And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk…
I. THE HEIRS OF THE BLESSING — A SURPRISE.
1. The adoption of Joseph's two sons to be reckoned among the patriarchs, equal with Jacob's own sons, while Joseph personally is left out, was doubt]ass a surprise.
(1) Because Joseph's personal character would seem to warrant the perpetuity of his own name in tribal pre-eminence.
(2) Because this adoption increased the tribes to thirteen.
(3) We find, however, that this was a conscious, or unconscious, anticipation of the elimination of the tribe of Levi, by its elevation to priestly honour in place of the first-born.
(4) We also find that this adoption was a mark of special honour to Joseph, in having a double inheritance in his sons, and also in having the birthright forfeited by Reuben, on account of his sin (Genesis 48:22; 1 Chronicles 5:1, 2).
2. This adoption of Joseph's two sons was by Divine direction.
II. THE CHARACTER OF THE BLESSING IS SUGGESTIVE.
1. The "elevated glow" of the dying patriarch must be regarded as the result of the Divine power that wrought upon him.
2. The spirit and terms of the blessing are very touching and instructive.
(1) Gratitude for the care, protection, and guidance of God is here beautifully expressed.
(2) The reference to "the Angel" that redeemed him is a suggestive allusion to "the quality of Jehovah and His Angel."
3. The sovereignty of God in the expression of His choice of the younger over the elder must be fully recognized.
III. THE PATRIARCH'S PERSONAL CONDITION WHEN THE BLESSING WAS BESTOWED.
3. Spiritual.Lessons: —
1. The sovereignty of God.
2. Divine sovereignty is not exercised in unreasoning arbitrariness, but in perfect harmony with the laws of justice and love.
3. Learn how gloriously a child of God can die.
(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,