Jacob Blesses His Sons
2 “Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel your father.
3 “Reuben, you are ymy firstborn,
my might, and the zfirstfruits of my strength,
preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power.
4 Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence,
because you awent up to your father’s bed;
then you defiled it—he went up to my couch!
5 b“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons cof violence are their swords.
6 Let my soul come not into their council;
For in their anger they killed men,
and in their willfulness they fhamstrung oxen.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce,
and their wrath, for it is cruel!
I will gdivide them in Jacob
and scatter them in Israel.
8 “Judah, hyour brothers shall praise you;
iyour hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;
jyour father’s sons shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is ka lion’s cub;
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
lHe stooped down; he crouched as a lion
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him?
10 The mscepter shall not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff nfrom between his feet,
until tribute comes to him;1
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.
11 Binding his foal to the vine
and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine,
he has washed his garments in wine
and his vesture in the blood of grapes.
12 His oeyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth whiter than milk.
he shall become a haven for ships,
and his border shall be at Sidon.
14 r“Issachar is a strong donkey,
crouching between the sheepfolds.2
15 He saw that a resting place was good,
and that the land was pleasant,
so he bowed his shoulder to bear,
and sbecame a servant at forced labor.
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan vshall be a serpent in the way,
a viper by the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that his rider falls backward.
18 I wwait for your salvation, O Lord.
but he shall raid at their heels.
20 z“Asher’s food shall be rich,
and he shall yield royal delicacies.
21 a“Naphtali is a doe let loose
that bears beautiful fawns.4
22 “Joseph is ba fruitful bough,
a fruitful bough by a spring;
his branches run over the wall.5
23 The archers cbitterly attacked him,
shot at him, and harassed him severely,
24 yet dhis bow remained unmoved;
his arms6 were made agile
by the hands of the eMighty One of Jacob
25 hby the God of your father who will help you,
with blessings of heaven above,
blessings of the deep that crouches beneath,
blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26 The blessings of your father
are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents,
May they be lon the head of Joseph,
and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
27 m“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
in the morning devouring the prey
and at evening ndividing the spoil.”
6 h“Let Reuben live, and not die,
but let his men be few.”
7 And this he said of Judah:
“Hear, O Lord, the voice of Judah,
and bring him in to his people.
With your hands contend1 for him,
and be a help against his adversaries.”
8 And iof Levi he said,
and your Urim to your godly one,
kwhom you tested at Massah,
with whom you quarreled at the waters of Meribah;
9 who said of his father and mother,
‘I regard them not’;
lhe disowned his brothers
and ignored his children.
For mthey observed your word
and kept your covenant.
10 nThey shall teach Jacob your rules
and Israel your law;
othey shall put incense before you
and pwhole burnt offerings on your altar.
11 Bless, O Lord, his substance,
and qaccept the work of his hands;
crush the loins of his adversaries,
of those who hate him, that they rise not again.”
12 rOf Benjamin he said,
“The beloved of the Lord dwells in safety.
The High God3 surrounds him all day long,
and dwells between his shoulders.”
13 And sof Joseph he said,
t“Blessed by the Lord be his land,
and of the deep that crouches beneath,
14 with the choicest fruits of the sun
and the rich yield of the months,
15 with the finest produce of the ancient mountains
and the abundance of vthe everlasting hills,
16 with the best gifts of the earth and wits fullness
and the favor of xhim who dwells in the bush.
May these rest on the head of Joseph,
on the pate of him who is prince among his brothers.
and his horns are the horns of a zwild ox;
with them ahe shall gore the peoples,
all of them, to the ends of the earth;
bthey are the ten thousands of Ephraim,
and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”
18 And of Zebulun he said,
c“Rejoice, Zebulun, in your going out,
and Issachar, in your tents.
19 They shall call peoples dto their mountain;
there they offer eright sacrifices;
for they draw from the abundance of the seas
and the hidden treasures of the sand.”
20 And fof Gad he said,
“Blessed be he who enlarges Gad!
Gad crouches glike a lion;
he tears off arm and scalp.
21 hHe chose the best of the land for himself,
for there a commander’s portion was reserved;
and ihe came with the heads of the people,
with Israel he executed the justice of the Lord,
and his judgments for Israel.”
22 And jof Dan he said,
k“Dan is a lion’s cub
lthat leaps from Bashan.”
23 And mof Naphtali he said,
“O Naphtali, sated with favor,
and full of the blessing of the Lord,
24 And oof Asher he said,
“Most blessed of sons be Asher;
let him be the favorite of his brothers,
and let him pdip his foot in oil.
25 Your bars shall be iron and bronze,
and as your days, so shall your strength be.