Jacob is now 147 and has lived 17 years in Egypt after being reunited with Joseph, but now his eyes have failed and he is weak and dying. Torah and Yasher covers Jacob’s last words to his sons and grand-sons (his seed). Some of Jacob’s last words are blessings, some are rebukes, and some are instructions to his sons for after he is gone.
In Jacob’s last words to his grand-sons (who appear to be twins), and against the wishes of their father Joseph, he sets the younger over the elder. I believe that this is a shadow picture of the second born, spiritual man ruling over the first-born, man of the flesh which we find so often in the scriptures. Here are a few examples.
- Able replaces Cain
- Isaac replaces Ishmael as firstborn
- Jacob replaces Esau as firstborn
- Joseph replaces Reuben; Joseph received the “double blessing” which usually goes to the 1st born.
- Ephraim replaces Manasseh as firstborn
- Kohath replaces Gershon (Gen 46:11)
Ephraim and Manasseh learned the ways of Yehovah in the house of Jacob, and in Genesis 48 Jacob even seems to claim them as his own sons.
Yasher 55:35 Ephraim and Manasseh, remained constantly in the house of Jacob, together with the sons of the sons of Jacob their brethren, to learn the ways of Yehovah and his law.
And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. (Gen 48:5)
Why else would the twins be listed with Jacob’s sons and become the fathers of two of the twelve tribes who inherit land in Canaan? Continue reading Jacob’s Last Words