“Nevertheless, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations" (v19). Joseph didn’t like the fact that his father Jacob put his right hand on Ephraim’s head, instead of firstborn Manasseh’s, when he blessed the boys. But Jacob insisted, prophetically declaring that though both would be great tribes, Ephraim would be greater. Israel’s history is full of tradition-breaking, as younger sons (like Isaac and Jacob) and barren women (Sarah, Rebecca, Rachel) found favor with God.
“I will make you fruitful and multiply you” (v4). God often uses methods that are upside-down, inefficient, and surprising, so that we can’t miss the marks of His power and love.