We thought it would be an interesting idea to provide a variety of scriptural references regarding the unconditional birthright blessing given by Yahweh to Isaak, Jacob, and to Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh.
The object is to see if there are any peoples or nation that could be identified which has met the conditions of this blessing, thereby proving or disproving the veracity of Scriptures.
If there is possibly any interest on your part concerning this endeavor, then the following investigation might prove to be rather interesting.
In Scriptures, an important right of the firstborn is the birthright blessing. This blessing takes place when the patriarch of the family, who possesses the unconditional blessing, feels he is nearing death and has a need of passing on the blessing to the son who has the legal right to it.
This birthright blessing is cautiously given, for once it has been obtained, it is unconditional and cannot be taken back. We begin to define the unconditional birthright blessing as it was given to Rebekah by her family.
So they sent away Rebekah their sister and her nurse, and Abraham’s servant and his men. And they blessed Rebekah, and said to her, “Our sister, be the mother of thousands of ten thousands; and may your descendants possess the gate of those who hate them!” (Genesis 24:59-60)
Notice that this blessing is unconditional. Accordingly, the descendants of Isaak are to possess important strategic points against their enemies. By right of birth, this blessing belonged to her eldest son, Esau (Edom).
But, as we shall see, it was instead given to Jacob, and through Jacob, it passed on to Ephraim, the son of Joseph.
Esau and Jacob
During the pregnancy of Rebekah, her twin sons Esau and Jacob struggled together within her womb, which stood as a prophecy of their national experiences yet to come. Yahweh tells Rebekah:
Two nations are in your womb, and two peoples will break from your body; and one people will be stronger than the other people; AND THE ELDER WILL SERVE THE YOUNGER. (Genesis 25:23)
Esau, the older brother, sold his birthright to his younger brother Jacob for a bowl of red soup:
Esau, who for one meal sold his birthright; for you know also that afterwards, wishing to inherit the blessing, he was rejected, for he found not a place for repentance, although with tears having earnestly sought it. (Hebrews 12:16)
Through the deception of Jacob and his mother, Rebekah, Isaak gave the unconditional birthright blessing to Jacob. This blessing granted the following things to Jacob Israel:
May eloahim give you of the dew of heaven, and of the fatness of the earth, and abundance of grain and wine. Let peoples serve you, and nations bow down to you. Be a ruler over your brothers, and may your mother’s sons bow down to you. Cursed be every one who curses you, and blessed be every one who blesses you! (Genesis 27:28-29)
In summary, the blessing promised good moisture needed for crops, located where there is rich soil, resulting in abundant food production. Also promised is political dominance over other nations who will recognize his leadership, and he will also rule over his brother (Esau).
Jacob is provided with the protection of an automatic curse or blessing which means that those nations cursing the holder of this blessing, at the time when it is in force, will suffer national disasters while those blessing them will receive national well-being.
In addition to the birthright blessings granted to Isaak and passed on to Jacob, Yahweh also directly blessed Jacob:
And eloahim said to him, “Your name is Jacob; no longer shall your name be called Jacob, but Israel shall be your name.” So his name was called Israel. And eloahim said to him, “I am el shaddai: be fruitful and multiply; a nation and an assemblage of nations shall come from you, and kings shall spring from you. The land which I gave to Abraham and Isaac I will give to you, and I will give the land to your seed (LXX spermati; singular, the messiah) after you.” (Genesis 35:10-12)
After the blessing of a great number of descendants, the next two blessings are later divided between Joseph and Judah, Joseph receiving the promise of being a nation and assemblage of nations while Judah received the promise of kingship. Next is the last instance where Yahweh confirms the Abrahamic Covenants of Promise with Jacob.
It is essential to realize that the unconditional birthright blessing is not based upon something earned by those receiving it. It will occur because Yahweh promised it to Isaak’s and Jacob’s descendants and for Abraham’s sake. It is unconditional precisely because there is no specific behavior required to receive it.
