Jacob Blesses the Sons of Joseph
Joseph Approaches Jacob (48:1-2)
1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick. And he took with him his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 And one told Jacob and said, Behold, thy son Joseph is coming to thee. And Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.
Jacob Recounts His History (48:3-7)
3 And Jacob said to Joseph, The Almighty GOD appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 4 and he said to me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a company of peoples; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession. 5 And now thy two sons, who were born to thee in the land of Egypt before I came to thee into Egypt, shall be mine: Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon. v.5 In Ephraim and Manasseh we get a picture of the adoption of sons. The adoption of sons is not what brings us into God’s family – that happened by new birth. Adoption brings us as children into an elevated position and relationship of intelligence. It is the greatest blessing we have as believers. For Joseph’s sake, Jacob took two of his grandchildren and elevated them to the position of sons; “Ephraim and Manasseh… are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.”
6 And thy family which thou hast begotten after them shall be thine: they shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance. 7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was yet a certain distance to come to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath, that is, Bethlehem.
Jacob Blesses the Sons of Joseph (48:8-22)
8 And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons, and said, Who are these? 9 And Joseph said to his father, They are my sons, whom God has given me here. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, to me, that I may bless them. 10 But the eyes of Israel were heavy from age: he could not see. And he brought them nearer to him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. 11 And Israel said to Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face; and behold, God has let me see also thy seed. 12 And Joseph brought them out from his knees, and bowed down with his face to the earth. 13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near to him. 14 But Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it on Ephraim’s head — now he was the younger — and his left hand on Manasseh’s head; guiding his hands intelligently, for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God that shepherded me all my life long to this day, 16 the Angel that redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named upon them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the land! 17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it was evil in his eyes; and he took hold of his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn: put thy right hand on his head. 19 But his father refused and said, I know, my son, I know: he also will become a people, and he also will be great; but truly his younger brother will be greater than he; and his seed will become the fulness of nations. 20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee will Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh! And he set Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 And Israel said to Joseph, Behold, I die; and God will be with you, and bring you again to the land of your fathers. 22 And “I” have given to thee one tract of land above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.