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Genesis 47

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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.
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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.