The New Book of Genesis Chapter 49


49:1     Jacob summoned his sons saying:

Gather together so I can tell you

what will occur in the days ahead.


49:2     Get together to hear

my sons of Jacob.

Yes, listen to your teacher Israel.


49:3     Reuben, you are the eldest:

My power and beginning of my strength

exceeding in dignity and power.


49:4     Unruly as the waters

you will no longer excel

because you used your father’s bed

and defiled my chamber.


49:5     Simeon and Levi are brothers

whose swords will be weapons of violence.


49:6     My heart won’t have their counsel

my praise won’t unite their assembly

for in their anger they murdered people

and in their greed they slaughtered oxen.


49:7     Cursed be their anger

for it is dangerous

and their wrath

for it is cruel.

As Jacob I will scatter them

and as Israel I will disperse them.


49:8     Judah your brothers will praise you

your strength will stiffneck your enemies

and your father’s sons will bow down to you.


49:9     Judah is a lion’s cub.

From the prey my son will rise.

He will kneel and lie down as a lion.

And who will dare stir up a lion?


49:10   The scepter will not leave Judah

nor the leader’s staff between his feet

until to whom it belongs appears

and him the people will follow.


49:11   He ties his foal to the vine

his donkey’s colt to the choice vine.

He washes his garments in wine

and his robes in the blood of grapes.


49:12   His eyes are dull from wine

and his teeth are white from milk.


49:13   Zebulun will live at the seashore

and shall be a harbor for ships

and his flank shall be toward Sidon.


49:14   Issachar is a strong donkey

lying down between the sheepfolds.


49:15   When he saw a good resting place

and the land was pleasant

he lowered his shoulder

to carry the burdens

and become a slave at forced labor.


49:16   Dan shall govern his people

as one of the tribes of Israel.


49:17   Dan will be a snake on the road

a horned viper on the trail

that bites the horse’s heels

so its rider falls backward.


49:18   I await your salvation Yahweh!


49:19   With regard to Gad

raiders shall attack him

but he will attack at their rear.


49:20   Asher will have rich food

and he will yield royal delicacies.


49:21   Naphtali is a doe set free

who speaks in beautiful terms.


49:22   Joseph is a fruitful branch

a fruitful branch by a spring

with shoots that hang over a wall.


49:23   The archers fiercely attached him

shot at him and harassed him.


49:24   But his bow remained steady

And his arms stayed agile.

From the hands of Jacob’s Mighty One

Who is the Shepherd and Rock of Israel.


49:25   From the God of your teacher

Who comes to your aid

and by the Almighty who blesses you

with the gifts of heaven above

blessings of the deep lie beneath

blessings of the breasts and the womb.


49:26   The blessings of your teacher

surpass the blessings of the ancient ones

to the limits of the eternal heights.

May they be on the head of Joseph

and on the top of the head of one

distinguished among his brothers.


49:27   Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.

By morning he devours the prey

and by evening he divides the spoils.


49:28   These were the twelve scions of Israel

and this is what their teacher said to them

when he blessed them.

He blessed every one of them

with the blessing appropriate to him.


49:29   Then he instructed them saying:

I will be taken away to my people.

Bury me with my teachers in the cave

in the field of Ephron

the follower of Heth.


49:30   In the cave

in the field of Machpelah

opposite Mamre in Canaan

which Abraham bought

along with the field

from Ephron the Hittite

as a burial site.


49:31   That’s where they buried Abraham

and his wife Sarah

and buried Isaac

and his wife Rebekah

and where I buried Leah.


49:32   The field and the cave in it

were purchased from the followers of Heth.


49:33   When Jacob finished instructing his sons

he drew his feet into the bed

and breathed his last

and was taken up to his people.