1Jacob cal ed his sons and said, 'Gather round, so that I can tell you what is in store for you in the final days. 2Gather round, sons of Jacob, and listen; listen to Israel your father. 3Reuben, you are my first-born, my vigour, and the first-fruit of my manhood, foremost in pride,foremost in strength, 4uncontrol ed as water: you wil not be foremost, for you climbed into your father's bed, and so defiledmy couch, to my sorrow. 5Simeon and Levi are brothers in carrying out their malicious plans. 6May my soul not enter their council nor my heart join their company, for in their rage they have kil edmen and hamstrung oxen at their whim. 7Accursed be their rage for its ruthlessness, their wrath for its ferocity. I shall disperse them in Jacob, Ishall scatter them through Israel. 8Judah, your brothers wil praise you: you grip your enemies by the neck, your father's sons wil do youhomage. 9Judah is a lion's whelp; You stand over your prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, amighty lion: who dare rouse him? 10The sceptre shall not pass from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute bebrought him and the peoples render him obedience. 11He tethers his donkey to the vine, to its stock the foal of his she-donkey. He washes his clothes inwine, his robes in the blood of the grape. 12His eyes are darkened with wine and his teeth are white with milk. 13Zebulun wil live by the seashore and be a sailor on board the ships, with Sidon on his flank. 14Issachar is a strong donkey lying down among sheepfolds. 15When he saw how good the resting-place and how pleasant the country, he bowed his shoulder tothe load and became a slave to forced labour. 16Dan wil govern his people like any other of the tribes of Israel. 17May Dan be a snake on the road, a viper on the path, who bites the horse on the hock so that itsrider falls off backwards! 18I long for your deliverance, Yahweh! 19Gad wil be raided by raiders, and he wil raid at their heels. 20Rich the food produced by Asher: he will furnish food fit for kings. 21Naphtali is a swift hind bearing lovely fawns. 22Joseph is a fruitful plant near a spring whose tendrils reach over the wal . 23Archers in their hostility drew their bows and attacked him. 24But their bows were broken by a mighty One, the sinews of their arms were snapped by the power ofthe Mighty One of Jacob, by the Name of the Stone of Israel, 25the God of your father who assists you, El Shaddai who blesses you: blessings of heaven above,blessings of the deep lying below, blessings of the breasts and womb, 26blessings of the grain and flowers, blessings of the eternal mountains, bounty of the everlasting hil s-- may they descend on Joseph's head, on the crown of the one dedicated from among his brothers! 27Benjamin is a ravening wolf, in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he is still sharing outthe spoil.' 28Al these make up the tribes of Israel, twelve in number, and this is what their father said to them ashe bade them farewell, giving each an appropriate blessing. 29Then he gave them these instructions, 'I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with myancestors, in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30in the cave in the field at Machpelah, facing Mamre, in Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephronthe Hittite as a burial site of his own. 31There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried. There Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried; andthere I buried Leah- 32the field and the cave in it which were bought from the Hittites.' 33When Jacob had finished giving his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, andbreathing his last was gathered to his people.
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