14 And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn.
15 And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,
16 The Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.
17 And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head unto Manasseh’s head.
18 And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head.
19 And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.
20 And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
21 And Israel said unto Joseph, Behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers.
22 Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.
K.J.V. Bible Text
Although Joseph placed his elder son Manasseh on his father’s right side and the younger, Ephraim, on his left, Israel crossed his arms in order to put his right hand upon Ephraim’s head. Joseph was displeased and tried to place his father’s right hand upon Manasseh’s head, telling him that Manasseh was first-born.
Israel countered that Manasseh would become great as well but that Ephraim, the younger, would be greater. He told Joseph that Ephraim descendants would become a group of nations. Israel blessed his grandsons, giving Ephraim preference.
He then asked a blessing upon Joseph asking that God lead him back to the land of his fathers. He also gave Joseph an extra ridge of land beyond what was given to his brothers. To Joseph he gave the ridge he had taken by warfare from the Amorites.
It’s obvious to me that Israel did not give Joseph the extra portion of land out of need. It was a gesture of affection and perhaps recompense for Joseph having been sold into slavery by his brothers.
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