Genesis 46-50

Jacob’s Journey to Egypt

     46[1-4] So Israel began traveling toward Egypt with everything that he owned and came to Beersheba, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac. Then God spoke to him in the dreams of the night, saying, “Jacob! Jacob!” And Jacob said, “Here I am.” Then God said, “I am God, the God of your father. Don’t be afraid to go down to Egypt, because I’m going to make your family into a great nation there. I’ll go with you down to Egypt, and I’ll bring you back again. And Joseph will close your eyes when you die.”

     [5-7] So Jacob left Beersheba, and his sons took him to Egypt, carrying him and their little ones and their wives in the wagons Pharaoh had given them. They took all their animals and everything they had gotten in the land of Canaan and went to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants. He brought his sons and grandsons, his daughters and granddaughters, and all the rest of his descendants with him to Egypt. 

     [8-15] These are the names of the children of Israel, the sons of Jacob, who went to Egypt: Reuben was Jacob’s first son. The sons of Reuben were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (though Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan). The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. The sons of Issachar were Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron. The sons of Zebulun were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. These were the sons of Leah and Jacob who were born in Paddan-aram, along with their daughter, Dinah. The number of Jacob’s descendants (male and female) through Leah was thirty-three.

     [16-18] The sons of Gad were Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. The sons of Asher were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah, and Serah, their sister. Beriah’s sons were Heber and Malkiel. These were the sons of Zilpah, the servant Laban gave to Leah, his daughter. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Zilpah was sixteen.

     [19-22] The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. Joseph’s sons, who born in the land of Egypt, were Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On had. Benjamin’s sons were Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. These were the sons of Rachel and Jacob. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Rachel was fourteen.

     [23-25] The son of Dan was Hushim. The sons of Naphtali were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. These were the sons of Bilhah, the servant Laban gave to Rachel, his daughter. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Bilhah was seven.

     [26-27] All those who went with Jacob to Egypt, who came from his body, not counting his sons’ wives, were sixty-six people. And Joseph had two sons who were born in Egypt. So altogether, there were seventy members of Jacob’s family in the land of Egypt.

Jacob’s Family Arrives in Goshen

     [28-34] Then Jacob sent Judah ahead to meet Joseph and point the way to the land of Goshen. So they came to the land of Goshen. So Joseph got in his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father, Israel. When Joseph got there, he hugged his father and cried on his shoulder for a long time. Then Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I’ve seen your face again and know you’re still alive.” And Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s whole family, “I’ll go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘My brothers and my father’s whole family have come to me from the land of Canaan. These men are shepherds, and they raise animals and have brought with them their flocks and herds and everything they own.’” Then he said, “When Pharaoh calls for you and asks what you do, you must tell him, ‘We, your servants, have raised animals all our lives, as our ancestors have always done.’ When you tell him this, he’ll let you live here in the land of Goshen, because shepherds are hated by the Egyptians.”

 Jacob Blesses Pharaoh

     47[1-6] Then Joseph went to see Pharaoh and told him, “My father and my brothers have come from the land of Canaan and have brought all their flocks and herds and possessions with them, and are now in the land of Goshen.” Joseph took five of his brothers with him and brought them to Pharaoh. Then Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What do you do?” So they said, “We, your servants, are shepherds, just like our ancestors. We have come to live here in Egypt, as there’s no pasture for our flocks in Canaan. The drought is very bad there. So please, let us live in the land of Goshen.” Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and brothers have come here, too, choose the best part of land of Egypt for them to live in. Let them live in the land of Goshen. And if you know that any of them are very good at what they do, put them in charge of my animals, too.”

     [7-12] Then Joseph brought his father, Jacob, in to Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?” So Jacob said, “I’ve traveled this earth for 130 hard years. But the days of my life have been few and evil compared to the lives of my ancestors.” Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again and left him. So Joseph gave the best of land of Egypt, in the land of Rameses, to his father and his brothers to live in, just as Pharaoh had said. And Joseph gave food to his father and his brothers, and enough for all their families.

Joseph’s Leadership in the Famine

     [13-17] Now the lack of food became so severe that all the food was used up, and people were starving throughout the lands of Egypt and Canaan. So Joseph took in all the money in Egypt and Canaan by selling grain to the people, and he put the money into Pharaoh’s treasury. When the people of Egypt and Canaan ran out of money, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, saying, “Please give us food, or we’ll die right here in front of you! All our money is gone!” So Joseph said, “Since your money is gone, bring me your animals. I’ll give you food in exchange for your animals.” So they brought their animals to Joseph in exchange for food. In exchange for their horses, flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and donkeys, Joseph gave them food for another year.

