Genesis 48:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 48:2, NIV: When Jacob was told, 'Your son Joseph has come to you,' Israel rallied his strength and sat up on the bed.

Genesis 48:2, ESV: And it was told to Jacob, “Your son Joseph has come to you.” Then Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.

Genesis 48:2, KJV: And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.

Genesis 48:2, NASB: When it was told to Jacob, 'Behold, your son Joseph has come to you,' Israel collected his strength and sat up in the bed.

Genesis 48:2, NLT: When Joseph arrived, Jacob was told, 'Your son Joseph has come to see you.' So Jacob gathered his strength and sat up in his bed.

Genesis 48:2, CSB: When Jacob was told, "Your son Joseph has come to you," Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.

What does Genesis 48:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Jacob is ill and approaching the end of his life. Though he has expected to die for some time (Genesis 47:9) and made preparations (Genesis 47:29–31), this truly marks the last moments of his life. Joseph has arrived with his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim (Genesis 41:50–52), so Jacob can bless them, as was the custom.

This verse notes that Jacob is told that Joseph has arrived. This implies several possibilities. One is that it reflects how near to death Jacob is. As one might do in a hospital room, the bedridden person is told who is coming prior to them entering. This allows Jacob to get ready. It also reflects the fact that Jacob is nearly blind (Genesis 48:10). Likewise, the text says that sitting up in bed required significant effort. In any case, Jacob sits up to interact with Joseph and his sons more appropriately.