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 Israel, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” Israel was very weak, but he tried hard and sat up in his bed.
3Then Israel 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 make you a great family. I will give you many children and you will be a great people. Your family will own this land forever.’ 5Now you have two sons. These two sons were born here in the country of Egypt before I came. Your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, will be like my own sons. They will be like Reuben and Simeon to me. 6So these two boys will be my sons. They will share in everything I own. But if you have other sons, they will be your sons. But they will also be like sons to Ephraim and Manasseh—that is, in the future, they will share in everything that Ephraim and Manasseh own. 7On the trip from Paddan Aram, Rachel died in the land of Canaan. This made me very sad. We were still traveling toward Ephrath. I buried her there on the road to Ephrath.” (Ephrath is Bethlehem.)
8Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons. Israel said, “Who are these boys?”
9Joseph said to his father, “These are my sons. These are the boys God gave me.”
Israel said, “Bring your sons to me. I will bless them.”
10Israel was old and his eyes were not good. So Joseph brought the boys close to his father. Israel kissed and hugged the boys. 11Then Israel said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see your face again. But look! God has let me see you and your children.”
12Then Joseph took the boys off Israel’s lap, and they bowed down in front of his father. 13Joseph put Ephraim on his right side and Manasseh on his left side. (So Ephraim was on Israel’s left side, and Manasseh was on Israel’s right side.) 14But Israel crossed his hands and put his right hand on the head of the younger boy Ephraim. Then he put his left hand on Manasseh, even though Manasseh was the firstborn. 15And Israel blessed Joseph and said,
“My ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, worshiped our God,
and that God has led me all my life.
16He was the Angel who saved me from all my troubles.
And I pray that he will bless these boys.
Now they will have my name
and the name of our ancestors, Abraham and Isaac.
I pray that they will grow to become great families and nations
17Joseph saw that his father put his right hand on Ephraim’s head. This didn’t make Joseph happy. Joseph took his father’s hand because he wanted to move it from Ephraim’s head and put it on Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to his father, “You have your right hand on the wrong boy. Manasseh is the firstborn. Put your right hand on him.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, son. I know. Manasseh is the firstborn. He will be great and will be the father of many people. But his younger brother will be greater than he is. And the younger brother’s family will be much larger.”
20So Israel blessed them that day. He said,
“The Israelites will use your names
whenever they bless someone.
They will say, ‘May God make you
like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
In this way Israel made Ephraim greater than Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look, my time to die is almost here, but God will still be with you. He will lead you back to the land of your ancestors. 22I have given you one portion more than I gave to your brothers. I gave you the land that I won from the Amorites. I used my sword and bow to take that land.”
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Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
1Some time after this, Joseph was told, “Your father is weaker.” So he set out with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.
3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty#Gn 17:1 appeared to me at Luz#Gn 28:13,19; 35:6,9 in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 4He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful and numerous; I will make many nations come from you, and I will give this land as a permanent possession#Gn 17:8 to your future descendants.’#Gn 35:9–12 5Your two sons#Gn 41:50–52; 46:20 born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt are now mine.#Jos 13:7; 14:4; 17:17 Ephraim and Manasseh belong to me just as Reuben and Simeon do. 6Children born to you after them will be yours and will be recorded under the names of their brothers with regard to their inheritance. 7When I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died along the way,#Gn 35:9–19 some distance from Ephrath in the land of Canaan. I buried her there along the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).
8When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”
9And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons God has given me here.”
So Israel said, “Bring them to me and I will bless them.”#Gn 27:4; 49:25–26; Heb 11:21 10Now his eyesight was poor because of old age; he could hardly#48:10 Lit he was not able to see.#Gn 27:1 Joseph brought them to him, and he kissed and embraced them.#Gn 27:27 11Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, but now God has even let me see your offspring.” 12Then Joseph took them from his father’s knees and bowed with his face to the ground.#Gn 18:2; 24:52; 33:3; 42:6; 43:26; Ex 34:8
Ephraim’s Greater Blessing
13Then Joseph took them both — with his right hand Ephraim toward Israel’s left, and with his left hand Manasseh toward Israel’s right — and brought them to Israel. 14But Israel stretched out his right hand and put it on the head of Ephraim, the younger, and crossing his hands, put his left on Manasseh’s head, although Manasseh was the firstborn.#Gn 25:23; 27:18–30 15Then he blessed Joseph and said:
The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,#Gn 17:1; 24:40
the God who has been my shepherd#Gn 49:24; Ps 23:1; Jr 31:10 all my life to this day,
16the angel who has redeemed me from all harm#Gn 28:13–15; 31:11; Is 63:9; Ac 7:35 —
may he bless these boys.
And may they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,#Dt 28:10; 2Ch 7:14; Is 4:1; 43:1; 48:1
and may they grow to be numerous within the land.
17When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he thought it was a mistake#48:17 Or he was displeased; lit head, it was bad in his eyes and took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. 18Joseph said to his father, “Not that way, my father! This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know! He too will become a tribe,#48:19 Lit people and he too will be great; nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a populous nation.”#48:19 Or a multitude of nations; lit a fullness of nations 20So he blessed them that day, putting Ephraim before Manasseh when he said, “The nation Israel will invoke blessings by you, saying, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
21Israel said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your fathers.#Gn 46:4; 50:24 22Over and above what I am giving your brothers, I am giving you the one mountain slope#48:22 Or Shechem, Joseph’s burial place; lit one shoulder that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”#Gn 34:25–29; Jos 24:32; Jn 4:5
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