Brotherly Love Part 4


Well-Known Member
Genesis 48:1 Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. 2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.
3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me 4 and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers. I will make you a community of peoples, and I will give this land as an everlasting possession to your descendants after you.’
5 “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6 Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. 7 As I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).
8 When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”
9 “They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.
Then Israel said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.”
10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them.
11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”
12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.
15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,
“May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
—may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
on the earth.”
17 When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, 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 people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations.” 20 He blessed them that day and said,
“In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and 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 take you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of land than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”
This is the link to the commentary I read.

They shall be mine: Jacob’s adoption of Manasseh and Ephraim explains why there are 12 tribes often listed in different combinations. Because of this adoption, there were actually 13 sons of Israel. The 12 were born, but Joseph was divided into two tribes.
Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left hand: The right hand in the Bible always has the idea of the favored position, because generally speaking, the right hand is the hand of strength and skill.
Guiding his hands knowingly: Israel knew exactly what he intended to do. By placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he intended to grant a greater blessing to the younger. This was against normal custom and expectation.

I see a theme. The second born is the favorite.

Ishmael was first born... but Isaac was the favorite.

Esau was first born... but Jacob was the favorite.

I'm the oldest in my family, but my sister was the favorite. I struggled a little over the word "was" because my sister is still alive. I used the past tense because my mom and dad have passed, and the rest of us don't favor her. I had three sisters and a brother. My youngest sister passed away years ago. My other sister still talks to my second sister, but my brother and I haven't been "good enough" to bother with since my mom passed. I have a niece who will update me on them... but there is no contact.

That could be because I hung up on her the last time she called. I think she was drunk and she wanted to tell me off. I don't know if she's more angry or more embarrassed, but I haven't heard from her since.

I think that's how it will be with the twelve sons of Jacob. On top of that.... Joseph's two boys have split Joseph's portion. There are two brothers living on one lot. That didn't work for Lot and his cousin. That didn't work for Esau and Jacob. It definitely didn't work for Cain and Able. Once Jacob has passed, the brothers and Joseph's sons will be at odds. That's the drama of the family.

So... now Jacob [Israel] is on his deathbed and he has chosen to give Joseph and extra portion to cover the second son. Joseph's "twelfth" will be divided. His two sons will inherit the land Jacob [Israel] took during a battle with the Amorites. We'll see how that turns out.

Notice.... none of the other grandsons got a portion of the inheritance. We'll see how that turns out, too!

Blessings and Inheritance make for great family gatherings... don't they?

This is Brotherly Love part 4.