Genesis 49

Jacob’s Death 

Jacob called to his sons. 

Jacob spoke to his sons:

Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear, sons of Jacob; and listen to Israel your father.

Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power. You are unstable as water. You shall not excel, because you went up to your father’s bed and defiled it. You went up to my couch.

After Rachel died, Israel journeyed. While he was away “Reuben went and lay with Bilhah his father’s concubine, and Israel heard it.” (Genesis 35:22)

Simeon and Levi are brothers. Instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. O my soul, come not into their secret. My honor, be not united to their assembly. In their anger they killed a man, and in their self-will, they “digged down a wall.” (Other translations say, hamstrung an ox) Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce. Cursed be their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

Judah, you are he whom your brothers shall praise. Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies. Your father’s children shall bow down before you. Judah is a lion’s cub. My son, you are gone up from the prey. He stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?

The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and to him shall the people be gathered.

This is the prophecy of the Messiah. The Christ will come from the line of Judah.

Binding his foal to the vine, and his ass’s colt to the choice vine, he washed his garments in wine and his clothes in the blood of grapes. His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea, and he shall be a haven of ships. His border shall be to Zidon.

Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens. He saw that rest was good and the land was pleasant, and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant to tribute.

Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that bites the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. I have waited for your salvation, O Lord.

Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.

Naphtali is a hind let loose: he gives goodly words.

Joseph is a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him. But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from there is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) Even by the God of your father, who shall help you; and by the Almighty, who shall bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lie under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb. The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my ancestors to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brothers.

Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf. In the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that which their father spoke to them, and blessed them. Every one according to his blessing, he blessed them. And he charged them.

I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying place. (Genesis 23)

There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah, the purchase of the field and of the cave that is in the field was from the children of Heth.

And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, yielded up the ghost and was gathered to his people.

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