Jacob called his sons and said, 'Gather round, so that I can tell you what is in store for you in the final days.
Gather round, sons of Jacob, and listen; listen to Israel your father.
Reuben, you are my first-born, my vigour, and the first-fruit of my manhood, foremost in pride, foremost in strength,
uncontrolled as water: you will not be foremost, for you climbed into your father's bed, and so defiled my couch, to my sorrow.
Simeon and Levi are brothers in carrying out their malicious plans.
May my soul not enter their council nor my heart join their company, for in their rage they have killed men and hamstrung oxen at their whim.
Accursed be their rage for its ruthlessness, their wrath for its ferocity. I shall disperse them in Jacob, I shall scatter them through Israel.
Judah, your brothers will praise you: you grip your enemies by the neck, your father's sons will do you homage.
Judah is a lion's whelp; You stand over your prey, my son. Like a lion he crouches and lies down, a mighty lion: who dare rouse him?
The sceptre shall not pass from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute be brought him and the peoples render him obedience.
He tethers his donkey to the vine, to its stock the foal of his she-donkey. He washes his clothes in wine, his robes in the blood of the grape.
His eyes are darkened with wine and his teeth are white with milk.
Zebulun will live by the seashore and be a sailor on board the ships, with Sidon on his flank.
Issachar is a strong donkey lying down among sheepfolds.
When he saw how good the resting-place and how pleasant the country, he bowed his shoulder to the load and became a slave to forced labour.
Dan will govern his people like any other of the tribes of Israel.
May Dan be a snake on the road, a viper on the path, who bites the horse on the hock so that its rider falls off backwards!
I long for your deliverance, Yahweh!
Gad will be raided by raiders, and he will raid at their heels.
Rich the food produced by Asher: he will furnish food fit for kings.
Naphtali is a swift hind bearing lovely fawns.
Joseph is a fruitful plant near a spring whose tendrils reach over the wall.
Archers in their hostility drew their bows and attacked him.
But their bows were broken by a mighty One, the sinews of their arms were snapped by the power of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Name of the Stone of Israel,
the God of your father who assists you, El Shaddai who blesses you: blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep lying below, blessings of the breasts and womb,
blessings of the grain and flowers, blessings of the eternal mountains, bounty of the everlasting hills -- may they descend on Joseph's head, on the crown of the one dedicated from among his brothers!
Benjamin is a ravening wolf, in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he is still sharing out the spoil.'
All these make up the tribes of Israel, twelve in number, and this is what their father said to them as he bade them farewell, giving each an appropriate blessing.
Then he gave them these instructions, 'I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my ancestors, in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
in the cave in the field at Machpelah, facing Mamre, in Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site of his own.
There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried. There Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried; and there I buried Leah-
the field and the cave in it which were bought from the Hittites.'
When Jacob had finished giving his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet up into the bed, and breathing his last was gathered to his people.