Wednesday, July 24"And because I tell you the truth, ye believe me not."

Ephraim: The Half African Son of Joseph


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When Joseph was enslaved in Egypt, he eventually rose to power and married an Egyptian woman named Asenath. Two children resulted from this marriage and they were Ephraim and Manasseh.

“And the name of the second called he Ephraim: For God hath caused me to be fruitful in the land of my affliction.” – 41:52

During the blessing ceremony, Joseph places them before Jacob, and Jacob adopts both boys as his own children, thus making them “tribes” of Israel.

“And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine.” – Genesis 48:5



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During the ceremony, Jacob blesses both boys, but he places Ephraim before Manasseh, even though he was the youngest and Joseph objected.

“And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim‘s head unto Manasseh’s head. And Joseph said unto his father, Not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.” – Genesis 48:17-19

It isn’t until later that we find out that the ceremony was actually the passing of the birthright from Reuben to the sons of Joseph.

“Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father’s bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph’s:)” – 1 Chronicles 5:1-2

Why The Birthright Is Important

The birthright was usually passed from father to the eldest son, essentially making him the “man of the house” after the passing of the father. The oldest son would have all rights to the money, land, slaves, etc.

This status was usually assumed by the eldest son unless the father intentionally passed it onto someone else, such as what happened with Ephraim and Manasseh.

Because of this ceremony, it is the half Egyptian tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh that gained all the rights of the father after the passing of Jacob.


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More Black History In The Bible

  • Pharez: The Half Canaanite Son of Judah and TamarPharez: The Half Canaanite Son of Judah and Tamar One of the most often overlooked pieces of genealogical information involves the origins of the tribe of Judah. When Jacob's original sons (the 12 tribes of Israel) needed […]
  • Ham: The Origin of Black Africans and Black Arabs In The BibleHam: The Origin of Black Africans and Black Arabs In The Bible Ham: Son of Noah Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham (Cham), and Japheth, but it is Ham and his lineage that settled Africa and various parts of Arabia. Although that is the […]
  • Genesis 48 (KJV)Genesis 48 (KJV) Jacob Gives Ephraim and Manasseh The Birthright 1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh […]
  • Moses: The Black Hebrew Raised As An Egyptian PrinceMoses: The Black Hebrew Raised As An Egyptian Prince Moses was born in Africa, raised by Africans, trained in African wisdom, and was mistaken for a descendant of Ham... and yet he's still depicted as a bearded white man in the […]
  • Genesis 46 (KJV)Genesis 46 (KJV) The Israelites Move To Egypt 1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spake unto […]
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