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Genesis 48Good News Translation (GNT)

Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

48 Some time later Joseph was told that his father was ill. So he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and went to see Jacob. When Jacob was told that his son Joseph had come to see him, he gathered his strength and sat up in bed. Jacob said to Joseph, “Almighty God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. He said to me, ‘I will give you many children, so that your descendants will become many nations; I will give this land to your descendants as their possession forever.’”

Jacob continued, “Joseph, your two sons, who were born to you in Egypt before I came here, belong to me; Ephraim and Manasseh are just as much my sons as Reuben and Simeon. If you have any more sons, they will not be considered mine; the inheritance they get will come through Ephraim and Manasseh. I am doing this because of your mother Rachel. To my great sorrow she died in the land of Canaan, not far from Ephrath, as I was returning from Mesopotamia. I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.” (Ephrath is now known as Bethlehem.)

When Jacob saw Joseph's sons, he asked, “Who are these boys?”

Joseph answered, “These are my sons, whom God has given me here in Egypt.”

Jacob said, “Bring them to me so that I may bless them.” 10 Jacob's eyesight was failing because of his age, and he could not see very well. Joseph brought the boys to him, and he hugged them and kissed them. 11 Jacob said to Joseph, “I never expected to see you again, and now God has even let me see your children.” 12 Then Joseph took them from Jacob's lap and bowed down before him with his face to the ground.

13 Joseph put Ephraim at Jacob's left and Manasseh at his right. 14 But Jacob crossed his hands, and put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, even though he was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, who was the older. 15 Then he blessed Joseph:[a]

“May God, whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac served, bless these boys!
May God, who has led me to this very day, bless them!
16 May the angel, who has rescued me from all harm, bless them!
May my name and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac live on through these boys!
May they have many children, many descendants!”

17 Joseph was upset when he saw that his father had put his right hand on Ephraim's head; so he took his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to the head of Manasseh. 18 He said to his father, “Not that way, father. This is the older boy; put your right hand on his head.”

19 His father refused, saying, “I know, son, I know. Manasseh's descendants will also become a great people. But his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become great nations.”

20 So he blessed them that day, saying, “The Israelites will use your names when they pronounce blessings. They will say, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’” In this way Jacob put Ephraim before Manasseh.

21 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “As you see, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will take you back to the land of your ancestors. 22 It is to you and not to your brothers that I am giving Shechem, that fertile region which I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 48:15 In blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, Jacob was in fact blessing Joseph.
Good News Translation (GNT)

Copyright © 1992 by American Bible Society

Genesis 48New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

Jacob Blesses Joseph’s Sons

48 After this Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” he[a] summoned his strength and sat up in bed. And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty[b] appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and he blessed me, and 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.’ Therefore 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. As 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. For 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).

When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?” Joseph 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.” 10 Now 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. 11 Israel said to Joseph, “I did not expect to see your face; and here God has let me see your children also.” 12 Then Joseph removed them from his father’s knees,[c] and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13 Joseph 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. 14 But 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.”

17 When 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. 18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father! Since 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. Nevertheless his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.” 20 So he blessed them that day, saying,

“By you[d] Israel will invoke blessings, saying,
‘God make you[e] like Ephraim and like 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 will bring you again to the land of your ancestors. 22 I now give to you one portion[f] more than to your brothers, the portion[g] that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 48:2 Heb Israel
  2. Genesis 48:3 Traditional rendering of Heb El Shaddai
  3. Genesis 48:12 Heb from his knees
  4. Genesis 48:20 you here is singular in Heb
  5. Genesis 48:20 you here is singular in Heb
  6. Genesis 48:22 Or mountain slope (Heb shekem, a play on the name of the town and district of Shechem)
  7. Genesis 48:22 Or mountain slope (Heb shekem, a play on the name of the town and district of Shechem)
New Revised Standard Version (NRSV)

New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.

Genesis 48Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

48 Awhile later someone told Yosef that his father was ill. He took with him his two sons, M’nasheh and Efrayim. Ya‘akov was told, “Here comes your son Yosef.” Isra’el gathered his strength and sat up in bed. Ya‘akov said to Yosef, “El Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in the land of Kena‘an and blessed me, 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.’ 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. The children born to you after them will be yours, but for purposes of inheritance they are to be counted with their older brothers.

“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).”

Then Isra’el noticed Yosef’s sons and asked, “Whose are these?” 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.”

Complete Jewish Bible (CJB)

Copyright © 1998 by David H. Stern. All rights reserved.

Genesis 48The Message (MSG)

48 1-2 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.”

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.”

The Message (MSG)

Copyright © 1993, 1994, 1995, 1996, 2000, 2001, 2002 by Eugene H. Peterson

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