New English Translation
The Blessing of Jacob
1 Jacob called for his sons and said, "Gather together so I can tell you what will happen to you in the future.
2 "Assemble and listen, you sons of Jacob; listen to Israel, your father.
3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the beginning of my strength, outstanding in dignity, outstanding in power.
4 You are destructive like water and will not excel, for you got on your father's bed, then you defiled it - he got on my couch!
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers, weapons of violence are their knives!
6 O my soul, do not come into their council, do not be united to their assembly, my heart, for in their anger they have killed men, and for pleasure they have hamstrung oxen.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their fury, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel!
8 Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies, your father's sons will bow down before you.
9 You are a lion's cub, Judah, from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches and lies down like a lion; like a lioness - who will rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs; the nations will obey him.
11 Binding his foal to the vine, and his colt to the choicest vine, he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes will be dark from wine, and his teeth white from milk.
13 Zebulun will live by the haven of the sea and become a haven for ships; his border will extend to Sidon.
14 Issachar is a strong-boned donkey lying down between two saddlebags.
15 When he sees a good resting place, and the pleasant land, he will bend his shoulder to the burden and become a slave laborer.
16 Dan will judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 May Dan be a snake beside the road, a viper by the path, that bites the heels of the horse so that its rider falls backward.
18 I wait for your deliverance, O LORD.
19 Gad will be raided by marauding bands, but he will attack them at their heels.
20 Asher's food will be rich, and he will provide delicacies to royalty.
21 Naphtali is a free running doe, he speaks delightful words.
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough near a spring whose branches climb over the wall.
23 The archers will attack him, they will shoot at him and oppose him.
24 But his bow will remain steady, and his hands will be skillful; because of the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 because of the God of your father, who will help you, because of the sovereign God, who will bless you with blessings from the sky above, blessings from the deep that lies below, and blessings of the breasts and womb.
26 The blessings of your father are greater than the blessings of the eternal mountains or the desirable things of the age-old hills. They will be on the head of Joseph and on the brow of the prince of his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning devouring the prey, and in the evening dividing the plunder."
28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He gave each of them an appropriate blessing.
29 Then he instructed them, "I am about to go to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30 It is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought for a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite. 31 There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah; there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah; and there I buried Leah. 32 The field and the cave in it were acquired from the sons of Heth."
33 When Jacob finished giving these instructions to his sons, he pulled his feet up onto the bed, breathed his last breath, and went to his people.
King James Version
1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
3 ¶ Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.
5 ¶ Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.
7 Cursed 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.
8 ¶ Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.
9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
10 The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
13 ¶ Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.
14 ¶ Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:
15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.
16 ¶ Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
19 ¶ Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
20 ¶ Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
21 ¶ Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.
22 ¶ Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
24 But his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)
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 lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
26 The blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the head of him that was separate from his brethren.
27 ¶ Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.
28 ¶ All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.
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,
30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.
31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.
32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.
33 And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.