Genesis Chapter 48
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.”
“And it came to pass after these things”: Some little time after Jacob had sent for Joseph, and conversed with him about his burial in the land of Canaan, and took an oath to bury him there, for then the time drew nigh that he must die.
“That one told Joseph, behold, thy father is sick”: He was very infirm when he was last with him, and his natural strength decaying quickly, by which he knew his end was near. But now he was seized with a sickness which threatened him with death speedily, and therefore very probably dispatched a messenger to acquaint Joseph with it.
“And he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim”: To see their grandfather before he died, to hear his dying words, and receive his blessing.
It was the custom of the Hebrews that the elder of the tribe would speak a blessing on their children and grandchildren before they died. The minute Joseph heard that Israel was very sick; he brought his two sons to be blessed of their grandfather.
Genesis 48:2 “And [one] told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.”
“And one told Jacob”: The same that came from Jacob to Joseph might be sent back by him to his father, to let him know that he was coming to see him. Or some other messenger sent on purpose; for it can hardly be thought that this was an accidental thing on either side.
“And said, behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee”: To pay him a visit, and which no doubt gave him a pleasure, he being his beloved son, as well as he was great and honorable.
“And Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon his bed”: His spirits revived, his strength renewed, he got fresh vigor on hearing his son Joseph was coming. And he exerted all his strength, and raised himself up by the help of his staff, and sat upon his bed to receive his son’s visit.
For now, it was when he blessed the sons of Joseph, that he leaned upon the top of his staff and worshipped, as the apostle says (Hebrews 11:21).
Jacob wanted to receive Joseph sitting up. He made a special effort to be ready for Joseph. Some speculate that Joseph was apprehensive about taking his two sons to Jacob for a blessing, because they had an Egyptian mother.
However, I do not see that in this. I believe that Joseph deliberately took these two sons to receive a patriarchal blessing. They would have been in their late teens, or twenties, when they came to pay respect to their fast, failing grandfather.
Verses 3-6: After summarizing God’s affirmation of the Abrahamic Covenant to himself, Jacob/Israel, in gratitude from Joseph’s great generosity and preservation of God’s people, formally proclaimed adoption of Joseph’s sons on a par with Joseph’s brothers in their inheritance.
Thus, granting to Rachel’s two sons (Joseph and Benjamin), 3 tribal territories in the Land (verse 16). This may explain why the new name, Israel, was used throughout the rest of the chapter.
Genesis 48:3 “And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me,”
“And Jacob said unto Joseph”: Being come into his bedchamber, and sitting by him, or standing before him.
“God Almighty appeared unto at Luz in the land of Canaan”: The same with Beth-el, where God appeared, both at his going to Padan-aram, and at his return from there (Gen. 28:11); which of those times is here referred to is not certain. Very likely he refers to them both, since the same promises were made to him at both times, as after mentioned.
“And blessed me”: Promised he would bless him, both with temporal and spiritual blessings, as he did as follows.
Genesis 48:4 “And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee [for] an everlasting possession.”
“And said unto me, behold, I will make thee fruitful”: In a spiritual sense, in grace and good works; in a literal sense, in an increase of worldly substance, and especially of children.
“And multiply thee”: Make his posterity numerous as the sand of the sea.
“And I will make of thee a multitude of people”: A large nation, consisting of many tribes, even a company of nations, as the twelve tribes of Israel were.
“And I will give this land unto thy seed after thee, for an everlasting possession”: The land of Canaan, they were to possess as long as they were the people of God, and obedient to his law; by which obedience they held the land, even unto the coming of the Messiah, whom they rejected, and then they were cast out.
And a “Loammi” (i.e. not my people, Hosea 1:9), written upon them, and their civil policy of government, as well as church state, at an end.
And besides, Canaan was a type of the eternal inheritance of the saints in heaven, the spiritual Israel of God, which will be possessed by them to all eternity (Acts 7:5).
Jacob had not had much time to tell Joseph of the things God had done for him. Joseph had been so busy running the country for the Pharaoh; he couldn’t spend much time with his father. Now, before he died he wanted Joseph to know of his Godly heritage. God Almighty here is “El Shaddai”.
Genesis 48:5 “And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, [are] mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.”
