In this scene we see Jacob give his final blessings to his children. It starts with a blessing for Joseph and his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and concludes with the blessings for Joseph’s brothers. This sort of fatherly blessing was relatively common in the Ancient Near East. Jacob’s father, Isaac, also blessed him before death. However, as you may recall, it was an unusual situation, as Jacob stole his older brother, Esau’s, blessing (see Gen. 27). I find it interesting that what Jacob so eagerly stole, he now eagerly gives away to his sons. A close reading of the blessings of chapter 50 indicate that they were not only blessings. Curses are also included. I don’t know if this was common, but I guess it was the way the Lord led Jacob at that moment. I find his blessing for Joseph especially powerful (see 48:15-16). So what would a modern-day blessing look like? I’ve not heard too many stories of fathers blessing their children on their death-bed, but I’m more concerned about the blessings we give (or don’t give) on a daily basis. Perhaps a simple, “Jesus loves you!” or “God bless you!” is more than enough. What words of blessing can you pass on to others, that will encourage them and direct them to the God of all blessings?