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Genesis 48:15 - 49:27 - Blessings
Genesis 48:15 - Genesis 49:27

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Genesis 48:15–49:27 (Listen)

15 And he blessed Joseph and said,

  “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
    the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,
16   the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys;
    and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
    and let them grow into a multitude1 in the midst of the earth.”

17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.” 19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude2 of nations.” 20 So he blessed them that day, saying,

  “By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying,
  ‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’”

Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers. 22 Moreover, I have given to you rather than to your brothers one mountain slope3 that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”

Jacob Blesses His Sons

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.

  “Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob,
    listen to Israel your father.
  “Reuben, you are my firstborn,
    my might, and the firstfruits of my strength,
    preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
  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!
  “Simeon and Levi are brothers;
    weapons of violence are their swords.
  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.
  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.
  “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.
  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?
10   The scepter shall not depart from Judah,
    nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
  until tribute comes to him;4
    and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
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.
12   His eyes are darker than wine,
    and his teeth whiter than milk.
13   “Zebulun shall dwell at the shore of the sea;
    he shall become a haven for ships,
    and his border shall be at Sidon.
14   “Issachar is a strong donkey,
    crouching between the sheepfolds.5
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.
16   “Dan shall judge his people
    as one of the tribes of Israel.
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.
18   I wait for your salvation, O LORD.
19   “Raiders shall raid Gad,6
    but he shall raid at their heels.
20   “Asher’s food shall be rich,
    and he shall yield royal delicacies.
21   “Naphtali is a doe let loose
    that bears beautiful fawns.7
22   “Joseph is a fruitful bough,
    a fruitful bough by a spring;
    his branches run over the wall.8
23   The archers bitterly attacked him,
    shot at him, and harassed him severely,
24   yet his bow remained unmoved;
    his arms9 were made agile
  by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob
    (from there is the Shepherd,10 the Stone of Israel),
25   by the God of your father who will help you,
    by the Almighty11 who will bless you
    with blessings of heaven above,
  blessings of the deep that crouches beneath,
    blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26   The blessings of your father
    are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents,
    up to the bounties of the everlasting hills.12
  May they be on the head of Joseph,
    and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
27   “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
    in the morning devouring the prey
    and at evening dividing the spoil.”

Footnotes

[1] 48:16 Or let them be like fish for multitude
[2] 48:19 Hebrew fullness
[3] 48:22 Or one portion of the land; Hebrew shekem, which sounds like the town and district called Shechem
[4] 49:10 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
[5] 49:14 Or between its saddlebags
[6] 49:19 Gad sounds like the Hebrew for raiders and raid
[7] 49:21 Or he gives beautiful words, or that bears fawns of the fold
[8] 49:22 Or Joseph is a wild donkey, a wild donkey beside a spring, his wild colts beside the wall
[9] 49:24 Hebrew the arms of his hands
[10] 49:24 Or by the name of the Shepherd
[11] 49:25 Hebrew Shaddai
[12] 49:26 A slight emendation yields (compare Septuagint) the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills

(ESV)