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Apr.6 Genesis Study

Categories: Genesis Study,News

Genesis 49:13-32

All in the family (part 2)”

I. Intro.

II. Vs. 13-21 The future of the son’s of concubines

III. Vs. 22-27 The future of the son’s of Rachel

IV. Vs.28-32 Final resting place

I. Intro.


In the first 12 verses of 49th chapter Jacob spoke poetically and prophetically using words to bless his sons born to him through Leah. This week he continues his words to the son’s born him through the concubines of Leah (Zilpah) and Rachel, (Bilhah), then he speaks to the two son’s of Rachel. These words speak to us as the final declaration of a father to his sons. Words that you no doubt would want to say to your children about pitfalls to avoid and what matters most in this life. For most of us we don’t appreciate what we have until it is gone. We spend most of our lives striving for things in this world rather then enjoying what we already have in Christ! My Grandmother had something she use to do for her four grandchildren that drove my mother nuts, and I’m told she never permitted her to have as her mother. She would often allow us to have desert before we had our dinner. She would say to my mom, “Rae, life is to short not to enjoy what you heart desires now and then!” Our Lord has called us to enjoy our reward now and in fact it is in doing so that we are the most productive for His Kingdom. There is something about age that teaches you the value of enjoying the life He has given you now! Paul spoke of this to a young pastor named Timothy when he wrote saying; “Godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out. And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content.” Contentment is one of the most difficult attitudes to learn yet it is one of the most important. It’s so easy to get all caught up in the worlds attitude of working harder and harder to gain things which we think will bring more contentment and happiness. What we have in Jesus cost us nothing and it is in Him that we have the most joy!

II. Vs. 13-21 The future of the son’s of concubines

Vs. 13 Jacob skips the chronological order here and stays instead with Leah’s 9-10 sons through her concubine Zilpah. What Jacob shares with Zebulun primarily deals with the location of the tribe in the land of promise. The word “by” here can also be rendered “towards” as the allotment of land given this tribe touched the Sea of Galilee on the east and had the tribe of Asher between it and the Mediterranean coastline, thus they did look towards the Sea both on its eastern and western boarders. In 1 Chron 12:33 the tribe is noted for its faithfulness to David and its supply of the largest amount of soldiers of any of the tribes. There is no other mention of achievement or blessing of this tribe other then its location and that they would be involved in trade and commerce. It was this land and the land that bordered it, Naphtali, which prompted Jesus’ comment in Matt. 4:15-16 saying, “The land of Zebulun and the land of Naphtali, By the way of the sea, beyond the Jordan, Galilee of the Gentiles: The people who sat in darkness have seen a great light, and upon those who sat in the region and shadow of death Light has dawned.”

Vs. 14-15 Jacob then speaks to Issachar whose characteristics are described as a “strong donkey”. They were the tribe that did most of the labor and were content with what they had. According to the census taken in Numbers 26 they were the 3rd largest tribe and though they had the numbers to fight for the nation they chose not to do so. Because of this they were most often enslaved by invading armies, hence the prophetic word of Jacob that they would be a “band of slaves”. Judah subdued her enemies, Issachar was mastered by hers and like a donkey had physical strength but a weak character and was far too lazy and docile. God gave them “pleasant land” and “good rest” but they did not use this to pursue victory. The truth is that which we fail to master will end up mastering us! The lesson learned is that pleasant land and good rest but failure to root out the enemy in your life will cause you to become enslaved by what we possess. God has blessed each of us with that which He gave Issachar and if we do not take advantage of that and possess our possession instead choosing to bury it we will not prosper as we should.

Vs. 16-17 Jacob next brings up the tribe of Dan and says that they shall judge his people and people like Samson came from this tribe. Though Dan was going to supply judges we are told that they would also be “a serpent by the way, a viper by the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider shall fall backward.” Simply put it was through the tribe of Dan that idolatry was introduced to the rest of the nation which caused them to “fall backwards”. Based upon this verse and Daniel 11:37 and Jeremiah 8:16 some feel that the antichrist will come from this tribe. The land which Dan occupied became the center of idol worship in Judges 18:30 it is for this reason that it is omitted in the listings of the tribes in Rev. 7:5-8 although mentioned as have land during the 1000 year reign of Christ.

