Not long after this, word came to Joseph, “Your father is on his way out.”
So Joseph went to visit his father, and he took with him his two sons, Menassah and Ephraim. And when they arrived Yisharal was told, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.”
So Yisharal gathered his strength and sat up in his bed, saying to Joseph “Yahuah Al Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, saying to me, ‘I WILL MAKE YOU FRUITFUL, AND I WILL MULTIPLY YOUR DESCENDANTS. I WILL MAKE YOU AN ASSEMBLY OF NATIONS. AND I WILL GIVE THIS LAND OF CANAAN TO YOUR DESCENDANTS AFTER YOU AS AN EVERLASTING POSSESSION.”
So now Joseph I’m adopting these two boys of yours, Ephraim and Menassah as my own sons, just as Reuben and Simeon are, and including them in the promises given to me. But any children born to you in the future will be yours, and they will inherit land within the territories of their brothers, Ephraim and Menassah.
Long ago, as I was returning from Paddan Aram, my beautiful Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still some distance from Ephrath (Bethlehem). So with great sorrow I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.”
Then Yisharal looked over at the two boys. “Are these your sons?” he asked.
“Yes,” Joseph told him, “These are the sons Yahuah has given me here in Egypt.”
And Yisharal (who was almost blind by this stage) said, “Bring them closer to me, so I can bless them.”
So Joseph brought the boys close to him, and Yisharal kissed them and embraced them, before saying to Joseph, “I never thought I would ever see your face again, but now Yahuah has even let me see your children too!”
And Joseph moved the boys, (who were at their grandfather’s knees), and he bowed with his face to the ground. Then he positioned the boys in front of his father, helping Yisharal by directing Ephraim toward Yisharal’s left hand, and Menassah towards his right. (THE RIGHT HAND WAS THE HAND FOR THE FIRSTBORN BLESSING).
But at the last moment, Yisharal crossed his arms over as he reached out to lay his hands on the boys’ heads, laying his right hand on the head of Ephraim, though he was the younger boy, and his left hand on the head of Menassah, though he was actually the firstborn!
Then he blessed Joseph and said . . . “May Yahuah, the Alahim Who has fed me all my life and has been my shepherd to this very day, the Alahim of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac, Who has delivered me from all harm, may He bless these boys, PRESERVING MY NAME and the names of Abraham and Isaac. And may their descendants multiply greatly throughout the earth.”
But when Joseph looked up saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was upset and went to move it from Ephraim’s head to Menassah’s head instead, saying, “No Dad, this one is the firstborn, you’ve got your hands mixed up.”
But Yisharal knew what he was doing and refused. “It’s alright my son, I know, Menassah will become a great people too, but his younger brother will become even greater. And his descendants will become THE COMPLETENESS OF THE NATIONS.”
So Yisharal blessed the boys that day with this blessing: “The people of Yisharal will use your names(INSTEAD OF JOSEPH'S) when they give a blessing, saying ‘May Yahuah make you as prosperous and blessed as Ephraim and Menassah.’”
And by saying this, Yisharal actually put Ephraim ahead of Menassah.
JACOB HAD TWO LEGAL WIVES, SO HE ALSO HAD TWO FIRSTBORNS: REUBEN (FROM LEAH) AND JOSEPH (FROM RACHEL). BUT SINCE REUBEN HAD SLEPT WITH HIS FATHER’S SERVANT-WIFE, HE’D BEEN DISOWNED, LEAVING ONLY JOSEPH TO INHERIT THE BIRTHRIGHT AND THE BLESSING. BUT HERE JACOB DIVIDES JOSEPH’S FIRSTBORN INHERITANCE BETWEEN HIS TWO SONS BY ADOPTING THEM INTO HIS FAMILIES’ PROMISES. YES, THESE TWO BOYS BORN OUTSIDE THE COVENANT AND RAISED IN A PAGAN CULTURE WERE NOT ONLY ALLOWED TO `PASS-THROUGH’ (HEBREW) AND GRAFT INTO THE NATION OF YISHARAL AND THE ETERNAL BLOOD-COVENANT TAKING EQUAL IMPORTANCE WITH THE REST OF JACOB’S SONS, BUT LATER, EPHRAIM WOULD BECOME THE MOST POWERFUL OF THE NORTHERN TRIBES.
Then Yisharal said to Joseph, “My wonderful boy, I am about to die, but remember, Yahuah will always be with you and will take you back to Canaan, to the land of our fathers. And aside from what I’m giving your brothers, I am giving you an extra portion of the land, that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”