Genesis 48

Jacob blesses Joseph's sons

1 Some time passed. And someone told Joseph, ‘Your father is ill.’ So, Joseph took his 2 sons, Manasseh and Ephraim with him. 2 Someone told Jacob, ‘Your son Joseph has come to you.’ So Israel made himself as strong as he could. And he sat up on the bed. 3 Jacob said to Joseph, ‘God Almighty appeared to me at Luz. That is in Canaan. And he blessed me there. 4 He said to me, “I am going to make good things happen to you, and give you many descendants. I will make you into a great group of people. And I will give you this land. And your descendants will have this land when you die.” 5 Now you have 2 sons. They were born before I came to Egypt. They will be like my own sons. People will think of Ephraim and Manasseh as my sons, as they think of Reuben and Simeon as my sons. 6 Any children born to you after them will be your own children. They will inherit the land of their brothers. 7 Rachel died on our journey from Paddan. I was very sad. She died a few miles from Ephrath. So I buried her there, next to the road to Ephrath (that is Bethlehem).’

48:7Ephraim and Manasseh will inherit along with Jacob's other sons.

8 Joseph brought Ephraim and Manasseh to Jacob. And Jacob asked, ‘Who are these?’ 9 Joseph replied, ‘They are my sons. God gave them to me in Egypt.’ Then Israel said, ‘Bring them to me so that I can bless them.’ 10 Now Israel could not see very well. He could not see because he was old. So Joseph brought his sons close to Israel. And his father kissed them and hugged them. 11 Israel said to Joseph, ‘I never thought that I would see your face again. And now God has let me see your children too.’ 12 Then Joseph removed his sons from Jacob's knees. And he bowed down. And put his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took his 2 sons. He put Ephraim by Israel's left hand. And he put Manasseh by Israel's right hand. Then he brought his sons close to Israel.

48:13Manasseh was the oldest son. This son usually received the blessing from his father. The father put his right hand on the head of the son who would receive his blessing.

14 But Israel put out his right hand. And he put it on Ephraim's head. But Ephraim was the youngest son. Israel crossed his arms. And he put his left hand on Manasseh's head. But Manasseh was the oldest son. 15 Then Israel blessed Joseph. He said, ‘May God bless these boys. He is the God in front of whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked. He is the God who has been my shepherd all my life, until this day. 16 He is the Angel who kept me safe. May he bless these boys. May they be called by my name, and the names of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac. And may they have many descendants and fill the earth.’

48:16Verse 15 ‘in front of whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked’ means that Abraham and Isaac worshipped and obeyed God.
48:16‘shepherd’ – a shepherd keeps sheep safe. They will not let anything bad happen to their sheep. Jacob is saying that God is like a shepherd. The sheep are the people who love and worship him. He keeps his people safe as a shepherd keeps his sheep safe.
48:16Verse 16 ‘Angel’ – God appeared to Jacob as an angel (32:29).
48:16‘Called by my name and the name of Abraham and Isaac’ means that they will be known as descendants of Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. God appeared to them and blessed them.

17 Joseph saw that his father put his right hand on Ephraim's head. And Joseph thought that this was wrong. So he took hold of his father's hand. And he moved it from Ephraim's head. And he put it on Manasseh's head. 18 And Joseph said to Jacob, ‘No my father. This son is the oldest. Put your right hand on his head.’ 19 But Jacob put his right hand on Ephraim's head. And he said, ‘I know, my son, I know. Manasseh will also have many descendants. And he will become famous. But Ephraim his younger brother will be better known than he. And Ephraim's descendants will become many tribes.’ 20 That day Jacob blessed them. He said, ‘In your name Israel will give this blessing. “May God be good to you, as he was to Ephraim and Manasseh.” ’ And Israel put Ephraim before Manasseh.

48:20This blessing Jacob said was also said to other people for many years after this. Jacob is saying that God will be good to Ephraim and Manasseh. And people will remember how good God was to them.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘I will die soon. But God will be with you. And he will take you back to the land where your ancestors lived. 22 And you are over your brothers. So, I give you the part of the land that I took from the Amorites. It is the land that I fought for.’

48:22Jacob is giving Joseph an extra inheritance.