New International Version

Genesis 48

Manasseh and Ephraim

1Some time later Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.

Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty[a] appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and there he blessed me 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.’

“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. 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. As I was returning from Paddan,[b] 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).

When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”

“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[c] 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[d] and take you[e] back to the land of your[f] fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of land[g] than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 48:3 Hebrew El-Shaddai
  2. Genesis 48:7 That is, Northwest Mesopotamia
  3. Genesis 48:20 The Hebrew is singular.
  4. Genesis 48:21 The Hebrew is plural.
  5. Genesis 48:21 The Hebrew is plural.
  6. Genesis 48:21 The Hebrew is plural.
  7. Genesis 48:22 The Hebrew for ridge of land is identical with the place name Shechem.

New International Reader's Version

Genesis 48

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. Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you.” So Israel became stronger and sat up in bed.

Jacob said to Joseph, “The Mighty God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan. He blessed me there. He 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.’

“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. Any 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. As 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.

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

“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.”

10 Israel’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.

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

12 Then Joseph lifted his sons off Israel’s knees. Joseph bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 He 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. 14 But 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.

15 Then 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.
16 He 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.”

17 Joseph 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. 18 Joseph said to him, “No, my father. Here’s my older son. Put your right hand on his head.”

19 But 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.” 20 On 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.

21 Then 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. 22 But 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.”