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Bible Commentaries

Bridgeway Bible Commentary

Genesis 48

Verses 1-22

Words for Joseph and his sons (47:27-48:22)

By insisting that Joseph bury him at Machpelah, Jacob showed his faith in God’s promises. He knew that Canaan would become the land of his people (27-31; cf. 23:17-20; 35:12; 46:4).

Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, were by now about twenty years old (see 41:50; 45:6; 47:28), and Joseph wanted his father to bless them before he died. This blessing was more than an expression of good wishes; it was an announcement believed to carry with it the power to make the blessing come true. Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh, raising them to the status of sons. This gave Joseph the birthright that Reuben had lost, for now Joseph, through his two sons, would receive twice the inheritance of Jacob’s other sons (48:1-7; 1 Chronicles 5:1-2).

Both of Joseph’s sons would become heads of tribes in Israel, though the tribe of the younger son Ephraim would be greater than that of Manasseh (8-20). Jacob also gave to Joseph his plot of ground near Shechem, which was the one piece of land he owned in Canaan (21-22; cf. 33:19; 34:26-29; John 4:5).

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Bibliographical Information
Flemming, Donald C. "Commentary on Genesis 48". "Fleming's Bridgeway Bible Commentary". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/bbc/genesis-48.html. 2005.