1Then Jacob called his sons and said, "Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you 2in days to come.
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"Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob, listen to Israel your father.
"Reuben, you are 3my firstborn, my might, and the 4firstfruits of my strength, preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
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Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence, because you 5went up to your father's bed; then you defiled it--he went up to my couch!
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6"Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons 7of violence are their swords.
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Let my soul come not into their council; 8O my glory, 9be not joined to their company. For in their anger they killed men, and in their willfulness they 10hamstrung oxen.
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Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will 11divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.
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"Judah, 12your brothers shall praise you; 13your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; 14your father's sons shall bow down before you.
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Judah is 15a lion's cub; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. 16He stooped down; he crouched as a lion and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?
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The 17scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff 18from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
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Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey's colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
His 19eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.
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20"Zebulun shall dwell at the 21shore of the sea; he shall become a haven for ships, and his border shall be at Sidon.
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22"Issachar is a strong donkey, crouching between the sheepfolds.
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He saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant, so he bowed his shoulder to bear, and 23became a servant at forced labor.
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24"Dan shall 25judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.
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Dan 26shall be a serpent in the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that his rider falls backward.
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I 27wait for your salvation, O LORD.
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28"Raiders shall raid 29Gad, but he shall raid at their heels.
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30"Asher's food shall be rich, and he shall yield royal delicacies.
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31"Naphtali is a doe let loose that bears beautiful fawns.
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"Joseph is 32a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall.
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The archers 33bitterly attacked him, shot at him, and harassed him severely,
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yet 34his bow remained unmoved; his arms were made agile by the hands of the 35Mighty One of Jacob (from there is 36the Shepherd,37the Stone of Israel),
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38by the God of your father who will help you, by 39the Almighty40who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
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The blessings of your father are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents, up to the bounties 41of the everlasting hills. May they be 42on the head of Joseph, and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
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43"Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning devouring the prey and at evening 44dividing the spoil."
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All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him.
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Then he commanded them and said to them, "I am to be 45gathered to my people; 46bury me with my fathers 47in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
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in the cave that is in the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, 48which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place.
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49There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There 50they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah--
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the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites."
When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and 51was gathered to his people.
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