Review: What we have is a pronouncement by Jacob on his sons…Reuben (vv. 3-4) is not the steadiest of persons…Simeon & Levi (vv. 5-7) are given to fits of anger…Judah (vv. 8-12) seems headed in the right direction…Zebulun (vv. 13) can be found by the shores of the Mediterranean…Issachar’s (vv. 14-15) lacks ambition and is enslaved for it…Dan’s (vv. 16-18) is headed for the judiciary…Gad (v. 19) is a fighter…Asher (v. 20) is a farmer…Naphtha (v. 21) talks…Joseph (vv. 22-26) is blessed for his actions…Benjamin (v. 27) hunts by day and BBQ’s by night…The subsequent tribes were blessed by Jacob (v. 28) as they are…Jacob makes his own funeral and burial plans (vv. 29-33).
Analysis: The subsequent histories of the ancestors of Jacob’s sons can be found in the books of Joshua and Judges, thereby confirming one of the more troubling (Ex. 34:7, Num. 14:18) concepts in the OT…This “in the last days” (v. 1) is the first such predictive statement in our Bible…In the OT, it generally relates Israel’s rebellion against God (Deut. 31:29) to their problems (Deut. 4:30, Ezek. 38:16), leading eventually to their return to the LORD (Hos. 3:5)…In the NT, “in the last days” frequently is related to the end of the Church Age; that is the departure from the true manner’s of faith which leads eventually to iniquity and peril (2 Tim. 3:1, James 5:3, 1 Pet. 1:5, 2 Pet. 3:3)…Jacob’s life testifies to Go’s power to transform…His phases were 1.) his swindling of Esau to gain the birthright (Gen. 25:28-34, 27:9-27), 2.) his dream (Gen. 28:10-19), 3.) his exploits (Gen. 29:1 – 31:55), 4.) his transformation (Gen. 32:24-31), 5.) His return to Bethel (35:1-7) and the junking of idols. All of these result in 6.) in the end, his walk in faith with God (Gen. 37:1 – 49:33)…I believe there’s some Jacob in all of us.