Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall.
Yesterday, we gave an overview of the prophecies about the sons of Jacob in Genesis 49. The most prophetic attention is given to Joseph and his descendants. The prophecy regarding Joseph is nearly double the length of the prophecies given about other tribes.
The reason Joseph was given special attention is because Joseph received the birthright blessing. This caused him to have a “portion” of blessings greater than the other brothers (Genesis 48:22). When identifying Joseph’s descendants in the modern world, we have to look for nations that have been dominant in different measurements of national power. The prophecy given to Joseph in Genesis 49:22-26 provides us several indicators that help us identify Joseph today:
- Colonization. Joseph’s descendants were prophesied to be “a fruitful bough by a well; his branches run over the wall” (verse 22). Joseph’s descendants would be a people prone toward colonial and imperial expansion.
- National enemies. Joseph’s descendants would be shot at by “archers” (verse 23). This indicates that other nations would be jealous and try to attack and destroy Joseph.
- Environmental and agricultural blessings. Joseph’s descendants would receive blessings “of heaven above” (rainfall and weather conditions conducive to agriculture), “of the deep that lies beneath” (natural resources) and “of the womb” (fertility and life span) (verse 25).
- Separate from the other tribes. Joseph’s descendants would become two distinct peoples (Ephraim and Manasseh) but would remain “separate from his brothers” (verse 26). This would be a geographic, cultural and linguistic separation.
None of these indicators were fulfilled by Joseph’s descendants fully as individual tribes within ancient Israel. These were to be fulfilled in the “last days” (Genesis 49:1). All of the above indicators, plus other biblical clues, lead us to the inescapable conclusion that those of American and British descent are the inheritors of the birthright blessings given to Joseph.
Manasseh is represented in the single nation of the United States. Ephraim is represented in the British Commonwealth nations (mainly the United Kingdom, Canada, Australia and New Zealand).
To learn more about the modern identity of Joseph, read “Who Are the United States and Britain in Prophecy?”
Tomorrow on the Daily Bible Verse Blog: “Conclusion of the Book of Genesis.”