Monday, November 29, 2010

Genesis 48: 1-22 (Israel Blesses the Wrong Child)

Joseph was told some time later that his father was sick. Joseph took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, to go see Israel and secure a blessing.

When they got there, Israel decided to regail them with a story.

When I was in Luz, god told me, right to my face he did, that he was going to make me a great nation, and that all my decendents would have that land forever and ever.

Then Israel went on to explain to Joseph that his two boys belonged to him, Israel. Any children born after these two, who cares. Also, you know that Rachel died near Ephrath? We buried her there.

I'm sure Joseph smiled and nodded, yes, I remember, she was my mother.

Jacob pushed his two sons into his father's kisses and embraces, while the old man told him he never expected to see him again, and now here were his children.

The time came for the blessing, but try as he might, Joseph couldn't convince his father to bless them in the proper order. Israel put his right hand on the younger boy, Ephraim's, head. He continued with the blessing, with his arms crossed so he could give the younger boy his full favour. Or something.

Here's the blessing. Ahem.

May the god that led us into famine, and delivered us out of it by enslaving one of my sons, may the angel that delivered me from the wrath of the father of my wives after I stole all his stuff--the same almighty that made sure the Pharoah and Abimelech found favour with the wives of my people, may he bless these two boys here, in the wrong order, just as I claimed my birthright from its rightful owner, my older brother, from whose justified wrath god also delivered me. Let god increase their numbers by increasing their allowable wives, and increase their wealth by allowing said wives to whore. Amen.

Okay, I changed a bit.

Joseph protested, you know, Manasseh is firstborn, father, he should get the right hand blessing. Also your blessing has made him cry. Israel told his son he knew what he was doing, and that the younger brother would rule the older one, just like his grandfather.

Israel made Joseph promise (again, presumably) to bury him in his hometown that god gave him, and he sweetened the pot by promising him one more ridge of land there, the one he took from the Amorites.

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