Ephraim Comes First!
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Ephraim Comes First!
Malbim on Joseph (Genesis chs 48 and 49):

The Malbim and the USA as Manasseh
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6TTLbcKerKs&feature=youtu.be


Duration: 20 minutes

The Ten Tribes are in the West. Joseph split into two tribes, Ephraim and Manasseh. The USA is dominated by Manasseh. This is explained in the blessing of Jacob to his two grandsons Ephraim and Manasseh according to the Rabbinical Commentary of the Malbim.
See:
Ephraim Comes First! Malbim on Joseph (Genesis chs 48 and 49).
http://www.britam.org/MalbimJoseph.html
This is one of the very numerous proofs that the Ten Tribes today are now to be found amongst Western Peoples.



The Malbim (Rabbi Mer Leibush ben Jehiel Michel Weiser, 1809-1879) was a Rabbi, Hebrew linguist, halachic (legal) expert, and Bible commentator.
At one stage he was Chief Rabbi of Romania.
He was a vigorous opponent of Reform Judaism and against Karaite tendencies.
We have used his commentary before.
The Malbim affirms that the Ten Tribes are still in Exile, that they to be found as cohesive units and that in End Times they will return being lead by the Messiah son of Joseph.
Regarding the blessing of Jacob to Ephraim and Manasseh (the sons of Joseph) we are told that,
Genesis 48:
14 Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn. ...
17 Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, 'Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.'
19 But his father refused and said, 'I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.'


In the extract and words of explanation below we see how the Malbim interprets the blessing of Jacob to Ephraim and Manasseh as saying that Ephraim would become great before Manasseh.
Ephraim would be great through his own merits and self-assertion almost from the beginning. Manasseh would wait until the vast numbers of his population and the weight of his blessing would of itself result in greatness.
We identify Ephraim with Britain and Canada, Australia, New Zealand, the whites in South Africa. The USA is Manasseh. The interpretation of the Malbim concerning Ephraim and Manasseh fits historical reality. The USA grew out of Britain. Even though the USA achieved independence by rebelling from Britain it grew and developed under the British shadow and with the help of British protection and investment. The population of the USA increased immensely along with its wealth and economic potential. Finally due to the sheer weight of what it had become it seamlessly replaced Britain as Policeman of the Globe and paramount world power.
That according to the Malbim is precisely what Manasseh was supposed to do!
England on the other hand whom we identify as the main force of Ephraim placed itself on the world scene from the very beginning.
As soon as the English nation came into existence it conquered Wales and periodically attempted to do the same in Ireland, Scotland, and France.
Under the Tudors England defied the Pope and the Holy Roman Empire as well as defeating and humiliating Spain which at the time was the major world power.
At first the population of England was less than a fifth that of the French. Later it benefited from a population explosion due to the Agricultural and Industrial Revolutions and overseas colonization.
[Sometimes the family grows according to the space available.]
This fits how the Malbim understands the blessing to Ephraim.

Before we came across this section of the Malbim we had already understood the blessing to say that Ephraim would become great before Manasseh.
We came to this conclusion from the words "He [i.e. Manasseh] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great" (Genesis 48:19).
The expression "He also" to our minds indicated something occurring later.
The "Bnei Issachar" came to the same conclusion by analyzing the way the hands of Jacob were placed on the two sons.
Manasseh was to the right of Jacob but Jacob crossed his arms and put his left arm on the head of Manasseh. The "Bnei Issachar" (Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Spira, 17831841), said that Manasseh remaining on the right hand side meant that Manasseh would be the greater in some respects but at a later date due to the left arm being generally weaker and slower.
The Malbim opines that "he set Ephraim before Manasseh" also indicates (apart from its other meanings) that Ephraim would be great before Manasseh.
The Malbim understands the blessing of Jacob as saying that the time of Manasseh would have to wait until "He also shall become a people" and then "he also shall be great".."But truly his younger brother shall be greater than he" means that Ephraim was to become great by his own merit and not due to his large population.
The Malbim opines that "he set Ephraim before Manasseh" also confirms (apart from its other meanings) that Ephraim would be great before Manasseh.




