Genesis 48-50 Bible in Basic English

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Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

48 1  Now after these things, word came to Joseph that his father was ill: and he took with him his sons Manasseh and Ephraim. 2  And when they said to Jacob, Your son Joseph is coming to see you: then Israel, getting all his strength together, had himself lifted up in his bed. 3  And Jacob said to Joseph, God, the Ruler of all, came to me in a vision at Luz in the land of Canaan, and gave me his blessing, 4  And said to me, Truly, I will make you fertile and give you increase and will make of you a great family of nations: and I will give this land to your seed after you to be their heritage for ever. 5  And now your two sons who came to birth in Egypt before I came to you here, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, in the same way as Reuben and Simeon are. 6  And any other offspring which you have after them, will be yours, and will be named after their brothers in their heritage. 7  And as for me, when I came from Paddan, death overtook Rachel on the way, when we were still some distance from Ephrath; and I put her to rest there on the road to Ephrath, which is Beth-lehem.

8  Then Israel, looking at Joseph's sons, said, Who are these? 9  And Joseph said to his father, They are my sons, whom God has given me in this land. And he said, Let them come near me, and I will give them a blessing. 10  Now because Israel was old, his eyes were no longer clear, and he was not able to see. So he made them come near to him, and he gave them a kiss, folding them in his arms. 11  And Israel said to Joseph, I had no hope of seeing your face again, but God in his mercy has let me see you and your children. 12  Then Joseph took them from between his knees, and went down on his face to the earth. 13  Then taking Ephraim with his right hand, Joseph put him at Israel's left side, and with his left hand he put Manasseh at Israel's right side, placing them near him. 14  And Israel, stretching out his right hand, put it on the head of Ephraim, the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands on purpose, for Manasseh was the older. 15  And he gave Joseph a blessing, saying, May the God to whom my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, gave worship, the God who has taken care of me all my life till this day, 16  The angel who has been my saviour from all evil, send his blessing on these children: and let my name and the name of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac, be given to them; and let them become a great nation in the earth. 17  Now when Joseph saw that his father had put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it did not seem right to him; and lifting his father's hand he would have put it on the head of Manasseh. 18  And Joseph said to his father, Not so, my father, for this is the older; put your right hand on his head. 19  But his father would not, saying, I am doing it on purpose, my son; he will certainly become a nation and a great one; but his younger brother will be greater than he, and his seed will become a great family of nations. 20  So he gave them his blessing that day, saying, You will be the sign of blessing in Israel, for they will say, May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh; and he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21  Then Israel said to Joseph, Now my death is near; but God will be with you, guiding you back to the land of your fathers. 22  And I have given you more than your brothers, even Shechem as your heritage, which I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.

Jacob's Prophecy concerning His Sons

49 1  And Jacob sent for his sons, and said, Come together, all of you, so that I may give you news of your fate in future times. 2  Come near, O sons of Jacob, and give ear to the words of Israel your father. 3  Reuben, you are my oldest son, the first-fruit of my strength, first in pride and first in power: 4  But because you were uncontrolled, the first place will not be yours; for you went up to your father's bed, even his bride-bed, and made it unclean.

5  Simeon and Levi are brothers; deceit and force are their secret designs. 6  Take no part in their secrets, O my soul; keep far away, O my heart, from their meetings; for in their wrath they put men to death, and for their pleasure even oxen were wounded. 7  A curse on their passion for it was bitter; and on their wrath for it was cruel. I will let their heritage in Jacob be broken up, driving them from their places in Israel.

8  To you, Judah, will your brothers give praise: your hand will be on the neck of your haters; your father's sons will go down to the earth before you. 9  Judah is a young lion; like a lion full of meat you have become great, my son; now he takes his rest like a lion stretched out and like an old lion; by whom will his sleep be broken? 10  The rod of authority will not be taken from Judah, and he will not be without a law-giver, till he comes who has the right to it, and the peoples will put themselves under his rule. 11  Knotting his ass's cord to the vine, and his young ass to the best vine; washing his robe in wine, and his clothing in the blood of grapes: 12  His eyes will be dark with wine, and his teeth white with milk.

13  The resting-place of Zebulun will be by the sea, and he will be a harbour for ships; the edge of his land will be by Zidon. 14  Issachar is a strong ass stretched out among the flocks: 15  And he saw that rest was good and the land was pleasing; so he let them put weights on his back and became a servant. 16  Dan will be the judge of his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 17  May Dan be a snake in the way, a horned snake by the road, biting the horse's foot so that the horseman has a fall. 18  I have been waiting for your salvation, O Lord. 19  Gad, an army will come against him, but he will come down on them in their flight. 20  Asher's bread is fat; he gives delicate food for kings. 21  Naphtali is a roe let loose, giving fair young ones.

