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Genesis 47

47
Settlement in Goshen. 1Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers have come from the land of Canaan, with their flocks and herds and everything else they own; and they are now in the region of Goshen.” 2He then presented to Pharaoh five of his brothers whom he had selected from their full number. 3When Pharaoh asked them, “What is your occupation?” they answered, “We, your servants, like our ancestors, are shepherds. 4We have come,” they continued, “in order to sojourn in this land, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks, because the famine has been severe in the land of Canaan. So now please let your servants settle in the region of Goshen.”#Ex 23:9; Dt 23:8. 5Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and your brothers have come to you, 6the land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and brothers in the pick of the land. Let them settle in the region of Goshen. And if you know of capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.” 7Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8Then Pharaoh asked Jacob, “How many years have you lived?” 9Jacob replied: “The years I have lived as a wayfarer amount to a hundred and thirty. Few and hard have been these years of my life, and they do not compare with the years that my ancestors lived as wayfarers.”#Wayfarer…wayfarers: human beings are merely sojourners on earth; cf. Ps 39:13. 10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and withdrew from his presence.
11Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them a holding in Egypt on the pick of the land, in the region of Rameses,#The region of Rameses: same as the region of Goshen; see note on 45:10. as Pharaoh had ordered. 12And Joseph provided food for his father and brothers and his father’s whole household, down to the youngest.
Joseph’s Land Policy. 13Since there was no food in all the land because of the extreme severity of the famine, and the lands of Egypt and Canaan were languishing from hunger, 14Joseph gathered in, as payment for the grain that they were buying, all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan, and he put it in Pharaoh’s house. 15When all the money in Egypt and Canaan was spent, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, pleading, “Give us food! Why should we perish in front of you? For our money is gone.” 16“Give me your livestock if your money is gone,” replied Joseph. “I will give you food in return for your livestock.” 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, and their donkeys. Thus he supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock in that year. 18That year ended, and they came to him in the next one and said: “We cannot hide from my lord that, with our money spent and our livestock made over to my lord, there is nothing left to put at my lord’s disposal except our bodies and our land. 19Why should we and our land perish before your very eyes? Take us and our land in exchange for food, and we will become Pharaoh’s slaves and our land his property; only give us seed, that we may survive and not perish, and that our land may not turn into a waste.”
20So Joseph acquired all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. Each of the Egyptians sold his field, since the famine weighed heavily upon them. Thus the land passed over to Pharaoh, 21and the people were reduced to slavery, from one end of Egypt’s territory to the other. 22Only the priests’ lands Joseph did not acquire. Since the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh and lived off the allowance Pharaoh had granted them, they did not have to sell their land.
23Joseph told the people: “Now that I have acquired you and your land for Pharaoh, here is your seed for sowing the land. 24But when the harvest is in, you must give a fifth of it to Pharaoh, while you keep four-fifths as seed for your fields and as food for yourselves and your households and as food for your children.” 25“You have saved our lives!” they answered. “We have found favor with my lord; now we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 26Thus Joseph made it a statute for the land of Egypt, which is still in force, that a fifth of its produce should go to Pharaoh. Only the land of the priests did not pass over to Pharaoh.
Israel Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh. 27Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen. There they acquired holdings, were fertile, and multiplied greatly.#Ex 1:7. 28#47:28–50:26] Supplements to the Joseph story. Most of the material in this section centers on Jacob—his blessing of Joseph’s sons, his farewell testament, and his death and burial in Canaan. Only the last verses (50:15–26) redirect attention to Jacob’s sons, the twelve brothers; they are assured that the reconciliation will not collapse after the death of the patriarch. Jacob lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years; the span of his life came to a hundred and forty-seven years. 29When the time approached for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said to him: “If it pleases you, put your hand under my thigh as a sign of your enduring fidelity to me; do not bury me in Egypt. 30When I lie down with my ancestors, take me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.”#Gn 50:5. “I will do as you say,” he replied. 31But his father demanded, “Swear it to me!” So Joseph swore to him. Then Israel bowed at the head of the bed.#Israel bowed at the head of the bed: meaning perhaps that he gave a nod of assent and appreciation as he lay on his bed. The oath and gesture are the same as Abraham’s in 24:2. Israel’s bowing here suggests the fulfillment of Joseph’s dreams in 37:9–10, when parents and brothers bowed down to Joseph (cf. 42:6; 43:26). By using different vowels for the Hebrew word for “bed,” the Greek version translated it as “staff,” and understood the phrase to mean that he bowed in worship, leaning on the top of his staff; it is thus quoted in Heb 11:21.
