Bible: Genesis 48:8-20

48:8 When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he asked, “Who are these? 48:9 Joseph said to his father, “They are the 1  sons God has given me in this place.” His father 2  said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.” 3  48:10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing 4  because of his age; he was not able to see well. So Joseph 5  brought his sons 6  near to him, and his father 7  kissed them and embraced them. 48:11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected 8  to see you 9  again, but now God has allowed me to see your children 10  too.”

48:12 So Joseph moved them from Israel’s knees 11  and bowed down with his face to the ground. 48:13 Joseph positioned them; 12  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. 13  48:14 Israel stretched out his right hand and placed it on Ephraim’s head, although he was the younger. 14  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 15 

all my life long to this day,

48:16 the Angel 16  who has protected me 17 

from all harm

bless these boys.

May my name be named in them, 18 

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. 19  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 20  of nations.” 48:20 So he blessed them that day, saying,

By you 21  will Israel bless, 22  saying,

May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 23 

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