Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
48 1 Some time after this conversation, Joseph was told, "Your father is ill." He took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and went to Jacob. 2 When Jacob was told, "Your son Joseph has come," he roused himself and sat up in bed. 3 Jacob said to Joseph, "The Strong God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 4 He said, 'I'm going to make you prosperous and numerous, turn you into a congregation of tribes; and I'll turn this land over to your children coming after you as a permanent inheritance.' 5 I'm adopting your two sons who were born to you here in Egypt before I joined you; they have equal status with Reuben and Simeon. 6 But any children born after them are yours; they will come after their brothers in matters of inheritance. 7 I want it this way because, as I was returning from Paddan, your mother Rachel, to my deep sorrow, died as we were on our way through Canaan when we were only a short distance from Ephrath, now called Bethlehem."
8 Just then Jacob noticed Joseph's sons and said, "Who are these?" 9 Joseph told his father, "They are my sons whom God gave to me in this place." 10 Israel's eyesight was poor from old age; he was nearly blind. So Joseph brought them up close. Old Israel kissed and embraced them 11 and then said to Joseph, "I never expected to see your face again, and now God has let me see your children as well!" 12 Joseph took them from Israel's knees and bowed respectfully, his face to the ground. 13 Then Joseph took the two boys, Ephraim with his right hand setting him to Israel's left, and Manasseh with his left hand setting him to Israel's right, and stood them before him. 14 But Israel crossed his arms and put his right hand on the head of Ephraim who was the younger and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, the firstborn. 15 Then he blessed them: The God before whom walked my fathers Abraham and Isaac, The God who has been my shepherd all my lifelong to this very day, 16 The Angel who delivered me from every evil, Bless the boys. May my name be echoed in their lives, and the names of Abraham and Isaac, my fathers, And may they grow covering the Earth with their children. 17 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim's head, he thought he had made a mistake, so he took hold of his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's, 18 saying, "That's the wrong head, Father; the other one is the firstborn; place your right hand on his head." 19 But his father wouldn't do it. He said, "I know, my son; but I know what I'm doing. He also will develop into a people, and he also will be great. But his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will enrich nations." 20 Then he blessed them both: Israel will use your names to give blessings: May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh. In that he made it explicit: he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. 21 Israel then said to Joseph, "I'm about to die. God be with you and give you safe passage back to the land of your fathers. 22 As for me, I'm presenting you, as the first among your brothers, the ridge of land I took from Amorites with my sword and bow."
Jacob's Prophecy concerning His Sons
49 1 Jacob called his sons and said, "Gather around. I want to tell you what you can expect in the days to come." 2 Come together, listen sons of Jacob, listen to Israel your father. 3 Reuben, you're my firstborn, my strength, first proof of my manhood, at the top in honor and at the top in power, 4 But like a bucket of water spilled, you'll be at the top no more, Because you climbed into your father's marriage bed, mounting that couch, and you defiled it.
5 Simeon and Levi are two of a kind, ready to fight at the drop of a hat. 6 I don't want anything to do with their vendettas, want no part in their bitter feuds; They kill men in fits of temper, slash oxen on a whim. 7 A curse on their uncontrolled anger, on their indiscriminate wrath. I'll throw them out with the trash; I'll shred and scatter them like confetti throughout Israel.
8 You, Judah, your brothers will praise you: Your fingers on your enemies' throat, while your brothers honor you. 9 You're a lion's cub, Judah, home fresh from the kill, my son. Look at him, crouched like a lion, king of beasts; who dares mess with him? 10 The scepter shall not leave Judah; he'll keep a firm grip on the command staff Until the ultimate ruler comes and the nations obey him. 11 He'll tie up his donkey to the grapevine, his purebred prize to a sturdy branch. He will wash his shirt in wine and his cloak in the blood of grapes, 12 His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun settles down on the seashore; he's a safe harbor for ships, right alongside Sidon. 14 Issachar is one tough donkey crouching between the corrals; 15 When he saw how good the place was, how pleasant the country, He gave up his freedom and went to work as a slave. 16 Dan will handle matters of justice for his people; he will hold his own just fine among the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan is only a small snake in the grass, a lethal serpent in ambush by the road When he strikes a horse in the heel, and brings its huge rider crashing down. 18 I wait in hope for your salvation, God. 19 Gad will be attacked by bandits, but he will trip them up. 20 Asher will become famous for rich foods, candies and sweets fit for kings. 21 Naphtali is a deer running free that gives birth to lovely fawns.
