Jacob blesses Joseph's sons
1After some time, someone told Joseph, ‘Your father is ill.’ So Joseph went to see Jacob and he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, with him. 2Someone told Jacob, ‘Your son Joseph has come to see you.’ Jacob's body became stronger and he sat up on the bed. 3Jacob said to Joseph, ‘God Almighty appeared to me at Luz, in Canaan. God blessed me there. 4He said to me, “I will give you many children, so that your descendants are many. In that way, you will become the ancestor of many nations. I will give this land to you so that it belongs to your descendants for ever.” ’
5Jacob continued to say to Joseph, ‘You have two sons that were born to you in Egypt before I came here. They will become my own sons. Ephraim and Manasseh will be my sons, just as Reuben and Simeon are my sons. #48:5 Ephraim and Manasseh became ancestors of two of the 12 Israelite tribes. 6Any children born to you after them will be your own children. They will receive part of the land that belongs to their brothers, Ephraim and Manasseh.
7As for me, I was very sad when your mother Rachel died on our journey from Paddan. She died near to Ephrath. So I buried her there, next to the road to Ephrath (that is now called Bethlehem).’
8Joseph brought Ephraim and Manasseh to his father, Jacob. Jacob asked him, ‘Who are these boys?’ 9Joseph replied, ‘They are the sons that God has given to me here in Egypt.’ Then Israel said, ‘Bring them near to me so that I can bless them.’
10Jacob's eyes had become weak because he was very old. He was almost blind. So Joseph brought his sons near to his father. His father kissed them and he hugged them. 11Jacob said to Joseph, ‘I never thought that I would see you again. But now God has let me see your children too.’
12Then Joseph removed his sons from Jacob's knees. He bent down low, with his face towards the ground. 13He took his two sons near to Jacob. With his right hand, he put Ephraim beside Jacob's left hand. With his left hand, he put Manasseh beside Jacob's right hand. #48:13 Manasseh was Joseph's firstborn son. This son usually received the blessing from his father. The father put his right hand on the head of the son who would receive his blessing.
14Jacob then put out his right hand. But he put it on Ephraim's head, even though Ephraim was the younger son. Jacob crossed his arms so that he put his left hand on Manasseh's head. Manasseh was Joseph's firstborn son.
15Then Jacob blessed Joseph. He said,
‘May God bless these two boys.
He is the God that my ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, served.
Like a shepherd takes care of his sheep,
God has taken care of me all my life, until this day.
16He is the Angel who has kept me safe. #48:16 God appeared to Jacob as an angel. See Genesis 32:29.
I pray that he will bless these boys.
I pray that, because of them, people will remember my name,
and the names of my ancestors, Abraham and Isaac.
I pray that they will have many descendants who live all over the earth.’
17Joseph saw that his father had put his right hand on Ephraim's head. This made Joseph upset. So he took hold of his father's right hand. He moved it from Ephraim's head on to Manasseh's head. 18Joseph said to Jacob, ‘No, my father. This boy is the firstborn son. Put your right hand on his head.’
19But Jacob refused to change. He said, ‘I know, my son. I know what I am doing. Manasseh will also have many descendants who become a great nation. But his younger brother, Ephraim, will become even greater. Ephraim's descendants will become many great nations.’
20So Jacob blessed both of Joseph's sons that day. He said, ‘In your name Israel's people will give this blessing:
“May God be good to you, just like he was to Ephraim and Manasseh.” ’ #48:20 Jacob is saying that God will do good things for Ephraim and Manasseh. And people will remember how good God was to them.
In this way, Jacob put Ephraim before Manasseh when he blessed them.
21Then Jacob said to Joseph, ‘I will die soon. But God will be with you. He will take you back to the land where your ancestors lived. 22I give to you more than I give to your brothers. I give to you the good part of the land that I took from the Amorites. #48:22 Jacob is giving to Joseph an extra part of the land of Canaan. I fought against them with my weapons to take that land.’
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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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