Chapter 49 continues Jacob's last message and his dying blessing. He assembled his twelve sons together to prophesy of their tribal future. The prophecy, covered in verses 3-27, covers the entire sweep of Israelite history--past, present, and future. The prophecy concerning Reuben (verses 3 and 4) and Simeon and Levi (verses 5 and 7) characterized the nation of Israel until the Messiah's advent. Judah (verses 8-12) pointed to the period when our Lord was on the earth. Zebulun (verse 13) and Issachar) verses 14 and 15) portrayed Israel, a trading people scattered among the nations. Verses 16-18 suggest apostate Israel during the reign of the Antichrist. Gad (verse 10), Asher (verse 20) and Naphtali (verse 21) portray the godly Jewish remnant of the Great Tribulation, and then Joseph (verses 22-26) speaks of the second advent of Messiah, and Benjamin of the rod-of-iron righteous rule of the King in the Kingdom Age.
The deaths of Jacob and Joseph are recorded in chapter 50. Jacob was buried in Canaan, the land God had given him. He did not belong to the world or to Egypt. Joseph was buried in Egypt, but as we read the Book of Exodus we will see that Moses took Joseph's remains from Egypt when the children of Israel left there.
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