Genesis 49:1 – 2 Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what will befall you in the days to come. Gather together and hear, O sons of Jacob; and listen to Israel your father.”
Rebuke or Blessings?
The blessing of Reuben, Simeon, and Levi is hidden in Jacob’s rebuke. The inner motivation of a true rebuke is “great love.” This is true of a loving father, and is also true of God, who rebukes us with love. We find in Provebs, “For he who God loves, He rebukes, like a father who cherishes his son.” Loving parents know that they must rebuke their children for their own benefit, in order to educate them and refine their ways. This means that rebuke is the external expression of love, as in one literal rendering of the verse, “Better is revealed rebuke [when it comes]from hidden love.”
Judah is a changed man. he repented of his sins, faced public humiliation to right the wrong he had done, and the actions of this changed man saved both Tamar and Benjamin. Judah is the fourth son; previously we looked at the Dalet (door) (4) in the Hebrew Aleph Bet. Remember we saw the four wives of Jacob as the door through which Messiah will come. Here again, we see the door; it is through Judah whom the royal lineage will arise. King David will come from the line of Judah as will Jesus. Jesus will be that “choice vine” (Gen 49:11, John 15:1) to whom Judah’s “foal” and “colt” shall be bound. Shiloh, the Giver of Peace, will hold the royal sceptre in His hand and unto Him shall the gathering of the people be.
Zebulun is called a “haven of ships”; the land of this tribe will be one rooted in maritime commerce. He is representative to those within the church whose own affairs closely border with those of the world; having one foot planted firmly in the world and another in the Body of Christ. The scales of the balance can tip one way or the other with Zebulun being in the foreign trade market. however, do not be quick to look for negative in this. Zebulun can bring good things into your congregation with the appropriate balance. Do not become so locked into your ways that you have closed ears to his ideas. Complacency can bring us stale bread. Fresh ideas which line up with God’s word can bring new life to your congregation.
Issachar is essentially the pack mule. He bears the weight of the burdens laboring for his good land. He will be dependable in your congregation and doesn’t have a prideful, see me, attitude.
Dan shall be a “serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels…” Dan is a protector of his people. Remember, they traveled on camels and mules, but not horses…so Dan is lying in wait to take out the invading enemies.
Next we look at Gad. “A troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at last” ~Gen 49:19. Are we not all overcome again and again, yet we possess the promise that we shall overcome. It is not we who overcome, but the One we serve has overcome already (John 16:33). Nestled in between Jacob’s pronouncement concerning Dan and this one concerning Gad is the simple statement, “I have waited for thy salvation, O Lord.” It is not the military might of Dan which shall overcome, nor in the power of Gad; it is the salvation which God provides that shall cause the child of God to overcome. It is the mighty God of Jacob, from when the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel comes. Jesus is the One Who secures the victory, not us. It is through His efforts that we have overcome, not our own.
Asher’s food shall be rich, and he will yield royal dainties. In Matthew 4:4 Jesus compares the word of God to bread. The bread or word of God will spring forth from Asher. It will be rich and he will yield royal dainties…Asher’s words, or bread/the word of God, will be anointed. The word of God is a living force within them which bears them through the trying places in confidence. When it comes forth out of them, then it is with the anointing and blessing that makes it real to others. Harshness is not a part of their nature, but rather they yield, as fruit in season, the pleasantness and softness of the King of kings.
Naphtali is a doe let loose, he gives beautiful words… Naphtali, here, is described as “a doe let loose;” timid, swift, and graceful. When the brothers returned from Egypt with the news that Joseph was alive, Naphtali ran ahead to tell his father not only that all was well with Benjamin but also that Joseph lived.
In Judges chapter 4 we learn that in the war against Sisera, during the time of Deborah, the courageous warriors of Naphtali, including Barak, were aggressive and as swift as lightning, playing an integral part in this victory. Naphtali was a man of excellent speech. He had brought his father “beautiful words,” “all is well and Joseph lives!” At Jacob’s judgment seat, Naphtali’s swiftness of foot and beautiful words brought forth Jacob’s expression of love and praise. At the judgment seat of Christ, may our walk and our talk bring an expression of approval from God; “Well done, good and faithful servant,” Matthew 25:21.
Jacob’s blessing of Joseph is saturated with blessings both natural and supernatural. One of the most magnificent prophetic overlays in Scripture involves the similarities between the life of Joseph and the Life of Jesus. Only a book of supernatural origins could foreshadow such a revelation.
- Both Joseph and Jesus were the favorite sons of their fathers: Gen 37:3 and John 1:14
- Joseph was given a robe of many colors, which was fitting for royalty; Jesus was given a seamless robe because He was royalty, the King of kings, Lord of lords, and Prince of Peace: Gen 37:3 and John 19:23
- Joseph was sent by his father with food for his brothers in the field; Jesus was sent by God the Father to the earth as the Bread of Life and Living Water: Gen 37:14 and Jon 6:33
- Joseph was rejected by his brothers; Jesus was rejected by His brothers: Gen 37:18 and John 1:11
- Joseph was sold by his brothers for the price of a slave; Jesus was sold by a disciple for 30 pieces of silver, the price of a slave: Gen 37:28 and Matthew 26:15
- Joseph was falsely accused of rape by Potiphar’s desperate wife and sent to prison; Jesus was falsely accused by the Pharisees of being a demonized heretic, a drunkard, and a madman: Gen 39:18 and John 10:33
- Joseph was sent to prison, where he came out on a day certain to stand at the right hand of the most powerful man on earth, Pharaoh, as prime minister of Egypt; Jesus was sent into the prison of the grave where He came out on a day certain, the third day, to stand at the right hand of the most powerful force in the universe, God Almighty, as the Prince of Glory: Gen 41:14, 40 and Luke 24: 5-7
It is the relentless and ravenous wolf that Jacob sees in the future for his youngest son, Benjamin. Benjamin would become a great warrior tribe in Israel.
2 Samuel 2:15-16 So they arose and went over by number, twelve from Benjamin, followers of Ishbosheth, the son of Saul, and twelve from the servants of David. And each one grasped his opponent by the head and thrust his sword in his opponent’s side; so they fell down [dead] together.
Paul’s final farewell to the church offers a true portrait of a Benjamite: “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race.” 2 Timothy 4:7. The relentless dispositions of the descendants of Benjamin were set in motion by the power of Jacob’s prophetic proclamation. ~ John Hagee
So, we see through Jacob’s blessings over his sons, a picture of God the Father; lovingly rebuking us when needed and bestowing His blessings upon us.
- The Knowledge of God (prayercommunicationwithgod.wordpress.com)
- The Place of Prayer (prayercommunicationwithgod.wordpress.com)
- Genealogy of Jesus (cpcadvent.wordpress.com)