The Prophecy of Jacob

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 49:1-27

INTRODUCTION:  Jacob’s time is short.  It will not be long before he departs this world.  Before he passes, he calls for his sons to gather together that he might tell them the things that will befall them in the last days.  Some of the sons receive good news, while others hear of loss and condemnation.

  1. JACOB CALLS HIS SONS UNTO HIM (Genesis 49:1-2)
    1. Jacob Calls for His Sons to Gather Together (Genesis 49:1-2).
    2. Jacob Tells His Sons What Will Befall Them in the Last Days (Genesis 49:1).
  2. PROPHECY CONCERNING REUBEN (Genesis 49:3-4)
    1. His Potential (Genesis 49:3)
      1. Reuben was the firstborn (Deuteronomy 21:17; Psalm 78:51).
      2. The might of Reuben
        1. He was the might of Jacob.
        2. He was the beginning of Jacob’s strength.
        3. He was the excellency of dignity.
        4. He was the excellency of power.
    2. His Problem (Genesis 49: 4) – “unstable as water”
      1. He went up to his father’s bed and defiled it (Genesis 35:22).
      2. Other problems in his line
        1. Ready to follow Korah (Numbers 16:1, 27, 32-33)
        2. First to demand inheritance (Numbers 32:1-5)
        3. Failed to follow Deborah (Judges 5:15-16)
    3. His Portion (Genesis 49:4) – “thou shalt not excel”
      1. Lost birthright to Joseph (1 Chronicles 5:1-2; Genesis 48:5)
      2. Lost priesthood to Levi (Numbers 3:6)
      3. Lost rulership to Judah (Genesis 49:10)
    4. His Punishment (Genesis 49:4)
      1. No ruler, prophet, judge or priest ever came from Reuben.
      2. First to be destroyed (2 Kings 10:32-33; 1 Chronicles 5:26)
  3. PROPHECY CONCERNING SIMEON AND LEVI (Genesis 49:5-7)
    1. Their Joint Sin (Genesis 34:25-30)
    2. Simeon’s Judgment
      1. Becomes smallest tribe (Numbers 26:14)
      2. Only tribe to be ignored in Deuteronomy 33 blessing
      3. Scattered throughout Israel (Joshua 19:1, 9; 1 Chronicles 4:39-43; 2 Chronicles 15:9)
    3. Levi’s Judgment (Numbers 35:8; Joshua 14:4, Joshua 21:1-3)
    4. Levi’s Restitution
      1. In supporting Moses (Exodus 32:26-28; Deuteronomy 33:8-11)
      2. In saving Israel from the plague (Numbers 25:6-13)
  4. PROPHECY CONCERNING JUDAH (Genesis 49:8-12)
    1. Receiving Praise (Genesis 49:8) – Judah means “God be praised.”
    2. Prevailing Over His Brethren (Genesis 49:8; 1 Chronicles 5:2)
    3. A Lion’s Whelp (Genesis 49:9) -the Lion of the tribe of Judah (Revelation 5:5)
    4. The Faithful Sceptre (Genesis 49:10)
      1. 640 years before David reigns
      2. Christ is the sceptre (Numbers 24:17).
    5. The Coming of Shiloh (Genesis 49:10)
      1. Shiloh means “peace.”
      2. Christ is the king of peace (Micah 5:5; Hebrews 7:2).
      3. Unto Him shall be the gathering of the people.
        1. The Old Testament gathering (Luke 16:22; Hebrews 9:15)
        2. The New Testament gathering (Ephesians 4:8-10; Hebrews 12:22-24)
    6. The Colt of the Ass (Genesis 49:11; Zechariah 9:9; Matthew 21:5)
    7. The Blood Stained Clothes (Genesis 49:11-12; Isaiah 63:1-3; Revelation 14:19-20; Revelation 19:11-15)
    8. Moses’ Blessing (Deuteronomy 33:7)
  5. PROPHECY CONCERNING ZEBULUN (Genesis 49:13)
    1. His Place in Jacob’s Blessing
      1. Went from Judah (4th son) to Zebulun (10th son)
      2. Judah is where Christ was born (Bethlehem).
      3. Zebulun is where Christ grew up (Nazareth) -along with Naphtali called “Galilee of the Gentiles” (Matthew 4:15).
      4. Eleven of the twelve apostles came from Galilee.
      5. Much of Christ’s greatest ministry was in Galilee (Matthew 4:14-16; Isaiah 9:1-2).
    2. His Prominence in History
      1. Seldom singled out – a quiet tribe
      2. Supported Deborah (Judges 5:18)
      3. Supported David (1 Chronicles 12:33)
        1. They could keep rank – this could be their theme.
        2. They were not of a double heart.
    3. His Portion in the Land
      1. The prophecy of Jacob (Genesis 49:13)
        1. A haven for ships
        2. A border unto Zidon
      2. The blessing of Moses (Deuteronomy 33:18-19)
