What does Genesis 49:20 mean?
ESV: "Asher 's food shall be rich, and he shall yield royal delicacies.
NIV: "Asher’s food will be rich; he will provide delicacies fit for a king.
NASB: 'As for Asher, his food shall be rich, And he will yield royal delicacies.
CSB: Asher’s food will be rich, and he will produce royal delicacies.
NLT: 'Asher will dine on rich foods and produce food fit for kings.
KJV: Out of Asher his bread shall be fat, and he shall yield royal dainties.
NKJV: “Bread from Asher shall be rich, And he shall yield royal dainties.
Verse Commentary:
Jacob's prophetic description of each of the tribes that will descend from his twelve sons continues (Genesis 49:1–2), now with Asher. The oracle about Asher is one of the simplest, and possibly the most peaceful, of all Jacob's predictions. Asher was named for Leah's response at his birth to her servant Zilpah: "Happy am I! For women have called me happy" (Genesis 30:12–13).

Asher's people seem destined for a happy future. Settled within a fertile strip of land (Joshua 19:24–31), the tribe of Asher will become known for rich foods. Their main interaction with other tribes may have been providing "delicacies" to the people of the land around Israel.
Verse Context:
Genesis 49:13–21 records Jacob's deathbed predictions, this time regarding six of his sons: Zebulun, Issachar, Dan, Gad, Asher, and Naphtali. These are relatively brief, and not entirely positive. While Jacob addresses the first four (Genesis 49:3–12) and last two (Genesis 49:22–27) of his sons in birth order, there is no obvious ranking in his comments here. As compared to other tribes, these would play lesser roles in Israel's future.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 49 contains Jacob's dying prophetic remarks. In the form of poetry, Jacob pronounces positive and negative "blessings" about each of his 12 sons and the people who will come from them. Reuben, Simeon, and Levi are each held to account for their past sins. Judah is described as a lion; the kingly line will come from his people. Joseph and his descendants are lavished with blessings. Once the oracle is completed, Jacob commands his sons to bury him with his fathers in Canaan. Then, the man God named "Israel" (Genesis 35:10–11) dies.
Chapter Context:
After a life of struggle and controversy, Jacob's family has securely settled in Egypt. Genesis 48 told of Jacob's blessing on Joseph's two oldest sons: Ephraim and Manasseh. In Genesis 49, Jacob gives both positive and negative predictions to each of his sons, in turn. Jacob then commands his sons to bury him in Canaan, then dies. The final chapter of Genesis describes the family's mourning and Joseph's death. The opening verses of Exodus race forward some 400 years, as the nation of Israel falls into harsh slavery under new Egyptian rulers (Exodus 1:8–14).
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
Accessed 7/20/2024 5:01:34 AM
© Copyright 2002-2024 Got Questions Ministries. All rights reserved.
Text from ESV, NIV, NASB, CSB, NLT, KJV, NKJV © Copyright respective owners, used by permission.