22 “Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall. 23 The archers bitterly attacked him, shot at him, and harassed him severely, 24 yet his bow remained unmoved; his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), 25 by the God of your father who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that crouches beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb. 26 The blessings of your father are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents, up to the bounties of the everlasting hills. May they be on the head of Joseph, and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.” (Genesis 49:22-26)
It should not be a surprise that Jacob’s oracle concerning his son Joseph, and his posterity, should contain an abundance of blessings. The fact is, this oracle is filled with God’s prophetic blessings upon Joseph.
To begin with, Jacob compared Joseph to a fruitful bough by a spring. In the Hebrew language, a bough referred to a young animal, a son or a grandson. It was a reference to one’s descendants (Lev. 6:11; 19:18).
Secondly, Jacob acknowledged Joseph had been the victim of personal assault. Jacob likened it to archers shooting at him, attacking him and severely harassing him. Jacob used strong words with vivid imagery.
Third, Jacob extensively emphasized the future blessings of the LORD upon the life of Joseph. Jacob said, “by the God of your father who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you” (Gen. 49:25). These are acknowledged blessings, or divine favor, from the Almighty and from heaven above.
What is the scope of this future favor from the LORD upon Joseph? These are blessings from heaven above. These are blessing of the deep. They are blessings of the breasts. They are blessings of the womb.
Dr. John Walvoord writes, “In these verses are several marvelous titles for God—the Mighty One of Jacob … the Shepherd (cf. 48:15), the Rock of Israel … your father’s God … the Almighty (šadday; cf. ’ēl šadday in 17:1)—the One who ensures blessings from the heavens above (i.e., rain for crops) from the deep … below (i.e., streams and wells for water), and from the breast and womb (i.e., abundant offspring). Jacob bestowed on Joseph the greater blessings because he was the prince among his brothers (cf. 41:41).”
Jacob concludes his oracle regarding Joseph and his posterity by uttering a concluding praise of the blessing from God. “The blessings of your father are mighty beyond the blessings of my parents, up to the bounties of the everlasting hills. May they be on the head of Joseph, and on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.”
May each believer in Christ view life from the perspective of God’s generous blessings. May each of us be forever grateful.
Praise God from whom all blessings flow,
Praise Him, all creatures here below,
Praise Him above the Heavenly host,
Praise Father, Son and Holy Ghost.
Soli deo Gloria!