New International Reader's Version

Genesis 48:1-22

Ephraim and Manasseh

1Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is sick.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. 2Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you.” So Israel became stronger and sat up in bed.

3Jacob said to Joseph, “The Mighty God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan. He blessed me there. 4He said to me, ‘I am going to give you children. I will make your family very large. I will make you a community of nations. And I will give this land to your children after you. It will belong to them forever.’

5“Now then, two sons were born to you in Egypt. It happened before I came to you here. They will be counted as my own sons. Ephraim and Manasseh will belong to me, in the same way that Reuben and Simeon belong to me. 6Any children born to you after them will belong to you. Any territory they receive will come from the land that will be given to Ephraim and Manasseh. 7As I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died. It made me very sad. She died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way. We weren’t very far away from Ephrath. So I buried her body there beside the road to Ephrath.” Ephrath was also called Bethlehem.

8Israel saw Joseph’s sons. He asked, “Who are they?”

9“They are the sons God has given me here,” Joseph said to his father.

Then Israel said, “Bring them to me. I want to give them my blessing.”

10Israel’s eyes were weak because he was old. He couldn’t see very well. So Joseph brought his sons close to him. His father kissed them and hugged them.

11Israel said to Joseph, “I never thought I’d see your face again. But now God has let me see your children too.”

12Then Joseph lifted his sons off Israel’s knees. Joseph bowed down with his face to the ground. 13He placed Ephraim on his right, toward Israel’s left hand. He placed Manasseh on his left, toward Israel’s right hand. Then he brought them close to Israel. 14But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head. He did it even though Ephraim was the younger son. He crossed his arms and put his left hand on Manasseh’s head. He did it even though Manasseh was the older son.

15Then Israel gave Joseph his blessing. He said,

“May God bless these boys.

He is the God of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac.

They walked faithfully with him.

He is the God who has been my shepherd

all my life right up to this day.

16He is the Angel who has saved me from all harm.

May he bless these boys.

May they be called by my name.

May they also be called by the names of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac.

And may the number of them greatly increase

on the earth.”

17Joseph saw his father putting his right hand on Ephraim’s head. And Joseph didn’t like it. So he took hold of his father’s hand to move it over to Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to him, “No, my father. Here’s my older son. Put your right hand on his head.”

19But his father wouldn’t do it. He said, “I know, my son. I know. He too will become a nation. He too will become great. But his younger brother will be greater than he is. His children after him will become a group of nations.” 20On that day, Jacob gave them his blessing. He said,

“The people of Israel will bless others in your name.

They will say, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’ ”

So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21Then Israel said to Joseph, “I’m about to die. But God will be with all of you. He’ll take you back to the land of your fathers. 22But to you, Joseph, I am giving more land than your brothers. I’m giving you the land I took from the Amorites. I took it with my sword and bow.”

Japanese Contemporary Bible

創世記 48:1-22

48

ヨセフの息子たちを祝福するヤコブ

1こののち、父親の容態が悪化したという知らせが届いたので、ヨセフはマナセとエフライムを連れて父を見舞いました。 2ヨセフが来たと聞いて、イスラエルは力をふりしぼって起き上がり、彼を迎えました。 3「全能の神がカナンの地ルズで私に現れ、祝福してくださった時のことは、今でもはっきり覚えている。 4あの時、神様は、『わたしはあなたを大いなる国とし、カナンの地を永遠にあなたと子孫とに与えよう』と約束なさった。 5それはそうと、私がここへ来る前に生まれたおまえの息子らのことだが、エフライムとマナセ、あの二人を私の養子にしようと思う。ルベンやシメオンと同じように、あの二人にも私の遺産を相続させたいのだ。 6しかし、おまえの息子をみな、私の子にするとは言わない。次の子が生まれたら、その子らにおまえの跡を継がせればいいだろう。 7おまえの母さんのラケルは、パダン・アラムから帰る途中、エフラテの近くで死んだ。二人の子を残して。それで私は、泣く泣くベツレヘムへ行く道のかたわらに葬ったのだ。」

8この時イスラエルは、二人の少年に気づきました。「もしや、この二人が?」

9「そうです。神様がエジプトで私に恵んでくださった息子たちです。」

「そうか、そうか。ちょうどよかった。私のそばに連れて来なさい。祝福しよう。」

10イスラエルは年老いて目がほとんど見えません。ヨセフが少年たちをそばに連れて行くと、二人をぎゅっと抱きしめて祝福の口づけをしました。 11そして彼はヨセフに、「私はおまえの顔を二度と見ることはあるまいとあきらめておったのだ。それがどうだ。こうして、かわいい孫の顔まで見られるとは……」としみじみ言いました。

12-13ヨセフはもう一度、二人の息子の手を取り、ていねいにおじぎをしてから、彼らを祖父の前に進ませました。イスラエルから見て、エフライムが左側、マナセが右側です。 14ところが頭に手を置く時、イスラエルは伸ばした手をわざわざ交差させました。右手を弟エフライムの頭に、左手を兄マナセの頭に置いたのです。

15次に、イスラエルはヨセフを祝福しました。「祖父アブラハム、父イサクの神様。羊飼いのように、私を生涯守ってくださった神様。 16どうぞこの子どもたちを大いに祝福してください。神様は私をあらゆる危険から守ってくださいました。この子どもたちが、私やアブラハム、イサクの名を汚すことなく、一族の名を上げてくれますように。彼らが大きな国となりますように。」

17しかし、父が右手をエフライムの頭に置いたのがヨセフには納得いかず、それで父の手を取り、マナセの頭に置こうとしました。 18「違いますよ、お父さん。手の置き方が反対です。こちらが長男です。右手はこの子に置いてください。」

19「いや、ちゃんとわかっている。マナセも大きな国になる。だが弟のほうがもっと強くなるのだ。」

20ヤコブはその日、二人の少年に次のような祝福を与えました。「イスラエル人は互いに祝福し合う時、これからは、『神様があなたがたを、エフライムとマナセのように栄えさせてくださいますように』と言うだろう。」この時も、エフライムの名をマナセの前にしました。

21そのあとイスラエルは、またヨセフに言いました。「私はもう長くはない。だがおまえには神様がついている。きっともう一度、先祖の国カナンへ帰れるだろう。 22その時のために、シェケムの地をおまえにやろう。あれは、私がエモリ人から苦労して戦い取った土地だ。ほかのだれにも与えない。おまえのものだ。」