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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
Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
1And it happened that after these things, it was said to Joseph, “Behold, your father is ill.” And he took his two sons with him, Ephraim and Manasseh. 2And it was told to Jacob, “Behold, your son Joseph has come to you.” Then Israel strengthened himself and he sat up in the bed. 3Then Jacob said to Joseph, “El-Shaddai#Often translated “God Almighty” appeared to me in Luz, in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 4and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and make you numerous, and will make you a company of nations. And I will give this land to your offspring after you as an everlasting possession.’ 5And now, your two sons who were born to you in the land of Egypt before my coming to you in Egypt, are mine. Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine as Reuben and Simeon are. 6And your children whom you father after them shall be yours. By the name of their brothers they shall be called, with respect to their inheritance. 7As for me, when I came to Paddan-Aram Rachel died to my sorrow#Literally “to me” in the land of Canaan on the way when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath. And I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).” 8When Israel saw the sons of Joseph he said, “Who are these?” 9Then Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons whom God has given me here.” And he said, “Please bring them to me that I may bless them.” 10Now the eyes of Israel were dim#Or “heavy” (i.e., his eyelids were heavy; his eyes were closed) on account of old age; he was not able to see. So he brought them near to him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11And Israel said to Joseph, “I did not expect to see your face and behold, God has also shown me your offspring.” 12Then Joseph removed them from his knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13And Joseph took the two of them, Ephraim at his right to the left of Israel, and Manasseh at his left to the right of Israel. And he brought them near to him. 14And Israel stretched out his right hand and put it on the head of Ephraim (now he was the younger), and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands, for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15And he blessed Joseph and said,
“The God before whom my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, walked,
The God who shepherded me all my life#Literally “since my duration” unto this day,
16The angel who redeemed me from all evil,
may he bless the boys.
And through them let my name be perpetuated,#Or “called”
and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac.
And let them multiply into many in the midst of the earth.
17When Joseph saw that his father put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, he was displeased. And he took hold of his father’s hand to remove it from the head of Ephraim over to the head of Manasseh. 18And Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father; because this one is the firstborn. Put your right hand upon his head.” 19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son; I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great, but his younger brother shall be greater than him, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.” 20So he blessed them that day, saying,
Through you Israel shall pronounce blessing, saying,
‘May God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.’ ”
So he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21And Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your ancestors.#Or “fathers” 22And I have given to you one slope of land rather than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorites by my sword and with my bow.”