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Genesis 49:8-15

  1. .
    Gen 49:8 . .You, O Judah, your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the nape of your foes; your father's sons shall bow low to you.

    Reuben was the original ranking brother, then the position passed to Joseph, and finally to the family of Judah's grandson David; and that's where it remains to this day. (Ps 89:20-27)

    Gen 49:10a . .The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the scepter from between his feet

    Refer to: 2Sam 7:16, 2Sam 23:5, Ps 85:35-38, Ps 89:4 , and Ps 89:30

    Gen 49:10b . . And the homage of peoples be his.

    The "peoples" of that verse are non Jews; viz: Gentiles. The jurisdiction of Davidic monarchs is normally limited to their own country, among their fellow Jews; but one is coming in Judah's family who will one day rule the entire world. (Dan 7:13-14 and Ps 2:7-9)

    This next prediction is the scariest one of all.

    Gen 49:11 . . He washes his garment in wine, his robe in blood of grapes.

    See: Isa 63:1-6, and Rev 19:15-16

    Gen 49:13 . . Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore; he shall be a haven for ships, and his flank shall rest on Sidon.

    Zebulun never did actually occupy a Mediterranean shore (Josh 19:10-16) but their proximity to the coast, via the territory of Ashur, gave them opportunity to earn their livings in sea related trades like stevedoring, ship building, and possibly crews on fishing vessels and cargo ships owned and operated by the Philistines and Phoenicians.

    Zebulun's flank didn't extend to the coastal city named Sidon, but to a region generally known as Sidonia-- which included the city of Trye --a territory often labeled Sidon for short.

    Gen 49:14-15 . . Issachar is a strong-boned burro, crouching among the sheepfolds. When he saw how good was security, and how pleasant was the country, he bent his shoulder to the burden, and became a toiling serf.

    Men like Zebulun, and Issachar are the invisible people. They don't want much out of life; and they're never really in the news as movers and shakers; the paparazzi don't follow them around, nor are they among the rich, famous, and powerful. Zebulun, and Issachar represent the blue collar labor force, the non-professional working men and women who make a country productive in goods and services.

    Unfortunately, the two tribes, on the whole, believed in peace at any price, and were wont to trade their independence for corvee labor in order to avoid conflict with overlords and invaders-- the two notable exceptions being Zebulun's response when mustered for duty with Gideon (Judg 6:35) and the two tribes responses when mustered by Barak (Judg 5:14-15) but they rarely took the initiative to go on the offensive.
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