Genesis 48:1-4 – Jacob’s servant sensing that his death was near called for his son Joseph to come to his side. Joseph came with his two sons that they too might be with their grandfather in his last days. The other sons no doubt were also called. When Jacob learned that Joseph was coming he summoned his strength and sat up on his bed. Jacob then shared with Joseph his call and how God had appeared to him confirming to him the promises made to his father Isaac and his grandfather Abraham. Jacob would become a multitude of people and that the land of Canaan would be their inheritance in perpetuity.
Genesis 48:5-7 – Here we see that Jacob considers the sons of Joseph as his own and in essence placing them in the place of Reuben and Simeon. Jacob has always considered Joseph to be as his first born since he was the first born of the wife he truly loved and the only wife that he wanted, Rachel. Joseph in Jacob’s mind should not only be the first born, in fact if it were not for Laban he would have been, but Joseph earned the right to be considered the first born by his actions. This too is like Yeshua (Philippians 2:8-9). The transfer of the right of the first born was given because of Reuben’s failure (1 Chronicles 5:1).
Genesis 48:8-12 -The sons of Joseph approached Jacob and probably because of poor eyesight he did not recognize them. When Jacob realized they were his grandsons whom he just made as his own sons he embraced them tenderly and kissed them. Jacob praised God that he was not only able to see Joseph but his son’s as well. In reverence, respect and thanksgiving Joseph bows down before his father.
Genesis 48:13-20 – Here is the first reference in the Bible to God as shepherd (Genesis 48:15). In Genesis 48:16 the word “delivered” in NIV or “redeemed” in NASB is the Hebrew word goel, first used here in the Bible, means “to save” or “to be a savior or deliverer.” See also Exodus 6:6 and Isaiah 59:20, which speak of God as redeeming His people. The angel of Genesis 48:16 is the angel of the Lord, a theophany, an appearance of God in flesh. In Genesis 16:9 we have the first manifestation of this “Angel of the Lord.
He here speaks as God, identifies Himself with God, and claims to exercise the prerogatives of God. See Genesis 16:7-14;21:17-21;22:11-18;31:11,13;Exodus 3:2; Judges 2:1-4;5:23;6:11-24;13:3-22;2 Samuel 24:16;Zechariah 1:12;3:1;12:8. Because the angel of the Lord ceases to appear after the birth of Jesus, we infer that the angel in the OT is a pre-incarnate appearance of Yeshua.
Joseph then brings his sons to Jacob to receive his blessing on them. Manasseh was the oldest and so Joseph directs him to Jacob’s right hand and Ephraim to his left. Jacob however crosses his hands over so that his right hand is place on Ephraim. Interestingly Joseph is upset because he wants his first born to have the right of the first born, but once again God, through Jacob determines who will have the right of the first born.
Again God bypassed the older son (Manasseh) in favor of the younger (Ephraim), just as was done in the cases of choosing Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, and Joseph over Reuben. After the division of the kingdom in the days of Jeroboam, the tribe of Ephraim (as predicted in V. 19) did become dominant in the north after the Kingdom of Israel split in 900 B.C. and the name Ephraim was equated with Israel (see 1 Kings 12:19,25; Isaiah 7:2; Hosea 4:17;13:1).
Genesis 48:21-22 – Jacob ends his benediction professing faith that God would bring him back to the land promised to him and his fathers. Jacob did return to the land but not alive, and yet he saw himself as one who would receive the Promised Land (Hebrews 11:8-10). Jacob also gives to Joseph a significant piece of land which he had won in a battle with the Amorites. It is this piece of land that is referred to in (John 4:5).