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On the Future of Reuben

“Reuben, you’re my firstborn,
    my strength,
        and the first fruit of my vitality.
You excel in rank
    and excel in power.
But you’re as undisciplined as a roaring river,
    so eventually you won’t succeed,
because you got in your father’s bed,[a]
    defiled it, and then approached my couch.”

On the Future of Simeon and Levi

“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
    their swords are violent weapons.

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Footnotes

  1. Genesis 49:4 Cf. Gen 35:22

“Reuben, you are my firstborn,(A)
    my might, the first sign of my strength,(B)
    excelling in honor,(C) excelling in power.
Turbulent as the waters,(D) you will no longer excel,
    for you went up onto your father’s bed,
    onto my couch and defiled it.(E)

“Simeon(F) and Levi(G) are brothers—
    their swords[a] are weapons of violence.(H)

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Footnotes

  1. Genesis 49:5 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.

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