1Sometime after this, Joseph was told, “Your father is sick.” So Joseph went to see him, taking with him his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim.
2When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” he gathered his strength and sat up in bed. 3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in Canaan, and he blessed me there. 4He told me, ‘Listen! I will make you prosperous and make your descendants so numerous that you will become the ancestor of many nations, and I will give this land to your descendants to own forever.’
5I am counting as mine your two sons Ephraim and Manasseh who were born here in Egypt before I arrived, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6Any other children you have after them will be yours, and will share their inheritance within the land of their older brothers. 7I'm doing this because#48:7. “I'm doing this because”: supplied for context. The sense seems to be that since Rachel died in childbirth having Benjamin, she wasn't able to have any more children, so in Jacob's mind he claims Joseph's sons as some kind of recompense. tragically for me when I was returning from Paddan-aram, Rachel died in Canaan some distance from Ephrath. I buried her there on the way to Ephrath” (also known as Bethlehem).
8Israel saw Joseph's sons and said, “So these are your sons?”
9“Yes, these are the sons God gave me here,” Joseph told his father.
“Bring them over here so I can bless them,” he said.
10Israel's eyesight was failing because of his age and he couldn't see well, so Joseph brought them close to his father, and he kissed and hugged them. 11Israel said to Joseph, “I never thought I'd see your face again, and now God has even let me see your children!”
12Joseph took his sons from between Israel's knees, and bowed low with his face to the ground. 13Then Joseph placed Ephraim on his right so he would be on Israel's left, and Manasseh on his left so he would be on Israel's right, and then brought them over to Israel. 14But when Israel reached out his hands, he crossed them over and placed his right hand on Ephraim the younger son, and placed his left on Manasseh, the firstborn. 15He blessed Joseph, saying,
“May the God my grandfather Abraham and my father worshiped—the God who has taken care of me like a shepherd throughout my life until now, 16the Angel who has saved me from all kinds of trouble—may he bless these boys. May my name and the names of my grandfather Abraham and father Isaac continue through them, and may they have many descendants that spread throughout the earth.”
17Joseph was unhappy when he saw his father had put his right hand on Ephraim, so he took his father's hand to try and move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18“Not like that, father, this is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head,” Joseph told him.
19But his father refused, saying, “I know what I'm doing. Manasseh will also become an important people, but his younger brother will be greater than him, and his descendants will become a large nation.”
20So Israel blessed them that day and said: “In the future the people of Israel will use your names to give a blessing, saying, ‘May God bless you like he did Ephraim and Manasseh.’” In saying this he placed Ephraim before Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “I'm going to die soon, but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22I'm also giving you something in addition to what I'm giving your brothers—the piece of land on the mountain slope of Shechem#48:22. The word used here meaning “shoulder” refers to both a mountain slope and also the town of Shechem named after such a slope. In 33:18, it's recorded that Jacob bought a piece of land at Shechem, and in Joshua 24:32 it's stated that Joseph was later buried there. It is also referred to in John 4:5 as the land Jacob gave to Joseph. that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”