Genesis 49:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 49:8, NIV: Judah, your brothers will praise you; your hand will be on the neck of your enemies; your father's sons will bow down to you.

Genesis 49:8, ESV: “Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you.

Genesis 49:8, KJV: Judah, thou art he whom thy brethren shall praise: thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies; thy father's children shall bow down before thee.

Genesis 49:8, NASB: 'As for you, Judah, your brothers shall praise you; Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; Your father’s sons shall bow down to you.

Genesis 49:8, NLT: 'Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will grasp your enemies by the neck. All your relatives will bow before you.

Genesis 49:8, CSB: Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will be on the necks of your enemies; your father's sons will bow down to you.

What does Genesis 49:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob, on his deathbed, is delivering a final "blessing" to each of his 12 sons, in turn (Genesis 49:1–2). This prophetic oracle, however, has not always been positive. In fact, all three of the sons Jacob has mentioned have been punished due to their earlier sins (Genesis 49:3–7). Reuben lost his status as the firstborn, while Simeon and Levi were fated to see their tribes scattered within Israel.

Now, the oracle turns to Judah (Genesis 29:35), and this prediction is overwhelmingly positive. Jacob points to a time when Judah's brothers will praise him and bow down before him. This resembles Joseph's dreams of his brothers and father bowing before him (Genesis 37:5–11). That prediction has already been fulfilled (Genesis 43:26). Jacob's oracle points to the future of the tribes which will come from his sons. Judah's tribe will produce many leaders and kings.

The statement that Judah's brothers would praise him is a play on Judah's name, given to him when his mother declared at his birth, "This time I will praise the Lord" (Genesis 29:35). Jacob also points to a time when Judah's hand will be on the neck of his enemies, a sign of dominance over them. Again, this indicates that the tribe of Judah will lead Israel to victory in battle. Unlike his brothers, Judah's people are destined for greatness. They will become the most dominant of the twelve tribes.