Israel’s Last Days
1Now some time after these things happened, Joseph was told, “Your father is sick.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him [to go to Goshen]. 2And when Jacob (Israel) was told, “Look now, your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel strengthened himself and sat up on the bed. 3Then Jacob said to Joseph, “#Heb El Shaddai.God Almighty appeared to me at Luz (Bethel) in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a great company of people, and will give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’ 5Now your two sons [Ephraim and Manasseh], who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; #This act of adoption effectively gave Joseph the birthright and a double allotment of the territory of the promised land when it was apportioned by Joshua (Josh 16; 17). The second son, Ephraim, was named before his older brother because Jacob planned to give him the primary blessing.Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine [that is, adopted as my heirs and sons as surely], as Reuben and Simeon are my sons. 6But other sons who were born to you after them shall be your own; they shall be called by the names of their [two] brothers in their inheritance. 7Now as for me, when I came from Paddan [in Mesopotamia], Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan on the journey, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”
8When Israel [who was almost blind] saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?” 9Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here [in Egypt].” So he said, “Please bring them to me, so that I may bless them.” 10Now Israel’s eyes were so dim from age that he could not see [clearly]. Then Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed and embraced them. 11Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face, but see, God has shown me your children as well.” 12Then Joseph took the boys [from his father’s embrace], and he bowed [before him] with his face to the ground. 13Then Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right, and brought them close to him. 14But Israel reached out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, #God acts independently of priority based on birth order when He chooses men. He too “crossed His hands” in the case of Seth whom He chose over Cain; of Shem over Japheth; of Isaac over Ishmael; of Jacob over Esau; of Judah and Joseph over Reuben; of Moses over Aaron; and of David over all his brothers.crossing his hands [intentionally], even though Manasseh was the firstborn. 15Then Jacob (Israel) blessed Joseph, and said,
“The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked [in faithful obedience],
The God who has been my Shepherd [leading and caring for me] all my life to this day,
16The #See note 16:7.Angel [that is, the Lord Himself] who has redeemed me [continually] from all evil,
Bless the boys;
And may my name live on in them [may they be worthy of having their names linked with mine],
And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
And may they grow into a [great] multitude in the midst of the earth.”
17When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him [because he was not the firstborn]; and he grasped his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn; place your right hand on Manasseh’s head.” 19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know; Manasseh also will become a people and he will be great; but his younger brother shall be #This prophecy begins to be fulfilled during the time of the judges, as the tribe of Ephraim increased in prominence and became the head of the northern ten tribes. Joshua, whom Israel regarded as their ruler, was an Ephraimite. The ark of the covenant was placed in Shiloh in the territory of Ephraim, which also increased the tribe’s prestige. By its fulfillment, Jacob’s prophecy proved to be divinely inspired.greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.” 20Then Jacob blessed them that day, saying,
“By you Israel will pronounce a blessing, saying,
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’ ”
And he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you, and bring you back to [Canaan] the land of your fathers. 22Moreover, I have given you [the #See note 49:3.birthright,] one portion [Shechem, one mountain ridge] more than any of your brothers, which I took [reclaiming it] from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”
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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, “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 Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and 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, who were born here in Egypt before I came, 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, and 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, as we were traveling toward Ephrath. This made me very sad, and I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.” (Today Ephrath is Bethlehem.)
8Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons and said, “Who are these boys?”
9Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons that God has given 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, and 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 and 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 and put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, who was younger. He put his left hand on the head of Manasseh, 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.”
17When Joseph saw that his father put his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he didn’t like it. So he took hold of his father’s hand, wanting 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 and 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 and will take you back to the land of your fathers. 22I have given you something that I did not give your brothers—the land of Shechem that I took from the Amorite people with my sword and my bow.”
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