Ephraim and Manasseh (6 December 2016, 6 Kislev, 5777)
Manasseh Becomes Great AFTER Ephraim.
Manasseh to build the Third Temple
13 Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel's left, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel's right, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh's head, crossing his hands, although Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 He blessed Joseph, and said,
'The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
16 The angel who has redeemed me from all evil,
Bless the lads;
And may my name live on in them,
And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.'
17 Now when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took hold of his father's hand to remove it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's head. 18 And Joseph said to his father, 'Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.'
19 But his father refused and said, 'I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a people, and he also shall be great; but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.'
20 So he blessed them that day, saying, 'By you Israel will bless, saying, 'May God make you as Ephraim and as Manasseh!'' And thus he set Ephraim before Manasseh.
The words "He [i.e. Manasseh] also shall become a people, and he also shall be great" (Genesis 48:19) indicate that Manasseh shall become great after Ephraim.
ADDITIONAL EVIDENCE IS FOUND BELOW:
Malbim (Rabbi Meir Leibush ben Jehiel Michel Weiser, 1809-1879):
# ...Ephraim was blessed with the right hand. The right side always indicates miraculous intervention of the Almighty.
# The Right Hand of the Almighty works wonders beyond the way of nature.
# Manasseh was blessed with the left hand which indicates blessing through natural means.
# Both the blessings and the two means by which God rules the world will bring benefaction to Ephraim and Manasseh until their seed becomes a multitude in the midst of the earth.
# The greatness of Ephraim will be through quality.
Manasseh will become great through quantity.
Concerning quality it sometimes happens that one man is worth an entire nation. This is a characteristic of Ephraim.
The blessing of Ephraim was to come into effect immediately.
On the other hand the blessing of Manasseh would have to wait until his population grew to a multitudinous number, until he should increase and multiply and grow into a great nation.
The time of Manasseh would have to wait until "He also shall become a people" and then "he also shall be great"..
"But truly his younger brother shall be greater than he" means that Ephraim was to become great by his own merit and not due to his large population. #
This fits our identification of Ephraim with Britain and company and Manasseh with the USA. Britain (Ephraim) became powerful before the USA (Manasseh). For most of its history (i.e. up until ca. 1800) England had a realtively small population but it was nearly always a significant power on the world scene. It was eathty and powerful. English forces went to war on different ccasions with France and with Spain (the most powerful nation of that time), and with others, and was usually victorious. The USA was created in 1776. It was wealthy and powerful from the beginning and its strength grew from year to year. Nevertheless the USA only gave full expression to what it had in WW1 and WW2. This was after it had grown and was its very natural weight and riches almost forced it to become involved with the world. Left to itself the USA would have preferred not to be overduly involved with the rest of the world. Its attitude for many years was that of non-involvement until circumstances caused it to change almost agaisnt its will.
The "Bnei Issachar" (Rabbi Zvi Elimelech Spira, 1783-1841) analyzied the way the hands of Jacob were placed on the two sons.
Manasseh was to the right of Jacob but Jacob crossed his arms and put his left arm on the head of Manasseh.
The "Bnei Issachar" said that Manasseh remaining on the right hand side meant that Manasseh would be the greater in some respects but at a later date due to the left arm being generally weaker and slower.
Fishel Mael (p. "Sefer Shiftei Yisroel" p. 490) quoting from "Bnei Yissachar": (Marcheshvan 5), and "Pri Tsadik" ("YaYashev" 1):
# Ephraim who belongs more to the aspect of his father, Joseph, and less to that of Jacob was intended [by Joseph] to receive [the blessing] from the left side [of Jacob]. Jacob however crossed his hands to show that the greatness of Manasseh would not be revealed in a hurry. In this world Ephraim and his descendants will by distinguished more. Nevertheless, Jacob kept Manasseh on his right [he crossed his hands over but did not change the position of the boys standing before him] for he [Manasseh] is destined to complete the Glory ["tiferet"] of Jacob in building the Third Temple. #
Notice what was said above,
"he [Manasseh] is destined to complete the Glory ["tiferet"] of Jacob in building the Third Temple"!
God says that HE will send HIS messenger before HIM to prepare the way and rebuild the Temple (Malachi 3:1). Rav Saadia Gaon (b. ca. 890 CE) and Iben Ezra (1080-1164 CE) said that the MESSENGER mentioned by Malachi is the Messiah son of Joseph. The Messiah son of Joseph, according to the Malbim (1809-1879) and others will be the future head of the Lost Ten Tribes when they return to re-unite with Judah. The Midrash (Pesikta Zutratha Lekach Tov, Balak, Numbers 24;17) says that the Messiah Son of Joseph will rebuild the Temple.