Genesis 49

1 Israel is about to prophesy about the future of his sons.
3 It was a great honor to be the firstborn son.
4 But with honor comes responsibility. Reuben was easily swayed by his lusts and had sex with one of his father's other wives. He revoked his privilege of being the firstborn by lack of self-control.
7 Simeon and Levi had pretended to reconcile with their enemies and later killed them without mercy (Gen 34:30). Levi was scattered throughout Israel after the Exodus. As priests, they had little land of their own. Instead they had special cities set aside throughout Israel where they lived. Simeon's land after the Exodus was completely surrounded by Judah. After the Kingdom of Israel divided, the southern kingdom took the name of the tribe of Judah. The last place Simeon's descendents are listed as a distinct people is in 2 Chr 34:1.
8 Judah was fourth oldest of the brothers, but unlike his older three brothers, he did not disgrace Israel. So, even though Joseph received the birthright and a special blessing, it would be Judah who would produce all but one of God's chosen line of kings. One of his descendents would be Jesus, who is and will be the King of Kings.
9 Judah starts out more as a harmless lion cub, but he becomes increasingly powerful. When Jesus, his descendent, comes again, He will defeat His enemies, and no one will oppose Him.
10 After the kingship was established in Israel, the tribe of Judah had kingship authority until the conquest of the Romans. At that time, the Romans forbid its subject countries to use the death penalty. The Jews saw this as the "removal of the scepter." However, at the same time Jesus was born, who is the "Shiloh" mentioned here. Jesus' kingship will overshadow all earthly authorities when He makes His second appearance.
11 Whether this is describing Judah or Jesus is unclear. In any event, these are pictures of peace and prosperity.
12 I suspect these are indicators that Judah's people (or Jesus) would be handsome. Maybe I'm stretching it here.
13 Zebulun was to live by the sea. Israel was not to be known as a capital of the seas since it did not have many suitable harbors. However, it did do a little bit of trade by sea, and most apparently during the time of Solomon (1 Ki 5:9, 1 Ki 10:22)
15 It is not specifically mentioned in the Bible how or when the tribe of Issachar was made into slaves.
16 One of the judges was Samson (Judg 13:2, 24).
17 This sounds like the tribe of Dan would slow enemy progress, but would not actually defeat them.
18 Dan would be a tribe that trusted in God.
19 Gad would appear defeated, but would ultimately gain victory (1 Chr 12:8).
20 Asher was to produce fine food. Some of this food would be fine enough to serve kings.
21 Naphtali was apparently to excel at poetry, but no further mention of this talent is mentioned.
22 Joseph was to be blessed with many offspring.
23 Joseph's life showed patient endurance even though he was hated and attacked.
24 Joseph survived because of his faith in God.God is pictured both as a Shepherd and a Rock. These same titles would be attributed to Jesus (John 10:11, 1 Cor 10:4).
25 As a reward for his faith, Joseph would receive spiritual and material blessings along with many children.
26 Joseph was separate from his brothers in that he excelled in his relationship with God. Joseph was to receive all the blessings of his ancestors, except for that of leadership, which was given to Judah.
27 Benjamin would be known as ruthless warriors. The first king of Israel, Saul, was from the tribe of Benjamin.
29 Israel then asks all the brothers to bury him in Canaan.
33 Just as he finished speaking, Israel died.