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.
And he blessed them that day,.... That Joseph visited him, and this be did "by faith"; believing that what he had said concerning them would be accomplished, as the apostle observes, Hebrews 11:21;
saying, In thee shall Israel bless; in Joseph, as the Targum of Jonathan, that is, in his seed, in his sons Ephraim and Manasseh, when the Israelites blessed any, they should make use of their names:
saying, God make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh: as great and honourable, as rich and wealthy, as fruitful and prosperous as they; and the Targum says, this custom continues with the Jews to this day, to put their hands on persons to bless them; if a son, they say,
"God make thee as Ephraim and Manasseh;''
if a daughter,
"God make thee as Sarah and Rebekah:''
and he set Ephraim before Manasseh; not only in this form of benediction, but in all that he had said and done before; he preferred him to Manasseh by putting his right hand upon him, and giving him the superior blessing: and it is no unusual thing for the younger to be set before the elder, both by God and man, but especially by the Lord, who seeth not as man seeth, and proceeds not according to carnal descent, or those rules men go by: there had been many instances before this, as Abel was preferred to Cain, Shem to Japheth, Abraham to Nahor, Isaac to Ishmael, and Jacob to Esau; as there were after it, as Moses to Aaron, and David to his brethren.