Extracts and Explanations from the Malbim.

Genesis 48:
12 So Joseph brought them from beside his knees, and he bowed down with his face to the earth. 13 And Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near him. 14 Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn.

Jacob stretched out his right hand placing it on the head of Ephraim. After that he placed his left hand on the head of Manasseh [crossing his arms].
The left arm was above the right one.
"guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn", ...he placed his left arm on top showing that he knew Manasseh was the first-born...
Manasseh does not receive the plenitude of his blessing through Ephraim but rather via a conduit of his own. This is why the left arm was placed over the right one.
Genesis 48:
15 And he blessed Joseph, and said:
'God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
The God who has fed me all my life long to this day,
16 The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil,
Bless the lads;
Let my name be named upon them,
And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.'


...Ephraim was blessed with the right hand. The right side always indicates miraculous intervention of the Almighty.
The Right Hand of the Almighty works wonders beyond the way of nature.
Manasseh was blessed with the left hand which indicates blessing through natural means.
Both the blessings and the two means by which God rules the world will bring benefaction to Ephraim and Manasseh until their seed becomes a multitude in the midst of the earth.

The greatness of Ephraim will be through quality.
Manasseh will become great through quantity.
Concerning quality it sometimes happens that one man is worth an entire nation. This is a characteristic of Ephraim.
The blessing of Ephraim was to come into effect immediately.
On the other hand the blessing of Manasseh would have to wait until his population grew to a multitudinous number, until he should increase and multiply and grow into a great nation.
Genesis 48:
17 Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, 'Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.'
19 But his father refused and said, 'I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.'
The time of Manasseh would have to wait until "He also shall become a people" and then "he also shall be great"..
"But truly his younger brother shall be greater than he" means that Ephraim was to become great by his own merit and not due to his large population.
"And his descendants shall become a multitude of nations" in Hebrew is "zaro yihyae malay ha-Goyim" literally "His seed will be full of the Nations".
The Malbim interprets this to mean that from his seed will come one (such as Joshua the son of Nun and successor to Moses) who will be worth as much as many peoples.

Genesis 48:
20 So he blessed them that day, saying, 'By you Israel will bless, saying, 'May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!'' And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh.


The Malbim opines that "he set Ephraim before Manasseh" also indicates (apart from its other meanings) that Ephraim would be great before Manasseh.

Genesis 49:
1 And Jacob called his sons and said, 'Gather together, that I may tell you what shall befall you in the last days:
2 Gather together and hear, you sons of Jacob, And listen to Israel your father.


The expression "Gather together" occurs twice in the above verses.
In the Hebrew the word translated as "Gather together" in Genesis 49:1 is Ha-Asfu which the Malbim understands as indicating "unite, become one".
In Genesis 49:2 the word "HiKabtsu" which the Malbim understands as indicating "gather in".
He understands that  "HiKabtsu" i.e. "gather in" will come first and then "Ha-Asfu" i.e.  "unite, become one".
This is despite the words appearing in reverse order in the two verses.
...Complete Redemption is impossible until  they unite and become one nation.
The Midrash says "Ha-Asfu" i.e.  "unite, become one" with the Ten Tribes and "HiKabtsu" i.e. "gather in" with Judah and Benjamin.
Isaiah 11:
12 He will set up a banner for the nations,
And will assemble [Hebrew: "ve-asaf"] the outcasts of Israel,
And gather together [Hebrew: "YiKabets"] the dispersed of Judah
From the four corners of the earth.

The Malbim says:
#I explained in my commentary on the above verse (Isaiah 11:12) that the Ten Tribes are not scattered only outcast [Hebrew: "nidach" meaning outcast or driven out] to  where we know not and only need to be gathered in.
The Tribes of Judah and Benjamin [i.e. the present-day Jews] are scattered to the four corners of the earth. They are not outcast since their location is known.
They need to be united...
# It has become quite clear to me that everywhere in Scripture where the Ten Tribes are spoken of as contraposed to Judah that Judah is referred to as Israel as opposed to the Ten Tribes who are called Jacob #.





See Also:
Rabbinical Sources.
Tribal Identifications.







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