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Genesis 48

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.”
48
1After this happened, Joseph was told,#48.1 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vulg; MT he told “Your father is getting weaker,” so he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. 2When Jacob was informed,#48.2 LXX; MT he informed “Your son Joseph is here now,” he#48.2 Heb Israel pulled himself together and sat up in bed. 3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty#48.3 Heb El Shaddai or God of the Mountain appeared to me in Luz in the land of Canaan. He blessed me 4and said to me, ‘I am about to give you many children, to increase your numbers, and to make you a large group of peoples. I will give this land to your descendants following you as an enduring possession.’ 5Now, your two sons born to you in the land of Egypt before I arrived in Egypt are my own. Ephraim and Manasseh are just like Reuben and Simeon to me. 6Your family who is born to you after them are yours, but their inheritance will be determined under their brothers’ names. 7When I came back from Paddan-aram,#48.7 Sam, LXX, Syr; MT lacks aram. Rachel died, to my sorrow, on the road in the land of Canaan, with some distance yet to go to Ephrathah, so I buried her there near the road to Ephrathah,#48.7 Sam; MT Ephrath which is Bethlehem.”
8When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”
9Joseph told his father, “They’re my sons, whom God gave me here.”
Israel said, “Bring them to me and I will bless them.” 10Because Israel’s eyesight had failed from old age and he wasn’t able to see, Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed and embraced them.
11Israel said to Joseph, “I didn’t expect I’d see your face, but now God has shown me your children too.” 12Then Joseph took them from Israel’s knees, and he bowed low with his face to the ground. 13Joseph took both of them, Ephraim in his right hand at Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand at Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14But Israel put out his right hand and placed it on the head of Ephraim, the younger one, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands because Manasseh was the oldest son. 15He blessed them#48.15 LXX; MT Joseph and said,
“May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked,
may the God who was my shepherd
from the beginning until this day,
16may the divine messenger who protected me from all harm,
bless the young men.
Through them may my name be kept alive
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac.
May they grow into a great multitude
throughout the land.”
17When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he was upset and grasped his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to his father, “No, my father! This is the oldest son. Put your right hand on his head.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He’ll become a people too, and he’ll also be great. But his younger brother will be greater than he will, and his descendants will become many nations.” 20Israel blessed them that day, saying,
“Through you, Israel will pronounce blessings, saying,
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
So Israel put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21Then Israel said to Joseph, “I’m about to die. God will be with you and return you to the land of your fathers. 22I’m giving you one portion more than to your brothers,#48.22 Heb uncertain a portion that I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”