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(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

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Source of Dates Used

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


~ 48 ~

Parashah 12: Vayechi (continued)
“He lived” • 47:28–50:26
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

B. Ya'akov Blesses Efrayim and M’nasheh (48:1-22) [1660 BCE]

1Some time later, Yosef was told, “Your father is sick.” Se he set out with his two sons, M’nashehManasseh and EfrayimEphraim. 2When Ya'akov was told, “Your son Yosef is coming to you,” Isra'el gathered his strength and sat up in the bed.

3Ya'akov said to Yosef, “El ShaddaiGod Almighty appeared to me at Luz [aka Beth'el] in the land of Kena'an, and blessed me. 4He told me, ‘Henneh,[GN] I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make from you a multitude of nations, and I will give this land to your descendants after you as an eternal possession.’ 5Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Efrayim and M’nasheh will be mine, just as Re’uven and Shim‘on are.[5] 6Any children you have after them will be yours, but they will be counted with their older brothers for purposes of inheritance. 7When I was coming from from Paddan [Paddan-aram or Haran], to my sorrow Rachel died along the way to the land of Kena'an, while we were still still some distance from Efrat, so I buried her there on the way to Efrat (also called Beit-lechem).”

8Then Isra'el noticed Yosef’s sons and asked, “Who are these?”

9Yosef said to his father, “They are my sons whom Elohim has given me here.”

So Isra'el said, “Please bring them to me, and I will bless them.”


(ii) 10Now Isra'el’s eyes were so weak because of his age he could hardly see. Yosef brought them to him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11Isra'el said to Yosef, “I didn’t think I would ever see your face again, and here Elohim has let me see your children also.” 12Yosef took them from his father’s knees and bowed with his face to the ground. 13Then Yosef took them both — Efrayim with his right hand toward Isra'el’s left hand, and M’nasheh with his left hand toward Isra'el’s right hand — and brought them close to him. 14Isra'el stretched out his right hand, and laid it on Efrayim’s head, who was the younger, and crossing his arms he put his left hand on M’nasheh’s head, although M’nasheh was the firstborn.[14]

15Then he blessed Yosef, saying, “May the God before Whom my fathers Avraham and Yitz'chak walked, the God Who has been my Shepherd all my life to this day, 16the Angel[GN] Who has redeemed me from all harm, may He bless these lads. And may they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Avraham and Yitz'chak. May they grow into a multitude upon the earth.”


(iii) 17When Yosef saw that his father laid his right hand Efrayim’s head, it displeased him. He took his father’s hand to move it from Efrayim’s head to M’nasheh’s head. 18Yosef said to his father, “Not that way, my father. This is my firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”

19But his father refused, and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also will become a nation, and he also will be great. However, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a multitude of nations.” 20So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you [the nation of] Isra'el will proounce this blessing: ‘May Elohim make you like Efrayim and M’nasheh’” So he put Efrayim before M’nasheh. 21Then Isra'el said to Yosef, “Hinneh, I am about to die, but Elohim will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22And to you, as one who is above your brothers, I give to you the ridge of land that I took from the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.”


Continue Reading Chapter 49

 5. By legally adopting Yosef’s two sons, he greatly increased their inheritance. Upon Ya'akov’s death they would share his estate with Ya'akov’s other twelve sons. Then upon Yosef’s death they would also inherit his estate. This is a beautiul picture of how Gentiles are adopted by faith in Yeshua into the Commonwealth of Israel (Rom 8:15; 8:23; 9:4; Gal 4:5; Eph 1:5). Efrayim and M’nasheh were Etyptians by birth, but were adopted as sons into the family of Isrra'el as equal to the rest of his sons. [BACK]

14. It was the custom to bless the firstborn with the right hand, the hand of power. [BACK]

20. To this day, in Jewish homes every Shabbat the father blesses his sons by saying, “May ADONAI make you like Efrayim and M’nasheh.” And he blesses his daughters by saying, “May ADONAI make you be like Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel, and Leah.” [BACK]

Page originally posted on Tuesday, 12 October 2021

Page last updated on Saturday, 18 February 2023 01:31 PM
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