Genesis 49:7 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 49:7, NIV: "Cursed be their anger, so fierce, and their fury, so cruel! I will scatter them in Jacob and disperse them in Israel."

Genesis 49:7, ESV: "Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel."

Genesis 49:7, KJV: "Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce; and their wrath, for it was cruel: I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel."

Genesis 49:7, NASB: "Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce; And their wrath, for it is cruel. I will scatter them in Jacob, And disperse them among Israel."

Genesis 49:7, NLT: "A curse on their anger, for it is fierce; a curse on their wrath, for it is cruel. I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob; I will disperse them throughout Israel."

Genesis 49:7, CSB: "Their anger is cursed, for it is strong, and their fury, for it is cruel! I will disperse them throughout Jacob and scatter them throughout Israel."

What does Genesis 49:7 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

For the first time, Jacob's deathbed oracle about the future of his sons and their offspring (Genesis 49:1–2) uses the word "cursed." Jacob is leveling condemnation at his second- and third-born sons Simeon and Levi. He seems to be holding them accountable for a general tendency toward fierce, cruel, and violent anger. Of particular interest is their massacre of every man in Shechem after a local prince raped their sister Dinah (Genesis 34:13–15, 24–29).

Jacob's prophetic curse comes with the weight of God's own judgment. The tribes of Simeon and Levi will be divided and scattered within Israel. Though they are apparently close, as brothers, they will be divided from each other. Though Levi's people will serve an honorable purpose as the priests of Israel, their inheritance will come in the form of cities scattered throughout the nation (Joshua 21). They will have no land of their own.

The tribe of Simeon will eventually be given an inheritance of land within the much larger and stronger tribe of Judah (Joshua 19:1, 9) before apparently becoming weak and perhaps being dispersed into smaller groups with different tribes in Israel. Simeon's population seems to change drastically between Numbers 1:23 and Numbers 26:14. Only sub-groups of the tribe are seen later, as in 1 Chronicles 4:38–43; 2 Chronicles 15:9; and 2 Chronicles 34:6. Simeon is also not mentioned in Moses' final blessing of the tribes in Deuteronomy 33.