Genesis 48:13
And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him.
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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.

13. Joseph took them both—The very act of pronouncing the blessing was remarkable, showing that Jacob's bosom was animated by the spirit of prophecy. No text from Poole on this verse.

And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand,.... He took Ephraim his youngest son in his right hand, and led him up to his father, by which means he would stand in a right position to have his grandfather's left hand put upon him:

and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand; Manasseh his eldest son he took in his left hand, and brought him to his father, and so was in a proper position to have his right hand laid upon him, as seniority of birth required, and as he was desirous should be the case:

and brought them near unto him; in the above manner, so near as that he could lay his hands on them.

And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him.
13. Ephraim in his right hand] i.e. so that the right hand of Jacob might rest on Manasseh the elder. The gesture of benediction, by the laying on of hands, signified the communication of rights and privileges. As in the story of Isaac (ch. 27), the blessing by the head of the house, on his deathbed, was irrevocable. The person who received it could not be deprived of it.

Verse 13. - And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him. Joseph naturally expected that Jacob s right hand would fall upon the head of Manasseh, as the firstborn, although with regard to even this a doubt might have been suggested if he had remembered how Isaac had been preferred to Ishmael, and Jacob to Esau. Genesis 48:13Joseph then, in order to prepare his sons for the reception of the blessing, brought them from between the knees of Israel, who was sitting with the youths between his knees and embracing them, and having prostrated himself with his face to the earth, he came up to his father again, with Ephraim the younger on his right hand, and Manasseh the elder on the left, so that Ephraim stood at Jacob's right hand, and Manasseh at his left.
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