Jacob blesses two more of his sons.
Asher and Naphtali were next to be blessed and it sounds like Jacob was addressing a baker and a poet. “Bread from Asher shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties. Naphtali is a deer let loose; he uses beautiful words.” (Genesis 49:20-21)
The key words for Asher are bread, rich and royal dainties. When Leah’s maid gave birth to Asher, her second son, Leah named him saying, “I am happy.” The best thought I have so far is that Asher will have plenty of reasons to be happy. Maybe Moses will enlighten us as we hear his prophecy? We will leave Naphtali as the poet until we have more information.
Joseph receives the birthright and Benjamin leaves us wondering.
Jacob begins by referring to Joseph’s descendants who are nourished and spread out unconfined. Then Jacob remembers the troubles that Joseph had with his brothers and the victory God provided. “Joseph is a fruitful bough, A fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall. The archers have bitterly grieved him, shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained in strength, and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob (From there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel),” (Genesis 49:22-24) Then comes the blessing….
“By the God of your fathers who will help you, And by the Almighty who will bless you With blessings of heaven above, Blessings of the deep that lies beneath, Blessings of the breasts and the womb. The blessings of your father (Jacob) have excelled the blessings of my ancestors, up to the utmost bound of the everlasting hills. They shall be on the head of Joseph, And on the crown of the head of him who was separated from his brothers.” (Genesis 49:25-26)
Jacob had received the birthright blessings that surpassed the blessing of his fathers, and now the birthright of the first-born belonged to Joseph. Least there be any doubts, do you remember Jacob’s blessing Joseph’s son, Ephraim, the one who will become “a multitude of nations?” Ephraim received Jacob’s first blessing, and God through a prophet gives us the final word. The Almighty God declaired Ephraim to be his firstborn at the time He promised to bring the lost tribes back home.
“Behold, I am bringing them from the north country, And I will gather them from the remote parts of the earth, Among them the blind and the lame, The woman with child and she who is in labor with child, together; A great assembly, they will return here. With weeping they will come, And by supplication I will lead them; I will make walk by streams of waters, On a straight path in which they will not stumble; For I am a father to Israel, And Ephraim is My firstborn.” (Jeremiah 31:8-9)
There are many scenes in prophecy that lead up to Jesus’ return. Amazing days ahead! But now to Benjamin, the smallest of the twelve tribes. “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf; In the morning he shall devour the prey, And at night he shall divide the spoil.” (Genesis 49:27) For the time being we will leave this image to our imaginations. But we have come to understand that the scepter belongs to Judah and the birthright of the first born is Ephraim’s.
Moving on to another prophet.
From the good life to slavery this family of seventy grew up to become a nation. In time a boy’s life was spared because God was providing Israel their deliverer . I’m taking a few days off from writing to spend some time with Moses. He has a lot to say.
To be continued.