Day 45…Genesis 49:
Genesis 49: Jacob’s final words & his death
v.1-27, Jacob gathers his sons around him and predicts what will happen to them in the future. The Bible says “I will tell you what will happen to you…” which tells you Jacob had a vision from God what was going to happen to his children. Here is what he told them in my own words [DEG]…
Rueben – even though you are my firstborn, you will loose your rank because you slept with my wife [actually his concubine Bilhah] and dishonoured her and my marriage bed.
Simeon & Levi (2 of a kind as brothers) – men of violence that use swords to kill men and animals in the anger or at their own whim, not justice. Your anger and wrath will be cursed.
Judah – you are like a lion among your enemies and your brothers who will praise you. You will always be a ruler and your descendants after you and people will obey you…until the Messiah comes to take the scepter from you where there will abundance in everything–grapevines, wine and milk.
Zebulun – you will live by the sea and you will be a safe harbour for ships all the way to Sidon.
Issachar – you are a tough donkey that will give up your freedom to work for others as a slave because you like the country they live in.
Dan – you are suppose to provide justice for your people however you are more like a snake that sits at the side of the road that choose treachery over justice.
Jacob interjects a little prayer in v.18 to remind his sons of their need for dependence on God. If he needed HIM, they definitely did. And he can’t wait to finally come “home” with HIM.
Gad – even though your enemies will attack you, you will still win in the end.
Asher – you will become famous for the treats and food you will grow from your land, fit even for a king.
Naphtali - you will have prosperity and abundance.
Joseph [of course Jacob bestows the greatest blessing on Joseph] – you were attacked by envy, revenge, temptation, ingratitude; yet still, by the grace of God, you triumphed over all opposition, so that you became the sustainer of Israel (and then Jacob proceeds to shower blessings of every kind upon the head of this favorite son. The history of the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh shows how fully these blessings were realized).
Benjamin – you are like a ravenous wolf who eats his prey and then divides up what is left over for others.
[It is obvious from Jacob’s comments that he is more so talking about his sons tribes then they themselves--good indication is how he refers to his beloved Benjamin. If he had been talking about him, he would have been more loving in his “blessing.” BTW history shows that Jacob’s words of prophecy came true in all of the 12 tribes.]
v.28, All of these are the 12 tribes of Israel and this is what Israel said to his sons as a blessing to each one.
v.29-33, Jacob instructs his sons what to do with his body once he dies (bury him in the cave with his fathers and wife in the field of Machpelah in Canaan NOT Egypt). Jacob lived 147 years and then finally died.
WHAT DOES THIS MEAN TO ME? What goes around, comes around. I think Jacob is saying that because of the way his sons lived, it has and will affect not only their future but the tribes they represents future–in other words their descendants. So watch how you live now because even if you think you are getting away with it now, it will catch up to you.
WHAT AM I GOING TO DO ABOUT IT? This reminds me of a saying I heard all the time growing up: “your sins will find you out.” I remember thinking that every time I thought I got away with doing something wrong. But eventually I got caught and had to own up to my sin. The lesson I get from this is live my life as if someone were watching every moment of every day. There is…God!
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