When Did Yaakov Bless Ephraim and Menashe?

Introduction

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Adults or Youths?

In Bereshit 48, Yaakov gives Yosef's children tribal status and blesses them.  The placement of the narrative a few verses after the statement "וַיִּקְרְבוּ יְמֵי יִשְׂרָאֵל לָמוּת"‎1 and just a chapter before his actual death suggests that the event is taking place towards the end of Yaakov's life.  The fact that the story opens with Yaakov on a sickbed and ends with his telling Yosef that he is soon to die, would seem to confirm this.  Several aspects of the story, nonetheless, make one question the chronology:

How are the contradictory verses to be reconciled?  Was Yaakov near death and his grandchildren already adults during the episode, or did the story take place close to Yaakov's arrival in Egypt when Yosef's sons were much younger?
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