Jacob told Joseph and his two sons that God Almighty appeared and blessed him. He would make him fruitful and numerous into a company of peoples and give this land to his descendants as an eternal possession. Jacob adopted Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons and blessed them (Gen. 48:1-7). Fathers should share personal testimony of God’s gracious dealings in their lives with their children.
Jacob gave Joseph a double portion of blessing. Jacob said that God who walked with his fathers Abraham and Isaac and been his shepherd all his life, also redeemed him from all evil through the angel. God’s name would live on in Ephraim and Manasseh as they grow into a multitude of nations. Israel pronounced double blessing for Joseph through Ephraim and Manasseh, with former being greater than Manasseh!”(Gen. 48:8-22). God leads our lives toward freedom from sin in multiplying fruitful disciples in the world.
Jacob predicted what would come into his sons' lives if they stayed in their present path. He asked that they hear and listen attentively to him as their father (Gen. 49:1-2).
1. Reuben, his first-born, would be preeminent in dignity and power, but uncontrolled because he defiled his father’s bed. Lust for power shows that he who rules must rule himself.
2. Simeon’s and Levi’s rage caused them to use swords as implements of violence to kill men. Because they couldn’t be trusted, God would scatter them in Israel. Simeon's scattering was a curse while Levi's was a blessing since the Lord was his inheritance.
3. Judah’s brothers would praise and bow down to him. The scepter would not depart from Judah nor ruler’s staff from his feet until Shiloh comes and to him be the obedience of peoples. God's sovereignty leads to exaltation in leadership and material blessing.
4. Zebulun would dwell at the seashore and be a haven for ships. This tribe is noted for faithfulness to David.
5. Isaachar would bear burdens as a slave in forced labor. They were docile, lazy and did not strive for the land.
6. Dan would judge his people and be like a a serpent in the way, but God's salvation reigns. This tribe introduced idolatry in Israel but God's redemption and salvation prevails.
7. Gad would have foreign armies oppressing him but triumph in the end. This tribe provided many fine soldiers for David.
8. Asher shall yield royal dainties. He is blessed and let him dip his foot in oil.
9. Naphtali gives beautiful words. This is an area where Jesus did much of His teaching and preaching.
10. Joseph is a fruitful bough and God gave him strength to work the bow with strength and skill. God gave him unsurpassed blessings.
11. Benjamin is ravenous wolf that devours the prey and divides the spoil. This tribe had a reputation for fierceness.
Jacob gave the 12 tribes their appropriate blessing (Gen. 49:3-28). Fathers have an unique privilege to counsel their children concerning direction in life, which they can change based on their choices.
Jacob charged them to bury him in Canaan with Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah and Leah (Gen. 49:29-33).
As a father, share what God has done in your life and how to warn them about consequences if they stay on their current path.