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Genesis 48

48
Jacob Blesses Joseph's Two Sons
1Joseph was told that his father Jacob had become very sick. So Joseph went to see him and took along his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2When Joseph arrived, someone told Jacob, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” Jacob sat up in bed, but it took almost all his strength.
3 # Gn 28.13,14. Jacob told Joseph:
God All-Powerful appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, where he gave me his blessing 4and promised, “I will give you a large family with many descendants that will grow into a nation. And I am giving you this land that will belong to you and your family forever.”
5Then Jacob went on to say:
Joseph, your two sons Ephraim and Manasseh were born in Egypt, but I accept them as my own, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6Any children you have later will be considered yours, but their inheritance will come from Ephraim and Manasseh. 7#Gn 35.16-19. Unfortunately, your mother Rachel died in Canaan after we had left northern Syria#48.7 northern Syria: See the note at 24.10. and before we reached Bethlehem.#48.7 Bethlehem: The Hebrew text has “Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem.” And I had to bury her along the way.
8-10Jacob was very old and almost blind. He did not recognize the two boys, and so he asked Joseph, “Who are these boys?”
Joseph answered, “They are my sons. God has given them to me here in Egypt.”
“Bring them to me,” Jacob said. “I want to give them my blessing.” Joseph brought the boys to him, and he hugged and kissed them.
11Jacob turned to Joseph and told him, “For many years I thought you were dead and that I would never see you again. But now God has even let me live to see your children.” 12Then Joseph made his sons move away from Jacob's knees,#48.12 move … Jacob's knees: The two boys were placed either on or between Jacob's knees, as a sign that he had accepted them as his sons. and Joseph bowed down in front of him with his face to the ground.
13After Joseph got up, he brought his two sons over to Jacob again. He led his younger son Ephraim to the left side of Jacob and his older son Manasseh to the right. 14But before Jacob gave them his blessing, he crossed his arms, putting his right hand on the head of Ephraim and his left hand on the head of Manasseh. 15Then he gave Joseph his blessing and said:
My grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac worshiped the Lord God. He has been with me all my life, 16and his angel has kept me safe. Now I pray that he will bless these boys and that my name and the names of Abraham and Isaac will live on because of them. I ask God to give them many children and many descendants as well.
17Joseph did not like it when he saw his father place his right hand on the head of the younger son. So he tried to move his father's right hand from Ephraim's head and place it on Manasseh. 18Joseph said, “Father, you have made a mistake. This is the older boy. Put your right hand on him.”
19But his father said, “Son, I know what I am doing. It's true that Manasseh's family will someday become a great nation. But Ephraim will be even greater than Manasseh, because his descendants will become many great nations.”
20 # He 11.21. Jacob told him that in the future the people of Israel would ask God's blessings on one another by saying, “I pray for God to bless you as much as he blessed Ephraim and Manasseh.” Jacob put Ephraim's name first to show that he would be greater than Manasseh. 21After that, Jacob said, “Joseph, you can see that I won't live much longer. But God will be with you and will lead you back to the land he promised our family long ago. 22Meanwhile, I'm giving you the hillside#48.22 the hillside: Or “a larger share than your brothers, the land.” I captured from the Amorites.”
48
1-2Some time after this conversation, Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” He took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and went to Jacob. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come,” he roused himself and sat up in bed.
3-7Jacob said to Joseph, “The Strong God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. He said, ‘I’m going to make you prosperous and numerous, turn you into a congregation of tribes; and I’ll turn this land over to your children coming after you as a permanent inheritance.’ I’m adopting your two sons who were born to you here in Egypt before I joined you; they have equal status with Reuben and Simeon. But any children born after them are yours; they will come after their brothers in matters of inheritance. I want it this way because, as I was returning from Paddan, your mother Rachel, to my deep sorrow, died as we were on our way through Canaan when we were only a short distance from Ephrath, now called Bethlehem.”
8Just then Jacob noticed Joseph’s sons and said, “Who are these?”
9-11Joseph told his father, “They are my sons whom God gave to me in this place.”
“Bring them to me,” he said, “so I can bless them.” Israel’s eyesight was poor from old age; he was nearly blind. So Joseph brought them up close. Old Israel kissed and embraced them and then said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has let me see your children as well!”
12-16Joseph took them from Israel’s knees and bowed respectfully, his face to the ground. Then Joseph took the two boys, Ephraim with his right hand setting him to Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand setting him to Israel’s right, and stood them before him. But Israel crossed his arms and put his right hand on the head of Ephraim who was the younger and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, the firstborn. Then he blessed them:
The God before whom walked
my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
The God who has been my shepherd
all my life long to this very day,
The Angel who delivered me from every evil,
Bless the boys.
May my name be echoed in their lives,
and the names of Abraham and Isaac, my fathers,
And may they grow
covering the Earth with their children.
17-18When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he thought he had made a mistake, so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s, saying, “That’s the wrong head, Father; the other one is the firstborn; place your right hand on his head.”
19-20But his father wouldn’t do it. He said, “I know, my son; but I know what I’m doing. He also will develop into a people, and he also will be great. But his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will enrich nations.” Then he blessed them both:
Israel will use your names to give blessings:
May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.
In that he made it explicit: he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21-22Israel then said to Joseph, “I’m about to die. God be with you and give you safe passage back to the land of your fathers. As for me, I’m presenting you, as the first among your brothers, the ridge of land I took from Amorites with my sword and bow.”