47
1Joseph went to inform Pharaoh and said, “My father and brothers with their flocks, herds, and everything they own have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the land of Goshen.” 2From all of his brothers, he selected five men and presented them before Pharaoh.
3Pharaoh said to Joseph’s brothers, “What do you do?”
They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our ancestors.” 4They continued, “We’ve come to the land as immigrants because the famine is so severe in the land of Canaan that there are no more pastures for your servants’ flocks. Please allow your servants to settle in the land of Goshen.”
5Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since your father and brothers have arrived, 6the land of Egypt is available to you. Settle your father and brothers in the land’s best location. Let them live in the land of Goshen. And if you know capable men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.”
7Joseph brought his father Jacob and gave him an audience with Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8and Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?”
9Jacob said to Pharaoh, “I’ve been a traveler for 130 years. My years have been few and difficult. They don’t come close to the years my ancestors lived during their travels.” 10Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left Pharaoh’s presence. 11Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them property in the land of Egypt, in the best location in the land of Rameses, just as Pharaoh had ordered. 12Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and his father’s entire household, in proportion to the number of children.
Joseph centralizes power in Egypt
13There was no food in the land because the famine was so severe. The land of Egypt and the land of Canaan dried up from the famine. 14Joseph collected all of the silver to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain, which people came to buy, and he deposited it in Pharaoh’s treasury. 15The silver from the land of Egypt and from the land of Canaan had been spent, and all of the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes, just because the silver is gone?”
16Joseph said, “Give me your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock if the silver is gone.” 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food for the horses, flocks, cattle, and donkeys. He got them through that year with food in exchange for all of their livestock.
18When that year was over, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We can’t hide from my master that the silver is spent and that we’ve given the livestock to my master. All that’s left for my master is our corpses and our farmland. 19Why should we die before your eyes, we and our farmland too? Buy us and our farms for food, and we and our farms will be under Pharaoh’s control. Give us seed so that we can stay alive and not die, and so that our farmland won’t become unproductive.” 20So Joseph bought all of Egypt’s farmland for Pharaoh because every Egyptian sold his field when the famine worsened. So the land became Pharaoh’s. 21He moved the people to the cities#47.21 Sam, LXX he made the people slaves from one end of Egypt to the other. 22However, he didn’t buy the farmland of the priests because Pharaoh allowed the priests a subsidy, and they were able to eat from the subsidy Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they didn’t have to sell their farmland.
23Joseph said to the people, “Since I’ve now purchased you and your farmland for Pharaoh, here’s seed for you. Plant the seed on the land. 24When the crop comes in, you must give one-fifth to Pharaoh. You may keep four-fifths for yourselves, for planting fields, and for feeding yourselves, those in your households, and your children.”
25The people said, “You’ve saved our lives. If you wish, we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 26So Joseph made a law that still exists today: Pharaoh receives one-fifth from Egypt’s farmland. Only the priests’ farmland didn’t become Pharaoh’s.
Jacob blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
27Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. They settled in it, had many children, and became numerous. 28After Jacob had lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years, and after he had lived a total of 147 years, 29Israel’s death approached. He summoned his son Joseph and said to him, “If you would be so kind, lay your hand under my thigh, and be loyal and true to me. Don’t bury me in Egypt. 30When I lie down with my fathers, carry me from Egypt and bury me in their grave.”
Joseph said, “I will do just as you say.”
31Israel said, “Give me your word!” and Joseph gave his word. Then Israel slumped down at the head of the bed.