And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, has made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.…
He had formerly been like the heath in the desert, but now he was like a tree planted by the rivers of water, which brings forth abundance of fruit, and whose leaf does not wither. This happy change he ascribes to the Divine goodness. When changes and war are against us, we must be dumb, not opening our mouth, for it is God that does it. When changes are in our favour, our mouths ought to be opened to the praises of Him who turns the shadow of death into the morning, and makes the desert to rejoice and blossom as the rose. Joseph was fruitful in comfort, in good works, in children. He had, indeed, at this time only two children, but might expect that a troop was coming; and although that hope was uncertain, he was thankful for what God had already given him. Perhaps it was by a Divine suggestion that the name Ephraim was given to Joseph's second son, rather than his first. Joseph, as far as we know, had no more children of his own body: but he was fruitful in his remote progeny, especially by Ephraim. "Joseph was a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall." Manasseh was great, but truly Ephraim was greater than he; for the horns of Joseph were like the horns of an unicorn, and they were the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they were the thousands of Manasseh. Where was it that Joseph became fruitful? Not in the land of his nativity, but in the land of his affliction. And all his afflictions wrought together under the all-wise providence of God to bring about his exaltation.
(G. Lawson, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house.