Genesis 49:3-28 King James Version

3  Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: 4  Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.

5  Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments [1] of cruelty are in their habitations. 6  O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. 7  Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

8  Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee. 9  Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 10  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be. 11  Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: 12  His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

13  Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon. 14  Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: 15  And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute. 16  Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 17  Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder [2] in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. 18  I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord. 19  Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last. 20  Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties. 21  Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.

22  Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches [3] run over the wall: 23  The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: 24  But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:) 25  Even by the God of thy father, who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb: 26  The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren. 27  Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

The Death and Burial of Jacob

28  All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.


[1] 49:5 instruments...: or, their swords are weapons of violence

[2] 49:17 an adder: Heb. an arrow snake

[3] 49:22 branches: Heb. daughters

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