Friday, October 27, 2006

Genesis 48 "Manasseh and Ephraim"

Genesis 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."

Israel here begans his death bed statement and it is very thorough. He began by telling how God Almighty appeared to him at Luz and promised to bless him and his descendants. Then he turns to Joseph's two sons. He told Joseph that even though they were born in Egypt, they were as much his sons as Reuben and Simeon.

Now his thoughts return to his journey with the Lord. He recalled how Rachel died in a place called Ephrath which is the same as Bethlehem. (Another hint of the Lamb that takes away the sins of the world.)

Again, he turns to Joseph's sons. v8 And Israel beheld Joseph's sons and said Who are these? Israel's eyesight had grown dim and so Joseph brought his sons nearer. It seems Israel has again forgotten the boys as he tells Joseph how he thought he would never see him again. Joseph pulled the boys back again within reach of Israel.

Something happens here. The firstborn is not touched by Israel's right hand as Joseph had placed him. Manasseh was the firstborn. Israel's right hand was placed on Ephraim. Joseph objected to the point of removing his hand but Israel insisted. The blessing was done as Israel intended. v15 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, then there is mention of someone else which I found very significant and I believe refers to the Lord. We discussed how at different times the Lord appeared as a man and it is no stranger to me that he might appear as an angel. v16 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.

So, as Jacob received the blessing over his brother Essau, Ephraim has received the blessing over his older brother Manasseh. Let me say here, that I do not understand everything I read but I can accept it because I trust the author of the Bible. Just as I do not quite understand this last verse which appears to give Joseph preference over his brothers through his sons.

v22 "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.

The Bible does not say a lot directly about the physical abilities of Jacob nor his fathers. In the above verse we can see that he could be a man of war when necessary. I remember at the well where he met Rachel. He must have been a commanding figure for as he stood alone, those there did not object to his speech nor when he rolled the stone away.

Proverbs11:31 "Behold, the righteous shall be recompensed in the earth: much more the wicked and the sinner."

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