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Genesis 48 Holman Christian Standard Bible (HCSB)

Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

48 Some time after this, Joseph was told, “Your father is weaker.” So he set out with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.

Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. He 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 an eternal possession to your future descendants.’ Your two sons born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt are now mine. Ephraim and Manasseh belong to me just as Reuben and Simeon do. Children born to you after them will be yours and will be recorded under the names of their brothers with regard to their inheritance. When I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died along the way, some distance from Ephrath in the land of Canaan. I buried her there along the way to Ephrath,” (that is, Bethlehem).

When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”

And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons God has given me here.”

So Jacob said, “Bring them to me and I will bless them.” 10 Now his eyesight was poor because of old age; he could hardly[a] see. Joseph brought them to him, and he kissed and embraced them. 11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, but now God has even let me see your offspring.” 12 Then Joseph took them from his father’s knees and bowed with his face to the ground.

Ephraim’s Greater Blessing

13 Then 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. 14 But 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. 15 Then he blessed Joseph and said:

The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm
may He bless these boys.
And may they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they grow to be numerous within the land.

17 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he thought it was a mistake[b] and took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. 18 Joseph said to his father, “Not that way, my father! This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know! He too will become a tribe,[c] and he too will be great; nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a populous nation.”[d] 20 So he blessed them that day with these words:

The nation Israel will invoke blessings by you, saying,
“May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh,”
putting Ephraim before Manasseh.

21 Then Israel 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. 22 Over and above what I am giving your brothers, I am giving you the one mountain slope[e] that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and bow.”

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 48:10 Lit he was not able to
  2. Genesis 48:17 Or he was displeased; lit head, it was bad in his eyes
  3. Genesis 48:19 Lit people
  4. Genesis 48:19 Or a multitude of nations; lit a fullness of nations
  5. Genesis 48:22 Or Shechem, Joseph’s burial place; lit one shoulder

Genesis 48 New International Version (NIV)

Manasseh and Ephraim

48 Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.

Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty[a] appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’

“Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. As I was returning from Paddan,[b] to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).

When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”

“They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.

Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”

10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”

12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.

15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,

“May the God before whom my fathers
    Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
    all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
    —may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
    and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
    on the earth.”

17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations. 20 He blessed them that day and said,

“In your[c] name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
    ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you[d] and take you[e] back to the land of your[f] fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of land[g] than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 48:3 Hebrew El-Shaddai
  2. Genesis 48:7 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
  3. Genesis 48:20 The Hebrew is singular.
  4. Genesis 48:21 The Hebrew is plural.
  5. Genesis 48:21 The Hebrew is plural.
  6. Genesis 48:21 The Hebrew is plural.
  7. Genesis 48:22 The Hebrew for ridge of land is identical with the place name Shechem.
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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