Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
1Some time after this, Joseph was told, “Your father is weaker.” So he set out with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
2When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.
3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty48:3 Gn 17:1 appeared to me at Luz48:3 Gn 28:13,19; 35:6,9 in the land of Canaan and blessed me.
4He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful and numerous; I will make many nations come from you, and I will give this land as a permanent possession48:4 Gn 17:8 to your future descendants.’48:4 Gn 35:9–12
5Your two sons48:5 Gn 41:50–52; 46:20 born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt are now mine.48:5 Jos 13:7; 14:4; 17:17 Ephraim and Manasseh belong to me just as Reuben and Simeon do.
6Children born to you after them will be yours and will be recorded under the names of their brothers with regard to their inheritance.
8When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”
9And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons God has given me here.”
So Israel said, “Bring them to me and I will bless them.”48:9 Gn 27:4; 49:25–26; Heb 11:21
10Now his eyesight was poor because of old age; he could hardly48:10 Lit he was not able to see.48:10 Gn 27:1 Joseph brought them to him, and he kissed and embraced them.48:10 Gn 27:27
11Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, but now God has even let me see your offspring.”
Ephraim’s Greater Blessing
13Then Joseph took them both — with his right hand Ephraim toward Israel’s left, and with his left hand Manasseh toward Israel’s right — and brought them to Israel.
14But Israel stretched out his right hand and put it on the head of Ephraim, the younger, and crossing his hands, put his left on Manasseh’s head, although Manasseh was the firstborn.48:14 Gn 25:23; 27:18–30
15Then he blessed Joseph and said:
may he bless these boys.
And may they be called by my name
and may they grow to be numerous within the land.
17When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he thought it was a mistake48:17 Or he was displeased; lit head, it was bad in his eyes and took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s.
18Joseph said to his father, “Not that way, my father! This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know! He too will become a tribe,48:19 Lit people and he too will be great; nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a populous nation.”48:19 Or a multitude of nations; lit a fullness of nations
20So he blessed them that day, putting Ephraim before Manasseh when he said, “The nation Israel will invoke blessings by you, saying, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
21Israel said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your fathers.48:21 Gn 46:4; 50:24
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