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The Apocryphal Old Testament Collection of the most important non-canonical Old Testament books designed for general use.

Chapter VI

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Text Commentary

1Now after this it was reported to Joseph, Behold, your father is in a sorry state. 2He took his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and came to his father Israel. 3When Israel saw them, he said to Joseph, Who are these, 1 Lit. ‘these of yours’. my son? 4Joseph said to his father Jacob Israel, These are my sons that God has given me in the land of my humiliation. 5,6Israel said, Bring them near to me. Now Israel's sight had failed because of his great age, and he could hardly see. 7And Joseph 2 Lit. ‘he’. brought them close to him; and he kissed them. 8When Israel had embraced them, he said, God will add to your descendants. 3 A rather abrupt and truncated echo of Jacob's words at Gen. xlviii. 11 in the Septuagint (‘Behold, was I not for a time deprived of your person? And behold, now God has let me see your children too’ – lit. ‘God has shown me your seed also’). It is tempting to suppose there has been at some stage in the tradition some textual corruption, either through omission or misunderstanding – perhaps both. If we are to think in terms of misunderstanding, it may be that Sahidic touo (‘show’) has been confused with Bohairic touho (‘add’), and that the sense originally intended was the same as that of the final clause in the Septuagint (i.e. ‘God has let me see your children’). 9And Joseph made his two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, do obeisance to him on the ground: Joseph put Manasseh under his right hand and Ephraim under his left hand. 10But Israel changed his hands: he laid his right hand on Ephraim's head and his left hand on Manasseh's head. 11And he blessed them: he gave them their patrimony, saying,12

The God who approved my fathers Abraham and Isaac, The God who has looked after me from my childhood till to-day, The angel who rescues me from all my tribulations, Bless these lads who are my sons, With whom is left my name, And the name of my holy fathers Abraham and Isaac. They shall multiply: they shall increase: They shall become a great people on the earth.

13Afterwards Israel said to Joseph, I am dying; but you 4 Lit. ‘you … your … you’ (plural). will return to the land of your 4 Lit. ‘you … your … you’ (plural). fathers, and God will be with you. 4 Lit. ‘you … your … you’ (plural). 14Behold, you have been more favoured than your brothers, for I have taken the Amorites with my bow and my sword.

Notes:

1 Lit. ‘these of yours’.

2 Lit. ‘he’.

3 A rather abrupt and truncated echo of Jacob's words at Gen. xlviii. 11 in the Septuagint (‘Behold, was I not for a time deprived of your person? And behold, now God has let me see your children too’ – lit. ‘God has shown me your seed also’). It is tempting to suppose there has been at some stage in the tradition some textual corruption, either through omission or misunderstanding – perhaps both. If we are to think in terms of misunderstanding, it may be that Sahidic touo (‘show’) has been confused with Bohairic touho (‘add’), and that the sense originally intended was the same as that of the final clause in the Septuagint (i.e. ‘God has let me see your children’).

4 Lit. ‘you … your … you’ (plural).

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