And he blessed Joseph, and said: “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has fed me all my life long to this day, the Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; let my name be named upon them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.” (Genesis 48:15-16)
I feel it is important to remember that the lads Jacob pronounced this blessing upon were those he had adopted; those who were born half-Egyptian. According to the words of Jacob, these are also to bear the name, Israel, and be considered the seed of Abraham just as those who were physically fathered by Jacob. Consequently, they were to function as Israel, meaning, they were to assert the spiritual authority that goes with that name. As Israel, God’s people were empowered to place their heel on the serpent’s head.
His blessing upon them included the prophecy to grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. The Hebrew phrase is rendered literally as “May they fill the earth abundantly like fish.” Interestingly, Jacob likens these two adopted sons to fish that spawn so rapidly they fill the earth. Couple that with the fact, Messiah called for His disciples to be “fishers of men.” That would suggest that His people — including those of us who were adopted — are viewed as fish. Underscoring the point is the fact that many believers identify with this concept so much that they put the fish symbol on the back of their vehicles.
The point is that this blessing placed upon Manasseh and Ephraim speaks prophetically of those who would be joined to the family of faith through the Messiah. They would multiply throughout the earth and become a great multitude. It is also understood that they would be considered as sons of Jacob as well — perhaps not physically descended from him but part of his family through adoption. The adoption we speak of is the one Paul spoke of whereby we may call regard the God of Israel as our Father — Abba.
The result of this is that, in Messiah, we are charged to walk and live a certain way. Our steps have been “ordered of God” and when we follow the steps He has established for us, we are authorized to overcome our adversaries and be victorious. As the last days continue to produce hardships and challenges, let us remember who we are and, most importantly, the One who has called us to be His people. Because of Him, we are destined to be a multitude that fills the earth.
Blessings and Shalom,