New Defender's Study Bible Notes
48:15 all my life long. Jacob had seen many troubles and afflictions during his 147 years, but God had never forsaken him, just as He had promised (Genesis 28:15). When Jacob testified that God had “fed me,” the concept was that of a shepherd feeding his sheep. This in effect is the first Biblical reference to the Lord as our shepherd.
48:16 The Angel which redeemed me. This verse contains the first mention of the important Biblical word “redeem.” Significantly it attributes the work of redemption to God, not man, and not a sacrificial animal. The “Angel of the LORD” is none other than the pre-incarnate Christ (see note on Genesis 16:7). It must always be stressed, when evaluating other religions, that only Biblical Christianity offers the gospel that can save, for only the Creator Himself is sufficient to accomplish the work of redemption.
48:19 multitude of nations. The tribe of Ephraim eventually became larger and more important than any of the other tribes except Judah. Its name was even made synonymous with all ten tribes in the northern kingdom when they rebelled against Rehoboam and became a separate nation.
48:22 one portion above thy brethren. Although this may refer only to a specific tract of land in Canaan, the principle is here established that Joseph, rather than Reuben, will be granted the birthright (see I Chronicles 5:1-2) with its double inheritance, so that Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph’s sons, are established as each equal with the other eleven sons of Israel.
48:22 Amorite. This incident is not referred to elsewhere in the account of Jacob’s life, but that doesn’t mean it did not happen. A reasonable explanation might be that an Amorite neighbor of Jacob’s had attacked him, but that Jacob defeated and slew his attacker, thereby acquiring possession of his land. This particular portion he wanted to reserve for Joseph’s inheritance in addition to the ultimate twelve-fold division of the land. It is likely that this is “the parcel of ground” referred to in John 4:5.