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Genesis 48

48
Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
1After this, Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2And it was told to Jacob, “Your son Joseph has come to you.” Then Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed. 3And Jacob said to Joseph, #See ch. 17:1 “God Almighty#48:3 Hebrew El Shaddai appeared to me at #ch. 28:13, 19; 35:6, 9Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you #ch. 17:8for an everlasting possession.’ 5And now your #ch. 41:50-52; 46:20 two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, #Josh. 13:7; 14:4; 17:17are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. 6And the children that you fathered after them shall be yours. They shall be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance. 7As for me, when I came from Paddan, to my sorrow #See ch. 35:9-19Rachel died in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still some distance#48:7 Or about two hours’ distance to go to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”
8When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?” 9Joseph said to his father, #[ch. 33:5] “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” And he said, “Bring them to me, please, that #ch. 49:25, 26; Heb. 11:21; [ch. 27:4]I may bless them.” 10Now #[ch. 27:1] the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, #ch. 27:27and he kissed them and embraced them. 11And Israel said to Joseph, #[ch. 37:33; 45:26]“I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also.” 12Then Joseph removed them from his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near him. 14#ver. 17 And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, #ver. 19crossing his hands (for Manasseh was the firstborn). 15And he blessed Joseph and said,
“The God #ch. 17:1; 24:40before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,
16 # ch. 28:15; 31:11, 13, 24; Ex. 23:20 the angel who has #Isa. 44:22, 23; 49:7; 63:9; [2 Sam. 4:9; Ps. 34:22; 121:7] redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys;
and in them let #Amos 9:12; Acts 15:17 my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
and let them #[Num. 26:34, 37]grow into a multitude#48:16 Or let them be like fish for multitude in the midst of the earth.”
17When Joseph saw that his father #ver. 14laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.” 19But his father refused and said, #[See ver. 17 above] “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, #Num. 1:33, 35; 2:19, 21; Deut. 33:17his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude#48:19 Hebrew fullness of nations.” 20So he blessed them that day, saying,
“By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying,
# [Ruth 4:11, 12] ‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’”
Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but #ch. 46:4; 50:24God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers. 22Moreover, I have given to #Josh. 24:32; John 4:5you rather than to your brothers one mountain slope#48:22 Or one portion of the land; Hebrew shekem, which sounds like the town and district called Shechem that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”
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 Israel, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” Israel was very weak, but he tried hard and sat up in his bed.
3Then Israel 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 make you a great family. I will give you many children and you will be a great people. Your family will own this land forever.’ 5Now you have two sons. These two sons were born here in the country of Egypt before I came. Your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, will be like my own sons. They will be like Reuben and Simeon to me. 6So these two boys will be my sons. They will share in everything I own. But if you have other sons, they will be your sons. But they will also be like sons to Ephraim and Manasseh—that is, in the future, they will share in everything that Ephraim and Manasseh own. 7On the trip from Paddan Aram, Rachel died in the land of Canaan. This made me very sad. We were still traveling toward Ephrath. I buried her there on the road to Ephrath.” (Ephrath is Bethlehem.)
8Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons. Israel said, “Who are these boys?”
9Joseph said to his father, “These are my sons. These are the boys God gave me.”
Israel said, “Bring your sons to me. I will bless them.”
10Israel was old and his eyes were not good. So Joseph brought the boys close to his father. Israel kissed and hugged the boys. 11Then Israel said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see your face again. But look! God has let me see you and your children.”
12Then Joseph took the boys off Israel’s lap, and they bowed down in front of his father. 13Joseph put Ephraim on his right side and Manasseh on his left side. (So Ephraim was on Israel’s left side, and Manasseh was on Israel’s right side.) 14But Israel crossed his hands and put his right hand on the head of the younger boy Ephraim. Then he put his left hand on Manasseh, even though Manasseh was the firstborn. 15And Israel blessed Joseph and said,
“My ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, worshiped our God,
and that God has led me all my life.
16He was the Angel who saved me from all my troubles.
And I pray that he will bless these boys.
Now they will have my name
and the name of our ancestors, Abraham and Isaac.
I pray that they will grow to become great families and nations
on earth.”
17Joseph saw that his father put his right hand on Ephraim’s head. This didn’t make Joseph happy. Joseph took his father’s hand because he wanted to move it from Ephraim’s head and put it on Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to his father, “You have your right hand on the wrong boy. Manasseh is the firstborn. Put your right hand on him.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, son. I know. Manasseh is the firstborn. He will be great and will be the father of many people. But his younger brother will be greater than he is. And the younger brother’s family will be much larger.”
20So Israel blessed them that day. He said,
“The Israelites will use your names
whenever they bless someone.
They will say, ‘May God make you
like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
In this way Israel made Ephraim greater than Manasseh.
21Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look, my time to die is almost here, but God will still be with you. He will lead you back to the land of your ancestors. 22I have given you one portion more than I gave to your brothers. I gave you the land that I won from the Amorites. I used my sword and bow to take that land.”