The Promise to Ephraim & Manasseh, a Promise to American & Great Britain
In Genesis chapter 48 we find a great promise or blessing given to both Ephraim and Manasseh by their Grandfather Jacob.
Jacob Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
1 After this, Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.2 And it was told to Jacob, “Your son Joseph has come to you.” Then Israel summoned his strength and sat up in bed.3 And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almightyt appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me,4 and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a company of peoples and will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’5 And now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are.6 And the children that you fathered after them shall be yours. They shall be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance.7 As for me, when I came from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan on the way, when there was still some distancet to go to Ephrath, and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”
8 When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”9 Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” And he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.”10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, so that he could not see. So Joseph brought them near him, and he kissed them and embraced them.11 And Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face; and behold, God has let me see your offspring also.”12 Then Joseph removed them from 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 him.14 And Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands (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 has been my shepherd all my life long to this day,
16 the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the boys;
and in them let my name be carried on, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
and let them grow into a multitudet in the midst of the earth.”
17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him, and he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.18 And Joseph said to his father, “Not this way, my father; since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.”19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitudet of nations.”
20 So he blessed them that day, saying,
“By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying,
‘God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh.’”
Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your fathers.
Some things to notice in Genesis 48.
- Jacob (Israel) adopts Manasseh & Ephraim and in doing so they now are included and able to receive the birthright of Jacob. - Verse 5
- Through the adoption process Manasseh and Ephraim are now known by the name of Israel. - Verse 6
- The order in which Manasseh and Ephraim received their promise/blessing. - Verse 14.
- The prophetic vision of Israel to determine the order of the blessing. - Verse 19
- The significance of the blessing, i.e. the prophetic future of the blessing. - Verse 21
To fully appreciate the significance of the blessing of Ephraim & Manasseh, we need to understand some background with regards to both history and prophecy in relation to Israel. The promises of the Tribes of Israel were specifically reserved for “the last days” which is found in http://bible.us/Gen49.1.NKJV, it is known as Jacob’s last words to his sons.
“And Jacob called his sons and said, “Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days”
Jacob again uses prophetic wording to communicate the prophetic vision he has of his sons. What Jacob is referring to is the rebellion of the 10 Tribes of the North against David’s throne as told in 1 Kings 11:9-13, 29-32. The 10 Tribes retained the name Israel during the rebellion while the Tribe of Judah gained the support of the Tribe of Benjamin and collectively they became known as Judah.
Understanding this division is essential in order to apply prophecy. 2 Kings 17 gives a summary of how (because of sin) God took the 10 Tribes of Israel away from the throne of Judah & eventually caused them to go into exile in Assyria in which they did not return. Both Ezra & Nehemiah record the return of Judah & Benjamin to Judea from Babylonian captivity, http://bible.us/Ezra2.64.ESV & http://bible.us/Neh7.66.ESV. It is from these two tribes that the Jews of Jesus’ day descended.
It is clear that to identify with Israel in both history & prophecy we have to distinguish Israel from Jews. It’s the old saying that “All Hebrews are Jews but not all Jews are Hebrews.” And there is truth to this saying for it was prophesied that Israel would lose their identity, God referring to them as “not my people”, in other words the people would not be identified as such.
So who can identify with this “lost tribe”, this tribe that was sent into exile and has yet to return, the tribe that that is known as “not my people” yet they are known “as children of God”? Is it possible that we can identify with this set of people?
We may be able to identify with Israel by the destiny they were to fulfill. 1 Chronicles 5:1 tells us the the “birthright” was given unto the sons of Joseph (Manasseh & Ephraim). This means that through the descendants of the sons of Joseph, God would fulfill the great promise of Israel’s greatness as promised through Jacob at the time of Manasseh & Ephraim’s blessing. This greatness was included the promise given to Jacob in Genesis 35:11.
And God said to him, “I am God Almighty: t be fruitful and multiply. A nation and a company of nations shall come from you, and kings shall come from your own body
Clearly Israel (the Tribe) was to be a nation with a monarchy which would expand to become a “company of nations”.
Now back to the account of the blessing of Manasseh & Ephraim. The blessing recorded in Genesis 48 along with the prophetic vision of the blessing and the prophetic wording of Genesis 49 leads us to identify Israel as a people not recognized (“not my people”) as Israel but has the hallmarks of Israel’s identity (“children of God”). When we begin to look at Genesis 48:19 we see the use of words & word phrases like “a people” & “great”, we conclude then that Manasseh will be “a people” that is great while Ephraim will be a a “great nation” with a company of nations.
In terms of the word great, the only nation associated with the term great is Great Britain with it’s common wealth of nations. When we think of the word phrase “a people” we can only think of one place that declares itself a single nation known as “we the people”, it is the United States of America. The United States of America is known as a great nation of peoples.
Is it possible then that we can conclude that the lost Tribes of Israel known Ephraim and Manasseh became Great Britain and America and this is why Israel has not returned from exile? Could it be that the Christians in Great Britain and the USA who are known as “children of God” but because we are not Jews would fall under “not my people” could be the lost Tribes of Israel? Maybe it is us, that is being prophesied about in Ezekiel 36 and 37, and Zechariah 12?
Let me share with you some Prophetic Time Calculation that I had studied.
- Ephraim exiled to Assyria 720BC, calculating “7 times” from that date we arrive at 1802 AD the very year that Great Britain became The United Kingdom with a common wealth of nations.
- Manasseh exiled to Assyria 745BC, calculate this from the prophesied chastisement of 2,520 years (“7 times” or “7 fold” found in Leviticus 26:24,28) and we arrive at 1775-76 precisely when the 13 states signed the Declaration of Independence from our brothers Great Britain. This is when we became known as a “nation of peoples”.
How about the meaning of the name Manasseh?
It is said that America was named after Americo Vespucci (I learned that from my wife’s 5th grade class, no kidding). Americo Vespucci was referred to in Hebrew manuscripts by the name ‘HaMachir’ which is where the name Americo was derived from. ‘HaMachir’ which literally means “from Machir” or “the Sons of Machir” (numbers 26:29). Machir was the first born of Manasseh (Genesis 50:23). The Hebrew meaning of the word Machir means “selling” or even simply the principle of capitalism. The principle of capitalism and free enterprise is America’s character and what we were founded upon as a nation.
How bout this for name meanings…
The very name Manasseh, in Hebrew (according to Rabi Shimshon Raphael Hirsch) can mean delegated responsible representation and this is a fundamental aspect of America. our nation was born because our forefathers declared “no taxation without representation” and we fought to free ourselves from our brothers in England for our Independence.
Does then the name America then identifies the offspring of Manasseh?