1After these things, it was told Joseph that his father was sick: and he set out to go to him, taking his two sons Manasses and Ephraim.
2And it was told the old man: Behold, thy son Joseph cometh to thee. And being strengthened he sat on his bed.
3And when Joseph was come in to him, he said: God Almighty appeared to me at Luza, which is in the land of Chanaan, and he blessed me.
4And he said: I will cause thee to increase and multiply, and I will make of thee a multitude of people. And I will give this land to thee, and to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.
5So thy two sons, who were born to thee in the land of Egypt before I came hither to thee, shall be mine: Ephraim and Manasses shall be reputed to me as Ruben and Simeon.
6But the rest, whom thou shalt have after them, shall be thine, and shall be called by the name of their brethren in their possessions.
7For, when I came out of Mesopotamia, Rachel died from me in the land of Chanaan in the very journey. And it was springtime, and I was going to Ephrata, and I buried her near the way of Ephrata, which by another name is called Bethlehem.
8Then seeing his sons, he said to him: Who are these?
9He answered: They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said: Bring them to me that I may bless them.
10For Israel's eyes were dim by reason of his great age, and he could not see clearly. And when they were brought to him, he kissed and embraced them.
11And said to his son: I am not deprived of seeing thee. Moreover God hath shewed me thy seed.
12And when Joseph had taken them from his father's lap, he bowed down with his face to the ground.
13And he set Ephraim on his right hand, that is, towards the left hand of Israel; but Manasses on his left hand, to wit, towards his father's right hand: and brought them near to him.
14But he stretching forth his right hand, put it upon the head of Ephraim the younger brother; and the left upon the head of Manasses who was the elder, changing his hands.
15And Jacob blessed the sons of Joseph, and said: God, in whose sight my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, God that feedeth me from my youth until this day:
16The angel that delivereth me from all evils bless these boys: and let my name be called upon them, and the names of my fathers Abraham, and Isaac: and may they grow into a multitude upon the earth.
17And Joseph, seeing that his father had put his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, was much displeased: and taking his father's hand he tried to lift it from Ephraim's head, and to remove it to the head of Manasses.
18And he said to his father: It should not be so, my father: for this is the firstborn, put thy right hand upon his head.
19But he refusing, said: I know, my son, I know. And this also shall become peoples, and shall be multiplied: but this younger brother shall be greater than he: and his seed shall grow into nations.
20And he blessed them at that time, saying: In thee shall Israel be blessed. And it shall be said: God do to thee as to Ephraim, and as to Manasses. And he set Ephraim before Manasses.
21And he said to Joseph his son: Behold, I die, and God will be with you, and will bring you back into the land of your fathers.
22I give thee a portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorrhite with my sword and bow.
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Jacob Blesses Manasseh and Ephraim
1One day not long after this, word came to Joseph, “Your father is failing rapidly.” So Joseph went to visit his father, and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
2When Joseph arrived, Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” So Jacob#48:2 Hebrew Israel; also in 48:8, 10, 11, 13, 14, 21. See note on 35:21. gathered his strength and sat up in his bed.
3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty#48:3 Hebrew El-Shaddai. appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 4He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful, and I will multiply your descendants. I will make you a multitude of nations. And I will give this land of Canaan to your descendants#48:4 Hebrew seed; also in 48:19. after you as an everlasting possession.’
5“Now I am claiming as my own sons these two boys of yours, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born here in the land of Egypt before I arrived. They will be my sons, just as Reuben and Simeon are. 6But any children born to you in the future will be your own, and they will inherit land within the territories of their brothers Ephraim and Manasseh.
7“Long ago, as I was returning from Paddan-aram,#48:7 Hebrew Paddan, referring to Paddan-aram; compare Gen 35:9. Rachel died in the land of Canaan. We were still on the way, some distance from Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). So with great sorrow I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.”
8Then Jacob looked over at the two boys. “Are these your sons?” he asked.
9“Yes,” Joseph told him, “these are the sons God has given me here in Egypt.”
And Jacob said, “Bring them closer to me, so I can bless them.”
10Jacob was half blind because of his age and could hardly see. So Joseph brought the boys close to him, and Jacob kissed and embraced them. 11Then Jacob said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see your face again, but now God has let me see your children, too!”
12Joseph moved the boys, who were at their grandfather’s knees, and he bowed with his face to the ground. 13Then he positioned the boys in front of Jacob. With his right hand he directed Ephraim toward Jacob’s left hand, and with his left hand he put Manasseh at Jacob’s right hand. 14But Jacob crossed his arms as he reached out to lay his hands on the boys’ heads. He put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, though he was the younger boy, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, though he was the firstborn. 15Then he blessed Joseph and said,
“May the God before whom my grandfather Abraham
and my father, Isaac, walked—
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life, to this very day,
16the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm—
may he bless these boys.
May they preserve my name
and the names of Abraham and Isaac.
And may their descendants multiply greatly
throughout the earth.”
17But Joseph was upset when he saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head. So Joseph lifted it to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18“No, my father,” he said. “This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”
19But his father refused. “I know, my son; I know,” he replied. “Manasseh will also become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. And his descendants will become a multitude of nations.”
20So Jacob blessed the boys that day with this blessing: “The people of Israel will use your names when they give a blessing. They will say, ‘May God make you as prosperous as Ephraim and Manasseh.’” In this way, Jacob put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21Then Jacob said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will take you back to Canaan, the land of your ancestors. 22And beyond what I have given your brothers, I am giving you an extra portion of the land#48:22 Or an extra ridge of land. The meaning of the Hebrew is uncertain. that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”
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