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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
Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
1Some time after this, Joseph was told, “Your father is weaker.” So he set out with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.
3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty # Gn 17:1 appeared to me at Luz # Gn 28:13,19; 35:6,9 in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 4He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful and numerous; I will make many nations come from you, and I will give this land as an eternal possession # Gn 17:8 to your future descendants.’ # Gn 35:9-12 5Your two sons # Gn 41:50-52; 46:20 born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt are now mine. # Jos 13:7; 14:4; 17:17 Ephraim and Manasseh belong to me just as Reuben and Simeon do. 6Children born to you after them will be yours and will be recorded under the names of their brothers with regard to their inheritance. 7When I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died along the way, # Gn 35:9-19 some distance from Ephrath in the land of Canaan. I buried her there along the way to Ephrath,” (that is, Bethlehem).
8When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these? ”
9And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons God has given me here.”
So Jacob said, “Bring them to me and I will bless them.” # Gn 27:4; 49:25-26; Heb 11:21 10Now his eyesight was poor because of old age; he could hardly # Lit he was not able to see. # Gn 27:1 Joseph brought them to him, and he kissed and embraced them. # Gn 27:27 11Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, but now God has even let me see your offspring.” 12Then Joseph took them from his father’s knees and bowed with his face to the ground. # Gn 18:2; 24:52; 33:3; 42:6; 43:26; Ex 34:8
Ephraim’s Greater Blessing
13Then Joseph took them both — with his right hand Ephraim toward Israel’s left, and with his left hand Manasseh toward Israel’s right — and brought them to Israel. 14But Israel stretched out his right hand and put it on the head of Ephraim, the younger, and crossing his hands, put his left on Manasseh’s head, although Manasseh was the firstborn. # Gn 25:23; 27:18-30 15Then he blessed Joseph and said:
The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, # Gn 17:1; 24:40
the God who has been my shepherd # Gn 49:24; Ps 23:1; Jr 31:10 all my life to this day,
16the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm # Gn 28:13-15; 31:11; Is 63:9; Ac 7:35
may He bless these boys.
And may they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, # Dt 28:10; 2Ch 7:14; Is 4:1; 43:1; 48:1
and may they grow to be numerous within the land.
17When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he thought it was a mistake # Or he was displeased ; lit head, it was bad in his eyes and took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. 18Joseph said to his father, “Not that way, my father! This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know! He too will become a tribe, # Lit people and he too will be great; nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a populous nation.” # Or a multitude of nations; lit a fullness of nations 20So he blessed them that day with these words:
The nation Israel will invoke blessings by you, saying,
“May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh,”
putting 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. # Gn 46:4; 50:24 22Over and above what I am giving your brothers, I am giving you the one mountain slope # Or Shechem, Joseph’s burial place; lit one shoulder that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and bow.” # Gn 34:25-29; Jos 24:32; Jn 4:5