The Covenants of Promise and the blessings given by Law, meanwhile, require certain things from those who receive them, namely, to obey the voice of Yahweh, obey his charge, his commandments, his statutes, and his laws. (See Genesis 26:1-5) Therefore these blessings are conditional based upon behavior.
Ephraim and Manasseh Blessed
Joseph is blessed by Jacob’s direct blessing of Joseph’s sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, the primary birthright blessing going to the younger son, Ephraim, because of Jacob placing his right hand upon Ephraim’s head.
And he blessed Joseph, and said, “The eloahim before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the eloahim who has led me all my life long to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and in them let my name be perpetuated, 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)
Notice that the name “Israel” would be bestowed upon Ephraim and Manasseh due to the fact that this blessing was derived from the blessing granted to Jacob by Yahweh at Luz. At Luz, the blessing name given to Jacob was Israel (Gen. 35:9-12). The Israelites took the blessing also to mean that they would be called by the names Abraham and Isaak.
In this regard, the Israelites referred to themselves as the children of Abraham and called themselves the tribe of Isaak and the House of Isaak (Amos 7:9, 16; see Rom. 9:7; Heb.11:18). Ephraim and Manasseh would become in themselves a multitude of people.
One must also keep in mind that this blessing does not include the other tribes of Israel. It only refers to Ephraim and Manasseh.
Ephraim Greater Than Manasseh
Joseph objected to Jacob’s placing his right hand upon the head of Ephraim and insisted that Manasseh be placed before Ephraim.
But his father refused, and said, “I know, my son, I know; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; nevertheless his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations. So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will pronounce blessings, saying, ‘eloahim make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh’”; and thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. (Genesis 48:19-20)
Therefore, Ephraim, the younger, is placed before Manasseh the elder. Israel will bless by saying that they should be as Ephraim and Manasseh were, indicating that Ephraim (who is to be a gathering of nations) and Manasseh (who is to be a great nation) will be greatly blessed during the period of the unconditional blessing.
Also revealed is that Ephraim would be a multitude of nations standing together as an assemblage (one large group), implying one group of nations united together as one nation. This phrasing indicates one kingdom of many nations made up of the same tribe of people.
In Genesis 49:1-28, we read of the events that happened after Jacob gave the birthright blessings to Ephraim and Manasseh. Nearing death, Jacob gathered his twelve sons together and gave each family a blessing: “And he blessed them, each one whom after his blessing, he blessed them.”
The Last Days
Each blessing represents prophecies regarding “what will happen to you in achariyth (last) days.” The expression “achariyth (last) days” does not mean at the end of Judgment, or at the time of tribulation per se, as some would argue. As has been demonstrated in previous posts, the expression “the last days” refers to the last four of the eight 1,000-years-plus periods assigned to mankind, from the time of Adam until the end of the 8th-Millennial Judgment Day.
In the following passage, Jacob blesses Joseph (i.e., Ephraim and Manasseh), at first using the parable of a tree to represent his nation.
Joseph is a fruitful son (i.e., tree), a fruitful son by a fountain, with daughters (branches) running over a wall. And baali (lords) of arrows vex him and shoot at him and lurk for him, but his bow abides in strength, his hands of his arms are made agile from the hands of the abbir (valiant one, bull, angel) of Jacob, from the shepherd, the rock of Israel, from the el of your fathers. And he (the el of your fathers) will help you, and this shaddai will bless you with the blessings of heaven from above, the blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breast and womb, blessings of your fathers. His blessing prevailing above the blessings of the mountains unto the limit of the world-age lasting hills, may they be for the head of Joseph, and the crown of the nazir (consecrated one) of his brothers. (Genesis 49:22-26)
The following three points summarize the above citation:
1. As a tree by a fountain of water that grows large, has many daughters, and produces much fruit, Joseph will become many nations; and, as previously demonstrated, a prosperous nation and company of nations. The fruit of their blessings will run beyond their own borders.
