Genesis 49:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 49:16, NIV: Dan will provide justice for his people as one of the tribes of Israel.

Genesis 49:16, ESV: “Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.

Genesis 49:16, KJV: Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

Genesis 49:16, NASB: 'Dan shall judge his people, As one of the tribes of Israel.

Genesis 49:16, NLT: 'Dan will govern his people, like any other tribe in Israel.

Genesis 49:16, CSB: Dan will judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.

What does Genesis 49:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob is giving a deathbed blessing or prophesy about each of his sons and their descendants (Genesis 49:1–2). He now comes to Dan (Genesis 30:5–6), declaring Dan will "judge"—or, possibly, "vindicate"—his people alongside the other tribes of Israel. Not everything will be honorable in Dan's future, however. Jacob's prediction will include some uncomfortable descriptions (Genesis 49:17).

Though the tribe of Dan will be smaller than the others, they will remain an independent group. In fact, Dan's people will play significant roles in fighting for Israel. This was especially true in the time of the judges before Israel had a king. Samson, from the tribe of Dan, perhaps the most famous of those judges, fought for Israel against the Philistines (Judges 13—16). However, not long after Samson, the tribe of Dan will be associated with idolatry (Judges 18:27–31).