22  Joseph is a young ox, whose steps are turned to the fountain; 23  He was troubled by the archers; they sent out their arrows against him, cruelly wounding him: 24  But their bows were broken by a strong one, and the cords of their arms were cut by the Strength of Jacob, by the name of the Stone of Israel: 25  Even by the God of your father, who will be your help, and by the Ruler of all, who will make you full with blessings from heaven on high, blessings of the deep stretched out under the earth, blessings of the breasts and of the fertile body: 26  Blessings of sons, old and young, to the father: blessings of the oldest mountains and the fruit of the eternal hills: let them come on the head of Joseph, on the crown of him who was separate from his brothers. 27  Benjamin is a wolf, searching for meat: in the morning he takes his food, and in the evening he makes division of what he has taken.

The Death and Burial of Jacob

28  These are the twelve tribes of Israel: and these are the words their father said to them, blessing them; to every one he gave his blessing. 29  And he gave orders to them, saying, Put me to rest with my people and with my fathers, in the hollow of the rock in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30  In the rock in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham got from Ephron the Hittite, to be his resting-place. 31  There Abraham and Sarah his wife were put to rest, and there they put Isaac and Rebekah his wife, and there I put Leah to rest. 32  In the rock in the field which was got for a price from the people of Heth. 33  And when Jacob had come to the end of these words to his sons, stretching himself on his bed, he gave up his spirit, and went the way of his people.

50 1  And Joseph put his head down on his father's face, weeping and kissing him. 2  And Joseph gave orders to his servants who had the necessary knowledge, to make his father's body ready, folding it in linen with spices, and they did so. 3  And the forty days needed for making the body ready went by: and there was weeping for him among the Egyptians for seventy days. 4  And when the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph said to the servants of Pharaoh, If now you have love for me, say these words to Pharaoh: 5  My father made me take an oath, saying, When I am dead, put me to rest in the place I have made ready for myself in the land of Canaan. So now let me go and put my father in his last resting-place, and I will come back again. 6  And Pharaoh said, Go up and put your father to rest, as you gave your oath to him.

7  So Joseph went up to put his father in his last resting-place; and with him went all the servants of Pharaoh, and the chief men of his house and all the chiefs of the land of Egypt, 8  And all the family of Joseph, and his brothers and his father's people: only their little ones and their flocks and herds they did not take with them from the land of Goshen. 9  And carriages went up with him and horsemen, a great army. 10  And they came to the grain-floor of Atad on the other side of Jordan, and there they gave the last honours to Jacob, with great and bitter sorrow, weeping for their father for seven days. 11  And when the people of the land, the people of Canaan, at the grain-floor of Atad, saw their grief, they said, Great is the grief of the Egyptians: so the place was named Abel-mizraim, on the other side of Jordan. 12  So his sons did as he had given them orders to do: 13  For they took him into the land of Canaan and put him to rest in the hollow rock in the field of Machpelah, which Abraham got with the field, for a resting-place, from Ephron the Hittite at Mamre. 14  And when his father had been put to rest, Joseph and his brothers and all who had gone with him, went back to Egypt.

The Death of Joseph

15  Now after the death of their father, Joseph's brothers said to themselves, It may be that Joseph's heart will be turned against us, and he will give us punishment for all the evil which we did to him. 16  So they sent word to Joseph, saying, Your father, before his death, gave us orders, saying, 17  You are to say to Joseph, Let the wrongdoing of your brothers be overlooked, and the evil they did to you: now, if it is your pleasure, let the sin of the servants of your father's God have forgiveness. And at these words, Joseph was overcome with weeping. 18  Then his brothers went, and falling at his feet, said, Truly, we are your servants. 19  And Joseph said, Have no fear: am I in the place of God? 20  As for you, it was in your mind to do me evil, but God has given a happy outcome, the salvation of numbers of people, as you see today. 21  So now, have no fear: for I will take care of you and your little ones. So he gave them comfort with kind words.

22  Now Joseph and all his father's family went on living in Egypt: and the years of Joseph's life were a hundred and ten. 23  And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: and the children of Machir, the son of Manasseh, came to birth on Joseph's knees. 24  Then Joseph said to his brothers, The time of my death has come; but God will keep you in mind and take you out of this land into the land which he gave by his oath to Abraham and Isaac and Jacob. 25  Then Joseph made the children of Israel take an oath, saying, God will certainly give effect to his word, and you are to take my bones away from here. 26  So Joseph came to his death, being a hundred and ten years old: and they made his body ready, and he was put in a chest in Egypt.

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