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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
1Then Joseph went in and told Pharao, saying: My father and brethren, their sheep and their herds, and all that they possess, are come out of the land of Chanaan; and behold they stay in the land of Gessen.
2Five men also the last of his brethren, he presented before the king.
3And he asked them: What is your occupation? They answered: We thy servants are shepherds, both we, and our fathers.
4We are come to sojourn in thy land, because there is no grass for the flocks of thy servants, the famine being very grievous in the land of Chanaan: and we pray thee to give orders that we thy servants may be in the land of Gessen.
5The king therefore said to Joseph: Thy father and thy brethren are come to thee.
6The land of Egypt is before thee: make them dwell in the best place, and give them the land of Gessen. And if thou knowest that there are industrious men among them, make them rulers over my cattle.
7After this Joseph brought in his father to the king, and presented him before him. And he blessed him.
8And being asked by him: How many are the days of the years of thy life?
9He answered: The days of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years, few, and evil. And they are not come up to the days of the pilgrimage of my fathers.
10And blessing the king, he went out.
11But Joseph gave a possession to his father and his brethren in Egypt, in the best place of the land, in Ramesses, as Pharao had commanded.
12And he nourished them, and all his father's house, allowing food to every one.
13For in the whole world there was want of bread, and a famine had oppressed the land: more especially of Egypt and Chanaan.
14Out of which he gathered up all the money for the corn which they bought, and brought it into the king's treasure.
15And when the buyers wanted money, all Egypt came to Joseph, saying: Give us bread. Why should we die in thy presence, having now no money?
16And he answered them: Bring your cattle, and for them I will give you food, if you have no money.
17And when they had brought them, he gave them food in exchange for their horses, and sheep, and oxen, and asses: And he maintained them that year for the exchange of their cattle.
18And they came the second year, and said to him: We will not hide from our lord, how that our money is spent, and our cattle also are gone. Neither art thou ignorant that we have nothing now left but our bodies and our lands.
19Why therefore shall we die before thy eyes? We will be thine, both we and our lands. Buy us to be the king's servants, and give us seed, lest for want of tillers the land be turned into a wilderness.
20So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt, every man selling his possessions, because of the greatness of the famine. And he brought it into Pharao's hands:
21And all its people from one end of the borders of Egypt, even to the other end thereof,
22Except the land of the priests, which had been given them by the king: to whom also a certain allowance of food was given out of the public stores. And therefore they were not forced to sell their possessions.
23Then Joseph said to the people: Behold, as you see, both you and your lands belong to Pharao: Take seed and sow the fields,
24That you may have corn. The fifth part you shall give to the king: the other four you shall have for seed, and for food for your families and children.
25And they answered: Our life is in thy hand. Only let my lord look favourably upon us, and we will gladly serve the king.
26From that time unto this day, in the whole land of Egypt, the fifth part is paid to the king: and it is become as a law, except the land of the priests, which was free from this covenant.
27So Israel dwelt in Egypt, that is, in the land of Gessen, and possessed it: and grew, and was multiplied exceedingly.
28And he lived in it seventeen years: and all the days of his life came to a hundred and forty-seven years.
29And when he saw that the day of his death drew nigh, he called his son Joseph, and said to him: If I have found favour in thy sight, put thy hand under my thigh, and thou shalt shew me this kindness and truth, not to bury me in Egypt.
30But I will sleep with my fathers; and thou shalt take me away out of this land, and bury me in the burying place of my ancestors. And Joseph answered him: I will do what thou hast commanded.
31And he said: Swear then to me. And as he was swearing, Israel adored God, turning to the bed's head.