Genesis 49
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1  And Yaakov called unto his sons, and said: ‘Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the end of days.

א  וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב אֶל בָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הֵאָסְפוּ וְאַגִּידָה לָכֶם אֵת אֲשֶׁר יִקְרָא אֶתְכֶם בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים.

2  Assemble yourselves, and hear, ye sons of Yaakov; and hearken unto Israel your father.

ב  הִקָּבְצוּ וְשִׁמְעוּ בְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב וְשִׁמְעוּ אֶל יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבִיכֶם.

3  Reuven, thou art my first-born, my might, and the first-fruits of my strength; the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power.

ג  רְאוּבֵן בְּכֹרִי אַתָּה כֹּחִי וְרֵאשִׁית אוֹנִי יֶתֶר שְׂאֵת וְיֶתֶר עָז.

4  Unstable as water, have not thou the excellency; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed; then defiledst thou it–he went up to my couch.

ד  פַּחַז כַּמַּיִם אַל תּוֹתַר כִּי עָלִיתָ מִשְׁכְּבֵי אָבִיךָ אָז חִלַּלְתָּ יְצוּעִי עָלָה.

5  Shimon and Levi are brethren; weapons of violence their kinship.

ה  שִׁמְעוֹן וְלֵוִי אַחִים כְּלֵי חָמָס מְכֵרֹתֵיהֶם.

6  Let my soul not come into their council; unto their assembly let my glory not be united; for in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they houghed oxen.

ו  בְּסֹדָם אַל תָּבֹא נַפְשִׁי בִּקְהָלָם אַל תֵּחַד כְּבֹדִי כִּי בְאַפָּם הָרְגוּ אִישׁ וּבִרְצֹנָם עִקְּרוּ שׁוֹר.

7  Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel; I will divide them in Yaakov, and scatter them in Israel.

ז  אָרוּר אַפָּם כִּי עָז וְעֶבְרָתָם כִּי קָשָׁתָה אֲחַלְּקֵם בְּיַעֲקֹב וַאֲפִיצֵם בְּיִשְׂרָאֵל.

8  Yehudah, thee shall thy brethren praise; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s sons shall bow down before thee.

ח  יְהוּדָה אַתָּה יוֹדוּךָ אַחֶיךָ יָדְךָ בְּעֹרֶף אֹיְבֶיךָ יִשְׁתַּחֲווּ לְךָ בְּנֵי אָבִיךָ.

9  Yehudah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, thou art gone up. He stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as a lioness; who shall rouse him up?

ט  גּוּר אַרְיֵה יְהוּדָה מִטֶּרֶף בְּנִי עָלִיתָ כָּרַע רָבַץ כְּאַרְיֵה וּכְלָבִיא מִי יְקִימֶנּוּ.

10  The sceptre shall not depart from Yehudah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, as long as men come to Shiloh; and unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.

lo ya-SUR SHAY-vet mee-hu-DAH u-m’-kho-KAYK mi-BAYN rag-LAV ad kee ya-VO shee-LOH v’-LO yi-k-HAHT a-MEEM.

י  לֹא יָסוּר שֵׁבֶט מִיהוּדָה וּמְחֹקֵק מִבֵּין רַגְלָיו עַד כִּי יָבֹא שִׁילֹה וְלוֹ יִקְּהַת עַמִּים.

49:10   Until Shiloh shall come

Fourteenth century scholar, Rabbi Jacob ben Asher, revealed a hidden connection between the word ‘Shiloh’ and the Hebrew word for Messiah. According to Jewish mysticism and the study of ‘gematriya,’ every Hebrew letter corresponds to a different number. With this understanding, certain diverse words and ideas are secretly connected when their numerical values match. Amazingly, the numerical value of the words ‘yavo shiloh’ (Shiloh comes) adds up to 358 which is exactly the same numerical value as the word ‘mashiach,’ Hebrew for Messiah. With prophetic foresight, Jacob blesses Judah with not only the monarchy, but the emergence of the messianic line through his lineage.

