And his father refused
To have any alteration made, and therefore, though Joseph lifted it up from. Ephraim's head and held it over it, Jacob put it on again and went on with the blessing: and said, I know [it], my son, I know [it];
he knew what he did, and he repeats it to confirm it, as well as to show the vehemency of his mind, and his resolution to abide by what he had done; he knew on whom he laid his right hand, and he knew that Manasseh was the firstborn: so the Targum of Jonathan: and he also shall become a people;
a tribe or nation: and he also shall be great;
in number, riches, and honour: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he;
more numerous, as the tribe of Ephraim was, than that of Manasseh, when they came out of Egypt; for in numbering them there appeared to be 8300 more in the one tribe than in the other, ( Numbers 1:33 Numbers 1:35 ) , as well as more honourable; Ephraim's standard was placed before Manasseh's, ( Numbers 2:18 Numbers 2:20 ) ; and upon the division of the tribes in Rehoboam's time, as Jeroboam was of the tribe of Ephraim, that tribe was at the head of the ten tribes, and the seat of the kingdom was in it, and the whole kingdom of Israel often goes by the name of Ephraim: and his seed shall become a multitude of nations;
that is, of families, for as nations are called families, ( Amos 3:1 Amos 3:2 ) ; so families may be called nations; the Targum of Onkelos is,
``his sons shall be rulers among the people,''so Joshua, who was of the tribe of Ephraim, conquered and subdued the nations of the Canaanites, and Jeroboam of this tribe ruled over the ten tribes or nations of Israel: it may be rendered, "his seed shall fill the nations" F20, or be "the fulness" of them; which Jarchi interprets of the whole world being filled with the fame and renown of Joshua, who was of this tribe, when the sun and moon stood still in his days; but it is best to understand this of the large share he should have of the land of Canaan among the rest of the tribes or nations of Israel.
F20 (mywgh alm hyhy) "implebit nationes", Munster; "erit plenitudo gentium", Pagninus, Montanus, Schmidt; "impletio gentium", Tigurine version.