     [18-22] But that year ended, and the next year they came again and said, “We can’t hide the truth from you. Our money is gone, and all our animals and cattle are yours. We have nothing left to give but our bodies and our land. Why should we die right here in front of you? Buy us and our land in exchange for food; we give our land and ourselves as slaves for Pharaoh. Just give us grain so we may live and not die, and so the land does not become empty.” So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold him their fields because the drought was so severe, and soon all the land belonged to Pharaoh. As for the people, he moved them all into the cities, from one end of Egypt to the other. The only land he didn’t buy was the land belonging to the priests. They received their food directly from Pharaoh, so they didn’t need to sell their land.

     [23-28] Then Joseph said to the people, “Look, today I’ve bought you and your land for Pharaoh. I’ll provide you with seed so you can plant the fields. Then when you harvest it, one-fifth of your crop will belong to Pharaoh. You may keep the remaining four-fifths as seed for your fields and as food for you, your households, and your little ones.” So they said, “You’ve saved our lives! May it please you to let us be Pharaoh’s servants.” Then Joseph made it a law in the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should get one-fifth of all the crops grown on the land, except what belonged to the priests, which was not given to Pharaoh. So the people of Israel lived in the land of Goshen in Egypt. They were given homes, and the number of their people quickly grew. And Jacob lived for seventeen years after he came to Egypt, so he lived 147 years in all.

     [29-31] As the time of Jacob’s death drew near, he called for his son, Joseph, and said to him, “If I have pleased you, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you’ll treat me honestly and with kindness. Please, don’t bury me in Egypt, but bury me with my ancestors. You shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.” So Joseph promised, “I’ll do as you ask.” Then Jacob said, “Promise that you’ll do it.” So Joseph gave his promise, and Israel bowed humbly at the head of his bed.

 Jacob Blesses Manasseh and Ephraim

     48[1-7] Later after this, Joseph was told, “Your father really is dying.” So Joseph went to visit his father, and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. When Joseph got there, Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” So Jacob gathered his strength and sat up in bed. Then Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me and said to me, ‘I’ll make you fruitful, and I’ll make you have many descendants. And I’ll give this land of Canaan to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’ Now I am claiming as mine these two boys of yours, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born here in the land of Egypt before I came here. They’ll be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine. But any children born to you later will be your own, and they’ll be given part of the land in the land of their brothers Ephraim and Manasseh. As for me, when I came from Paddan-aram, Rachel died in the land of Canaan, when we were still on the way, only a little way from Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”

     [8-11] Then Israel saw the two boys, and said, “Are these your sons?” Joseph told him, “Yes, these are the sons God has given me here in Egypt.” And Jacob said, “Bring them to me, and I will bless them.” Now Jacob was almost blind because of his age and couldn’t see well. Then Joseph brought the boys to him, and Jacob kissed and hugged them. Then Jacob said to Joseph, “I never thought I’d see your face again, but now God has let me see your children, too!”

     [12-13] Then Joseph brought the boys to their grandfather’s knees, and he bowed with his face to the ground. Then he brought the boys closer to Jacob, with his right hand he put Ephraim at Jacob’s left hand, and with his left hand he put Manasseh at Jacob’s right hand. But Jacob purposefully crossed his arms as he reached out to lay his hands on the boys’ heads, putting his right hand on the head of Ephraim, though he was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, though he was the first.     

     [15-16] Then he blessed Joseph and said, “May God, before whom my grandfather Abraham and my father, Isaac, walked, the God who has fed me all my life, to this day, the Angel who has saved me from all evil, may he bless these boys. May they take my name and the names of Abraham and Isaac. And may they have many descendants throughout the earth.”

     [17-22] But Joseph was upset when he saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head. So Joseph lifted it to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. He said, “No, father, this one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.” But his father said, “No. I know, my son; I know. Manasseh will also become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. And his descendants will become many nations.” So Jacob blessed the boys that day with this blessing: “The people of Israel will use your names when they give a blessing, saying, ‘May God make you as great as Ephraim and Manasseh.’” So, Jacob put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh. Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will take you back to Canaan, the land of your ancestors. And I am giving you an extra share more than what I’ve given your brothers, of the land that I took from the Amorites with my weapons.”

Jacob’s Last Words to His Sons

     49[1-2] Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me, and I’ll tell you what will happen to each of you in the last days. “Come and listen, you sons of Jacob; listen to Israel, your father.

     [3-4] “Reuben, you’re my firstborn, my power, the first of my strength and youth. You’re pride and power are great. But you’re as troubled as water, and you won’t do well because you went to bed with my wife and defiled my marriage bed.

     [5-7] “Simeon and Levi are two of a kind; weapons of violence are in their homes. My soul will never accept their judgment; My honor will never take part in their plans. For in their anger they murdered men, and crippled animals in the selfishness. A curse will be on their anger, for it’s fierce; a curse will be on their wrath, for it’s cruel. I’ll divide them among the descendants of Jacob and scatter them throughout Israel.