“They shall be mine” has been taken as a form of adoption on the part of Jacob in relation to “Manasseh and Ephraim.” The purpose may have been to give an inheritance to someone who was not automatically qualified, even though the father already had heirs of his own.
But “they shall be mine”, means that the grandfather welcomed the two latest additions into the clan which he headed. Or it may mean that the passage simply concerns inheritance (as verse 6 indicates).
In that case, Jacob was using his paternal authority to enable Joseph’s sons to inherit directly from their grandfather, rather than from Joseph. This act would honor Rachel’s memory by giving her three tribal territories in the Promised Land.
Jacob reassured Joseph that these two grandsons were his, even if they had Egyptian blood. Reuben had lost his right as one of the twelve birthrights. Ephraim and Manasseh would not be one tribe, but they would be two. They would receive Reuben’s and Joseph’s birthright.
If Joseph had any other children, they were included in one, or the other, of these tribes. Ephraim and Manasseh would inherit a son’s part each, rather than a grandson’s part.
Genesis 48:6 “And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, [and] shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance.”
“And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine”: The children of Joseph, that either were or would be begotten after Ephraim and Manasseh. Though whether ever any were, is not certain; and this is only mentioned by way of supposition.
As Jarchi interprets it, “if thou shouldest beget”, etc. These should be reckoned his own, and not as Jacob’s sons, but be considered as other grandchildren of Jacob’s were, and not as Ephraim and Manasseh.
“And shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance”: They should not have distinct names, or make distinct tribes, or have a distinct inheritance; but should be called either the children of Ephraim, or of Manasseh. And should be reckoned as belonging either to the one tribe or the other, and have their inheritance in them, and with them, and not separate.
Genesis 48:7 “And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath; and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem.”
“And as for me, when I came from Padan”: From Syria, from Laban’s house.
“Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan”: His beloved wife, the mother of Joseph, on whose account he mentions her, and to show a reason why he took his sons as his own, because his mother dying so soon, he could have no more children by her.
And she being his only lawful wife, Joseph was of right to be reckoned as the firstborn. And that as such he might have the double portion. He took his two sons as his own, and put them upon a level with them, even with Reuben and Simeon. By this it appears, as by the preceding account, that Rachel came with him into the land of Canaan, and there died.
“In the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath”: About a mile, or two thousand cubits, as Jarchi observes.
“And I buried her there in the way of Ephrath”: Where she died, and dying in childbirth, could not be kept so long as to carry her to Machpelah, the burying place of his ancestors. And especially as he had his flocks and herds with him, which could move but slowly.
And what might make it more difficult to keep her long, and carry her there, it might be, as Ben Melech conjectures, summertime; and the Vulgate Latin adds to the text, without any warrant from the original, “and it was springtime”. However, she was buried in the land of Canaan, and which is taken notice of, that Joseph might observe it.
“The same is Bethlehem”: That is, Ephrath; and so Bethlehem is called Bethlehem Ephratah (Micah 5:2). Whether these are the words of Jacob or of Moses; is not certain, but said with a view to the Messiah, the famous seed of Jacob that should be born there, and was.
“Bethlehem” means house of bread. Many of the Israelites were buried here. There is a place in this area, even today, that the tour guides say are these people’s tombs.
Genesis 48:8 “And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons, and said, Who [are] these?”
“Who are these”: Blind Jacob asked for identification of Joseph’s sons before he would pronounce their blessings. Perhaps, at this point, he recollected the time of blessing before his own father and the trick played on blind Isaac (27:1-29).
Genesis 48:9 “And Joseph said unto his father, They [are] my sons, whom God hath given me in his [place]. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.”
The blessing of Joseph’s sons is the one act among all the others that the writer of Hebrews selected as an act of faith (Heb. 11:21). There is a gently irony in the fact that on just such an occasion as this Jacob had exercised his guile in his youth (chapter 27).
Once more we have an example of the firstborn’s blessing being given to the younger brother; but in this instance, there is no bitterness, resentment, or scheming (Prov. 10:22).
Joseph, as he said, was concerned that Jacob would not want to bless these boys, because their mother was an Egyptian. Jacob’s great love for Joseph meant that love would extend to his sons, as well. So he said bring them, and I will bless them.
