Genesis 48:13-21

May You Be Like Ephraim and Manassah


Genesis 48:13-21 Joseph took them both Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right and brought them close to him but Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim who was the younger and his left hand on Manasseh’s head crossing his hands although Manasseh was the firstborn and 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 the angel who has redeemed me from all evil bless the lads and may my name live on in them and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac and may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth and when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head it displeased him and he grasped his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head Joseph said to his father not so, my father for this one is the firstborn place your right hand on his head but his father refused and said I know, my son, I know he also will become a people and he also will be great however, his younger brother shall be greater than he and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations and he blessed them that day, saying by you Israel will pronounce blessing saying, may God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh then Israel said to Joseph behold, I am about to die but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers I give you one portion more than your brothers which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow here we have Jacob who is now Israel he’s the old man about to pass away his son Joseph brings the two grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh for a blessing and this is a great blessing because there’s a double portion apportioned to Joseph he gets two portions of land for his two sons Ephraim and Manasseh but Manasseh is the older one and Joseph is expecting that his father Israel will lay his right hand on Manasseh but he doesn’t he reaches across and lays his right hand on Ephraim and his left hand on Manasseh and he probably crossed them like this and Joseph said no, no, no, no this one’s the first born and Israel the father said no God has instructed me to bless this one first, Ephraim it’s interesting what these two names mean Manasseh means to forget forgetting the past Ephraim means fruitful the fruitful one moving into the fruitfulness of the future and so we see Manasseh’s forgetting and what God was saying to Israel, to Jacob is bless your son Joseph and his two sons with forgetting the sins of the past remember how Joseph was sinned against by his own family he was forgotten by his father who thought he was dead his brothers sold him into slavery in Egypt and Manasseh is about forgetting the sins of the people that have sinned against you forgetting the past forgetting all the horrific things that happened to you being healed from those things and going forward Ephraim is fruitfulness of the future and so this is the blessing that Israel said all of my descendants from now on forever every evening in Shabbat and here we are again in Shabbat I can’t remember if I said Shabbat Shalom but for sure Shabbat Shalom today so on every Shabbat when the father blesses the sons he says to his sons may God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh what does that mean forgetting the sin and the offenses of the past and moving forward into the fruitfulness of the future indicating also God’s choice of fruitfulness on the son Ephraim and so you know today this Shabbat if you haven’t done it if you didn’t do it on Erev Shabbat in the evening bless your children I encourage you look your children in the eyes tell them all the good things Yahweh says about them tell them the good things you see in their life if you’ve sinned against them and wounded them, repent look your children in the eyes ask their forgiveness if you’ve used a voice that was too strong or you wounded them or hurt them look them in the eyes and say I love you Son I love you my daughter and for sons, may you be like Ephraim and Manasseh forgetting the sin of the past moving forward into the fruitfulness of the future I love you, I bless you I’m proud of you so take opportunity today to bless your children even as Israel instructed Joseph to bless his children and all of Israel forever after we are grafted in to Israel by the blood of Messiah so this blessing is for us as well forgetting the sin of the past moving forward into the fruitfulness of the future so today Shabbat Shalom may this be a rich day in the presence of Yahweh for you and your family Amen


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