37:2 This is the account of Jacob.
Joseph, his seventeen-year-old son, 3 was taking care of 4 the flocks with his brothers. Now he was a youngster 5 working with the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives. 6 Joseph brought back a bad report about them 7 to their father.
37:3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons 8 because he was a son born to him late in life, 9 and he made a special 10 tunic for him. 37:4 When Joseph’s 11 brothers saw that their father loved him more than any of them, 12 they hated Joseph 13 and were not able to speak to him kindly. 14
37:5 Joseph 15 had a dream, 16 and when he told his brothers about it, 17 they hated him even more. 18 37:6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream I had: 19 37:7 There we were, 20 binding sheaves of grain in the middle of the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose up and stood upright and your sheaves surrounded my sheaf and bowed down 21 to it!” 37:8 Then his brothers asked him, “Do you really think you will rule over us or have dominion over us?” 22 They hated him even more 23 because of his dream and because of what he said. 24
37:9 Then he had another dream, 25 and told it to his brothers. “Look,” 26 he said. “I had another dream. The sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.” 37:10 When he told his father and his brothers, his father rebuked him, saying, “What is this dream that you had? 27 Will I, your mother, and your brothers really come and bow down to you?” 28 37:11 His brothers were jealous 29 of him, but his father kept in mind what Joseph said. 30
37:12 When his brothers had gone to graze their father’s flocks near Shechem, 37:13 Israel said to Joseph, “Your brothers 31 are grazing the flocks near Shechem. Come, I will send you to them.” “I’m ready,” 32 Joseph replied. 33 37:14 So Jacob 34 said to him, “Go now and check on 35 the welfare 36 of your brothers and of the flocks, and bring me word.” So Jacob 37 sent him from the valley of Hebron.
37:15 When Joseph reached Shechem, 38 a man found him wandering 39 in the field, so the man asked him, “What are you looking for?” 37:16 He replied, “I’m looking for my brothers. Please tell 40 me where they are grazing their flocks.” 37:17 The man said, “They left this area, 41 for I heard them say, ‘Let’s go to Dothan.’” So Joseph went after his brothers and found them at Dothan.
37:18 Now Joseph’s brothers 42 saw him from a distance, and before he reached them, they plotted to kill him. 37:19 They said to one another, “Here comes this master of dreams! 43 37:20 Come now, let’s kill him, throw him into one of the cisterns, and then say that a wild 44 animal ate him. Then we’ll see how his dreams turn out!” 45
37:21 When Reuben heard this, he rescued Joseph 46 from their hands, 47 saying, 48 “Let’s not take his life!” 49 37:22 Reuben continued, 50 “Don’t shed blood! Throw him into this cistern that is here in the wilderness, but don’t lay a hand on him.” 51 (Reuben said this 52 so he could rescue Joseph 53 from them 54 and take him back to his father.)
37:23 When Joseph reached his brothers, they stripped him 55 of his tunic, the special tunic that he wore. 37:24 Then they took him and threw him into the cistern. (Now the cistern was empty; 56 there was no water in it.)
37:25 When they sat down to eat their food, they looked up 57 and saw 58 a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead. Their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh down to Egypt. 59 37:26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is there if we kill our brother and cover up his blood? 37:27 Come, let’s sell him to the Ishmaelites, but let’s not lay a hand on him, 60 for after all, he is our brother, our own flesh.” His brothers agreed. 61 37:28 So when the Midianite 62 merchants passed by, Joseph’s brothers pulled 63 him 64 out of the cistern and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. The Ishmaelites 65 then took Joseph to Egypt.
37:29 Later Reuben returned to the cistern to find that Joseph was not in it! 66 He tore his clothes, 37:30 returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy isn’t there! And I, where can I go?” 37:31 So they took Joseph’s tunic, killed a young goat, 67 and dipped the tunic in the blood. 37:32 Then they brought the special tunic to their father 68 and said, “We found this. Determine now whether it is your son’s tunic or not.”
37:33 He recognized it and exclaimed, “It is my son’s tunic! A wild animal has eaten him! 69 Joseph has surely been torn to pieces!” 37:34 Then Jacob tore his clothes, put on sackcloth, 70 and mourned for his son many days. 37:35 All his sons and daughters stood by 71 him to console him, but he refused to be consoled. “No,” he said, “I will go to the grave mourning my son.” 72 So Joseph’s 73 father wept for him.
38:2 There Judah saw the daughter of a Canaanite man 81 named Shua. 82 Judah acquired her as a wife 83 and had marital relations with her. 84 38:3 She became pregnant 85 and had a son. Judah named 86 him Er. 38:4 She became pregnant again and had another son, whom she named Onan. 38:5 Then she had 87 yet another son, whom she named Shelah. She gave birth to him in Kezib. 88
38:8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Have sexual relations with 90 your brother’s wife and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her so that you may raise 91 up a descendant for your brother.” 92 38:9 But Onan knew that the child 93 would not be considered his. 94 So whenever 95 he had sexual relations with 96 his brother’s wife, he withdrew prematurely 97 so as not to give his brother a descendant. 38:10 What he did was evil in the Lord’s sight, so the Lord 98 killed him too.
38:11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Live as a widow in your father’s house until Shelah my son grows up.” For he thought, 99 “I don’t want him to die like his brothers.” 100 So Tamar went and lived in her father’s house.
38:12 After some time 101 Judah’s wife, the daughter of Shua, died. After Judah was consoled, he left for Timnah to visit his sheepshearers, along with 102 his friend Hirah the Adullamite. 38:13 Tamar was told, 103 “Look, your father-in-law is going up 104 to Timnah to shear his sheep.” 38:14 So she removed her widow’s clothes and covered herself with a veil. She wrapped herself and sat at the entrance to Enaim which is on the way to Timnah. (She did this because 105 she saw that she had not been given to Shelah as a wife, even though he had now grown up.) 106
38:15 When Judah saw her, he thought she was a prostitute 107 because she had covered her face. 38:16 He turned aside to her along the road and said, “Come on! I want to have sex with you.” 108 (He did not realize 109 it was his daughter-in-law.) She asked, “What will you give me in exchange for having sex with you?” 110 38:17 He replied, “I’ll send you a young goat from the flock.” She asked, “Will you give me a pledge until you send it?” 111 38:18 He said, “What pledge should I give you?” She replied, “Your seal, your cord, and the staff that’s in your hand.” So he gave them to her and had sex with her. 112 She became pregnant by him. 38:19 She left immediately, 113 removed her veil, and put on her widow’s clothes.
38:20 Then Judah had his friend Hirah 114 the Adullamite take a young goat to get back from the woman the items he had given in pledge, 115 but Hirah 116 could not find her. 38:21 He asked the men who were there, 117 “Where is the cult prostitute 118 who was at Enaim by the road?” But they replied, “There has been no cult prostitute here.” 38:22 So he returned to Judah and said, “I couldn’t find her. Moreover, the men of the place said, ‘There has been no cult prostitute here.’” 38:23 Judah said, “Let her keep the things 119 for herself. Otherwise we will appear to be dishonest. 120 I did indeed send this young goat, but you couldn’t find her.”
38:24 After three months Judah was told, 121 “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has turned to prostitution, 122 and as a result she has become pregnant.” 123 Judah said, “Bring her out and let her be burned!” 38:25 While they were bringing her out, she sent word 124 to her father-in-law: “I am pregnant by the man to whom these belong.” 125 Then she said, “Identify 126 the one to whom the seal, cord, and staff belong.” 38:26 Judah recognized them and said, “She is more upright 127 than I am, because I wouldn’t give her to Shelah my son.” He did not have sexual relations with her 128 again.
