corner graphic

Bible Commentaries

John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible

Genesis 48



Verses 1-22

Jacob Blesses Manasseh and Ephraim, the Sons of Joseph

He adopts them as his own sons with privileges equal to the others, thus making them heads of distinct tribes. By so doing he gives to Joseph, the eldest son of Rachel, whom he probably regarded as his true wife, the position of firstborn with a double portion of his inheritance. From the time of Moses we find Ephraim and Manasseh giving their names to tribes (Numbers 1), which received territory on the conquest of Canaan.

3. Luz] or Bethel: see on Genesis 28:19.

6. Any other children of Joseph would be reckoned as belonging to the tribes of Ephraim or Manasseh.

7. By me] RM 'to my sorrow.' The mention of Rachel here may be only a fond reminiscence called forth by the presence of her grandchildren. But the v. would be perhaps more appropriately placed after Genesis 49:31, where Jacob is speaking of the burial of his ancestors and of Leah.

13, 14. Joseph had so arranged his sons that Manasseh, as the first-born, would receive his father's right hand in the act of blessing; but Jacob, 'guiding his hands wittingly 'as taught by God, transferred that honour to the younger Ephraim, thus prophetically declaring the future superiority of that tribe: see Genesis 48:19. Owing to its preëminence the northern kingdom of Israel was often called Ephraim by the prophets, e.g. Isaiah 11 Ezekiel 37.

22. Portion] RM 'mountain slope '(Heb. shechem). The reference is to Shechem in the mountainous territory of Ephraim. Jacob gives Shechem to Joseph as his advantage over the others. The acquiring of Shechem by Jacob by force of arms represents a different tradition to that mentioned in Genesis 33, 34.


Copyright Statement
These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Dummelow, John. "Commentary on Genesis 48:4". "John Dummelow's Commentary on the Bible". 1909.

Commentary Navigator
Search This Commentary
Enter query in the box below
To report dead links, typos, or html errors or suggestions about making these resources more useful use our convenient contact form
Powered by Lightspeed Technology