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From Eternity Past

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    Jacob Adopts Joseph's Sons

    Another matter demanded attention—the sons of Joseph were to be formally instated among the children of Israel. Joseph, coming for a last interview with his father, brought with him Ephraim and Manasseh. These youths were connected through their mother with the highest order of the Egyptian priesthood; and the position of their father opened to them the avenues to wealth and distinction, should they choose to connect themselves with the Egyptians. It was Joseph's desire, however, that they should unite with their own people. He manifested his faith in the covenant promise, in behalf of his sons renouncing all the honors that the court of Egypt offered, for a place among the despised shepherd tribes, to whom had been entrusted the oracles of God.EP 159.1

    Said Jacob, “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.” They were to be adopted as his own and to become the heads of separate tribes.EP 159.2

    As they came nearer, the patriarch embraced and kissed them, solemnly laying his hands upon their heads in benediction. Then he uttered the prayer, “God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads.” There was no complaint of the evil days in the past. Its trials and sorrows were no longer regarded as things against him. Memory recalled only God's mercy and loving-kindness who had been with the patriarch throughout his pilgrimage.EP 159.3

    All the sons of Jacob were gathered about his dying bed. And Jacob called unto his sons, and said, “Gather yourselves together, ... that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.”EP 160.1

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