God in His grace, does not always observe the order of nature in bestowing His blessings,
nor prefer those whom we think fittest to be preferred, but as it pleases Him,
He chooses the weak to confound the mighty, thus His grace becomes more illustrious.
1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
2 And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.
3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,
4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.
5 ¶ And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.
6 And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.
7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Beth-lehem.
8 And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons, and said, Who are these?
9 And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.
10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.
11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.
12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.
13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near unto him.
14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
15 ¶ And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,
16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head.
18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.
20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.
22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.
Genesis 48:1-3 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 48:4-6 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 48:7-13 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 48:14 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 48:15-22 – J. Vernon McGee
Genesis 48:1-7 – Joseph Visits His Dying Father
On Joseph’s second visit he was weaker, and with an effort nerved himself for the interview. The angel-ladder and Rachel’s death stood prominently out before the dying eyes. When he returned from this pathetic reverie he turned to the two boys who stood awestruck beside him and adopted them, for their beloved father’s sake. —Through the Bible Day by Day
Genesis 48:2 – Behold, thy son Joseph cometh.
How needful Joseph was to Jacob! The aged patriarch could not die without seeing him. His presence lit the dark valley. His hands closed the tired eyes of the aged pilgrim. And Joseph was as quick to come at the first intimation of his father’s desire to see him. There was a perfect sympathy and reciprocity between them, just as there may be between Christ and those who owe all to Him.
Jesus is ever leading us on to new and deeper experiences.—In no true life is stagnation admissible. So the nest is constantly being stirred up, and the trumpets sounded for the striking of our tents. But there is a Divine motive in it all. Jesus cannot rest satisfied with less than the best for those He loves, as Joseph could not permit Jacob to remain in Canaan Goshen with its plenty awaited him.
In all the new experiences Jesus meets us.—When his father entered Egypt, Joseph was waiting for him. When he was summoned to stand before Pharaoh, Joseph brought him. When he lay a-dying, Joseph was at his side to receive his last commissions. So, trembling soul, if Jesus presses you into the unknown, He does not leave you there, but keeps coming again, meeting you at every point of anxiety and distress. Yea, He does what Joseph could not do. He stands, not on this side only, but on the other side, of death. Here to calm with his benediction; there to receive into his glory.
Jesus is careful for body as well as soul.—The dying man was anxious about the disposal of his body, and Joseph readily undertook to see it buried in Machpelah’s cave. So Jesus cares for us. He is the Savior of the body in this life and in the resurrection. —Our Daily Homily
Genesis 48:8-22 – Jacob Blesses Joseph’s Sons
By his act in blessing them, Jacob reversed the verdict of birth, and gave the younger the birthright. Probably there were qualities in Ephraim which naturally put him in the foremost place. The Bible is full of hope for younger sons. He spoke of the Angel, Jehovah, so often referred to in the Old Testament, and who can be no other than the Son of God. He also is our Shepherd, Guardian and Friend. He will feed and tend us all our life long. He will redeem us from all evil and bring us to a blessed end in peace. Be of good cheer! He cared for you in your helpless infancy and will do no less in your helpless old age. If any lads hear this portion read let them notice that old Jacob prayed God to bless the lads. Evidently then, no little lad is too small for God to notice and bless! Though the fathers die, God lives and will bring us again to “the land of your fathers” (v. 21). —Through the Bible Day by Day