Genesis 48:1–49:26

Israel’s Last Days

1 Now it came about after these things that 1Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is sick.” So he took his two sons aManasseh and Ephraim with him.

2 When 1it was told to Jacob, “Behold, your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel 2collected his strength and sat 3up in the bed.

3 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “1aGod Almighty appeared to me at bLuz in the land of Canaan and blessed me,

4 and He said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your 1descendants after you for aan everlasting possession.’

5 “Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; aEphraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as bReuben and Simeon are.

6 “But your offspring that 1have been born after them shall be yours; they shall be called by the 2names of their brothers in their inheritance.

7 “Now as for me, when I came from aPaddan, bRachel died, 1to my sorrow, in the land of Canaan on the journey, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”

8 When Israel asaw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”

9 Joseph said to his father, “aThey are my sons, whom God has given me here.” So he said, “Bring them to me, please, that bI may bless them.”

10 Now athe eyes of Israel were so dim from age that he could not see. Then 1Joseph brought them close to him, and he bkissed them and embraced them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never 1expected to see your face, and behold, God has let me see your 2children as well.”

12 Then Joseph 1took them from his knees, and abowed with his face to the ground.

13 Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right, and brought them close to him.

14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, 1crossing his hands, 2although aManasseh was the firstborn.

15 He blessed Joseph, and said,

aThe God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,

bThe God who has been my shepherd 1all my life to this day,

16 aThe angel who has redeemed me from all evil,

bBless the lads;

And may my name 1live on in them,

And the 2names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;

And cmay they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

17 When Joseph saw that his father alaid his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him; and he grasped his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.

18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn. Place your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know; he also will become a people and he also will be great. However, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and ahis 1descendants shall become a 2multitude of nations.”

20 aHe blessed them that day, saying,

“By you Israel will pronounce blessing, saying,

‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!’ ”

Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but aGod will be with you, and bbring you back to the land of your fathers.

22 “I give you one 1portion more than your brothers, awhich I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow.”

Chapter 49

Israel’s Prophecy concerning His Sons

1 Then Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Assemble yourselves that I may tell you what will befall you ain the 1days to come.

2 “Gather together and hear, O sons of Jacob;

And alisten to Israel your father.

3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn;

My might and athe beginning of my strength,

1Preeminent in dignity and 1preeminent in power.

4 1Uncontrolled as water, you shall not have preeminence,

aBecause you went up to your father’s bed;

Then you defiled it—he went up to my couch.

5 aSimeon and Levi are brothers;

Their swords are implements of violence.

6 aLet my soul not enter into their council;

Let not my glory be united with their assembly;

Because in their anger they slew 1men,

And in their self-will they lamed 2oxen.

7 “Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce;

And their wrath, for it is cruel.

aI will 1disperse them in Jacob,

And scatter them in Israel.

8 “Judah, your brothers shall praise you;

Your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies;

aYour father’s sons shall bow down to you.

9 “Judah is a alion’s whelp;

From the prey, my son, you have gone up.

bHe 1couches, he lies down as a lion,

And as a 2lion, who 3dares rouse him up?

10 aThe scepter shall not depart from Judah,

Nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,

1Until Shiloh comes,

And bto him shall be the obedience of the peoples.

11 1aHe ties his foal to the vine,

And his donkey’s colt to the choice vine;

bHe washes his garments in wine,

And his robes in the blood of grapes.

12 “His eyes are 1dull from wine,

And his teeth 2white from milk.

13 aZebulun will dwell at the seashore;

And he shall be 1a haven for ships,

And his flank shall be toward Sidon.

14 “Issachar is 1a strong donkey,

aLying down between the 2sheepfolds.

15 “When he saw that a resting place was good

And that the land was pleasant,

He bowed his shoulder to bear burdens,

And became a slave at forced labor.

16 aDan shall bjudge his people,

As one of the tribes of Israel.

17 “Dan shall be a serpent in the way,

A horned snake in the path,

That bites the horse’s heels,

So that his rider falls backward.

18 aFor Your salvation I wait, O Lord.

19 aAs for Gad, 1raiders shall raid him,

But he will raid at their 2heels.

20 1aAs for bAsher, his 2food shall be 3rich,

And he will yield royal dainties.

21 aNaphtali is a doe let loose,

He gives beautiful words.

22 aJoseph is a fruitful 1bough,

A fruitful 1bough by a spring;

Its 2branches run over a wall.

23 “The archers bitterly attacked him,

And shot at him and harassed him;

24 But his abow remained 1firm,

And 2bhis arms were agile,

From the hands of the cMighty One of Jacob

(From there is dthe Shepherd, ethe Stone of Israel),

25 From athe God of your father who helps you,

And 1bby the 2Almighty who blesses you

With cblessings of heaven above,

Blessings of the deep that lies beneath,

Blessings of the breasts and of the womb.

26 “The blessings of your father

Have surpassed the blessings of my ancestors

Up to the 1utmost bound of athe everlasting hills;

May they be on the head of Joseph,

And on the crown of the head of the one distinguished among his brothers.

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