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Genesis 48

Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

1 Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he set out with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up in bed.

3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty a appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there He blessed me 4 and told me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you; I will make you a multitude of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’

5 And now your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here shall be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6 Any children born to you after them shall be yours, and they shall be called by the names of their brothers in the territory they inherit.

7 Now as for me, when I was returning from Paddan, b to my sorrow Rachel died along the way in the land of Canaan, some distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).

8 When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”

9 Joseph said to his father, “They are the sons God has given me in this place.”

So Jacob said, “Please bring them to me, that I may bless them.”

10 Now Israel’s eyesight was poor because of old age; he could hardly see. Joseph brought his sons to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.

11 “I never expected to see your face again,” Israel said to Joseph, “but now God has let me see your children as well.”

12 Then Joseph removed his sons from his father’s knees and bowed facedown.

13 And Joseph took both of them—with Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand—and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and put it on the head of Ephraim, the younger; and crossing his hands, he put his left on Manasseh’s head, although Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 Then he blessed Joseph and said:

“May the God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,

the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,

16 the angel c who has redeemed me from all harm—

may He bless these boys.

And may they be called by my name

and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,

and may they grow into a multitude upon the earth.”

17 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he was displeased and took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. 18 “Not so, my father!” Joseph said. “This one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused. “I know, my son, I know!” he said. “He too shall become a people, and he too shall be great; nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.”

20 So that day Jacob blessed them and said:

“By you shall Israel pronounce this blessing:

‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’ ”

So he put Ephraim before Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you, as one who is above your brothers, I give the ridge of land d that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”

 

Footnotes:

3 a Hebrew El-Shaddai
7 b That is, northwest Mesopotamia
16 c Or Angel
22 d Or one portion of the land ; Hebrew shekem , which sounds like the town and district called Shechem

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