Genesis 48:15-49:27 New International Version - UK (NIVUK)
15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,
‘May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
– may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
on the earth.’
17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, ‘No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.’
19 But his father refused and said, ‘I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.’ 20 He blessed them that day and said,
‘In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
“May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.”’
So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21 Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of land than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.’
Jacob blesses his sons
49 Then Jacob called for his sons and said: ‘Gather round so that I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.
2 ‘Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob;
listen to your father Israel.
3 ‘Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might, the first sign of my strength,
excelling in honour, excelling in power.
4 Turbulent as the waters, you will no longer excel,
for you went up onto your father’s bed,
onto my couch and defiled it.
5 ‘Simeon and Levi are brothers –
their swords are weapons of violence.
6 Let me not enter their council,
let me not join their assembly,
for they have killed men in their anger
and hamstrung oxen as they pleased.
7 Cursed be their anger, so fierce,
and their fury, so cruel!
I will scatter them in Jacob
and disperse them in Israel.
8 ‘Judah, your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness – who dares to rouse him?
10 The sceptre will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
11 He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.
13 ‘Zebulun will live by the seashore
and become a haven for ships;
his border will extend towards Sidon.
14 ‘Issachar is a scrawny donkey
lying down among the sheepfolds.
15 When he sees how good is his resting place
and how pleasant is his land,
he will bend his shoulder to the burden
and submit to forced labour.
16 ‘Dan will provide justice for his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan will be a snake by the roadside,
a viper along the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that its rider tumbles backwards.
18 ‘I look for your deliverance, Lord.
19 ‘Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders,
but he will attack them at their heels.
20 ‘Asher’s food will be rich;
he will provide delicacies fit for a king.
21 ‘Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns.
22 ‘Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine near a spring,
whose branches climb over a wall.
23 With bitterness archers attacked him;
they shot at him with hostility.
24 But his bow remained steady,
his strong arms stayed supple,
because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 because of your father’s God, who helps you,
because of the Almighty, who blesses you
with blessings of the skies above,
blessings of the deep springs below,
blessings of the breast and womb.
26 Your father’s blessings are greater
than the blessings of the ancient mountains,
than the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
27 ‘Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
in the morning he devours the prey,
in the evening he divides the plunder.’