Genesis 48:9 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 48:9, NIV: "They are the sons God has given me here,' Joseph said to his father. Then Israel said, 'Bring them to me so I may bless them.'"

Genesis 48:9, ESV: "Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” And he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.”"

Genesis 48:9, KJV: "And Joseph said unto his father, They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, Bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them."

Genesis 48:9, NASB: "And Joseph said to his father, 'They are my sons, whom God has given me here.' So he said, 'Bring them to me, please, so that I may bless them.'"

Genesis 48:9, NLT: "'Yes,' Joseph told him, 'these are the sons God has given me here in Egypt.' And Jacob said, 'Bring them closer to me, so I can bless them.'"

Genesis 48:9, CSB: "And Joseph said to his father, "They are my sons God has given me here."So Israel said, "Bring them to me and I will bless them.""

What does Genesis 48:9 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joseph has just learned from his dying father Jacob that his own two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, will receive the family blessing. In fact, Jacob has claimed Joseph's sons as his own to make this possible. He has also elevated them to the rank of his own firstborn sons. As a result, Joseph's family will receive the birthright and the blessing (Genesis 48:1–7). This change from the natural birth rank is just as Jacob received blessing ahead of his older brother, Esau. In that case, however, Jacob's blessing came under false pretense. He lied to his blind father, disguising himself (Genesis 27:19; 30–35) and taking what was meant for someone else.

Now Jacob has asked Joseph to identify his two oldest sons. Joseph refers to the pair as God's gift to him. God gave them to him "here," meaning in Egypt where Joseph was held first as a slave (Genesis 37:28) and then elevated to the second most powerful position in the nation (Genesis 41:44). In fact, Joseph had named his sons as recognition that God had cared for him and blessed him, even in Egypt (Genesis 41:50–52).

Satisfied that the two young men are really Joseph's sons, Jacob asks Joseph to bring them to him so that he can bless them. The picture is of Joseph serving as the point of connection between his sons and his father. Ephraim and Manasseh were born before the seven years of famine began, and it has been seventeen years since Jacob moved to Egypt (Genesis 47:28). This would make them both late teenagers at the youngest, possible even well into their twenties, but Jacob still wished for Joseph to formally present them to him for the blessing.