Genesis 49:28 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 49:28, NIV: All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, giving each the blessing appropriate to him.

Genesis 49:28, ESV: All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him.

Genesis 49:28, KJV: All these are the twelve tribes of Israel: and this is it that their father spake unto them, and blessed them; every one according to his blessing he blessed them.

Genesis 49:28, NASB: All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He blessed them, every one with the blessing appropriate to him.

Genesis 49:28, NLT: These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he told his sons good-bye. He blessed each one with an appropriate message.

Genesis 49:28, CSB: These are the tribes of Israel, twelve in all, and this is what their father said to them. He blessed them, and he blessed each one with a suitable blessing.

What does Genesis 49:28 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob's deathbed oracle about the future of his sons' descendants has concluded (Genesis 49:1–2). This verse clarifies that the prophecies were Jacob's "blessing" on each of his sons. Of course, not all these words were positive. In this context, the "blessing" of a patriarch is more about prediction than about good will. The intent is to show what will become of the "blessed" son, more so than to confer some benefit.

In that sense, Jacob blessed some of his sons in the same way his father Isaac "blessed" his brother Esau (Genesis 27:38–40). Jacob delivered to each son exactly what was appropriate for each; that was not necessarily what those sons wanted.

This verse also marks the first time, in Genesis, where Jacob's sons and their offspring are described as the "twelve tribes of Israel" (Genesis 35:10–11).