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Sunday, September 8 2013

Genesis 49: Jacob's Prophecy To Israel

"Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days"

Near the end of his life, Jacob, who the LORD God (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) renamed as Israel (see Genesis 32: The Origin Of Israel), made a prophecy specific to each of his sons (see A Biography Of Jacob: The Jacobites Of Syria). The descendants of those tribal patriarchs would become the nation ("nation" means all of those of a nativity, a birth) and the Kingdom of Israel ("king" means the head of a kin, the patriarch; "patriotism" means faithful to the patriarch).

"49:1 And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days." (Genesis 49:1 KJV)

The prophecies included historic events that were sometimes the basis for the prophecy e.g. "for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall" and so "I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel." Others were entirely prophetic, and in one case, Messianic i.e. "The sceptre 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."

The illustration of the individual tribes, from a synagogue wall in Jerusalem, is based primarily upon the verses below. Can you match the illustration to the tribal description?

The Tribes Of Israel

"49:2 Gather yourselves together, and hear, ye sons of Jacob; and hearken unto Israel your father.

49:3 Reuben, thou art my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellency of dignity, and the excellency of power: 49:4 Unstable as water, thou shalt not excel; because thou wentest up to thy father's bed; then defiledst thou it: he went up to my couch [see Reuben and Bilhah].

49:5 Simeon and Levi [see also The Origin Of The Levite Priesthood] are brethren; instruments of cruelty are in their habitations. 49:6 O my soul, come not thou into their secret; unto their assembly, mine honour, be not thou united: for in their anger they slew a man, and in their selfwill they digged down a wall. 49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce [see Genesis 34: Dinah]; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.

49:8 Judah [see Genesis 38: The First Jews], 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. 49:9 Judah is a lion's whelp: from the prey, my son, thou art gone up: he stooped down, he couched as a lion, and as an old lion; who shall rouse him up? 49:10 The sceptre 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. [see What Happens After The Messiah Returns?] 49:11 Binding his foal unto the vine, and his ass's colt unto the choice vine; he washed his garments in wine, and his clothes in the blood of grapes: 49:12 His eyes shall be red with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

49:13 Zebulun [see Zebulun] shall dwell at the haven of the sea; and he shall be for an haven of ships; and his border shall be unto Zidon.

49:14 Issachar is a strong ass couching down between two burdens: 49:15 And he saw that rest was good, and the land that it was pleasant; and bowed his shoulder to bear, and became a servant unto tribute.

49:16 Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 49:17 Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward. 49:18 I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.

49:19 Gad, a troop shall overcome him: but he shall overcome at the last.

49:20 Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.

49:21 Naphtali is a hind let loose: he giveth goodly words.

49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well; whose branches run over the wall [see Genesis 48: The Adoption Of Ephraim and Manasseh]: 49:23 The archers have sorely grieved him, and shot at him, and hated him: 49:24 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:) 49:25 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: 49:26 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.

49:27 Benjamin [see also The Rachel Prophecies] shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

49:28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them." (Genesis 49:2-28 KJV)

The last words of Jacob / Israel were instructions to be buried in the Hebron tomb of his father Isaac and grandfather Abraham (see Jacob's Mummy].

"49:29 And he 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, 49:30 In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Ephron the Hittite for a possession of a buryingplace. 49:31 There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife; there they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife; and there I buried Leah. 49:32 The purchase of the field and of the cave that is therein was from the children of Heth.

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." (Genesis 49:29-33 KJV)

Fact Finder: At the moment that Jacob died, he "yielded up the ghost." What does that mean?
See Giving Up The Ghost and What Does The Bible Really Say About Your Soul?


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This Day In History, September 8

394: Arbogast, a general of the Roman empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars, A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots, A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad), committed suicide after the battle of the Frigidus River that ended in victory for Theodosius.

617: The Battle of Huoyi in China. Li Yuan defeated a Sui Dynasty army, enabling his capture of the imperial capital Chang'an and the eventual establishment of the Tang Dynasty.

1011: The Danes sacked Canterbury and seized Aelfheah, the archbishop of Canterbury, who they held for 7 months before killing him in April 1012.

1264: The Statute of Kalisz, guaranteeing Jews safety and personal liberties and giving battei din jurisdiction over Jewish matters, was promulgated by Boleslaus the Pious, Duke of Greater Poland.

The Seven Years War 1331: Stephen Uros IV Dusan declared himself king of Serbia.

1380: The Battle of Kulikovo. Russian forces defeated an army of Tatars and Mongols, stopping their advance.

1504: Michelangelo's David was unveiled in Florence, Italy.

1565: The Knights of Malta lifted the Turkish siege of Malta that began on May 18.

1664: The Dutch surrendered New Amsterdam to the British, who renamed it New York after the Duke of York.

1755: During the Seven Years War (1756-1763) in North America, English troops under the command of William Johnson defeated French and native-American force at the Battle of Lake George. Although known as "the French and Indian War" in the U.S., it was actually a world war, fought on a larger geographic scale (Europe, North America, Central America, the West African coast, India, and the Philippines) than the two world wars of the twentieth century.

1760: The French surrendered Montreal to British forces under the command of Jeffrey Amherst.

1831: William IV and Adelaide of Saxe-Meiningen were crowned King and Queen of the United Kingdom of Great Britain and Ireland.

1860: The Steamship Lady Elgin sank on Lake Michigan, with the loss of around 300 lives.

1900: A hurricane with winds of 120 mph and a following tidal wave at Galveston, Texas, killed at least 8,000 people and destroyed over 2,500 buildings in the city.

1923: The Honda Point Disaster. Nine U.S. Navy destroyers ran aground off the California coast. Seven of the ships were lost, twenty-three sailors killed.

1944: Germany began the V-2 rocket bombing of Britain.

1945: Korea was partitioned into North and South by the U.S. and the Soviet Union (within a decade, the French partitioned Vietnam into North and South also).

1945: Hideki Tojo, Japanese prime minister during most of the Second World War, attempted suicide rather than face a war crimes tribunal. The attempt failed and he was later convicted and hanged.

1974: To prevent criminal prosecution of Richard Nixon, President Gerald Ford granted the former President a full pardon for "any and all crimes that he may have committed while in office."

1991: The Republic of Macedonia became independent.



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