Bible: Genesis 48:1-22

Manasseh and Ephraim

48:1 After these things Joseph was told, 1 Your father is weakening.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. 48:2 When Jacob was told, 2 Your son Joseph has just 3  come to you,” Israel regained strength and sat up on his bed. 48:3 Jacob said to Joseph, “The sovereign God 4  appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 48:4 He said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful 5  and will multiply you. 6  I will make you into a group of nations, and I will give this land to your descendants 7  as an everlasting possession.’ 8 

48:5Now, as for your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, they will be mine. 9  Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine just as Reuben and Simeon are. 48:6 Any children that you father 10  after them will be yours; they will be listed 11  under the names of their brothers in their inheritance. 12  48:7 But as for me, when I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died – to my sorrow 13  – in the land of Canaan. It happened along the way, some distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there on the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem). 14 

48:8 When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he asked, “Who are these? 48:9 Joseph said to his father, “They are the 15  sons God has given me in this place.” His father 16  said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.” 17  48:10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing 18  because of his age; he was not able to see well. So Joseph 19  brought his sons 20  near to him, and his father 21  kissed them and embraced them. 48:11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected 22  to see you 23  again, but now God has allowed me to see your children 24  too.”

48:12 So Joseph moved them from Israel’s knees 25  and bowed down with his face to the ground. 48:13 Joseph positioned them; 26  he put Ephraim on his right hand across from Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh on his left hand across from Israel’s right hand. Then Joseph brought them closer to his father. 27  48:14 Israel stretched out his right hand and placed it on Ephraim’s head, although he was the younger. 28  Crossing his hands, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, for Manasseh was the firstborn.

48:15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,

May the God before whom my fathers

Abraham and Isaac walked

the God who has been my shepherd 29 

all my life long to this day,

48:16 the Angel 30  who has protected me 31 

from all harm

bless these boys.

May my name be named in them, 32 

and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac.

May they grow into a multitude on the earth.”

48:17 When Joseph saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him. 33  So he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 48:18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”

48:19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a nation and he too will become great. In spite of this, his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will become a multitude 34  of nations.” 48:20 So he blessed them that day, saying,

By you 35  will Israel bless, 36  saying,

May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 37 

48:21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you 38  and will bring you back to the land of your fathers. 48:22 As one who is above your 39  brothers, I give to you the mountain slope, 40  which I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

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