Jacob’s Last Words 49 1Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather around, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the days to come.[B] 2Come together and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel: 3Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength and the firstfruits of my virility, excelling in prominence, excelling in power. 4Turbulent as water, you will no longer excel, because you got into your father’s bed and you defiled it—he[C] got into my bed. 5Simeon and Levi are brothers; their knives are vicious weapons. 6May I never enter their council; may I never join their assembly. For in their anger they kill men, and on a whim they hamstring oxen. 7Their anger is cursed, for it is strong, and their fury, for it is cruel! I will disperse them throughout Jacob and scatter them throughout Israel. 8Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will be on the necks of your enemies; your father’s sons will bow down to you. 9Judah is a young lion— my son, you return from the kill. He crouches; he lies down like a lion or a lioness—who dares to rouse him? 10The scepter will not depart from Judah or the staff from between his feet until He whose right it is comes[D] and the obedience of the peoples belongs to Him. 11He ties his donkey to a vine, and the colt of his donkey to the choice vine. He washes his clothes in wine and his robes in the blood of grapes. 12His eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth are whiter than milk. 13Zebulun will live by the seashore and will be a harbor for ships, and his territory will be next to Sidon. 14Issachar is a strong donkey lying down between the saddlebags.[E] 15He saw that his resting place was good and that the land was pleasant, so he leaned his shoulder to bear a load and became a forced laborer. 16Dan will judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 17He will be a snake by the road, a viper beside the path, that bites the horses’ heels so that its rider falls backward. 18I wait for Your salvation, Lord. 19Gad will be attacked by raiders, but he will attack their heels. 20Asher’s[F] food will be rich, and he will produce royal delicacies. 21Naphtali is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns. 22Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine beside a spring; its branches[G] climb over the wall.[H] 23The archers attacked him, shot at him, and were hostile toward him. 24Yet his bow remained steady, and his strong[I] arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the name of[J] the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, 25by the God of your father who helps you, and by the Almighty who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, and blessings of the breasts and the womb. 26The blessings of your father excel the blessings of my ancestors[K] and[L] the bounty of the eternal hills.[M] May they rest on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the prince of his brothers. 27Benjamin is a wolf; he tears his prey. In the morning he devours the prey, and in the evening he divides the plunder.” 28These are the tribes of Israel, 12 in all, and this was what their father said to them. He blessed them, and he blessed each one with a suitable blessing. Jacob’s Burial Instructions 29Then he commanded them: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30The cave is in the field of Machpelah near Mamre, in the land of Canaan. This is the field Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site. 31Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried there, Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried there, and I buried Leah there. 32The field and the cave in it were purchased from the Hittites.” 33When Jacob had finished instructing his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and died. He was gathered to his people.
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