International Standard Version
Jacob’s Final Blessings
2“Gather together and listen,
you children of Jacob.
Listen to your father Israel.”
On the Future of Reuben
3“Reuben, you’re my firstborn,
and the first fruit of my vitality.
You excel in rank
and excel in power.
4But you’re as undisciplined as a roaring river,
so eventually you won’t succeed,
because you got in your father’s bed,c
defiled it, and then approached my couch.”
On the Future of Simeon and Levi
5“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
their swords are violent weapons.
I’ll never enter their assembly.
In their anger they committed murder
and lamed cattle just for fun.
7Their anger is cursed,
because it is so fierce,
as is their vehemence,
because it is so cruel.
I will separate them throughout Jacob’s territorye
and disperse them throughout Israel.”
On the Future of Judah
Your hand will be at the throat of your enemies,
and your father’s children will bow down to you.
9Judah is a lion cub.
My son, you have gone up from the prey.
Crouching like a lion,
he lies down,
Like a lioness,
who would dare rouse him?
10The scepter will never depart from Judah,
nor a ruler’s staff from between his feet,
and to him will belong the allegiancei of nations.
11Binding his donkey to the vine
and his mare’s foal to its thick tendrils,
he will wash his garments in wine
and his robe in the juice of grapes.
12His eyes are darker than wine
and his teeth whiter than milk.”
On the Future of Zebulun
13“Zebulun will settle down near the sea shore
and become a safe haven for shipping,
On the Future of Issachar
14“Issachar is a strong donkey,
resting between sheepfolds.
15He observed that his resting place was excellent,
and that the land was pleasant;
he bent down,
picked up his burdens,
and became a slave at forced labor.”
On the Future of Dan
as one of Israel’s tribes.
17Dan will be a snake on the path,
a viper on the road
that snaps at the heels of horses,
causing their riders to fall off.
18“LORD, I’m waiting for your salvation.”
On the Future of Gad
19“Bandits will raid Gad,
but Gad will raid them back.”k
On the Future of Asher
20“Asher’s food will be delicious;
he will be a provider of delicacies fit for royalty.”
On the Future of Naphtali
21“Naphtali is a free running deer
who produces eloquent literature.”
On the Future of Joseph
22“Joseph is descended from a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine planted near springs of water.
His branches climb over walls.
shooting at him
and pursuing him viciously,
24nevertheless his bow remained steady
and his arms kept in shape
by the strength of Jacob’s Mighty One,
in the name of the Shepherd,
25by your father’s God
who helps you,
by the Almighty
who will keep on blessing you
with blessings from heaven above,
with blessings from the deepest ocean,
with blessing from the breasts and the womb.
26Your father’s blessings will prove to be stronger
than blessings from the eternal mountains
or bounties from the everlasting hills.
May they come to rest on Joseph’s head,
May they be set upon the brow of the one
who was separated from his own brothers.”
On the Future of Benjamin
27“Benjamin is vicious like a wolf;
what he kills in the morning
he devours in the evening.”
Jacob Dies and is Buried
28That’s how Israel blessed thesem twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father told them when he pronounced his blessing for them, blessing each one with a blessing suitable for them. 29In his last words, Jacobn issued this set of instructions to them all: “I’m about to joino our ancestors. Bury me alongside my ancestors in the cave in the field that used to belong to Ephron the Hittite. 30It’s the cave in the field near Mamre at Machpelah in the land of Canaan that Abraham bought to serve as a cemetery. 31It’s where Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, where Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and where I buried Leah. 32Both the field and the cave that’s in it were purchased from the Hittites.”
a 49:1 The Heb. lacks around me
b 49:1 Or in days to come
c 49:4 Cf. Gen 35:22
d 49:6 Lit. Let my soul
e 49:7 The Heb. lacks ‘s territory
f 49:8 The Heb. verb praise is a word play on the name Judah
g 49:10 Or until Shiloh
h 49:10 Lit. comes to whom it belongs; i.e. the authority represented by the scepter and ruler’s staff
i 49:10 Or obedience
j 49:16 The Heb. name Dan means judge
k 49:19 Lit. raid the heel
l 49:23 The Heb. lacks enemies
m 49:28 Lit. All these are the
n 49:29 Lit. he
o 49:29 Lit. to be gathered to
p 49:33 Lit. he