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Daily manna from the Torah by Dr Ketriel Blad

MiKets 10-3

At the end

Genesis 41:39-52

Joseph called the name of the firstborn Manasseh. "For," he said, "God has made me forget all my hardship and all my father’s house." The name of the second he called Ephraim, "For God has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction."

Gen. 41:51-52 ESV

Is there any relation between affliction and fruit?

When Yosef had been set in the highest rank of his world then, with the exception of Pharaoh who gave him that power, he could form a new family and forget his father’s house. It’s not that he forgot his father and siblings, but that because of the happiness he was experiencing he didn’t long for his days as a young boy. Now he had a wife and a child and his soul was very happy. The name he called his firstborn, Menashe, is proof of that.

Yosef’s second son is called a name that reveals a very profound secret. The name Ephrayim is the dual form of the Hebrew word ephratאפרת, prolific, fruitful – that comes from the root parah פרה which means to give fruit.

The second son of Yosef was later prophetically chosen to be greater than his brother. Israel’s firstborn right was passed on to this son according to 1 Chronicles 5:1-2. Even if Yehuda had the leading role among the brothers and the Messiah came from him, he didn’t receive the firstborn right – Ephraim did.

There is a great mystery hidden here but we don’t have the chance to explain more about it at this juncture. I just want to point out the fact that his name reveals a very beautiful thing, from Yosef’s mouth: “The Almighty has made me fruitful in the land of my affliction.” There is an important relation between affliction and fruit.

From the age of 17 until 30, Yosef had suffered in the land of Egypt. Not only because he was away from his father’s family, but also because in that foreign land there was a lot of idolatry and other sins surrounding him. This was in fact the land of his affliction.

However, in the middle of his affliction he had learned the lesson of bearing fruit for the kingdom of Heaven. His faithfulness and love spread out to those around him and the Torah shows also that his faith passed on to others in several occasions. The Eternal was making him fruitful in the middle of his afflictions. Yosef bore fruit everywhere. The question is if he had borne that much fruit without all that suffering. I’m sure that the answer is “no”.

When a righteous person’s soul faces affliction in a right manner a lasting fruit is produced. This spiritual law is mentioned in the second son of Yosef, Ephraim. Ephraim represents all the fruit that comes from a righteous man’s affliction.

Since the name Ephraim is dual, it speaks of two kinds of fruit in the midst of affliction. In the first place, it is a prophetic indication of what would happen to Messiah son of Yosef, who would bear lots of fruit through his affliction. All the souls saved from eternal destruction will be fruit of the Messiah’s suffering.

The second kind of fruit codified in that name has to do with the future of Ephraim’s descendants and all those represented by him. The world hasn’t seen much of the plan that the Eternal has for this firstborn of Israel. The world has seen the blessing that comes through Yehuda – the Jewish people – but since the tribe of Ephraim, firstborn of Israel, was assimilated among the gentile nations with another nine tribes, the divine purpose of his firstborn right hasn’t yet been seen.

The name “Ephraim” represents the great fruit that will be produced during the great tribulation, the last seven years before the return of the Messiah. It will be such a great fruit that nobody will be able to count it as it is written in Revelation 7:9-17: “After this I looked, and behold, a great multitude that no one could number, from every nation, from all tribes and peoples and languages, standing before the throne and before the Lamb, clothed in white robes, with palm branches in their hands, and crying out with a loud voice, "Salvation belongs to our God who sits on the throne, and to the Lamb!" And all the angels were standing around the throne and around the elders and the four living creatures, and they fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying, "Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom and thanksgiving and honor and power and might be to our God forever and ever! Amen." Then one of the elders addressed me, saying, "Who are these, clothed in white robes, and from where have they come?" I said to him, "Sir, you know." And he said to me, "These are the ones coming out of the great tribulation. They have washed their robes and made them white in the blood of the Lamb. "Therefore they are before the throne of God, and serve him day and night in his temple; and he who sits on the throne will shelter them with his presence. They shall hunger no more, neither thirst anymore; the sun shall not strike them, nor any scorching heat. For the Lamb in the midst of the throne will be their shepherd, and he will guide them to springs of living water, and God will wipe away every tear from their eyes." (ESV)

Don’t run from affliction, or think that it is a hindrance to the Eternal’s purpose for your life. It is a fertilizer that the Eternal has put to strengthen the fruit that is being produced in your soul and around you.

May the Eternal grant us understanding to stop complaining about our afflictions but to see the fruit of our soul’s affliction and be contented.


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