Genesis 49
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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׃

2  Assemble and hearken, O sons of Yaakov; Hearken to Yisrael your father:

ב  הִקָּבְצוּ וְשִׁמְעוּ בְּנֵי יַעֲקֹב וְשִׁמְעוּ אֶל־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֲבִיכֶם׃

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׃

5  Shimon and Levi are a pair; Their weapons are tools of lawlessness.

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׃

7  Cursed be their anger so fierce, And their wrath so relentless. I will divide them in Yaakov, Scatter them in Yisrael.

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

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

י  לֹא־יָסוּר שֵׁבֶט מִיהוּדָה וּמְחֹקֵק מִבֵּין רַגְלָיו עַד כִּי־יָבֹא שילה [שִׁילוֹ] וְלוֹ יִקְּהַת עַמִּים׃

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׃

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׃

16  Dan shall govern his people, As one of the tribes of Yisrael.

טז  דָּן יָדִין עַמּוֹ כְּאַחַד שִׁבְטֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל׃

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׃

24  Yet 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

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

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׃

30  the 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

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

31  there Avraham and his wife Sara were buried; there Yitzchak and his wife Rivka were buried; 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 in it, bought from the Hittites.”

לב  מִקְנֵה הַשָּׂדֶה וְהַמְּעָרָה אֲשֶׁר־בּוֹ מֵאֵת בְּנֵי־חֵת׃

33  When Yaakov finished his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and, breathing his last, he was gathered to his people.

לג  וַיְכַל יַעֲקֹב לְצַוּׂת אֶת־בָּנָיו וַיֶּאֱסֹף רַגְלָיו אֶל־הַמִּטָּה וַיִּגְוַע וַיֵּאָסֶף אֶל־עַמָּיו׃

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Genesis 48
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  • Phyllis Pearson

    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'.

Genesis 49

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