38:27 When it was time for her to give birth, there were twins in her womb. 38:28 While she was giving birth, one child 129 put out his hand, and the midwife took a scarlet thread and tied it on his hand, saying, “This one came out first.” 38:29 But then he drew back his hand, and his brother came out before him. 130 She said, “How you have broken out of the womb!” 131 So he was named Perez. 132 38:30 Afterward his brother came out – the one who had the scarlet thread on his hand – and he was named Zerah. 133
39:1 Now Joseph had been brought down to Egypt. 134 An Egyptian named Potiphar, an official of Pharaoh and the captain of the guard, 135 purchased him from 136 the Ishmaelites who had brought him there. 39:2 The Lord was with Joseph. He was successful 137 and lived 138 in the household of his Egyptian master. 39:3 His master observed that the Lord was with him and that the Lord made everything he was doing successful. 139 39:4 So Joseph found favor in his sight and became his personal attendant. 140 Potiphar appointed Joseph 141 overseer of his household and put him in charge 142 of everything he owned. 39:5 From the time 143 Potiphar 144 appointed him over his household and over all that he owned, the Lord blessed 145 the Egyptian’s household for Joseph’s sake. The blessing of the Lord was on everything that he had, both 146 in his house and in his fields. 147 39:6 So Potiphar 148 left 149 everything he had in Joseph’s care; 150 he gave no thought 151 to anything except the food he ate. 152
Now Joseph was well built and good-looking. 153 39:7 Soon after these things, his master’s wife took notice of 154 Joseph and said, “Have sex with me.” 155 39:8 But he refused, saying 156 to his master’s wife, “Look, my master does not give any thought 157 to his household with me here, 158 and everything that he owns he has put into my care. 159 39:9 There is no one greater in this household than I am. He has withheld nothing from me except you because you are his wife. So how could I do 160 such a great evil and sin against God?” 39:10 Even though she continued to speak 161 to Joseph day after day, he did not respond 162 to her invitation to have sex with her. 163
39:11 One day 164 he went into the house to do his work when none of the household servants 165 were there in the house. 39:12 She grabbed him by his outer garment, saying, “Have sex with me!” But he left his outer garment in her hand and ran 166 outside. 167 39:13 When she saw that he had left his outer garment in her hand and had run outside, 39:14 she called for her household servants and said to them, “See, my husband brought 168 in a Hebrew man 169 to us to humiliate us. 170 He tried to have sex with me, 171 but I screamed loudly. 172 39:15 When he heard me raise 173 my voice and scream, he left his outer garment beside me and ran outside.”
39:16 So she laid his outer garment beside her until his master came home. 39:17 This is what she said to him: 174 “That Hebrew slave 175 you brought to us tried to humiliate me, 176 39:18 but when I raised my voice and screamed, he left his outer garment and ran outside.”
39:19 When his master heard his wife say, 177 “This is the way 178 your slave treated me,” 179 he became furious. 180 39:20 Joseph’s master took him and threw him into the prison, 181 the place where the king’s prisoners were confined. So he was there in the prison. 182
39:21 But the Lord was with Joseph and showed him kindness. 183 He granted him favor in the sight of the prison warden. 184 39:22 The warden put all the prisoners under Joseph’s care. He was in charge of whatever they were doing. 185 39:23 The warden did not concern himself 186 with anything that was in Joseph’s 187 care because the Lord was with him and whatever he was doing the Lord was making successful.
40:1 After these things happened, the cupbearer 188 to the king of Egypt and the royal baker 189 offended 190 their master, the king of Egypt. 40:2 Pharaoh was enraged with his two officials, 191 the cupbearer and the baker, 40:3 so he imprisoned them in the house of the captain of the guard in the same facility where Joseph was confined. 40:4 The captain of the guard appointed Joseph to be their attendant, and he served them. 192
They spent some time in custody. 193 40:5 Both of them, the cupbearer and the baker of the king of Egypt, who were confined in the prison, had a dream 194 the same night. 195 Each man’s dream had its own meaning. 196 40:6 When Joseph came to them in the morning, he saw that they were looking depressed. 197 40:7 So he asked Pharaoh’s officials, who were with him in custody in his master’s house, “Why do you look so sad today?” 198 40:8 They told him, “We both had dreams, 199 but there is no one to interpret them.” Joseph responded, “Don’t interpretations belong to God? Tell them 200 to me.”
40:9 So the chief cupbearer told his dream to Joseph: 201 “In my dream, there was a vine in front of me. 40:10 On the vine there were three branches. As it budded, its blossoms opened and its clusters ripened into grapes. 40:11 Now Pharaoh’s cup was in my hand, so I took the grapes, squeezed them into his 202 cup, and put the cup in Pharaoh’s hand.” 203
40:12 “This is its meaning,” Joseph said to him. “The three branches represent 204 three days. 40:13 In three more days Pharaoh will reinstate you 205 and restore you to your office. You will put Pharaoh’s cup in his hand, just as you did before 206 when you were cupbearer. 40:14 But remember me 207 when it goes well for you, and show 208 me kindness. 209 Make mention 210 of me to Pharaoh and bring me out of this prison, 211 40:15 for I really was kidnapped 212 from the land of the Hebrews and I have done nothing wrong here for which they should put me in a dungeon.”
40:16 When the chief baker saw that the interpretation of the first dream was favorable, 213 he said to Joseph, “I also appeared in my dream and there were three baskets of white bread 214 on my head. 40:17 In the top basket there were baked goods of every kind for Pharaoh, but the birds were eating them from the basket that was on my head.”
40:18 Joseph replied, “This is its meaning: The three baskets represent 215 three days. 40:19 In three more days Pharaoh will decapitate you 216 and impale you on a pole. Then the birds will eat your flesh from you.”
40:20 On the third day it was Pharaoh’s birthday, so he gave a feast for all his servants. He “lifted up” 217 the head of the chief cupbearer and the head of the chief baker in the midst of his servants. 40:21 He restored the chief cupbearer to his former position 218 so that he placed the cup in Pharaoh’s hand, 40:22 but the chief baker he impaled, just as Joseph had predicted. 219 40:23 But the chief cupbearer did not remember Joseph – he forgot him. 220
41:1 At the end of two full years 221 Pharaoh had a dream. 222 As he was standing by the Nile, 41:2 seven fine-looking, fat cows were coming up out of the Nile, 223 and they grazed in the reeds. 41:3 Then seven bad-looking, thin cows were coming up after them from the Nile, 224 and they stood beside the other cows at the edge of the river. 225 41:4 The bad-looking, thin cows ate the seven fine-looking, fat cows. Then Pharaoh woke up.