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11  Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washeth his garments in wine, and his vesture in the blood of grapes;

יא  אֹסְרִי לַגֶּפֶן עִירֹה וְלַשֹּׂרֵקָה בְּנִי אֲתֹנוֹ כִּבֵּס בַּיַּיִן לְבֻשׁוֹ וּבְדַם עֲנָבִים סוּתֹה.

12  His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

יב  חַכְלִילִי עֵינַיִם מִיָּיִן וּלְבֶן שִׁנַּיִם מֵחָלָב.

13  Zevulun shall dwell at the shore of the sea, and he shall be a shore for ships, and his flank shall be upon Zidon.

z’-vu-LUN l’-KHOF ya-MEEM yish-KON v’-HU l’-KHOF a-ni-YOT v’-yar-kha-TO al tzee-DON

יג  זְבוּלֻן לְחוֹף יַמִּים יִשְׁכֹּן וְהוּא לְחוֹף אֳנִיֹּת וְיַרְכָתוֹ עַל צִידֹן.

49:13   Zevulun shall settle by seashores

Each of the twelve tribes of Israel is to receive a special portion of the Land to corresponding to each tribe’s unique spiritual attributes. According to Jewish tradition, the sons of Zebulun, who are given a coastal inheritance, became successful sea merchants and agreed to a special partnership with the sons of Issachar, Zebulun’s brother. As the sons of Issachar were noted Torah scholars, Zebulun would work and support Issachar, who would devote their energies to full time Torah study. In turn, they would ‘split’ the spiritual revenue and heavenly reward of the joint venture.

Comment

14  Yissachar is a large-boned ass, couching down between the sheep-folds.

יד  יִשָּׂשכָר חֲמֹר גָּרֶם רֹבֵץ בֵּין הַמִּשְׁפְּתָיִם.

15  For he saw a resting-place that it was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and he bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant under task-work.

טו  וַיַּרְא מְנֻחָה כִּי טוֹב וְאֶת הָאָרֶץ כִּי נָעֵמָה וַיֵּט שִׁכְמוֹ לִסְבֹּל וַיְהִי לְמַס עֹבֵד.

16  Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

טז  דָּן יָדִין עַמּוֹ כְּאַחַד שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל.

17  Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a horned snake in the path, that biteth the horse’s heels, so that his rider falleth backward.

יז  יְהִי דָן נָחָשׁ עֲלֵי דֶרֶךְ שְׁפִיפֹן עֲלֵי אֹרַח הַנֹּשֵׁךְ עִקְּבֵי סוּס וַיִּפֹּל רֹכְבוֹ אָחוֹר.

18  I wait for Thy salvation, O Hashem.

יח  לִישׁוּעָתְךָ קִוִּיתִי יְהוָה.

19  Gad, a troop shall troop upon him; but he shall troop upon their heel.

יט  גָּד גְּדוּד יְגוּדֶנּוּ וְהוּא יָגֻד עָקֵב.

20  As for Asher, his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.

כ  מֵאָשֵׁר שְׁמֵנָה לַחְמוֹ וְהוּא יִתֵּן מַעֲדַנֵּי מֶלֶךְ.

21  Naftali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.

כא  נַפְתָּלִי אַיָּלָה שְׁלֻחָה הַנֹּתֵן אִמְרֵי שָׁפֶר.

22  Yosef is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a fountain; its branches run over the wall.

כב  בֵּן פֹּרָת יוֹסֵף בֵּן פֹּרָת עֲלֵי עָיִן בָּנוֹת צָעֲדָה עֲלֵי שׁוּר.

23  The archers have dealt bitterly with him, and shot at him, and hated him;

כג  וַיְמָרְרֻהוּ וָרֹבּוּ וַיִּשְׂטְמֻהוּ בַּעֲלֵי חִצִּים.

24  But his bow abode firm, and the arms of his hands were made supple, by the hands of the Mighty One of Yaakov, from thence, from the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel,

כד  וַתֵּשֶׁב בְּאֵיתָן קַשְׁתּוֹ וַיָּפֹזּוּ זְרֹעֵי יָדָיו מִידֵי אֲבִיר יַעֲקֹב מִשָּׁם רֹעֶה אֶבֶן יִשְׂרָאֵל.

