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JACOB’S LAST WORDS AND BLESSINGS

Genesis 49

Victor M. Eskew

 

I.           The Title of Genesis 49

 

A.   Blessings Bestowed, Burial Requested

B.    Last Words of a Dying Father

C.   Jacob’s Last Words and Blessings

 

II.         The Key Verse of Genesis 49:  Genesis 49:28-29

 

All these are the twelve tribes of Israel:  and this it is that their father spake unto them, and blessed them, every one according to his blessing he blessed them.  And the charged them, and said unto them, I am to be gathered unto my people:  bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite.

 

Why this verse?  These two verses conclude one section and begin the next.  Jacob’s blessings are summarized in verse 29 and his request for burial is found in verse 29.

 

III.       The Outline of Genesis 49

 

i.               BLESSINGS BESTOWED (Gen. 49:1-18)

ii.              BURIAL PLACE REQUESTED (Gen. 49:29-33)

 

IV.        The Lessons of Genesis 49

 

A.   The patriarchs were also prophets.  The blessings Jacob proclaims upon his sons sometimes tell of future events.  These words had to be inspired by the Spirit of God (Gen. 49:1-2).

 

And Jacob called unto him his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.  Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; hearken unto Israel your father.

 

B.    We learn a little about how the firstborn was viewed during Bible times (Gen. 49:3).

 

Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power.

 

C.   Being “unstable as water” is not a recommended quality (Gen. 49:4).

 

Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel…

 

 

D.   How we live our lives in the past can have grave consequences with regard to our future (Gen. 49:5-7).

 

 

Simeon and Levi are brethren, instruments of cruelty are in their habitations.  O my soul, come thou not into their secret; unto their assembly mine honour, be not thou united:  for in their rage they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall.  Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel:  I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

 

E.    The exaltation of Judah is predicted (Gen. 49:8).

 

Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise:  thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father’s children shall bow down before thee.

 

F.     Jacob prophesies that the Messiah will come through the lineage of Judah (Gen. 49:10).

 

The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

 

1.     He will be a king:  The scepter…

2.     He will come from Judah?  …shall not depart from Judah…

3.     He will be a lawgiver:  …nor lawgiver from between his feet…

4.     He will be called Shiloh:  …until Shiloh (peace) come…

5.     He will gather people unto him:  and unto him shall the gathering of the people be.

 

G.   Diversity is found among children in every family (Gen. 49:13-27).

1.     Zebulon and the sea (Gen. 49:13)

2.     Issachar a worker (Gen. 49:14-15)

3.     Dan a judge (Gen. 49:16-18)

4.     Gad, an overcomer (Gen. 49:19)

5.     Asher, royal dainties (Gen. 49:20)

6.     Naphtali, goodly works (Gen. 49:21)

7.     Joseph, fruitful (Gen. 49:22-26)

8.     Benjamin, divides the spoils (Gen. 49:27)

 

H.   The person who is afflicted the most can become the most profitable by the hands of the mighty God (Gen. 49:22-26).

 

Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall:

The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him:  but his bow abode in

strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the mighty God of

Jacob; (from thence is the shepherd, the stone of Israel:)  even by the God of thy father,

who shall help thee; and by the Almighty, who shall bless thee with blessings of heaven above,

blessings of the deep that lieth under, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb:  the

blessings of thy father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors unto the utmost

bound of the everlasting hills: they shall be on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the

head of him that was separate from his brethren.

 

I.     Jacob reveals where he wants to be buried to all of his sons (Gen. 49:29-32).

 

J.    Often families are buried in the same burial ground (Gen. 49:31).

 

There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there by buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah.

 

K.   We are again made aware that death comes to all men (Gen. 49:33).

 

And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost, and was gathered unto his people.

 

L.    We learn two things about death from Genesis 49:33.

1.     It involves a “yielding up the ghost.”  The spirit of a man departs from his physical body.

2.     A person is gathered to his people when he dies.

a.     This is not talking about the burial.  Jacob’s burial had not taken place.

b.    There is an unseen realm where all the dead are taken after death (See Luke 16:19-31).