1 Jacob called to his sons, and said: “Gather yourselves together,
that I may tell you that which will happen to you in the days to come.
2 Assemble yourselves, and hear, you sons of Jacob;
Listen to Israel, your father.
3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my
The pre-eminence of dignity, and the pre-eminence of power.
4 Boiling over as water, you shall not have the pre-eminence;
Because you went up to your father’s bed;
Then defiled it. He went up to my couch.
5 “Simeon and Levi are brothers;
Weapons of violence are their swords.
6 My soul, don’t come into their council;
My glory, don’t be united to their assembly;
For in their anger they killed a man,
In their self-will they hamstrung an ox.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce;
And their wrath, for it was cruel.
I will divide them in Jacob,
Scatter 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 before you.
9 Judah is a lion’s cub.
From the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down, he crouched as a lion,
As a lioness.
Who will rouse him up?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
Until he comes to whom it belongs.
To him will the obedience of the peoples be.
11 Binding his foal to the vine,
His donkey’s colt to the choice vine;
He has washed his garments in wine,
His robes in the blood of grapes:
12 His eyes will be red with wine,
His teeth white with milk.
13 “Zebulun will dwell at the haven of the sea.
He will be for a haven of ships.
His border will be on Sidon.
14 “Issachar is a strong donkey,
Lying down between the saddlebags.
15 He saw a resting-place, that it was good,
The land, that it was pleasant;
He bows his shoulder to the burden,
And becomes a servant doing forced labor.
16 “Dan will judge his people,
As one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan will be a serpent in the way,
An adder in the path,
That bites the horse’s heels,
So that his rider falls backward.
18 I have waited for your salvation, Yahweh.
19 “Gad, a troop will press on him;
But he will press on their heel.
20 Out of Asher his bread will be fat,
He will yield royal dainties.
21 “Naphtali is a doe set free,
Who bears beautiful fawns.
22 “Joseph is a fruitful vine,
A fruitful vine by a spring;
His branches run over the wall.
23 The archers have sorely grieved him,
Shot at him, and persecute him:
24 But his bow abode in strength,
The arms of his hands were made strong,
By the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
(From there is the shepherd, the stone of Israel),
25 Even by the God of your father, who will help you,
By the Almighty, who will bless you,
With blessings of heaven above,
Blessings of the deep that lies below,
Blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.
26 The blessings of your father
Have prevailed above the blessings of the ancient mountains,
Above the bounty of the age-old hills.
They will be on the head of Joseph,
On the crown of the head of him who is separated from his brothers.
27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf.
In the morning he will devour the prey.
At evening he will divide the spoil.”
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their
father spoke to them and blessed them. He blessed everyone according to his
blessing. 29 He charged them, and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my
people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron
the Hittite, 30 in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is
before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from
Ephron the Hittite as a burial place. 31 There they
buried Abraham and Sarah, his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah, his
wife, and there I buried Leah: 32 the field and the cave that is therein,
which was purchased from the children of Heth.” 33 When Jacob made an end
of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up
the spirit, and was gathered to his people.
World English Bible - Public Domain