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Genesis 48

48
Ephraim and Manasseh
1Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is sick.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. 2Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you.” So Israel became stronger and sat up in bed.
3Jacob said to Joseph, “The Mighty God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan. He blessed me there. 4He said to me, ‘I am going to give you children. I will make your family very large. I will make you a community of nations. And I will give this land to your children after you. It will belong to them forever.’
5“Now then, two sons were born to you in Egypt. It happened before I came to you here. They will be counted as my own sons. Ephraim and Manasseh will belong to me, in the same way that Reuben and Simeon belong to me. 6Any children born to you after them will belong to you. Any territory they receive will come from the land that will be given to Ephraim and Manasseh. 7As I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died. It made me very sad. She died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way. We weren’t very far away from Ephrath. So I buried her body there beside the road to Ephrath.” Ephrath was also called Bethlehem.
8Israel saw Joseph’s sons. He asked, “Who are they?”
9“They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.
Then Israel said, “Bring them to me. I want to give them my blessing.”
10Israel’s eyes were weak because he was old. He couldn’t see very well. So Joseph brought his sons close to him. His father kissed them and hugged them.
11Israel said to Joseph, “I never thought I’d see your face again. But now God has let me see your children too.”
12Then Joseph lifted his sons off Israel’s knees. Joseph bowed down with his face to the ground. 13He placed Ephraim on his right, toward Israel’s left hand. He placed Manasseh on his left, toward Israel’s right hand. Then he brought them close to Israel. 14But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head. He did it even though Ephraim was the younger son. He crossed his arms and put his left hand on Manasseh’s head. He did it even though Manasseh was the older son.
15Then Israel gave Joseph his blessing. He said,
“May God bless these boys.
He is the God of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac.
They walked faithfully with him.
He is the God who has been my shepherd
all my life right up to this day.
16He is the Angel who has saved me from all harm.
May he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name.
May they also be called by the names of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac.
And may the number of them greatly increase
on the earth.”
17Joseph saw his father putting his right hand on Ephraim’s head. And Joseph didn’t like it. So he took hold of his father’s hand to move it over to Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to him, “No, my father. Here’s my older son. Put your right hand on his head.”
19But his father wouldn’t do it. He said, “I know, my son. I know. He too will become a nation. He too will become great. But his younger brother will be greater than he is. His children after him will become a group of nations.” 20On that day, Jacob gave them his blessing. He said,
“The people of Israel will bless others in your name.
They will say, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’ ”
So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “I’m about to die. But God will be with all of you. He’ll take you back to the land of your fathers. 22But to you, Joseph, I am giving more land than your brothers. I’m giving you the land I took from the Amorites. I took it with my sword and bow.”
48
CHAPTER 48
1And so when these things were done, it was told to Joseph, that his father was sick. And he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and he disposed him to go.
2And it was said to the eld [or old] man, Lo! thy son Joseph cometh to thee; which was comforted, and sat up in the bed.
3And when Joseph entered to him, he said, Almighty God appeared to me in Luz, which is in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,
4and said, I shall increase thee, and multiply thee, and I shall make thee into companies of peoples, and I shall give to thee this land, and to thy seed after thee, into everlasting possession.
5Therefore thy two sons, that be born to thee in the land of Egypt, before that I came hither to thee, shall be mine; Ephraim and Manasseh, as Reuben and Simeon, shall be areckoned to me;
6forsooth the others which thou shalt beget after them shall be thine; and they shall be called by the name of their brethren in their possessions.
7Forsooth when I came from Mesopotamia, Rachel was dead to me in the land of Canaan, in that way; and it was the beginning of summer; and before that I entered into Ephratah, and I buried her beside the way of Ephratah, which by another name is called Bethlehem.
8Forsooth Jacob saw the sons of Joseph, and said to him, Who be these?
9He answered, They be my sons, which God gave me in this place. Jacob said, Bring them to me, that I bless them.
10For the eyes of Israel dimmed for great eld age, and he might not see clearly; and he kissed and embraced those children joined to him,
11and he said to his son, I am not defrauded of thy sight; furthermore God hath showed to me thy seed.
12And when Joseph had taken them from his father’s lap, he worshipped or honoured low to the earth.
13And he set Ephraim on his right side, that is, on the left side of Israel; forsooth he set Manasseh on his left side, that is, on the right side of his father; and he joined both to him.
14Which held forth the right hand, and laid it on Ephraim’s head, the younger brother; soothly he laid his left hand on Manasseh’s head, that was the more through birth. Jacob changed his hands,
15and blessed his son Joseph#48:15 In blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, Jacob was in fact blessing Joseph. (Good News Bible), and said, God, in whose sight my fathers Abraham and Isaac went; God that feedeth me from my young waxing age till into this present day;
16the angel that delivered me from all evils, bless these children, and my name be called on them, and the names of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac; and wax they in multitude on earth.
17Forsooth Joseph saw that his father had set [or put] his right hand on the head of Ephraim, and he took that heavily, and he enforced or endeavoured him to raise his father’s hand, and take it from the head of Ephraim, and to bear it over upon the head of Manasseh.
18And Joseph said to his father, Father, it accordeth not so; for this is the first begotten; set [or put] thy right hand on his head.
19Which forsook to do so, and said, I know, my son, I know; and soothly this child shall be into peoples, and he shall be multiplied; but his younger brother shall be more than he, and his seed shall increase into a multitude of folks.
20And he blessed them in that time, and said, Israel shall be blessed in thee, and it shall be said, God do to thee as to Ephraim and as to Manasseh. And he set Ephraim before Manasseh;
21and Jacob said to Joseph, his son, Lo! I die, and God shall be with you, and shall lead you again to the land of your fathers;
22I give to thee one part over thy brethren, which I took from the hand of Amorite, in my sword and bow.