The Blessing of Ephraim & Manasseh

Scripture Passage: 
Genesis 47:27-31; Genesis 48:1-22

INTRODUCTION:  Although this lesson may seem anticlimactic, God is still fulfilling His blessings on Joseph and rewarding him for his faithfulness.  Our final reward comes in heaven (1 Peter 1:4).  Yet, we can be sure that our God will make all things work out to the good of those who love Him.

  1. JACOB PREPARES FOR HIS BURIAL (Genesis 47:27-31)
    1. Jacob’s Family Prospers in Goshen (Genesis 47:27).
    2. Jacob Lives Seventeen Years in Egypt (Genesis 47:28).
      1. Jacob would have been 130 years old when he arrived in Egypt.
      2. Jacob died at 147 years of age.
      3. Jacob probably lost out on 22 years of the life of Joseph, but the Lord was gracious and gave him 17 years with Joseph before he died.
    3. Joseph Promises to Bury Jacob in Canaan (Genesis 47:29-31; Genesis 24:1-3, 9).
      1. Jacob entrusts Joseph with his funeral arrangements (Genesis 47:29).
      2. Jacob asks Joseph to bury him with his fathers (Genesis 47:30).
      3. Joseph swares unto Jacob that he will do as he has asked (Genesis 47:31).
    4. NOTE: The Thigh
      1. The portion of the leg between the knee and the hip
      2. A place of strength (Psalm 45:3).  This is probably the reason that the oath was made with the hand under the thigh.
      3. A place of nakedness (Exodus 28:42; Isaiah 47:2-3)
      4. A place of special importance to Jacob (Genesis 32:24-25, 30-32)
  2. JACOB REMEMBERS GOD’S PROMISES (Genesis 48:1-4)
    1. Joseph Goes to His Father (Genesis 48:1).
      1. News came to Joseph that his father was sick.
      2. Joseph went to see his father and took his two sons.
    2. Jacob Rises to Meet His Son (Genesis 48:2; Hebrews 11:21).
      1. Someone told Jacob of Joseph’s desire to see him (Genesis 48:2).
      2. Jacob strengthened himself enough to sit up upon the bed (Genesis 48:2).
      3. Apparently Jacob leaned upon his staff (Hebrews 11:21).
    3. Jacob Speaks of God’s Appearance to Him (Genesis 48:3-4).
      1. The promise of blessing (Genesis 48:3)
      2. The promise of a seed (Genesis 48:4)
      3. The promise of the land (Genesis 48:4)
  3. JACOB EXALTS JOSEPH’S SONS (Genesis 48:5-7)
    1. The Grandsons Elevated to Sons (Genesis 48:5)
      1. Joseph’s two sons were born in Egypt.
      2. They are now elevated to the same level as the sons of Jacob.
      3. The two sons mentioned by name are Reuben and Simeon which are the oldest sons.
    2. Their Names Equal to Joseph’s Brethren (Genesis 48:6)
    3. A Special Remembrance to Rachel (Genesis 48:7)
      1. Rachel died by Jacob in the land of Canaan.
      2. Rachel was buried in the way of Ephrath which is Bethlehem (Genesis 35:19).
  4. JACOB RECEIVES JOSEPH’S SONS (Genesis 48:8-14)
    1. Joseph Presents His Sons to Jacob (Genesis 48:8-9).
      1. Jacob asks Joseph who is with him (Genesis 48:8).
        1. Jacob had already met Ephraim and Manasseh.
        2. Jacob’s eyes were so blinded that he could not recognize them (Genesis 48:10).
      2. Joseph identifies his sons (Genesis 48:9).
      3. Jacob calls them to come closer (Genesis 48:9).
    2. Jacob Embraces Manasseh and Ephraim (Genesis 48:10-11).
      1. Jacob kisses and embraces the sons of Joseph (Genesis 48:10).
      2. Jacob expresses gratitude for not only seeing Joseph but also seeing the seed of Joseph (Genesis 48:11).
    3. Jacob Worships God on His Staff (Genesis 48:12; Hebrews 11:21).
      1. Joseph brings his sons from between the knees of Jacob.
      2. Jacob bows himself with his face toward the earth and worships (Hebrews 11:21).
    4. Jacob Places His Hands on Their Heads (Genesis 48:13-14).
      1. Correctly guided by Joseph (Genesis 48:13)
        1. Ephraim was placed close to the left hand of Jacob.
        2. Manasseh was placed close to the right hand of Jacob.
        3. This was done so that the right hand would bless the firstborn Manasseh.
      2. Wittingly voided by Jacob (Genesis 48:14)
        1. He touched Ephraim with his right hand.
        2. He touched Manasseh with his left hand.
  5. JACOB BLESSES JOSEPH’S SONS (Genesis 48:15-22)
    1. Jacob Glorifies God (Genesis 48:15-16).
      1. The God of his fathers (Genesis 48:15a)
      2. The God who fed him (Genesis 48:15b)
      3. The Angel who redeemed him (Genesis 48:16)
      4. This blessing is threefold and could very well be connected to God the Father and God the Son.  Blessings similar to this are used in Paul’s epistles (1 Corinthians 1:3), in Peter’s epistles (2 Peter 1:2), and in John’s epistles (2 John 1:3).
    2. Jacob Confirms the Placement of His Hands (Genesis 48:17-19).
      1. Joseph tries to correct his father’s hands (Genesis 48:17-18).
      2. Jacob confirms to Joseph that he knows what he is doing with the blessing (Genesis 48:19).
    3. Jacob Blesses the Sons of Joseph (Genesis 48:20-22).
      1. Placing Ephraim before Manasseh (Genesis 48:20)
      2. Promising a return to Canaan (Genesis 48:21); notice the plural “you” in speaking to Joseph.  Joseph only returned as bones but the children of Israel returned in mass to inherit the land.
      3. Providing a double portion to Joseph (Genesis 48:22)

CONCLUSION:  We cannot give more to the Lord than He gives back to us in return (Malachi 3:10; Luke 6:38).  We can rest assured that if we give our lives and possessions to the Lord that He will make it worth it all in the end.

David Reagan and Andrew Ray

Daily Proverb

Proverbs 18:22

Whoso findeth a wife findeth a good thing, and obtaineth favour of the LORD.