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Saturday, October 6 2018
A Bible Journey, 48: Ephraim and Manasseh
"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. And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance"
Jacob / Israel (see A Bible Journey, 32: Thy Name Shall Be Called No More Jacob, But Israel) took refuge in Egypt to escape a great famine and drought in his birthplace in the land of Canaan. He was at that time the elderly patriarch of a family (his children and grandchildren) of about seventy people (see A Bible Journey, 46: The Family At The Heart Of A Nation).
Egypt became the third country that welcomed and accepted the foreigner Jacob (they weren't "foreign countries" - Jacob was the foreigner in them) - the land of Canaan (see Hometowns: Hebron), Syria (see A Bible Journey, 29: Israel's Syria Origin) and then Egypt where he died (see Jacob's Mummy).
Jacob's son Joseph had himself become a father in Egypt. He married an Egyptian woman (see The Mothers Of The Patriarchs: Asenath) who became the mother of Manasseh and Ephraim (stated by their order of birth). When elderly Jacob realized that his time of death was approaching, he summoned Joseph - who brought Manasseh and Ephraim with him.
"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.
Jacob reminded Joseph of the promises of blessing that the LORD God (Who was and is Jesus Christ; see The Real Jesus: The Word Of The LORD God) promised to Jacob's "seed," 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).
"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 legally adopting Joseph's sons Manasseh and Ephraim, 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 and tragic 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.
Jacob then formally sealed the adoption with a blessing.
"48:8 And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these?
But there seemed to be a problem. 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.
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?
This Day In History
This Day In History, October 6
69 BC: The Battle of Tigranocerta. Forces of the Roman Republic (see The Politics Of Rome) defeated the army of the Kingdom of Armenia led by King Tigranes the Great.
101: The Battle of Arausio. Germanic tribes (Cimbri and Teutoni) defeated a Roman army in what is today southern France. Germany eventually became the Roman Empire (see The Holy Roman Empire Of The German Nation).
1014: The Byzantine Emperor Basil earned the title "Slayer of Bulgers" after he ordered the blinding of 15,000 Bulgerian troops.
1520: German reformer Martin Luther published "Prelude on the Babylonian Captivity of the Church," his famous writing which attacked the entire "sacramental system" (i.e. dead works declared sacred) of the Catholic Church.
1536: English Holy Bible publisher William Tyndale was burned at the stake as a heretic after being arrested near Brussels, Belgium (see also Isaac: Rising From The Ashes).
1762: During the Seven Years' War, the Battle of Manila between Britain and Spain ended; it resulted in the British occupation of Manila for the rest of the war.
1854: In England, the Great fire of Newcastle and Gateshead began. It resulted in 53 deaths and hundreds of injuries.
1866: Canadian inventor Reginald Aubrey Fessendon, sometimes described as "the forgotten genius" (as committed by other "inventors" who later claimed Fessendon's legally-documented inventions as their own) was born, near East Bolton, Quebec. His most important invention was the wireless telephone, which preceded modern radio and cell phones. He also invented the first wireless compass and the fathometer. He received hundreds of patents for inventions involving high-powered transmitting, sonar, and television - long before they were "invented" by others who became famous for them.
1908: Bosnia and Herzegovina were annexed by Austria (see also The Assassination That Triggered Two World Wars).
1955: The German Democratic Republic (East Germany) became officially sovereign by agreement with the Soviet Union.
1973: Israel's Yom Kippur War began. On the Day of Atonement, Egypt (under Anwar Sadat) attacked Israeli southern positions on the east bank of the Suez while Syrian, Iraqi and Jordanian forces simultaneously attacked Israeli northern positions on the Golan heights. Although early Arab success was soon slowed by fierce resistance by Israeli troops, U.S. President Richard Nixon, concerned that Israel would use its nuclear weapons (on the second day of the war, Israel's defense minister Moshe Dayan urged Prime Minister Golda Meir to use nuclear weapons) ordered an immediate emergency airlift of U.S. weapons to Israel. Despite winning the fourth major Israeli-Arab conflict since 1948, the cost to Israel was very high - 5,500 dead or wounded, 800 tanks lost (see Israel's Wars In The Twentieth Century; also Jordan's West Bank Invasion and Israel's Wars With The Palestinians).
1976: Cubana de Aviacion Flight 455 from Barbados to Jamaica was destroyed in flight by a CIA-sponsored terrorist attack. It was the deadliest terrorist airline attack in the Western Hemisphere up to that time. All 78 people aboard the Cuban airliner were killed. Most of the accused terrorists who were identified were given refuge in the U.S.
1978: Ayatollah Khomeini, a fanatical Iranian religious leader opposed to the Shah, was granted asylum in France after being expelled from Iran. Khomeini later returned to become Iran's hardline leader when the Shah was overthrown and was himself expelled from Iran. Khomeini claimed that the Shah of Iran was merely a U.S. puppet and that most U.S. diplomats in Iran were CIA agents (accusations later proven true) - claims that fueled the Iranian revolution, which included the takeover of the U.S. Embassy and "the hostage crisis."
1981: President Anwar Sadat of Egypt was assassinated at age 63 by 4 Egyptian soldiers who suddenly broke from a military parade and opened fire on the Presidential reviewing stand. Anwar Sadat had been a signer of the Camp David Peace Accord with Israel in 1978 for which he was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize with Israeli Prime Minister Menachem Begin.
1986: A crippled Soviet nuclear submarine sank in the Atlantic Ocean about 2,000 km. east of New York after a fire and explosion aboard the sub 3 days earlier.
1995: Astronomers Michel Mayor and Didier Queloz of the Geneva Observatory in Switzerland announced the discovery of a planet orbiting 51 Pegasi, the first planet discovered orbiting a solar-type star.