Blessings for Manasseh and Ephraim
1Some time later Joseph learned that his father was very sick. So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim and went to his father. 2When Joseph arrived, someone told Jacob, also called Israel, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” Jacob was weak. So he used all his strength and sat up on his bed.
3Then Jacob said to Joseph, “God All-Powerful appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan. God blessed me there. 4He said to me, ‘I will give you many children. I will make you the father of many peoples. And I will give your descendants this land forever.’ 5Your two sons were born here in Egypt before I came. They will be counted as my own sons. Ephraim and Manasseh will be my sons just as Reuben and Simeon are my sons. 6But if you have other children, they will be your own. But their land will be part of the land given to Ephraim and Manasseh. 7When I came from Northwest Mesopotamia, Rachel died in the land of Canaan. We were traveling toward Ephrath. This made me very sad. I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.” (Today Ephrath is Bethlehem.)
8Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons. He said, “Who are these boys?”
9Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons. God has given them to me here in Egypt.”
Israel said, “Bring your sons to me so I may bless them.”
10At this time Israel’s eyesight was bad because he was old. So Joseph brought the boys close to him. Israel kissed the boys and put his arms around them. 11He said to Joseph, “I thought I would never see you alive again. And now God has let me see you and also your children.” 12Then Joseph moved his sons off Israel’s lap. Joseph bowed facedown to the ground. 13He put Ephraim on his right side and Manasseh on his left. (So Ephraim was near Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh was near Israel’s right hand.) Joseph brought the boys close to Israel. 14But Israel crossed his arms. He put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, who was younger. He put his left hand on the head of Manasseh. But he was the firstborn son. 15And Israel blessed Joseph and said,
“My ancestors Abraham and Isaac served our God.
And like a shepherd God has led me all my life.
16He was the Angel who saved me from all my troubles.
Now I pray that he will bless these boys.
May my name be known through these boys.
And may the names of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac be known through them.
May they have many descendants on the earth.”
17Joseph saw that his father put his right hand on Ephraim’s head. Joseph didn’t like it. So he took hold of his father’s hand. He wanted to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to his father, “You are doing it wrong, Father. Manasseh is the firstborn son. Put your right hand on his head.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. Manasseh will be great and have many descendants. But his younger brother will be greater. And his descendants will be enough to make a nation.”
20So Israel blessed them that day. He said,
“When a blessing is given in Israel, they will say:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
In this way he made Ephraim greater than Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look at me. I am about to die. But God will be with you. He will take you back to the land of your fathers. 22I have given you something that I did not give your brothers. I have given you the land of Shechem that I took from the Amorite people. I took it with my sword and my bow.”
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B'resheet (Gen) 48
1Awhile later someone told Yosef that his father was ill. He took with him his two sons, M’nasheh and Efrayim. 2Ya‘akov was told, “Here comes your son Yosef.” Isra’el gathered his strength and sat up in bed. 3Ya‘akov said to Yosef, “El Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in the land of Kena‘an and blessed me, 4saying to me, ‘I will make you fruitful and numerous. I will make of you a group of peoples; and I will give this land to your descendants to possess forever.’ 5Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Efrayim and M’nasheh will be as much mine as Re’uven and Shim‘on are. 6The children born to you after them will be yours, but for purposes of inheritance they are to be counted with their older brothers.
7“Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died suddenly, as we were traveling through the land of Kena‘an, while we were still some distance from Efrat; so I buried her there on the way to Efrat (also known as Beit-Lechem).”
8Then Isra’el noticed Yosef’s sons and asked, “Whose are these?” 9Yosef answered his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” Ya‘akov replied, “I want you to bring them here to me, so that I can bless them.” (ii) 10Now Isra’el’s eyes were dim with age, so that he could not see. Yosef brought his sons near to him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11Isra’el said to Yosef, “I never expected to see even you again, but God has allowed me to see your children too!” 12Yosef brought them out from between his legs and prostrated himself on the ground. 13Then Yosef took them both, Efrayim in his right hand toward Isra’el’s left hand and M’nasheh in his left hand toward Isra’el’s right hand, and brought them near to him. 14But Isra’el put out his right hand and laid it on the head of the younger one, Efrayim, and put his left hand on the head of M’nasheh — he intentionally crossed his hands, even though M’nasheh was the firstborn. 15Then he blessed Yosef: “The God in whose presence my fathers Avraham and Yitz’chak lived, the God who has been my own shepherd all my life long to this day, 16the angel who has rescued me from all harm, bless these boys. May they remember who I am and what I stand for, and likewise my fathers Avraham and Yitz’chak, who they were and what they stood for. And may they grow into teeming multitudes on the earth.”
(iii) 17When Yosef saw that his father was laying his right hand on Efrayim’s head, it displeased him, and he lifted up his father’s hand to remove it from Efrayim’s head and place it instead on M’nasheh’s head. 18Yosef said to his father, “Don’t do it that way, my father; for this one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.” 19But his father refused and said, “I know that, my son, I know it. He too will become a people, and he too will be great; nevertheless his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will grow into many nations.” 20Then he added this blessing on them that day: “Isra’el will speak of you in their own blessings by saying, ‘May God make you like Efrayim and M’nasheh.’” Thus he put Efrayim ahead of M’nasheh.
21Isra’el then said to Yosef, “You see that I am dying, but God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your ancestors. 22Moreover, I am giving to you a sh’khem [shoulder, ridge, share, city of Sh’khem] more than to your brothers; I captured it from the Emori with my sword and bow.”
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