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In the last article, we'd learned that the Sacred Record had revealed, that Jacob had fallen seriously ill. So immediately, word about his father, would be sent to Joseph. And because of his father's deteriorating health, Joseph takes a break from his everyday official duties in order to see about his father. But he wouldn't do this alone, for he would go and gather his sons Ephraim and Manasseh.
And I'd like to think, that this move on Joseph's part made sense, for it allowed his sons, to be able to finally meet their grandfather, before he had breathed his last breathe.
Now once Joseph had arrived at his father's house with his two sons, Jacob would almost immediately claim Ephraim and Manasseh as his very own:
"Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers." -- Genesis 48:5,6
Now I'd like to think, that Jacob's action alone when it came to this part of the Sacred Record, would be considered a tremendous gift to Joseph's household. For this move on Jacob's part, allowed Joseph's sons, to be recognized as Jacob's direct descendants. And because of this, Ephraim and Manasseh are now added to the twelve tribes.
Understand, that this would be the first part, of what would be considered a great blessing -- a blessing that Jacob would directly bestow on Ephraim and Manasseh. Nonetheless, I would also like to point out at this time -- that when it came to Ephraim and Manasseh's addition to the twelve tribes, know that it doesn't add to the "tribes" number -- for they're still recognized as being twelve, and not fourteen.
Now the reason for this, deals with the fact, that Joseph and his older brother Levi, didn't have a tribe named after them. Now don't make the mistake of thinking, that this is, some sort of slight towards Joseph and Levi in any kind of way -- because it's not. For I want you to know, that Joseph's household, would be recognized through his sons Ephraim and Manasseh -- the ones that Jacob had just added to the twelve tribes.
And when it came to Levi -- understand, that he would have the honor of bringing forth the Levitical Priesthood, through his three sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And make no mistake, this would be a tremendous honor for Levi. For when it comes to the Levitical Priesthood, know that they will play a very important role, when it comes to the shaping that Israel eventually becomes, and the direction, that Israel eventually goes.
However that may have been, we now move forward...
And it's at this time, that we now find Jacob, inquiring about the two boys: "Who are these." He'd asked Joseph. "They are the sons God has given me here." Joseph responded. "Bring them to me, so I may bless them." Jacob told Joseph.
Note: It would seem that Jacob already knew of the two boys, since the Sacred Record had already indicated that he had already claimed them. But know, that Jacob hadn't met them personally as of yet. And this would be the first time, that Jacob would be able to lay eyes, and speak directly, when it came to the two boys -- instead of just hearing about them.
Now I also want you to know, that just like his father before him, Jacob's natural eyesight had became very weak, due to his old age. Now he wasn't considered blind, like his father Issac before him. But I'm only pointing this similarity out, because personally, I find it very interesting, that Jacob would now find himself in a somewhat similar position at this stage in his life -- the same stage, that he took advantage of his father, when it came to the claiming of the birthright that his brother was traditionally entitled to.
But nonetheless, I want you to also know, that there are some very important differences, when it came to Jacob and his father Isaac at this stage in their lives. Now in the next article, I will go more into these differences. But in the meantime, as we turn our attention back towards Joseph, and his two sons, Ephraim & Manasseh.
We find, that after Joseph had brought the boys closer to Jacob ( in order for him to be able to see their faces as best he possibly could -- it would be at this time, that the great patriarch would kiss and embrace the two boys: "I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too." And after Jacob had said this, Joseph removed the boys from Jacob's knees, and he began to bow down before his father, with his face to the ground.
And it's at this moment, where we find, that after Joseph had removed the boys from their grandfather's knees, and after he had bowed down before his father (Jacob). Joseph would take his son Ephraim, and place him on the left hand side of his father. And he would take his other son Manasseh, and place him on his father's right hand side.
Now I'm pointing this little detail out, because I believe that it's important to note, that Manasseh was the oldest between the two boys. So it was customary, that he be placed on the right. For it was the right side, that was seen to be more honorable -- being that it signified, some type of priority over the other. And this is why, Joseph wanted to make sure that his father saw Manasseh on that side (and this is also why, he'd placed Manasseh so close to him) being that his eyesight was very weak.
