1 Jacob called for his sons. He said: »Gather around, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the future.
2 »Come together and listen, sons of Jacob. Listen to your father Israel.
3 »Reuben, you are my firstborn; you are my strength and the first child of my manhood. You are the proudest and strongest of all my sons.
4 »You are like a raging flood. But you will not be the most important, for you slept with my concubine. You dishonored your fathers bed.
5 »Simeon and Levi are brothers. They use their weapons to commit violence.
6 »I will not join in their secret talks. I will not take part in their meetings. They killed people in anger. They crippled bulls for sport.
7 »A curse is on their anger, because it is so fierce. And a curse is on their fury, because it is so cruel. I will scatter them throughout the land of Israel. I will disperse them among its people.
8 »Judah, your brothers will praise you. You hold your enemies by the neck. Your brothers will bow down before you.
9 »Judah is like a lion, killing his victim and returning to his den. He is like a lion stretching out and lying down. No one dares disturb him.
10 »The royal scepter shall not depart from Judah. His descendants will always rule. Nations will bring him tribute and bow in obedience before him. This, until Shiloh comes and all will obey him.
11 »He will tie his donkey to a grapevine, his colt to the best vine. He will wash his clothes in wine, his garments in the blood of grapes.
12 »His eyes are darker than wine. His teeth are whiter than milk.
13 »Zebulun will live by the coast. He will have ships by the coast. His border will go as far as Sidon.
14 »Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the saddlebags.
15 »When he sees that his resting place is good and that the land is pleasant, he will bend his back to the burden and will become a slave laborer.
16 »Dan will judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 »Dan will be a snake on a road, a viper on a path that bites a horses heels so that its rider falls backwards.
18 »I wait with hope for your salvation, O Jehovah.
19 »Gad will be attacked by a band of raiders. He will strike back at their heels.
20 »Ashers food will be rich. He will provide delicacies fit for a king.
21 »Naphtali is a deer set free with beautiful fawns words.
22 »Joseph is a fruitful tree, a fruitful tree by a spring, with branches climbing over a wall.
23 »Archers provoked him, shot at him, and harassed him.
24 »His bow stayed steady! His arms remained limber because of the help of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 »because of the God of your father who helps you, because of the Almighty who blesses you from the heavens above, blessings from the deep springs below the ground, blessings from breasts and womb.
26 »The blessings of your father are greater than the blessings of the oldest mountains and the riches of the ancient hills. May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the prince among his brothers.
27 »Benjamin is a ravenous wolf. In the morning and evening he destroys his enemies.«
28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is how Jacob blessed each of them.
29 Jacob told his sons: »Soon I will die. I want you to bury me in Machpelah Cave.
30 »Abraham bought the cave from Ephron the Hittite to use as a burial place. It is near the field of Machpelah. It is also near the town of Mamre in Canaan.
31 »Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried there. Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried there. I also buried Leah there.
32 »The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites.«
33 Jacob finished giving these instructions to his sons. He pulled his feet into his bed. He took his last breath and joined his ancestors in death.