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December 12, 2020

Genesis 48 and 49 share the story of Jacob’s patriarchal blessings that he gave his family members before his death, and the following is a summary of how those events occurred.

Joseph was informed that his elderly father was ill, so he visited him and took his two sons with him. Upon his arrival at his father’s abode, Jacob sat up in his bed and recounted to Joseph his encounter with God at Luz. He shared the words God spoke to him, “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.” Additionally, Jacob told Joseph he would adopt Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, into his family, and they would share in the covenant blessings bestowed on his sons.

Suffering from blindness, Jacob was unable to see his grandsons clearly, so he requested them to come closer to him that he would be able to bless them. Moreover, Jacob lets Joseph know how happy he was to be reunited with him and able to get acquainted with his grandsons.

When Jacob blessed his grandsons, he crossed his hands, which caused his right hand, which signified birthright inheritance on the younger brother. Seeing what happened, Joseph attempted to correct the hand placement; however, Jacob stopped him 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.”

In this chapter’s closing remarks, Jacob invocated the blessings of the covenant, shepherd, deliverer God on Joseph and his sons. Jacob said, “God, before whom my father’s Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my father’s Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” Also, he bequeathed Joseph the Shechem property, which he took from the Amorites, and reassured him that God would be with him and bring him back to the land of Canaan.

In chapter 49, Jacob gathered all of his sons to his bedside and prophecied to them from the oldest to the youngest. When he got to Joseph, he talked about God making him a fruitful tree and allowing him to expand beyond their household despite the hatred and the many attacks of the enemy on his life. He ended proclaiming victory and rich blessings on Joseph.   

So, once again, as I did in the previous blogs of this series, I will close this blog with a few points that I think are helpful for all of us to remember:

  1. When your parents are ill, and you can visit them, do so.
  2. Blessings come from God.
  3. Some blessings are not just for you but also your descendants.
  4. Your birth order does not matter when God has a blessing for you.


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