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Genesis 48:19-20

Context

48:19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a nation and he too will become great. In spite of this, his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will become a multitude 1  of nations.” 48:20 So he blessed them that day, saying,

“By you 2  will Israel bless, 3  saying,

‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 4 

1 tn Heb “fullness.”

2 tn The pronoun is singular in the Hebrew text, apparently elevating Ephraim as the more prominent of the two. Note, however, that both are named in the blessing formula that follows.

3 tn Or “pronounce a blessing.”

4 sn On the elevation of Ephraim over Manasseh see E. C. Kingsbury, “He Set Ephraim Before Manasseh,” HUCA 38 (1967): 129-36; H. Mowvley, “The Concept and Content of ‘Blessing’ in the Old Testament,” BT 16 (1965): 74-80; and I. Mendelsohn, “On the Preferential Status of the Eldest Son,” BASOR 156 (1959): 38-40.



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