among its people.
8“Judah, your brothers will praise you.
You hold your enemies by the neck.
Your brothers will bow down before you.
9 # Num 24.9; Rev 5.5 Judah is like a lion,
Killing his victim and returning to his den,
Stretching out and lying down.
No one dares disturb him.
10Judah will hold the royal sceptre,
And his descendants will always rule.
Nations will bring him tribute#49.10 Probable text Nations… tribute; Hebrew unclear.
And bow in obedience before him.
11He ties his young donkey to a grapevine,
To the very best of the vines.
He washes his clothes in blood-red wine.
12His eyes are bloodshot from drinking wine,
His teeth white from drinking milk.#49.12 His eyes… milk; or His eyes are darker than wine, his teeth are whiter than milk.
13“Zebulun will live beside the sea.
His shore will be a haven for ships.
His territory will reach as far as Sidon.
14“Issachar is no better than a donkey
That lies stretched out between its saddlebags.
15But he sees that the resting place is good
And that the land is delightful.
So he bends his back to carry the load
And is forced to work as a slave.
16“Dan will be a ruler for his people.
They will be like the other tribes of Israel.
17Dan will be a snake at the side of the road,
A poisonous snake beside the path,
That strikes at the horse's heel,
So that the rider is thrown off backwards.
18“I wait for your deliverance, LORD.
19“Gad will be attacked by a band of robbers,
But he will turn and pursue them.
20“Asher's land will produce rich food.
He will provide food fit for a king.
21“Naphtali is a deer that runs free,
Who bears lovely fawns.#49.21 Naphtali… fawns; or Naphtali is a spreading tree that puts out lovely branches.
22“Joseph is like a wild donkey by a spring,
A wild colt on a hillside.#49.22 Joseph… hillside; or Joseph is like a tree by a spring, a fruitful tree that spreads over a wall.
23His enemies attack him fiercely
And pursue him with their bows and arrows.
24But his bow remains steady,
And his arms are made strong#49.24 But… strong; or But their bows were broken and splintered, the muscles of their arms torn apart.
By the power of the Mighty God of Jacob,
By the Shepherd, the Protector of Israel.
25It is your father's God who helps you,
The Almighty God who blesses you
With blessings of rain from above
And of deep waters from beneath the ground,
Blessings of many cattle and children,
26Blessings of corn and flowers,#49.26 Probable text corn and flowers; Hebrew your fathers are mightier than.
Blessings of ancient mountains,#49.26 One ancient translation ancient mountains; Hebrew my ancestors to.
Delightful things from everlasting hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
On the brow of the one set apart from his brothers.
27“Benjamin is like a vicious wolf.
Morning and evening he kills and devours.”
28These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he spoke a suitable word of farewell to each son.
The Death and Burial of Jacob
29Then Jacob commanded his sons, “Now that I am going to join my people in death, bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30#Gen 23.3–20at Machpelah, east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan. Abraham bought this cave and field from Ephron for a burial ground. 31#Gen 25.9–10; 35.29That is where they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah; that is where they buried Isaac and his wife Rebecca; and that is where I buried Leah. 32The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites. Bury me there.” 33#Acts 7.15When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he lay down again and died.
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Good News Bible with Deuterocanonicals/Apocrypha. Scripture taken from the Good News Bible (r) (Today's English Version Second Edition, UK/British Edition). Copyright © 1992 British & Foreign Bible Society. Used by permission.
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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