41:5 Then he fell asleep again and had a second dream: There were seven heads of grain growing 226 on one stalk, healthy 227 and good. 41:6 Then 228 seven heads of grain, thin and burned by the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:7 The thin heads swallowed up the seven healthy and full heads. Then Pharaoh woke up and realized it was a dream. 229
41:8 In the morning he 230 was troubled, so he called for 231 all the diviner-priests 232 of Egypt and all its wise men. Pharaoh told them his dreams, 233 but no one could interpret 234 them for him. 235 41:9 Then the chief cupbearer said to Pharaoh, “Today I recall my failures. 236 41:10 Pharaoh was enraged with his servants, and he put me in prison in the house of the captain of the guards – me and the chief baker. 41:11 We each had a dream one night; each of us had a dream with its own meaning. 237 41:12 Now a young man, a Hebrew, a servant 238 of the captain of the guards, 239 was with us there. We told him our dreams, 240 and he interpreted the meaning of each of our respective dreams for us. 241 41:13 It happened just as he had said 242 to us – Pharaoh 243 restored me to my office, but he impaled the baker.” 244
41:14 Then Pharaoh summoned 245 Joseph. So they brought him quickly out of the dungeon; he shaved himself, changed his clothes, and came before Pharaoh. 41:15 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I had a dream, 246 and there is no one who can interpret 247 it. But I have heard about you, that 248 you can interpret dreams.” 249 41:16 Joseph replied to Pharaoh, “It is not within my power, 250 but God will speak concerning 251 the welfare of Pharaoh.” 252
41:17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “In my dream I was standing 253 by the edge of the Nile. 41:18 Then seven fat and fine-looking cows were coming up out of the Nile, and they grazed in the reeds. 254 41:19 Then 255 seven other cows came up after them; they were scrawny, very bad-looking, and lean. I had never seen such bad-looking cows 256 as these in all the land of Egypt! 41:20 The lean, bad-looking cows ate up the seven 257 fat cows. 41:21 When they had eaten them, 258 no one would have known 259 that they had done so, for they were just as bad-looking as before. Then I woke up. 41:22 I also saw in my dream 260 seven heads of grain growing on one stalk, full and good. 41:23 Then 261 seven heads of grain, withered and thin and burned with the east wind, were sprouting up after them. 41:24 The thin heads of grain swallowed up the seven good heads of grain. So I told all this 262 to the diviner-priests, but no one could tell me its meaning.” 263
41:25 Then Joseph said to Pharaoh, “Both dreams of Pharaoh have the same meaning. 264 God has revealed 265 to Pharaoh what he is about to do. 266 41:26 The seven good cows represent seven years, and the seven good heads of grain represent seven years. Both dreams have the same meaning. 267 41:27 The seven lean, bad-looking cows that came up after them represent seven years, as do the seven empty heads of grain burned with the east wind. They represent 268 seven years of famine. 41:28 This is just what I told 269 Pharaoh: God has shown Pharaoh what he is about to do. 41:29 Seven years of great abundance are coming throughout the whole land of Egypt. 41:30 But seven years of famine will occur 270 after them, and all the abundance will be forgotten in the land of Egypt. The famine will devastate 271 the land. 41:31 The previous abundance of the land will not be remembered 272 because of the famine that follows, for the famine will be very severe. 273 41:32 The dream was repeated to Pharaoh 274 because the matter has been decreed 275 by God, and God will make it happen soon. 276
41:33 “So now Pharaoh should look 277 for a wise and discerning man 278 and give him authority 279 over all the land of Egypt. 41:34 Pharaoh should do 280 this – he should appoint 281 officials 282 throughout the land to collect one-fifth of the produce of the land of Egypt 283 during the seven years of abundance. 41:35 They should gather all the excess food 284 during these good years that are coming. By Pharaoh’s authority 285 they should store up grain so the cities will have food, 286 and they should preserve it. 287 41:36 This food should be held in storage for the land in preparation for the seven years of famine that will occur throughout the land of Egypt. In this way the land will survive the famine.” 288
41:37 This advice made sense to Pharaoh and all his officials. 289 41:38 So Pharaoh asked his officials, “Can we find a man like Joseph, 290 one in whom the Spirit of God is present?” 291 41:39 So Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Because God has enabled you to know all this, there is no one as wise and discerning 292 as you are! 41:40 You will oversee my household, and all my people will submit to your commands. 293 Only I, the king, will be greater than you. 294
41:41 “See here,” Pharaoh said to Joseph, “I place 295 you in authority over all the land of Egypt.” 296 41:42 Then Pharaoh took his signet ring from his own hand and put it on Joseph’s. He clothed him with fine linen 297 clothes and put a gold chain around his neck. 41:43 Pharaoh 298 had him ride in the chariot used by his second-in-command, 299 and they cried out before him, “Kneel down!” 300 So he placed him over all the land of Egypt. 41:44 Pharaoh also said to Joseph, “I am Pharaoh, but without your permission 301 no one 302 will move his hand or his foot 303 in all the land of Egypt.” 41:45 Pharaoh gave Joseph the name Zaphenath-Paneah. 304 He also gave him Asenath 305 daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, 306 to be his wife. So Joseph took charge of 307 all the land of Egypt.
41:46 Now Joseph was 30 years old 308 when he began serving 309 Pharaoh king of Egypt. Joseph was commissioned by 310 Pharaoh and was in charge of 311 all the land of Egypt. 41:47 During the seven years of abundance the land produced large, bountiful harvests. 312 41:48 Joseph 313 collected all the excess food 314 in the land of Egypt during the seven years and stored it in the cities. 315 In every city he put the food gathered from the fields around it. 41:49 Joseph stored up a vast amount of grain, like the sand of the sea, 316 until he stopped measuring it because it was impossible to measure.
41:50 Two sons were born to Joseph before the famine came. 317 Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, was their mother. 318 41:51 Joseph named the firstborn Manasseh, 319 saying, 320 “Certainly 321 God has made me forget all my trouble and all my father’s house.” 41:52 He named the second child Ephraim, 322 saying, 323 “Certainly 324 God has made me fruitful in the land of my suffering.”
41:53 The seven years of abundance in the land of Egypt came to an end. 41:54 Then the seven years of famine began, 325 just as Joseph had predicted. There was famine in all the other lands, but throughout the land of Egypt there was food. 41:55 When all the land of Egypt experienced the famine, the people cried out to Pharaoh for food. Pharaoh said to all the people of Egypt, 326 “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”
41:56 While the famine was over all the earth, 327 Joseph opened the storehouses 328 and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 41:57 People from every country 329 came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the famine was severe throughout the earth.
42:1 When Jacob heard 330 there was grain in Egypt, he 331 said to his sons, “Why are you looking at each other?” 332 42:2 He then said, “Look, I hear that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy grain for us 333 so that we may live 334 and not die.” 335
42:3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt. 42:4 But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, 336 for he said, 337 “What if some accident 338 happens 339 to him?” 42:5 So Israel’s sons came to buy grain among the other travelers, 340 for the famine was severe in the land of Canaan.
42:6 Now Joseph was the ruler of the country, the one who sold grain to all the people of the country. 341 Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down 342 before him with 343 their faces to the ground. 42:7 When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger 344 to them and spoke to them harshly. He asked, “Where do you come from?” They answered, 345 “From the land of Canaan, to buy grain for food.” 346
42:8 Joseph recognized his brothers, but they did not recognize him. 42:9 Then Joseph remembered 347 the dreams he had dreamed about them, and he said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see if our land is vulnerable!” 348
42:12 “No,” he insisted, “but you have come to see if our land is vulnerable.” 350 42:13 They replied, “Your servants are from a family of twelve brothers. 351 We are the sons of one man in the land of Canaan. The youngest is with our father at this time, 352 and one is no longer alive.” 353
42:14 But Joseph told them, “It is just as I said to you: 354 You are spies! 42:15 You will be tested in this way: As surely as Pharaoh lives, 355 you will not depart from this place unless your youngest brother comes here. 42:16 One of you must go and get 356 your brother, while 357 the rest of you remain in prison. 358 In this way your words may be tested to see if 359 you are telling the truth. 360 If not, then, as surely as Pharaoh lives, you are spies!” 42:17 He imprisoned 361 them all for three days. 42:18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do as I say 362 and you will live, 363 for I fear God. 364 42:19 If you are honest men, leave one of your brothers confined here in prison 365 while the rest of you go 366 and take grain back for your hungry families. 367 42:20 But you must bring 368 your youngest brother to me. Then 369 your words will be verified 370 and you will not die.” They did as he said. 371
42:21 They said to one other, 372 “Surely we’re being punished 373 because of our brother, because we saw how distressed he was 374 when he cried to us for mercy, but we refused to listen. That is why this distress 375 has come on us!” 42:22 Reuben said to them, “Didn’t I say to you, ‘Don’t sin against the boy,’ but you wouldn’t listen? So now we must pay for shedding his blood!” 376 42:23 (Now 377 they did not know that Joseph could understand them, 378 for he was speaking through an interpreter.) 379 42:24 He turned away from them and wept. When he turned around and spoke to them again, 380 he had Simeon taken 381 from them and tied up 382 before their eyes.
