Genesis 48

1Some time later, Joseph learned that his father was very sick. So Joseph took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim and went to his father. 2When Joseph arrived, someone told Israel, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” Israel was very weak, but he tried hard and sat up in his bed. 3Then Israel said to Joseph, “God All-Powerful appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan. God blessed me there. 4God said to me, 'I will make you a great family. I will give you many children and you will be a great people. Your family will own this land forever.’ 5And now you have two sons. These two sons were born here in the country of Egypt before I came. Your two sons Ephraim and Manasseh will be like my own sons. They will be the same as Reuben and Simeon to me. 6So these two boys will be my sons. They will share in everything I own. But if you have other sons, they will be your sons. But they will also be like sons to Ephraim and Manasseh—that is, in the future, they will share in everything that Ephraim and Manasseh own. 7On the trip from Paddan Aram, Rachel died. This made me very sad. She died in the land of Canaan. We were still traveling toward Ephrath. I buried her there on the road to Ephrath. (Ephrath is Bethlehem.)” 8Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons. Israel said, “Who are these boys?” 9Joseph said to his father, “These are my sons. These are the boys God gave me.” Israel said, “Bring your sons to me. I will bless them.” 10Israel was old and his eyes were not good. So Joseph brought the boys close to his father. Israel kissed and hugged the boys. 11Then Israel said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see your face again. But look! God has let me see you and your children.” 12Then Joseph took the boys off of Israel’s lap and they bowed down in front of his father. 13Joseph put Ephraim on his right side and Manasseh on his left side. (So Ephraim was on Israel’s left side, and Manasseh was on Israel’s right side.) 14But Israel crossed his hands and put his right hand on the head of the younger boy Ephraim. Then Israel put his left hand on the head of the older boy Manasseh. He had his left hand on Manasseh, even though Manasseh was firstborn. 15And Israel blessed Joseph and said, “My ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, worshiped our God. And that God has led me all of my life. 16He was the Angel who saved me from all my troubles. And I pray that he will bless these boys. Now these boys will have my name and the name of our ancestors, Abraham and Isaac. I pray that they will grow to become great families and nations on earth.” 17Joseph saw that his father put his right hand on Ephraim’s head. This didn’t make Joseph happy. Joseph took his father’s hand. He wanted to move it from Ephraim’s head and put it on Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to his father, “You have your right hand on the wrong boy. Manasseh is the firstborn. Put your right hand on him!” 19But his father argued and said, “I know, son. I know. Manasseh is the firstborn. And he will be great. He will also be the father of many people. But the younger brother will be greater than the older brother. And the younger brother’s family will be much larger.” 20So Israel blessed them that day. He said, “The people of Israel will use your names whenever they bless someone. They will say, “May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.” In this way, Israel made Ephraim greater than Manasseh. 21Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look, my time to die is almost here. But God will still be with you. He will lead you back to the land of your ancestors. 22I have given you something that I did not give your brothers. I give you the mountain that I won from the Amorite people. I used my sword and bow to fight for that mountain. And I won.”

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