Genesis 48:10 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 48:10, NIV: "Now Israel's eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see. So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them."

Genesis 48:10, ESV: "Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them."

Genesis 48:10, KJV: "Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them."

Genesis 48:10, NASB: "Now the eyes of Israel were so dim from age that he could not see. And Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed them and embraced them."

Genesis 48:10, NLT: "Jacob was half blind because of his age and could hardly see. So Joseph brought the boys close to him, and Jacob kissed and embraced them."

Genesis 48:10, CSB: "Now his eyesight was poor because of old age; he could hardly see. Joseph brought them to him, and he kissed and embraced them."

What does Genesis 48:10 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob is on his deathbed. The time has come for him to give his final blessing to his sons (Genesis 48:1–9). This is more than just well wishes or a prayer. These blessings will carry both a legal weight, in terms of the division and distribution of property, as well as a spiritual one. It is highly significant that Jacob has claimed Joseph's two oldest sons as his own. Doing so means that Joseph's family will receive both the birthright and the family blessing instead of Jacob's oldest direct sons Reuben and Simeon.

Now that the moment of the actual blessing has come, we are told Jacob is nearly blind. There is a sense of irony in this moment. Many years earlier, Jacob had deceived his own, blind father, in order to steal a blessing meant for his older brother (Genesis 27:19; 30–35). He has asked Joseph to officially identify Ephraim and Manasseh and to bring them to him. Joseph does so, leading his full-grown sons closer to his own father, serving as the connection point for this blessing.

Jacob responds by reaching out and embracing both Ephraim and Manasseh. He kisses them. His father Isaac, also, when giving the blessing to Jacob—whom he thought to be Esau—had kissed him (Genesis 27:26–27). Perhaps these embraces and kisses were part of the process of pronouncing the blessing, or perhaps Jacob felt great affection for Joseph's sons.