Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Genesis 48 - The Blessing of Joseph's Sons

LINK: Genesis 48


BACKGROUND

Israel adopted Joseph's sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and gave them a double portion. They had effectively replaced Reuben and Simeon as the firstborn sons and 1 Chronicles 5:1 confirms this when it says that "because he [Reuben] defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given to the sons of Joseph." Remember that Reuben presumptively slept with his father's concubine (Genesis 35:22).


We talked about blessing when we talked about Esau and Jacob and when Jacob blessed Pharaoh in the last chapter. The prime blessing was with the right hand; and in keeping with what we have seen throughout Genesis (Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over Reuben, and Ephraim over Manasseh), the younger brother was the one who received the primary blessing! God's ways are not always man's ways. Even though Joseph was displeased by this, Jacob meant to do this. There will be fulfillment of this later on in the Scriptures; Ephraim becomes the most powerful of any tribe of the Northern Kingdom (Isaiah 7:2, 5, 8-9; Hosea 9:13; 12:1, 8).


Fact: Luz in 48:3 is another name for Bethel.


APPLICATION

What have you learned about the character of God through your reading of Genesis? How can this affect your praise of and trust in Him?


PRAYER

Lord, continue to establish Your Word in us as that which produces reverence for You (Psalm 119:38). Amen.

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