Taaaaaadaaaaaaa! We've finished one whole book of the Bible!!!!!!!!!!!!! 65 more to go!!! Wahoo!
Chapter 48 here we have Jacob/Israel "adopting" two sons of Joseph and giving them blessings as if they were his own sons. This is done because it was a divine promise given to him at Luz (35:9). By adopting his own grandsons, Ephraim and Manasseh, Jacob gives them equal status to his other sons, the oldest ones (Rueben and Simeon). The story accounts for the house of Jacob to have been divided into two tribes (Manasseh and Ephraim) and each of them would even be as fully a tribe as the other tribes. An adoption ceremony takes place here with Jacob placing a blessing on both Manasseh and Ephraim. But Jacob places his right hand on the younger brother Ephraim.....which gave him "seniority" over Manasseh.
Chapter 49 This chapter is Jacob's blessing on his twelve sons....which is where we get the 12 tribes of Israel. This could have been part of Jacob's deathbed blessings where he calls out each brother/son and tells what will happen to them. This is especially easy to see and read when Jacob is talking about Judah....the language of "future tense" is apparent of what will come to be (v. 8-12) "what shall happen to you in days to come." This chapter ends of the final days of Joseph and giving the sons his blessings and giving Joseph instructions for his resting place. Joseph is supposed to take Jacob back to the cave and bury him with his ancestors. (see pictures at the very bottom of this page--thanks mom! :) Jacob draws his feet up into his bed, breathed his last breath, and was gathered to his people!
Chapter 50 Joseph wept over his loss and then the next 70 days mourning his loss. Jacob was going to be carried back to the land of Canaan and had to be embalmed. (Talk about a long dreadful trip if not embalmbed! Ewwwww!) Out of respect for Joseph, the Egyptians gave Jacob a royal funeral! The chapter reiterates what has happened in the story previously....Joseph is assured that only God can forgive and help overcome guilt of the human heart. Joseph's story testifies to God's overruling providence that evil can be turned into good! Then Joseph dies and is gathered to his people and is left to be buried in a coffin in Egypt. He was 110 years old!
Thy will be done!