Genesis 48:16
The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the middle of the earth.
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Genesis 48:16. The Angel which redeemed me — Not a created angel surely, but Christ, termed an angel, Exodus 23:20, and the Angel of the covenant, Malachi 3:1, and who was the conductor of Israel in the wilderness, 1 Corinthians 10:4-9. Add to this, that this Angel is called Jacob’s Redeemer, a title appropriated by God to himself, Isaiah 43:14; Isaiah 47:4; is said to redeem him from all evil, and therefore from sin, from which certainly no created angel, but only Christ can deliver us, Matthew 1:21; and he is worshipped and prayed to by Jacob here, for the blessing desired for Joseph’s sons: all which circumstances show, that he was God and not a creature. From all evil — A great deal of trouble and hardship he had had in his time, but God had graciously kept him from the evil of his troubles. It becomes the servants of God, when they are old and dying, to witness for God that they have found him gracious.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!And he blessed Joseph. - In blessing his seed he blesses himself. In exalting his two sons into the rank and right of his brothers, he bestows upon them the double portion of the first-born. In the terms of the blessing Jacob first signalizes the threefold function which the Lord discharges in effecting the salvation of a sinner. "The God before whom walked my fathers," is the Author of salvation, the Judge who dispenses justice and mercy, the Father, before whom the adopted and regenerate child walks. From him salvation comes, to him the saved returns, to walk before him and be perfect. "The God, who fed me from my being unto this day," is the Creator and Upholder of life, the Quickener and Sanctifier, the potential Agent, who works both to will and to do in the soul. "The Angel that redeemed me from all evil," is the all-sufficient Friend, who wards off evil by himself satisfying the demands of justice and resisting the devices of malice. There is a beautiful propriety of feeling in Jacob ascribing to his fathers the walking before God, while he thankfully acknowledges the grace of the Quickener and Justifier to himself. The Angel is explicitly applied to the Supreme Being in this ministerial function. The God is the emphatic description of the true, living God, as contradistinguished from all false gods. "Bless the lads." The word bless is in the singular number. For Jacob's threefold periphrasis is intended to describe the one God who wills, works, and wards. "And let my name be put upon them." Let them be counted among my immediate sons, and let them be related to Abraham and Isaac, as my other sons are. This is the only thing that is special in the blessing. "Let them grow into a multitude." The word grow in the original refers to the spawning or extraordinary increase of the finny tribe. The after history of Ephraim and Menasseh will be found to correspond with this special prediction.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. The Angel; not surely a created angel, but Christ Jesus, who is called an Angel, Exodus 23:20, and the Angel of the covenant, Malachi 3:1, who was the conductor of the Israelites in the wilderness, as plainly appears by comparing of Exodus 23:20,21, with 1 Corinthians 10:4,9. Add hereunto, that this Angel is called Jacob’s Redeemer, which is the title appropriated by God to himself, Isaiah 43:14 47:4, and that from all evil, and therefore from sin, from which no created angel can deliver us, but Christ only, Matthew 1:21; and that Jacob worshippeth and prayeth to this Angel no less than to God for the blessing, and that without any note of distinction, the word bless being in the singular number, and equally relating to God and to the Angel; and that the Angel to whom he here ascribes his deliverances from all evil, must in all reason be the same to whom he prayed for these very deliverances which he here commemorates, and that was no other than the very God of Abraham, as is evident from Genesis 28:15,20,21 32:9-11 35:3.

Let my name be named on them, i.e. let them be called by my name, owned for my immediate children, and invested with the same privileges with my other children, be the heads of distinct tribes, and as such receive distinct inheritances. And hence they are called the children of Jacob or Israel, no less than the children of Joseph. For the phrase, see Deu 28:10 2 Chronicles 7:14 Isaiah 4:1 Jeremiah 14:9.

And the name of my fathers; let them be called their children; let them not only have my blessing, but the blessings of Abraham and Isaac; let all meet together upon their heads; and let that gracious covenant of God made with Abraham, and confirmed with Isaac and me, be ratified and made good unto them. The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads,.... Ephraim and Manasseh, now about twenty years old or upwards: this is not to be understood of a created angel he wishes to be their guardian, but of an eternal one, the Son of God, the Angel of God's presence, the Angel of the covenant; the same with the God of his father before mentioned, as appears by the character he gives him, as having "redeemed him from all evil"; not only protected and preserved him from temporal evils and imminent dangers from Esau, Laban, and others; but had delivered him from the power, guilt, and punishment of sin, the greatest of evils, and from the dominion and tyranny of Satan the evil one, and from everlasting wrath, ruin, and damnation; all which none but a divine Person could do, as well as he wishes, desires, and prays, that he would "bless" the lads with blessings temporal and spiritual, which a created angel cannot do; and Jacob would never have asked it of him:

and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; having adopted them, he foretells they would be called not only the sons of Joseph, but the children of Israel or Jacob, and would have a name among the tribes of Israel, and be heads of them, as well as would be called the seed of Abraham and of Isaac, and inherit their blessings: and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth; where they increased as fishes, as the word signifies (s), and more than any other of the tribes; even in the times of Moses the number of them were 85,200 men fit for war, Numbers 26:34; and their situation was in the middle of the land of Canaan.

(s) "et instar piscium sint", Pagninus, Montanus; so Junius & Tremellius, Piscator, Ainsworth, and the Targum of Onkelos, and Jarchi.

The {e} Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my {f} name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

(e) This angel must be understood to be Christ, as in Ge 31:13,32:1.

(f) Let them be taken as my children.

16. the angel] “The angel” is here indistinguishable from the “God of Jacob.” As in Genesis 16:7; Genesis 16:10; Genesis 16:13, it was the impersonation of the Divine Being as an Angel, whom Jacob had met and acknowledged as his God in the crises of his life, Genesis 28:12-16, Genesis 31:11; Genesis 31:13; Genesis 31:24, Genesis 32:1; Genesis 32:24-31. The reference here is to the manifestation at Peniel (Genesis 32:30, where see note).

hath redeemed me] “To redeem” is to play the kinsman’s part, Leviticus 25:48-49; Ruth 3:13; Ruth 4:6. Jacob acknowledges that the manifestations of the Angel had been the fulfilment of a Divine goodness of purpose towards him. The idea of “redemption,” the deliverance by the Goêl, or kinsman-Redeemer, is a favourite one in the religious teaching of the O.T., e.g. Psalm 103:4. Cf. Isaiah 44:22-23; Isaiah 49:7; Isaiah 63:9. Here the deliverance is from calamity, as in 2 Samuel 4:9; 1 Kings 1:29. It is different from the more common word for “redeem,” pâdah = “deliver,” “ransom,” e.g. in Psalm 25:22.

16. let my name be named on them] This is the formula of adoption according to E, corresponding to that in Genesis 48:5 according to P. The meaning seems to be, “let my name be given to them,” in other words, “let them be counted as the children of Israel.”

grow into a multitude] For the fulfilment of the blessing, see the numbers of the tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh, in Numbers 1:33; Numbers 1:35; Numbers 26:34; Numbers 26:37. Compare Deuteronomy 33:17, “they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh.”The 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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