And Israel stretched out his right hand
Not directly forward, but across, or otherwise it would have been laid on Manasseh, as Joseph designed it should by the position he placed him in: and laid [it] upon Ephraim's head, who [was] the younger,
the right hand being the strongest and most in use, as it was reckoned most honourable to sit at it, so to have it imposed, as being significative of the greater blessing: and his left hand upon Manasseh's head;
who was the older: guiding his hands wittingly;
this was not done accidentally, but on purpose: or made his "hands to understand" F17, they acted as if they understood what he would have done, as Aben Ezra; as if they were conscious of what should be, or would be; though he could not see clearly and distinctly, yet he knew, by the position of them before him, which was the elder and which was the younger: he knew that Joseph would set the firstborn in such a position before him as naturally to put his right hand on him, and the younger in such a position as that it would be readiest for him to put his left hand on him; and therefore, being under a divine impulse and spirit of prophecy, by which he discerned that the younger was to have the greater blessing, he crossed his bands, or changed them, and put his right hand on Ephraim, and his left hand on Manasseh: for Manasseh [was] the firstborn;
or rather, though F18 he was the firstborn, as Aben Ezra.
F17 (wydy ta lkv) "intelligere fecit suas manus", Paguinus, Montanus, Vatablus, Drusius, Cartwright.
F18 (yk) "tametsi", Tigurine version; "quamvis", Piscator; so some in Fagius.