Genesis 48:10
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.
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EXPOSITORY (ENGLISH BIBLE)
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!He now observes and proceeds to bless the two sons of Joseph. "Who are these?" The sight and the observant faculties of the patriarch were now failing. "Bring them now unto me, and I will bless them." Jacob is seated on the couch, and the young men approach him. He kisses and folds his arms around them. The comforts of his old age come up before his mind. He had not expected to see Joseph again in the flesh, and now God had showed him his seed. After these expressions of parental fondness, Joseph drew them back from between his knees, that he might present them in the way that was distinctive of their age. He then bowed with his face to the earth, in reverential acknowledgment of the act of worship about to be performed. Joseph expected the blessing to be regulated by the age of his sons, and is therefore, careful to present them so that the right hand of his dim-sighted parent may, without any effort, rest on the head of his first-born. But the venerable patriarch, guided by the Spirit of him who doth according to his own will, designedly lays his right hand on the head of the younger, and thereby attributes to him the greater blessing.

The imposition of the hand is a primitive custom which here for the first time comes into notice. It is the natural mode of marking out the object of the benediction, signifying its conveyance to the individual, and implying that it is laid upon him as the destiny of his life. It may be done by either hand; but when each is laid on a different object, as in the present case, it may denote that the higher blessing is conveyed by the right hand. The laying on of both hands on one person may express the fulness of the blessing conveyed, or the fullness of the desire with which it is conveyed.

9. Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them—The apostle (Heb 11:21) selected the blessing of Joseph's son as the chief, because the most comprehensive, instance of the patriarch's faith which his whole history furnishes. No text from Poole on this verse.

Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age,.... Or "heavy" (p), that he could not lift them up easily and see clearly; his eyebrows hung over, his eyes were sunk in his head, and the humours pressed them through old age, that it was with difficulty he could perceive an object, at least not distinctly:

so that he could not see; very plainly, otherwise he did see the sons of Joseph, though he could not discern who they were, Genesis 49:8,

and he brought them near unto him; that he might have a better sight of them and bless them:

and he kissed them, and embraced them: as a token of his affection for them.

(p) "graves erant", Pagninus, Montanus, Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, &c.

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.
EXEGETICAL (ORIGINAL LANGUAGES)
10. the eyes of Israel] Cf. the similar account of Isaac, Genesis 27:1.

Verse 10. - Now (literally, and) the eyes of Israel were dim (literally, heavy) for age, so that he could not see. This explains why he did not earlier recognize his grandchildren, and why he asked them to be set close by his bed. And he (their father) brought them near unto him; and he (their old grandfather) kissed them, and embraced them (cf. Isaac's blessing of Jacob, Genesis 27:26, 27). Genesis 48:10The Blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh. - Genesis 48:8. Jacob now for the first time caught sight of Joseph's sons, who had come with him, and inquired who they were; for "the eyes of Israel were heavy (dim) with age, so that he could not see well" (Genesis 48:10). The feeble old man, too, may not have seen the youths for some years, so that he did not recognise them again. On Joseph's answering, "My sons whom God hath given he mere," he replied, "Bring them to me then (קחם־נא), that I may bless them;" and he kissed and embraced them, when Joseph had brought them near, expressing his joy, that whereas he never expected to see Joseph's face again, God had permitted him to see his seed. ראה for ראות, like עשׂו (Genesis 31:28). עלּל: to decide; here, to judge, to think.
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