1 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.
2 Assemble yourselves, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and
hearken unto Israel your father.
3 Reuben, thou art my first-born, my might, and the
first-fruits of my strength; the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of
4 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
5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; weapons of violence their
6 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.
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
8 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.
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 a lioness; who shall
rouse him up?
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.
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
12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white
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.
14 Issachar is a large-boned ass, couching down between the
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
16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of
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.
18 I wait for Thy salvation, O L-rd.
19 Gad, a troop shall troop upon him; but he shall troop
upon their heel.
20 As for Asher, his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield
21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.
22 Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a
fountain; its branches run over the wall.
23 The archers have dealt bitterly with him, and shot at
him, and hated him;
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,
25 Even by the G-d 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
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.
27 Benjamin is a wolf that raveneth; in the morning he
devoureth the prey, and at even he divideth the spoil.'
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.
29 And be 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 from
Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place.
31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they
buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.
32 The field and the cave that is therein, which was
purchased from the children of Heth.'
33 And when Jacob made an end of charging his sons, he
gathered up his feet into the bed, and expired, and was gathered unto his
Sources: Portions copyright © 1997 by Benyamin Pilant, All Rights Reserved
JPS Electronic Edition, based on the 1917 JPS translation, Copyright © 1998 by Larry Nelson, All Rights Reserved