Gen. 48:1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

Gen. 48:2 And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.

Gen. 48:3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,

Gen. 48:4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.

Gen. 48:5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.

Gen. 48:6 And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.

Sometime later Joseph was told that his father was failing, so he took his sons with him to see Jacob.  When Jacob heard that Joseph had come, he summoned the strength to sit up in his bed.  He told Joseph about ÒGod AlmightyÓ appearing to him and promising to bless him and increase his numbers and give the land of Canaan to his descendants Òfor an everlasting possession.Ó  I think the name he used for God was for emphasis to Joseph that he was confident that God Almighty would bring this promise to pass.  He told him that his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, would be counted as equal with his own sons—just like Reuben and Simeon—when the time came for inheritance of the land. 

 

Gen. 48:7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.

Gen. 48:8 And Israel beheld JosephÕs sons, and said, Who are these?

Gen. 48:9 And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.

Gen. 48:10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.

Gen. 48:11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.

Gen. 48:12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.

Gen. 48:13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward IsraelÕs left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward IsraelÕs right hand, and brought them near unto him.

Gen. 48:14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon EphraimÕs head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon ManassehÕs head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.

The way the verses are worded, itÕs like listening to an old manÕs wandering mind.  All of a sudden he is remembering the death of Rachel and having to bury her along the road to Ephrath (Bethlehem).  Then he sees JosephÕs sons and doesnÕt recognize them.  (I remember visiting my great-grandmother in her last years.  Sometimes she would know me and my mom, and sometimes she wouldnÕt or thought we were someone else.)  Joseph tells him that they are his sons, and Jacob wants them brought closer so he can bless them.  Then he kisses and hugs them.  IsraelÕs eyes were really bad, and he could barely see. Then Jacob expresses his joy at being allowed not only to see Joseph again, but also JosephÕs children.  These kids were 17+ years old.  Joseph bowed before his father and then placed his sons before Jacob so that his right hand was on Manasseh (the oldest) and his left hand was on Ephraim.  But Israel crossed his arms and ÒwittinglyÓ (he knew what he was doing) put his right hand on Ephraim and his left on Manasseh.

 

Gen. 48:15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,

Gen. 48:16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

Gen. 48:17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his fatherÕs hand, to remove it from EphraimÕs head unto ManassehÕs head.

Gen. 48:18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.

Gen. 48:19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.

Gen. 48:20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

Gen. 48:21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.

Gen. 48:22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.

Then he blessed Joseph.  He acknowledged the God of his fathers as his shepherd and the Angel of his deliverance from all harm.  He asked that God bless these boys who were to be called by his name (as his sons) and make them increase greatly on the earth.  Joseph realized what Jacob had done with his hands and tried to correct him to have his right hand on Manasseh.  But his father told him no—he knew what he was doing.  They would both become great nations—but Ephraim would be the greatest.  Then Israel told Joseph that he (Israel) would soon die, but that God would take them back to the land of their fathers.  Then he gave Joseph an extra portion of land they were to inherit. 

 

Òwhich I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my swordÓ – This sounds like Jacob had conquered the land of the Amorites.  I donÕt remember reading about this.