The Blessing and Cursing of Jacob's Son

49: 3-27

The future histories of the tribes are viewed as an outgrowth of the present character of each son as Jacob prophesies. And the character of the son, to some degree, becomes the character of the tribe. In some ways this is like the prophecy of Noah concerning his three sons (9:24-27), stemming from the actual behavior and character of his sons, and also outlining the three streams of nations that would come out of them.761 We can see a deliberate two-part organization of the chapter: negative oracles about Reuben, Simeonand Levi in verses 3-7, followed by a series of positive oracles about Judah, Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, Naphtali and Joseph and Benjamin in verses 8-27.

The blessing and cursing of the twelve sons reiterates the book’s major theme. Mankind lost the blessing of ADONAI through sin and rebellion in the garden of Eden, but the LORD will restore His blessings through the Seed of Abraham.762 There will be a near historical and a far eschatological prophecy given for each tribe.


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