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 coucheth beneath, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.

כה  מֵאֵל אָבִיךָ וְיַעְזְרֶךָּ וְאֵת שַׁדַּי וִיבָרְכֶךָּ בִּרְכֹת שָׁמַיִם מֵעָל בִּרְכֹת תְּהוֹם רֹבֶצֶת תָּחַת בִּרְכֹת שָׁדַיִם וָרָחַם.

26  The blessings of thy father are mighty beyond the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills; they shall be on the head of Yosef, and on the crown of the head of the prince among his brethren.

כו  בִּרְכֹת אָבִיךָ גָּבְרוּ עַל בִּרְכֹת הוֹרַי עַד תַּאֲוַת גִּבְעֹת עוֹלָם תִּהְיֶיןָ לְרֹאשׁ יוֹסֵף וּלְקָדְקֹד נְזִיר אֶחָיו.

27  Binyamin is a wolf that raveneth; in the morning he devoureth the prey, and at even he divideth the spoil.’

כז  בִּנְיָמִין זְאֵב יִטְרָף בַּבֹּקֶר יֹאכַל עַד וְלָעֶרֶב יְחַלֵּק שָׁלָל.

28  All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is it that their father spoke unto them and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.

כח  כָּל אֵלֶּה שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר וְזֹאת אֲשֶׁר דִּבֶּר לָהֶם אֲבִיהֶם וַיְבָרֶךְ אוֹתָם אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר כְּבִרְכָתוֹ בֵּרַךְ אֹתָם.

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,

כט  וַיְצַו אוֹתָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם אֲנִי נֶאֱסָף אֶל עַמִּי קִבְרוּ אֹתִי אֶל אֲבֹתָי אֶל הַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׂדֵה עֶפְרוֹן הַחִתִּי.

30  in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Avraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place.

ל  בַּמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׂדֵה הַמַּכְפֵּלָה אֲשֶׁר עַל פְּנֵי מַמְרֵא בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנָעַן אֲשֶׁר קָנָה אַבְרָהָם אֶת הַשָּׂדֶה מֵאֵת עֶפְרֹן הַחִתִּי לַאֲחֻזַּת קָבֶר.

31  There they buried Avraham and Sara his wife; there they buried Yitzchak and Rivka his wife; and there I buried Leah.

לא  שָׁמָּה קָבְרוּ אֶת אַבְרָהָם וְאֵת שָׂרָה אִשְׁתּוֹ שָׁמָּה קָבְרוּ אֶת יִצְחָק וְאֵת רִבְקָה אִשְׁתּוֹ וְשָׁמָּה קָבַרְתִּי אֶת לֵאָה.

32  The field and the cave that is therein, which was purchased from the children of Heth.’

לב  מִקְנֵה הַשָּׂדֶה וְהַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר בּוֹ מֵאֵת בְּנֵי חֵת.

33  And when Yaakov made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and expired, and was gathered unto his people.

לג  וַיְכַל יַעֲקֹב לְצַוֹּת אֶת בָּנָיו וַיֶּאֱסֹף רַגְלָיו אֶל הַמִּטָּה וַיִּגְוַע וַיֵּאָסֶף אֶל עַמָּיו.

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Comment ( 1 )

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  • Such harsh words for some of the sons, but said with the knowledge only a father has of his offspring. For Joseph, well, what a blessing from Jacob, his father. v24 But his bow abode firm, and the arms of his hands were made supple, by the hands of the Mighty One of Yaakov, from thence, from the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel. Almost a contradiction in words, but not so! His bow remains firm but his hands and arms supple, Jacob acknowledges the hand of Hashem upon Joseph's life. Jacob the shepherd, the Stone of Israel. Quite apart from these words being poetic, they carry the promise of the future of Israel too, the Stone of Israel, Hashem is building a Nation as He leads these men. Nations don't just happen, they are built, and Israel is a Nation built one covenants and the promise that 'If you walk with Me, I will bless you'.

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Genesis 49