48 Some time after this, Joseph was told, “Your father is weaker.” So he set out with his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 4 He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful and numerous; I will make many nations come from you, and I will give this land as a permanent possession to your future descendants.’ 5 Your two sons born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt are now mine. Ephraim and Manasseh belong to me just as Reuben and Simeon do. 6 Children born to you after them will be yours and will be recorded under the names of their brothers with regard to their inheritance. 7 When I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died along the way, some distance from Ephrath in the land of Canaan. I buried her there along the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).8 When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”9 And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons God has given me here.”So Israel said, “Bring them to me and I will bless them.” 10 Now his eyesight was poor because of old age; he could hardly[a] see. Joseph brought them to him, and he kissed and embraced them. 11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, but now God has even let me see your offspring.” 12 Then Joseph took them from his father’s knees and bowed with his face to the ground.
Ephraim’s Greater Blessing
13 Then Joseph took them both—with his right hand Ephraim toward Israel’s left, and with his left hand Manasseh toward Israel’s right—and brought them to Israel. 14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and put it on the head of Ephraim, the younger, and crossing his hands, put his left on Manasseh’s head, although Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 Then he blessed Joseph and said:The God before whom my fathers 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—
may he bless these boys.
And may they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they grow to be numerous within the land.17 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he thought it was a mistake[b] and took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s. 18 Joseph said to his father, “Not that way, my father! 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 too will become a tribe,[c] and he too will be great; nevertheless, his younger brother will be greater than he, and his offspring will become a populous nation.”[d] 20 So he blessed them that day, putting Ephraim before Manasseh when he said, “The nation Israel will invoke blessings by you, saying, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”21 Israel said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22 Over and above what I am giving your brothers, I am giving you the one mountain slope[e] that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”
Jacob’s Last Words
49 Then Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather around, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the days to come.[f]2 Come together and listen, sons of Jacob;
listen to your father Israel:3 Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my strength and the firstfruits of my virility,
excelling in prominence, excelling in power.
4 Turbulent as water, you will not excel,
because you got into your father’s bed
and you defiled it—he[g] got into my bed.5 Simeon and Levi are brothers;
their knives are vicious weapons.
6 May I never enter their council;
may I never join their assembly.
For in their anger they kill men,
and on a whim they hamstring oxen.
7 Their anger is cursed, for it is strong,
and their fury, for it is cruel!
I will disperse them throughout Jacob
and scatter them throughout Israel.8 Judah, your brothers will praise you.
Your hand will be on the necks of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9 Judah is a young lion—
my son, you return from the kill.
He crouches; he lies down like a lion
or a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah
or the staff from between his feet
until he whose right it is comes[h]
and the obedience of the peoples belongs to him.
11 He ties his donkey to a vine,
and the colt of his donkey to the choice vine.
He washes his clothes in wine
and his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth are whiter than milk.13 Zebulun will live by the seashore
and will be a harbor for ships,
and his territory will be next to Sidon.14 Issachar is a strong donkey
lying down between the saddlebags.[i]
15 He saw that his resting place was good
and that the land was pleasant,
so he leaned his shoulder to bear a load
and became a forced laborer.16 Dan will judge his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan will be a snake by the road,
a viper beside the path,
that bites the horse’s heels
so that its rider falls backward.18 I wait for your salvation, Lord.19 Gad will be attacked by raiders,
but he will attack their heels.20 Asher’s[j] food will be rich,
and he will produce royal delicacies.21 Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns.22 Joseph is a fruitful vine,
a fruitful vine beside a spring;
its branches[k] climb over the wall.[l]
23 The archers attacked him,
shot at him, and were hostile toward him.
24 Yet his bow remained steady,
and his strong arms were made agile
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the name of[m] the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 by the God of your father who helps you,
and by the Almighty who blesses you
with blessings of the heavens above,
blessings of the deep that lies below,
and blessings of the breasts and the womb.
26 The blessings of your father excel
the blessings of my ancestors[n]
and[o] the bounty of the ancient hills.[p]
May they rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince of his brothers.27 Benjamin is a wolf; he tears his prey.
In the morning he devours the prey,
and in the evening he divides the plunder.”28 These are the tribes of Israel, twelve in all, and this is what their father said to them. He blessed them, and he blessed each one with a suitable blessing.
Jacob’s Burial Instructions
29 Then he commanded them: “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hethite. 30 The cave is in the field of Machpelah near Mamre, in the land of Canaan. This is the field Abraham purchased from Ephron the Hethite as burial property. 31 Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried there, Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried there, and I buried Leah there. 32 The field and the cave in it were purchased from the Hethites.” 33 When Jacob had finished giving charges to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, took his last breath, and was gathered to his people.
50 Then Joseph, leaning over his father’s face, wept and kissed him. 2 He commanded his servants who were physicians to embalm his father. So they embalmed Israel. 3 They took forty days to complete this, for embalming takes that long, and the Egyptians mourned for him seventy days.4 When the days of mourning were over, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s household, “If I have found favor with you, please tell[q] Pharaoh that 5 my father made me take an oath, saying, ‘I am about to die. You must bury me there in the tomb that I made for myself in the land of Canaan.’ Now let me go and bury my father. Then I will return.”6 So Pharaoh said, “Go and bury your father in keeping with your oath.”7 Then Joseph went to bury his father, and all Pharaoh’s servants, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt went with him, 8 along with all Joseph’s family, his brothers, and his father’s family. Only their dependents, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen. 9 Horses and chariots went up with him; it was a very impressive procession. 10 When they reached the threshing floor of Atad, which is across the Jordan, they lamented and wept loudly, and Joseph mourned seven days for his father. 11 When the Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw the mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a solemn mourning on the part of the Egyptians.” Therefore the place is named Abel-mizraim.[r] It is across the Jordan.12 So Jacob’s sons did for him what he had commanded them. 13 They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave at Machpelah in the field near Mamre, which Abraham had purchased as burial property from Ephron the Hethite. 14 After Joseph buried his father, he returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone with him to bury his father.
15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said to one another, “If Joseph is holding a grudge against us, he will certainly repay us for all the suffering we caused him.”16 So they sent this message to Joseph, “Before he died your father gave a command: 17 ‘Say this to Joseph: Please forgive your brothers’ transgression and their sin—the suffering they caused you.’ Therefore, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when their message came to him. 18 His brothers also came to him, bowed down before him, and said, “We are your slaves!”19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people. 21 Therefore don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.[s]
22 Joseph and his father’s family remained in Egypt. Joseph lived 110 years. 23 He saw Ephraim’s sons to the third generation; the sons of Manasseh’s son Machir were recognized by[t][u] Joseph.24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die, but God will certainly come to your aid and bring you up from this land to the land he swore to give to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 25 So Joseph made the sons of Israel take an oath: “When God comes to your aid, you are to carry my bones up from here.”26 Joseph died at the age of 110. They embalmed him and placed him in a coffin in Egypt.We see a very spiritually mature response from Joseph in Genesis 50.
After their father’s death, Joseph’s brothers wonder if Joseph will exact revenge and they are scared. Joseph responds in verses 19-20, “19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You planned evil against me; God planned it for good to bring about the present result—the survival of many people.”
Are you in a place where you can see when people hurt you God can use it for good and His purposes? May we all aspire to be as forgiving and have the spiritual outlook Joseph had toward the end of this book.