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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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1#Ge 46:31; 45:10Then Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers and their flocks and their herds and all that they possess have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the land of Goshen.” 2#Ac 7:13He took five men from among his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.
3#Ge 46:33–34Pharaoh asked his brothers, “What is your occupation?”
And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and also our fathers.” 4#Ge 15:13; 46:34They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to sojourn in the land, for your servants have no pasture for their flocks, because the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now therefore, please allow your servants to dwell in the land of Goshen.”
5Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, saying, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6#Ge 47:11; Ex 18:21The land of Egypt is before you. Have your father and your brothers dwell in the best of the land. Have them dwell in the land of Goshen, and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge over my livestock.”
7#Ge 47:10Then Joseph brought in Jacob his father and presented him to Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?”
9#Ge 35:28; 1Ch 29:15And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years. My days of the years of my life have been few and evil, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the lives of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.” 10#Ge 47:7And Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence.
11#Ex 1:11; 12:37So Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12#Ge 45:11Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and his father’s entire household, according to the number of their children.
Joseph and the Famine
13#Ac 7:11There was no food in all the land, for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. 14#Ge 41:56Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain that they bought, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house. 15When the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food, for why should we die in your presence? For our money is gone.”
16Joseph said, “Give your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock, if your money is gone.” 17They brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the herds, and the donkeys; and he fed them with food in exchange for all their livestock for that year.
18When that year was ended, they came to him the second year and said to him, “We will not hide it from our lord, that our money is all spent. Our lord also has our herds of livestock. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our lands. 19#Ne 5:2–3Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we and our land will be slaves to Pharaoh. Also give us seed, so that we may live and not die, so that the land will not be desolate.”
20So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian man sold his field because the famine was severe on them. So the land became Pharaoh’s. 21As for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt to the other end. 22#Ezr 7:24Only the land of the priests he did not buy; for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off their allotment that Pharaoh gave them. Therefore they did not sell their lands.
23Then Joseph said to the people, “I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh; here is seed for you so you may sow the land. 24#Ge 41:34At the harvest, you must give a fifth part to Pharaoh and four parts will be your own, as seed for the field and for your food and for those of your households and for food for your little ones.”
25#Ge 33:15They said, “You have saved our lives. Let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.”
26#Ge 47:22So Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part, except from the land of the priests, which did not become Pharaoh’s.
Jacob’s Request of Joseph
27#Ge 46:3; Ex 1:7Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen, and they had possessions there and grew and became very numerous.
28And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years, so the years of Jacob’s life were one hundred and forty-seven years. 29#Ge 24:2; 24:49When the time drew near when Israel would die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found grace in your sight, please put your hand under my thigh and deal kindly and truly with me. Please do not bury me in Egypt, 30#Ge 49:29–32; 23:19but let me lie with my fathers. Carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.”
And he said, “I will do as you have said.”
31#1Ki 1:47; Ge 24:3And he said, “Swear to me,” and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself at the head of his bed.