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Jacob Blessing the Sons of Joseph by Rembrandt (1656)

Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years. He lived to be 147 years old. When the time came for Jacob (Israel) to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him:

“If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”

“I will do as you say,” Joseph said.

Jacob asked Joseph to swear to him. Joseph swore to him and Israel worshipped as he leaned on top of his staff.

Sometime later, Joseph was told, “Your father is weakening.” Joseph took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to visit his father. When Jacob was told that Joseph had arrived, he regained some strength and sat up in bed.

Jacob said to Joseph, “God has blessed me. He told me ‘I am going to make you fruitful and will multiply you. I will make you into a group of nations and I will give this land to your descendants as an everlasting possession.’ Your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, will be mine just as Reuben and Simeon are. Any children that you father after them will be yours; they will be listed under the names of their brothers in their inheritance. As for me, when I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died some distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there on the way to Ephrath.”

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Jacob blesses Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh - unknown artistWhen Jacob (Israel) saw Joseph’s sons, he asked, “Who are these?”

Joseph told him, “They are my sons God gave me.”

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

Jacob’s eyes were failing because of his age so Joseph brought his sons near to him and his father kissed them and embraced them. Jacob told Joseph, “I never expected to see you again but now God has allowed me to see your children too.”

Joseph moved them from Jacob’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. Joseph put Ephraim on his right, directly across from Jacob’s left hand, and put Manasseh on his left side across from Jacob’s right hand. Then Joseph moved them closer to his father.

Jacob stretched out his right hand and placed it on Ephraim’s head, even though he was the younger. Crossing his arms, he put his left hand on the head of Manasseh, the firstborn. Then Jacob blessed Joseph and his sons.

Joseph was displeased when he saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head. He took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. Joseph told his father, “Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”

But Jacob refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a great nation and he too will become great. Despite this, his younger brother will be even greater, and his descendants will become a multitude of nations.”

So Jacob put Ephraim before Manasseh.

Jacob said to Joseph,

“I am about to die but God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your fathers. As one who is above your brothers, I give to you the mountain slope, which I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

What the story means to us today

Joseph is generously blessed, but the biblical narrative will soon turn to another son

In these verses, we see the story of Jacob and Joseph jump ahead 17 years. The famine has passed, and Jacob is now 147 years old and preparing to die. He begins delivering his blessing upon his sons, starting with Joseph’s line. The blessing is simple – they will carry on Jacob’s name and increase greatly in number. They will become power nations.

Jacob gives Joseph a larger share of land than the brothers. To a casual reader, the blessing many seem innocuous, bearing little impact on the overall story. But in the next chapter, we will see a profound turn of events. In a surprise twist, we will find the story is not centered around Joseph and his line. Indeed, as God promised Jacob, kings will come from his children – but not from Joseph as we may expect. Instead, we will see the culmination of the rivalry between Joseph and Judah – and a grand introduction to the genetic line of Jesus, the rising star of David.

Additional thoughts and considerations

Blessing Ephraim as the firstborn ahead of Manasseh

Jacob places his right hand on the head of Ephraim and blesses him. The right hand would traditionally be placed on the head of the firstborn who receives special consideration and additional benefits in the blessing ritual. Joseph thinks his father’s eyesight has led to a mistake, but Jacob explains that blessing Ephraim as the firstborn is indeed his intent. This follows a familiar theme where blessings are not necessarily given based on birthright but on the rightful recipient according to God’s plan. In the end, the blessing only plays a role in the story of the divided northern kingdom and is subordinate to the remaining biblical story which shifts toward the messianic line of Judah.

Ephraim and Manasseh

Jacob blessing Ephraim and Manassseh - Benjamin West (1768)Here we see Jacob invite Joseph’s foreign-born sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, into the family, an adoption of sorts and the means to award Joseph with two shares of the inheritance for saving the family. They are treated as one of Jacob’s own and along with the other sons, will inherit the promise to Abraham. This is important because they are now included in the group of Jacob’s sons and will be accorded all benefits, inheritance, and rights as Jacob’s sons. They will ultimately become two important tribes of Israel when their names come to represent the northern kingdom that stands in fierce opposition to the tribe of Judah.

