Genesis 48-50 New Revised Standard Version

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Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

48 1  After this Joseph was told, "Your father is ill." So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2  When Jacob was told, "Your son Joseph has come to you," he summoned his strength and sat up in bed. 3  And Jacob said to Joseph, "God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and he blessed me, 4  and said to me, "I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers; I will make of you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your offspring after you for a perpetual holding.' 5  Therefore your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are now mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are. 6  As for the offspring born to you after them, they shall be yours. They shall be recorded under the names of their brothers with regard to their inheritance. 7  For when I came from Paddan, Rachel, alas, died in the land of Canaan on the way, while 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 saw Joseph's sons, he said, "Who are these?" 9  Joseph said to his father, "They are my sons, whom God has given me here." And he said, "Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them." 10  Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, and he could not see well. So Joseph brought them near him; and he kissed them and embraced them. 11  Israel said to Joseph, "I did not expect to see your face; and here God has let me see your children also." 12  Then Joseph removed them from his father's knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13  Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right, and brought them near 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 the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands, for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15  He blessed Joseph, and said, "The God before whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day, 16  the angel who has redeemed me from all harm, bless the boys; and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude on the earth." 17  When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took 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! Since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head." 19  But his father refused, and said, "I know, my son, I know; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations." 20  So he blessed them that day, saying, "By you Israel will invoke blessings, saying, "God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.' " So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. 21  Then Israel said to Joseph, "I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your ancestors. 22  I now give to you one portion more than to your brothers, the portion that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow."

Jacob's Prophecy concerning His Sons

49 1  Then Jacob called his sons, and said: "Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come. 2  Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel your father. 3  Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the first fruits of my vigor, excelling in rank and excelling in power. 4  Unstable as water, you shall no longer excel because you went up onto your father's bed; then you defiled it-you went up onto my couch!

5  Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons of violence are their swords. 6  May I never come into their council; may I not be joined to their company- for in their anger they killed men, and at their whim they hamstrung oxen. 7  Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide 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; your father's sons shall bow down before you. 9  Judah is a lion's whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion, like a lioness-who dares rouse him up? 10  The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and the obedience of the peoples is his. 11  Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey's colt to the choice vine, he washes his garments in wine and his robe in the blood of grapes; 12  his eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.

13  Zebulun shall settle at the shore of the sea; he shall be a haven for ships, and his border shall be at Sidon. 14  Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the sheepfolds; 15  he saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant; so he bowed his shoulder to the burden, and became a slave at forced labor. 16  Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel. 17  Dan shall be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse's heels so that its rider falls backward. 18  I wait for your salvation, O Lord. 19  Gad shall be raided by raiders, but he shall raid at their heels. 20  Asher's food shall be rich, and he shall provide royal delicacies. 21  Naphtali is a doe let loose that bears lovely fawns.

22  Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall. 23  The archers fiercely attacked him; they shot at him and pressed him hard. 24  Yet his bow remained taut, and his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, 25  by the God of your father, who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. 26  The blessings of your father are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills; may they be on the head of Joseph, on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers. 27  Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning devouring the prey, and at evening dividing the spoil."

The Death and Burial of Jacob

28  All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, blessing each one of them with a suitable blessing. 29  Then he charged them, saying to them, "I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my ancestors-in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30  in the cave in the field at Machpelah, near Mamre, in the land of Canaan, in the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site. 31  There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried; there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried; and there I buried Leah- 32  the field and the cave that is in it were purchased from the Hittites." 33  When Jacob ended his charge to his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

50 1  Then Joseph threw himself on his father's face and wept over him and kissed him. 2  Joseph commanded the physicians in his service to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel; 3  they spent forty days in doing this, for that is the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days. 4  When the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph addressed the household of Pharaoh, "If now I have found favor with you, please speak to Pharaoh as follows: 5  My father made me swear an oath; he said, "I am about to die. In the tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me.' Now therefore let me go up, so that I may bury my father; then I will return." 6  Pharaoh answered, "Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear to do."

7  So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, 8  as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father's household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. 9  Both chariots and charioteers went up with him. It was a very great company. 10  When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he observed a time of mourning for his father seven days. 11  When the Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, "This is a grievous mourning on the part of the Egyptians." Therefore the place was named Abel-mizraim; it is beyond the Jordan. 12  Thus his sons did for him as he had instructed them. 13  They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, the field near Mamre, which Abraham bought as a burial site from Ephron the Hittite. 14  After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.

The Death of Joseph

15  Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers said, "What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?" 16  So they approached Joseph, saying, "Your father gave this instruction before he died, 17  "Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.' Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father." Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18  Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, "We are here as your slaves." 19  But Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God? 20  Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today. 21  So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones." In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

22  So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father's household; and Joseph lived one hundred ten years. 23  Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation; the children of Machir son of Manasseh were also born on Joseph's knees. 24  Then Joseph said to his brothers, "I am about to die; but God will surely come to you, and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." 25  So Joseph made the Israelites swear, saying, "When God comes to you, you shall carry up my bones from here." 26  And Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old; he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.

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