- And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.
And Israel said. Come together my sons, let me tell you the things that will come upon you in the last days of your life (in the near future –to your families)
- Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
Come and listen to Israel your father.
- Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
- unstable as water, thou shalt not excel ; because thou wentest up to thy father’s bed ; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch.
You’re my first born, my strength. The beginning of my strength, proof of my manhood, the excellency of dignity and power, you are unstable as water, but you will not excel because you had sexual relations with Bilhah. You defiled my bed.
- Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
- O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honor, be not thou united for in their anger they slew a man, and in their self-will they digged down a wall.
- 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.
Simeon and Levi
Brothers whom violent weapons are in their hands (they slew all the males in the city because one of them had sexual relations with their sister Dinah) let me never find myself in their secret assembly. (May my name never be mentioned in their secret meeting, because they will just kill me) May they never be united. Because in this unity and anger, they killed a man, and on their own the brought down a wall.
I curse their raging and violent anger, because it was wicked. I will scatter them. (There should be no unity between them).
- Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.
- 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 an old lion; who shall rouse him up?
- The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.
- Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass’s colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes:
- his eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
Your brothers will praise you. You will oppress your enemies and your brothers will bow down to you. You are the child of a lion. You went up from the prey. You stood and crouched as a lion (remember he is a cub not a lion yet) and as an old lion, who dares to annoy him? That symbol of power will never depart from Judah neither will a law giver depart, till the owner (the ultimate ruler) comes for it and all the nations obey this owner. And people will always gather unto him.
Binding his little horse to the vine and his donkey to a vine he chooses, he washes his garments in wine and clothes in the pool of grapes.
His eyes shall be red with wine and his teeth white with milk (a kind of weird abundance)
Since Reuben, Simeon and Levi had done wrong, the blessings of the first born were then given to Judah and because of the way he acted when he spake to Joseph in the house of pharaoh before they recognised Joseph.
- Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for a haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.
You will dwell by the sea harbour. Ships will come to you for safety. Your border shall be unto Sidon.
- Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:
- and he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.
A strong donkey crouching down with burden on the left and right (which relieves you of the weight of the load being carried…more like avoiding the weight).
And he saw that resting was good and that the land was good to rest in. And for that reason, he will be a servant. He will have to do forced labour for he gave up his freedom.
- Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
- Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.
You will judge your people, being a tribe of Israel. A snake that will bring people down.
Then Israel said to himself…I have waited for your salvation oh God
- I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.
Oh God, I have waited for the day you will save.
- Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
A troop will attack you initially, but you will have the last laugh.
- Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
Asher will have good food and yield Royal beauties.
- Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.
A female deer let loose. He gives good words. (Good fawns –kid deer)
- Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
- the archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him :
- but his bow abode in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel;)
- 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 lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:
- the blessings of thy father have prevailed above 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 him that was separate from his brethren.
A fruitful branch of a tree, beside a well, whoever grows and spreads over the wall unto the other side. (A wild donkey by the spring, spirited donkeys on a hill)
Archers saw him and hated him and shot him arrows. But God made him strong. He didn’t move. The shepherded, The Rock of Israel, The God of your father shall bless you with the heavenly blessings (blessing from above/the sky) blessing of the deep (blessings of below/waters), blessings of the breast (abundant milk and care) and of the womb (fruitfulness).
The blessings of your father have prevailed over the blessings of ancient mountains and hills. These blessing shall be upon your head-Joseph and the crown shall be on your head. You that (are a prince among)/were separate from your brothers.
- Benjamin shall raven as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.
You shall be hungry as a wolf. In the morning you shall devour the prey and divide the spoil in the evening
- All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.
And these are the 12 tribes of Israel. And he blessed them
- And he 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,
- 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 of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.
- There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.
- The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.
And he told them, I will soon die, bury me in the cave, where Abraham and Sarah were buried. Where Isaac and Rebecca were buried and there have I buried Leah.
The possession was bought from the children of Heth.
- And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.
After speaking to his sons, Israel stood up, went to the bed and gave up the ghost.