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2017 March 2
Jacob Blessing His Sons (20th Century)
Harry Anderson (1906-1996)
[ I will again be working through the Scriptures from Genesis to Revelation. I will be adding links, resources, images, and the like, upgrading the former work-through which began with the 2013-10-12 posting which can be found, along with the full Genesis to Revelation postings, in the Archive Page. Postings will be at midnight Eastern Time, as I am able. However, no days will be skipped, even though a posting may be late. And all postings will be housed in the Archive Page. ]
Explanation: In Genesis 49 Jacob called his sons together to tell them what would befall them in the last days (1). He told them to gather and hear (2).
He began with Reuben, telling him that he was unstable and would not prevail because he defiled his father's couch, referring to his sin of lying with Bilhah, his father's concubine; his tribe never came to any prominence in Israel, and no leaders or notable persons emerged from it (3-4).
Jacob then cursed the anger and self-will of Simeon and Levi who killed Shechem and his tribe for Shechem's rape of their sister Dinah (Genesis 34), breaking their promise to intermarry with them; Simeon was the weakest of the tribes; and, instead of having its own distinct territory, it had an area within Judah; Levi was also scattered, having no distinct territory; but, in compensation, they were the priestly caste in Israel, and they had various cities in the various territories (5-7).
Jacob next prophesied that Judah's brethren would bow down before him, that he would hold the scepter, and that he would have a lawgiver "from between his feet" -- meaning "from his natural progeny" until Shiloh (Peaceable, Tranquil) came. This was fulfilled when David rose to the throne of Israel, and then by David's descendant, Christ, whose kingdom is eternal and who is noted for being peaceful and for bringing peace between God and those he saves through his atonement (8-12).
Zebulun would be a maritime power; it had borders not only on the Mediterranean, but also on the Sea of Galilee (13).
Issachar, though strong, would be burdened with paying tribute -- referring, probably to the tribute they paid to the Canaanites in the days of the Judges (14-15).
Dan would be a tribe of judges (who were, in part military leaders), shown partly by their conquest of Laish (in Judges 18) and the exploits of Samson (16-18).
Gad would be conquered but afterward would be the conqueror; this may refer to afflictions such as those mentioned in Judges 10:8 and Jeremiah 49:1 (19).
Asher received a promise of abundance, which may refer to the agricultural fertility of its coastal territory (20).
Naphtali, apparently, was promised a wide, prosperous territory. The Jamieson, Fausset, and Brown Commentary says, this: "The best rendering we know is this, "Naphtali is a deer roaming at liberty; he shooteth forth goodly branches," or majestic antlers [Taylor, Scripture Illustrations], and the meaning of the prophecy seems to be that the tribe of Naphtali would be located in a territory so fertile and peaceable, that, feeding on the richest pasture, he would spread out, like a deer, branching antlers." (21).
Joseph received a promise of abiding strength and of being a shepherd. During his lifetime, he was a shepherd to his family in Egypt; later, through the descendants of his son Ephraim, his tribe ruled the ten tribes which formed the Northern Kingdom of Israel during the time of the Divided Kingdom (22-26).
Benjamin would have a ravenous, wolf-like character. This is shown particularly in Judges 19-21 where the tribe of Benjamin harbored some among them who raped and murdered a man's concubine, even going to war against the other tribes to defend them (27).
After giving these prophecies, Jacob ordered his sons to bury him in Canaan where Abraham and other members of the family, including Leah, were buried. Why Jacob buried Leah, his less beloved wife, in the family plot and not Rachel, his most beloved wife, one can only speculate. However, a plausible speculation is that, in Israel's heart, Leah, not Rachel, had become his primary wife. She and her concubines had given him 8 of his 12 sons. Six were from Leah personally. By the time Israel died, Leah's son Judah, was already the leader of the twelve. And the supreme leader of the nation (David, then Christ) would come from Leah's son Judah. All of these things would have been sufficient to make Leah the primary wife.