The burial of Rachel

Genesis 48:7 does not seem to fit the narrative. In the middle of the blessing, Jacob submits information that seems grossly out of place:

“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, 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?”

Why would Jacob mention the death and burial of Rachel during the blessing?

The verse has long puzzled translators. Even today, its meaning is debated. Possibly Jacob’s statement was meant to emphasize the location of Ephrath which is mentioned twice here, and similarly noted in Genesis 35:16.

God, the angel

In his blessing to Joseph, Jacob refers to God as “the God who has been my shepherd all my life, the Angel who has delivered me from all harm.” Applying the label “angel” to God is unusual.

In prior verses, we are told that God “sends angels” (typically as messengers). It is unclear why Jacob referred to God in such a manner. Possibly the bodily form of God appeared to Jacob as the “Angel of God”.

Jacob’s blessing of the younger son over the elder

A central focus in this chapter is the blessing of Ephraim, the younger son, over Manasseh, the elder son. It is similar to the blessing Jacob himself received from Isaac. In Genesis 27, Isaac, who was blind, was deceived into blessing the younger Jacob over his elder brother Esau. Here however, what at first appears to be a mistake in Jacob’s true intent. God’s plan for Israel did not always follow the customs of birthright – whether by deception or design. In the next chapter, we will see a similar reversal of custom during Jacob’s blessing of the remaining twelve sons (the Tribes of Israel).

The ridge of land given to Joseph

Jacob (Israel) tells Joseph, “I give you one more ridge of land than to your brothers, the ridge I gook from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.” The statement is a surprise since Jacob is seen as peaceful and gentle in the prior chapters. In fact, when his sons massacred men at Shechem, Jacob condemned their actions. That he took land by force from the Amorites is not mentioned in Genesis and comes as a surprise for the reader.

Joseph’s other sons

The Bible does not mention Joseph’s other sons of if he had any more sons. If he did though, Jacob says “the territory they inherit will be reckoned under the names of their brothers.” In other words, any other sons will still have a share in Israel – under the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.

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When Jacob sees Joseph’s sons, he asks “Who are these?”

Although the question could have arisen due to Jacob’s failing eyesight, it seems to be part of a formal blessing ritual. The elder would formally query the children to confirm the birth right, then grant the blessing on the recipient. It is like a modern-day marriage when the pastor asks, “who gives away this bride?”, even though he knows that bride’s father is standing before him.

The science and history behind the story

Placing a hand under the thigh during a promise

Jacob blesses Joseph's sons - unknown artistJacob told Joseph, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness.” The act of putting a hand under another’s thigh was a symbolic act used to commit oneself to carry out a promise. It would be like placing a hand on the Bible or crossing your arms over your heart to indicate sincerity.

Notes on Biblical translation

“To you I give one more ridge of land than your brothers”

The word translated to “ridge” is ambiguous. It could be translated as mountain slope, shoulder, or portion. It could also be translated as the geographic location Shechem, the land where Joseph is ultimately buried.

Bible Text

NIV

28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”

“I will do as you say,” he said.

31 “Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.

48 Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. 2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.

3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me 4 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.’

5 “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. 6 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. 7 As I was returning from Paddan, 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).

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

9 “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 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 and take you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of land than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

The New International Version. Grand Rapids, MI: Zondervan, 2011. Print.

The NET Bible

47:28 Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; the years of Jacob’s life were 147 in all. 47:29 The time for Israel to die approached, so he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, put your hand under my thigh and show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 47:30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” Joseph said, “I will do as you say.”

47:31 Jacob said, “Swear to me that you will do so.” So Joseph gave him his word. Then Israel bowed down at the head of his bed.

