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The Blue Letter Bible

Genesis 49 :: English Standard Version (ESV)

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Jacob Blesses His Sons

Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:1 - Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:2 - “Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel your father.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:3 - “Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might, and the firstfruits of my strength,
preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:4 - Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence,
because you went up to your father’s bed;
then you defiled it—he went up to my couch!
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:5 - “Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons of violence are their swords.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:6 - Let my soul come not into their council;
O my glory, be not joined to their company.
For in their anger they killed men,
and in their willfulness they hamstrung oxen.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:7 - 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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:8 - “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.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:9 - Judah is a lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:10 - The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;[fn]
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:11 - Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
he has washed his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:12 - His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:13 - “Zebulun shall dwell at the shore of the sea;
he shall become a haven for ships,
and his border shall be at Sidon.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:14 - “Issachar is a strong donkey,
crouching between the sheepfolds.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:15 - He saw that a resting place was good,
and that the land was pleasant,
so he bowed his shoulder to bear,
and became a servant at forced labor.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:16 - “Dan shall judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:17 - Dan shall be a serpent in the way,
a viper by the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that his rider falls backward.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:18 - I wait for your salvation, O LORD.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:19 - “Raiders shall raid Gad,[fn]
but he shall raid at their heels.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:20 - “Asher’s food shall be rich,
and he shall yield royal delicacies.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:21 - “Naphtali is a doe let loose
that bears beautiful fawns.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:22 - “Joseph is a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring;
his branches run over the wall.[fn]
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:23 - The archers bitterly attacked him,
shot at him, and harassed him severely,
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:24 - yet his bow remained unmoved;
his arms[fn] were made agile
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
(from there is the Shepherd,[fn] the Stone of Israel),
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:25 - by the God of your father who will help you,
by the Almighty[fn] who will bless you
with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that crouches beneath,
blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:26 - The blessings of your father
are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents,
up to the bounties of the everlasting hills.[fn]
May they be on the head of Joseph,
and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:27 - “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
in the morning devouring the prey
and at evening dividing the spoil.”

Jacob’s Death and Burial

Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:28 - All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:29 - Then he commanded 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,
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:30 - in the cave that is in the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place.
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:31 - There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah—
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:32 - the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites.”
Unchecked Copy BoxGen 49:33 - When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.
ESV Footnotes
By a slight revocalization; a slight emendation yields (compare Septuagint, Syriac, Targum) until he comes to whom it belongs; Hebrew until Shiloh comes, or until he comes to Shiloh
Or between its saddlebags
Gad sounds like the Hebrew for raiders and raid
Or he gives beautiful words, or that bears fawns of the fold
Or Joseph is a wild donkey, a wild donkey beside a spring, his wild colts beside the wall
Hebrew the arms of his hands
Or by the name of the Shepherd
Hebrew Shaddai
A slight emendation yields (compare Septuagint) the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills

The Holy Bible, English Standard Version copyright © 2001, 2007, 2011, 2016 by Crossway Books and Bibles, a Publishing Ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

See detailed copyright information.

For more information on this translation, see the ESV Preface.

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