Genesis 48; Genesis 49; Genesis 50

1 Some time later Joseph was told, "Your father is sick." So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim along with him. 2 Jacob was told, "Your son Joseph has come to you." So Israel became stronger and sat up in bed. 3 Jacob said to Joseph, "The Mighty God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan. He blessed me there. 4 He said to me, 'I am going to give you children. I will increase your numbers. I will make you a community of nations. And I will give this land to your children after you. It will belong to them forever.' 5 "Now then, two sons were born to you in Egypt. It happened before I came to you here. They will be counted as my own sons. Ephraim and Manasseh will belong to me, in the same way that Reuben and Simeon belong to me. 6 "Any children who are born to you after them will belong to you. Any territory they receive will come from the land that is given to Ephraim and Manasseh. 7 "As I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died. It made me very sad. She died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way. We weren't very far away from Ephrath. So I buried her body there beside the road to Ephrath." Ephrath was also called Bethlehem. 8 Israel saw Joseph's sons. He asked, "Who are they?" 9 "They are the sons God has given me here," Joseph said to his father. Then Israel said, "Bring them to me. I want to give them my blessing." 10 Israel's eyes were weak because he was old. He couldn't see very well. So Joseph brought his sons close to him. His father kissed them and hugged them. 11 Israel said to Joseph, "I never thought I'd see your face again. But now God has let me see your children too." 12 Then Joseph took his sons away from Israel's knees. He bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 Joseph placed Ephraim on his right, toward Israel's left hand. He placed Manasseh on his left, toward Israel's right hand. Then he brought them close to Jacob. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim's head. He did it even though Ephraim was the younger son. He crossed his arms and put his left hand on Manasseh's head. He did it even though Manasseh was the older son. 15 Then Israel gave Joseph his blessing. He said, "May God bless these boys. He is the God of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac. They walked with him. He is the God who has been my shepherd all of my life to this very day. 16 He is the Angel who has saved me from all harm. May he bless these boys. May they be called by my name. May they also be called by the names of my grandfather Abraham and my father Isaac. And may they greatly increase their numbers on the earth." 17 Joseph saw his father putting his right hand on Ephraim's head. And Joseph didn't like it. So he took hold of his father's hand to move it over to Manasseh's head. 18 Joseph said to him, "No, my father. Here's my older son. Put your right hand on his head." 19 But his father wouldn't do it. He said, "I know, my son. I know. He too will become a nation. He too will become great. But his younger brother will be greater than he is. His children after him will become a group of nations." 20 On that day, Jacob gave them his blessing. He said, "In the land of Israel, people will bless others in your names. They will say, 'May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.' " So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. 21 Then Israel said to Joseph, "I'm about to die. But God will be with all of you. He'll take you back to the land of your fathers. 22 But you, Joseph, are over your brothers. So I'm giving you the range of hills I took from the Amorites. I took it with my sword and bow."
1 Then Jacob sent for his sons. He said, "Gather around me so I can tell you what will happen to you in days to come. 2 "Sons of Jacob, come together and listen. Listen to your father Israel. 3 "Reuben, you are my oldest son. You were my first child. You were the first sign of my strength. You were first in honor. You were first in power. 4 But you are as unsteady as water. So you won't be first anymore. You had sex with your father's concubine in his bed. You lay on his couch and made it 'unclean.' 5 "Simeon and Levi are brothers. Their swords have killed a lot of people. 6 I won't share in their plans. I won't have anything to do with them. They became angry and killed people. They cut the legs of oxen just for the fun of it. 7 May the LORD put a curse on them because of their terrible anger. I will scatter them in Jacob's land. I will spread them around in Israel. 8 "Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your enemies will be brought under your control. Your father's sons will bow down to you. 9 Judah, you are like a lion's cub. You return from hunting, my son. Like a lion, you lie down and sleep. You are like a mother lion. Who dares to wake you up? 10 The right to rule will not leave Judah. The ruler's rod will not be taken from between his feet. It will be his until the king it belongs to comes. It will be his until the nations obey him. 11 He will tie his donkey to a vine. He will tie his colt to the very best branch. He will wash his clothes in wine. He will wash his robes in the red juice of grapes. 12 His eyes will be darker than wine. His teeth will be whiter than milk. 13 "Zebulun will live by the seashore. He will become a safe harbor for ships. His border will go out toward Sidon. 14 "Issachar is like a donkey lying down between two saddlebags. 15 He sees how good his resting place is. He sees that his land is pleasant. So he'll carry a heavy load on his back. He will obey when he's forced to work. 16 "Dan will do what is fair for his people. He will do it as one of the tribes of Israel. 17 Dan will be a serpent by the side of the road. He will be a poisonous snake along the path. It bites the horse's heels so that the rider falls off backward. 18 "Lord, I look to you to save me. 19 "Gad will be attacked by a group of robbers. But he'll attack them as they run away. 20 "Asher's food will be rich and sweet. He will provide food that even a king would enjoy. 