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Saturday, September 7 2013

Genesis 48: The Adoption Of Ephraim and Manasseh

Jacob / Israel had moved to Egypt when he was the elderly patriarch of a family of seventy (see Genesis 46: The First Census Of Israel and Genesis 47: Jacob's Israel In The Land Of Goshen). It would be the third foreign country in which Jacob had sojourned throughout his life - the land of Canaan (see Camped Out In Canaan), Syria (see Genesis 29: Jacob In Syria) and then Egypt where he died (see Jacob's Mummy). While he had become physically ill and weak, Jacob's memory and his ability to analyze and reason were as clear and powerful as ever.

"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." (Genesis 48:1-2 KJV)

Jacob reiterated to Joseph the promises of blessing that the LORD God (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see Genesis 1: In The Beginning Was The Word and The Kingdom Of The LORD God) promised to Jacob's "seed" (see Genesis 28: Jacob's Stairway To Heaven), apart from, but still included among, the LORD's blessing to all of Jacob's grandfather Abraham's "seed" (see Abraham's Seed: From The Nile To The Euphrates; see also The LORD's Seed Covenants With The Two Men Of Iraq).

Ephraim and Manasseh

"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 48:3-4 KJV)

Jacob then declared that he was henceforth adopting Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh, in effect promoting them from grandsons to sons - thereafter equal to their father Joseph as tribal patriarchs, while remaining themselves in the tribe of "Joseph" (as they were referred to later, historically and prophetically - in the same way that, for example, Jews are also Israelites). The reason for the adoption was the untimely death of Joseph's mother Rachel, with whom Jacob had wanted to have more children (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)

Jacob then formally declared the adoption with a blessing.

"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 shewed 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." (Genesis 48:8-16 KJV)

Upon seeing that the nearly-blind Jacob had crossed his arms, Joseph assumed that his father had done it unintentionally, but Jacob responded with an answer that made clear that it was the LORD, as always, who was guiding the matter - and the prophecies that would, over the coming centuries, be fulfilled by the LORD.

"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.

48:21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. 48:22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow." (Genesis 48:17-22 KJV)

Fact Finder: As stated by Jacob, he adopted Joseph's sons Ephraim and Manasseh because he wanted to have had more children with the only wife that he truly loved - Joseph's mother Rachel. What were the circumstances of her death? What prophecy regarding Rachel was fulfilled at the time of the birth of the Messiah?
See The Rachel Prophecies


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This Day In History, September 7

70: Roman Legions (see also Legions Of Men And Angels) under Titus occupied and plundered Jerusalem (see A History Of Jerusalem: Titus And The Zealots and What Did Jesus Christ Say About Those Stones?).

1087: Norman King William I, known as "William the Conqueror," died. During his reign, he produced the Domesday Book, the first exhaustive survey of England.

1191: The Battle of Arsuf during the Third Crusade (see Constantine's Crusades In History And Prophecy). Richard I of England defeated Saladin at Arsuf.

1228: During the Sixth Crusade, Holy Roman Emperor Frederick II landed in Acre, "Palestine." The Roman "Kingdom of Jerusalem" was thereafter briefly restored (see A History Of Jerusalem: Hadrian and Simon bar Kokhba and A History Of Jerusalem: Constantine and Muhammad).

1533: Queen Elizabeth I of England was born. The daughter of King Henry VIII and Anne Boleyn, her reign began with the defeat of the Spanish Armada. During her time, Britain rose to international power and prominence, beginning colonization that produced its worldwide empire of commerce and civilization over the next 400 years. A golden age for Britain, Elizabeth's contemporaries were the likes of Francis Bacon, William Shakespeare, Walter Raleigh, Francis Drake, John Hawkins, Martin Frobisher and many others.

1543: Mary, Queen of Scots was coronated.

1630: The town of Trimontaine, Massachusetts, was renamed as Boston.

1714: The Treaty of Badan was signed. It was one of the Treaties included in the Peace of Utrecht which ended the War of The Spanish Succession.

1763: King George III issued a proclamation inviting citizens of the Empire to settle in Canada. Many did, including many conservatives (hard-working, successful people of all walks of life i.e. farmers, merchants, tradesmen, educators) from the New England colonies who saw no need for a rebellion. Totaling about 1/3 of the population of the New England colonies, they were later known as United Empire Loyalists. When the U.S. invaded Canada a few years later, in the War of 1812 (1812-1814), United Empire Loyalists and their adult children and grandchildren served among the British Army and Canadian militias that successfully defended Canada from U.S. annexation (the publicly-stated goal of U.S. President James Madison when he started the war).

A plaque in Hamilton, Ontario (as well as many others across Canada) commemorates them:

United Empire Loyalists

"This monument is dedicated to the lasting memory of

THE UNITED EMPIRE LOYALISTS

Who, after the Declaration of Independence, came into British North America from the seceded American colonies and who, with faith and fortitude, and under great pioneering difficulties, largely laid the foundations of this Canadian nation as an integral part of the British Empire.

Neither confiscation of their property, the pitiless persecution of their kinsmen in revolt, nor the galling chains of imprisonment could break their spirits, or divorce them from a loyalty almost without parallel.

No country ever had such founders --

No country in the world --

No, not since the days of Abraham."

1812: Russian forces retreated from the army of Napoleon after the Battle of Borodino, near Moscow. Like Adolf Hitler 130 years later however, the invaders were eventually "stopped cold" by the Russian winter.

1822: Brazil declared independence from Portugal.

1860 "Red Shirt" forces under Giuseppe Garibaldi took Naples. The victory permitted Victor Emmanuel to become king of Italy.

1867: Adolphus abdicated as duke of Nassau and was granted 8.5 million thalers (origin of "dollars") and a few castles as compensation.

1940: During the Second World War, the Nazi "Blitz" of London began. The city was heavily bombed for 57 consecutive nights.

1953: Nikita Khrushchev became the leader ("First Secretary of the Communist Party") of the Soviet Union.

1979: The Chrysler Corporation requested $1.5 billion from the U.S. government to avoid bankruptcy.

1986: Bishop Desmond Tutu was enthroned as Archbishop of Cape Town, South Africa. He was the first black head of South Africa's Anglicans.

1988: Abdul Ahad Mohmand, the first Afghan in space, returned to earth aboard the Russian Soyuz TM-5 after 9 days on the Mir space station.

1999: A magnitude 5.9 earthquake struck Athens, Greece. Over 140 people were killed, 500 injured and 50,000 people had their homes destroyed.

2004: Hurricane Ivan killed 39 people on Grenada and destroyed 90% of the buildings on the island.

2005: Egypt held its first-ever multi-party presidential election.

2008: To delay further economic collapse of the housing industry, the U.S. Government took control of the two largest mortgage financing companies in the U.S., Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.

2012: Canada cut diplomatic ties with Iran by closing its embassy in Tehran and ordering the expulsion of Iranian diplomats from Ottawa, over support for Syria, nuclear plans and alleged rights abuses.





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