_ It was customary to give the firstborn son a double portion of your inheritance. In a sense, Jacob makes Joseph his firstborn instead of Reuben in Genesis 48:5. He “adopts” Joseph’s two firstborn sons and thereby allots each of them a portion of his inheritance. In other words, Joseph’s family received a double portion.
As you read the rest of chapter 48 and all of 49, it becomes apparent that Jacob understands clearly how the blessing of the LORD from a father works. It isn’t about saying some nice words that people want to hear, but releasing what God wants released by speaking His decree. Genesis 49:28 (ESV) says, “All these are the twelve tribes of Israel. This is what their father said to them as he blessed them, blessing each with the blessing suitable to him.”
Genesis 49:33 says, “When Jacob finished commanding his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed and breathed his last and was gathered to his people.” I don’t know what to say, but wow! What a way to end your course; releasing the prophetic blessing to the next generations with your last breaths.
Read through the Bible with us in 2012! The reading plan can be downloaded below; we are reading in chronological order. Check back often to read the blog posts on the Bible readings and discuss things in the "comments" section.
2012 Bible Plan