What does it say?
Genesis 48 - Israel became sick and was dying; therefore Joseph went to see his father with his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim. When Joseph brought them close, Israel put his right hand on Ephraim’s head and his left hand as Manasseh’s head. He adopted the brothers as his own, to receive and inheritance in Israel as one of his sons, in the land of Canaan by the oath of God. Israel gave Ephraim, the younger, the greater blessing than Manasseh the younger.
Genesis 49 - All of the sons of Israel came forward and Israel spoke about each of them and what was to come. He negated the rights of the three eldest sons who are Rueben, Simeon and Levi. Reuben because he defiled his fathers bed and slept with his fathers concubine. (cf. Gn. 35:22) Simeon and Levi because of the violence they did to Hamor and his son Schechem and the people of their city after making a covenant with them. (cf. Gn. 34:25-30) Israel gave the blessing of the eldest to Judah, who was actually his fourth son from his wife Leah. The other sons followed in order of birth with the blessing of Israel and prophecy. Before Israel died, he charged his sons with burial in the grave site of his father’s where his wife Leah was buried.
Genesis 50 - As the Lord promised Jacob, Joseph was at his side when Israel died. His body was embalmed and placed in the cave where Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and now Jacob and Leah are all buried. After the burial, Joseph’s brothers thought that Joseph would be against them, now that their father was dead but Joseph loved his brothers and forgave their sins. He told them, that they meant evil but God meant it for good. At his death, Joseph requested to be buried in the land of Canaan when God takes the sons of Israel out of Egypt and gives them the land.
What does it mean?
Israel had twelve sons but there were actually thirteen tribes in Israel because Joseph was counted as two tribes Manasseh and Ephraim. Ephraim would become greater than Manasseh and control the northern kingdom. Levi would be disbursed throughout Israel and not have a land of their own. There are earthly consequences for the sins done in the body. Reuben’s, Simeon’s and Levi’s sins had ramifications in the lives of their descendants. Judah would become the leading tribe. Israel’s body was taken to the grave of Abraham and Isaac. This is a for showing of the exodus to come. It is noted that though Israel took Rachel as his wife, Leah was his true wife, the wife God intended; this is seen in his burial with Leah in the cave of his fathers. Marriage is between one man and one woman and God chooses whom we are to marry. Joseph forgave his brothers. He loved his enemies, he did good to those who hated him, blessed those who cursed him and prayed for those who mistreated him. (Lk. 6:27-28) Joseph trusted the Lord’s oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob. This is seen in his request to take his bones when God takes Israel to the land he promised Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
What shall I do?
I shall walk through this life knowing that all of my sins are paid in full by the atonement of Jesus Christ but I shall not go on sinning, the things that I do in the body can hurt other people, especially my children. I shall trust the Lord in what he has promised to all who believe in Jesus Christ. He has promised to return and raise us from the dead, to eternal life in the new heaven and the new earth. I shall show mercy and grace to others, regardless of how they may treat me or what they actually deserve. All human beings should be treated with dignity because they bare the image of God.