Jacob Blesses His Sons

Genesis 49:1-33

Jacob now sets out to bless his own sons. He wishes to tell them what will befall them in the End of Days.


To Reuben, Simeon and Levi, Jacob offers only chastisement for their earlier actions. Reuben, for interfering with Jacob’s marital bed (see Genesis 35:22), and Simeon and Levi for their rash attack on the people of Shechem (see Genesis 34:25-26). In fact, Jacob goes so far as to curse Simeon and Levi’s rage, scattering their future descendants among the other tribes.


With Judah, Jacob begins offering blessings in earnest. Jacob blesses him with lion’s strength, prosperity, and wise and powerful descendants. Zebulun he blesses with success on the seas. To Issachar he gives the strength to bear labor. He blesses Dan to be the avenger of his people. Gad he blesses with military might.He offers Asher richness of bread and delicacies. He notes Naphtali for his swiftness and wise sayings. To Joseph, he bequeaths blessings of the earth and the womb, greater than any Jacob himself received. Finally, Jacob likens Benjamin to a wolf, catching prey by morning and dividing spoils by evening.


Blessings complete, Jacob asks his sons again to bury him in Israel, in the Cave of Machpelah, with his wife, parents and grandparents. His final words imparted, Jacob passes.


The Israel Bible notes that the coastal inheritance bequeathed by Jacob to Zebulun enables the tribe later to enter into a special partnership with the tribe of Issachar; the former used their seafaring success to support the latter in Torah study, thus earning a share in their merit.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

Why do you think Jacob chose to bless his sons by telling them “that which shall be befall you in the End of Days”?

Comments ( 7 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Shlomenu Muendo

    that just as it was planted their behavior in HaShem so also their fruit in the Son of Israel when the Mashiach arrives in Eretz Yisrael.On that day,say the Scriptures,the End of Days being the day of Mashiach will have the twelve tribes specified and each tribe become like it was said;the levites dispersed amongst Yisrael to teach Torah,Shimeonites dispersed to take Torah,Efraim taking all the riches of the world,Yehuda dorminating the Earth,these end days,days leading to Geula.

  • Having looked at the thoughts of a certain Rabbi on Yaacov's blessings, I think that the end of days meant what his sons would pass on to their offspring at the end of their lifetime. These are the Rabbi's words on the blessing: "Jacob was able to speak into the lives of his children because of the trust that had been developed between the father and his sons. He was operating in his proper role and clearly understood his own motive, and also the character and attributes of his sons. Jacob was able to discern the blessings and the generational curses that had been passed on to his sons, from the personal choices that each had made. Israel also understood, full well, the Principles that he, as the father, had passed on."

    Baruch HaShem!

    • The point that rings the bell most is that Yaacov was able to discern the blessings and the generational curses that had been passed on to his sons, from the personal choices that each had made.

  • I agree with you all, but still think there is more above your arguments, in light of the blessing that Moshe confers on the twelve tribes in Deuteronomy 33.

  • It is as if Ja’acov sees into the future and this in connection to the task the tribes would have at that future time. He assigns to each tribe the way of their callings, which will be clearly seen in "the End of Days", the days in which we live now …? Torah is much more up to date than men had ever believed ! Ja’acov might also have meant: don’t see at the environment in which you are now. You are meant for the Promised Land, not for Egypt..

  • This foretells the return of all the scattered tribes back to Israel at the end of days.

  • 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.
    The placement of the Aleph Tav in this verse carries the teaching that Elohim has revealed to Yaakov the important destinies of the Twelve Tribes and their continuation throughout HIS plans until the "end of days".
    I believe that was an incredible gift and a blessing to Yaakov as a father to see that his legacy would carry on to the very "end of days" and it was natural for him to want to share even a small glimpse of this with his sons before he passed.
    Baruch Hashem

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