Then Jacob Called for His Sons
to Gather Around Him

49: 1

Then Jacob called for his sons and said: Gather around so I can tell you what will happen to you in the acharit-hayamim, literally the end of the days. The rabbis teach that this referrers to the days of the Meshiach. Ya’akov will give much more than that standard patriarchal blessing. It will be a prophecy that will foreshadow the development of the twelve tribes of Isra’el and the environments in which they will live when they settle in the land of Canaan. It is like the prophetic history given by Moshe as he enumerates the future of the twelve tribes in Deuteronomy 33.

Now we come to an important expression. We find that there are certain expressions that the Bible uses over and over again. One of those expressions is the last days. The last days of Isra’el will be different from the last days of the Church. A very sharp dispensational distinction needs to be made between these. Jacob is talking about the last days of the nation of Isra’el and what will happen to his twelve sons and the twelve tribes that will come from them.

Many talk about the fact that certain prophecies concerning the nation of Isra’el have been fulfilled. That is true. But we can narrow it down even further by dividing Isra’el into twelve parts and recognizing that God has had something to say concerning each son and tribe. Not only have His prophecies concerning the nation been fulfilled, but also prophecies concerning each tribe have been fulfilled. That is what makes them all the more amazing. In the chapter before us we will see the prophecies of what will befall each tribe in the last days. While some of them have already been fulfilled, most of them await final far eschatological fulfillment.759


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