1. Some time later, Joseph was informed, 'Your father has been taken ill.' So he took with him his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim.

2. When Jacob was told, 'Look, your son Joseph has come to you,' Israel, summoning his strength, sat up in bed.

3. 'El Shaddai appeared to me at Luz in Canaan,' Jacob told Joseph, 'and he blessed me,

4. saying to me, "I shall make you fruitful and numerous, and shall make you into an assembly of peoples and give this country to your descendants after you, to own in perpetuity."

5. Now your two sons, born to you in Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, shall be mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be as much mine as Reuben and Simeon.

6. But with regard to the children you have had since them, they shall be yours, and they shall be known by their brothers' names for the purpose of their inheritance.

7. 'When I was on my way from Paddan, to my sorrow death took your mother Rachel from me in Canaan, on the journey while only a short distance from Ephrath. I buried her there on the road to Ephrath -- now Bethlehem.'

8. When Israel saw Joseph's two sons, he asked, 'Who are these?'

9. 'They are my sons, whom God has given me here,' Joseph told his father. 'Then bring them to me', he said, 'so that I may bless them.'

10. Now, Israel's eyes were dim with age, and he could not see. So Joseph made them come closer to him and he kissed and embraced them.

11. Then Israel said to Joseph, 'I did not think I should ever see you again, and now God has let me see your children as well!'

12. Then Joseph took them from his lap and bowed to the ground.

13. Then Joseph took the two of them, Ephraim with his right hand so that he should be on Israel's left, and Manasseh with his left hand, so that he should be on Israel's right, and brought them close to him.

14. But Israel held out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, the younger, and his left on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands -- Manasseh was, in fact, the elder.

15. Then he blessed Joseph saying: May the God in whose presence my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd from my birth until this day,

16. the Angel who has saved me from all harm, bless these boys, so that my name may live on in them, and the names of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac, and they grow into teeming multitudes on earth!

17. Joseph saw that his father was laying his right hand on the head of Ephraim, and this he thought was wrong, so he took his father's hand and tried to shift it from the head of Ephraim to the head of Manasseh.

18. Joseph protested to his father, 'Not like that, father! This one is the elder; put your right hand on his head.'

19. But his father refused. 'I know, my son, I know,' he said. 'He too shall become a people; he too will be great. But his younger brother will be greater, his offspring will be sufficient to constitute nations.'

20. So he blessed them that day, saying: By you shall Israel bless itself, saying, 'God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!' putting Ephraim before Manasseh.

21. Then Israel said to Joseph, 'Now I am about to die. But God will be with you and take you back to the land of your ancestors.

22. As for me, I give you a Shechem more than your brothers, the one I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.'

Livros sugeridos

“O Senhor se comunica conosco à medida que nos libertamos do nosso apego aos sentidos, que sacrificamos nossa vontade própria e que edificamos nossa vida na humildade.” São Padre Pio de Pietrelcina


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