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The Oxford Study Bible Study Bible supplemented with commentary from scholars of various religions.

Chapter 48

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1Some time later Joseph was informed that his father was ill, so he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, with him and came to Jacob. 2When Jacob heard that his son Joseph had come to him, he gathered his strength and sat up in bed. 3Jacob said to Joseph, ‘God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in Canaan and blessed me; 4he said to me, “I shall make you fruitful and increase your descendants until they become a host of nations. I shall give this land to them after you as a possession for all time.” 5Now,' Jacob went on, ‘your two sons, who were born in Egypt before I came to join you here, will be counted as my sons; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine as Reuben and Simeon are. 6But the children born to you after them will be counted as yours; in respect of their tribal territory they will be reckoned under their elder brothers' names. 7In Canaan on my return from Paddan-aram a 48:7 Paddan-aram: so Samar.; Heb. Paddan. and while we were still some distance from Ephrath, your mother b your mother: so Samar.; Heb. omits. Rachel died on the way, and I buried her there by the road to Ephrath' (that is Bethlehem).

8When Israel saw Joseph's sons, he said, ‘Who are these?’ 9‘They are my sons’, replied Joseph, ‘whom God has given me here.’ Israel said, ‘Then bring them to me, that I may bless them c 48:9 bless them: or take them on my knees. .’ 10Now Israel's eyes were dim with age, and he could hardly see. Joseph brought the boys close to his father, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11He said to Joseph, ‘I had not expected to see your face again, and now God has let me see your sons as well.’ 12Joseph removed them from his father's knees and bowed to the ground. 13Then he took the two of them and brought them close to Israel: Ephraim on the right, that is Israel's left; and Manasseh on the left, that is Israel's right. 14But Israel, crossing his hands, stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim's head, although he was the younger, and laid his left hand on Manasseh's head, even though he was the firstborn. 15He blessed Joseph and said:

‘The God in whose presence my forefathers lived, my forefathers Abraham and Isaac, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, 16 the angel who rescued me from all misfortune, may he bless these boys; they will be called by my name, and by the names of my forefathers, Abraham and Isaac; may they grow into a great people on earth.’

17When Joseph saw his father laying his right hand on Ephraim's head, he was displeased and took hold of his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's. 18He said, ‘That is not right, father. This is the firstborn; lay your right hand on his head.’ 19But his father refused; he said, ‘I know, my son, I know. He too will become a people, and he too will become great. Yet his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will be a whole nation in themselves.’ 20So he blessed them that day and said:

‘When a blessing is pronounced in Israel, men shall use your names and say, “May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.” ’

So he set Ephraim before Manasseh. 21Then Israel said to Joseph, ‘I am about to die, but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers, 22where I assign you one ridge of land d 48:22 ridge of land: Heb. shechem, meaning shoulder. more than your brothers; I took it from the Amorites with sword and bow.’

Notes:

a 48:7 Paddan-aram: so Samar.; Heb. Paddan.

b your mother: so Samar.; Heb. omits.

c 48:9 bless them: or take them on my knees.

d 48:22 ridge of land: Heb. shechem, meaning shoulder.

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