Genesis 49:3-28 NIV

3 "Reuben, you are my firstborn,1 my might, the first sign of my strength,2 excelling in honor,3 excelling in power.

References for Genesis 49:3

4 Turbulent as the waters,4 you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father's bed, onto my couch and defiled it.5

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5 "Simeon6 and Levi7 are brothers-- their swordsa are weapons of violence.8

References for Genesis 49:5

    • a 49:5 - The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
      6 Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly,9 for they have killed men in their anger10 and hamstrung11 oxen as they pleased.

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      7 Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury,12 so cruel!13 I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.14

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      8 "Judah,b15 your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck16 of your enemies; your father's sons will bow down to you.17

      References for Genesis 49:8

        • b 49:8 - "Judah" sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for "praise."
          9 You are a lion's18 cub,19 O Judah;20 you return from the prey,21 my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness--who dares to rouse him?

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          10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,22 nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongsc23 and the obedience of the nations is his.24

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            • c 49:10 - Or "until Shiloh comes"; or "until he comes to whom tribute belongs"
              11 He will tether his donkey25 to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch;26 he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.27

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              12 His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.d28

              References for Genesis 49:12

                • d 49:12 - Or "will be dull from wine, / his teeth white from milk"
                  13 "Zebulun29 will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships; his border will extend toward Sidon.30

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                  14 "Issachar31 is a rawbonede donkey lying down between two saddlebags.f32

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                      15 When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land,33 he will bend his shoulder to the burden34 and submit to forced labor.35

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                      16 "Dang36 will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel.37

                      References for Genesis 49:16

                        • g 49:16 - "Dan" here means "he provides justice."
                          17 Dan38 will be a serpent by the roadside, a viper along the path,39 that bites the horse's heels40 so that its rider tumbles backward.

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                          18 "I look for your deliverance,41 O LORD.42

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                          19 "Gadh43 will be attacked by a band of raiders, but he will attack them at their heels.44

                          References for Genesis 49:19

                            • h 49:19 - "Gad" can mean "attack" and "band of raiders."
                              20 "Asher's45 food will be rich;46 he will provide delicacies fit for a king.47

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                              21 "Naphtali48 is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns.i49

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                                • i 49:21 - Or "free; / he utters beautiful words"
                                  22 "Joseph50 is a fruitful vine,51 a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches52 climb over a wall.j

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                                    • j 49:22 - Or "Joseph is a wild colt, / a wild colt near a spring, / a wild donkey on a terraced hill"
                                      23 With bitterness archers attacked him;53 they shot at him with hostility.54

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                                      24 But his bow remained steady,55 his strong arms56 stayedk limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,57 because of the Shepherd,58 the Rock of Israel,59

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                                        • k 49:24 - ,24 Or "archers will attack . . . will shoot . . . will remain . . . will stay"
                                          25 because of your father's God,60 who helps61 you, because of the Almighty,l62 who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below,63 blessings of the breast64 and womb.65

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                                          26 Your father's blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, thanm the bounty of the age-old hills.66 Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,67 on the brow of the prince amongn his brothers.68

                                          References for Genesis 49:26

                                            • m 49:26 - Or "of my progenitors, / as great as"
                                            • n 49:26 - Or "the one separated from"
                                              27 "Benjamin69 is a ravenous wolf;70 in the morning he devours the prey,71 in the evening he divides the plunder."72

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                                              28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel,73 and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing74 appropriate to him.

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