Genesis 48:10 “Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, [so that] he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.”
“Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age”: Or “heavy, that he could not lift them up easily and see clearly. His eyebrows hung over, his eyes were sunk in his head, and it was difficult he could perceive an object, at least not distinctly.
“So that he could not see”: Very plainly, otherwise he did see the sons of Joseph, though he could not discern who they were (Genesis 49:8).
“And he brought them near unto him”: That he might have a better sight of them and bless them.
“And he kissed them, and embraced them”: As a token of his affection for them.
Genesis 48:11 “And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath showed me also thy seed.”
“And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face”: Some years ago, he never expected to have seen him anymore. He had given him up for lost, as a dead man, when his sons brought him his coat dipped in blood. And by reason of the long course of years which passed before he heard anything of him.
“And, lo, God hath showed me also thy seed”: It was an additional favor to see his offspring; it can hardly be thought, that in a course of seventeen years that he had been in Egypt, he had not seen them before. Only he takes this opportunity, which was the last he should have of expressing his pleasure on this occasion.
Jacob had never hoped to see Joseph’s children, because he thought Joseph was dead. He had been allowed to see and be with Joseph this last seventeen years. It was not thought unmanly in those days to kiss your grandchildren.
Genesis 48:12 “And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.”
“And Joseph brought them out from between his knees”: Either from between his own, where they were kneeling, as he was sitting, in order that they might be nearer his father, to receive his blessing by the putting on of his hands.
Or rather from between his father’s knees, he, as Aben Ezra observes, sitting on the bed, having kissed and embraced them, they were still between his knees.
And that they might not be burdensome to his aged father, leaning on his breast, and especially, in order to put them in a proper position for his benediction, he took them from there, and placed them over against him to his right and left hand.
“And he bowed himself with his face to the earth”: In a civil way to his father, and in reverence of him; in a religious way to God, expressing his thankfulness for all favors to him and his, and as supplicating a blessing for his sons through his father, under a divine influence and direction.
Joseph humbled himself before his father.
Genesis 48:13 “And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought [them] near unto him.”
“And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand”: He took Ephraim his youngest son in his right hand, and led him up to his father, by which means he would stand in a right position to have his grandfather’s left hand put upon him.
“And Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand”: Manasseh his eldest son he took in his left hand, and brought him to his father, and so was in a proper position to have his right hand laid upon him, as seniority of birth required, and as he was desirous should be the case.
“And brought them near unto him”: In the above manner, so near as that he could lay his hands on them.
Joseph was placing Manasseh in front of Jacob’s right hand, toward Israel’s left hand, because Manasseh was the oldest son, and was supposed to, by birthright, receive the preferential blessing of the right hand. Joseph placed Ephraim where he could receive the lesser blessing of the left hand.
Genesis 48:14 “And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid [it] upon Ephraim’s head, who [was] the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh [was] the firstborn.”
“Guiding his hands”: Intentionally crossing his hands, Jacob altered what Joseph expected to happen and placed his right hand on the youngest, not on the firstborn. When Joseph attempted to correct Jacob’s mistake (verses 17-18), he learned that Jacob knew exactly what he was doing (verses 19-20).
The patriarchal blessing took on prophetic significance with such action and words, since Ephraim would be the more influential of the two to the extent that Ephraim would become a substitute name for Israel (see note on 48:19).
Jacob made the sign of the cross when he, on purpose, laid his right hand on the younger son, Ephraim.
Verses 15-16: Pessimism no longer overshadowed Jacob’s testimony; he recognized that every day had been under God’s hand or that of His Angel (see note on 16:13). This was a different evaluation of his life than previously given (47:9).
Genesis 48:15 “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,”
“Blessed Joseph”: With hands on the son’s heads, Jacob uttered the prayer-wish for Joseph, which indicated by his wording that these two would be taking his son’s place under Abraham and Isaac (see note on verses 3-6). “And he blessed Joseph”: In his sons who were reckoned for him, and became the heads of tribes in his stead.
“And said, God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk”: In whom they believed, whom they professed, and whom they feared, served, and worshipped, and with whom they had communion.
