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Genesis 48:8-13

Context

48:8 When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he asked, “Who are these?” 48:9 Joseph said to his father, “They are the 1  sons God has given me in this place.” His father 2  said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.” 3  48:10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing 4  because of his age; he was not able to see well. So Joseph 5  brought his sons 6  near to him, and his father 7  kissed them and embraced them. 48:11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected 8  to see you 9  again, but now God has allowed me to see your children 10  too.”

48:12 So Joseph moved them from Israel’s knees 11  and bowed down with his face to the ground. 48:13 Joseph positioned them; 12  he put Ephraim on his right hand across from Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh on his left hand across from Israel’s right hand. Then Joseph brought them closer to his father. 13 

1 tn Heb “my.”

2 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Joseph’s father) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

3 tn The cohortative with prefixed vav (ו) indicates purpose after the imperative.

4 tn Heb “heavy.”

sn The disjunctive clause provides supplemental information that is important to the story. The weakness of Israel’s sight is one of several connections between this chapter and Gen 27. Here there are two sons, and it appears that the younger is being blessed over the older by a blind old man. While it was by Jacob’s deception in chap. 27, here it is with Jacob’s full knowledge.

5 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

6 tn Heb “them”; the referent (Joseph’s sons) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

7 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Joseph’s father) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

8 tn On the meaning of the Hebrew verb פָּלַל (palal) here, see E. A. Speiser, “The Stem pll in Hebrew,” JBL 82 (1963): 301-6. Speiser argues that this verb means “to estimate” as in Exod 21:22.

9 tn Heb “your face.”

10 tn Heb “offspring.”

11 tn Heb “and Joseph brought them out from with his knees.” The two boys had probably been standing by Israel’s knees when being adopted and blessed. The referent of the pronoun “his” (Israel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

12 tn Heb “and Joseph took the two of them.”

13 tn Heb “and he brought near to him.” The referents of the pronouns “he” and “him” (Joseph and his father respectively) have been specified in the translation for clarity.



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