        1. Shall offer sacrifices of righteousness
        2. Shall enjoy the abundance of the seas
      3. Zebulun’s inheritance (Joshua 19:10-11)
        1. Josephus, Ant,V,I,22 – “The tribe of Zebulon’s lot included the land which lay as far as the Lake of Genesareth, and that which belonged to Carmel and the sea.”
        2. Modern scholars deny that Zebulun had a sea coast.  They are wrong.
      4. Zebulun’s border unto Zidon ( Sidon)
        1. Hard to understand historically
        2. May still be prophetic (Ezekiel 48:1-7, 22-29)
          1. Hamath - more than 100 miles north of Damascus
          2. Kadesh – parallel with the delta of the Nile
  6. PROPHECY CONCERNING ISSACHAR (Genesis 49:14-15)
    1. His Strength (Genesis 49:14) “a strong ass”
      1. In war
        1. 64,300 men (Numbers 26:25) – 3rd to Judah and Dan
        2. 87,000 men (1 Chronicles 7:5)
      2. In wisdom (1 Chronicles 12:32)
      3. In work – “between two burdens”
    2. His Satisfaction (Genesis 49:15a) “saw that rest was good”
    3. His Servitude (Genesis 49:15b) “became a servant unto tribute” - example of tribute (2 Kings 15:19-20)
  7. PROPHECY CONCERNING DAN (Genesis 49:16-18)
    1. His Position (Genesis 49:16)
      1. As a judge – Samson from Dan (Judges 13:2)
      2. As one of the tribes
        1. Last mentioned: Numbers 10:25; 1 Chronicles 27:16-22
        2. Last inheritance: Joshua 19:48-49
        3. No genealogy in 1 Chronicles 2-10
        4. Not sealed in Revelation 7:4-8
        5. NOTE:  the judging tribe is judged (Deuteronomy 29:16-21).
    2. His Poison (Genesis 49:17) “a serpent by the way, an adder in the path”
      1. Attacking a peaceful people (Deuteronomy 33:22 with Judges 18:26-29)
      2. Introducing idolatry to Israel (Judges 18: especially verses 30-31)
        1. Graven images (Judges 18:18)
        2. A priest called father (Judges 18:19)
      3. The golden calf in Dan (1 Kings 12:25-31; 2 Kings 10:29)
    3. His Pardon – (Ezekiel 48:1) “a portion for Dan”
  8. PROPHECY CONERNING GAD, ASHER AND NAPHTALI (Genesis 49:19-21)
    1. Gad (Genesis 49:19)
      1. Overcome at first
      2. Overcomer at last (1 Chronicles 12:8, 1 Chronicles 5:18-22)
    2. Asher (Genesis 49:20)
      1. A blessing-receiver (see Deuteronomy 33:24-25)
      2. A blessing-giver – “royal dainties”
    3. Naphtali (Genesis 49:21)
      1. A hind let loose – as a captured deer released in the woods; energetic, wild
      2. Giving goodly words
        1. The tribe of Barak (Judges 4:6) who sang a song (Judges 5:1)
        2. The tribe of Johan (2 Kings 14:25) who wrote a book
        3. The tribe where Christ preached the word (Matthew 4:13-17)
  9. PROPHECY CONCERNING JOSEPH (Genesis 49:22-26) – The Fruitful Tribe
    1. Joseph’s Provision of Fruit (Deuteronomy 33:13-17)
      1. A fruitful bough (Genesis 49:22; Joshua 17:14-18)
      2. A firstborn’s portion (Deuteronomy 21:17, 1 Chronicles 5:1-2; Genesis 48:3-6; Ezekiel 47:13)
    2. Joseph’s Preparation for Fruit
      1. His planting (Genesis 49:22, Psalm 1:3; John 15:1-5)
      2. His persecution (Genesis 49:23, Psalm 105:17-21; Romans 5:3-5; 1 Peter 5:4)
      3. His persistence (Genesis 49:24; 2 Corinthians 4:1, 15-18; Galatians 6:9)
      4. His Provider (Genesis 49:24-25; 2 Corinthians 12:9-10)
        1. The Shepherd (John 10:10-16; Hebrews 13:20; 1 Peter 5:4)
        2. The Stone (Daniel 2:35, 44-45; Matthew 21:42-44)
      5. His prevailing (Genesis 49:26; 1 Corinthians 15:58, 2 Corinthians 2:14)
  10. PROPHECY CONERNING BENJAMIN (Genesis 49:27) – The Warrior Tribe
    1. A Tribe of Generals
      1. Ehud (Judges 3:15-22)
      2. King Saul (1 Samuel 22:17-20)
      3. Saul of Tarsus (Romans 11:1; 2 Timothy 2:3-4)
    2. A Tribe of Soldiers (Judges 20:14-25; 1 Chronicles 8:40; 1 Chronicles 12:1-2)

CONCLUSION:  Jacob’s prophecy is completed.  The only other words that he will utter to his sons will be concerning his burial.  He lived a long life filled with his own deceit and the grace of God.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 14:25

A true witness delivereth souls: but a deceitful witness speaketh lies.