42:25 Then Joseph gave orders to fill 383 their bags with grain, to return each man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for the journey. His orders were carried out. 384 42:26 So they loaded their grain on their donkeys and left. 385
42:27 When one of them 386 opened his sack to get feed for his donkey at their resting place, 387 he saw his money in the mouth of his sack. 388 42:28 He said to his brothers, “My money was returned! Here it is in my sack!” They were dismayed; 389 they turned trembling one to another 390 and said, “What in the world has God done to us?” 391
42:29 They returned to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan and told him all the things that had happened to them, saying, 42:30 “The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us and treated us 392 as if we were 393 spying on the land. 42:31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men; we are not spies! 42:32 We are from a family of twelve brothers; we are the sons of one father. 394 One is no longer alive, 395 and the youngest is with our father at this time 396 in the land of Canaan.’
42:33 “Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘This is how I will find out if you are honest men. Leave one of your brothers with me, and take grain 397 for your hungry households and go. 42:34 But bring your youngest brother back to me so I will know 398 that you are honest men and not spies. 399 Then I will give your brother back to you and you may move about freely in the land.’” 400
42:35 When they were emptying their sacks, there was each man’s bag of money in his sack! When they and their father saw the bags of money, they were afraid. 42:36 Their father Jacob said to them, “You are making me childless! Joseph is gone. 401 Simeon is gone. 402 And now you want to take 403 Benjamin! Everything is against me.”
42:37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may 404 put my two sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my care 405 and I will bring him back to you.” 42:38 But Jacob 406 replied, “My son will not go down there with you, for his brother is dead and he alone is left. 407 If an accident happens to him on the journey you have to make, then you will bring down my gray hair 408 in sorrow to the grave.” 409
43:3 But Judah said to him, “The man solemnly warned 411 us, ‘You will not see my face 412 unless your brother is with you.’ 43:4 If you send 413 our brother with us, we’ll go down and buy food for you. 43:5 But if you will not send him, we won’t go down there because the man said to us, ‘You will not see my face unless your brother is with you.’”
43:7 They replied, “The man questioned us 416 thoroughly 417 about ourselves and our family, saying, ‘Is your father still alive? Do you have another brother?’ 418 So we answered him in this way. 419 How could we possibly know 420 that he would say, 421 ‘Bring your brother down’?”
43:8 Then Judah said to his father Israel, “Send the boy with me and we will go immediately. 422 Then we will live 423 and not die – we and you and our little ones. 43:9 I myself pledge security 424 for him; you may hold me liable. If I do not bring him back to you and place him here before you, I will bear the blame before you all my life. 425 43:10 But if we had not delayed, we could have traveled there and back 426 twice by now!”
43:11 Then their father Israel said to them, “If it must be so, then do this: Take some of the best products of the land in your bags, and take a gift down to the man – a little balm and a little honey, spices and myrrh, pistachios and almonds. 43:12 Take double the money with you; 427 you must take back 428 the money that was returned in the mouths of your sacks – perhaps it was an oversight. 43:13 Take your brother too, and go right away 429 to the man. 430 43:14 May the sovereign God 431 grant you mercy before the man so that he may release 432 your other brother 433 and Benjamin! As for me, if I lose my children I lose them.” 434
43:15 So the men took these gifts, and they took double the money with them, along with Benjamin. Then they hurried down to Egypt 435 and stood before Joseph. 43:16 When Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the servant who was over his household, “Bring the men to the house. Slaughter an animal and prepare it, for the men will eat with me at noon.” 43:17 The man did just as Joseph said; he 436 brought the men into Joseph’s house. 437
43:18 But the men were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house. They said, “We are being brought in because of 438 the money that was returned in our sacks last time. 439 He wants to capture us, 440 make us slaves, and take 441 our donkeys!” 43:19 So they approached the man who was in charge of Joseph’s household and spoke to him at the entrance to the house. 43:20 They said, “My lord, we did indeed come down 442 the first time 443 to buy food. 43:21 But when we came to the place where we spent the night, we opened our sacks and each of us found his money – the full amount 444 – in the mouth of his sack. So we have returned it. 445 43:22 We have brought additional money with us to buy food. We do not know who put the money in our sacks!”
43:23 “Everything is fine,” 446 the man in charge of Joseph’s household told them. “Don’t be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has given you treasure in your sacks. 447 I had your money.” 448 Then he brought Simeon out to them.
43:24 The servant in charge 449 brought the men into Joseph’s house. He gave them water, and they washed their feet. Then he gave food to their donkeys. 43:25 They got their gifts ready for Joseph’s arrival 450 at noon, for they had heard 451 that they were to have a meal 452 there.
43:26 When Joseph came home, they presented him with the gifts they had brought inside, 453 and they bowed down to the ground before him. 43:27 He asked them how they were doing. 454 Then he said, “Is your aging father well, the one you spoke about? Is he still alive?” 43:28 “Your servant our father is well,” they replied. “He is still alive.” They bowed down in humility. 455
43:29 When Joseph looked up 456 and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, he said, “Is this your youngest brother, whom you told me about?” Then he said, “May God be gracious to you, my son.” 457 43:30 Joseph hurried out, for he was overcome by affection for his brother 458 and was at the point of tears. 459 So he went to his room and wept there.
43:31 Then he washed his face and came out. With composure he said, 460 “Set out the food.” 43:32 They set a place for him, a separate place for his brothers, 461 and another for the Egyptians who were eating with him. (The Egyptians are not able to eat with Hebrews, for the Egyptians think it is disgusting 462 to do so.) 463 43:33 They sat before him, arranged by order of birth, beginning with the firstborn and ending with the youngest. 464 The men looked at each other in astonishment. 465 43:34 He gave them portions of the food set before him, 466 but the portion for Benjamin was five times greater than the portions for any of the others. They drank with Joseph until they all became drunk. 467
44:1 He instructed the servant who was over his household, “Fill the sacks of the men with as much food as they can carry and put each man’s money in the mouth of his sack. 44:2 Then put 468 my cup – the silver cup – in the mouth of the youngest one’s sack, along with the money for his grain.” He did as Joseph instructed. 469
44:3 When morning came, 470 the men and their donkeys were sent off. 471 44:4 They had not gone very far from the city 472 when Joseph said 473 to the servant who was over his household, “Pursue the men at once! 474 When you overtake 475 them, say to them, ‘Why have you repaid good with evil? 44:5 Doesn’t my master drink from this cup 476 and use it for divination? 477 You have done wrong!’” 478
44:6 When the man 479 overtook them, he spoke these words to them. 44:7 They answered him, “Why does my lord say such things? 480 Far be it from your servants to do such a thing! 481 44:8 Look, the money that we found in the mouths of our sacks we brought back to you from the land of Canaan. Why then would we steal silver or gold from your master’s house? 44:9 If one of us has it, 482 he will die, and the rest of us will become my lord’s slaves!”
44:10 He replied, “You have suggested your own punishment! 483 The one who has it will become my slave, 484 but the rest of 485 you will go free.” 486 44:11 So each man quickly lowered 487 his sack to the ground and opened it. 44:12 Then the man 488 searched. He began with the oldest and finished with the youngest. The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack! 44:13 They all tore their clothes! Then each man loaded his donkey, and they returned to the city.
44:14 So Judah and his brothers 489 came back to Joseph’s house. He was still there, 490 and they threw themselves to the ground before him. 44:15 Joseph said to them, “What did you think you were doing? 491 Don’t you know that a man like me can find out things like this by divination?” 492
44:16 Judah replied, “What can we say 493 to my lord? What can we speak? How can we clear ourselves? 494 God has exposed the sin of your servants! 495 We are now my lord’s slaves, we and the one in whose possession the cup was found.”
