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Genesis 48

48
Blessings for Manasseh and Ephraim
1Some time later Joseph learned that his father was very sick. So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim and went to his father. 2When Joseph arrived, someone told Jacob, also called Israel, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” Jacob was weak. So he used all his strength and sat up on his bed.
3Then Jacob said to Joseph, “God All-Powerful appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan. God blessed me there. 4He said to me, ‘I will give you many children. I will make you the father of many peoples. And I will give your descendants this land forever.’ 5Your two sons were born here in Egypt before I came. They will be counted as my own sons. Ephraim and Manasseh will be my sons just as Reuben and Simeon are my sons. 6But if you have other children, they will be your own. But their land will be part of the land given to Ephraim and Manasseh. 7When I came from Northwest Mesopotamia, Rachel died in the land of Canaan. We were traveling toward Ephrath. This made me very sad. I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.” (Today Ephrath is Bethlehem.)
8Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons. He said, “Who are these boys?”
9Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons. God has given them to me here in Egypt.”
Israel said, “Bring your sons to me so I may bless them.”
10At this time Israel’s eyesight was bad because he was old. So Joseph brought the boys close to him. Israel kissed the boys and put his arms around them. 11He said to Joseph, “I thought I would never see you alive again. And now God has let me see you and also your children.” 12Then Joseph moved his sons off Israel’s lap. Joseph bowed facedown to the ground. 13He put Ephraim on his right side and Manasseh on his left. (So Ephraim was near Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh was near Israel’s right hand.) Joseph brought the boys close to Israel. 14But Israel crossed his arms. He put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, who was younger. He put his left hand on the head of Manasseh. But he was the firstborn son. 15And Israel blessed Joseph and said,
“My ancestors Abraham and Isaac served our God.
And like a shepherd God has led me all my life.
16He was the Angel who saved me from all my troubles.
Now I pray that he will bless these boys.
May my name be known through these boys.
And may the names of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac be known through them.
May they have many descendants on the earth.”
17Joseph saw that his father put his right hand on Ephraim’s head. Joseph didn’t like it. So he took hold of his father’s hand. He wanted to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to his father, “You are doing it wrong, Father. Manasseh is the firstborn son. Put your right hand on his head.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. Manasseh will be great and have many descendants. But his younger brother will be greater. And his descendants will be enough to make a nation.”
20So Israel blessed them that day. He said,
“When a blessing is given in Israel, they will say:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
In this way he made Ephraim greater than Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look at me. I am about to die. But God will be with you. He will take you back to the land of your fathers. 22I have given you something that I did not give your brothers. I have given you the land of Shechem that I took from the Amorite people. I took it 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.”