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Genesis 48-49 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

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 a permanent 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 Israel 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, putting Ephraim before Manasseh when he said, “The nation Israel will invoke blessings by you, saying, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

21 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 Amorites with my sword and bow.”

Jacob’s Last Words

49 Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather around, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the days to come.[f]

Come together and listen, sons of Jacob;
listen to your father Israel:

Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my strength and the firstfruits of my virility,
excelling in prominence, excelling in power.
Turbulent as water, you will not excel,
because you got into your father’s bed
and you defiled it—he[g] got into my bed.

Simeon and Levi are brothers;
their knives are vicious weapons.
May I never enter their council;
may I never join their assembly.
For in their anger they kill men,
and on a whim they hamstring oxen.
Their anger is cursed, for it is strong,
and their fury, for it is cruel!
I will disperse them throughout Jacob
and scatter them throughout Israel.

Judah, your brothers will praise you.
Your hand will be on the necks of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
Judah is a young lion
my son, you return from the kill.
He crouches; he lies down like a lion
or a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah
or the staff from between his feet
until he whose right it is comes[h]
and the obedience of the peoples belongs to him.
11 He ties his donkey to a vine,
and the colt of his donkey to the choice vine.
He washes his clothes in wine
and his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth are whiter than milk.

13 Zebulun will live by the seashore
and will be a harbor for ships,
and his territory will be next to Sidon.

14 Issachar is a strong donkey
lying down between the saddlebags.[i]
15 He saw that his resting place was good
and that the land was pleasant,
so he leaned his shoulder to bear a load
and became a forced laborer.

16 Dan will judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan will be a snake by the road,
a viper beside the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that its rider falls backward.

18 I wait for your salvation, Lord.

19 Gad will be attacked by raiders,
but he will attack their heels.

20 Asher’s[j] food will be rich,
and he will produce royal delicacies.

21 Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns.

22 Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine beside a spring;
its branches[k] climb over the wall.[l]
23 The archers attacked him,
shot at him, and were hostile toward him.
24 Yet his bow remained steady,
and his strong arms were made agile
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the name of[m] the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 by the God of your father who helps you,
and by the Almighty who blesses you
with blessings of the heavens above,
blessings of the deep that lies below,
and blessings of the breasts and the womb.
26 The blessings of your father excel
the blessings of my ancestors[n]
and[o] the bounty of the ancient hills.[p]
May they rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince of his brothers.

27 Benjamin is a wolf; he tears his prey.
In the morning he devours the prey,
and in the evening he divides the plunder.”

28 These are the tribes of Israel, twelve in all, and this is what their father said to them. He blessed them, and he blessed each one with a suitable blessing.

Jacob’s Burial Instructions

29 Then he commanded them: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hethite. 30 The cave is in the field of Machpelah near Mamre, in the land of Canaan. This is the field Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hethite as burial property. 31 Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried there, Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried there, and I buried Leah there. 32 The field and the cave in it were purchased from the Hethites.” 33 When Jacob had finished giving charges to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, took his last breath, and was gathered to his people.

Footnotes:

  1. 48:10 Lit he was not able to
  2. 48:17 Or he was displeased; lit head, it was bad in his eyes
  3. 48:19 Lit people
  4. 48:19 Or a multitude of nations; lit a fullness of nations
  5. 48:22 Or Shechem, Joseph’s burial place; lit one shoulder
  6. 49:1 Or in the last days
  7. 49:4 LXX, Syr, Tg read you
  8. 49:10 Or until tribute comes to him, or until Shiloh comes, or until he comes to Shiloh
  9. 49:14 Or sheep pens
  10. 49:19-20 LXX, Syr, Vg; MT reads their heel. 20 From Asher
  11. 49:22 Lit daughters
  12. 49:22 Hb obscure
  13. 49:24 Syr, Tg; MT reads Jacob, from there
  14. 49:26 Or of the mountains
  15. 49:26 Lit to
  16. 49:26 Hb obscure
Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

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