2. The “lords of arrows” refer to the powerful opponents of the house of Joseph, but Yahweh will help Joseph against these enemies. The “valiant one” of Jacob, i.e., the bull (= cherub, ox) or angel, is defined as the rock and shepherd of Israel, the el of Abraham, Isaak, and Jacob. This abbir, therefore, is Yahu Yahweh = Yahu-shua the messiah. He will assist Joseph against these enemies.
Therefore, Ephraim, who receives the primary blessing will be a powerful military power (his bow abiding in strength). This unconditional blessing of power will be upheld by the hand of the messiah, Yahu Yahweh (Yahushua). The fact that the messiah will uphold the hand of Joseph indicates that there will be military victories for which the only explanation is divine intervention. Moses and Yahweh tell Israel:
How could one chase a thousand, and two put ten thousand to flight, if it were not for their rock (the messiah) that sold them, and Yahweh had shut them up? (Deuteronomy 32:30)
3. Notice carefully the unconditional blessing originally given to Jacob, which is beyond the blessings of all the mountains (kingdoms, nations) of the earth.
Ephraim Most Powerful Nation
It will be the greatest unconditional national blessing ever received by any nation in our present world (up until the beginning of the reign of the messiah), and the primary strength of this blessing will fall to Ephraim, the single nation of the many nations of the seed of Ephraim, joined by the sons of Israel his companions (Ezekiel 37:15-28).
Joseph, and therefore his sons, are described as the nazir (separated, i.e., consecrated—as prince, a Nazirite) of his brothers. Accordingly, Joseph (with a special emphasis on the tribe of Ephraim) has been consecrated for the purpose of this blessing.
We should not pass our discussion of these blessings to Joseph without adding a point regarding its timing. Moses informed the Israelites that one day, they would receive great wealth, but not for their own sake or for any special quality they might possess. Rather, he informs them:
But you shall remember Yahweh your eloahi, for it is he that gives you the power to get wealth, IN ORDER THAT HE WILL ESTABLISH HIS COVENANT which he swore to your fathers, as (he swore) this day. (Deuteronomy 8:18)
Since the covenant given to Abraham, Isaak, and Jacob will come into effect when the messiah returns and brings these patriarchs up in the First Resurrection, it is manifest that the great blessings of wealth must precede the messiah’s arrival by only a short time.
As Daniel reports, “many shall run to and fro, and knowledge will be increased (Dan. 12:4).” It would also follow that the acquisition of knowledge requires a strong economic base.
Moses Blesses Tribe of Joseph
Just prior to his death, Moses blessed the tribes of Israel. As one of these blessings, Moses gave an unconditional blessing to the tribes of Joseph. Being an unconditional blessing, like the others, it will come to the descendants of Joseph despite anything they will do, for it does not require behavior on their part for it to be granted. Moses states in Deuteronomy:
And to Joseph he said: Blessed of Yahweh be his land, with the best of the heavens for the dew, and from the deep crouching beneath; and from the best of the produce of the sun and from the best yield of months. And from the head of the ancient mountains, and from the best of the world-age lasting hills. And from the best of the land (earth), and its fullness; and the goodwill of him who dwelt in the bush (i.e., the angel Yahweh); let it come to the head of Joseph and to the crown of the consecrated one of his brothers. As the firstborn bull is his glory, and the horns of the wild ox are his horns; with them he will butt peoples together to the ends of the land (earth). And they are the ten thousands of Ephraim, and they are the thousands of Manasseh. (Deuteronomy 33:13-17)
In this unconditional blessing, Joseph is granted the best growing places on the earth and the best agricultural production, which is facilitated by dew (which is necessary for good crops), as well as having treasures from beneath the land (i.e., oil and other valuable resources).
The unconditional blessings of the best crops and agricultural land of the earth, which had earlier been given to Jacob by Isaak and Yahweh (Gen. 27:28, 37), are here clearly passed on to Ephraim Israel and, to a lesser extent, his brother Manasseh.
With the information from Scriptures uncovered so far, is it possible to determine if the nation of Joseph/Ephraim/Israel has received any of the unconditional blessings from Yahweh?
