Genesis 47:28-49:33 Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)
Parashah 12: Vayechi (He lived) 47:28–50:26
28 Ya‘akov lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; thus Ya‘akov lived to be 147 years old. 29 The time came when Isra’el was approaching death; so he called for his son Yosef and said to him, “If you truly love me, please put your hand under my thigh and pledge that, out of consideration for me, you will not bury me in Egypt. 30 Rather, when I sleep with my fathers, you are to carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.” He replied, “I will do as you have said.” 31 He said, “Swear it to me,” and he swore to him. Then Isra’el bowed down at the head of his bed.
48 Awhile later someone told Yosef that his father was ill. He took with him his two sons, M’nasheh and Efrayim. 2 Ya‘akov was told, “Here comes your son Yosef.” Isra’el gathered his strength and sat up in bed. 3 Ya‘akov said to Yosef, “El Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in the land of Kena‘an and blessed me, 4 saying to me, ‘I will make you fruitful and numerous. I will make of you a group of peoples; and I will give this land to your descendants to possess forever.’ 5 Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Efrayim and M’nasheh will be as much mine as Re’uven and Shim‘on are. 6 The children born to you after them will be yours, but for purposes of inheritance they are to be counted with their older brothers.
7 “Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died suddenly, as we were traveling through the land of Kena‘an, while we were still some distance from Efrat; so I buried her there on the way to Efrat (also known as Beit-Lechem).”
8 Then Isra’el noticed Yosef’s sons and asked, “Whose are these?” 9 Yosef answered his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” Ya‘akov replied, “I want you to bring them here to me, so that I can bless them.” (ii) 10 Now Isra’el’s eyes were dim with age, so that he could not see. Yosef brought his sons near to him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11 Isra’el said to Yosef, “I never expected to see even you again, but God has allowed me to see your children too!” 12 Yosef brought them out from between his legs and prostrated himself on the ground. 13 Then Yosef took them both, Efrayim in his right hand toward Isra’el’s left hand and M’nasheh in his left hand toward Isra’el’s right hand, and brought them near to him. 14 But Isra’el put out his right hand and laid it on the head of the younger one, Efrayim, and put his left hand on the head of M’nasheh — he intentionally crossed his hands, even though M’nasheh was the firstborn. 15 Then he blessed Yosef: “The God in whose presence my fathers Avraham and Yitz’chak lived, the God who has been my own shepherd all my life long to this day, 16 the angel who has rescued me from all harm, bless these boys. May they remember who I am and what I stand for, and likewise my fathers Avraham and Yitz’chak, who they were and what they stood for. And may they grow into teeming multitudes on the earth.”
(iii) 17 When Yosef saw that his father was laying his right hand on Efrayim’s head, it displeased him, and he lifted up his father’s hand to remove it from Efrayim’s head and place it instead on M’nasheh’s head. 18 Yosef said to his father, “Don’t do it that way, my father; for this one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.” 19 But his father refused and said, “I know that, my son, I know it. He too will become a people, and he too will be great; nevertheless his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will grow into many nations.” 20 Then he added this blessing on them that day: “Isra’el will speak of you in their own blessings by saying, ‘May God make you like Efrayim and M’nasheh.’” Thus he put Efrayim ahead of M’nasheh.
21 Isra’el then said to Yosef, “You see that I am dying, but God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your ancestors. 22 Moreover, I am giving to you a sh’khem [shoulder, ridge, share, city of Sh’khem] more than to your brothers; I captured it from the Emori with my sword and bow.”
49 (iv) Then Ya‘akov called for his sons and said,
“Gather yourselves together, and I will tell you
3 “Re’uven, you are my firstborn,
5 “Shim‘on and Levi are brothers,
8 “Y’hudah, your brothers will acknowledge you,
13 “Z’vulun will live at the seashore,
14 “Yissakhar is a strong donkey
16 “Dan will judge his people
(v) 19 “Gad [troop]— a troop will troop on him,
20 “Asher’s food is rich —
22 “Yosef is a fruitful plant,
(vi) 27 “Binyamin is a ravenous wolf,
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Isra’el, and this is how their father spoke to them and blessed them, giving each his own individual blessing.
29 Then he charged them as follows: “I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave that is in the field of ‘Efron the Hitti, 30 the cave in the field of Makhpelah, by Mamre, in the land of Kena‘an, which Avraham bought together with the field from ‘Efron the Hitti as a burial-place belonging to him — 31 there they buried Avraham and his wife Sarah, there they buried Yitz’chak and his wife Rivkah, and there I buried Le’ah — 32 the field and the cave in it, which was purchased from the sons of Het.”
33 When Ya‘akov had finished charging his sons, he drew his legs up into the bed, breathed his last and was gathered to his people.