48:1 After these things Joseph was told, “Your father is weakening.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. 48:2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has just come to you,” Israel regained strength and sat up on his bed. 48:3 Jacob said to Joseph, “The sovereign God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 48:4 He said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and will multiply you. I will make you into a group of nations, and I will give this land to your descendants as an everlasting possession.’

48:5 “Now, as for your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, they will be mine. Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine just as Reuben and Simeon are. 48:6 Any children that you father after them will be yours; they will be listed under the names of their brothers in their inheritance. 48:7 But as for me, when I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died—to my sorrow—in the land of Canaan. It happened along the way, some distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there on the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).

48:8 When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he asked, “Who are these?” 48:9 Joseph said to his father, “They are the sons God has given me in this place.” His father said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.” 48:10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of his age; he was not able to see well. So Joseph brought his sons near to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them. 48:11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see you again, but now God has allowed me to see your children too.”

48:12 So Joseph moved them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 48:13 Joseph positioned them; he put Ephraim on his right hand across from Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh on his left hand across from Israel’s right hand. Then Joseph brought them closer to his father. 48:14 Israel stretched out his right hand and placed it on Ephraim’s head, although he was the younger. Crossing his hands, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, for Manasseh was the firstborn.

48:15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,

“May the God before whom my fathers

Abraham and Isaac walked—

the God who has been my shepherd

all my life long to this day,

48:16 the Angel who has protected me

from all harm—

bless these boys.

May my name be named in them,

and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac.

May they grow into a multitude on the earth.”

48:17 When Joseph saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him. So he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 48:18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”

48:19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a nation and he too will become great. In spite of this, his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will become a multitude of nations.” 48:20 So he blessed them that day, saying,

“By you will Israel bless, saying,

‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’ ”

So he put Ephraim before Manasseh.

48:21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your fathers. 48:22 As one who is above your brothers, I give to you the mountain slope, which I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

Biblical Studies Press. The NET Bible First Edition; Bible. English. NET Bible.; The NET Bible. Biblical Studies Press, 2006. Print.

acob Blessing the Sons of Joseph by Giovanni Francesco Barbieri (Guercino) (1620)New King James Version

28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. So the length of Jacob’s life was one hundred and forty-seven years. 29 When the time drew near that Israel must die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “Now if I have found favor in your sight, please put your hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me. Please do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but let me lie with my fathers; you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.”

And he said, “I will do as you have said.”

31 Then he said, “Swear to me.” And he swore to him. So Israel bowed himself on the head of the bed.

48 Now it came to pass after these things that Joseph was told, “Indeed your father is sick”; and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 And Jacob was told, “Look, your son Joseph is coming to you”; and Israel strengthened himself and sat up on the bed. 3 Then Jacob said to Joseph: “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4 and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’ 5 And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. 6 Your offspring whom you beget after them shall be yours; they will be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance. 7 But as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was but a little distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”

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

9 Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me in this place.”

And he said, “Please bring them to me, and I will bless them.” 10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. Then Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11 And Israel said to Joseph, “I had not thought to see your face; but in fact, God has also shown me your offspring!”

12 So Joseph brought them from beside his knees, and he bowed down with his face to the earth. 13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near him. 14 Then 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. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said:

“God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,

The God who has fed me all my life long to this day,

16 The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil,

Bless the lads;

Let my name be named upon them,

And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;

And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

17 Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for 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 also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”

20 So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will bless, saying, ‘May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!’ ” And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am dying, but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22 Moreover I have given to you one portion above your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow.”

The New King James Version. Nashville: Thomas Nelson, 1982. Print.

The Message

Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years. In all, he lived 147 years.

29–30 When the time came for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said, “Do me this favor. Put your hand under my thigh, a sign that you’re loyal and true to me to the end. Don’t bury me in Egypt. When I lie down with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me alongside them.”

“I will,” he said. “I’ll do what you’ve asked.”

31 Israel said, “Promise me.” Joseph promised.

Israel bowed his head in submission and gratitude from his bed.

