Genesis chapter 48

Jacob blesses Joseph’s sons.





VERSE 1. After these things, someone said to Joseph, “Behold, your father is sick.” He took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

someone. Who was this?

your father is sick. That is, “Your father is failing.”


VERSE 2. Someone told Jacob, and said, “Behold, your son Joseph comes to you,” and Israel strengthened himself, and sat on the bed.

someone. Who was this?


VERSE 3. Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,

God Almighty appeared to me. Jacob had a firsthand experience of the Most High God.


VERSE 4. and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful, and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’

Behold, I will make you fruitful. Jacob is repeating the promise the LORD God had given him at Bethel:

Genesis 35:11. God said to him, “I am God Almighty. Be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations will be from you, and kings will come out of your body.


VERSE 5. Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you into Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh, even as Reuben and Simeon, will be mine.

are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh. The sons of Joseph were born from a woman outside the tribe.

Now Jacob adapts them into the tribe. He declares them to be truly in the lineage of Abraham.


VERSE 6. Your offspring, whom you become the father of after them, will be yours. They will be called after the name of their brothers in their inheritance.


VERSE 7. As for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still some distance to come to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (also called Bethlehem).”


VERSE 8. Israel saw Joseph’s sons, and said, “Who are these?”


VERSE 9. Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” He said, “Please bring them to me, and I will bless them.”

They are my sons. Pharaoh had given Joseph an Egyptian woman to be his wife:

Genesis 41:45. Pharaoh called Joseph’s name Zaphenath-Paneah. He gave him Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera priest of On as a wife. Joseph went out over the land of Egypt.

Joseph and his wife Asenath had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

I will bless them. This is the custom of one person bestowing a blessing upon another.

What is actually bestowed in a human blessing?

  • Wishes for improved wellbeing?
  • An improvement in spirituality?
  • A prophecy of the future?


VERSE 10. Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he couldn’t see well. Joseph brought them near to him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.


VERSE 11. Israel said to Joseph, “I didn’t think I would see your face, and behold, God has let me see your offspring also.”


VERSE 12. Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.


VERSE 13. 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.


VERSE 14. Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn.

Israel stretched out his right hand. For the blessing, Jacob crossed his hands:

  • He put his right hand on the younger child
  • He put his left hand on the elder child

This was to favor the younger instead of the older.

This might have been a cruel trick, cheating the elder child out of his birthright.

Or it might have been prophetic, since the tribe of the younger child would be greater than the tribe of the elder child.


VERSE 15. He blessed Joseph, and said, “The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has fed me all my life long to this day,


VERSE 16. the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads, and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac. Let them grow into a multitude upon the earth.”


VERSE 17. When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him. He held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.


VERSE 18. Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”


VERSE 19. His father refused, and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also will become a people, and he also will be great. However, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a multitude of nations.”


VERSE 20. He blessed them that day, saying, “Israel will bless in you, saying, ‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh’ ” He set Ephraim before Manasseh.


VERSE 21. Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am dying, but God will be with you, and bring you again to the land of your fathers.


VERSE 22. Moreover I have given to you one portion above your brothers, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.”


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Unless otherwise noted, all Bible quotations on this page are from the World English Bible and the World Messianic Edition. These translations have no copyright restrictions. They are in the Public Domain.


Author: todd

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