     [8-12] “Judah, your brothers will praise you. You’ll grab your enemies by the neck. All your family will bow before you. Judah, is a young lion that has finished eating its prey. Like a lion he bows and lies down; And as a lion, who would dare to wake him? The ruler’s staff won’t leave from Judah’s people, nor a lawgiver from his descendants, until the coming of the One to whom it belongs, the One whom all nations will obey. Tying a foal to a grapevine, the colt of a donkey to a choice vine, this One’s clothes and robes will be washed in wine, and dipped in the blood of grapes, whose eyes are darker than wine, and teeth are whiter than milk.

     [13] “Zebulun will live by the seashore and will be a harbor for ships; his borders will go to Sidon.

     [14-15] “Issachar is a strong donkey, resting between two heavy packs. He saw that rest is good and how pleasing the land is, so he’ll put his shoulder under the load and become a bunch of hard workers.

     [16-18] “Dan will rule his people, like one of the family groups in Israel. Dan will be a snake beside the road, a poisonous snake along the path that bites the horse’s hooves so its rider is thrown off. I trust you to save me, O God!

     [19] “Gad will be attacked by raiding soldiers, but he’ll beat them at last.

     [20] “Asher will have rich foods and will make food fit for rulers.

     [21] “Naphtali is a deer set free that uses beautiful words.

     [22-26] “Joseph is a fruitful branch, a fruitful branch by the water, his branches run over the wall. Archers have cruelly attacked him, shot at him and hated him. But his bow remained tight, and his arms were strengthened by the hands of the Mighty God of Jacob, by the shepherd, the Rock of Israel. The God of your father will help you; The Almighty will bless you with the blessings of the heavens above, and the blessings of the waters below, and blessings of the breasts and womb. The blessings of your father have been more than the blessings of my ancestors, reaching to the farthest boundaries of the eternal hills. They will rest on the head of Joseph, and on the crown of the one who was separated from his brothers.

     [27] “Benjamin is a starving wolf, killing his enemies in the morning and taking what he has gotten in the evening.”

     [28] These are the twelve families of Israel, and this is what their father said as he blessed them. He blessed each one with his own blessing.

Jacob’s Death and Burial

     [29-33] Then Jacob told them, “ I’m dying and will join my ancestors. Bury me with my father and grandfather in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. This is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, which Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place. There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried. There Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, are buried. And there I buried Leah. It’s the field and the cave that my grandfather Abraham bought from the Hittites.” When Jacob had finished saying this to his sons, he laid down in bed, and died, and joined his ancestors.

     50[1-5] Joseph threw himself on his father’s face and cried over him and kissed him. Then Joseph told the physicians who served him to embalm his father’s body; so Jacob was embalmed. The embalming took 40 days, which is how long embalming takes. And the Egyptians mourned his death for seventy days. When the time of mourning was over, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s advisers and said, “If I have pleased you, speak to Pharaoh, saying, ‘my father made me make a promise. He said to me, ‘Listen, I am dying. Bury me in the grave I have made for myself in the land of Canaan.’ So please let me go and bury my father, and I’ll come back.”

     [6-9] So Pharaoh said, “Go and bury your father, as he made you promise.” So Joseph went up to bury his father with by all of Pharaoh’s officials, all the highest people of Pharaoh’s household, and all the highest officers of Egypt. Joseph also took his whole household and his brothers and their households, but left their little children and flocks and herds in the land of Goshen. A great number of people with horses and chariots went with Joseph.

     [10-13] When they got to the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan River, they held a very great and solemn memorial service, with the time of mourning for Joseph’s father lasting seven days. The local people, the Canaanites, saw them mourning at the threshing floor of Atad and said, “This is a place of deep mourning for these Egyptians.” So they renamed that place (which is near the Jordan) Abel-mizraim. So Jacob’s sons did as he had told them. They carried his body to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre, which Abraham had bought as a burial place from Ephron the Hittite.

Joseph Reassures His Brothers

     [14-21] After burying Jacob, Joseph went back to Egypt with his brothers and all who had went with him to his father’s burial. But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “Now Joseph might hate us and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him.” So they sent this message to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died, he told us to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you, for their sin in what they did to you.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph heard the message, he broke down and cried. Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph, saying, “See, we’re your slaves!” But Joseph said, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You tried to hurt me, but God meant it for good, in order for it to happen like it is today, to save many people.  Now, don’t be afraid. I’ll take care of you and your children.” So he put them at ease and spoke kindly to them.

The Death of Joseph

     [22-26] So Joseph and all his family continued to live in Egypt. And Joseph lived to be 110 years old. He lived to see three generations of Ephraim’s descendants, and he lived to see the children of Manasseh’s son Makir, whom he brought up. Then Joseph told his brothers “I’m dying, but God will surely come and lead you out of this land to the land that was promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” Then Joseph made the sons of Israel make a promise, and said, “When God comes to lead you back, you must take my bones with you.” So Joseph died at 110 years old. The Egyptians embalmed him, and his body was put in a coffin in Egypt.