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Sunday, February 19 2012

Jacob's Blessing Of Ephraim And Manasseh

Joseph was a son of Jacob (who the LORD renamed as "Israel": "32:28 And he said, Thy name shall be called no more Jacob, but Israel: for as a prince hast thou power with God and with men, and hast prevailed" Genesis 32:28 KJV), who had been sold into slavery by his jealous brothers (Israelite slavery in Egypt actually began by Israelites inflicting slavery upon a brother Israelite: "37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content. 37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt" Genesis 37:27-28 KJV).

But there was, moreover, a purpose for Joseph going to Egypt, that Joseph himself, after tremendous hardship, came to understand: "50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants. 50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive" (Genesis 50:18-20 KJV). With the help of the LORD ("10:1 Moreover, brethren, I would not that ye should be ignorant, how that all our fathers were under the cloud, and all passed through the sea; 10:2 And were all baptized unto Moses in the cloud and in the sea; 10:3 And did all eat the same spiritual meat; 10:4 And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ" 1 Corinthians 10:1-4 KJV; see The Rock Of The Church), Joseph rose from a dungeon slave to Prime Minister of Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh himself.

Joseph and Pharaoh

"41:41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 41:42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 41:43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt [see Joseph, Prime Minister Of Egypt].

41:44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. 41:45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt.

41:46 And Joseph was thirty years old when he stood before Pharaoh king of Egypt. And Joseph went out from the presence of Pharaoh, and went throughout all the land of Egypt. 41:47 And in the seven plenteous years the earth brought forth by handfuls. 41:48 And he gathered up all the food of the seven years, which were in the land of Egypt, and laid up the food in the cities: the food of the field, which was round about every city, laid he up in the same. 41:49 And Joseph gathered corn as the sand of the sea, very much, until he left numbering; for it was without number." (Genesis 41:41-49 KJV)

"Before the years of famine came," Asenath (verse 45 above) gave birth to two sons of Joseph, the firstborn Manasseh, and Ephraim his brother.

"41:50 And unto Joseph were born two sons before the years of famine came, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. 41:51 And Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh: For God, said he, hath made me forget all my toil, and all my father's house. 41:52 And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction." (Genesis 41:50-52 KJV)

During the years of the famine, after discovering that Joseph was the ruler of Egypt, Jacob / Israel moved his family to Egypt, into the well-watered land of Goshen (see Why Did They Go To Goshen?).

"46:1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.

46:2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob.

And he said, Here am I.

46:3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: 46:4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.

46:5 And Jacob rose up from Beersheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 46:6 And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him: 46:7 His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt." (Genesis 46:1-7 KJV)

"Thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine"

Jacob / Israel lived in Egypt for the remainder of his life - 17 years. When he realized that he would soon die, he made a will that included his burial instructions, back in the family tomb in Hebron.

Egypt

"47:27 And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.

47:28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years. 47:29 And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt: 47:30 But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace.

And he said, I will do as thou hast said.

47:31 And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head." (Genesis 47:27-31 KJV)

A little later, after his health had further declined, he called for Joseph to attend to another matter of legality - Jacob had decided to adopt his two grandsons, as sons.

"48:1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 48:2 And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.

48:3 And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, 48:4 And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession." (Genesis 48:1-4 KJV)

Jacob's reason for the adoption was so that he could have more children through his deceased wife Rachel, by means of Jacob's son with Rachel, Joseph (Rachel had died giving birth to Joseph's brother Benjamin; again, see the Fact Finder question below).

"48:5 And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. 48:6 And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance. 48:7 And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem." (Genesis 48:5-7 KJV)

The "blessing" adoption of Ephraim and Manasseh by Jacob has been frequently depicted in art through the centuries, but rarely have any of them been Biblically accurate. Typically, Jacob and his family are portrayed as northern Europeans (as were most of the artists themselves), but Jacob and Joseph would have had a typical Middle Eastern appearance, and Ephraim and Manasseh, the sons of Joseph, also had an Egyptian mother (Egyptians of that time were typically black; see The Family Of Ham) - a fact that is almost always overlooked or ignored by adherents of the "Anglo-Israelism" theory.

