What does Genesis 48:11 mean?
ESV: And Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also.”
NIV: Israel said to Joseph, 'I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.'
NASB: And Israel said to Joseph, 'I never expected to see your face, and behold, God has let me see your children as well!'
CSB: Israel said to Joseph, "I never expected to see your face again, but now God has even let me see your offspring."
NLT: Then Jacob said to Joseph, 'I never thought I would see your face again, but now God has let me see your children, too!'
KJV: And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath shewed me also thy seed.
NKJV: And Israel said to Joseph, “I had not thought to see your face; but in fact, God has also shown me your offspring!”
Verse Commentary:
Joseph's two oldest sons, Ephraim and Manasseh (Genesis 41:50–52) are receiving a blessing from their grandfather, Jacob. In fact, Jacob made the two his own sons, ensuring that Joseph's family will receive a double portion of the inheritance (Genesis 48:1–10). Jacob has embraced and kissed Joseph's sons. Now he pauses to appreciate the moment.

For over 20 years, Jacob had thought Joseph was dead, killed by a wild animal (Genesis 37:31–34). He had lived in overwhelming grief (Genesis 37:35). He acknowledges that the end of all these experiences is God's great gift to him. Not only was he reunited with Joseph, but God has also allowed him to live long enough to see Joseph's offspring.
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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