1 And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph, Behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. 2 And one told Jacob, and said, Behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed.
Now begins the final story of Jacob. It began a full 23 chapters ago, in Genesis 25, when he strove with his brother in the womb. At that time, we were told that the striving was representative of the wars that would rise between the two nations that came of those brothers, but more than this, it set the tone for the rest of Jacob’s life.
All throughout, Jacob has been a man of strife. He strove against his brother for the birthright, he strove against his father-in-law for his wife and for fair wages, he strove against the Lord before his reunion to Esau, he strove against his rebellious sons, and he strove against the famine. Over and over again, he has had to make himself strong against the struggle.
Here in verse 2, he makes himself strong one more time, striving against his own declining body to receive his son and bless his grandchildren. He will do this, and give a final blessing to all his sons, and then he will die.
I also find interesting the repeated phrase “one told.” This was not a pre-arranged meeting between Jacob and Joseph, they are each dependent upon third parties to make known to them the state of the other, and to motivate and prepare them for this final reunion. Fortunately, everything works itself out for them to have this moment before it is too late.