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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
1Therefore Joseph entered, and told to Pharaoh, and said, My father and brethren, the sheep and the great beasts of them, and all things that they wield, have come from the land of Canaan; and lo! they stand in the land of Goshen.
2And Joseph ordained five, the least, or meekest, men of his brethren, to come before the king,
3whom he asked, What work have ye? They answered, We thy servants be keepers of sheep, both we and our fathers;
4we came into thy land to be pilgrims, that is, to dwell for a time, for no grass is to the flocks of thy servants; for hunger waxeth grievous in the land of Canaan, and we ask that thou command us thy servants to be in the land of Goshen.
5And so the king said to Joseph, Thy father and thy brethren have come to thee;
6the land of Egypt is in thy sight; make thou them to dwell in the best place, and give thou to them the land of Goshen; that if thou knowest that witting men be in them, ordain them masters of my beasts.
7After these things Joseph brought in his father to the king, and set him before the king, and he blessed the king;
8and he was asked of the king, How many be the days of the years of thy life?
9And he answered, The days of [the] pilgrimage of my life be few and evil, of an hundred and thirty years, and those [or they] have not come to the days of my fathers, in which they were pilgrims.
10And when Jacob had blessed the king again, he went out.
11Forsooth Joseph gave to his father and [his] brethren a possession in Egypt, in Rameses, the best soil of [the] earth, as Pharaoh commanded;
12and he fed them, and all the household of his father, and gave meats to them all.
13For bread failed in all the world, and hunger oppressed the land, mostly of Egypt and of Canaan;
14of which lands Joseph gathered all the money for the selling of wheat, and brought it into the king’s treasury.
15And when price failed to the buyers, all Egypt came to Joseph, and said, Give thou loaves to us; why shall we die before thee, while money faileth?
16To whom he answered, Bring ye your beasts, and I shall give you meats for those [or them], if ye have not price.
17And when they had brought those, he gave them meats for horses, and sheep, and oxen, and asses; and he sustained them in that year for the exchange of beasts.
18And they came in the second year, and said to him, We cover not from our lord, that the while money faileth, also our beasts failed altogether, neither it is hid from thee, that without bodies and land, we have nothing;
19why therefore shall we die, while thou seest this? both we and our land shall be thine; buy thou us into the king’s servage, and give thou us seeds to sow, lest while the tiller perisheth, the land be turned into wilderness.
20Therefore Joseph bought all the land of Egypt, while all men sold him their possessions, for the greatness of hunger; and he made it and all the peoples thereof subject to Pharaoh,
21from the last terms of Egypt till to the last ends thereof,
22except the land of priests, that was given of the king to them, to which priests also meats were given of the common barns, and therefore they were not compelled to sell their possessions.
23Therefore Joseph said to the peoples, Lo! as ye see, Pharaoh wieldeth both you and your land; now take ye seeds, and sow ye fields,
24that ye may have fruits; ye shall give the fifth part to the king; I suffer to you the four residue parts into seed, and into meats, to you, and to your free children.
25Which answered, Our health is in thine hands; only our God behold us, and we shall joyfully serve the king.
26From that time till to this present day, in all the land of Egypt, the fifth part is paid to the kings, and it is made as into a law, without the land of priests, that was free from this condition.
27Therefore Israel dwelled in Egypt, that is, in the land of Goshen, and wielded it; and he was increased, and multiplied full much.
28And he lived therein sixteen [or seventeen] years; and all the days of his life were made an hundred and seven and forty years.
29And when he saw the day of his death [to] nigh, he called his son Joseph to his bed, and said to him, If I have found grace in thy sight, put thine hand under mine hip, and swear that thou shalt do mercy and truth to me, that thou bury not me in Egypt;
30but I shall sleep with my fathers, and take thou away me from this land, and bury me in the sepulchre of my greaters. To whom Joseph answered, I shall do that that thou commandest.
31And Israel said, Therefore swear thou to me; and when Joseph swore, Israel turned to the head of the bed, and worshipped God.