Listen to this chapter in Hebrew:
1And Yaakov called his sons and said, “Come together that I may tell you what is to befall you in days to come.
אוַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב אֶל־בָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הֵאָסְפוּ וְאַגִּידָה לָכֶם אֵת אֲשֶׁר־יִקְרָא אֶתְכֶם בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים׃
2Assemble and hearken, O sons of Yaakov; Hearken to Yisrael your father:
בהִקָּבְצוּ וְשִׁמְעוּ בְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב וְשִׁמְעוּ אֶל־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבִיכֶם׃
3Reuven, you are my first-born, My might and first fruit of my vigor, Exceeding in rank And exceeding in honor.
גרְאוּבֵן בְּכֹרִי אַתָּה כֹּחִי וְרֵאשִׁית אוֹנִי יֶתֶר שְׂאֵת וְיֶתֶר עָז׃
4Unstable as water, you shall excel no longer; For when you mounted your father's bed, You brought disgrace—my couch he mounted!
דפַּחַז כַּמַּיִם אַל־תּוֹתַר כִּי עָלִיתָ מִשְׁכְּבֵי אָבִיךָ אָז חִלַּלְתָּ יְצוּעִי עָלָה׃
5Shimon and Levi are a pair; Their weapons are tools of lawlessness.
השִׁמְעוֹן וְלֵוִי אַחִים כְּלֵי חָמָס מְכֵרֹתֵיהֶם׃
6Let not my person be included in their council, Let not my being be counted in their assembly. For when angry they slay men, And when pleased they maim oxen.
ובְּסֹדָם אַל־תָּבֹא נַפְשִׁי בִּקְהָלָם אַל־תֵּחַד כְּבֹדִי כִּי בְאַפָּם הָרְגוּ אִישׁ וּבִרְצֹנָם עִקְּרוּ־שׁוֹר׃
7Cursed be their anger so fierce, And their wrath so relentless. I will divide them in Yaakov, Scatter them in Yisrael.
זאָרוּר אַפָּם כִּי עָז וְעֶבְרָתָם כִּי קָשָׁתָה אֲחַלְּקֵם בְּיַעֲקֹב וַאֲפִיצֵם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל׃
8You, O Yehuda, your brothers shall praise; Your hand shall be on the nape of your foes; Your father's sons shall bow low to you.
חיְהוּדָה אַתָּה יוֹדוּךָ אַחֶיךָ יָדְךָ בְּעֹרֶף אֹיְבֶיךָ יִשְׁתַּחֲוּוּ לְךָ בְּנֵי אָבִיךָ׃
9Yehuda is a lion's whelp; On prey, my son, have you grown. He crouches, lies down like a lion, Like the king of beasts—who dare rouse him?
טגּוּר אַרְיֵה יְהוּדָה מִטֶּרֶף בְּנִי עָלִיתָ כָּרַע רָבַץ כְּאַרְיֵה וּכְלָבִיא מִי יְקִימֶנּוּ׃
10The scepter shall not depart from Yehuda, Nor the ruler's staff from between his feet; So that tribute shall come to him And the homage of peoples be his.
lo ya-SUR SHAY-vet mee-hu-DAH um-kho-KAYK mi-BAYN rag-LAV AD kee ya-VO shee-LOH v'-LO yi-k-HAHT a-MEEM
ילֹא־יָסוּר שֵׁבֶט מִיהוּדָה וּמְחֹקֵק מִבֵּין רַגְלָיו עַד כִּי־יָבֹא שילה [שִׁילוֹ] וְלוֹ יִקְּהַת עַמִּים׃
49:10 So that tribute shall come to him
The Hebrew word for tribute in this verse is Shilo (שילה). Fourteenth century scholar Rabbi Yaakov ben Asher, known by the name of his Bible commentary as the Baal Haturim, reveals a hidden connection between the word Shilo (שילה) and Mashiach (משיח), the Hebrew word for ‘Messiah.’ According to the mystical study of gematriya, every Hebrew letter corresponds to a different number. With this understanding, if the numerical values of diverse words and ideas match each other, this means they are secretly connected. Amazingly, the numerical value of the words yavo shilo (יבא שילה), ‘Shilo shall come,’ is to 358 which is exactly the same value as the word Mashiach. With prophetic foresight, Yaakov blesses Yehuda not only with the monarchy, but with the eventual emergence of the Messiah through his lineage.
