Genesis 49:27 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 49:27, NIV: Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; in the morning he devours the prey, in the evening he divides the plunder.'

Genesis 49:27, ESV: “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning devouring the prey and at evening dividing the spoil.”

Genesis 49:27, KJV: Benjamin shall ravin as a wolf: in the morning he shall devour the prey, and at night he shall divide the spoil.

Genesis 49:27, NASB: 'Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he devours the prey, And in the evening he divides the spoils.'

Genesis 49:27, NLT: 'Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, devouring his enemies in the morning and dividing his plunder in the evening.'

Genesis 49:27, CSB: Benjamin is a wolf; he tears his prey. In the morning he devours the prey, and in the evening he divides the plunder."

What does Genesis 49:27 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Rachel was the beloved wife of Jacob. Despite his great love, Rachel was only able to conceive two natural children with Jacob. The first was Joseph (Genesis 30:22–24). The second, Benjamin, came through a fatal delivery (Genesis 35:16–19). As he offers a deathbed prophecy (Genesis 49:1–2), Jacob has saved his comments on those two sons for last. Joseph's prediction was extensive and overwhelmingly positive (Genesis 49:22–26). In contrast, the prediction for Benjamin feels almost like an afterthought, or an anticlimax.

The imagery Jacob uses depicts a wolf who hunts, tears, and devours from morning until evening. This accurately describes the tribe of Benjamin after Israel takes control of the Promised Land. The tribe of Benjamin is associated with Ehud, the judge who graphically assassinated a Moabite king (Judges 3:15, 20–21). Later in the book of Judges, a Benjaminite city is the site of a heinous atrocity (Judges 19:25–27). The aftermath of this event caused a surprisingly evenly matched civil war between Israel and the tribe of Benjamin (Judges 20).

The most prominent example of this prophecy is Israel's first king, Saul (1 Samuel 9:1–2; 10:1). Faced with a rival, Saul exhibited predatory cruelty (1 Samuel 19:10; 22:17–19), before David became king (1 Samuel 15:24–28).