(from One New Man Bible translated by William Morford)

Vay’khi

Jacob Lives another Seventeen Years

47:28. And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years, so the whole age of Jacob was a hundred forty-seven years. 29. And the time drew near for Israel to die, and he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have now found favor in your sight, put, I pray you, your hand under my thigh and deal kindly and truly with me. Do not bury me, I pray you, in Egypt. 30. But I shall lie with my fathers and you will carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying-place.” And he said, “I shall do as you have said.” 31. And he said, “Swear to me.” And he swore to him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed’s head.

Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

48.1. And it was after these things, that someone told Joseph, “Behold, your father is sick.” And he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2. And someone told Jacob and said, “Behold, your son Joseph is coming to you.” And Israel strengthened himself and sat up on the bed. 3. And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me 4. and said to me, ‘Behold, I shall make you fruitful and multiply you, and I shall make of you a congregation of people, and I shall give the land to your seed after you for an everlasting possession.’ 5. And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before My coming to you in Egypt, are mine, like Reuben and Simeon. They will be mine. 6. And your children, which you father after them, will be yours and will be called after the name of their brothers in their inheritance. 7. And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan on the way, when yet there was but a little way to come to Efrat and I buried her there on the road of Efrat, the same is Bethlehem.”

48:8. And Israel beheld Joseph’s sons and said, “Who are these?” 9. And Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons whom God has given me in this place.” And he said, “Bring them to me now and I shall bless them.” 10. Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so he could not see. And he brought them near to him and he kissed them and embraced them. 11. And Israel said to Joseph, “I had not thought to see your face and, lo, God has also shown me your seed.”

48:12. And Joseph brought them out from between his knees and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right hand and brought them near to him. 14. And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it upon Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh’s head. He guided his hands wittingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn. 15. And he blessed Joseph and said, “The God before Whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God Who fed me all my life long to this day, 16. the angel who redeemed me from everything bad, bless the lads and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” (Heb. 11:21)

48:17. And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18. And Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.” 19. And his father refused and said, “I know it, my son, I know it. He also will become a people and he also will be great, but truly his younger brother will be greater than he and his seed will become the fullness of the nations.”

48:20. And he blessed them that day saying, “In you will Israel bless saying, ‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’” And he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

21. And Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am dying, but God will be with you and bring you again to the land of your fathers. 22. Moreover I have given to you one portion above your brothers, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.”

Jacob Blesses the Remaining Sons

49.1. And Jacob called to his sons and said, “Gather yourselves together, so I can tell you what will befall you in the last days. 2. Gather yourselves together and listen, you sons of Jacob, and hearken to Israel your father.

49:3. “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength, the excellence of dignity, and the excellency of power: 4. unstable as water, you will not excel because you went up to your father’s bed, then you defiled the one who ascended my couch.

49:5. “Simeon and Levi are brothers, weapons of violence are their downfall. 6. O my soul, do not come into their secret, to their assembly, my honor. Do not be united, for in their anger they slew men, and in their self-will they lamed an ox. 7. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel. I shall divide them in Jacob and scatter them in Israel.

49:8. “Judah, you are he whom your brothers will praise: your hand will be on the neck of your enemies, your father’s children will bow down before you. 9. Judah is a lion’s whelp, from the prey, my son, you are gone up: he stooped down, he couched like a lion and as an old lion. Who will rouse him up? 10. The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor a Torah scholar from between his feet, until Shiloh comes: and the gathering of the peoples will be to Him. (Rev. 5:5) 11. Binding His foal to the vine and His donkey’s colt to the choice vine, He washed His garments in wine and His clothes in the blood of grapes. (Rev.7:14; 19:13) 12. His eyes will be red with wine, (Rev. 1:14) and His teeth white with milk.

49:13. “Zebulun will live at the haven of the sea, and he will be for a haven of ships, and his border will be to Zidon.

49:14. “Issachar is a strong donkey lying down between the sheepfolds: 15. and he saw that rest was good, and the land that was pleasant and bowed his shoulder to bear and became a servant to tribute.