Vs. 18 At the end of the words concerning Dan, Jacob calls saying “I have waited for your salvation, O LORD!” The words here are where we get the word “Yeshuw’ah” or in English “Jesus”. Jacob has very little strength left as well as seeing that the tribe’s future has not been good and thus their only hope is in the God of salvation. The cry of our heart ought to be like Jacob as we see that our hope lies not in our nation or us but rather in our God. If our hope and security is based upon our goodness and not upon Jesus then we have no hope. It is far better to wait upon Him for our salvation then to take matters into our own hands.

Vs. 19-21 Here we are given the futures of Gad, Asher and Naphtali.

  1. Gad will continue to be invaded be her enemies, but in the end will be victorious. They supplied many troops for David (Chron. 12:14). I can’t help but think of us in as much as we too may go through seasons of being invaded by our enemies but in Christ will “triumph at last”.
  2. Asher was to be a wealthy tribe. Their land allotment was below Mount Carmel to the coast of the Mediterranean Sea. In Deut. 33:24 Moses would speak prophetically of this tribe saying, “Asher is most blessed of sons; Let him be favored by his brothers, and let him dip his foot in oil.” The produce grown here did indeed fill the king’s tables and it is interesting that many have used these words of Moses to dig for oil in Israel but perhaps the reference deals with an oil pipe that flows through this territory to the bay at Haifa.
  3. Naphtali is described as a “liberated deer” that speaks beautiful words. The Judges of Deborah and Barak came from this tribe in Judges 5 but most likely this is a reference to Jesus teaching ministry, which was mostly done in the land, allotted to them on the shores of Galilee.

III. Vs. 22-27 The future of the son’s of Rachel

Vs. 22-27 Jacob moves to the two sons of Rachel, Joseph and Benjamin.

Joseph, out of all the sons has the most blessings pronounced upon him. His future is described as both “fruitful and abundant.” This in spite of his early disadvantage from the hands of his brothers. Joseph did not wonder away from the Lord based upon man’s injustices instead he remained true to the Lord. In verse 26 we are told that his ancestor will never attain to his stature. So this makes these words of Jacob more of a personal testimony then a prophetic one. His tribe already received a double portion when Jacob took as his own Joseph’s two sons in chapter 48. Although Jacob blesses Joseph he also realizes that this was not Joseph’s character but rather the God of Joseph who is given five titles that depict His influence upon the life of Joseph:

  1. Vs. 24 Mighty God
  2. Vs. 24 The Shepherd
  3. Vs. 24 Stone of Israel
  4. Vs. 25 God of your fathers
  5. Vs. 25 The Almighty

It is great to see how Jacob now describes God compared to how he saw him back in chapter 31:53 only as the God of Abraham and the fear of Isaac.

Benjamin will be known by its fierceness. King Saul came from this tribe as well as Paul the apostle. Judges 3:15-23 and chapters 19-20 will reveal the depth of their cruelty. Moses in Deut. 33:12 speaks of a gentler side of the tribe when he predicts that they will be “The beloved of the LORD shall dwell in safety by Him, who shelters him all the day long; and he shall dwell between His shoulders.” It was only this tribe that went with Judah when the nation divided.

IV. Vs.28-32 Final resting place

Vs. 28-32 Jacob concludes his blessing of the future of his sons and though some hardly seems a blessing they were as they provide great godly insight into character defects. Jacob recognizes that Egypt is not his home and he makes his sons promise that upon his death they will take his body back to the land of promise. Egypt was filled with the glory of man honoring the death of their pharaohs but none of them were good enough to place Jacob in he preferred an old cave in Cannon. Why? Well he waited for a city which has foundations, builder and maker is God! How about us?