Then Yisharal called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me my sons. It’s time I told you what you can all expect in the future. Come and listen, all you sons of Jacob and listen to Yisharal your father.
REUBEN, you were my firstborn, my strength, the son I had in my youth. You were to be my right-hand, the first in all excellency and power. I had such high hopes for you son, but your behaviour has always been like boiling water, impatiently furious. You even had sex with my own wife while I was away, just to get a ‘leg-up’ on this inheritance you wanted so badly. You hated me so much that you defiled my own marriage bed and so here is your blessing my son: NOTHING!
SIMEON & LEVI, you are both just as bad; always wanting to start a fight and have bloodshed and I want nothing to do with your violent behaviour. Infact I’m so happy I won’t have to be around to see your ferocious cruelty or hear about who you’ve murdered in cold blood or what animals you’ve injured for your own sick pleasures. I curse both of you for your wicked vendettas and your fits of rage and both of you will be divided from Jacob and scattered throughout Yisharal.
JUDAH, your brothers will praise you while you hold your enemies by their throat. All of your brother’s descendants will bow down before you. Judah my son, you are like a young lion that has finished killing its prey. Yes, like a lion he crouches and lies down; and who dares mess with this mighty king? The Sceptre and Royal Bloodline will not depart from Judah, nor the Creator’s Instructions from his descendants, until the Deliverer Himself comes, the One Who all nations will obey. He will bear the burden of wickedness on His back like a donkey and be tied as a sacrifice to the vine-tree where the blood of the choicest rich grapes will flow. And though their wickedness be red as scarlet, He, being pressed like the darkest wine, shall cleanse them all whiter than milk.
ZEBULUN, you will settle by the seashore and be a safe harbour for ships and your borders will extend all the way to Tsidon.
ISSACHAR, you are one tough, sturdy donkey, resting between two burdens and when you see how good the countryside is and how pleasant the land, you will incline your shoulders to the load and submit yourself to hard slave labour.
DAN, you will rightly rule your people, like any other tribe of Yisharal, but you will become a serpent beside the road, a poisonous viper along the path that bites the horse’s hooves so its rider falls off. But I trust in Yahuah for your deliverance.
GAD, you will be ambushed by savage warriors, but you will attack them when they retreat like cowards. Asher, you will dine on rich foods and produce recipes fit for the kings.
NAPHTAIL, you are a deer set free that gives beautiful words of elegance.
JOSEPH, you are a fruitful tree beside a fountain with your branches reaching over the walls. Savage archers will attack you, shooting and harassing you. But your bow will remain strong, and your arms strengthened by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the Shepherd, the Rock of Yisharal. May Yahuah the Alahim of your fathers help you; may the Almighty bless you with the blessings from above, and blessings of the watery depths below, and blessings of the breasts and womb. May my fatherly blessings on you surpass the blessings of my ancestors, reaching to the heights of the eternal hills. May these blessings rest on your head Joseph, for though you were separated from them, you are now a prince among your brothers.
BENJAMIN, you are a ravenous wolf, devouring your enemies in the morning and dividing what’s left in the evening.”
These are the twelve tribes of Yisharal, and this is what their father spoke as he said good-bye to his sons. He blessed (or cursed) each one with a fitting message, speaking over all their futures, according to how they behaved in their life within his family.
Then Yisharal instructed them, “Soon I will die and join my father and grandfather. Please don’t forget to bury me with them in the cave, in the field of Efron the Hittite. This is the cave in the field of Makpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, that my grandfather Abraham bought from Efron the Kittite as a permanent burial site. He and his wife Sarah are buried there as well as my father Isaac and his wife, Rebekah. And there I buried Leah”.