This book deals with the so-called Blessing of Jacob (Genesis 49) in all its aspects, discussing philological, literary and historical problems. After an introductory chapter a thoroughly discussed translation of Genesis 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 Genesis 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.