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Genesis 48

48
Chapter 48
Jacob blesses Joseph's sons
1After some time, someone told Joseph, ‘Your father is ill.’ So, Joseph went to see Jacob and he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, with him. 2Someone told Jacob, ‘Your son Joseph has come to see you.’ Jacob's body became stronger and he sat up on the bed. 3Jacob said to Joseph, ‘God Almighty appeared to me at Luz, in Canaan. God blessed me there. 4He said to me, “I am going to give you many children, so that your descendants are many. In that way, you will become the ancestor of many nations. I will give this land to you so that it belongs to your descendants for ever.” ’
5Jacob continued to say to Joseph, ‘You have two sons that were born to you in Egypt before I came here. They will become my own sons. Ephraim and Manasseh will be my sons, just as Reuben and Simeon are my sons. #48:5 Ephraim and Manasseh became ancestors of two of the 12 Israelite tribes. 6Any children born to you after them will be your own children. They will receive part of the land that belongs to their brothers, Ephraim and Manasseh.
7As for me, I was very sad when your mother Rachel died on our journey from Paddan. She died near to Ephrath. So I buried her there, next to the road to Ephrath (that is now called Bethlehem).’
8Joseph brought Ephraim and Manasseh to his father, Jacob. Jacob asked him, ‘Who are these boys?’ 9Joseph replied, ‘They are the sons that God has given to me here in Egypt.’ Then Israel said, ‘Bring them near to me so that I can bless them.’
10Jacob's eyes had become weak because he was very old. He was almost blind. So Joseph brought his sons near to his father. His father kissed them and he hugged them. 11Jacob said to Joseph, ‘I never thought that I would see you again. But now God has let me see your children too.’
12Then Joseph removed his sons from Jacob's knees. He bent down low, with his face towards the ground. 13He took his two sons near to Jacob. With his right hand, he put Ephraim beside Jacob's left hand. With his left hand, he put Manasseh beside Jacob's right hand. #48:13 Manasseh was Joseph's firstborn son. This son usually received the blessing from his father. The father put his right hand on the head of the son who would receive his blessing.
14Jacob then put out his right hand. But he put it on Ephraim's head, even though Ephraim was the younger son. Jacob crossed his arms so that he put his left hand on Manasseh's head. Manasseh was Joseph's firstborn son.
15Then Jacob blessed Joseph. He said,
‘May God bless these two boys.
He is the God that my ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, served.
Like a shepherd takes care of his sheep,
God has taken care of me all my life, until this day.
16He is the Angel who has kept me safe. #48:16 God appeared to Jacob as an angel. See Genesis 32:29.
I pray that he will bless these boys.
I pray that, because of them, people will remember my name,
and the names of my ancestors, Abraham and Isaac.
I pray that they will have many descendants who live all over the earth.’
17Joseph saw that his father had put his right hand on Ephraim's head. This made Joseph upset. So he took hold of his father's right hand. He moved it from Ephraim's head on to Manasseh's head. 18Joseph said to Jacob, ‘No, my father. This boy is the firstborn son. Put your right hand on his head.’
19But Jacob refused to change. He said, ‘I know, my son. I know what I am doing. Manasseh will also have many descendants who become a great nation. But his younger brother, Ephraim, will become even greater. Ephraim's descendants will become many great nations.’
20So Jacob blessed both of Joseph's sons that day. He said, ‘In your name Israel's people will give this blessing:
“May God be good to you, just like he was to Ephraim and Manasseh.” ’ #48:20 Jacob is saying that God will do good things for Ephraim and Manasseh. And people will remember how good God was to them.
In this way, Jacob put Ephraim before Manasseh when he blessed them.
21Then Jacob said to Joseph, ‘I will die soon. But God will be with you. He will take you back to the land where your ancestors lived. 22I give to you more than I give to your brothers. I give to you the good part of the land that I took from the Amorites. #48:22 Jacob is giving to Joseph an extra part of the land of Canaan. I fought against them with my weapons to take that land.’
48
Blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh
1After these things, someone told Joseph, “Behold, your father is sick.” So he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, with him.
2When someone told Jacob, saying, “Behold, your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel summoned his strength and sat up in the bed.
3Then Jacob said to Joseph, “El Shaddai appeared to me in Luz, in the land of Canaan, and blessed me.”
4He said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and multiply you and turn you into an assembly of peoples, and I will give this land to your seed after you as an everlasting possession.’
5So now, your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, they are mine. Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just like Reuben and Simeon.
6Any descendent of yours whom you father after them will be yours; they will be identified by the names of their brothers for their inheritance.
7“Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died along the way, in the land of Canaan, while we were still a distance from entering Ephrath. And I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”
8Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons and said, “Who are these?”
9Joseph said to his father, “They’re my sons, whom God has given me here.” Then he said, “Please bring them to me, so I may bless them.”
10Now Israel’s eyes had grown heavy with old age—he could not see. So he brought them near to him, and he kissed them and hugged them.
11Then Israel said to Joseph, “To see your face, I didn’t expect—and look, God has let me see your offspring as well!”
12Then Joseph took them from his knees and bowed with his face down to the ground.
13Then Joseph took the two of them—Ephraim with his right hand across from Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand across from Israel’s right—and brought them close to him.
14But Israel stretched out his right hand and placed it upon Ephraim’s head (though he was the younger), and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands (though Manasseh was the firstborn).
15Then he blessed Joseph and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has shepherded me throughout my life to this day,
16The Angel who redeemed me from all evil, May He bless the boys, and may they be called by my name, and by the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac. May they multiply to a multitude in the midst of the land.”
17When Joseph saw that his father placed his right hand upon Ephraim’s head, it was wrong in his eyes. So his took hold of his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.
18Joseph said to his father, “Not like that, my father, because this one’s the firstborn. Put your right hand upon his head.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also will become a people, and he also will become great. But his younger brother will become greater than he and his seed will be the fullness of the nations.”
20Then he blessed them that day saying, “In you shall Israel bless by saying: ‘May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.’” Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die. But God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your fathers.
22Now I myself give you one portion more than your brothers, that which I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”