All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him. Then he commanded them and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my people; bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field at Machpelah, to the east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite to possess as a burying place.AW)” data-cr=”#cen-ESV-1505AW” style=”font-size: 0.625em; line-height: 22px; vertical-align: top;”> There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I buried Leah— the field and the cave that is in it were bought from the Hittites.” When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.
After Jacob blesses his sons, he gives burial instructions. The blessings were more like prophesies about their offspring, based on their individual performance. Reuben slept with his father’s concubine, so Jacob had bad things to say about his family’s future.
I don’t know if there has been any academic study on sinful tendencies and heredity, but we have all seen enough families to know it happens, and just enough outliers to know we are not locked into our parents’ foibles. I know I succeeded in breaking a few curses, so maybe these prophesies could also have been treated as warnings.