5 “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. 6 Any children born to you after them will be yours; in the territory they inherit they will be reckoned under the names of their brothers. 7 As I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).
8 When Israel saw the sons of Joseph, he asked, “Who are these?”
9 “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.”
10 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.
11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your children too.”
12 Then Joseph removed them from Israel’s knees and bowed down with his face to the ground. 13 And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel’s left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim’s head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn. Genesis 48:5-14
This switching of the blessings was generational. I believe this is the fourth time we’ve seen this, where the younger child is blessed instead of the older one.
As we’ll discover later, Jacob did it intentionally even though his eyesight was failing. He had his reasons to bless the younger child, but we don’t know what they were.
How many times have you been in a situation where you thought you understood someone’s motives only to find out they were completely different than what you thought? And the reasons the person did it were entirely reasonable. We’ve all done it. In the broad sense we were judging a book by its cover without really delving into a person’s motives.
Each person we come in contact with has reasons for why they do things. We may have known this person for year or for a few seconds, but why they do something may not match what you think about it.
The point I’m trying to make is we should be very careful to judge the motives of other people without first speaking with them. In other words, we often jump to conclusions faster than we should. It’s not malicious at all. It’s just a normal way of analyzing what others do.
Still, a quick conversation can go a long way.