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Genesis 47

47
Chapter 47
Joseph works well for his master Pharaoh
1Joseph went to Pharaoh. He told him, ‘My father and brothers have arrived from Canaan. They have come with their animals and everything that belongs to them. They are now in Goshen.’ 2Joseph took five of his brothers to go with him to meet Pharaoh. 3Pharaoh asked the brothers, ‘What is your job?’ The brothers replied, ‘We are shepherds, sir. We take care of animals, just like our ancestors did.’ 4They also said to Pharaoh, ‘We have come to stay here for a short time because there is a bad famine in Canaan. Our animals do not have any grass to eat there. Please sir, let us stay in Goshen.’
5Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Your father and your brothers have now come to you. 6The whole land of Egypt is here for them. Your fathers and brothers should stay in the best part of the land. They may live in Goshen. You should choose the best shepherds from among them to take care of my own animals.’
7Then Joseph brought his father Jacob to meet Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8Then Pharaoh asked Jacob, ‘How old are you?’ 9Jacob replied, ‘I have been alive for 130 years. My years have been few, and they have been difficult. I have not lived for as long as my ancestors lived.’ #47:9 Abraham lived for 175 years (Genesis 25:7). And Isaac lived for 180 years (Genesis 35:28). 10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again and he left.
11So, Joseph helped his father and his brothers to make their home in Egypt. He gave them a good place to live in the best region of Egypt. This was in the region that is now called Rameses. Joseph did for his family what Pharaoh had told him to do. #47:11 Rameses is the Egyptian name for Goshen.
12Joseph also sent food to his father, his brothers and all his father's people. He gave them enough food for themselves and all their children.
13But because the famine was bad, no food grew in all of Egypt. As a result, the people of Egypt and Canaan became hungry and weak. 14Joseph received money from the people when he sold food to them. He took all the money to Pharaoh's palace. 15Soon the people of Egypt and Canaan did not have any more money. All the Egyptians went to Joseph and they said, ‘Give us food to eat. If not, we will die! We do not have any more money.’
16Joseph said to the people, ‘If you have no money, bring me your animals. I will give you food if you pay me with your animals instead of money.’ 17So the people brought their animals to Joseph. They brought horses, sheep, goats, cows and donkeys. Joseph sold food to them in return for their animals. In that way, he sold enough food for them to eat that year.
18When that year finished, the people came to Joseph again. They said to him, ‘Sir, you know that we do not have any money. Our animals now belong to you. We have nothing left to give to you. We only have our land and our own bodies. 19Do not let us die here and now! Do not destroy our land! If you give food to us, we will pay you with ourselves and with our land. We will become Pharaoh's slaves. Our land will become Pharaoh's land. Give us grain to eat and seed to plant. Then we will not die. Our fields will not be empty.’
20Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. Because the famine was very bad, all the Egyptians sold their fields to buy food. So all the land now belonged to Pharaoh. 21Joseph made all the people become slaves, wherever they lived in Egypt. 22But Joseph did not buy the land which belonged to the priests. Pharaoh himself gave the priests enough food. So the priests did not have to sell their land.
23Joseph said to the people, ‘Now I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. So I will give you some seed to plant in your fields. 24But when the plants are ready to eat, you must give one fifth part to Pharaoh. You may keep the other four parts. You may keep it for seed to plant again and you may eat it. It will be food for you, for your people and for your children.’ 25The people said, ‘You have saved our lives! Because you have been kind to us, we agree to become Pharaoh's slaves.’
26So Joseph made a law which everybody in Egypt has to obey. The law says that one fifth of all food that people grow belongs to Pharaoh. Only the priests' land did not become Pharaoh's land. This law still has authority today. #47:26 ‘still has authority today’ means that the law was still there when Genesis was written.
27The Israelites stayed in Egypt, in the region called Goshen. They had their own land there. They gave birth to many children so that they became very many people.
