Genesis 49 : Jacob blesses his sons prior to his death

July 19, 2023 ·


In Genesis 49, Jacob bestows individual blessings upon each of his sons. Reuben, the firstborn, is reproached for his transgression of sleeping with his father’s concubine. Simeon and Levi face criticism for their violent actions. Judah, on the other hand, receives high praise and is prophesied to become a powerful ruling tribe. Zebulun is destined to be a haven for ships, while Issachar is blessed as a diligent and hardworking laborer.

Dan is commended for his pursuit of justice, while Gad is blessed for successfully withstanding attacks. Asher is promised bountiful provisions and good food. Naphtali is likened to a swift and graceful deer. Joseph is described as a fruitful vine, standing strong and receiving abundant blessings from God. Benjamin is compared to a wolf.

Having imparted these blessings, Jacob expresses his desire to be buried at Machpelah alongside Abraham and Isaac. Subsequently, Jacob passes away.

Key verse:

10. The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,

until tribute comes to him; and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

My thoughts:

This chapter stands out in contrast to the rest of Genesis, as it presents an extended passage of poetic prophecy amidst the narrative chapters. It is intriguing to observe the variations in the blessings bestowed upon the different sons. Some blessings appear more akin to curses, as seen in the condemnation of Simeon and Levi for their violence.

Furthermore, this chapter contains the first mention of a messianic prophecy, which I consider to be the key verse. Although the fulfillment of this prophecy is initially seen in David, approximately eight hundred years after Jacob’s words would have been spoken, its ultimate fulfillment occurs in Jesus, another thousand years later. It is often believed that messianic prophecies originated in the books of the prophets. However, even before the establishment of the nation of Israel, the anticipation of a Messiah was already present.

In category:Genesis
Next Post

Genesis 50 : Joseph buries his father, and later dies

Summary: Upon his father's death, Joseph wept profusely and arranged for his father to be embalmed in the Egyptian manner. Subsequently, Joseph requested permission from Pharaoh to take his father's body to Canaan for burial. The Pharaoh granted his request…
Previous Post

Genesis 48 : Jacob Blesses His Grandchildren

Summary: Joseph receives news of his father's impending death and promptly visits him, accompanied by his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. Jacob is overjoyed at their arrival and decides to bestow his blessing upon them as if they were his…
Random Post

Genesis 19: Destruction of Sodom & Gomorrah

Summary: The two angels from the previous chapter arrive in Sodom, and Lot insists that they stay with him. However, all the men of Sodom demand to engage in inappropriate acts with the angels. In response, Lot offers his own…
Random Post

Genesis 1: In the beginning.

Summary: God created the heavens, the earth and everything that lives. He made humankind in his image, and gave them charge over the earth. Day 1: Light, Day, Night Day 2: Sky Day 3: Land and vegetation Day 4: Sun,…
Random Post

Exodus 24 : Dinner with God

Summary: God instructed Moses to ascend the mountain with Aaron, his two sons, and the seventy elders of Israel, with the stipulation that all but Moses were to worship from a distance. Moses had documented all that God had communicated…
Random Post

Exodus 16 : Bread of Heaven

Summary: The people get annoyed because they have no food in the desert, whereas they at least had food in Egypt. So God promises food. So that evening, quail came and landed near them, so they had meat. In the…
From Dust to Glory is made by Ric Moseley