21 "Naphtali is a female deer that is set free and gives birth to beautiful fawns. 22 "Joseph is a vine that grows a lot of fruit. It grows close by a spring. Its branches climb over a wall. 23 Mean people shot arrows at him. They shot at him because they were angry. 24 But his bow remained steady. His strong arms moved freely. The hand of the Mighty One of Jacob was with him. The Shepherd, the Rock of Israel, stood by him. 25 Your father's God helps you. The Mighty One blesses you. He gives you blessings from the highest heavens. He gives you blessings from the deepest oceans. He blesses you with children and with a mother's milk. 26 Your father's blessings are great. They are greater than the blessings from the age-old mountains. They are greater than the gifts from the ancient hills. Let all of those blessings rest on the head of Joseph. Let them rest on the head of the one who is prince among his brothers. 27 "Benjamin is a hungry wolf. In the morning he eats what he has killed. In the evening he shares what he has stolen." 28 All of those are the 12 tribes of Israel. That's what their father said to them when he blessed them. He gave each one the blessing that was just right for him. 29 Then Jacob gave directions to his sons. He said, "I'm about to join the members of my family who have already died. Bury me with them in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30 "The cave is in the field of Machpelah near Mamre in Canaan. Abraham had bought it as a place where he could bury his wife's body. He had bought the cave from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field. 31 "The bodies of Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried there. So were the bodies of Isaac and his wife Rebekah. I also buried Leah's body there. 32 Abraham bought the field and the cave from the Hittites." 33 When Jacob had finished telling his sons what to do, he pulled his feet up into his bed. Then he took his last breath and joined the members of his family who had already died.
1 Joseph threw himself on his father's body. He sobbed over him and kissed him. 2 Then Joseph talked to the doctors who served him. He told them to prepare the body of his father Israel to be buried. So the doctors prepared it. 3 They took 40 days to do it. They needed that much time to prepare a body in the right way. The Egyptians sobbed over Jacob for 70 days. 4 After the days of sorrow had passed, Joseph went to Pharaoh's officials. He said to them, "If you are pleased with me, speak to Pharaoh for me. Tell him, 5 'My father made me take an oath and make a promise to him. He said, "I'm about to die. Bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan." So let me go up and bury my father. Then I'll come back.' " 6 Pharaoh said, "Go up and bury your father. Do what he made you promise to do." 7 So Joseph went up to bury his father. All of Pharaoh's officials went with him. They were the important people of his court and all of the leaders of Egypt. 8 All of Joseph's family also went. His brothers and all of the rest of his father's family went too. Only their children and their flocks and herds were left in Goshen. 9 Chariots and horsemen also went up with him. It was a very large group. 10 They came to the threshing floor of Atad. It was near the Jordan River. There they sobbed loudly and bitterly. Joseph set apart seven days of sadness to honor his father's memory. 11 The people of Canaan who were living there saw how sad all of them were at the threshing floor of Atad. They said, "The Egyptians are having a very special service for the dead." That's why that place near the Jordan River is called Abel of the Egyptians. 12 So Jacob's sons did exactly as he had commanded them. 13 They carried his body to the land of Canaan. They buried it in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre. Abraham had bought the cave as a place where he could bury his wife's body. He had bought it from Ephron the Hittite, along with the field. 14 After Joseph buried his father, he went back to Egypt. His brothers and all of the others who had gone to help him bury his father went back with him. 15 Now that their father was dead, Joseph's brothers were worried. They said, "Remember all of the bad things we did to Joseph? What if he decides to hold those things against us? What if he pays us back for them?" 16 So they sent a message to Joseph. They said, "Your father gave us directions before he died. 17 He said, 'Here's what you must say to Joseph. Tell him, "I'm asking you to forgive your brothers. Forgive the terrible things they did to you. Forgive them for treating you so badly." ' Now then, please forgive our sins. We serve the God of your father." When their message came to Joseph, he sobbed. 18 Then his brothers came and threw themselves down in front of him. "We are your slaves," they said. 19 But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Do you think I'm God? 20 You planned to harm me. But God planned it for good. He planned to do what is now being done. He wanted to save many lives. 21 "So then, don't be afraid. I'll provide for you and your children." He set them free from their fears. And he spoke in a kind way to them. 22 Joseph stayed in Egypt, along with all of his father's family. He lived 110 years. 23 He lived long enough to see Ephraim's children and grandchildren. When the children of Makir were born, they were placed on Joseph's knees and counted as his own children. Makir was the son of Manasseh. 24 Joseph said to his brothers, "I'm about to die. But I'm sure that God will come to help you. He'll take you up out of this land. He'll bring you to the land he promised with an oath to give to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob." 25 Joseph made the sons of Israel take an oath and make a promise to him. He said, "I'm sure that God will come to help you. Then you must carry my bones up from this place." 26 So Joseph died at the age of 110. They prepared his body to be buried. Then he was placed in a casket in Egypt.
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