What does Genesis 48:10 mean?
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
NKJV: Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. Then Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them.
Verse Commentary:
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.
Verse Context:
Genesis 48:1–22 describes the blessing Jacob pronounces over Joseph's oldest two sons. Significantly, Jacob claims Joseph's two oldest sons as his own, ensuring that each will receive a full portion of his inheritance. This means Joseph's family will receive a double portion. Jacob blesses the pair with a prayer for God's blessing in their lives as he himself has experienced it.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 48 describes Jacob's deathbed blessing of Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. In a surprising move, Jacob claims Joseph's two oldest boys as his own. This makes each a full heir. The result is that Joseph's family will receive a double portion of the inheritance. Jacob prays for them to receive many of the blessings God has given to him during his long life. In another twist, Jacob gives greater blessing to the younger of his two grandsons.
Chapter Context:
Despite a long, difficult life, Jacob survives another 17 years after moving to Egypt. The suffering of his son, Joseph, resulted in the salvation of his family line. Now truly at the end of his days, Jacob claims Joseph's oldest two sons as his own—giving them full rights to a portion of his inheritance. The following chapters will include Jacob's remaining blessings for his sons, and a description of the death and burials of both Jacob and Joseph.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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