The Bible in Its Traditions

Genesis 49:1–28

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And Jacob called unto his sons, and said: 'Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the end of days.

And Jacob called his sons, and said to them,

Then Jacob called his sons, and he said to them: “Gather together, so that I may announce what will happen to you in the last days.

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Assemble yourselves, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.

Assemble yourselves, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in the last days. Gather yourselves together, and hear me, sons of Jacob; hear Israel, hear your father.

Gather together and listen, O sons of Jacob. Listen to Israel, your father.

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Reuben, thou art my first-born, my might, and the first-fruits of my strength; the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power.

Ruben, thou art my first-born, thou my strength, and the first of my children, hard to be endured, hard and self-willed.

Reuben, my firstborn, you are my strength and the beginning of my sorrow: first in gifts, greater in authority.

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Unstable as water, have not thou the excellency; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it--he went up to my couch.

Thou wast insolent like water, burst not forth with violence, for thou wentest up to the bed of thy father; then thou defiledst the couch, whereupon thou wentest up.

You are being poured out like water, may you not increase. For you climbed onto your father’s bed, and you defiled his resting place.

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Simeon and Levi are brethren; weapons of violence their kinship.

Symeon and Levi, brethren, accomplished the injustice of their cutting off.

The brothers Simeon and Levi: vessels of iniquity waging war.

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Let my soul not come into their council; unto their assembly let my glory not be united; for in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they houghed oxen.

I never agreed to their counsels; nor did I lower myself to sit in their assembly; for in their anger they slew men and in their rage they destroyed a town wall.

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.

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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.

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Judah, thee shall thy brethren praise; thy hand shall be on the neck of thine enemies; thy father's sons shall bow down before thee.

Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will be at the necks of your enemies; the sons of your father will reverence you.

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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 a lioness; who shall rouse him up?

Juda is a lion’s whelp: from the tender plant, my son, thou art gone up, having couched thou liest as a lion, and as a whelp; who shall stir him up?

Judah is a lion’s young. You have gone up to the prey, my son. While resting, you have lain like a lion. And just like a lioness, who would rouse him?

10  The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, as long as men come to Shiloh; and unto him shall the obedience of the peoples be.

10  A ruler shall not fail from Juda, nor a prince from his loins, until there come the things stored up for him; and he is the expectation of nations.

10  The scepter from Judah and the leader from his thigh will not be taken away, until he who will be sent arrives, and he will be the expectation of Gentiles.

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11  Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washeth his garments in wine, and his vesture in the blood of grapes;

11  Tying his young colt to the vineyard, and his donkey, O my son, to the vine, he will wash his robe in wine, and his cloak in the blood of the grape.

11  He shall tie up his foal to the vine, and his ass's colt to a branch; he shall bleach his garments with wine, and his robe with the juices of the grape;

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12  His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

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13  Zebulun shall dwell at the shore of the sea, and he shall be a shore for ships, and his flank shall be upon Zidon.

13  Zabulon shall dwell on the coast, and he shall be by a haven of ships, and shall extend to Sidon.

13  Zebulun will live at the seashore and by the outpost of ships, reaching as far as Sidon.

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14  Issachar is a large-boned ass, couching down between the sheep-folds.

14  Issachar has desired that which is good; resting between the inheritances.

14  Issachar is a mighty man couching by the highways;

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15  For he saw a resting-place that it was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and he bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant under task-work

15  And having seen the resting place that it was good, and the land that it was fertile, he subjected his shoulder to labour, and became a husbandman.

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16  Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

16  Dan will judge his people just like any other tribe in Israel.

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17  Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a horned snake in the path, that biteth the horse's heels, so that his rider falleth backward.

17  And let Dan be a serpent in the way, besetting the path, biting the heel of the horse (and the rider shall fall backward),

17  Let Dan be a snake in the way, a viper in the path, biting the hooves of horses, so that his rider may fall backward.

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18  I wait for Thy salvation, O Lord.

18  I will wait for your salvation, O Lord.

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19  Gad, a troop shall troop upon him; but he shall troop upon their heel.

19  Gad, being girded, will fight before him. And he himself will be girded backward.

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20  As for Asher, his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.

20  Aser, his bread shall be fat; and he shall yield dainties to princes.

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21  Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.

21  Nephthalim is a spreading stem, bestowing beauty on its fruit.

21  Naphtali is a stag sent forth, offering words of eloquent beauty.

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22  Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a fountain; its branches run over the wall.

22  Joseph is a son increased; my dearly loved son is increased; my youngest son, turn to me.

22  Joseph is a growing son, a growing son and stately to behold; the daughters run back and forth on the wall.

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23  The archers have dealt bitterly with him, and shot at him, and hated him;

23  Against whom men taking evil counsel reproached him, and the archers pressed hard upon him.

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24  But his bow abode firm, and the arms of his hands were made supple, by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, from thence, from the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel,

24  But their bow and arrows were mightily consumed, and the sinews of their arms were slackened by the hand of the mighty one of Jacob; thence is he that strengthened Israel from the God of thy father;

24  His bow sits in strength, and the bands of his arms and hands have been let loose by the hands of the mighty one of Jacob. From there he went forth as a pastor, the stone of Israel.

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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 coucheth beneath, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb.

25  and my God helped thee, and he blessed thee with the blessing of heaven from above, and the blessing of the earth possessing all things, because of the blessing of the breasts and of the womb,

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26  The blessings of thy father are mighty beyond 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 the prince among his brethren.

26  The blessings of your father are strengthened by the blessings of his fathers, until the desire of the hills of eternity shall arrive. May they be at the head of Joseph, and at the summit of the Nazarite, among his brothers.

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27  Benjamin is a wolf that raveneth; in the morning he devoureth the prey, and at even he divideth the spoil.'

27  Benjamin, as a ravening wolf, shall eat still in the morning, and at evening he gives food.

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28  All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is it that their father spoke unto them and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.