“The God which fed me all my life long unto this day”: Who had upheld him in life, provided for him all the necessaries of life, food and raiment. And had followed him with his goodness ever since he had a being, and had fed him as the great shepherd of the flock, both with temporal and spiritual food. Being the God of his life, and of his mercies in every sense.
Genesis 48:16 “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.”
“Redeemed me”: This is the first mention of God as redeemer, deliverer, or Savior.
“The angel which redeemed me from all evil (in verse 16), refers to Christ Himself, pictured as redeeming (goel “redeemer”), him from all calamity. This is the first mention of the “goel” in the Bible, meaning “a savior” or “deliverer” (Exodus 6:6; Isa. 59:20); both of which speak of God as redeeming His people.
(Leviticus 27:13 and Ruth 4:4), speak of human beings as redeeming property or certain rights of individuals. (In Isaiah 63:9), He is referred to as “the angel of his presence” (“his face”), and that He saved them (Israel). The “one portion” in Hebrew word for “portion” is shekem (Literally, shoulder or ridge); thus, some have translated it as “mountain slope.”
But the word also stands for the city of Shechem, which is dominated by the mountain called Mount Gerizim. This area was to fall in Manasseh’s territory at the center of the area covered by the two Josephite tribes (John 4:5).
But there is no record of any conquest of it by Jacob, Joseph, or later by Joshua. Perhaps the property owned by Jacob was taken away by the Amorites after he left the area and then some time later he took it back by force. This does not refer to chapter 34, because Jacob had no hand in the deed, and he sharply rebuked his sons.
Jacob thanked God for preserving him all of his life, and especially the Spirit Being he wrestled with all night, when he changed his name to Israel. Jacob blessed these sons to the extent that the blessings he had received from God, in its fullness, would be in these boys.
He literally said, may the grace and salvation I have known be in these boys. Ephraim received the most, a double Blessing, since he was on the right hand. He spoke the blessing of Abraham growing into a multitude on these sons.
Genesis 48:17 “And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head.”
“And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him”: To see the younger preferred to the elder.
Parents, generally speaking, having the greatest regard to the firstborn with respect to honor and estate, and to them, in those times, the patriarchal blessing particularly was thought to belong. But it did not always go to them, but to the younger, as in Jacob’s own case.
“And he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head”: He took him by the right hand, and lifted it up from the head of Ephraim, and held it in order that he might put it by his direction on the head of Manasseh.
When Jacob blessed Ephraim as the firstborn (in verse 18), he startled Joseph. Jacob assured Joseph that Manasseh would “be great”, and the blessing of Jacob on Ephraim became evident during the time of the judges.
By this time, he had increased in number and power so that that tribe exercised leadership among the 10 northern tribes. Later, the name Ephraim became equal to the name Israel (see Isaiah 7:2 and Hosea 4:17; 13:1).
Genesis 48:18 “And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this [is] the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.”
“And Joseph said unto his father, not so, my father”: It is not right, it should not so be that the right hand should be put on the youngest, and the left hand on the eldest.
“For this is the firstborn”: Directing him to Manasseh, and seeking to guide his hand towards him.
“Put thy right hand upon his head”: Joseph was for proceeding according to the order of birthright, but Jacob was directed by a spirit of prophecy, as follows.
Genesis 48:19 “And his father refused, and said, I know [it], my son, I know [it]: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.”
“And his father refused”: To have any alteration made, and therefore, though Joseph lifted it up from Ephraim’s head and held it over it, Jacob put it on again and went on with the blessing.
“And said, I know it, my son, I know it”: He knew what he did, and he repeats it to confirm it, as well as to show the conviction of his mind, and his resolution to abide by what he had done; he knew on whom he laid his right hand, and he knew that Manasseh was the firstborn.
“And he also shall become a people”: A tribe or nation.
“And he also shall be great”: In number, riches, and honor.
“But truly his younger brother shall be greater than he”: More numerous, as the tribe of Ephraim was, than that of Manasseh, when they came out of Egypt. For in numbering them; there appeared to be 8300 more in the Ephraim’s tribe than in Manasseh’s; (Num. 1:33). As well as more honorable.
