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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Jacob blesses his family and dies
Jacob blesses Joseph's two sons
1Joseph was told that his father Jacob had become very sick. So Joseph went to see him and took along his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2When Joseph arrived, someone told Jacob, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” Jacob sat up in bed, but it took almost all his strength.
3Jacob told Joseph:#Gn 28.13,14.
God All-Powerful appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, where he gave me his blessing 4and promised, “I will give you a large family with many descendants that will grow into a nation. And I am giving you this land that will belong to you and your family for ever.”
5Then Jacob went on to say:
Joseph, your two sons Ephraim and Manasseh were born in Egypt, but I accept them as my own, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6Any children you have later will be considered yours, but their inheritance will come from Ephraim and Manasseh. 7Unfortunately, your mother Rachel died in Canaan after we had left northern Syria#48.7 northern Syria: See the note at 24.10. and before we reached Bethlehem.#48.7 Bethlehem: The Hebrew text has “Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem”. And I had to bury her along the way.#Gn 35.16-19.
8-10Jacob was very old and almost blind. He did not recognize the two boys, and so he asked Joseph, “Who are these boys?”
Joseph answered, “They are my sons. God has given them to me here in Egypt.”
“Bring them to me,” Jacob said. “I want to give them my blessing.” Joseph brought the boys to him, and he hugged and kissed them.
11Jacob turned to Joseph and told him, “For many years I thought you were dead and that I would never see you again. But now God has even let me live to see your children.” 12Then Joseph made his sons move away from Jacob's knees,#48.12 move…Jacob's knees: The two boys were placed either on or between Jacob's knees, as a sign that he had accepted them as his sons. and Joseph bowed down in front of him with his face to the ground.
13After Joseph got up, he brought his two sons over to Jacob again. He led his younger son Ephraim to the left side of Jacob and his elder son Manasseh to the right. 14But before Jacob gave them his blessing, he crossed his arms, putting his right hand on the head of Ephraim and his left hand on the head of Manasseh. 15Then he gave Joseph his blessing and said:
My grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac worshipped the LORD God. He has been with me all my life, 16and his angel has kept me safe. Now I pray that he will bless these boys and that my name and the names of Abraham and Isaac will live on because of them. I ask God to give them many children and many descendants as well.
17Joseph did not like it when he saw his father place his right hand on the head of the younger son. So he tried to move his father's right hand from Ephraim's head and place it on Manasseh. 18Joseph said, “Father, you have made a mistake. This is the elder boy. Put your right hand on him.”
19But his father said, “Son, I know what I am doing. It's true that Manasseh's family will some day become a great nation. But Ephraim will be even greater than Manasseh, because his descendants will become many great nations.”
20Jacob told him that in the future the people of Israel would ask God's blessings on one another by saying, “I pray for God to bless you as much as he blessed Ephraim and Manasseh.” Jacob put Ephraim's name first to show that he would be greater than Manasseh.#He 11.21. 21After that, Jacob said, “Joseph, you can see that I won't live much longer. But God will be with you and will lead you back to the land he promised our family long ago. 22Meanwhile, I'm giving you the hillside#48.22 the hillside: Or “a larger share than your brothers, the land”. I captured from the Amorites.”
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