Saturday, May 16, 2009

Genesis 48 & 49

The last thing in Genesis that we need to just take note of, is Jacob/Israel’s blessings on his sons when he is dying. While all of the sons blessings or curses are of interest, his double portion blessing to Joseph via his two sons, and his curse on Dan are the two to which I want to bring attention.

Genesis 48:8-22; 49:16-17
“And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons, and said, Who are these? And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place, and he said, Bring them I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them. Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed. And Joseph brought them out from between his knees and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them near unto him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers 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 fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, 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. And he blessed them that day, saying, in thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh. And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.”

“Dan shall judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan shall be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path, that biteth the horse heels, so that his rider shall fall backward.”

We see that Jacob or Israel, as he is now known, adopts Joseph’s two sons as his own thus enlarging the 12 tribes of Israel to 13. As the Levitical tribe will act as priests for the temple and not partake of the land inheritances, it actually leaves 12 tribes to inherit. We will see later in the scriptures that this is important for other reasons, as Ephraim is considered a separate entity from modern day Israel. While Manasseh will be a great people, Ephraim will become a multitude of nations. In other words, not a part of modern day Israel. Also in Revelation we will see that the 144,000 do not include the normal 12 tribes. Dan is missing. To understand why that may be, one starts here with this curse that Israel pronounces on him. We will see more about this later, but for now it is just important to note these facts for future reference.

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