Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
1Some time after this, Joseph was told, “Your father is weaker.” So he set out with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.
3Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 4He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful and numerous; I will make many nations come from you, and I will give this land as a permanent possession to your future descendants.’ 5Your two sons born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt are now mine. Ephraim and Manasseh belong to me just as Reuben and Simeon do. 6Children born to you after them will be yours and will be recorded under the names of their brothers with regard to their inheritance. 7When I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died along the way, some distance from Ephrath in the land of Canaan. I buried her there along the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).
8When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”
9And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons God has given me here.”
So Israel said, “Bring them to me and I will bless them.” 10Now his eyesight was poor because of old age; he could hardly see. Joseph brought them to him, and he kissed and embraced them. 11Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, but now God has even let me see your offspring.” 12Then Joseph took them from his father’s knees and bowed with his face to the ground.
Ephraim’s Greater Blessing
13Then Joseph took them both — with his right hand Ephraim toward Israel’s left, and with his left hand Manasseh toward Israel’s right — and brought them to Israel. 14But Israel stretched out his right hand and put it on the head of Ephraim, the younger, and crossing his hands, put his left on Manasseh’s head, although Manasseh was the firstborn. 15Then he blessed Joseph and said:
The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
16the angel who has redeemed me from all harm —
may he bless these boys.
And may they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they grow to be numerous within the land.
17When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he thought it was a mistake and took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. 18Joseph said to his father, “Not that way, my father! This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”
19But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know! He too will become a tribe, and he too will be great; nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a populous nation.” 20So he blessed them that day, putting Ephraim before Manasseh when he said, “The nation Israel will invoke blessings by you, saying, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
21Israel said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22Over and above what I am giving your brothers, I am giving you the one mountain slope that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”