Genesis 48
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Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

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

3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almightya appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there He blessed me 4and 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.’

5And 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. 6Any 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.

7Now 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).

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

9Joseph 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.”

10Now 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.”

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

13And 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. 14But 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. 15Then 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,

16the Angel 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.”

17When 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.”

19But 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.”

20So 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.

21Then 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. 22And to you, as one who is above your brothers, I give the ridge of landc that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”

Footnotes:

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

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Genesis 47
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