When know Ephraim for his childhood and his descendants. Between those two extremes precious little is told of his life, but because he was given precedence over his older brother when both were small and unproven, we can only surmise that God picked him out for a reason.

His father, Joseph, was well situated in Egypt. He made homes there for his brothers and his father. But the “pilgrimage” of Jacob, Joseph’s father, was coming to an end. He asked to see his grandsons before he died, so Joseph brought Ephraim and Manasseh to him. The boys were small enough to stand between their father’s knees. When Jacob blessed Ephraim before Manasseh, Joseph told him he had made a mistake. The first blessing should go to the older brother, Manasseh. Jacob, who was almost blind but knew what God wanted, told his son there had been no mistake.

So we can assume Ephraim became a worthy man and lived a faithful life. What of his descendants? Well, how about Joshua, son of Nun of the tribe of Ephraim, successor to Moses and possibly Israel’s greatest leader in war? It seems God and Jacob knew what they were doing after all when they made Ephraim first even though he was second.


Genesis 48:20-  And he blessed them that day, saying, In thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh.

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