KJV Gen 49:1  And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.

Other translations of "in the future" and "in the days to come". When were these things to befall the sons of Jacob? In their lifetimes? Or was this to characterize the future generations? Or befall their descendants at some particular point in the future?

2 Answers 2


We have to read the verse from the perspective of the speaker and his audience. To whom was Jacob / Israel speaking? If we honestly answer that question, then we can know the meaning of "the last days" as God used them in scripture.

Jacob was telling each of his sons what would befall THEM in THEIR last days. This is the first use of the "last days" or "latter days" (YLT) in the scriptures. It concerned the last days of each of the tribes of Israel.

The last days were always about the end of days of the children of Israel, and the Mosaic covenant. Notice specifically what Jacob told Judah in verse 10.

"The sceptre shall not depart from Judah, nor a lawgiver from between his feet, until Shiloh come; and unto him shall the gathering of the people be." (KJV)

"The sceptre turneth not aside from Judah, And a lawgiver from between his feet, Till his Seed come; And his [is] the obedience of peoples." (YLT)

The promised seed of Gen. 3:15 was Christ. The scepter would remain with Judah until Christ came. And, unto Christ is the gathering / obedience of all people.

Christ came and was manifested in the first century AD. The sceptre passed from Judah to Christ - the dominion of the kingdom passed from fleshly Israel to spiritual Israel - at the cross of Christ.

Judah was the last of the tribes to remain until Christ came. God maintained the land of Judah for Christ's manifestation (Ezek. 37:19-25). The last days were always speaking of the old covenant between God and fleshly Israel. The Bible was always leading the people to Christ.

Once the covenant was fulfilled in Chirst (Matt. 5:17; Rom. 8:4), there was no longer any need for that fleshly sacrificial system at that temple in Jerusalem. Christ became the sacrifice for all.

Heb. 10:16-18,

"16 `This [is] the covenant that I will make with them after those days, saith the Lord, giving My laws on their hearts, and upon their minds I will write them,'

17 and `their sins and their lawlessness I will remember no more;'

18 and where forgiveness of these [is], there is no more offering for sin." (YLT)

That was the promise prophesied from Jer. 31: 33-34. Under the new covenant of the gospel of Christ we have forgiveness in Him. His word is written on our hearts, not on tablets of stone. We have forgiveness in Christ, as it is His blood that covers us when we are baptized into Christ. That means there is NO MORE SIN OFFERING at an earthly temple that is going to forgive our sins.

The last days were the end of the old animal sin offering system under the old covenant. They were not and never were speaking of the "end of the world".

Further reading at my blog:

"Frequent Mistakes - Part VI: The End of The World, or ???" at ShreddingTheVeil

"Frequent Mistakes - Part III: The Last Day" at ShreddingTheVeil

"The Signs of Revelation - Part I: The Time of His Coming" at ShreddingTheVeil

"The Valley of Dry Bones: A Picture For The Children of God" at ShreddingTheVeil

  • Thank you, Gina, lots of good stuff in there. Can you please see if you can take verses 3 and 4, which apply to Reuben, and give some idea of how they describe the final days of his descendants? It seems that they are describing their future but not particularly the final days. Maybe we can use your "finished puzzle on the puzzle box" to "put together the pieces in the box" if you know what I mean. If we can do that correlation then we should be able to do the same for all of the "puzzle sections". Thanks.
    – Ruminator
    May 7, 2018 at 14:48
  • Last days of the mosaic covenant? They weren't even under the mosaic covenant at this time. So it doesn't make sense that He is speaking of the last days of a covenant that they didn't receive until hundred of years later.
    – diego b
    May 7, 2018 at 17:03
  • Diego, do you think the prophesy did not foresee the Mosaic covenant? The last days of each of the tribes would have been when they were under the Mosaic covenant. Jacob wasn't prophesying that they would each die off before the Mosaic covenant was handed down from Mt. Sinai.
    – Gina
    May 7, 2018 at 23:33
  • Ruminator - yes there are indications of each tribe's "end" in this prophesy, but it would be best to ask another question as the info requires more space, and is too broad for this post.
    – Gina
    May 7, 2018 at 23:42
  • 1
    @Ruminator - I think so too. As does DKP, and several others.
    – Gina
    Apr 27, 2022 at 3:02

I think this interpretation is WRONG because Joeseph was also a foreshadowing of CHRIST, and the twelve tribes of the twelve disciples. Also the Exodus would then be parallel with GOD carrying us through the wilderness of Sin in the end times during the generation of fornicators. Remember the Word is a two edged sword and even though it is history it is also symbolic of things to come.

  • Your answer could be improved with additional supporting information. Please edit to add further details, such as citations or documentation, so that others can confirm that your answer is correct. You can find more information on how to write good answers in the help center.
    – Community Bot
    Apr 26, 2022 at 0:15
  • I have come to see this passage as speaking of the same "end": blueletterbible.org/nkjv/deu/32/1/s_185001
    – Ruminator
    Apr 27, 2022 at 0:09

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.