1–2 48 Some time after this conversation, Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” He took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and went to Jacob. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come,” he roused himself and sat up in bed.

3–7 Jacob said to Joseph, “The Strong God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. He said, ‘I’m going to make you prosperous and numerous, turn you into a congregation of tribes; and I’ll turn this land over to your children coming after you as a permanent inheritance.’ I’m adopting your two sons who were born to you here in Egypt before I joined you; they have equal status with Reuben and Simeon. But any children born after them are yours; they will come after their brothers in matters of inheritance. I want it this way because, as I was returning from Paddan, your mother Rachel, to my deep sorrow, died as we were on our way through Canaan when we were only a short distance from Ephrath, now called Bethlehem.”

8 Just then Jacob noticed Joseph’s sons and said, “Who are these?”

9–11 Joseph told his father, “They are my sons whom God gave to me in this place.”

“Bring them to me,” he said, “so I can bless them.” Israel’s eyesight was poor from old age; he was nearly blind. So Joseph brought them up close. Old Israel kissed and embraced them and then said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has let me see your children as well!”

12–16 Joseph took them from Israel’s knees and bowed respectfully, his face to the ground. Then Joseph took the two boys, Ephraim with his right hand setting him to Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand setting him to Israel’s right, and stood them before him. But Israel crossed his arms and put his right hand on the head of Ephraim who was the younger and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, the firstborn. Then he blessed them:

The God before whom walked

my fathers Abraham and Isaac,

The God who has been my shepherd

all my life long to this very day,

The Angel who delivered me from every evil,

Bless the boys.

May my name be echoed in their lives,

and the names of Abraham and Isaac, my fathers,

And may they grow

covering the Earth with their children.

17–18 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he thought he had made a mistake, so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s, saying, “That’s the wrong head, Father; the other one is the firstborn; place your right hand on his head.”

19–20 But his father wouldn’t do it. He said, “I know, my son; but I know what I’m doing. He also will develop into a people, and he also will be great. But his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will enrich nations.” Then he blessed them both:

Israel will use your names to give blessings:

May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.

In that he made it explicit: he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21–22 Israel then said to Joseph, “I’m about to die. God be with you and give you safe passage back to the land of your fathers. As for me, I’m presenting you, as the first among your brothers, the ridge of land I took from Amorites with my sword and bow.”

Peterson, Eugene H. The Message: The Bible in Contemporary Language. Colorado Springs, CO: NavPress, 2005. Print.

King James Version

28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years. 29 And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt: 30 But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou hast said. 31 And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed’s head.

48 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. 3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession. 5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. 6 And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance. 7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Beth-lehem. 8 And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons, and said, Who are these? 9 And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them. 10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. 11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed. 12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13 And 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 unto him. 14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, 16 The Angel which 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; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. 17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head. 18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. 19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. 20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. 22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.

The Holy Bible: King James Version. Electronic Edition of the 1900 Authorized Version. Bellingham, WA: Logos Research Systems, Inc., 2009. Print.

Sources: NIV, The Message, The NET Bible, King James Version, NET Bible Notes, Faithlife Study Bible, The Apologetics Study Bible, The Bible Knowledge Commentary, Jamieson, Fausset, Brown Commentary, The Bible Reader’s Companion, Matthew Henry’s Commentary, Holman Concise Bible Commentary, The Bible Exposition Commentary, The Teacher’s Bible Commentary, The Teacher’s Commentary, The Bible Guide, Word Studies in the New Testament, Holman Bible Handbook, Calvin Commentaries, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines, The New Manner and Customs of the Bible, Holman Illustrated Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Bible Dictionary, Easton’s Bible Dictionary, Harper’s Bible Dictionary, Baker Encyclopedia of the Bible, The Archaeological Encyclopedia, Biblical Archaeology Review, The New Bible Dictionary, The Lexham Analytical Lexicon, Glossary of Morpho-Syntactic Database
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