44:18 Then Judah approached him and said, “My lord, please allow your servant to speak a word with you. 498 Please do not get angry with your servant, 499 for you are just like Pharaoh. 500 44:19 My lord asked his servants, ‘Do you have a father or a brother?’ 44:20 We said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and there is a young boy who was born when our father was old. 501 The boy’s 502 brother is dead. He is the only one of his mother’s sons left, 503 and his father loves him.’
44:21 “Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me so I can see 504 him.’ 505 44:22 We said to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father. If he leaves his father, his father 506 will die.’ 507 44:23 But you said to your servants, ‘If your youngest brother does not come down with you, you will not see my face again.’ 44:24 When we returned to your servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.
44:25 “Then our father said, ‘Go back and buy us a little food.’ 44:26 But we replied, ‘We cannot go down there. 508 If our youngest brother is with us, then we will go, 509 for we won’t be permitted to see the man’s face if our youngest brother is not with us.’
44:27 “Then your servant my father said to us, ‘You know that my wife gave me two sons. 510 44:28 The first disappeared 511 and I said, “He has surely been torn to pieces.” I have not seen him since. 44:29 If you take 512 this one from me too and an accident happens to him, then you will bring down my gray hair 513 in tragedy 514 to the grave.’ 515
44:30 “So now, when I return to your servant my father, and the boy is not with us – his very life is bound up in his son’s life. 516 44:31 When he sees the boy is not with us, 517 he will die, and your servants will bring down the gray hair of your servant our father in sorrow to the grave. 44:32 Indeed, 518 your servant pledged security for the boy with my father, saying, ‘If I do not bring him back to you, then I will bear the blame before my father all my life.’
44:33 “So now, please let your servant remain as my lord’s slave instead of the boy. As for the boy, let him go back with his brothers. 44:34 For how can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? I couldn’t bear to see 519 my father’s pain.” 520
45:1 Joseph was no longer able to control himself before all his attendants, 521 so he cried out, “Make everyone go out from my presence!” No one remained 522 with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 45:2 He wept loudly; 523 the Egyptians heard it and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. 524
45:3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” His brothers could not answer him because they were dumbfounded before him. 45:4 Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me,” so they came near. Then he said, “I am Joseph your brother, whom you sold into Egypt. 45:5 Now, do not be upset and do not be angry with yourselves because you sold me here, 525 for God sent me 526 ahead of you to preserve life! 45:6 For these past two years there has been famine in 527 the land and for five more years there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 45:7 God sent me 528 ahead of you to preserve you 529 on the earth and to save your lives 530 by a great deliverance. 45:8 So now, it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me an adviser 531 to Pharaoh, lord over all his household, and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 45:9 Now go up to my father quickly 532 and tell him, ‘This is what your son Joseph says: “God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; do not delay! 45:10 You will live 533 in the land of Goshen, and you will be near me – you, your children, your grandchildren, your flocks, your herds, and everything you have. 45:11 I will provide you with food 534 there because there will be five more years of famine. Otherwise you would become poor – you, your household, and everyone who belongs to you.”’ 45:12 You and my brother Benjamin can certainly see with your own eyes that I really am the one who speaks to you. 535 45:13 So tell 536 my father about all my honor in Egypt and about everything you have seen. But bring my father down here quickly!” 537
45:16 Now it was reported 538 in the household of Pharaoh, “Joseph’s brothers have arrived.” It pleased 539 Pharaoh and his servants. 45:17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and go 540 to the land of Canaan! 45:18 Get your father and your households and come to me! Then I will give you 541 the best land in Egypt and you will eat 542 the best 543 of the land.’ 45:19 You are also commanded to say, 544 ‘Do this: Take for yourselves wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives. Bring your father and come. 45:20 Don’t worry 545 about your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt will be yours.’”
45:21 So the sons of Israel did as he said. 546 Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had instructed, 547 and he gave them provisions for the journey. 45:22 He gave sets of clothes to each one of them, 548 but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of clothes. 549 45:23 To his father he sent the following: 550 ten donkeys loaded with the best products of Egypt and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, food, and provisions for his father’s journey. 45:24 Then he sent his brothers on their way and they left. He said to them, “As you travel don’t be overcome with fear.” 551
45:25 So they went up from Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 552 45:26 They told him, “Joseph is still alive and he is ruler over all the land of Egypt!” Jacob was stunned, 553 for he did not believe them. 45:27 But when they related to him everything Joseph had said to them, 554 and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him, their father Jacob’s spirit revived. 45:28 Then Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive! I will go and see him before I die.”
46:1 So Israel began his journey, taking with him all that he had. 555 When he came to Beer Sheba 556 he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 46:2 God spoke to Israel in a vision during the night 557 and said, “Jacob, Jacob!” He replied, “Here I am!” 46:3 He said, “I am God, 558 the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 46:4 I will go down with you to Egypt and I myself will certainly bring you back from there. 559 Joseph will close your eyes.” 560
46:5 Then Jacob started out 561 from Beer Sheba, and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little children, and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent along to transport him. 46:6 Jacob and all his descendants took their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they went to Egypt. 562 46:7 He brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, 563 his daughters and granddaughters – all his descendants.
46:8 These are the names of the sons of Israel who went to Egypt – Jacob and his sons:
Reuben, the firstborn of Jacob.
46:9 The sons of Reuben:
Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
46:10 The sons of Simeon:
Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar,
and Shaul (the son of a Canaanite woman).
46:11 The sons of Levi:
Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
46:12 The sons of Judah:
Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah
(but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan).
The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
46:13 The sons of Issachar:
46:14 The sons of Zebulun:
Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
46:16 The sons of Gad:
Zephon, 567 Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.
46:17 The sons of Asher:
Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and Serah their sister.
The sons of Beriah were Heber and Malkiel.
46:18 These were the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter. She bore these to Jacob, sixteen in all.
46:19 The sons of Rachel the wife of Jacob:
Joseph and Benjamin.
Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard.
46:22 These were the sons of Rachel who were born to Jacob, fourteen in all.
46:24 The sons of Naphtali:
Jahziel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.
46:25 These were the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter. She bore these to Jacob, seven in all.
46:26 All the direct descendants of Jacob who went to Egypt with him were sixty-six in number. (This number does not include the wives of Jacob’s sons.) 571 46:27 Counting the two sons 572 of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt, all the people of the household of Jacob who were in Egypt numbered seventy. 573
46:28 Jacob 574 sent Judah before him to Joseph to accompany him to Goshen. 575 So they came to the land of Goshen. 46:29 Joseph harnessed his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. When he met him, 576 he hugged his neck and wept on his neck for quite some time.
46:30 Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.” 577 46:31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, 578 ‘My brothers and my father’s household who were in the land of Canaan have come to me. 46:32 The men are shepherds; 579 they take care of livestock. 580 They have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ 46:33 Pharaoh will summon you and say, ‘What is your occupation?’ 46:34 Tell him, ‘Your servants have taken care of cattle 581 from our youth until now, both we and our fathers,’ so that you may live in the land of Goshen, 582 for everyone who takes care of sheep is disgusting 583 to the Egyptians.”
47:1 Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father, my brothers, their flocks and herds, and all that they own have arrived from the land of
47:3 Pharaoh said to Joseph’s 586 brothers, “What is your occupation?” They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants take care of flocks, just as our ancestors did.” 587 47:4 Then they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to live as temporary residents 588 in the land. There 589 is no pasture for your servants’ flocks because the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. So now, please let your servants live in the land of Goshen.”
47:5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 47:6 The land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best region of the land. They may live in the land of Goshen. If you know of any highly capable men 590 among them, put them in charge 591 of my livestock.”
