This book deals with the so-called "Blessing of Jacob" (Gen 49) in all its aspects, discussing philological, literary, and historical problems. After an introductory chapter a thoroughly discussed translation of Gen 49 and an analysis of its poetical structure are presented, followed by the discussion of the genre-definition "tribal saying" (Stammesspruch), and a synchronic and diachronic analysis of Gen 49 in its literary context (Gen 47:29-49:33). The remarkable results of this analysis are finally discussed in relation to Israel's history. It is suggested that only part of the "Blessing" functioned within the (originally much shorter) deathbed account (Gen 47:29–49:33), reflecting the historical situation of the time of origin. Afterwards it was thoroughly worked up into its present shape to meet the conditions of later political development.
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