Jacob's blessings on his sons

A suggested interpretation of Jacob's blessings on his sons in Genesis 49 v 3 to 27.

  • Reuben will lose his privilege as firstborn because of his incest with Bilhah (v 3 and 4)
  • Simeon and Levi share the trait of violence. Simeon's tribe will occupy an area within Judah's tribal area. Levi's descendants will be scattered throughout the land (v 5 to 7)
  • Judah's tribe will provide the ruler of Israel. Jesus Christ came from the tribe of Judah (v 8 to 12)
  • Zebulun will be close enough to the sea to be involved with shipping (v 13)
  • Jacob says the tribe of Issachar will be strong but not over zealous, sometimes becoming servants to others (v 14 and 15)
  • The judge Samson will come from Dan. A group of Danites will show their character dealing with Micah in the time of the judges (v 16 and 17)
  • Being on the east of the Jordan, the tribe of Gad will be vulnerable to attack from Israel's enemies (v 19)
  • The tribe of Asher will have the rich fertile land by the Mediterranean Sea (v 20)
  • Naphtali will have an independent spirit encouraged by their position on the northern border (v 21)
  • Joseph's tribes Manasseh and Ephraim will be very fruitful because Joseph trusted in God through all his trials when he was sold by his brothers (v 22 to 26)
  • Benjamin's tribe will be very warlike (v 27)