Genesis Bible Study: Chapter 48–50
The end of the story
Jacob now known as Israel is now old and grey.
He’s losing his eye sight and he’s about to die.
So he called Joseph to bring his two sons to him, Manasseh and Ephraim.
Israel adopts the two children as his own and blesses them.
Joseph put his first born Manasseh by his father’s right hand and the second born Ephraim by his father’s left side
But then something weird happened, Israel took his left hand and put it on Manasseh’s head and put his right hand on Ephraim’s head
Traditionally, the right had more blessings so to speak and was for the first born
Joseph quickly tried to correct his father’s ‘mistake’ but then it wasn’t really a mistake.
“But his father refused. “I know, my son; I know,” he replied. “Manasseh will also become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. And his descendants will become a multitude of nations.” So Jacob blessed the boys that day with this blessing:
“The people of Israel will use your names when they give a blessing. They will say, ‘May God make you as prosperous as Ephraim and Manasseh.’” In this way, Jacob put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.”
Genesis 48:19–20 NLT
Once again, God is going against protocols and He’s blessing the 2nd born more than the first.
We’ve seen this narrative many times:
Abel was preferred over Cain
Jacob over Esau
Isaac over Ishmael
Perez over Zerah
Wahala for me that is a first born o :’(
GOD DOES NOT FOLLOW HUMAN PROTOCOL. He does His things the way He wants, when He wants. He doesn’t follow human order. This is one of the characteristics of God, to do extraordinarily seemingly impossible things. If He worked in the way you’d expect then you wouldn’t need faith anymore. And without faith it is IMPOSSIBLE to please God.
“My thoughts are nothing like your thoughts,” says the Lord. “And my ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so my ways are higher than your ways and my thoughts higher than your thoughts.”
Isaiah 55:8–9 NLT
“Jesus looked at them intently and said, “Humanly speaking, it is impossible. But with God everything is possible.”
Matthew 19:26 NLT
“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us,”
Ephesians 3:20 NKJV
“And it is impossible to please God without faith. Anyone who wants to come to Him must believe that God exists and that He rewards those who sincerely seek Him.”
Hebrews 11:6 NLT
Israel’s last words
Israel’s sons gathered at his death bed and one by one, he blessed them.
To Reuben he took away his rights as the first born son as punishment for his offense, which was sleeping with his father’s wife.
To Simon and Levi, he cursed them for their anger and the way they killed the men in Shechem. He said that they wouldn’t have any land designated to them and their descendants would be scattered.
This eventually came to pass, however the Lord had mercy on the descendants of Levi, the Levites and he made them to be priests in His temple.
I’d like to pay special attention to what he said to Judah
“Judah, your brothers will praise you. You will grasp your enemies by the neck. All your relatives will bow before you. Judah, my son, is a young lion that has finished eating its prey. Like a lion he crouches and lies down; like a lioness — who dares to rouse him? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants, until the coming of the one to whom it belongs, the one whom all nations will honor.”
Genesis 49:8–10 NLT
The Kings of Israel were from the tribe of Judah.
Jesus came from the tribe of Judah, He was the one that was prophesied as the one who all nations will honor.
But wait, why would God allow His son to come from Judah’s bloodline?
Ya’ll remember Judah that slept with his daughter in law while thinking she was a prostitute? Yes. That Judah.
Just see the way God does His things.
Reuben’s kingdom rights as first born were taken from him and given to Judah.
Simeon or Levi were to be the next to inherit it, but they lost out on it because of their anger issues.
After Israel blessed the rest of his sons, he took his last breath and died.
Israel made his sons promise to bury him in Canaan in the lad Abraham bought as a familial burial ground and they did as he asked.
They mourned for their father greatly, especially Joseph.
After Israel died, his brothers were afraid that Joseph would kill them, and they asked for forgiveness of the sin they committed years ago. Joseph had already forgiven them, but he assured them that he wouldn’t bring harm to them.
Joseph lived till he was 110, he told his brothers to make sure they take his bones and bury him in the promised land when God eventually leads them out of Egypt.
So Joseph died at 110 years, his body was embalmed and kept in a coffin in Egypt.
I have honestly enjoyed these few weeks of bible study. I hope you have to.
Do you want me to continue?