Book of Genesis #61
Some years later -- we are not told the exact number, Jacob is on his death bed.
He knows he is going to die so he gathers his sons around him and he gives them his spiritual testament which is far more important than any material testament can ever be for its consequences will be felt down the generations.
Jacob does not speak blessings to his sons. In fact more often than not what he has to say is more like a curse. In a very real sense, the rest of the historical books of Scripture record the unfolding of these words of Jacob in time.
The blessings -- and the curses -- of parents are extremely potent more so than modern man dares to realize. This is why St. Paul admonishes his readers in Roman 12:14 to "bless and not to curse." He was not telling them to "bless" rather than swear (that is to speak foul of others) he meant what he said "do not curse," for he knew the power of cursing which is as real as the power of blessing.
Parents, therefore, should do their utmost to pass on a living faith to their children whom they should bless often by words and by deeds which keep them (the parents) faithful to the Covenant of God otherwise some of them may have bitter things to say to their children on their deathbed; words of power that will affect the lives of the children down the generations.