The Blessing of Jacob
49:1 Jacob called for his sons and said, “Gather together so I can tell you what will happen to you in the future.
2 “Assemble and listen, you sons of Jacob;
listen to Israel, your father.
3 Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might and the beginning of my strength,
outstanding in dignity, outstanding in power.
4 You are destructive like water and will not excel,
for you got on your father’s bed,
then you defiled it – he got on my couch!
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers,
weapons of violence are their knives!
6 O my soul, do not come into their council,
do not be united to their assembly, my heart,
for in their anger they have killed men,
and for pleasure they have hamstrung oxen.
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!
8 Judah, your brothers will praise you.
Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies,
your father’s sons will bow down before you.
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?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he comes to whom it belongs;
the nations will obey him.
11 Binding his foal to the vine,
and his colt to the choicest vine,
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes will be dark from wine,
and his teeth white from milk.
13 Zebulun will live by the haven of the sea
and become a haven for ships;
his border will extend to Sidon.
14 Issachar is a strong-boned donkey
lying down between two saddlebags.
15 When he sees a good resting place,
and the pleasant land,
he will bend his shoulder to the burden
and become a slave laborer.
16 Dan will judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
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.
18 I wait for your deliverance, O Lord.
19 Gad will be raided by marauding bands,
but he will attack them at their heels.
20 Asher’s food will be rich,
and he will provide delicacies to royalty.
21 Naphtali is a free running doe,
he speaks delightful words.
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough near a spring
whose branches climb over the wall.
23 The archers will attack him,
they will shoot at him and oppose him.
24 But his bow will remain steady,
and his hands will be skillful;
because of the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 because of the God of your father,
who will help you,
because of the sovereign God,
who will bless you
with blessings from the sky above,
blessings from the deep that lies below,
and blessings of the breasts and womb.
26 The blessings of your father are greater
than the blessings of the eternal mountains
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.
27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
in the morning devouring the prey,
and in the evening dividing the plunder.”
28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He gave each of them an appropriate blessing.
29 Then he instructed them, “I am about to go to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite.30 It is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought for a burial plot from Ephronthe Hittite. 31 There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah; there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah; and there I buriedLeah. 32 The field and the cave in it were acquired from the sons of Heth.”
33 When Jacob finished giving these instructions to his sons, he pulled his feet up onto the bed, breathed his last breath, and wentto his people.
The Burials of Jacob and Joseph
50:1 Then Joseph hugged his father’s face. He wept over him and kissed him. 2 Joseph instructed the physicians in his service to embalm his father, so the physicians embalmed Israel. 3 They took forty days, for that is the full time needed for embalming. The Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.
4 When the days of mourning had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s royal court, “If I have found favor in your sight, please say to Pharaoh, 5 ‘My father made me swear an oath. He said, “I am about to die. Bury me in my tomb that I dug for myself there in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go and bury my father; then I will return.’” 6 So Pharaoh said, “Go and bury your father, just as he made you swear to do.”
7 So Joseph went up to bury his father; all Pharaoh’s officials went with him – the senior courtiers of his household, all the senior officials of the land of Egypt, 8 all Joseph’s household, his brothers, and his father’s household. But they left their little children and their flocks and herds in the land of Goshen. 9 Chariots and horsemen also went up with him, so it was a very large entourage.
10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad on the other side of the Jordan, they mourned there with very great and bittersorrow. There Joseph observed a seven day period of mourning for his father. 11 When the Canaanites who lived in the land sawthem mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a very sad occasion for the Egyptians.” That is why its name was called Abel Mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.
12 So the sons of Jacob did for him just as he had instructed them. 13 His sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, near Mamre. This is the field Abraham purchased as a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite. 14 After he buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, along with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to bury his father.