Genesis 47:27-48:22

 |  April 9, 2018

Gen. 47:27-48:22

  1. Locate the passage

As great as it must have been for Joseph to have all of his family in Egypt with him, the final 17 years of Jacob’s life must have gone by quickly for him. The narrator fast-forwards through those final years of Jacob’s life to the time of his death. The feature of this passage is the passing of the Patriarchal blessing from Jacob to Joseph and his sons. The blessing of the sons follows a common pattern of the younger given priority over the older.

  1. Genre

The passage is narrative. It records the conversations between Jacob and Joseph.

  1. Determine the structure of the passage

47:27-31 – Jacob makes Joseph promise not to bury him in Egypt, but in Machpelah

48:1-7 – Jacob passes the Patriarchal blessing to Joseph

48:8-22 – Jacob blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

  1. Exegete the passage

Jacob shows discernment as the end of his life drew near. He knew that his time was short. He also discerned the blessing of the Lord on Joseph’s younger son, Ephraim, above Manasseh.

Jacob had not fully experienced the promise of God to return to the land of Canaan, but trusted that God would fulfill His word. So, he convinced Joseph to promise not to bury him in Egypt, but in the cave of Machpelah where Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and Leah were buried (Cf. Gen. 49:31).

48:27-28 – These verses summarized Jacob’s life in Egypt. After his relocation to Egypt, the next significant aspect in the story is Jacob’s blessing of his children and grandchildren before he died.

48:29-31 – The narrator gives us two pictures of Jacob’s final encounters with Joseph. One initiated by Jacob and the other by Joseph. In this encounter, Jacob anticipated that the end of his life was near and called on Joseph to urge him to promise not to bury him in Egypt.

48:1-2 – The narrator’s account of Jacob’s blessing of Joseph and his sons presents a striking contrast to the “blessing” of his sons in Gen. 48-49. There, Jacob has honest, though not always encouraging words for his other sons.


48:8 – Who are these?

48:9-10 – Bring them to me and I will bless them

48:11-13 – Joseph brought his sons to his father

48:14-20 – Jacob blessed Ephraim and Manasseh backwards

  1. Jacob acknowledged the presence of God’s angels as part of His blessing. Here Jacob may have been referring to the presence of angels at Bethel (Gen. 28:12), or his encounter with God’s angels in Mahanaim (Gen. 32:1-2), or the message from God’s angel in his strife with Laban (Gen. 33:11). Either way, Jacob recognized the significance of God’s use of angels along his journey.
  2. See 1 Chron. 5:2 which states that Jacob’s birthright was given to Joseph.

48:21-22 – I am about to die

  1. Let the structure of the text drive the sermon

This passage reveals the faith of the Patriarch that has climaxed near the end of his life

Here, the patriarch demonstrated his faith that God would:

Ultimately, this passage reveals how to die in faith.

App.   Believers can live confident in their faith and they can die confident in their faith

Ill. Phil 1:6 – “I am confident of this very thing, that He who began a good work in you, will perfect it until the day of Christ Jesus.”


Category: Sermon Structure
Tags: , , ,

Share This Post: