Jacob prophesies over his sons

Jacob called his children to gather so that he would tell them what will happen to them in the future. He started with his first son Reuben and ended with Benjamin. And he blessed each one according to his own blessing.

Summary of the blessings

  • Reuben – He will not excel because he defiled his father’s bed by sleeping with his concubine Bilhah.
  • Simeon and Levi – They’re to be scattered in the midst of Israel because their anger caused them to kill Shechem and the Schechemites
  • Judah – He shall be great among his brothers and the scepter of royalty and the ruler’s staff will not depart from him
  • Zebulun – he will be a haven for ships.
  • Issachar – he saw a resting place that was good and pleasant, and he bowed his shoulder to bear burdens. And he became a servant at forced labour.
  • Dan – He shall be a serpent in the way that bites the horse’s heels so that his rider falls backward
  • Gad – He shall raid at his enemies and assault them.
  • Asher – He will have food in abundance.
  • Naphtali – a swift warrior with beautiful words.
  • Joseph – The blessings of his father up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills shall be on his head.
  • Benjamin – He is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey and at night he divides the spoil.

Jacob’s Death and burial

Jacob told his sons that he would soon die and that they should bury him in the family burial place in Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephron, the Hittite. And when he was done speaking to his children, he drew his feet up into the bed and gave up the ghost.


  • Your relationship with your parents and your impact on the family affect the blessings that come from your parents. The blessings from Jacob were partly based on how each son affected him either positively or negatively. And the rest of the blessings were as God revealed to him.
  • The sins you commit today will be stumbling blocks for you tomorrow. This was the case of Reuben, Simeon and Levi.
  • When you’re glued to the comfort of a place, the tendency is that you will become a servant at forced labour. This was what Issachar got. This can be likened to job security in a place. So, no matter the deteriorating condition of service, the person refuses to go elsewhere because he’s afraid of not getting a paycheck at the end of the month.
  • You must pray for everyone associated with you in one way or another that they may be protected from every ‘Dan’. The Dans will attack the horse so that the rider will fall. This means that they will attack those bearing or helping you in order to make you fall.
  • God’s hands make your arms strong and agile so that you can withstand all attacks and remain steady and firm.



Genesis 49

Jesus is Lord!

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Ngozi Nwoke

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