Jacob is on his deathbed, and calls his sons to gather so that he can tell them what is going to happen to them after he dies. This is presented in dense poetry, so I’ll do my best to distill it here.
- Rueben: will no longer excel as he once did in rank and power.
- Simeon and Levi: condemned for their violence and fury. Told that they will be scattered and dispersed amongst the land of Israel.
- Judah: will receive the praise of his brothers, he won’t stop until he has taken control of the people.
- Zebulun: will live by the ocean, and will be “a haven for ships.”
- Issachar: is a toiling serf.
- Dan: Will achieve justice for his people.
- Gad: will become a raider.
- Asher: will produce rich fruit for kings.
- Naphtali: will produce lovely fawns.
- Joseph: receives many blessings and is called a prince among his brothers.
- Benjamin: called a ravenous wolf.
Jacob asks to be buried in the same cave as Abraham, Isaac, Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah. At the end of the chapter, Jacob takes his last breath.
The sons listed here are the fathers of the traditional twelve tribes of Israel. I don’t really have much for this one, it seems to mainly just be foreshadowing and moving the story along. I will say that I do like the apparent condemning of the violence of Simeon and Levi.