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From pit to prime minister

The Last Will & Testament of Jacob I

Scripture readings:

Genesis 49:1–12

Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what shall happen to you in days to come. 

“Assemble and listen, O sons of Jacob, 
listen to Israel your father. 

“Reuben, you are my firstborn, 
my might, and the firstfruits of my strength, 
preeminent in dignity and preeminent in power. 
Unstable as water, you shall not have preeminence, 
because you went up to your father’s bed; 
then you defiled it—he went up to my couch! 

“Simeon and Levi are brothers;
weapons of violence are their swords. 
Let my soul come not into their council; 
O my glory, be not joined to their company. 
For in their anger they killed men, 
and in their willfulness they hamstrung oxen. 
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. 

“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. 
Judah is a lion’s cub; 
from the prey, my son, you have gone up. 
He stooped down; he crouched as a lion 
and as a lioness; who dares rouse him? 
The scepter shall not depart from Judah, 
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, 
until tribute comes to him; 
and to him shall be the obedience of the peoples. 
Binding his foal to the vine 
and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, 
he has washed his garments in wine 
and his vesture in the blood of grapes. 
His eyes are darker than wine, 
and his teeth whiter than milk.

Genesis 3:1–15

Now the serpent was more crafty than any other beast of the field that the Lord God had made. 

He said to the woman, “Did God actually say, ‘You shall not eat of any tree in the garden’?” And the woman said to the serpent, “We may eat of the fruit of the trees in the garden, but God said, ‘You shall not eat of the fruit of the tree that is in the midst of the garden, neither shall you touch it, lest you die.’ ” But the serpent said to the woman, “You will not surely die. For God knows that when you eat of it your eyes will be opened, and you will be like God, knowing good and evil.” So when the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make one wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. Then the eyes of both were opened, and they knew that they were naked. And they sewed fig leaves together and made themselves loincloths. 

And they heard the sound of the Lord God walking in the garden in the cool of the day, and the man and his wife hid themselves from the presence of the Lord God among the trees of the garden. But the Lord God called to the man and said to him, “Where are you?” And he said, “I heard the sound of you in the garden, and I was afraid, because I was naked, and I hid myself.” He said, “Who told you that you were naked? Have you eaten of the tree of which I commanded you not to eat?” The man said, “The woman whom you gave to be with me, she gave me fruit of the tree, and I ate.” Then the Lord God said to the woman, “What is this that you have done?” The woman said, “The serpent deceived me, and I ate.” 
The Lord God said to the serpent, 

“Because you have done this, 
cursed are you above all livestock 
and above all beasts of the field; 
on your belly you shall go, 
and dust you shall eat 
all the days of your life. 
I will put enmity between you and the woman, 
and between your offspring and her offspring; 
he shall bruise your head, 
and you shall bruise his heel.”

 The Holy Bible: English Standard Version, (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Bibles, 2016).

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