So, having given his blessings and his final instructions, Israel gathered his feet into his bed and died (28-33).
[ Sermons: Sinclair B Ferguson 1. Sinclair B Ferguson 2. Stuart Olyott 1. Stuart Olyott 2. William Still. Various. ]
[ Illustration: Today's painting depicts the subject of today's chapter, Jacob blessing his twelve sons. ]
PLEASE NOTE: Use the resources on this and other sites thoughtfully, particularly the commentaries and encyclopedias. I have attempted to list conservative, scholarly resources. However, some providers use liberal or liberal-influenced commentaries such as the Cambridge Bible for Schools and Colleges (in Bible Hub). Such commentaries are undoubtedly included by the provider for the wealth of useful information and comments which they provide. By consulting several commentaries, it should be fairly easy to sort out the wheat from the chaff. If, however, you would like personal assistance, write to me at AD LIB ARTS EMAIL.
[ THEMATICALLY AND CHRONOLOGICALLY RELATED SCRIPTURES: Genesis 49:  Genesis 35:22; 1 Chronicles 5:1.
 Genesis 34:25.
 Genesis 34:7.
 Genesis 27:29.
 Revelation 5:5.
 Numbers 24:17; Deuteronomy 18:15; Daniel 9:24; Matthew 11:3; Acts 3:22; Acts 7:37.
 Genesis 27:4; Genesis 27:27; Genesis 48:9; Deuteronomy 33:1; Hebrews 11:20.
 Genesis 23:17; Genesis 25:9; Genesis 50:13; Acts 7:16. Genesis 23:4.
 Genesis 10:15; Genesis 23:3; Genesis 25:10; Genesis 27:46; 1 Chronicles 1:13.
 Genesis 25:8; Genesis 35:29; Acts 13:36.
-- From the KJV Reference Bible ]
[ CHRONOLOGY: GENERAL. Patriarchs (Traditional). Judges # 1. Judges # 2. Kings # 1. Kings # 2. Prophets # 1. Prophets # 2. NT # 1. NT # 2. NT # 3. ]
[ MAPS: Maps # 1. Maps # 2. Maps # 3. Maps # 4. Maps # 5. ]
[ COMMENTARIES, ETC: GENERAL: Bible Study Tools; Bible Hub: Study Light; Blue Letter Bible // PSALMS: Monergism: Precept Austin: The Treasury of David; John Gill; John Calvin - Volumes 1, 2, 3, 4, 5]
[ MUSIC: GENERAL: The Cyber Hymnal // PSALMS: Genevan Psalter (Instrumental). VARIOUS ARTISTS: Micha'el Ben David. Sons of Korah. Fernando Ortega. Janet Isaac Morrison. Music of the Bible Revealed - Suzanne Haik-Vantoura. Dr. David Erb. Gregorian Chants. ]
HARMONY OF THE LAW
HEBREW AND GREEK INTERLINEAR BIBLES
Pentateuch Detailed Outline:
Genesis Detailed Outline:
12. Generations of Jacob (Ge 37:2 - Ex 6:13) - 1898 - 1446 B.C. Canaan & Egypt
("These are the generations of Jacob." - Ge 37:2) - (An expansion of section 9)
This is an expansion of the 9th section. It focuses on the sons of Jacob, particularly on Joseph and Judah.
One important emphasis is to show how the Israelites got into Egypt.
Also, near the end of the section, it traces how God raised up Moses to deliver Israel (Ex 1:1-6:13).
1 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.
2 gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.
3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power:
4 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.
5 Simeon and Levi are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.
6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.
7 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.
8 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.
9 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?
10 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.
11 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:
12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.
13 Zebulun shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.
14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens:
15 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.
16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 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.
18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.
19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.
20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:
23 The archers [master archers] have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:
24 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:)
25 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:
26 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.
27 Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.
28 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.
29 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,
30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before [upon the face of] Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace.
31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.
32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.
33 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.
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