8 When Israel saw Josephs sons, he said, Who are these?
9Joseph said to his father, They are my sons, whom God has given me here. And he said, Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.
10Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, and he could not see well. So Joseph brought them near him; and he kissed them and embraced them.
11Israel said to Joseph, I did not expect to see your face; and here God has let me see your children also.
12Then Joseph removed them from his fathers knees,* and he bowed himself with his face to the earth.
13Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand towards Israels left, and Manasseh in his left hand towards Israels right, and brought them near him.
14But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands, for Manasseh was the firstborn.
15He blessed Joseph, and said,
The God before whom my ancestors 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, bless the boys;
and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac;
and let them grow into a multitude on the earth.
17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took his fathers hand, to remove it from Ephraims head to Manassehs head.
18Joseph said to his father, Not so, my father! Since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.
19But his father refused, and said, I know, my son, I know; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.
20So he blessed them that day, saying,
By you* Israel will invoke blessings, saying,
God make you* like Ephraim and like Manasseh.
So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. 21Then Israel said to Joseph, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your ancestors. 22I now give to you one portion* more than to your brothers, the portion* that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.
The New Revised Standard Version (Anglicized Edition), copyright 1989, 1995 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
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10 February 2011