47:7 Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and presented him 592 before Pharaoh. Jacob blessed 593 Pharaoh. 47:8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How long have you lived?” 594 47:9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, “All 595 the years of my travels 596 are 130. All 597 the years of my life have been few and painful; 598 the years of my travels are not as long as those of my ancestors.” 599 47:10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence. 600
47:11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers. He gave them territory 601 in the land of Egypt, in the best region of the land, the land of Rameses, 602 just as Pharaoh had commanded. 47:12 Joseph also provided food for his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household, according to the number of their little children.
47:13 But there was no food in all the land because the famine was very severe; the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan wasted away 603 because of the famine. 47:14 Joseph collected all the money that could be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan as payment 604 for the grain they were buying. Then Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s palace. 605 47:15 When the money from the lands of Egypt and Canaan was used up, all the Egyptians 606 came to Joseph and said, “Give us food! Why should we die 607 before your very eyes because our money has run out?”
47:16 Then Joseph said, “If your money is gone, bring your livestock, and I will give you food 608 in exchange for 609 your livestock.” 47:17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for their horses, the livestock of their flocks and herds, and their donkeys. 610 He got them through that year by giving them food in exchange for livestock.
47:18 When that year was over, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We cannot hide from our 611 lord that the money is used up and the livestock and the animals belong to our lord. Nothing remains before our lord except our bodies and our land. 47:19 Why should we die before your very eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we, with our land, will become 612 Pharaoh’s slaves. 613 Give us seed that we may live 614 and not die. Then the land will not become desolate.” 615
47:20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. Each 616 of the Egyptians sold his field, for the famine was severe. 617 So the land became Pharaoh’s. 47:21 Joseph 618 made all the people slaves 619 from one end of Egypt’s border to the other end of it. 47:22 But he did not purchase the land of the priests because the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh and they ate from their allotment that Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.
47:23 Joseph said to the people, “Since I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you. Cultivate 620 the land. 47:24 When you gather in the crop, 621 give 622 one-fifth of it to Pharaoh, and the rest 623 will be yours for seed for the fields and for you to eat, including those in your households and your little children.” 47:25 They replied, “You have saved our lives! You are showing us favor, 624 and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 625
47:27 Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen, and they owned land there. They were fruitful and increased rapidly in number.
47:28 Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; the years 628 of Jacob’s life were 147 in all. 47:29 The time 629 for Israel to die approached, so he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, put your hand under my thigh 630 and show me kindness and faithfulness. 631 Do not bury me in Egypt, 47:30 but when I rest 632 with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” Joseph 633 said, “I will do as you say.”
48:1 After these things Joseph was told, 640 “Your father is weakening.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. 48:2 When Jacob was told, 641 “Your son Joseph has just 642 come to you,” Israel regained strength and sat up on his bed. 48:3 Jacob said to Joseph, “The sovereign God 643 appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 48:4 He said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful 644 and will multiply you. 645 I will make you into a group of nations, and I will give this land to your descendants 646 as an everlasting possession.’ 647
48:5 “Now, as for your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, they will be mine. 648 Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine just as Reuben and Simeon are. 48:6 Any children that you father 649 after them will be yours; they will be listed 650 under the names of their brothers in their inheritance. 651 48:7 But as for me, when I was returning from Paddan, Rachel died – to my sorrow 652 – in the land of Canaan. It happened along the way, some distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there on the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem). 653
48:8 When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he asked, “Who are these?” 48:9 Joseph said to his father, “They are the 654 sons God has given me in this place.” His father 655 said, “Bring them to me so I may bless them.” 656 48:10 Now Israel’s eyes were failing 657 because of his age; he was not able to see well. So Joseph 658 brought his sons 659 near to him, and his father 660 kissed them and embraced them. 48:11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected 661 to see you 662 again, but now God has allowed me to see your children 663 too.”
48:12 So Joseph moved them from Israel’s knees 664 and bowed down with his face to the ground. 48:13 Joseph positioned them; 665 he put Ephraim on his right hand across from Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh on his left hand across from Israel’s right hand. Then Joseph brought them closer to his father. 666 48:14 Israel stretched out his right hand and placed it on Ephraim’s head, although he was the younger. 667 Crossing his hands, he put his left hand on Manasseh’s head, for Manasseh was the firstborn.
48:15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,
“May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked –
the God who has been my shepherd 668
all my life long to this day,
from all harm –
bless these boys.
May my name be named in them, 671
and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac.
May they grow into a multitude on the earth.”
48:17 When Joseph saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him. 672 So he took his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 48:18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”
48:19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He too will become a nation and he too will become great. In spite of this, his younger brother will be even greater and his descendants will become a multitude 673 of nations.” 48:20 So he blessed them that day, saying,
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
So he put Ephraim before Manasseh. 676
48:21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you 677 and will bring you back to the land of your fathers. 48:22 As one who is above your 678 brothers, I give to you the mountain slope, 679 which I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”
49:2 “Assemble and listen, you sons of Jacob;
listen to Israel, your father.
49:3 Reuben, you are my firstborn,
my might and the beginning of my strength,
outstanding in dignity, outstanding in power.
for you got on your father’s bed, 684
then you defiled it – he got on my couch! 685
49:5 Simeon and Levi are brothers,
weapons of violence are their knives! 686
49:6 O my soul, do not come into their council,
do not be united to their assembly, my heart, 687
for in their anger they have killed men,
and for pleasure they have hamstrung oxen.
49:7 Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce,
and their fury, for it was cruel.
I will divide them in Jacob,
and scatter them in Israel! 688
Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies,
your father’s sons will bow down before you.
49:9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah,
from the prey, my son, you have gone up.
He crouches and lies down like a lion;
like a lioness – who will rouse him?
49:10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, 690
until he comes to whom it belongs; 691
the nations will obey him. 692
49:11 Binding his foal to the vine,
and his colt to the choicest vine,
he will wash 693 his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
49:12 His eyes will be dark from wine,
and his teeth white from milk. 694
and become a haven for ships;
his border will extend to Sidon. 696
49:14 Issachar is a strong-boned donkey
lying down between two saddlebags.
and the pleasant land,
he will bend his shoulder to the burden
and become a slave laborer. 698
as one of the tribes of Israel.
49:17 May Dan be a snake beside the road,
a viper by the path,
that bites the heels of the horse
so that its rider falls backward. 701
49:19 Gad will be raided by marauding bands,
but he will attack them at their heels. 703
and he will provide delicacies 706 to royalty.
he speaks delightful words. 708
a fruitful bough near a spring
whose branches 710 climb over the wall.
they will shoot at him and oppose him.
49:24 But his bow will remain steady,
and his hands 712 will be skillful;
because of the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
49:25 because of the God of your father,
who will help you, 715
because of the sovereign God, 716
who will bless you 717
with blessings from the sky above,
blessings from the deep that lies below,
and blessings of the breasts and womb. 718
49:26 The blessings of your father are greater
or the desirable things of the age-old hills.
They will be on the head of Joseph
and on the brow of the prince of his brothers. 721
49:27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
in the morning devouring the prey,
and in the evening dividing the plunder.”
