|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
48:8-22 The two good men own God in their comforts. Joseph says, They are my sons whom God has given me. Jacob says, God hath showed me thy seed. Comforts are doubly sweet to us when we see them coming from God's hand. He not only prevents our fears, but exceeds our hopes. Jacob mentions the care the Divine providence had taken of him all his days. A great deal of hardship he had known in his time, but God kept him from the evil of his troubles. Now he was dying, he looked upon himself as redeemed from all sin and sorrow for ever. Christ, the Angel of the covenant, redeems from all evil. Deliverances from misery and dangers, by the Divine power, coming through the ransom of the blood of Christ, in Scripture are often called redemption. In blessing Joseph's sons, Jacob crossed hands. Joseph was willing to support his first-born, and would have removed his father's hands. But Jacob acted neither by mistake, nor from a partial affection to one more than the other; but from a spirit of prophecy, and by the Divine counsel. God, in bestowing blessings upon his people, gives more to some than to others, more gifts, graces, and comforts, and more of the good things of this life. He often gives most to those that are least likely. He chooses the weak things of the world; he raises the poor out of the dust. Grace observes not the order of nature, nor does God prefer those whom we think fittest to be preferred, but as it pleases him. How poor are they who have no riches but those of this world! How miserable is a death-bed to those who have no well-grounded hope of good, but dreadful apprehensions of evil, and nothing but evil for ever!
Verse 8. - And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these? The failing sight of the patriarch (ver. 10) probably was the reason why he did not sooner recognize his grandchildren, and the fact that he did not at first discern their presence shows that his adoption of them into the number of the theocratic family was prompted not by the accidental impulse of a natural affection excited through beholding the youths, but by the inward promptings of the Spirit of God.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
And Israel beheld Joseph's sons,.... Ephraim and Manasseh, of whom he had been speaking as if they were absent, and he might not know until now that they were present, for his eyes were dim that he could not see clearly, Genesis 49:10; he saw two young men standing by Joseph, but knew not who they were, and therefore asked the following question:
and said, who are these? whose sons are they? the Targum of Jonathan is,"of whom were these born to thee?''as if he knew them to be his sons, only inquired who the mother of them was; but the answer shows he knew them not to be his sons, and as for his wife, he could not be ignorant who she was.
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