11He tethers his ass to a vine, His ass's foal to a choice vine; He washes his garment in wine, His robe in blood of grapes.
יאאֹסְרִי לַגֶּפֶן עירה [עִירוֹ] וְלַשֹּׂרֵקָה בְּנִי אֲתֹנוֹ כִּבֵּס בַּיַּיִן לְבֻשׁוֹ וּבְדַם־עֲנָבִים סותה [סוּתוֹ׃]
12His eyes are darker than wine; His teeth are whiter than milk.
יבחַכְלִילִי עֵינַיִם מִיָּיִן וּלְבֶן־שִׁנַּיִם מֵחָלָב׃
13Zevulun shall dwell by the seashore; He shall be a haven for ships, And his flank shall rest on Tzidon.
z'-vu-LUN l'-KHOF ya-MEEM yish-KON v'-HU l'-KHOF a-ni-YOT v'-yar-kha-TO al tzee-DON
יגזְבוּלֻן לְחוֹף יַמִּים יִשְׁכֹּן וְהוּא לְחוֹף אֳנִיּוֹת וְיַרְכָתוֹ עַל־צִידֹן׃
49:13 Zevulun shall dwell by the seashore
Each of the twelve tribes of Israel is to receive a specific portion of the land, corresponding to that tribe’s unique spiritual attributes. According to Jewish tradition, the sons of Zevulun, who were given a coastal territory as their inheritance, became successful sea merchants and entered into a special partnership with the tribe of Yissachar, descendants of Zevulun’s closest brother. According to the arrangement they forged, members of the tribe of Zevulun would use some of their commercial profits to financially support the sons of Yissachar, noted scholars who would devote their energies to full time Torah study. In turn, they would share the spiritual revenue and heavenly reward of the joint venture with their brethren from Zevulun. Today as well, in many Israeli communities it is a common practice for business people to seek out a spiritual partner, supporting the learning of a Torah scholar in a mutually-beneficial partnership modeled after the original Yissachar-Zevulun agreement.
14Yissachar is a strong-boned ass, Crouching among the sheepfolds.
ידיִשָּׂשכָר חֲמֹר גָּרֶם רֹבֵץ בֵּין הַמִּשְׁפְּתָיִם׃
15When he saw how good was security, And how pleasant was the country, He bent his shoulder to the burden, And became a toiling serf.
טווַיַּרְא מְנֻחָה כִּי טוֹב וְאֶת־הָאָרֶץ כִּי נָעֵמָה וַיֵּט שִׁכְמוֹ לִסְבֹּל וַיְהִי לְמַס־עֹבֵד׃
16Dan shall govern his people, As one of the tribes of Yisrael.
טזדָּן יָדִין עַמּוֹ כְּאַחַד שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
17Dan shall be a serpent by the road, A viper by the path, That bites the horse's heels So that his rider is thrown backward.
יזיְהִי־דָן נָחָשׁ עֲלֵי־דֶרֶךְ שְׁפִיפֹן עֲלֵי־אֹרַח הַנֹּשֵׁךְ עִקְּבֵי־סוּס וַיִּפֹּל רֹכְבוֹ אָחוֹר׃
18I wait for Your deliverance, Hashem!
יחלִישׁוּעָתְךָ קִוִּיתִי יְהֹוָה׃
19Gad shall be raided by raiders, But he shall raid at their heels.
יטגָּד גְּדוּד יְגוּדֶנּוּ וְהוּא יָגֻד עָקֵב׃
20Asher's bread shall be rich, And he shall yield royal dainties.
כמֵאָשֵׁר שְׁמֵנָה לַחְמוֹ וְהוּא יִתֵּן מַעֲדַנֵּי־מֶלֶךְ׃
21Naftali is a hind let loose, Which yields lovely fawns.
כאנַפְתָּלִי אַיָּלָה שְׁלֻחָה הַנֹּתֵן אִמְרֵי־שָׁפֶר׃
22Yosef is a wild ass, A wild ass by a spring —Wild colts on a hillside.
