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Jacob's blessing of his sons Genesis 49

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Jacob's Blessings Of His Sons

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CHAPTER 49 Jan. 29 
Jacob Blesses his Sons 
Jacob called to his sons, and said: Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which will happen to you in the days to come. 2Assemble yourselves, and hear, you sons of Jacob. Listen to Israel, your father. 3Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength; excelling in dignity, and excelling in power. 4Boiling over as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father’s bed, then defiled it. He went up to my couch. 5Simeon and Levi are brothers. Their swords are weapons of violence. 6My soul, don’t come into their council. My glory, don’t be united to their multitude; for in their anger they killed men. In their self-will they hamstrung cattle. 7Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.  8Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies. Your father’s sons will bow down before you. 9Judah is a lion’s cub. From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he crouched as a lion, as a lioness. Who will rouse him up? 10The sceptre will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs. To him will the obedience of the peoples be. 11Binding his foal to the vine, his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; he has washed his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. 12His eyes will be red with wine, his teeth white with milk. 13Zebulun will dwell at the haven of the sea. He will be for a haven of ships. His border will be on Sidon. 14Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the saddlebags. 15He saw a resting place, that it was good, the land, that it was pleasant. He bows his shoulder to the burden, and becomes a servant doing forced labour. 16Dan will judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 17Dan will be a serpent in the way, an adder in the path, That bites the horse’s heels, so that his rider falls backward. 18I have waited for Your salvation, Yahweh. 19A troop will press on Gad, but he will press on their heel. 20Asher’s food will be rich. He will yield royal dainties. 21Naphtali is a doe set free, who bears beautiful fawns. 22Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a spring. His branches run over the wall. 23The archers have severely grieved him, shot at him, and persecuted him: 24But his bow remained strong. The arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), 25even by the God of your father, who will help you; by the Almighty, who will bless you, with blessings of the sky above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb. 26The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of your ancestors, above the boundaries of the ancient hills. They will be on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the head of him who was separated from his brothers. 27Benjamin is a ravenous wolf. In the morning he will devour the prey. At evening he will divide the spoil.
Jacob’s Burial Wishes 
28All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them and blessed them. He blessed everyone according to his blessing. 29He instructed them, and said to them, I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place. 31There they buried Abraham and Sarah, his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah, his wife, and there I buried Leah: 32the field and the cave that is therein, which was purchased from the children of Heth. 33When Jacob made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the spirit, and was gathered to his people.


49:2 In 49:2,7,24 Jacob mentions his old and new names ('Jacob' and 'Israel') together, as if to show that now he finally accepted and believed the wondrous change that God had wrought in him. First of all, he doesn't seem to have accepted his name change, and needed God to remind him of it again (32:28; 35:10). To accept, really accept, the Name we called upon ourselves at baptism (Acts 2:21; 9:14; 22:16; Rom. 10:12-14) is difficult. 
49:14 Jacob's achievement of a true humility is evident in his last words. The way he blessed his sons in Gen. 49 indicates this; he saw Isaachar's greatness in the fact he was a humble servant. He learnt the lesson of that night of wrestling; his natural strength was not to be gloried in, neither was this to be his true greatness.
49:18 Jacob's hope of the future Messiah was the hope of his life; ‘Jehoshua’, the Hebrew form of ‘Jesus’, means ‘Yahweh’s salvation’.  
49:25 God of your father-  Finally, Jacob got there. He says three times the same thing; God is my God, Yahweh will be my rock, my stone, yes, He is the personal God of your father Jacob, He is almighty to save. That promise made 70 years previously in semi-belief, he had now fulfilled. He had made Yahweh his God. He was not only the God of his father and grandfather. The God who can do all things, not only physically but more importantly (as Jacob now realized) spiritually, was now Jacob’s very own God.