49:29 Then he instructed them, 724 “I am about to go 725 to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 49:30 It is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought for a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite. 49:31 There they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah; there they buried Isaac and his wife Rebekah; and there I buried Leah. 49:32 The field and the cave in it were acquired from the sons of Heth.” 726
50:1 Then Joseph hugged his father’s face. 728 He wept over him and kissed him. 50:2 Joseph instructed the physicians in his service 729 to embalm his father, so the physicians embalmed Israel. 50:3 They took forty days, for that is the full time needed for embalming. 730 The Egyptians mourned 731 for him seventy days. 732
50:4 When the days of mourning 733 had passed, Joseph said to Pharaoh’s royal court, 734 “If I have found favor in your sight, please say to Pharaoh, 735 50:5 ‘My father made me swear an oath. He said, 736 “I am about to die. Bury me 737 in my tomb that I dug for myself there in the land of Canaan.” Now let me go and bury my father; then I will return.’” 50:6 So Pharaoh said, “Go and bury your father, just as he made you swear to do.” 738
50:7 So Joseph went up to bury his father; all Pharaoh’s officials went with him – the senior courtiers 739 of his household, all the senior officials of the land of Egypt, 50:8 all Joseph’s household, his brothers, and his father’s household. But they left their little children and their flocks and herds in the land of Goshen. 50:9 Chariots and horsemen also went up with him, so it was a very large entourage. 740
50:10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad 741 on the other side of the Jordan, they mourned there with very great and bitter sorrow. 742 There Joseph observed a seven day period of mourning for his father. 50:11 When the Canaanites who lived in the land saw them mourning at the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a very sad occasion 743 for the Egyptians.” That is why its name was called 744 Abel Mizraim, 745 which is beyond the Jordan.
50:12 So the sons of Jacob did for him just as he had instructed them. 50:13 His sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, near Mamre. This is the field Abraham purchased as a burial plot from Ephron the Hittite. 50:14 After he buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, along with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to bury his father.
50:15 When Joseph’s brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge and wants to repay 746 us in full 747 for all the harm 748 we did to him?” 50:16 So they sent word 749 to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave these instructions before he died: 50:17 ‘Tell Joseph this: Please forgive the sin of your brothers and the wrong they did when they treated you so badly.’ Now please forgive the sin of the servants of the God of your father.” When this message was reported to him, Joseph wept. 750 50:18 Then his brothers also came and threw themselves down before him; they said, “Here we are; we are your slaves.” 50:19 But Joseph answered them, “Don’t be afraid. Am 751 I in the place of God? 50:20 As for you, you meant to harm me, 752 but God intended it for a good purpose, so he could preserve the lives of many people, as you can see this day. 753 50:21 So now, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your little children.” Then he consoled them and spoke kindly 754 to them.
50:22 Joseph lived in Egypt, along with his father’s family. 755 Joseph lived 110 years. 50:23 Joseph saw the descendants of Ephraim to the third generation. 756 He also saw the children of Makir the son of Manasseh; they were given special inheritance rights by Joseph. 757
50:24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die. But God will surely come to you 758 and lead you up from this land to the land he swore on oath to give 759 to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.” 50:25 Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath. He said, “God will surely come to you. Then you must carry my bones up from this place.” 50:26 So Joseph died at the age of 110. 760 After they embalmed him, his body 761 was placed in a coffin in Egypt.
1 tn Heb “the land of the sojournings of his father.”
2 sn The next section begins with the heading This is the account of Jacob in Gen 37:2, so this verse actually forms part of the preceding section as a concluding contrast with Esau and his people. In contrast to all the settled and expanded population of Esau, Jacob was still moving about in the land without a permanent residence and without kings. Even if the Edomite king list was added later (as the reference to kings in Israel suggests), its placement here in contrast to Jacob and his descendants is important. Certainly the text deals with Esau before dealing with Jacob – that is the pattern. But the detail is so great in chap. 36 that the contrast cannot be missed.
3 tn Heb “a son of seventeen years.” The word “son” is in apposition to the name “Joseph.”
4 tn Or “tending”; Heb “shepherding” or “feeding.”
5 tn Or perhaps “a helper.” The significance of this statement is unclear. It may mean “now the lad was with,” or it may suggest Joseph was like a servant to them.
6 tn Heb “and he [was] a young man with the sons of Bilhah and with the sons of Zilpah, the wives of his father.”
7 tn Heb “their bad report.” The pronoun is an objective genitive, specifying that the bad or damaging report was about the brothers.
sn Some interpreters portray Joseph as a tattletale for bringing back a bad report about them [i.e., his brothers], but the entire Joseph story has some of the characteristics of wisdom literature. Joseph is presented in a good light – not because he was perfect, but because the narrative is showing how wisdom rules. In light of that, this section portrays Joseph as faithful to his father in little things, even though unpopular – and so he will eventually be given authority over greater things.
8 tn The disjunctive clause provides supplemental information vital to the story. It explains in part the brothers’ animosity toward Joseph.
sn The statement Israel loved Joseph more than all his sons brings forward a motif that played an important role in the family of Isaac – parental favoritism. Jacob surely knew what that had done to him and his brother Esau, and to his own family. But now he showers affection on Rachel’s son Joseph.
9 tn Heb “a son of old age was he to him.” This expression means “a son born to him when he [i.e., Jacob] was old.”
10 tn It is not clear what this tunic was like, because the meaning of the Hebrew word that describes it is uncertain. The idea that it was a coat of many colors comes from the Greek translation of the OT. An examination of cognate terms in Semitic suggests it was either a coat or tunic with long sleeves (cf. NEB, NRSV), or a tunic that was richly embroidered (cf. NIV). It set Joseph apart as the favored one.
11 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
12 tn Heb “of his brothers.” This is redundant in contemporary English and has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun “them.”
13 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
14 tn Heb “speak to him for peace.”
15 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
16 tn Heb “dreamed a dream.”
17 sn Some interpreters see Joseph as gloating over his brothers, but the text simply says he told his brothers about it (i.e., the dream). The text gives no warrant for interpreting his manner as arrogant or condescending. It seems normal that he would share a dream with the family.
18 tn The construction uses a hendiadys, “they added to hate,” meaning they hated him even more.
19 tn Heb “hear this dream which I dreamed.”
20 tn All three clauses in this dream report begin with וְהִנֵּה (vÿhinneh, “and look”), which lends vividness to the report. This is represented in the translation by the expression “there we were.”
21 tn The verb means “to bow down to the ground.” It is used to describe worship and obeisance to masters.
22 tn Heb “Ruling, will you rule over us, or reigning, will you reign over us?” The statement has a poetic style, with the two questions being in synonymous parallelism. Both verbs in this statement are preceded by the infinitive absolute, which lends emphasis. It is as if Joseph’s brothers said, “You don’t really think you will rule over us, do you? You don’t really think you will have dominion over us, do you?”
24 sn The response of Joseph’s brothers is understandable, given what has already been going on in the family. But here there is a hint of uneasiness – they hated him because of his dream and because of his words. The dream bothered them, as well as his telling them. And their words in the rhetorical question are ironic, for this is exactly what would happen. The dream was God’s way of revealing it.
25 tn Heb “And he dreamed yet another dream.”
26 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Look.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse have been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons. Both clauses of the dream report begin with הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), which lends vividness to the report.
27 sn The question What is this dream that you had? expresses Jacob’s dismay at what he perceives to be Joseph’s audacity.
28 tn Heb “Coming, will we come, I and your mother and your brothers, to bow down to you to the ground?” The verb “come” is preceded by the infinitive absolute, which lends emphasis. It is as if Jacob said, “You don’t really think we will come…to bow down…do you?”
29 sn Joseph’s brothers were already jealous of him, but this made it even worse. Such jealousy easily leads to action, as the next episode in the story shows. Yet dreams were considered a form of revelation, and their jealousy was not only of the favoritism of their father, but of the dreams. This is why Jacob kept the matter in mind.
30 tn Heb “kept the word.” The referent of the Hebrew term “word” has been specified as “what Joseph said” in the translation for clarity, and the words “in mind” have been supplied for stylistic reasons.
31 tn The text uses an interrogative clause: “Are not your brothers,” which means “your brothers are.”
32 sn With these words Joseph is depicted here as an obedient son who is ready to do what his father commands.
33 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Here I am.’” The referent of the pronoun “he” (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity, and the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged for stylistic reasons.
34 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
35 tn Heb “see.”