It seems like it would be best to do some scriptural forensics and assemble the facts to see if any of this makes sense:
1. The promised Unconditional Blessings will be given in “the last days” just before the arrival of Yahushua the messiah and the 7th Millennium.
2. The single nation Joseph/Ephraim/Israel will be united/composed of many nations of the seed of Ephraim, joined by the sons of Israel his companions (other tribes). The population will be significant.
3. Joseph/Ephraim/Israel is granted the best growing places on the earth with rich soil. He will have extraordinary agricultural production, which is facilitated by good rain. He will also produce a great amount of wine.
4. Joseph/Ephraim/Israel will have a tremendous amount of natural resources from beneath the land (i.e., great amounts of water, oil, natural gas, and other valuable assets).
5. Joseph/Ephraim/Israel to be the wealthiest nation on earth, far surpassing the riches of any other nation.
6. Joseph/Ephraim/Israel to be the most powerful military nation on earth, who possesses the strategic military points against his enemies. He is a virtual superpower with no equal to his destructive capabilities.
7. Joseph/Ephraim/Israel to exert political dominance over foreign nations.
8. Joseph/Ephraim/Israel will also exert dominance over his brother nations.
9. Joseph/Ephraim/Israel is provided with the protection of an automatic curse or blessing. Those nations cursing the holder of the unconditional blessing, at the time when it is in force, will suffer national disasters while those blessing them will receive national well-being.
Another important fact should not be overlooked. The simple math regarding the chronology of world history indicates that we are fairly close to the beginning of the 7th Millennium and the arrival of Yahushua the messiah.
If that be the case and for Yahweh’s word to be true as contained in Scriptures then there should be a nation that exists today that meets all of the requirements of having received Yahweh’s promised Unconditional Blessings.
Note: If you still have questions as to who and where this nation of unconditional blessings is today, then be sure to check out the followup post titled Israel–Still Guessing?
8 thoughts on “Israel – Guess Who?”
The most powerful nation at present is the real Israel?
They don’t need to recognize this or acknowledge this?
So what about the nation using the name Israel?
Nightingale, the nation using the name Israel is the House of Judah…the Jews, the House of Israel and the House of Judah were and are 2 distinct nations…as a matter of fact, one of the first times the name “Jew” was used in the Bible, it says they were at war with Israel…Judah is part of the original Israel, but they are not all of Israel and they were not given birthright to the name…the House of Judah and the House of Israel will not be reunited until after Christ returns as is shown in the Prophecy of Ezekiels dry bones and two sticks…it says that when he brings them together, King David will rule over them…this is literal.
Who is Joseph/Ephraim? He will have the blessing of wealth and world power.
Hello David Cohee,
Judah will hold the scepter til Shiloh comes. The present day country calling itself Israel doesn’t have a monarchy.
Hey Ranger, good post. Apparently you have a few people guessing. I certainly see the point of your silence to their replies; it wouldn’t be any fun if you just came out an said it. It would be like pulling off your own mask.
Very intriguing subject matter. Did several readings on the subject, e.g., http://www.Herbert-armstrong.org, http://www.tomorrowsworld.org , http://www.britam.org/usa3.html, http://www.cai.org/usa3.html, http://bobtheberean.blogspot.com/2009/11/united-states-and-britain-in-prophecy.html,
Each one has their own fascinating twist of analysis. For me, the most convincing is the one written by William F. Dankenbring. His conclusion, United States as Ephraim, Great Britain as Judah, and Manasseh as Canada.
What is your take on Rebekah scheming or tricking her husband in giving the blessing to Jacob? Was she justified?
Rebekah ensured the legal status of Jacob’s birthright which was obtained from his brother Esau. It is clear from Scriptures that Isaac had no knowledge of the situation whereas Rebekah did in fact have full knowledge. It is also evident from Scriptures that Esau would have killed Jacob if Jacob tried to enforce his legal rights. Therefore Rebekah was justified in making sure that Jacob rightfully and legally received the birthright. There is much more that can be added regarding this subject especially when extra-biblical sources are consulted.