Verses 1-3 – Jacob begins blessing each of his sons according to how they had lived their lives. Our past affects our future. Make sure your actions today will have good results for tomorrow.
Verse 4 – The oldest son was supposed to receive a double portion of the inheritance, but Reuben had lain with Bilhah, Leah’s handmaid, Jacob’s concubine. He had defiled the marriage bed. He was untrustworthy.
Verses 5-7 – Simeon and Levi were the two that went after Shechem in revenge after he had raped their sister, Dinah. They were cursed by Jacob for their life of violence.
Verses 8-12 – Wasn’t Judah the one that sold Joseph into slavery and tried to defraud his daughter-in-law? But God had chosen Judah to be the ancestor of Israel’s line of kings. This is what “the scepter will not depart from Judah” means. This may have been to Judah’s dramatic change of character (44:33, 34). Judah’s line would produce the Messiah, Jesus.
Verse 18 – Right in the middle of this blessing to Dan, Jacob declares God’s deliverance. He was telling Dan that he would be a strong leader if he put his trust in God. Let’s not forget who gave us that talent or strength to accomplish these things in our life.
Verses 22-26 – Now its Joseph’s turn. What a blessing Jacob gave him! Joseph has some pretty heroic descendants: Joshua who would lead the Israelite’s into the promise land (Joshua 1:10, 11), Deborah, Gideon, and Jephthah, judges of Israel (Judges 4:4; 6:11, 12; 11:11).
These verses celebrate the times God rescued Joseph when his enemies attacked him. To trust God to rescue you from persecution or injury shows great faith. It will take courage, trust, perseverance and commitment.