Jacob [Israel] Blesses Joseph’s Two Sons
1Later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim ⌞to see Jacob⌟. 2When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph is here to see you,” Israel gathered his strength and sat up in bed.
3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in Canaan and blessed me. 4He said to me, ‘I will make you fertile and increase the number of your descendants so that you will become a community of people. I will give this land to your descendants as a permanent possession.’
5“So your two sons, who were born in Egypt before I came here, are my sons. Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine just as Reuben and Simeon are. 6Any other children you have after them will be yours. They will inherit the land listed under their brothers’ names. 7As I was coming back from Paddan, Rachel died in Canaan when we were still some distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there on the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).
8When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he asked, “Who are they?”
9“They are my sons, whom God has given me here in Egypt,” Joseph answered his father.
Then Israel said, “Please bring them to me so that I may bless them.”
10Israel’s eyesight was failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to his father, and Israel hugged them and kissed them.
11Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see you again, and now God has even let me see your sons.”
12Joseph took them off his father’s lap and bowed with his face touching the ground. 13Then Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right, facing Israel’s left, and Manasseh on his left, facing Israel’s right, and brought them close to him. 14But Israel crossed his hands and reached out. He put his right hand on Ephraim’s head, although Ephraim was the younger son. He put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, although Manasseh was older.
15Then Jacob blessed Joseph,
“May God, in whose presence my grandfather Abraham
and my father Isaac walked,
may God, who has been my shepherd all my life to this very day,
16may the Messenger, who has rescued me from all evil,
bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and by the names of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac.
May they have many children on the earth.”
17When Joseph saw that his father had put his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he didn’t like it. So he took his father’s hand in order to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. 18Then he said to his father, “That’s not right, Father! This is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”
19His father refused and said, “I know, Son, I know! Manasseh, too, will become a nation, and he, too, will be important. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be more important than he, and his descendants will become many nations.”
20That day he blessed them. He said,
“Because of you, Israel will speak this blessing,
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!’ ”
In this way Israel put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “Now I’m about to die, but God will be with you. He will bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22I’m giving you one more mountain ridge than your brothers. I took it from the Amorites with my own sword and bow.”
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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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