Archive for July 26th, 2011

Genesis 49

Genesis 49 is the last interaction between Jacob and his sons.  He asks them to gather “that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come”.  What a legacy Jacob has.  He has 12 sons and now is giving them a glimpse of the future as he tells them the future and then blesses them appropriately.  What a powerful way to end life – in the presence of your sons – giving them the blessing and a picture of their future.  Here are the key things he shared for each of the 12:

“Reuben – preeminent in dignity….preeminent in power…. Unstable as water….shall not have preeminence, because you went up to your father’s bed; then you defiled it

  • Simeon and Levi – weapons of violence are their swords….in their anger they killed men….Cursed be their anger
  • Judah – your brothers shall praise you….bow down before you….scepter shall not depart
  • Zebulun – dwell at the shore….haven for ships
  • Issachar – strong donkey….resting place was  good….land was pleasant…. a servant at forced labor
  • Dan – shall judge his people….serpent in the way….viper by the path
  • Gad  – raiders shall raid….he shall raid at their heels
  • Asher – food shall be rich
  • Naphtali – doe let loose that bears beautiful fawns
  • Joseph – fruitful bough….arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One
  • Benjamin – ravenous wolf”

This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him”.  Jacob has blessed each one and foretold a bit of their future.  The first three boys didn’t do well growing up – sex and violence create issues.  It was son #4 that begins to please Jacob.  There are a couple others in the clan that have issues as well – Jacob certainly has diversity in his offspring.  But now he has finished his life and is ready to die.

He asks them to “bury me with my fathers” back home.  He wants to be laid alongside “Abraham and Sarah his wife….Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and Leah”.   Definitelya family burial site.  After giving his final wishes Jacob is ready to give it up.  “When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people”.  He has lived a very full life and has completed what he wanted to get done.

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