Genesis 49 Chapter Commentary: Jacob’s Final Blessings for His Sons

Jacob blesses each of his sons and prophesies about their future.

He takes away Reuben’s inheritance due to his sin; Levi and Simeon are separated from each other for their violent behavior; Judah is promised praise and dominion; Zebulun is given the sea and all of its trade; Issachar will become a servant to the other tribes; Dan will be a judge; Gad will become a warrior; Asher will be rewarded with the best grain and become rich; and Naphtali will use beautiful words.

Joseph is promised a fruitful lineage, and Benjamin is compared to a ravenous wolf who will share his prey with the other tribes.

Jacob, after blessing each of his sons, instructed them to transport his body to Canaan where his ancestors were buried in the field of Machpelah, an area of land that was bought from Ephron the Hittite. He gave specific instructions for his burial and then passed away, having fulfilled his duties.

What’s the Main Point?

Jacob blesses each of his sons and prophesies about their future. He predicts that they will become a great nation and the 12 tribes of Israel. These prophecies were given to Jacob by the Lord and were not of his own making.

What Can We Learn from This Chapter?

There are several things we can learn from Genesis 49.

Our actions have repercussions. Simeon and Levi were split up because of their aggressive behavior, and Reuben’s inheritance was taken away from him because of his wickedness.

Judah was picked to take the royal scepter despite his prior transgressions, and it was from him that the Messiah would be born. God can use even our shortcomings for His purposes.

Each of Jacob’s sons had a particular part to play in the destiny of the people of Israel, proving that God has a plan for everyone in our lives.

We should put our skills and talents to good use for God’s glory. Each son was given a special blessing that emphasized their skills and talents as well as how they may be used for the good of the tribe and God’s glory.


Dear God, thank you for this day and for your constant love and guidance in our lives. As we navigate through the challenges of life, we ask for your wisdom and strength to guide us. Help us to use our talents and abilities to serve you and bring glory to your name.

May we always remember the importance of family and heritage, and honor those who have come before us. We pray for your peace and protection over our lives, and for your will to be done in all things. Amen.

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Featured image attribution:

Jacob Blesses His Sons. Gerard JollainThis image is in the public domain. Cropped from original.