February 12, 2014
Wednesdays in the Word
Blessing our children with The Blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh
When Jacob was about to die, he blessed Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh. He declared that all Israel would bless their sons with this blessing, which I found intriguing.
Manasseh is the oldest and his name means- making forgetful
Joseph named him this because he said "for God has made me forget all my toil and all my father's house." (Gen 41:51)
His second born son was Ephraim and his name means- fruitfulness
He was given this name because "God has caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction."
The notes in my Bible say that their names "were memorialized in a blessing which Yahweh established to be used from antiquity throughout the church age."
And Genesis 48:20 says "By you Israel will bless saying, 'May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!"
So, why would we want our children to be blessed like they were, I wondered...
For starters, Jacob gave these grandsons a portion of blessing with his own sons.
Then when it was time to lay his hands on them and bless them, he gave the blessing of being a firstborn to Ephraim, who was the youngest. (notice how whenever they are listed in the Bible it is always as Ephraim and Manasseh and not Manasseh and Ephraim)
~There were no evil feelings towards one another when the younger received the blessing of the older. What a big difference between them and their uncles, who sold their father for those very reasons! Envy, arrogance and competition ruined the previous generation but they were blessed to be free from all that negativity. They got along and loved each other. "Look how good and how pleasant it is when brothers live together in unity!" Psalm 133:1
~They were born, raised and brought up in the secular society of Egypt, but still followed God and the teachings of their family. They did not stray from the ways of God because of the environment around them. I think we want all of children to be able to 'swim upstream,' as I read in this quote by a rabbi: "How does one know if a fish is healthy? If he can swim upstream; against the tide of society." Amen!
~And lastly, it means that we bless them to forget anything negative from their past and bless them with a fruitful future. (see the definitions of their names)
So, that's The Blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh! I found it very interesting.