Rev David Hann: 03 9836 4601
From pit to prime minister

The Last Will & Testament of Jacob II

Scripture readings

Genesis 49:13–33

“Issachar is a strong donkey, 
crouching between the sheepfolds. 
He saw that a resting place was good, 
and that the land was pleasant, 
so he bowed his shoulder to bear, 
and became a servant at forced labor. 

“Dan shall judge his people 
as one of the tribes of Israel. 
Dan shall be a serpent in the way, 
a viper by the path, 
that bites the horse’s heels 
so that his rider falls backward. 
I wait for your salvation, O Lord. 

“Raiders shall raid Gad, 
but he shall raid at their heels. 

“Asher’s food shall be rich, 
and he shall yield royal delicacies. 

“Naphtali is a doe let loose 
that bears beautiful fawns. 

“Joseph is a fruitful bough, 
a fruitful bough by a spring; 
his branches run over the wall. 
The archers bitterly attacked him, 
shot at him, and harassed him severely, 
yet his bow remained unmoved; 
his arms were made agile 
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob 
(from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), 
by the God of your father who will help you, 
by the Almighty who will bless you 
with blessings of heaven above, 
blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, 
blessings of the breasts and of the womb. 
The blessings of your father 
are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents, 
up to the bounties of the everlasting hills. 
May they be on the head of Joseph, 
and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers. 

“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, 
in the morning devouring the prey 
and at evening dividing the spoil.” 

All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him. Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah—the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites.” When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.

Psalm 105:1–24

Oh give thanks to the LORD; call upon his name;
make known his deeds among the peoples!
Sing to him, sing praises to him;
tell of all his wondrous works!
Glory in his holy name;
let the hearts of those who seek the LORD rejoice!
Seek the LORD and his strength;
seek his presence continually!
Remember the wondrous works that he has done,
his miracles, and the judgments he uttered,
O offspring of Abraham, his servant,
children of Jacob, his chosen ones!

He is the LORD our God;
his judgments are in all the earth.
He remembers his covenant forever,
the word that he commanded, for a thousand generations,
the covenant that he made with Abraham,
his sworn promise to Isaac,
which he confirmed to Jacob as a statute,
to Israel as an everlasting covenant,
saying, “To you I will give the land of Canaan
as your portion for an inheritance.”

When they were few in number,
of little account, and sojourners in it,
wandering from nation to nation,
from one kingdom to another people,
he allowed no one to oppress them;
he rebuked kings on their account,
saying, “Touch not my anointed ones,
do my prophets no harm!”

When he summoned a famine on the land
and broke all supply of bread,
he had sent a man ahead of them,
Joseph, who was sold as a slave.
His feet were hurt with fetters;
his neck was put in a collar of iron;
until what he had said came to pass,
the word of the LORD tested him.
The king sent and released him;
the ruler of the peoples set him free;
he made him lord of his house
and ruler of all his possessions,
to bind his princes at his pleasure
and to teach his elders wisdom.

Then Israel came to Egypt;
Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham.
And the LORD made his people very fruitful
and made them stronger than their foes.

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

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