Genesis Challenge | Chapter 48: Joseph Receives the Double Portion

Parents have the special duty of pronouncing blessing on their children. In chapter 48, Jacob fulfills this duty to Joseph where we see that Joseph receives the double portion of the firstborn. Remember that in the birth-order of the sons of Jacob (Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, Asher, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, and Benjamin), Joseph is near the end. He is clearly not the firstborn. In the times of the Patriarchs, the firstborn customarily received a double inheritance. Later we will see Jacob’s blessing on the other sons as well, but here the focus is on Joseph, the son who most fully embraced the faith of Abraham. As Abraham did with Isaac, and Isaac did with Jacob, Jacob passes on the covenant and the blessing to Joseph. Here are some points to consider in this chapter:

  • In what form did Jacob give Joseph a double portion?
  • How did Jacob foresee the heritage of Joseph’s sons Manasseh and Ephraim? Do you think that parents today can foresee in some way the destinies of their own children?  Why do you think parental blessing is rare in our own times?
  • Why was it important that Jacob reminded Joseph in vs. 21 that the Israelites were not to remain permanently in Egypt?
  • What was the significance of giving Shechem (the mountain that Jacob personally conquered) to the sons of Joseph?

For your journal

As you work your way through this chapter, use these four questions as guides for discovery and personal growth:

  • Find at least one new fact.
  • Discover at least one cultural difference between times in Genesis and our own culture.
  • Pinpoint any faith principles you see.
  • Select one attitude, behavior, or action that you want to apply in your own life.

You will find it helpful to keep a journal or log to record your thoughts, questions, and findings. As you read, I hope you will join me in sharing some of what you are learning on the Aspect Ministries Facebook page: