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The New Oxford Annotated Bible New Revised Standard Study Bible that provides essential scholarship and guidance for Bible readers.

Chapter 48

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Text Commentary

1After this Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” he b Heb from his knees summoned his strength and sat up in bed. 3And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty a you here is singular in Heb appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and he blessed me, 4and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers; I will make of you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your offspring after you for a perpetual holding.’ 5Therefore your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are now mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are. 6As for the offspring born to you after them, they shall be yours. They shall be recorded under the names of their brothers with regard to their inheritance. 7For when I came from Paddan, Rachel, alas, died in the land of Canaan on the way, while there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).

8When Israel saw Joseph's sons, he said, “Who are these?” 9Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” And he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.” 10Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, and he could not see well. So Joseph brought them near him; and he kissed them and embraced them. 11Israel said to Joseph, “I did not expect to see your face; and here God has let me see your children also.” 12Then Joseph removed them from his father's knees, b Or mountain slope (Heb shekem, a play on the name of the town and district of Shechem) and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right, and brought them near him. 14But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands, for Manasseh was the firstborn.15

He blessed Joseph, and said, “The God before whom my ancestors 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, bless the boys; and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude on the earth.”

17When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father! Since 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 also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.” 20So he blessed them that day, saying,

“By you c Or mountain slope (Heb shekem, a play on the name of the town and district of Shechem) Israel will invoke blessings, saying, ‘God make you c Or mountain slope (Heb shekem, a play on the name of the town and district of Shechem) like Ephraim and like Manasseh.’ ”

So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your ancestors. 22I now give to you one portion d Gk Syr Tg: Heb he more than to your brothers, the portion a Or until Shiloh comes or until he comes to Shiloh or (with Syr) until he comes to whom it belongs that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”

Notes:

b Heb from his knees

c you here is singular in Heb

d Or mountain slope (Heb shekem, a play on the name of the town and district of Shechem)

a Or mountain slope (Heb shekem, a play on the name of the town and district of Shechem)

b Gk Syr Tg: Heb he

c Or until Shiloh comes or until he comes to Shiloh or (with Syr) until he comes to whom it belongs

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