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katapi HOME Genesis 49:1-28 - Jacob's last words.  Gn.49.1-28

49 1 JACOB SUMMONED HIS SONS and said, 'Come near, and I will tell you what will happen to you in days to come.

49 2 Gather round me and listen, you sons of Jacob;
listen to Israel your father.

49 3 Reuben, you are my first-born,
my strength and the first fruit of my vigour,
excelling in pride, excelling in might,
49 4 turbulent as a flood, you shall not excel;
because you climbed into your father's bed;
then you defiled his concubine's couch.

49 5 Simeon and Levi are brothers,
their spades became weapons of violence.
49 6 My soul shall not enter their council,
my heart shall not join their company;
for in their anger they killed men,
wantonly they hamstrung oxen.
49 7 A curse be on their anger because it was fierce;
a curse on their wrath because it was ruthless!
I will scatter them in Jacob,
I will disperse them in Israel.

49 8 Judah, your brothers shall praise you,
your hand is on the neck of your enemies.
Your father's sons shall do you homage.
49 9 Judah, you lion's whelp,
you have returned from the kill, my son,
and crouch and stretch like a lion;
and, like a lion Or lioness, who dare rouse you?
49 10 The sceptre shall not pass from Judah,
nor the staff from his descendants,
so long as tribute is brought to him
and the obedience of the nations is his.
To the vine he tethers his ass,
49 11 and the colt of his ass to the red vine;
he washes his cloak in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
49 12 Darker than wine are his eyes,
his teeth whiter than milk.

49 13 Zebulun dwells by the sea-shore,
his shore is a haven for ships,
and his frontier rests on Sidon.

49 14 Issachar, a gelded ass
lying down in the cattle-pens,
49 15 saw that a settled home was good
and that the land was pleasant,
so he bent his back to the burden
and submitted to perpetual forced labour.

49 16 Dan—how insignificant his people,
lowly as any tribe in Israel Or Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel!
49 17 Let Dan be a viper on the road,
a horned snake on the path,
who bites the horse's fetlock
so that the rider tumbles backwards. 49 18 For thy salvation I wait in hope, O LORD.

49 19 Gad is raided by raiders,
and he raids them from the rear.

49 20 Asher shall have rich food as daily fare,
and provide dishes fit for a king.

49 21 Naphtali is a spreading terebinth
putting forth lovely boughs.

49 22 Joseph is a fruitful tree Or a fruitful ben-tree by a spring
with branches climbing over the wall.
49 23 The archers savagely attacked him,
they shot at him and pressed him hard,
49 24 but their bow was splintered by the Eternal
and the sinews of their arms were torn apart
by the power of the Strong One of Jacob,
by the name of the Shepherd prob. rdg, Heb adds stone of Israel,
49 25 by the God of your father—so may he help you,
by God Almighty—so may he bless you
with the blessings of heaven above,
the blessings of the deep that lurks below.
The blessings of breast and womb
49 26 and the blessings of your father are stronger
than the blessings of the everlasting pools Or hills
and the bounty of the eternal hills.
They shall be on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among the prince among: or the one cursed by his brothers.

49 27 Benjamin is a ravening wolf:
in the morning he devours the prey,
in the evening he snatches a share of the spoil.'

49 28 These, then, are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father Jacob said to them, when he blessed them each in turn.


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