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Genesis 49 (Lexham English Bible)

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Jacob Blesses His Twelve Sons

1 Then Jacob called his sons and said, "Gather together so that I can tell you what will happen with you in {days to come}.a 2 Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob! Listen to Israel your father! 3 Reuben, you [are] my firstborn, my strength, and the firstfruit of my vigor, excelling in rank and excelling in power. 4 Unstableb as water, you shall not excel [any longer], for you went up upon the bed of your father, then defiled [it]. You went up upon my couch! 5 Simeon and Levi [are] brothers; weapons of violence [are] their swords. Let mec not come into their council. 6 Let not my persond be joined to their company. For in their anger they killed men, and at their pleasure they hamstrung cattle. 7 Cursed be their anger, for [it is] fierce, and their wrath, for [it is] cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and I will scatter them in Israel. 8 Judah, [as for] you, your brothers shall praise you. Your hand [shall be] on the neck of your enemies. The sons of your father shall bow down to you. 9 Judah [is] a lion's cub. From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He bowed down; he crouched like a lion and as a lioness. Who shall rouse him? 10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff between his feet, until Shiloh comes. And to him shall be the obedience of nations. 11 Binding his donkey to the vine and his donkey's colt to the choice vine, he washes his clothing in the wine and his garment in the blood of grapes. 12 The eyes [are] darker than wine, and the teeth whiter than milk. 13 Zebulun shall settle by the shore of the sea. He [shall become] a haven for ships, and his border [shall be] at Sidon. 14 Issachar [is] a strong donkey, crouching between the sheepfolds. 15 He saw a resting place that [was] good, and land that [was] pleasant. So he bowed his shoulder to the burden and became a servant of forced labor. 16 Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan shall be a serpent on the way, a viper on the road that bites the heels of a horse, so that its rider falls backward. 18 I wait for your salvation, O Yahweh. 19 Bandits shall attack Gad, but he shall attack [their] heels. 20 Asher's food [is] delicious, and he shall provide from the king's delicacies. 21 Naphtali [is] a doe running free that puts forth beautiful words. 22 Joseph [is] the boughe of a fruitful vine, a fruitful boughf by a spring. His branches climb over the wall. 23 {The archers}g fiercely attacked him. They shot arrows [at him] and were hostile to him. 24 But his bow remained in a steady position; {his arms}h were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob. From there [is] the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. 25 Because of the God of your father he will help you and [by] Shaddaii he will bless you with the blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, blessings of the breasts and the womb. 26 The blessings of your father are superior to the blessings of my ancestors, to the bounty of the everlasting hills. May they be on the head of Joseph, and on the forehead of the prince of his brothers. 27 Benjamin [is] a devouring wolf, devouring the prey in the morning, and dividing the plunder in the evening.

The Death and Burial of Jacob

28 All these [are] the twelve tribes of Israel, and this [is] what their father said to them when he blessed them, each according to their blessing. 29 Then he instructed them and said to them, "I am [about to be] gathered to my people. Bury me among my ancestorsj in the cave that [is] in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave that [is] in the field of Machpelah that [is] beforek Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site. 31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife. And there I buried Leah-- 32 the purchase of the field and the cave which [was] in it from the Hittites." 33 When Jacob finished instructing his sons he drew his feet up to the bed. Then he took his last breath and was gathered to his people.
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