28Jacob lived in Egypt for 17 years. His whole life was 147 years. 29The time came for him to die. So he called his son Joseph to come to him. Jacob said to him, ‘If you agree, make a serious promise to me. Put your hand between my legs to show that I can trust you. Promise that you will be kind to me and that you will do as I ask. When I die, do not bury me here in Egypt. #47:29 Joseph put his hand between Jacob's legs. He was promising to do as Jacob asked. See also Genesis 24:2. 30Carry my body out of Egypt. Bury me in the grave of my ancestors.’ Joseph said, ‘I will do as you say.’ 31Jacob said, ‘Promise me that you will do this.’ Then Joseph made a promise to him. After that, Jacob rested on his bed and he thanked God.
47
1Joseph went to report to Pharaoh and told him, “My father and brothers, along with their flocks and herds and all their possessions, have arrived from the land of Canaan and now they're here in Goshen.” 2Joseph took five of his brothers to go with him and introduced them to Pharaoh.
3Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What work do you do?”
“Your servants are shepherds, just like our fathers before us,” they replied.
4“We have come to live in Egypt because there's no grass left in Canaan for our flocks to eat,” they explained. “The famine is really bad in Canaan. So we would like to please ask permission to live in Goshen.”
5Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and brothers have arrived to join you, 6you can choose wherever you like in Egypt, the best place, for them to live. Let them live in Goshen. If you know any of them who are good at what they do, put them in charge of my livestock as well.”
7Then Joseph went with his father Jacob and introduced him to Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8Pharaoh asked him, “So how long have you lived?”
9“I have been wandering for 130 years,” Jacob replied. “My life has been short and difficult—I have not lived as long as my forefathers who also wandered from place to place.” 10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again before leaving him.
11So Joseph arranged for his father and brothers to live in Egypt and gave them land in the best part near Rameses, as Pharaoh had ordered. 12He also provided food for all of them—his father, his brothers, and his father's whole household—depending on family size.
13No food was left in the whole country because the famine had become so bad. Throughout Egypt and Canaan people were starving. 14By selling grain Joseph collected all the money in Egypt and Canaan, and placed it in Pharaoh's treasury. 15Once the money from Egypt and Canaan had run out, the Egyptians all came to Joseph and demanded, “Give us food! Do you want us to die right in front of you? All our money is gone!”
16“Bring me your livestock,” Joseph told them. “I'll give you grain in exchange for your livestock if you've run out of money.”
17So they brought Joseph their livestock, and he provided them with grain in exchange for their horses, sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. He gave them grain in return for their livestock during that year.
18But when that year was over, they came to him the next year and said, “My lord, we can't hide from you the fact that our money is gone and that you now own our livestock. All we have left to give you are our bodies and our land. 19Do you want us to die right in front of you? So buy us and our land in return for food. Then our land will belong to Pharaoh, and we'll be his slaves. Just give us grain so we can live and won't die, and so the land won't be abandoned.”
20So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. Each and every Egyptian sold their fields, because the famine was hurting them so badly. The land ended up being owned by Pharaoh, 21and all the people became his slaves,#47:21. “The people became his slaves”: Septuagint and other ancient translations. The Hebrew has “he moved them to the cities.” from one end of Egypt to the other. 22The only land he didn't buy belonged to the priests because they had a food allowance provided to them by Pharaoh, so they didn't have to sell their land.
23Then Joseph told the people, “Listen to me! Now that I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh, I'm giving you some seed for you to sow the fields. 24However, when it's harvested, you have to give one fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you can keep as seed for the fields and as food for you, your households, and your children.”
25“You've saved our lives,” they declared. “May you continue to treat us well, my lord, and we'll be Pharaoh's slaves.”
26So Joseph made it a law for Egypt which is still is in effect today that one fifth of all produce from the land belongs to Pharaoh. Only the priests' land was exempt since it did not belong to Pharaoh.
27The Israelites settled in Goshen in Egypt where they became prosperous landowners and rapidly increased in number. 28Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years, so he lived in total 147 years.
29When the time came for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If you think well of me, place your hand under my thigh and promise to treat me with trustworthy love and faithfulness. Don't bury me here in Egypt. 30When I die, bury me with my forefathers. You must take my body from Egypt to the family tomb and bury me with them.”
“I will do as you say,” Joseph promised.
31“Swear to me that you will,” he said. Joseph swore that he would. Israel bowed in worship at the head of his bed.