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Genesis 49 New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons

49 Then Jacob called his sons, and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come.

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

Reuben, you are my firstborn,
    my might and the first fruits of my vigor,
    excelling in rank and excelling in power.
Unstable as water, you shall no longer excel
    because you went up onto your father’s bed;
    then you defiled it—you[a] went up onto my couch!

Simeon and Levi are brothers;
    weapons of violence are their swords.
May I never come into their council;
    may I not be joined to their company—
for in their anger they killed men,
    and at their whim they hamstrung oxen.
Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce,
    and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will divide them in Jacob,
    and scatter them in Israel.

Judah, your brothers shall praise you;
    your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
    your father’s sons shall bow down before you.
Judah is a lion’s whelp;
    from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion,
    like a lioness—who dares rouse him up?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;[b]
    and the obedience of the peoples is his.
11 Binding his foal to the vine
    and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
he washes his garments in wine
    and his robe in the blood of grapes;
12 his eyes are darker than wine,
    and his teeth whiter than milk.

13 Zebulun shall settle at the shore of the sea;
    he shall be a haven for ships,
    and his border shall be at Sidon.

14 Issachar is a strong donkey,
    lying down between the sheepfolds;
15 he saw that a resting place was good,
    and that the land was pleasant;
so he bowed his shoulder to the burden,
    and became a slave at forced labor.

16 Dan shall judge his people
    as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a snake by the roadside,
    a viper along the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
    so that its rider falls backward.

18 I wait for your salvation, O Lord.

19 Gad shall be raided by raiders,
    but he shall raid at their heels.

20 Asher’s[c] food shall be rich,
    and he shall provide royal delicacies.

21 Naphtali is a doe let loose
    that bears lovely fawns.[d]

22 Joseph is a fruitful bough,
    a fruitful bough by a spring;
    his branches run over the wall.[e]
23 The archers fiercely attacked him;
    they shot at him and pressed him hard.
24 Yet his bow remained taut,
    and his arms[f] were made agile
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
    by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 by the God of your father, who will help you,
    by the Almighty[g] who will bless you
    with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that lies beneath,
    blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26 The blessings of your father
    are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains,
    the bounties[h] of the everlasting hills;
may they be on the head of Joseph,
    on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.

27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
    in the morning devouring the prey,
    and at evening dividing the spoil.”

28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, blessing each one of them with a suitable blessing.

Jacob’s Death and Burial

29 Then he charged them, saying to them, “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my ancestors—in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 in the cave in the field at Machpelah, near Mamre, in the land of Canaan, in the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site. 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 that is in it were purchased from the Hittites.” 33 When Jacob ended his charge to his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 49:4 Gk Syr Tg: Heb he
  2. Genesis 49:10 Or until Shiloh comes or until he comes to Shiloh or (with Syr) until he comes to whom it belongs
  3. Genesis 49:20 Gk Vg Syr: Heb From Asher
  4. Genesis 49:21 Or that gives beautiful words
  5. Genesis 49:22 Meaning of Heb uncertain
  6. Genesis 49:24 Heb the arms of his hands
  7. Genesis 49:25 Traditional rendering of Heb Shaddai
  8. Genesis 49:26 Cn Compare Gk: Heb of my progenitors to the boundaries
New Revised Standard Version Catholic Edition (NRSVCE)

New Revised Standard Version Bible: Catholic Edition, copyright © 1989, 1993 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

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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