49:16. “Dan will judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. 17. Dan will be a serpent by the way, an adder in the path that bites the horse’s heels, so that his rider will fall backward. 18. I have waited for Your salvation, LORD*.

49:19. “Gad, a troop will press upon him, but he will press upon their heel.

49:20. “Out of Asher his bread will be fat, and he will yield royal dainties.

49:21. “Naphtali is a deer let loose. He gives beautiful sayings.

49:22. “Joseph is a fruitful bough, even a fruitful bough by a well, whose branches run over the wall. 23. The archers have sorely grieved him and shot at him, and hated him. 24. But his bow abode in strength and the arms of his hands were made strong by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob; from there he became the shepherd, the stone of Israel: 25. even by the God of your father, Who will help you, the Almighty Who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep lying below, blessings of the bosom, and of the womb. 26. The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of my progenitors to the endless boundaries of the everlasting hills. They will be on the head of Joseph and on the crown of his head that was from the exile of his brothers.

49:27. “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf: in the morning he will devour the prey and at night he will divide the spoil.”

49:28. All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them and blessed them. He blessed each one according to his blessing. 29. And he charged them and said to them, “I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Efron the Hittite. 30. In the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field of Efron the Hittite for a possession of a burying-place. 31. There they buried Abraham and Sarah his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebeccah his wife, and there  I buried Leah. 32. The purchase of the field and of the cave that is there was from the children of Heth.” 33. And when Jacob had made an end of commanding his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed and expired and was gathered to his people.

Jacob Buried in Israel

50.1. And Joseph fell upon his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him. 2. And Joseph commanded his servants the physicians to embalm his father and the physicians embalmed Israel. 3. And forty days were fulfilled for him, for so are fulfilled the days of those that are embalmed, and the Egyptians mourned seventy days for him.

50:4. And when the days of his mourning were past, Joseph spoke to the house of Pharaoh saying, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, speak, I pray you, in the ears of Pharaoh saying, 5. My father made me swear saying, ‘Lo, I am dying. You will bury me in my grave which I have dug for myself in the land of Canaan.’ Now therefore let me go up, I pray you, and bury my father and I shall come back.” 6. And Pharaoh said, “Go up and bury your father, as he made you swear.”

50:7. Then Joseph went up to bury his father, and all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt went up with him, 8. and the whole house of Joseph and his brothers and his father’s house. They left only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds in the land of Goshen. 9. And both chariots and horsemen went up with him and it was a very great company. 10. And they came to the threshing-floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they mourned with a great and very deep lamentation and he made a mourning for his father seven days. 11. And when the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning at the floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning to the Egyptians: therefore the name of it was called Abel-Egypt, which is beyond the Jordan.”

50:12. And his sons did for him as he had commanded them. 13. For his sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a burying place from Efron the Hittite, before Mamre.

50:14. And after he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he, his brothers, and all who went up with him to bury his father.

50:15. And when Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “Maybe Joseph will hate us, and will certainly pay us back for all the bad that we did to him.” 16. So they sent a messenger to Joseph saying, “Your father commanded before he died saying, 17. ‘So will you say to Joseph, Forgive, I beseech you now, the transgression of your brothers and their sins, for they did evil to you.’ And now, we pray you, forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him. 18. And his brothers also went and fell down before his face and they said, “Behold, we are your servants.” 19. And Joseph said to them, “Do not be in awe! For am I in the place of God? 20. But as for you, you thought evil against me, but God meant it for good, to make happen, as it is this day, to save many people alive.  21. Now therefore do not be in awe! I shall take care of you and your little ones.” And he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.

50:22. And Joseph dwelled in Egypt, he and his father’s house, and Joseph lived a hundred ten years. 23. And Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation, also the children of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph’s knees. 24. And Joseph said to his brothers, “I am dying and God will surely visit you and bring you out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25. And Joseph took an oath from the children of Israel saying, “God will surely visit you and you will carry up my bones from here.” 26. So Joseph died, a hundred ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Next week’s Torah readings: Sh’mot

(from One New Man Bible translated by William Morford)

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