Bible: Genesis 49:3-27

49:3 Reuben, you are my firstborn,

my might and the beginning of my strength,

outstanding in dignity, outstanding in power.

49:4 You are destructive 1  like water and will not excel, 2 

for you got on your father’s bed, 3 

then you defiled it – he got on my couch! 4 

49:5 Simeon and Levi are brothers,

weapons of violence are their knives! 5 

49:6 O my soul, do not come into their council,

do not be united to their assembly, my heart, 6 

for in their anger they have killed men,

and for pleasure they have hamstrung oxen.

49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce,

and their fury, for it was cruel.

I will divide them in Jacob,

and scatter them in Israel! 7 

49:8 Judah, 8  your brothers will praise you.

Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies,

your father’s sons will bow down before you.

49:9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah,

from the prey, my son, you have gone up.

He crouches and lies down like a lion;

like a lioness – who will rouse him?

49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,

nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, 9 

until he comes to whom it belongs; 10 

the nations will obey him. 11 

49:11 Binding his foal to the vine,

and his colt to the choicest vine,

he will wash 12  his garments in wine,

his robes in the blood of grapes.

49:12 His eyes will be dark from wine,

and his teeth white from milk. 13 

49:13 Zebulun will live 14  by the haven of the sea

and become a haven for ships;

his border will extend to Sidon. 15 

49:14 Issachar is a strong-boned donkey

lying down between two saddlebags.

49:15 When he sees 16  a good resting place,

and the pleasant land,

he will bend his shoulder to the burden

and become a slave laborer. 17 

49:16 Dan 18  will judge 19  his people

as one of the tribes of Israel.

49:17 May Dan be a snake beside the road,

a viper by the path,

that bites the heels of the horse

so that its rider falls backward. 20 

49:18 I wait for your deliverance, O Lord. 21 

49:19 Gad will be raided by marauding bands,

but he will attack them at their heels. 22 

49:20 Asher’s 23  food will be rich, 24 

and he will provide delicacies 25  to royalty.

49:21 Naphtali is a free running doe, 26 

he speaks delightful words. 27 

49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, 28 

a fruitful bough near a spring

whose branches 29  climb over the wall.

49:23 The archers will attack him, 30 

they will shoot at him and oppose him.

49:24 But his bow will remain steady,

and his hands 31  will be skillful;

because of the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,

because of 32  the Shepherd, the Rock 33  of Israel,

49:25 because of the God of your father,

who will help you, 34 

because of the sovereign God, 35 

who will bless you 36 

with blessings from the sky above,

blessings from the deep that lies below,

and blessings of the breasts and womb. 37 

49:26 The blessings of your father are greater

than 38  the blessings of the eternal mountains 39 

or the desirable things of the age-old hills.

They will be on the head of Joseph

and on the brow of the prince of his brothers. 40 

49:27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;

in the morning devouring the prey,

and in the evening dividing the plunder.”

NET Bible Study Environment