Genesis 48:16 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 48:16, NIV: the Angel who has delivered me from all harm --may he bless these boys. May they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they increase greatly on the earth.'

Genesis 48:16, ESV: the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys; and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

Genesis 48:16, KJV: 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.

Genesis 48:16, NASB: The angel who has redeemed me from all evil, Bless the boys; And may my name live on in them, And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.'

Genesis 48:16, NLT: the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm--may he bless these boys. May they preserve my name and the names of Abraham and Isaac. And may their descendants multiply greatly throughout the earth.'

Genesis 48:16, CSB: the angel who has redeemed me from all harm -- may he bless these boys. And may they be called by my name and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they grow to be numerous within the land.

What does Genesis 48:16 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob, very near death, is praying for God's blessing on Joseph's two oldest sons Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 48:1–14). In the previous verse, he has addressed his prayer to the God of Abraham and Isaac, the one who has been his own shepherd throughout his life (Genesis 48:15). Jacob's words here present a set of interesting and challenging ideas.

This verse uses the Hebrew word mal'āk, which most literally means "messenger." The equivalent term in Greek is angelos, and both are typically translated into English as "angel." In reference to God, it implies some tangible form or appearance (Genesis 16:7–13). These moments are sometimes described using the term "theophany." In this case, as a direct reference to God, it takes on a slightly different tone. Some commentators view this as foreshadowing of God's growing revelation of the Trinity.

Jacob was not shy about listing his lifelong troubles (Genesis 47:9). And yet, he realizes that God has kept him through those troubles, even when God did not keep him out of trouble. Jacob uses a common Hebrew word which can mean "injury, wickedness, or misery." The broad meaning of the term is seen in English translations which include "evil" and "harm." God has brought Jacob through all these hardships.

The man God renamed Israel (Genesis 35:9–11) asks the Lord to bless Ephraim and Manasseh the same way he has been blessed. He also asks for his family legacy to be carried on by Ephraim and Manasseh. This prayer has clearly been answered. The people known by his new name will become well known in all the world—and they remain so right up to this very day.

Finally, Jacob asks God to keep His promise to make of Jacob a great people. Specifically, he asks for them to grow into a multitude of people on the earth. Though Jacob is praying specifically for Ephraim and Manasseh, this blessing will be delivered through all of Jacob's sons as they grow into the thriving nation of Israel.