1. Jacob then called his sons and said,
2. "Gather round, sons of Jacob. And listen to your father Israel!
3. Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength and the firstfruits of my manhood! excelling in honor and excelling in power.
4. Restless as water, you will excel no more for you went to your father's wife, on to my bed and defiled it.
5. Simeon and Levi are brothers; their swords are weapons of violence.
6. Let me not share their counsel! Let my heart keep far from their company, for in anger they killed men, and hamstrung oxen at their pleasure.
7. A curse on their anger for it is fierce; a curse on their fury, so cruel! I will divide them among Jacob, and scatter them among Israel.
8. Judah, your brothers will praise you! You shall seize your enemies by the neck! Your father's sons shall bow before you.
9. Judah, a young lion! You return from the prey, my son! Like a lion he stoops and crouches, and like a lioness, who dares to rouse him?
10. The scepter shall not be taken from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until he comes to whom it belongs, and who has the obedience of the nations.
11. He ties his foal to a vine, and his ass' colt to the choicest branch. He washes his garments in wine and his robe in the juice of grapes.
12. His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.
13. Zebulun lives by the seashore; he is a haven for the ships, and his flank stretches to Sidon.
14. Issachar is a sturdy ass, lolling beside the sheepfolds.
15. He saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant. He bends his back to the burden and submits to forced labor.
16. Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.
17. Dan shall be a serpent in the way, a viper on the path, that bites the horse's heels, making the rider fall backwards!
18. In your salvation, I hope, O Yahweh!
19. Raiders shall raid Gad, but he shall raid at their heels.
20. Asher's food will be rich, and he will provide delicacies fit for a king!
21. Naphtali is a doe let loose that bears beautiful fawns.
22. Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.
23. Archers attacked him fiercely and sorely provoked him;
24. but his bow remained steady, and his arms nimble, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob; because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel;
25. because of the God of your father, your Helper! because of God Almighty who blesses you with blessings from heaven above, with blessings from the deep below! with blessings of the breast and the womb!
26. The blessings of your father are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, the bounty of the everlasting hills! May they all rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the one who is a prince among his brothers!
27. Benjamin is a ravenous wolf! In the morning he devours his prey, and in the evening he divides the spoil!"
28. These are all the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what his father said when he blessed them, giving each one a special and appropriate blessing.
29. He then gave them these instructions: "I am soon to be gathered to my people; bury me near my fathers, in the cave in the field of Ephron, the Hittite;
30. in the cave in the field of Machpelah, to the east of Mamre in Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place.
31. It was there that Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried. There they buried Leah.
32. The field and the cave in it were purchased from the Hittites."
33. When Jacob had given these instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed; he breathed his last and was gathered to his people.