Jacob has made the trip to Egypt and now he is on his deathbed. It’s time for his last words to his sons.
Joseph’s sons, Menashe and Ephraim, he blesses. But some of his other sons don’t fare as well.
Reuben, Jacob’s first son, he describes as lofty and forceful. But he can’t forgive Reuven for having an affair with one of his wives.
Simon and Levi he describes as angry. “Their fury that is so harsh! I will scatter them in Israel.”
Yehuda is a lion. His other sons will bow down to Yehuda. He will rule them.
Zevulon will live by the shore; his flank will rest on Sidon.
Issachar is a donkey. When he sees how nice security is, he’ll become a laboring serf.
Dan is a snake on the wayside and bites horses’ heels.
Gad is a robber. Asher will be rich.
Naphtali is a lady deer, who bears lovely fawns.
Joseph has survived attacks; and now, Jacob blesses him.
Finally, Benjamin is a wolf who devours his foe.
Not exactly kind words for most of his sons.