כבבֵּן פֹּרָת יוֹסֵף בֵּן פֹּרָת עֲלֵי־עָיִן בָּנוֹת צָעֲדָה עֲלֵי־שׁוּר׃
23Archers bitterly assailed him; They shot at him and harried him.
כגוַיְמָרֲרֻהוּ וָרֹבּוּ וַיִּשְׂטְמֻהוּ בַּעֲלֵי חִצִּים׃
24Yet his bow stayed taut, And his arms were made firm By the hands of the Mighty One of Yaakov—There, the Shepherd, the Rock of Yisrael—
כדוַתֵּשֶׁב בְּאֵיתָן קַשְׁתּוֹ וַיָּפֹזּוּ זְרֹעֵי יָדָיו מִידֵי אֲבִיר יַעֲקֹב מִשָּׁם רֹעֶה אֶבֶן יִשְׂרָאֵל׃
25The God of your father who helps you, And Shaddai who blesses you With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that couches below, Blessings of the breast and womb.
כהמֵאֵל אָבִיךָ וְיַעְזְרֶךָּ וְאֵת שַׁדַּי וִיבָרְכֶךָּ בִּרְכֹת שָׁמַיִם מֵעָל בִּרְכֹת תְּהוֹם רֹבֶצֶת תָּחַת בִּרְכֹת שָׁדַיִם וָרָחַם׃
26The blessings of your father Surpass the blessings of my ancestors, To the utmost bounds of the eternal hills. May they rest on the head of Yosef, On the brow of the elect of his brothers.
כובִּרְכֹת אָבִיךָ גָּבְרוּ עַל־בִּרְכֹת הוֹרַי עַד־תַּאֲוַת גִּבְעֹת עוֹלָם תִּהְיֶין לְרֹאשׁ יוֹסֵף וּלְקָדְקֹד נְזִיר אֶחָיו׃
27Binyamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he consumes the foe, And in the evening he divides the spoil.”
כזבִּנְיָמִין זְאֵב יִטְרָף בַּבֹּקֶר יֹאכַל עַד וְלָעֶרֶב יְחַלֵּק שָׁלָל׃
28All these were the tribes of Yisrael, twelve in number, and this is what their father said to them as he bade them farewell, addressing to each a parting word appropriate to him.
כחכָּל־אֵלֶּה שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר וְזֹאת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר לָהֶם אֲבִיהֶם וַיְבָרֶךְ אוֹתָם אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר כְּבִרְכָתוֹ בֵּרַךְ אֹתָם׃
29Then he instructed them, saying to them, “I am about to be gathered to my kin. Bury me with my fathers in the cave which is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
כטוַיְצַו אוֹתָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם אֲנִי נֶאֱסָף אֶל־עַמִּי קִבְרוּ אֹתִי אֶל־אֲבֹתָי אֶל־הַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׂדֵה עֶפְרוֹן הַחִתִּי׃
30the cave which is in the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Avraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site
לבַּמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׂדֵה הַמַּכְפֵּלָה אֲשֶׁר עַל־פְּנֵי־מַמְרֵא בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן אֲשֶׁר קָנָה אַבְרָהָם אֶת־הַשָּׂדֶה מֵאֵת עֶפְרֹן הַחִתִּי לַאֲחֻזַּת־קָבֶר׃
31there Avraham and his wife Sara were buried; there Yitzchak and his wife Rivka were buried; and there I buried Leah
לאשָׁמָּה קָבְרוּ אֶת־אַבְרָהָם וְאֵת שָׂרָה אִשְׁתּוֹ שָׁמָּה קָבְרוּ אֶת־יִצְחָק וְאֵת רִבְקָה אִשְׁתּוֹ וְשָׁמָּה קָבַרְתִּי אֶת־לֵאָה׃
32the field and the cave in it, bought from the Hittites.”
לבמִקְנֵה הַשָּׂדֶה וְהַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר־בּוֹ מֵאֵת בְּנֵי־חֵת׃
33When Yaakov finished his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and, breathing his last, he was gathered to his people.
לגוַיְכַל יַעֲקֹב לְצַוּׂת אֶת־בָּנָיו וַיֶּאֱסֹף רַגְלָיו אֶל־הַמִּטָּה וַיִּגְוַע וַיֵּאָסֶף אֶל־עַמָּיו׃