This chapter is about Manasseh & Ephraim, Joseph’s 2 sons & Jacob/Israel blessing the 2 boys. But Jacob/Israel does a switcharoo & blesses Manasseh, the youngest, as the oldest. I hope you enjoy this!
Joseph was told that Jacob/Israel was ill. He took his 2 sons, Manasseh & Ephraim, with him to go see him. When Jacob/Israel was told that Joseph was there, he rallied his strength & sat up in bed.
Jacob/Israel told Joseph that God appeared to him at Luz (in the land of Canaan) & blessed him there. And that God also told him that his sons (Manasseh & Ephraim) will be “reckoned” as God’s, just like Reuben & Simeon. Also that in the territory that they inherit will be “reckoned” under their brothers names. (Weird turn of phrase to me.)
Then Israel/Jacob saw Manasseh & Ephraim. Israel/Jacob asked Joseph who they were. Joseph told Israel/Jacob, his dad, who they were. Israel/Jacob told Joseph to bring them to him so that he could bless them. The text says that Israel/Jacob could hardly see because of his advanced age. (My thing is why did it say: Israel/Jacob asked who Joseph’s sons were if he barely see.) So Joseph brought his sons close to Israel/Jacob. Israel/Jacob kissed & hugged Manasseh & Ephraim. Then Israel/Jacob says to Joseph that the thought he’d never see him again & that God had allowed him to see Joseph’s sons.
Joseph then took both his sons & put Manasseh toward Israel’s right hand. Joseph put Ephraim toward Israel’s left hand. (Because the right hand has always been “the good hand” & the left hand “the bad hand.”) But Israel/Jacob reached out his right hand towards Ephraim’s head & his left hand towards Manasseh’s head, crossing his arms in the process. Even though Manasseh was born first. Then he blessed Joseph.
When Joseph saw Israel/Jacob crossing his arms for the blessing, Joseph took ahold of his dad’s hands. He tried to uncross them. But Israel/Jacob refused! Israel/Jacob told Joseph that he knew what he was doing. He put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
Israel/Jacob told Joseph that he was about to die & that God would be with him. Israel/Jacob also told Joseph that he would return to the land of his forefathers. And that Israel/Jacob gives him (Joseph) the “ridge of land” that he took from the Amorites.