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Genesis 48

48
Manasseh and Ephraim
1Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. 2When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.
3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty#48:3 Hebrew El-Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me 4and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’
5“Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. 7As I was returning from Paddan,#48:7 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).
8When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”
9“They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.
Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”
10Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.
11Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”
12Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.
15Then he blessed Joseph and said,
“May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
16the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
—may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
on the earth.”
17When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” 20He blessed them that day and said,
“In your#48:20 The Hebrew is singular. name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’ ”
So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you#48:21 The Hebrew is plural. and take you#48:21 The Hebrew is plural. back to the land of your#48:21 The Hebrew is plural. fathers. 22And to you I give one more ridge of land#48:22 The Hebrew for ridge of land is identical with the place name Shechem. than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”
48
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.”