And even though Joseph had specifically placed the boys (when it came to
how he wanted them to be blessed by his father) -- the Sacred Record
makes it clear, that Jacob had other plans, for it points out what he
had done instead -- for he'd reached out his right hand, and placed it
on Ephraim's head, and then he'd crossed his arms, and placed his left
hand on the head of Manasseh. Then he'd blessed Joseph (through his
kids) by saying:
"God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, The God who has fed me all my life long to this day, The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the lads; Let my name be named upon them, And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth." -- Genesis 48:15,16
Now after Joseph had seen that Jacob had crossed his arms, in order to place his right hand on top of Ephraim's head, and not Manasseh's -- the Sacred Record reveals, that he had became very disappointed with his father. For Joseph had felt, like Jacob had made a terrible mistake, being that Manasseh was the oldest:
"When Joseph saw his father placing his right hand on Ephraim’s head he was displeased; so he took hold of his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. Joseph said to him, 'No my father, this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.'" -- Genesis 48:17,18
But Jacob refused Joseph's interference, and he told him: "I know, my son, I know. Manasseh too will become a great people, and he too will become great. Nevertheless, his younger brother Ephraim will be greater than he, and his descendants will become a group of nations." And so afterwards, Jacob blessed them by concluding: "In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing: 'May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.'" -- Genesis 48:19,20
Now also keep in mind, that basically, this last statement by Jacob, points out that Joseph was blessed as well. For we must consider the fact, that since the blessing had been bestowed upon his sons Ephraim and Manasseh -- Joseph would receive his blessing through them. So therefore, Joseph too, was blessed. And although he wasn't blessed as an individual, he would be blessed through his children.
Now that we've just learned, that Jacob had placed Ephraim ahead of his older brother Manasseh. Let's take this time, to look ahead for a brief moment... For I would like to take this moment, to show that this prophecy would eventually come true for Ephraim and Manasseh. Being that Ephraim would ultimately be greater in number, than Manasseh was:
"On the west side shall be the standard of the forces with Ephraim according to their armies, and the leader of the children of Ephraim shall be Elishama the son of Ammihud. And his army was numbered at forty-thousand and five-hundred. Next to him comes the tribe of Manasseh, and the leader of the children of Manasseh shall be Gamaliel the son of Pedahzur. And his army was numbered at thirty-two thousand and two-hundred." -- Numbers 2:18-21
I also want you to know, that when it came to Ephraim -- that he'd also
held the advantage, not only in position, but in power as well... being
that Ephraim's tribe, would end up holding the first seat from within
the tabernacle, when the Israelites were dwelling in the wilderness.
Also know, that later on, they also represented the Northern Israel
Kingdom (the ten tribes) after the house of David was divided into two
kingdoms. While the other house, would be known, as the Southern Kingdom
(the tribes of Judah and Benjamin)
Also know, that the Northern Israel Kingdom first king was the son Nebat, who was known as Jeroboam. Understand that Jeroboam had also came from the tribe of Ephraim. And with his kingship, Jeroboam would reign for twenty-two years. Also keep in mind, that Joshua, the one who'd succeeded Moses (for he was the one, that lead the Israelites from out of the wilderness and into the promise land) also came from the tribe of Ephraim as well.
Now I'd like to think, that our explorations from within the Sacred Record, allows us to see how God interacted with humanity from within the natural. I also hold true to the notion, that we gain a huge advantage as we journey throughout the Word of God. An advantage, that allows us to be able to see first hand, how God works from within people lives, when they themselves couldn't.
I also believe, that were able to see, how it's much better to obey God -- than to make the foolish mistake, of going against Him. And on top of that, we're also able to see how the prophecies from the Most High, are constantly being foretold and fulfilled to this very day.
And this is also why, I hold true to the notion, that the Holy Scriptures are a true blueprint, when it comes to identifying God and His movements -- both from within the natural and spiritual. For the Word of God reminds us, that we as Christians stand on facts... and not on hype, or superstition, like those who constantly oppose us, would claim.
For you see, I fancy the idea, that the exploration of the Sacred Record, allows us to stand confident under the promise of the New Blood Covenant, that Jesus Christ brought forth, and paid for, with the sacrifice of His natural life. Also know, that God never broke a promise -- He never broke them in Biblical times, and He doesn't break promises in modern times, and He won't break them, when our days have ended.
Now it's unfortunate, that many people run to the book of Revelation's, in order to see if the Lord's prophecies are being fulfilled, or not. But what they fail to realize, is that the same Spirit, that moved and worked through the Apostle John -- is the same Spirit, that moved and worked throughout the prophets of old. And if we would simply learn to be patient, and humble ourselves, I'd like to think, that we'll be able to see how God's Word, has been constantly (and continued to be) confirmed throughout human history.
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108) Jacob Becomes Ill
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115) The Tribe of Kings