Then Jacob called for his sons and said: "Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.12
"Assemble2 and listen, sons of Jacob; listen to your father Israel.33
"Reuben, you are my firstborn,4 my might, the first sign of my strength,5 excelling in honor,6 excelling in power.
Turbulent as the waters,7 you will no longer excel, for you went up onto your father's bed, onto my couch and defiled it.85
"Simeon9 and Levi10 are brothers-- their swordsa are weapons of violence.116
Let me not enter their council, let me not join their assembly,12 for they have killed men in their anger13 and hamstrung14 oxen as they pleased.
Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury,15 so cruel!16 I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel.178
"Judah,b18 your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck19 of your enemies; your father's sons will bow down to you.209
You are a lion's21 cub,22 Judah;23 you return from the prey,24 my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, like a lioness--who dares to rouse him?
The scepter will not depart from Judah,25 nor the ruler's staff from between his feet,c until he to whom it belongsd shall come26 and the obedience of the nations be his.2711
He will tether his donkey28 to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch;29 he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.3012
His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.e3113
"Zebulun32 will live by the seashore and become a haven for ships; his border will extend toward Sidon.3314
"Issachar34 is a rawbonedf donkey lying down among the sheep pens.g3515
When he sees how good is his resting place and how pleasant is his land,36 he will bend his shoulder to the burden37 and submit to forced labor.3816
"Danh39 will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel.4017
Dan41 will be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path,42 that bites the horse's heels43 so that its rider tumbles backward.
"I look for your deliverance,44 LORD.4519
"Gadi46 will be attacked by a band of raiders, but he will attack them at their heels.4720
"Asher's48 food will be rich;49 he will provide delicacies fit for a king.5021
"Naphtali51 is a doe set free that bears beautiful fawns.j5222
"Joseph53 is a fruitful vine,54 a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches55 climb over a wall.k23
With bitterness archers attacked him;56 they shot at him with hostility.5724
But his bow remained steady,58 his strong arms59 stayedl limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,60 because of the Shepherd,61 the Rock of Israel,6225
because of your father's God,63 who helps64 you, because of the Almighty,m65 who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below,66 blessings of the breast67 and womb.6826
Your father's blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, thann the bounty of the age-old hills.69 Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,70 on the brow of the prince amongo his brothers.7127
"Benjamin72 is a ravenous wolf;73 in the morning he devours the prey,74 in the evening he divides the plunder."7528
All these are the twelve tribes of Israel,76 and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing77 appropriate to him.
Then he gave them these instructions:78 "I am about to be gathered to my people.79 Bury me with my fathers80 in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite,8130
the cave in the field of Machpelah,82 near Mamre83 in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field84 as a burial place85 from Ephron the Hittite.
There Abraham86 and his wife Sarah87 were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah88 were buried, and there I buried Leah.8932
The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.p90 "
When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.91