The Background of Genesis 49:10-11
The background actually begins with Abraham Avinu or Abraham, Our Father. God called him out of Ur of the Chaldees and told him to start a new life in the Promised Land. In addition, God entered into a covenant with Abraham and guaranteed that a nation would spring from him. Abraham’s family then began to increase, slowly at first, beginning with his son Isaac, and then Isaac’s son, Jacob.
In Genesis 49, Jacob’s family has increased to 12 sons, as well as numerous grandchildren and other dependents. Due to a famine, they have moved from Canaan to Egypt to sojourn there under the protection of the wise and powerful son, Joseph.
As our chapter opens, the aged patriarch Jacob, lays dying upon his bed. In accordance with tradition, he is about to pass on the Abrahamic Covenant to all 12 of his sons. As he does this, he foretells the future of the nation that will develop from these 12 men. Then, most importantly, he predicts the coming of the Messiah King.