And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk…
I. ITS NATURE AND PROSPERITY.
1. They were blessed in the person of Joseph. He is blessed in his sons (vers. 15, 20). The principle is recognized of blessing mankind in the name and for the sake of another.
2. With the covenant blessing. Not with that of the gods of Egypt, though he had cause to be grateful to that nation. He would have his children to know the true fount of blessedness. He invoked the blessing of the God of his fathers (ver. 15). The assurance that others have shared the gifts of grace with us is a support to our faith. We of the Church belong to a holy nation, which has a great and venerable past.
3. With the blessing of which he himself had experience. "The God which fed me all my life long until this day" (ver. 15). He felt that God had tended and cared for him like a shepherd.
4. With a different blessing for each. He bestows the larger blessing upon the younger (ver. 19).
II. ITS OUTWARD FORM. It was conveyed by the imposition of hands (ver. 14). The blessing was not merely a wish or a hope, but a reality, This laying on of hands was the outward means or symbol of its conveyance. Outward forms impress, they steady the mind, and assist contemplation. The blessing was as real as the outward act which accompanied it, the reality of nature leading on to the reality of grace.
III. ITS WARRANT.
1. The covenant position in which God had placed him. He stood with his fathers, Abraham and Isaac, in the same covenant relation with God (vers. 15, 16).
2. The act was Divinely directed. Old Jacob crossed his hands, and thus in bestowing the blessing reversed the order of nature (vers. 14, 17). He refused to be corrected by Joseph, for though his sight was dim, his spiritual eye discerned the will of God. He guided his hands "wittingly," with full knowledge of the decree of the Most High. God, who distributes His gifts as He will, prefers the younger to the elder. Nature and grace often take cross directions.
(T. H. Leale.)
Parallel VersesKJV: And he blessed Joseph, and said, God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day,