Genesis 49:1-12 Jacob’s Prophecies

03-11-2 Genesis 49:1-9 Jacob’s Prophecies CLICK TITLE FOR AUDIO

Before Jacob died, he prophesied about what would happen to his sons long after his death.  Some of the prophecies run all the way up to the second coming of Christ.  Here are the prophecies for the first four sons:


Reuben (3-4)

The firstborn son is the beginning of his father’s strength Deut. 21:17 and thus he excels above his brothers because he is granted a birthright amounting to a double portion of his father’s inheritance.  Reuben forfeited this when he went up to his father’s bed (Gen. 35:22; 1 Chr. 5:1).  Just as a note, it is interesting that Reuben presented his mother with some mandrakes when he was just a kid (Gen. 30:14-17).  Mandrakes are an aphrodisiac.  Later he ended up committing incest with Bilhah.  Kids learn too much about sex too early and then they get in trouble.


Simeon & Levi (5-7)

Simeon and Levi were cruel to the Shechemites when they killed them for raping Dinah (Gen. 34:25) and thus would be scattered and divided in Israel.  The text says “they digged down a wall.”  That is an expression that means they committed violence against them and their possessions.  The wall is a protection as in 1 Sam. 25:15-16, where David and his men were a wall to Nabal’s servants and sheep.  To spoil the men and their possessions, then, would be to dig down the wall.  Marginal notes and modern Bibles say that they “houghed oxen.”  But this is wrong because they stole the oxen (Gen. 34:28-29).


The boy’s offspring were scattered and divided when they received their inheritance in the land of Canaan.  Simeon inherited among Judah’s offspring (Jos. 19:1).  But when Israel and Judah were divided, only Benjamin was still with Judah (1 Ki. 12:20-21).  Simeon was scattered among the ten northern tribes (1 Chr. 4:39-43).  Levi received no inheritance and was given cities among all the tribes of Israel (Jos. 21:23-27).


Judah (8-12)

Judah’s name at birth meant “praise.”  And now his brother’s would praise him and bow down before him.  That’s because Jesus and the Davidic line of the kings of Israel, and subsequently Judah, would come from this tribe.  Notice their connection to the types mentioned in this prophecy:


  Jesus David
Neck Is. 30:28; Hab. 3:13 Ps. 18:37-40
Bow Phil 2:10-11 2 Sam. 5:1-3
Lion Rev. 5:5 The Jews – Num. 24:24; 24:9

David 1 Ki. 5:2-4 (destroyed his

Enemies like a lion).

The scepter, a staff or baton, is used by kings in their rule and is emblematic of their authority (Est. 4:11).  The scepter came to Judah when David took the throne and continues all the way to Jesus, the king of the Jews, who will rule with a rod of iron (Rev. 19:15).


Shiloh means “the peace bringer.”  Shiloh here is a reference to Jesus Christ (Mic. 5:2, 5; Is. 11:10).


The foal is a reference to the ass’s colt that Jesus rode into Jerusalem (Mk. 11:2).  The vine is a reference to the true vine in Jn. 15:1.


The garments washed in wine are a reference to Jesus’ vesture dipped in blood at the second coming (Is. 63:1-4; Rev. 19:13-15).  The red eyes are a reference to Jesus rising up in the fury of a drunken man (Ps. 78:65-66).  His teeth are white with milk because the land in which he will rule is a land that flows with milk and honey and the Jews will suck the milk of the gentiles when he reigns (Ex. 3:8; Is. 60:15-16).