Summary of passage: Israel requested to be buried in the Promised Land. When Jacob was old, Joseph and his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, went to visit him. Jacob repeated God’s promise to him and he reckons Joseph’s two sons as his to share in this blessing and inheritance. Jacob blesses the two boys, giving the firstborn blessings to the younger.
Joseph was displeased that Jacob blessed the younger son over the older son but Jacob insisted, saying he will be greater than his brother. Thus Ephraim was put ahead of Manasseh.
Jacob says God will take him soon back to the Promised Land and he gives Joseph the land he took from the Amorites.
10a) Joseph obtained the rights of the firstborn when Reuben defiled his father’s marriage bed. Then Jacob substitutes Joseph for his two sons, thus giving Joseph double the inheritance.
b) Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over Reuben
11) Personal Question. My answer: To be honest, none stand out.
13) Personal Question. My answer: Verse 19 where Jacob clearly says the younger will be greater than the older. Talk about setting up sibling rivalry.
14) He asks to be buried in the Promised Land (47:30). He repeats God’s covenant (48:4). He says Joseph’s two sons will inherit the territory from God (48:6). He tells Joseph that God will take him back to the Promised Land ( 48:21) and gives him some land he conquered there (48:22).
Conclusions: Didn’t get much out of this besides the fact Jacob finally believed God, which we found out a while back. Great example of how life isn’t fair and just because you are born first doesn’t mean you are automatically granted privileges. You have to earn it and all the aforementioned first-borns forfeited theirs.
Thus, we can think of the firstborn more as the first position and not necessarily birth order as we’ve seen throughout Genesis.
With this adoption, there are actually 13 tribes/sons of Israel as Joseph’s inheritance is now divided into two.
I wish the Bible said why Jacob gave Joseph’s two sons the inheritance when he did this for no other. I’m assuming because Joseph is his favorite and as the favorite you are accorded special privileges. Not saying this is right but this is the way of the world.
We know that the right hand is the favored position as exhibited the best by Jesus sitting at the right hand of God.
The story of Joseph is a great parallel to Jesus’s and I wish BSF would have spent more time drawing that comparison out in the questions.
End Notes: Luz is another name for Bethel.
Fun Search: Do research on the number 12 in the Bible. 12 is special to God as seen with 12 sons and 12 disciples, etc.
Fun Fact: This is the first mention in the Bible of God as a shepherd to His people (Genesis 48:15).