And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. Genesis 48:1
Joseph brought his two sons to be blessed by Jacob before he passed away. Remember this was a practice back when Abraham blessed Isaac and Isaac blessed Jacob. Now its time for Jacob to put his blessing on the family and continue the fulfilment of Gods covenant to them
What is about to happen will be reminiscent of what happened between Jacob and Esau, as the younger son will receive the higher blessing.
And Jacob said unto Joseph, God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, And said unto me, Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession. Genesis 48:3-4
Jacob is referring to when the Lord Jesus Christ appeared to him and blessed him. (Genesis 32) And the promise , the covenant , that God made with Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob, he is revealing to Joseph. That their family is going to be a great nation (Israel)
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, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. Genesis 48:14
Now tradition would be that the oldest son would receive the double portion, the greater blessing. However as we have seen in the past with Ishmael and Isaac, and Jacob and Esau, God blesses who he wants to bless
Here we see again where Jacob is giving the “right hand” blessing to the younger son Ephraim instead of Manasseh
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 unto Manasseh’s head. Genesis 48:17
Joseph was not happy about this and tried to change the blessing, however Jacob continued giving the greater blessing to Ephraim. Now the question is “Why did Jacob cross his arms during the blessing”? We can speculate but the bottom line is “God will have mercy on whoever he wants and compassion on whoever He wants (Romans 9:15)
This is like a foreshadow of the New Covenant, God doesn’t show favor because of our birth right. He shows favor based on whoever he wants! The Gentiles and the Jews are both now Gods children based on the works of Jesus Christ! Amen!