Bible: Genesis 48-49

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.”

The Blessing of Jacob

49:1 Jacob called for his sons and said, “Gather together so I can tell you 41  what will happen to you in the future. 42 

49:2Assemble and listen, you sons of Jacob;

listen to Israel, your father.

49:3 Reuben, you are my firstborn,

my might and the beginning of my strength,

outstanding in dignity, outstanding in power.

49:4 You are destructive 43  like water and will not excel, 44 

for you got on your father’s bed, 45 

then you defiled it – he got on my couch! 46 

49:5 Simeon and Levi are brothers,

weapons of violence are their knives! 47 

49:6 O my soul, do not come into their council,

do not be united to their assembly, my heart, 48 

for in their anger they have killed men,

and for pleasure they have hamstrung oxen.

49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce,

and their fury, for it was cruel.

I will divide them in Jacob,

and scatter them in Israel! 49 

49:8 Judah, 50  your brothers will praise you.

Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies,

your father’s sons will bow down before you.

49:9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah,

from the prey, my son, you have gone up.

He crouches and lies down like a lion;

like a lioness – who will rouse him?

49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,

nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, 51 

until he comes to whom it belongs; 52 

the nations will obey him. 53 

49:11 Binding his foal to the vine,

and his colt to the choicest vine,

he will wash 54  his garments in wine,

his robes in the blood of grapes.

49:12 His eyes will be dark from wine,

and his teeth white from milk. 55 

49:13 Zebulun will live 56  by the haven of the sea

and become a haven for ships;

his border will extend to Sidon. 57 

49:14 Issachar is a strong-boned donkey

lying down between two saddlebags.

49:15 When he sees 58  a good resting place,

and the pleasant land,

he will bend his shoulder to the burden

and become a slave laborer. 59 

49:16 Dan 60  will judge 61  his people

as one of the tribes of Israel.

49:17 May Dan be a snake beside the road,

a viper by the path,

that bites the heels of the horse

so that its rider falls backward. 62 

49:18 I wait for your deliverance, O Lord. 63 

49:19 Gad will be raided by marauding bands,

but he will attack them at their heels. 64 

49:20 Asher’s 65  food will be rich, 66 

and he will provide delicacies 67  to royalty.

49:21 Naphtali is a free running doe, 68 

he speaks delightful words. 69 

49:22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, 70 

a fruitful bough near a spring

whose branches 71  climb over the wall.

49:23 The archers will attack him, 72 

they will shoot at him and oppose him.

49:24 But his bow will remain steady,

and his hands 73  will be skillful;

because of the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,

because of 74  the Shepherd, the Rock 75  of Israel,

49:25 because of the God of your father,

who will help you, 76 

because of the sovereign God, 77 

who will bless you 78 

with blessings from the sky above,

blessings from the deep that lies below,

and blessings of the breasts and womb. 79 

49:26 The blessings of your father are greater

than 80  the blessings of the eternal mountains 81 

or the desirable things of the age-old hills.

They will be on the head of Joseph

and on the brow of the prince of his brothers. 82 

49:27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;

in the morning devouring the prey,

and in the evening dividing the plunder.”

49:28 These 83  are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them when he blessed them. He gave each of them an appropriate blessing. 84 

49:29 Then he instructed them, 85  “I am about to go 86  to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 49:30 It is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought for a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite. 49:31 There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah; there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah; and there I buried Leah. 49:32 The field and the cave in it were acquired from the sons of Heth.” 87 

49:33 When Jacob finished giving these instructions to his sons, he pulled his feet up onto the bed, breathed his last breath, and went 88  to his people.

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