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Genesis 49 Common English Bible (CEB)

Jacob reveals his sons’ destinies

49 Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Gather around so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the coming days.

Assemble yourselves and listen, sons of Jacob;
        listen to Israel your father.
Reuben, you are my oldest son,
    my strength and my first contender,[a]
    superior in status and superior in might.
As wild as the waters, you won’t endure,
    for you went up to your father’s bed,
    you went up[b] and violated my couch.
Simeon and Levi are brothers,
        weapons of violence their stock in trade.
May I myself never enter their council.
May my honor never be linked to their group;
        for when they were angry, they killed men,
        and whenever they wished, they maimed oxen.
Cursed be their anger; it is violent,
        their rage; it is relentless.
I’ll divide them up within Jacob
        and disperse them within Israel.
Judah, you are the one your brothers will honor;
        your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
        your father’s sons will bow down to you.
Judah is a lion’s cub;
        from the prey, my son, you rise up.
He lies down and crouches like a lion;
        like a lioness—who dares disturb him?
10 The scepter won’t depart from Judah,
        nor the ruler’s staff from among his banners.[c]
Gifts will be brought to him;
        people will obey him.
11 He ties his male donkey to the vine,
        the colt of his female donkey to the vine’s branches.
He washes his clothes in wine,
        his garments in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
        and his teeth whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun will live at the seashore;
        he’ll live at the harbor of ships,
        his border will be at Sidon.
14 Issachar is a sturdy donkey,
        bedding down beside the village hearths.[d]
15 He saw that a resting place was good
        and that the land was pleasant.
He lowered his shoulder to haul loads
        and joined the work gangs.
16 Dan[e] will settle disputes for his people,
        as one of Israel’s tribes.
17 Dan will be a snake on the road,
        a serpent on the path,
biting a horse’s heels,
        so its rider falls backward.
18 I long for your victory, Lord.
19 Gad[f] will be attacked by attackers,
        but he’ll attack their back.
20 Asher[g] grows fine foods,
        and he will supply the king’s delicacies.
21 Naphtali is a wild doe
        that gives birth to beautiful fawns.[h]
22 Joseph is a young bull,[i]
        a young bull by a spring,
        who strides with oxen.[j]
23 They attacked him fiercely and fired arrows;
        the archers attacked him furiously.
24 But his bow stayed strong,
        and his forearms were nimble,[k]
            by the hands of the strong one of Jacob,
            by the name of the shepherd, the rock of Israel,
25                 by God, your father, who supports you,
            by the Almighty[l] who blesses you
                with blessings from the skies above
                and blessings from the deep sea below,
                blessings from breasts and womb.
26 The blessings of your father exceed
            the blessings of the eternal mountains,[m]
            the wealth of the everlasting hills.
        May they all rest on Joseph’s head,
            on the forehead of the one set apart from his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a wolf who hunts:
        in the morning he devours the prey;
        in the evening he divides the plunder.”

28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them. He blessed them by giving each man his own particular blessing.

Jacob’s death and burial

29 Jacob ordered them, “I am soon to join my people. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave that’s in the field of Ephron the Hittite; 30 in the cave that’s in the field of Machpelah near Mamre in the land of Canaan that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial property. 31 That is where Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and where Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried, and where I buried Leah. 32 It is the field and the cave in it that belonged to the Hittites.” 33 After he finished giving orders to his sons, he put his feet up on the bed, took his last breath, and joined his people.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 49:3 Or first of my power
  2. Genesis 49:4 LXX; MT he went up
  3. Genesis 49:10 Sam; MT his feet
  4. Genesis 49:14 Or stubbornly lying beneath its saddlebags
  5. Genesis 49:16 Or he judges, or settles disputes
  6. Genesis 49:19 Or he attacks or good fortune
  7. Genesis 49:20 LXX, Syr, Vulg; MT from Asher
  8. Genesis 49:21 Or who gives beautiful words
  9. Genesis 49:22 Heb uncertain
  10. Genesis 49:22 Heb uncertain
  11. Genesis 49:24 Heb uncertain; or flexible
  12. Genesis 49:25 Heb Shaddai or the Mountain One
  13. Genesis 49:26 LXX; Heb uncertain
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

Genesis 49 New International Version (NIV)

Jacob Blesses His Sons

49 Then Jacob called for his sons and said: “Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come.

“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob;
    listen to your father Israel.

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

“Simeon and Levi are brothers—
    their swords[a] are weapons of violence.
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.
Cursed be their anger, so fierce,
    and their fury, so cruel!
I will scatter them in Jacob
    and disperse them in Israel.

“Judah,[b] your brothers will praise you;
    your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
    your father’s sons will bow down to you.
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 scepter will not depart from Judah,
    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,[c]
until he to whom it belongs[d] 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.[e]

13 “Zebulun will live by the seashore
    and become a haven for ships;
    his border will extend toward Sidon.

14 “Issachar is a rawboned[f] donkey
    lying down among the sheep pens.[g]
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 labor.

16 “Dan[h] 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 backward.

18 “I look for your deliverance, Lord.

19 “Gad[i] 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.[j]

22 “Joseph is a fruitful vine,
    a fruitful vine near a spring,
    whose branches climb over a wall.[k]
23 With bitterness archers attacked him;
    they shot at him with hostility.
24 But his bow remained steady,
    his strong arms stayed[l] limber,
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,[m] 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[n] the bounty of the age-old hills.
Let all these rest on the head of Joseph,
    on the brow of the prince among[o] his brothers.

27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
    in the morning he devours the prey,
    in the evening he divides the plunder.”

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.

The Death of Jacob

29 Then he gave them these instructions: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought along with the field as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried, there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried, and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.[p]

33 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.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 49:5 The meaning of the Hebrew for this word is uncertain.
  2. Genesis 49:8 Judah sounds like and may be derived from the Hebrew for praise.
  3. Genesis 49:10 Or from his descendants
  4. Genesis 49:10 Or to whom tribute belongs; the meaning of the Hebrew for this phrase is uncertain.
  5. Genesis 49:12 Or will be dull from wine, / his teeth white from milk
  6. Genesis 49:14 Or strong
  7. Genesis 49:14 Or the campfires; or the saddlebags
  8. Genesis 49:16 Dan here means he provides justice.
  9. Genesis 49:19 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for attack and also for band of raiders.
  10. Genesis 49:21 Or free; / he utters beautiful words
  11. Genesis 49:22 Or Joseph is a wild colt, / a wild colt near a spring, / a wild donkey on a terraced hill
  12. Genesis 49:24 Or archers will attack … will shoot … will remain … will stay
  13. Genesis 49:25 Hebrew Shaddai
  14. Genesis 49:26 Or of my progenitors, / as great as
  15. Genesis 49:26 Or of the one separated from
  16. Genesis 49:32 Or the descendants of Heth
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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