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Genesis 49 New Century Version (NCV)

Jacob Blesses His Sons

49 Then Jacob called his sons to him. He said, “Come here to me, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the future.

“Come together and listen, sons of Jacob.
    Listen to Israel, your father.”

“Reuben, my first son, you are my strength.
    Your birth showed I could be a father.
You have the highest position among my sons,
    and you are the most powerful.
But you are uncontrolled like water,
    so you will no longer lead your brothers.
This is because you got into your father’s bed
    and shamed me by having sexual relations with my slave girl.

“Simeon and Levi are brothers
    who used their swords to do violence.
I will not join their secret talks,
    and I will not meet with them to plan evil.
They killed men because they were angry,
    and they crippled oxen just for fun.
May their anger be cursed, because it is too violent.
    May their violence be cursed, because it is too cruel.
I will divide them up among the tribes of Jacob
    and scatter them through all the tribes of Israel.

“Judah, your brothers will praise you.
    You will grab your enemies by the neck,
    and your brothers will bow down to you.
Judah is like a young lion.
    You have returned from killing, my son.
Like a lion, he stretches out and lies down to rest,
    and no one is brave enough to wake him.
10 Kings will come from Judah’s family;
    someone from Judah will always be on the throne.
Judah will rule until Shiloh comes,
    and the nations will obey him.
11 He ties his donkey to a grapevine,
    his young donkey to the best branch.
He can afford to use wine to wash his clothes
    and the best wine to wash his robes.
12 His eyes are dark like the color of wine,
    and his teeth are as white as the color of milk.

13 “Zebulun will live near the sea.
    His shore will be a safe place for ships,
    and his land will reach as far as Sidon.

14 “Issachar is like a strong donkey
    who lies down while carrying his load.
15 When he sees his resting place is good
    and how pleasant his land is,
he will put his back to the load
    and become a slave.

16 “Dan will rule his own people
    like the other tribes in Israel.
17 Dan will be like a snake by the side of the road,
    a dangerous snake lying near the path.
That snake bites a horse’s leg,
    and the rider is thrown off backward.

18 Lord, I wait for your salvation.

19 “Robbers will attack Gad,
    but he will defeat them and drive them away.

20 “Asher’s land will grow much good food;
    he will grow food fit for a king.

21 “Naphtali is like a female deer that runs free,
    that has beautiful fawns.

22 “Joseph is like a grapevine that produces much fruit,
    a healthy vine watered by a spring,
    whose branches grow over the wall.
23 Archers attack him violently
    and shoot at him angrily,
24 but he aims his bow well.
    His arms are made strong.
He gets his power from the Mighty God of Jacob
    and his strength from the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.
25 Your father’s God helps you.
    God Almighty blesses you.
He blesses you with rain from above,
    with water from springs below,
with many babies born to your wives,
    and many young ones born to your animals.
26 The blessings of your father are greater
    than the blessings of the oldest mountains,
    greater than the good things of the long-lasting hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
    on the forehead of the one who was separated from his brothers.

27 “Benjamin is like a hungry wolf.
    In the morning he eats what he has caught,
    and in the evening he divides what he has taken.”

28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them. He gave each son the blessing that was right for him. 29 Then Israel gave them a command and said, “I am about to die. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30 That cave is in the field of Machpelah east of Mamre in the land of Canaan. Abraham bought the field and cave from Ephron the Hittite for a burying place. 31 Abraham and Sarah his wife are buried there. Isaac and Rebekah his wife are buried there, and I buried my wife Leah there. 32 The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittite people.” 33 After Jacob finished talking to his sons, he lay down. He put his feet back on the bed, took his last breath, and died.

New Century Version (NCV)

The Holy Bible, New Century Version®. Copyright © 2005 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

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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