Genesis 49:11 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 49:11, NIV: He will tether his donkey to a vine, his colt to the choicest branch; he will wash his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.

Genesis 49:11, ESV: Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he has washed his garments in wine and his vesture in the blood of grapes.

Genesis 49:11, KJV: 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:

Genesis 49:11, NASB: He ties his foal to the vine, And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine; He washes his garments in wine, And his robes in the blood of grapes.

Genesis 49:11, NLT: He ties his foal to a grapevine, the colt of his donkey to a choice vine. He washes his clothes in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes.

Genesis 49:11, CSB: He ties his donkey to a vine, and the colt of his donkey to the choice vine. He washes his clothes in wine and his robes in the blood of grapes.

What does Genesis 49:11 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Each of Jacob's twelve sons will receive a prediction about the fate of their descendants (Genesis 49:1–2). These are given by Jacob on his deathbed (Genesis 48:1). This passage describes the bright future of the people who will come from Judah. Jacob has already declared that Judah's tribe will produce a king who will conquer his enemies and be praised by his brothers (Genesis 49:8–10).

Now Jacob points to a time of great abundance in the future of Judah's people. The king mentioned in the previous verse who will come from the tribe of Judah is very likely a reference to the eternal King, the Messiah Himself (Acts 2:36). Jacob's mention of Judah's descendant riding a donkey fits Zechariah's prophesy that the King of Zion will come "humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey" (Zechariah 9:9). Jesus fulfilled this prophesy in what Christians refer to as the triumphal entry on the Sunday prior to His crucifixion (Matthew 21:1–11).

Normally, nobody would tie a donkey to a choice grapevine: the donkey would eat the valuable wine grapes. What Jacob describes is a time when grapes are so abundant that nobody worries about running out. They even wash their clothes in wine—an exaggeration meant to imply that fine wine will be as plentiful as water. This points to the enormous blessings under the rule of the Messiah in a distant era (Revelation 20:4).