Ephraim did indeed become the dominant tribe of the 10 northern tribes, eventually being used as the national designate for the 10 tribes in the prophets (Isa. 7:2, 5, 9, 17; Hos. 9:3-16).
Ephraim’s banner was placed before Manasseh’s (Num. 2:18); and upon the division of the tribes in Rehoboam’s time, as Jeroboam was of the tribe of Ephraim, that tribe was at the head of the ten tribes, and the seat of the kingdom was in it, and the whole kingdom of Israel often goes by the name of Ephraim.
“And his seed shall become a multitude of nations”: That is, of families, for as nations are called families (Amos 3:1); so families may be called nations. The Targum of Onkelos is, “his sons shall be rulers among the people,” so Joshua, who was of the tribe of Ephraim, conquered and subdued the nations of the Canaanites.
And Jeroboam of this tribe ruled over the ten tribes or nations of Israel: It may be rendered, “his seed shall fill the nations”, or be “the fullness” of them; which Jarchi interprets of the whole world being filled with the fame and renown of Joshua.
Who was of this tribe, when the sun and moon stood still in his days; but it is best to understand this, of the large share he should have of the land of Canaan among the rest of the tribes or nations of Israel.
Jacob knew exactly what he was doing. Sometimes, the last shall be first, and this was the case here. I believe that Manasseh was symbolic of physical Israel, and Ephraim was symbolic of spiritual Israel, the Christians.
They both took on the name of Abraham. The spiritual, right hand, was greater than the physical, left hand blessing. Both were saved by belief in, and the grace of, the Lord Jesus Christ. This blessing was not accidental. God guided Jacob’s hands. The sign of the cross he made to me meant that this was the way this blessing would finally come to be.
Genesis 48:20 “And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.”
“And he blessed them that day”: That Joseph visited him, and this be did “by faith”; believing that what he had said concerning them would be accomplished, as the apostle observes (Heb. 11:21).
“Saying, in thee shall Israel bless”: In Joseph, as the Targum of Jonathan says, that is, in his seed, in his sons Ephraim and Manasseh. When the Israelites blessed any, they should make use of their names.
“Saying, God make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh”: As great and honorable, as rich and wealthy, as fruitful and prosperous as they. The Targum says, this custom continues with the Jews to this day, to put their hands on persons to bless them. If a son, they say, “God make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh; if a daughter,” God make thee as Sarah and Rebekah”
“And he set Ephraim before Manasseh”: Not only in this form of benediction, but in all that he had said and done before. He preferred him to Manasseh by putting his right hand upon him, and giving him the superior blessing.
And it is no unusual thing for the younger to be set before the elder, both by God and man, but especially by the Lord, who seeth not as man seeth, and proceeds not according to carnal descent, or those rules men go by.
There had been many instances before this, as Abel was preferred to Cain, Shem to Japheth, Abraham to Nahor, Isaac to Ishmael, and Jacob to Esau, as there were after it; as Moses to Aaron, and David to his brethren.
The spiritual Israel accepted Jesus more readily than the physical Israel.
Genesis 48:21 “And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.”
“And Israel said unto Joseph, behold, I die”: Expected to die very shortly; he not only speaks of it as a certain thing, and what would quickly be, but with pleasure and comfort. Having no fear and dread of it on him, but as what was agreeable to him, and he had made himself familiar with.
“But God shall be with you”: With Joseph and his posterity, and with all his brethren, and theirs, to comfort and support them, to guide and counsel them, to protect and defend them, to carry them through all they had to endure in Egypt, and at length bring them out of it.
He signifies he was departing from them, but God would not depart from them, whose presence would be infinitely more to them than his. And which, as it made him more easily to leave them, so it might make them more at rest to part with him.
“And bring you again unto the land of your fathers”: The land of Canaan, where their fathers, Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, had dwelt, and which was given to them and theirs for an inheritance. And where Joseph and his brethren had lived, and would be brought back again, as the bones of Joseph were, and as all of them in their posterity were in Joshua’s time.
Dying Jacob gave voice to his undying trust in God’s taking his descendants back to Canaan.
Genesis 48:22 “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.”
“Moreover, I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren”: The word for “portion” is “Shechem”, and which some take to be, not a designation, as we do, but the name of a city, even Shechem. So the Targum of Jonathan and Jarchi interpret it and though that is not directly meant, yet there is a reference had to it.
