And his father refused, and said, I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations.
Genesis 48:19 (KJV)
Multitude of nations – Aw parental blessings, aren’t they wonderful? Can you imagine your grandfather laying his hands on you to bestow some sort of good tidings upon your life? I know blessings in our culture are always a sign of goodness and benevolence. Take a look at this one that the grandfather Jacob passes on to his grandchild, Ephraim. A multitude of nations surely means his seed will advance and multiply – right?
Well let’s take a look at the Hebrew. The words are mĕlo’ gowy which literally means the “fullness of the gentiles”. What kind of blessing is that upon an Israelite? Well we’ve got the “multitude” covered, but this additional part about becoming gentiles, what happened there?
Maybe this was no big deal to Joseph, Ephraim’s father, seeing that he was already living among heathens in Egypt. Joseph was Egyptianized; he was a leader in that land, his wife was Egyptian, and his children were mixed. His son, Ephraim, was also cultured in Egyptian ways, so I don’t think these words bothered him either. But why would Jacob, the patriarch of Israel, say this? Surely he knew his blessing was anything but good.
Something’s missing. Could this be part of the blessings in which Jacob passes on to all his sons? If so, in Genesis 49 Jacob says, “Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you that which shall befall you in the last days.” After this, Jacob proceeds to bless each of his sons. Jacob’s words here lead us to believe that the blessings are actually prophecies of each tribe in the later days – maybe Ephraim’s blessing is similar.
And maybe, concurrently, this was a lead up to another plan far greater than we realize. Understanding that Ephraim was the dominating tribe of the house of Israel, and reading the history of how God divorced this house (10 tribes) and scattered them among the earth, Hosea’s prophecy becomes more relevant.
Ephraim, he hath mixed himself among the people; Ephraim is a cake not turned.
And so through God’s divorcement and scattering, and Ephraim’s intermingling, we end up with a house (10 tribes) that has become gentiles. But before this story turns to gloom, redemption occurs. Yeshua came for the lost sheep of Israel – He came for the 10 tribes, and to reunite His kingdom. How do we know? Well doesn’t that term fullness of the gentiles sound familiar?
For I would not, brethren, that ye should be ignorant of this mystery, lest ye should be wise in your own conceits; that blindness in part is happened to Israel, until the fulness of the Gentiles be come in.
There it is. Yeshua is waiting for the fulness of the gentiles to come back – the 10 lost tribes. Are you a gentile? Then it’s time you come back to the flock, to Israel, and shed the “gentile” title and become an Israelite. Don’t forget who the New Covenant is for. According to Hebrews 8, it’s only for the house of Israel and the house of Judah – Israelites – not gentiles. Become a new man in Yeshua.