| 1 ¶ And Jacob called
unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you
that which shall befall you in the last days.
2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
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.
¶ Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their
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.
|5 - Simeon and Levi See ge3425-end.|
¶ 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
.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 to 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.
| 8 -
Jacob's fourth son. God impressed Jacob with only blessing for Judah and
the position of the firstborn. Reuben was emotionally unstable and Simeon
and Levi had been cruel ge3425.
8 - Brethren shall praise From the meaning of the name ge2935. Judah had made a plan to save Joseph from death ge3726. Also ge4309, ge4416, ge3807.
9 - Lion's whelp Or "young lion." He would grow to greatness and would be the ancestor of the Messiah re0505.
10 - Sceptre A staff of a king es0501.
10 - Shiloh From the text we see that this is the Messiah but scholars do not know the connection with the word.
|.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.||-|
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.
|14 - Issachar See ge3018.|
Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
.17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
|16 - Dan See on jos1947.|
|.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.||-|
Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.
Or "Naphtali is a deer [doe, NRSV] let loose; He gives goodly words [fawns, JB, NIV]."
| The Hebrew for "gives" here
is nathan which may also mean "to bring forth." So we may see Napthali's
giving of good words as a deer bringing them forth as it would give birth
The doe that gives goodly words may represent the Scriptures that present God's words. Those who love God recognize His Word as authoritative and the only sure foundation for any serious admonition 2ti0316, is0820, re1103a.
¶ Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose
branches 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:) Or "... But his bow remained steady ... because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel." (NIV)
.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.
| 22 -
[tree limb] In Egypt, Joseph was as planted by a source of food
which provided for his father's family who were living beyond the borders
23 - Archers Here we may see Joseph's brothers who hated him and would have killed him.
24 - Bow ... strength Joseph's response in the "battle" was to provide physical salvation for the brothers. His strength as an "archer" was from the God of his father Jacob who had prevailed in the night struggle and had been mightily blessed ge3224.
24 - Shepherd ... stone The verse may also be translated as shown. When Jacob fled from home the Lord promised to bring him back (shepherd) ge2815. The stone he rested his head on he set up to testify to God's sustaining power ge2822.
|27 Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.||-|
| 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.
29 And he charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people: bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.
.31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.
32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.
.33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.
- Tribes Perhaps more like families at this point but they
would become tribes.
31 - ge2309.
33 - Yielded up the ghost See on ge2508.