Jacob/Israel says goodbye to his sons by giving each of his twelve sons a blessing and compares them to an assortment of odd things before being asked to be buried in the family’s funeral plot in the field Abraham had bought from the Hittite years ago. Then he dies.
- Reuben is unstable as water because you went up to my bed and defiled it.(snap)
- Simeon and Levi are instruments of cruelty in their habituations. You will be scattered
- Judah is a lion’s whelp, his colts bound to the vine and bathed in wine.
- Zebulun shall dwell in the haven of the sea
- Issachar is a strong ass couching down between burdens
- Dan shall be a serpent that biteth the horses heels so that the rider shall fall backward. He shall judge his people.
- Gad shall be overcome by a troop of others.
- Asher’s bread will be fat
- Napthali is a hind let loose but he giveth goodly words
- Joseph is a fruitful bough whose branches run over a wall
- Benjamin shall raven as a wolf
In other words:
Jacob/Israel is dying and goes on in a rather delusional way about all his sons. Some of whom he likes and some, not so much. He might not make much sense, but he’s honest. And then he dies.
The delusional rant that is this chapter. It’s fascinating. Part of it is promises of land they don’t yet own, part of it is spiteful anger, and some of it is blessing his favorites. It’s a rather odd thing to do but then, the guy is nearly 150 years old. I suppose we can forgive him. I just can’t help wondering what Simeon and Levi were thinking while their father called them out in such a harsh way.
What I think really happened:I think Jacob is either schizophrenic or schizotypal. He really has no idea what he is saying while he was dying.
Moral Lesson Learned
Same as before, don’t take the ranting’s of a dying person personally. (Genesis 49: 27)