And it seems to be mysteriously understood; for this portion or parcel spoken of was near to Shechem, and not only that, but the city itself, and all the adjacent country, came to the lot of Ephraim, and were possessed by that tribe.
“Which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow”: Not referring, as some think, to the taking and spoiling of the city of Shechem by his sons, and so said to be done by him in them.
Jacob’s history does not record any conquest of Amorite land. He did purchase property from the children of Hamor (Gen. 33:19), but that was not by conquest. At some time this military event had actually occurred, but for some unknown reason it finds no other mention in God’s revelation.
For Jacob would never make that his act and deed, which he so much abhorred and detested, and still did, as appears by what he says of it in the following chapter. Nor was this taken from the Amorite, but from the Hivite, and not by his sword and bow, whether taken literally or metaphorically, and so interpreted of his prayer and supplication.
But he was so far from assisting in that affair by supplication, that his curses fell on Levi and Simeon, for that fact of theirs. If this is to be understood of the city of Shechem, what Aben Ezra and Ben Gersom propose seems most agreeable, that this is said by way of anticipation, the past tense being put for the future.
Jacob, under a spirit of prophecy, foreseeing and declaring that his sons, and he in his sons in future time, would take it out of the hands of the Amorites, the principal of the Canaanitish nations, and then it should be given to Joseph’s seed. But the first and special regard is to the part or parcel of ground which lay near Shechem.
And this Jacob is said to take by his sword and bow, which some interpret of his money, which were his arms and defense, and which he had got by much labor; and if it could be proved that his money was marked with a sword and bow upon it, as the Persian Darics were with an archer with his bow and arrow, and therefore called sagittaries or archers.
It would allow this sense; though even then it could not with propriety be said that he by this means obtained it of the Amorite, since he bought it of the children of Hamor the Hivite; but it seems more likely, that after Jacob departed from Shechem to Hebron, the Amorite came and seized on this parcel of ground.
Which he hearing of it, went with his sons and servants, and recovered it out of their hands by his sword and bow. Though this warlike action of his is nowhere recorded in Scripture.
The Jewish writers say, that Jacob and his sons had very grievous war with the Amorites on account of the slaughter and captivity of the Shechemites: By giving to Joseph this portion above his brethren, it appears that the birthright was become his, he having the double portion, and indeed all that Jacob had of his own in the land of Canaan.
Hence Joseph’s bones were buried there in the land of Canaan, it being his own ground (see Joshua 24:32).
The twelve tribes of Israel were spoken of later in the Bible. There will be two of Joseph’s sons mentioned, Ephraim and Manasseh. In his last statement, Jacob passed his blessings from God to Joseph and his sons.
I believe that this is spiritual Israel and physical Israel, because of the Scripture (in Ezekiel 37:16), “Moreover, thou son of man, take thee one stick, and write upon it, For Judah, and for the children of Israel his companions: then take another stick, and write upon it, For Joseph, the stick of Ephraim, and [for] all the house of Israel his companions:”
This stick of Judah and Ephraim are physical and spiritual Israel.
Genesis Chapter 48 Questions
1. When Joseph heard Israel was sick, who did he take to see his father?
2. What was a custom of the Hebrews?
3. What did Israel do when he heard Joseph was coming?
4. Why did some people believe Joseph was apprehensive?
5. How old were the boys?
6. Jacob told Joseph _____ ____________ had appeared to him at Luz?
7. What had He promised Jacob?
8. God Almighty is another name for___ ___________?
9. What two names did Joseph’s sons have?
10. Where did Jacob bury Rachel?
11. “Bethlehem” means what?
12. What nationality were the boys’ mother?
13. How did Joseph place his sons in front of Israel?
14. Whose head did Jacob put his right hand on?
15. What was another word for the right hand blessing?
16. What sign did Israel make when he put his hand on the boy’s heads?
17. Why is “Angel” capitalized?
18. Ephraim received how much?
19. How did Joseph feel about Israel’s choice of blessings?
20. What do I believe about Ephraim and Manasseh?
21. In the 37th chapter of Ezekiel, what do these two sticks mean?