Genesis 48: An Odd history of Blessings

Genesis 48: An Odd history of Blessings

Journey through the Book of Genesis with me.  The plan is simple. Read ONE chapter a day. Blog or journal 5* things you learned that you previously didn't know and ask 5* questions about the chapter that you'll ponder all week. Let's go!

** You'll probably learn way more than 5 things and have more than 5 questions about each chapter. That's totally fine. The more the merrier! 

GENESIS 48:1-22


QUESTION 1: Why was Jacob inspired to adopt Joseph's sons as his, on par with Reuben and Simeon? 

QUESTION 2: If Jacob could not see because he was going blind, how did he discern to cross hands and bless the younger over the older? 

QUESTION 3: Was Jacob's action in blessing Joseph's sons unconventionally merely motivated by his earlier experiences in life or was it a Spirit-led decision? Is so, at what point did the Spirit of God help him discern this action?

QUESTION 4: In Jacob's blessing in verse 15 and 16, he makes a distinction between, "The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked... the God who has been my shepherd all my life long to this day," [and] "the angel who has redeemed me from all evil". In elevating "the angel" to the level of praise that he gives God, did Jacob understand this angel to also be a deity? (The pre-incarnate Christ?)

QUESTION 5: How would Manasseh have received the news that his younger brother was being "blessed" with the firstborn rights that should have been his? Did this result in insecurity in his or animosity as had been the case between Esau and Jacob? 


INSIGHT 1: Jacob is the only patriarch to see the beginning of the fulfillment of God's Abrahamic promise. He lived long enough (147 years) to see his son's families be "fruitful and multiply greatly." (Genesis 47:27-28)

INSIGHT 2: There is a similarity in the unconventional manner in which all the patriarchs bless their sons. 

  • In Genesis 16, we learn that Ishmael was born first to Abraham, yet Isaac is the one who receives the first-born blessing (Genesis 25:5).
  • In Genesis 27, we learn that Isaac had twin son, but Esau came out first, thus becoming the firstborn. Yet, Jacob schemes his way into receiving the blessing of the firstborn (Genesis 27:19).
  • Jacob's firstborn was Reuben (Genesis 29:32), but due to his sinful actions in Genesis 35:22-23, he is denied the prominence as firstborn, and that role passed on to Joseph (1 Chronicles 5:1-2)
  • Here in Genesis 48, though Manasseh is the first born of Joseph, Jacob blesses Ephraim (his younger brother) with the rights of the firstborn.

INSIGHT 3: Jacob's blessing of the younger over the older must have struck him as a strange turn of events considering this similar scenario played out with him and his brother, Esau. 

Husband. Dad. Pastor. Nigerian American. Storyteller. Aspiring Prayer Warrior. Steak Lover. Follower of Jesus Christ reminding you that God the Father still loves you.