Jacob Blesses His Sons

1 1Then Jacob called his sons and said, "Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you 2in days to come.
2 "Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob, listen to Israel your father.
3 "Reuben, you are 3my firstborn, my might, and the 4firstfruits of my strength, preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
4 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!
5 6"Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons 7of violence are their swords.
6 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.
7 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.
8 "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.
9 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?
10 The 17scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff 18from between his feet, until tribute comes to him;a and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11 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.
12 His 19eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.
13 20"Zebulun shall dwell at the 21shore of the sea; he shall become a haven for ships, and his border shall be at Sidon.
14 22"Issachar is a strong donkey, crouching between the sheepfolds.b
15 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.