As well, while artwork usually portrays Ephraim and Manasseh as little boys at the time of the blessing / adoption, according to the Scriptures, they were born a few years before Jacob arrived in Egypt, and the blessing / adoption of them occurred when Jacob had been in Egypt for seventeen years - Ephraim and Manasseh were approximately twenty years old at the time of the blessing / adoption.

Egypt

"48:8 And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these?

48:9 And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place.

And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them.

48:10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them.

48:11 And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath showed me also thy seed.

48:12 And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 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. 48:14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.

48:15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, 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 midst of the earth.

"48:17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head. 48:18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.

48:19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. 48:20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh." (Genesis 48:8-20 KJV)

Fact Finder: What prophecies were linked to Joseph's mother Rachel?
See The Rachel Prophecies


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This Day In History, February 19

197: Roman Emperor Septimius Severus defeated rebel commander Clodius Albinus at the Battle of Lugdunum, the greatest battle between Roman armies (see The Politics Of Rome, Pax Romana: The Birth Of The Roman Empire, A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars and Legions Of Men And Angels).

356: Emperor Constantius II issued a decree to favor the Roman newly-created version (perversion) of Christianity in the Roman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

842: The Medieval Iconoclastic Controversy ended. A Council in Constantinople formally reinstated the veneration of graven images (which they called "icons"). This debate over icons is often considered the last event which led to the Great Schism between the Eastern and Western Roman Churches.

1401: William Sawtree, regarded by some as the first English religious martyr, was burned in London.

1408: The English Northumberland Rebellion ended when Henry Percy, Earl of Northumberland, was defeated by Henry IV at the Battle of Bramham Moor.

1473: Nicholas Copernicus was born in Poland. He is considered by some to be the founder of modern astronomy.

1568: Miles Coverdale died at age 80. He was the translator and publisher of the first complete Bible to be printed in English, in 1535. He was also the editor of the "Great Bible" of 1539.

1674: The Treaty of Westminster was signed to end the Anglo-Dutch War. One of the results was that the city of New Netherlands (today, New York) became British.

1797: Pope Pius VI signed the Treaty of Tolentino with Napoleon under which Bologna, Romagna and Ferrara were ceded to France.

1800: Napoleon Bonaparte established himself as first consul in France.

1915: During the First World War (listen to our Sermon The European World Wars), British and French warships began attacks on Ottoman (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire) fortifications at the mouth of the Dardenelles, in an abortive expedition to force the straits of Gallipoli.

1918: With the beginning of communism in Russia, a decree abolishing all private ownership of land, water and natural resources was issued by the Soviet Central Executive Committee.

1942: Japanese forces made the first attack on the Australian mainland, bombing Port Darwin.

1942: During the Second World War (which began in September 1939 for the rest of the world, but only in December of 1941 for the U.S. with the Japanese attack on the U.S. military base in Hawaii), President Franklin Roosevelt ordered the arrest and camp internment, without charge or legal due process, of many people of Japanese race, even those born in the U.S.

1953: Georgia approved the first "literature censorship board" in the U.S.

1959: The Prime Ministers of Britain, Turkey and Greece signed an agreement in London for the independence of Cyprus.

1976: Iceland severed diplomatic relations with Britain during the "Cod War," a dispute over fishing rights of depleted Atlantic cod stocks.

1976: Executive Order 9066 of 1942 (see listing above), which provided the legal means to incarcerate Japanese Americans (including those born in the U.S. for generations) to "internment camps" without charge or trial during the Second World War, was rescinded by President Gerald Ford.

1986: The Soviet Union launched its Mir space station. It remained in Earth orbit for 15 years.





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