Moreover I have given to you one portion above your brothers, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow.
Read Chapter 48
George Leo Haydock
Thee. In thy posterity; and particularly in Ephraim, to whose lot it shall fall, a portion. Hebrew shecem; which the Septuagint explain of the city, or field near it, which Jacob had formerly purchased; and which, being wrested from him after he had left that country, by the Amorrhites, he recovered by the sword. (Masius.)
The particulars of this transaction are not given in Scripture. (Menochius)
The children of Joseph buried their father in this field, Josue xxiv. 32. There also was Jacob's well, John iv. 5. We have already observed, that Jacob restored whatever his sons had taken unjustly from the unhappy Sichemites, chap. xxxiv. 30.
Sword and bow, is understood by St. Jerome and Onkelos in a spiritual sense, to denote his justice and earnest prayer, by which he merited the divine protection; (Calmet) or it may mean the money, which he had procured with hard labour. (St. Jerome, q. Heb.)
After he blessed the sons and promoted the younger ahead of the elder by way of forecasting the future, he wanted to convince Joseph that it was not idly or to no purpose that he had done this but to foretell what was due to happen. So he predicted his own death and the fact that they would return from foreign parts to Canaan, the land of their ancestors, and raised sound hope in them so as to cheer them up with the expectation. The hope of good things to come, after all, always mitigates the troubles of the present life.