22 Joseph is a wild donkey, a wild donkey by a spring, spirited donkeys on a hill. 23 The archers with malice attacked, shooting their hate-tipped arrows; 24 But he held steady under fire, his bow firm, his arms limber, With the backing of the Champion of Jacob, the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel. 25 The God of your father - may he help you! And may The Strong God - may he give you his blessings, Blessings tumbling out of the skies, blessings bursting up from the Earth - blessings of breasts and womb. 26 May the blessings of your father exceed the blessings of the ancient mountains, surpass the delights of the eternal hills; May they rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the one consecrated among his brothers. 27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; all morning he gorges on his kill, at evening divides up what's left over.
The Death and Burial of Jacob
28 All these are the tribes of Israel, the twelve tribes. And this is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each one with his own special farewell blessing. 29 Then he instructed them: "I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave which is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30 the cave in the field of Machpelah facing Mamre in the land of Canaan, the field Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial plot. 31 Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried there; Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried there; I also buried Leah there. 32 The field and the cave were bought from the Hittites." 33 Jacob finished instructing his sons, pulled his feet into bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
50 1 Joseph threw himself on his father, wept over him, and kissed him. 2 Joseph then instructed the physicians in his employ to embalm his father. The physicians embalmed Israel. 3 The embalming took forty days, the period required for embalming. There was public mourning by the Egyptians for seventy days. 4 When the period of mourning was completed, Joseph petitioned Pharaoh's court: 5 "If you have reason to think kindly of me, present Pharaoh with my request: My father made me swear, saying, 'I am ready to die. Bury me in the grave plot that I prepared for myself in the land of Canaan.' Please give me leave to go up and bury my father. Then I'll come back." 6 Pharaoh said, "Certainly. Go and bury your father as he made you promise under oath."
7 So Joseph left to bury his father. And all the high-ranking officials from Pharaoh's court went with him, all the dignitaries of Egypt, 8 joining Joseph's family - his brothers and his father's family. Their children and flocks and herds were left in Goshen. 9 Chariots and horsemen accompanied them. It was a huge funeral procession. 10 Arriving at the Atad Threshing Floor just across the Jordan River, they stopped for a period of mourning, letting their grief out in loud and lengthy lament. For seven days, Joseph engaged in these funeral rites for his father. 11 When the Canaanites who lived in that area saw the grief being poured out at the Atad Threshing Floor, they said, "Look how deeply the Egyptians are mourning." That is how the site at the Jordan got the name Abel Mizraim (Egyptian Lament). 12 Jacob's sons continued to carry out his instructions to the letter. 13 They took him on into Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah facing Mamre, the field that Abraham had bought as a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite. 14 After burying his father, Joseph went back to Egypt. All his brothers who had come with him to bury his father returned with him.
The Death of Joseph
15 After the funeral, Joseph's brothers talked among themselves: "What if Joseph is carrying a grudge and decides to pay us back for all the wrong we did him?" 16 So they sent Joseph a message, "Before his death, your father gave this command: 17 Tell Joseph, 'Forgive your brothers' sin - all that wrongdoing. They did treat you very badly.' Will you do it? Will you forgive the sins of the servants of your father's God?" When Joseph received their message, he wept. 18 Then the brothers went in person to him, threw themselves on the ground before him and said, "We'll be your slaves." 19 Joseph replied, "Don't be afraid. Do I act for God? 20 Don't you see, you planned evil against me but God used those same plans for my good, as you see all around you right now - life for many people. 21 Easy now, you have nothing to fear; I'll take care of you and your children." He reassured them, speaking with them heart-to-heart.
22 Joseph continued to live in Egypt with his father's family. Joseph lived 110 years. 23 He lived to see Ephraim's sons into the third generation. The sons of Makir, Manasseh's son, were also recognized as Joseph's. 24 At the end, Joseph said to his brothers, "I am ready to die. God will most certainly pay you a visit and take you out of this land and back to the land he so solemnly promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob." 25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel promise under oath, "When God makes his visitation, make sure you take my bones with you as you leave here." 26 Joseph died at the age of 110 years. They embalmed him and placed him in a coffin in Egypt.