Makir’s name had become synonymous with that of his father, Manasseh, the ancestor of 1 of the 12 tribes of Israel. Makir was the grandson of Joseph, the last of the great patriarchs. As such, he was the subject of a recurring family ritual that might seem odd to us today…
Before Jacob died, he took Joseph’s 2 sons, Manasseh & Ephraim, on his knees; see Gen. 48:12-22. This was an ancient way of symbolizing that he had adopted them as his own 2 sons. It was a strange thing to do, particularly since he was so close to death, and their real father, Joseph, was alive and well! Plus, this would mean he had skipped giving Joseph – his favorite son – a blessing! So, as Jacob’s “sons”, Manasseh & Ephraim were entitled to a larger share of Jacob’s blessing. They would be forever counted among the 12 tribes of Israel.
Years later, Joseph, their father, repeated the same ritual with his great-grandchildren… adopting Makir’s children as his own, confirming to all present that Makir’s descendants would play an important part in Israel’s growth as a people; see Gen. 50:22-24.
Some of Makir’s descendants would become known as the Gileadites, part of the tribe of Manasseh. They were responsible for conquering and settling the portion of the Promised Land that would bear their name, Gilead. Later, when Deborah, a judge, celebrated Manasseh’s part in delivering Israel from the Canaanites, she actually used the name Makir instead of Manasseh; see Judg. 5:14.
See Genesis 50:22-24.
Joseph had lived in Egypt for 93yrs! He grew up in their culture. He was surrounded by it… being taught their customs, their language, and their history. He could have been buried in a pyramid among the Egyptian gods. Many would have argued Egypt was his home… but Joseph did not see it that way. He knew his home was the home promised by God to His people… to Joseph’s people. The only place Joseph wanted to be buried was the land he’d been hoping and living for through his whole life.
Joseph did not give up hope or lose faith even in the face of death.
Imagine how it would feel to hope for something your whole life… looking forward to something for so long… just to realize – from your deathbed – you’ll never see it happen. Many might curse God… angry at God because He did not deliver.
Joseph didn’t do that. Instead, he spoke confidently to his brothers: “God will come and take you to the land He promised. It will happen. I am sure it will happen, I want you to promise to take my bones with you when you go.”
Joseph bypassed his son… even his son’s son… to his great-grandsons. He reached as far as he could to illustrate how far ahead he was looking!
Today, we, also, have a promise from God concerning a future Place. Each person who has a relationship with God through Jesus Christ will go to Heaven… and will have eternal life with God. That is to be our Home, our final resting Place. This world we live in today is only temporary.
Like Joseph, we need to have a Future-Place Focus!
You can read Makir’s story in Genesis 50 and a few places beyond.