1 And Yaakov called his sons and said, “Come together that I may tell you what is to befall you in days to come.
א וַיִּקְרָא יַעֲקֹב אֶל־בָּנָיו וַיֹּאמֶר הֵאָסְפוּ וְאַגִּידָה לָכֶם אֵת אֲשֶׁר־יִקְרָא אֶתְכֶם בְּאַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים׃
3 Reuven, you are my first-born, My might and first fruit of my vigor, Exceeding in rank And exceeding in honor.
ג רְאוּבֵן בְּכֹרִי אַתָּה כֹּחִי וְרֵאשִׁית אוֹנִי יֶתֶר שְׂאֵת וְיֶתֶר עָז׃
4 Unstable as water, you shall excel no longer; For when you mounted your father’s bed, You brought disgrace—my couch he mounted!
ד פַּחַז כַּמַּיִם אַל־תּוֹתַר כִּי עָלִיתָ מִשְׁכְּבֵי אָבִיךָ אָז חִלַּלְתָּ יְצוּעִי עָלָה׃
ה שִׁמְעוֹן וְלֵוִי אַחִים כְּלֵי חָמָס מְכֵרֹתֵיהֶם׃
6 Let 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.
ו בְּסֹדָם אַל־תָּבֹא נַפְשִׁי בִּקְהָלָם אַל־תֵּחַד כְּבֹדִי כִּי בְאַפָּם הָרְגוּ אִישׁ וּבִרְצֹנָם עִקְּרוּ־שׁוֹר׃
8 You, 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.
ח יְהוּדָה אַתָּה יוֹדוּךָ אַחֶיךָ יָדְךָ בְּעֹרֶף אֹיְבֶיךָ יִשְׁתַּחֲוּוּ לְךָ בְּנֵי אָבִיךָ׃
9 Yehuda 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?
ט גּוּר אַרְיֵה יְהוּדָה מִטֶּרֶף בְּנִי עָלִיתָ כָּרַע רָבַץ כְּאַרְיֵה וּכְלָבִיא מִי יְקִימֶנּוּ׃
10 The 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
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.4 comments
11 He 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.
יא אֹסְרִי לַגֶּפֶן עירה [עִירוֹ] וְלַשֹּׂרֵקָה בְּנִי אֲתֹנוֹ כִּבֵּס בַּיַּיִן לְבֻשׁוֹ וּבְדַם־עֲנָבִים סותה [סוּתוֹ׃]
12 His eyes are darker than wine; His teeth are whiter than milk.
יב חַכְלִילִי עֵינַיִם מִיָּיִן וּלְבֶן־שִׁנַּיִם מֵחָלָב׃
13 Zevulun 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
יג זְבוּלֻן 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.Comment
14 Yissachar is a strong-boned ass, Crouching among the sheepfolds.
יד יִשָּׂשכָר חֲמֹר גָּרֶם רֹבֵץ בֵּין הַמִּשְׁפְּתָיִם׃
15 When he saw how good was security, And how pleasant was the country, He bent his shoulder to the burden, And became a toiling serf.
טו וַיַּרְא מְנֻחָה כִּי טוֹב וְאֶת־הָאָרֶץ כִּי נָעֵמָה וַיֵּט שִׁכְמוֹ לִסְבֹּל וַיְהִי לְמַס־עֹבֵד׃
17 Dan 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.
יז יְהִי־דָן נָחָשׁ עֲלֵי־דֶרֶךְ שְׁפִיפֹן עֲלֵי־אֹרַח הַנֹּשֵׁךְ עִקְּבֵי־סוּס וַיִּפֹּל רֹכְבוֹ אָחוֹר׃
18 I wait for Your deliverance, Hashem!
יח לִישׁוּעָתְךָ קִוִּיתִי יְהֹוָה׃
19 Gad shall be raided by raiders, But he shall raid at their heels.
יט גָּד גְּדוּד יְגוּדֶנּוּ וְהוּא יָגֻד עָקֵב׃
20 Asher‘s bread shall be rich, And he shall yield royal dainties.
כ מֵאָשֵׁר שְׁמֵנָה לַחְמוֹ וְהוּא יִתֵּן מַעֲדַנֵּי־מֶלֶךְ׃
21 Naftali is a hind let loose, Which yields lovely fawns.
כא נַפְתָּלִי אַיָּלָה שְׁלֻחָה הַנֹּתֵן אִמְרֵי־שָׁפֶר׃
22 Yosef is a wild ass, A wild ass by a spring —Wild colts on a hillside.
כב בֵּן פֹּרָת יוֹסֵף בֵּן פֹּרָת עֲלֵי־עָיִן בָּנוֹת צָעֲדָה עֲלֵי־שׁוּר׃
23 Archers bitterly assailed him; They shot at him and harried him.
כג וַיְמָרֲרֻהוּ וָרֹבּוּ וַיִּשְׂטְמֻהוּ בַּעֲלֵי חִצִּים׃
25 The 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.
כה מֵאֵל אָבִיךָ וְיַעְזְרֶךָּ וְאֵת שַׁדַּי וִיבָרְכֶךָּ בִּרְכֹת שָׁמַיִם מֵעָל בִּרְכֹת תְּהוֹם רֹבֶצֶת תָּחַת בִּרְכֹת שָׁדַיִם וָרָחַם׃
26 The 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.
כו בִּרְכֹת אָבִיךָ גָּבְרוּ עַל־בִּרְכֹת הוֹרַי עַד־תַּאֲוַת גִּבְעֹת עוֹלָם תִּהְיֶין לְרֹאשׁ יוֹסֵף וּלְקָדְקֹד נְזִיר אֶחָיו׃
27 Binyamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he consumes the foe, And in the evening he divides the spoil.”
כז בִּנְיָמִין זְאֵב יִטְרָף בַּבֹּקֶר יֹאכַל עַד וְלָעֶרֶב יְחַלֵּק שָׁלָל׃
28 All 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.
כח כָּל־אֵלֶּה שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל שְׁנֵים עָשָׂר וְזֹאת אֲשֶׁר־דִּבֶּר לָהֶם אֲבִיהֶם וַיְבָרֶךְ אוֹתָם אִישׁ אֲשֶׁר כְּבִרְכָתוֹ בֵּרַךְ אֹתָם׃
29 Then 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,
כט וַיְצַו אוֹתָם וַיֹּאמֶר אֲלֵהֶם אֲנִי נֶאֱסָף אֶל־עַמִּי קִבְרוּ אֹתִי אֶל־אֲבֹתָי אֶל־הַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר בִּשְׂדֵה עֶפְרוֹן הַחִתִּי׃
32 the field and the cave in it, bought from the Hittites.”
לב מִקְנֵה הַשָּׂדֶה וְהַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר־בּוֹ מֵאֵת בְּנֵי־חֵת׃