The Bible Slam: Genesis Chapter 48

Jacob (aka Israel) gets sick and is soon to die.   Joseph and his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, visit him and Jacob gives a blessing to the sons, giving the more powerful "right hand" blessing to the younger of the two sons.   In giving the right hand blessing to Ephraim, the younger son, he broke the tradition of blessing the eldest, saying that Ephraim will have many more descendants.

Those familiar with the Bible stories will remember that this is somewhat typical of Jacob, who bought his older brother Esau's birthright for a bowl of soup in Genesis 25 and then, with the help of his mother, tricks his father into giving him the blessing that was intended to go to his older brother Esau (see Genesis 27).

Jacob (aka Israel) tells Joseph that God will lead Joseph back to the "land of his fathers."

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Discussion Points.

As the Skeptics Annotated version of the King James Bible points out, Joesph did not go to the land of his fathers, despite the god-inspired prophesy of Jacob/Israel.   Instead, he died in Egypt.

The Lost Tribe of Manasseh.

The descendants of Manasseh (called Menashe in the Jewish faith) were known as one of the lost tribes of Israel. Modern day descendants are headed back to Israel. Many still live in India.

The history of the exile of the lost tribe of Menashe dates back over 2500 years. Hundreds of descendants believe they have found their ancient home in Samaria.

"He (Menashe) also will become a people, and he also will be great. However, his younger brother (Ephraim) will be greater than he, and his descendants (B'nei Efrayim) will become a multitude of nations. He blessed them that day, saying, 'In you will Israel bless, saying, 'G-d make you as Ephraim and as Menashe.' He set Ephraim before Menashe" (Bereishit 48:19).

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