36 tn Heb “peace.”
37 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
38 tn Heb “and he [i.e., Joseph] went to Shechem.” The referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
39 tn Heb “and a man found him and look, he was wandering in the field.” By the use of וְהִנֵּה (vÿhinneh, “and look”), the narrator invites the reader to see the action through this unnamed man’s eyes.
40 tn The imperative in this sentence has more of the nuance of a request than a command.
41 tn Heb “they traveled from this place.”
42 tn Heb “and they”; the referent (Joseph’s brothers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
43 tn Heb “Look, this master of dreams is coming.” The brothers’ words have a sarcastic note and indicate that they resent his dreams.
44 tn The Hebrew word can sometimes carry the nuance “evil,” but when used of an animal it refers to a dangerous wild animal.
45 tn Heb “what his dreams will be.”
46 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
48 tn Heb “and he said.”
49 tn Heb “we must not strike him down [with respect to] life.”
50 tn Heb “and Reuben said to them.”
51 sn The verbs translated shed, throw, and lay sound alike in Hebrew; the repetition of similar sounds draws attention to Reuben’s words.
52 tn The words “Reuben said this” are not in the Hebrew text, but have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
53 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
55 tn Heb “Joseph”; the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“him”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
56 tn The disjunctive clause gives supplemental information that helps the reader or hearer to picture what happened.
57 tn Heb “lifted up their eyes.”
58 tn Heb “and they saw and look.” By the use of וְהִנֵּה (vÿhinneh, “and look”), the narrator invites the reader to see the event through the eyes of the brothers.
59 tn Heb “and their camels were carrying spices, balm, and myrrh, going to go down to Egypt.”
60 tn Heb “let not our hand be upon him.”
61 tn Heb “listened.”
63 tn Heb “they drew and they lifted up.” The referent (Joseph’s brothers) has been specified in the translation for clarity; otherwise the reader might assume the Midianites had pulled Joseph from the cistern (but cf. NAB).
64 tn Heb “Joseph” (both here and in the following clause); the proper name has been replaced both times by the pronoun “him” in the translation for stylistic reasons.
65 tn Heb “they”; the referent (the Ishmaelites) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
66 tn Heb “and look, Joseph was not in the cistern.” By the use of וְהִנֵּה (vÿhinneh, “and look”), the narrator invites the reader to see the situation through Reuben’s eyes.
68 tn Heb “and they sent the special tunic and they brought [it] to their father.” The text as it stands is problematic. It sounds as if they sent the tunic on ahead and then came and brought it to their father. Some emend the second verb to a Qal form and read “and they came.” In this case, they sent the tunic on ahead.
69 sn A wild animal has eaten him. Jacob draws this conclusion on his own without his sons actually having to lie with their words (see v. 20). Dipping the tunic in the goat’s blood was the only deception needed.
70 tn Heb “and put sackcloth on his loins.”
71 tn Heb “arose, stood”; which here suggests that they stood by him in his time of grief.
72 tn Heb “and he said, ‘Indeed I will go down to my son mourning to Sheol.’” Sheol was viewed as the place where departed spirits went after death.
73 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
75 tc The MT spells the name of the merchants as מְדָנִים (mÿdanim, “Medanites”) rather than מִדְיָנִים (midyanim, “Midianites”) as in v. 28. It is likely that the MT is corrupt at this point, with the letter yod (י) being accidentally omitted. The LXX, Vulgate, Samaritan Pentateuch, and Syriac read “Midianites” here. Some prefer to read “Medanites” both here and in v. 28, but Judg 8:24, which identifies the Midianites and Ishmaelites, favors the reading “Midianites.”
76 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
77 sn The expression captain of the guard might indicate that Potiphar was the chief executioner.
78 tn Heb “went down from.”
79 tn Heb “and he turned aside unto.”
80 tn Heb “a man, an Adullamite.”
81 tn Heb “a man, a Canaanite.”
82 tn Heb “and his name was Shua.”
83 tn Heb “and he took her.”
84 tn Heb “and he went to her.” This expression is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
85 tn Or “she conceived” (also in the following verse).
86 tc Some
tn Heb “and he called his name.” The referent (Judah) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
87 tn Heb “and she added again and she gave birth.” The first verb and the adverb emphasize that she gave birth once more.
88 tn Or “and he [i.e., Judah] was in Kezib when she gave birth to him.”
89 tn Heb “and Judah took.”
90 tn Heb “go to.” The expression is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
91 tn The imperative with the prefixed conjunction here indicates purpose.
92 sn Raise up a descendant for your brother. The purpose of this custom, called the levirate system, was to ensure that no line of the family would become extinct. The name of the deceased was to be maintained through this custom of having a child by the nearest relative. See M. Burrows, “Levirate Marriage in Israel,” JBL 59 (1940): 23-33.
93 tn Heb “offspring.”
94 tn Heb “would not be his,” that is, legally speaking. Under the levirate system the child would be legally considered the child of his deceased brother.
95 tn The construction shows that this was a repeated practice and not merely one action.
sn The text makes it clear that the purpose of the custom was to produce an heir for the deceased brother. Onan had no intention of doing that. But he would have sex with the girl as much as he wished. He was willing to use the law to gratify his desires, but was not willing to do the responsible thing.
96 tn Heb “he went to.” This expression is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
97 tn Heb “he spoiled [his semen] to the ground.” Onan withdrew prematurely and ejaculated on the ground to prevent his brother’s widow from becoming pregnant.
98 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the
99 tn Heb “said.”
100 tn Heb “Otherwise he will die, also he, like his brothers.”
sn I don’t want him to die like his brothers. This clause explains that Judah had no intention of giving Shelah to Tamar for the purpose of the levirate marriage. Judah apparently knew the nature of his sons, and feared that God would be angry with the third son and kill him as well.
101 sn After some time. There is not enough information in the narrative to know how long this was. The text says “the days increased.” It was long enough for Shelah to mature and for Tamar to realize she would not have him.
102 tn Heb “and he went up to the shearers of his sheep, he and.”
103 tn Heb “And it was told to Tamar, saying.”
104 tn The active participle indicates the action was in progress or about to begin.
105 tn The Hebrew text simply has “because,” connecting this sentence to what precedes. For stylistic reasons the words “she did this” are supplied in the translation and a new sentence begun.
106 tn Heb “she saw that Shelah had grown up, but she was not given to him as a wife.”
107 tn Heb “he reckoned her for a prostitute,” which was what Tamar had intended for him to do. She obviously had some idea of his inclinations, or she would not have tried this risky plan.
108 tn Heb “I will go to you.” The imperfect verbal form probably indicates his desire here. The expression “go to” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
109 tn Heb “for he did not know that.”
110 tn Heb “when you come to me.” This expression is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
111 tn Heb “until you send.”
112 tn Heb “and he went to her.” This expression is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
113 tn Heb “and she arose and left,” the first verb in the pair emphasizing that she wasted no time.
114 tn Heb “sent by the hand of his friend.” Here the name of the friend (“Hirah”) has been included in the translation for clarity.
115 tn Heb “to receive the pledge from the woman’s hand.”
116 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Judah’s friend Hirah the Adullamite) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
117 tn Heb “the men of her place,” that is, who lived at the place where she had been.
118 sn The Hebrew noun translated “cult prostitute” is derived from a verb meaning “to be set apart; to be distinct.” Thus the term refers to a woman who did not marry, but was dedicated to temple service as a cult prostitute. The masculine form of this noun is used for male cult prostitutes. Judah thought he had gone to an ordinary prostitute (v. 15); but Hirah went looking for a cult prostitute, perhaps because it had been a sheep-shearing festival. For further discussion see E. M. Yamauchi, “Cultic Prostitution,” Orient and Occident (AOAT), 213-23.
119 tn The words “the things” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
120 tn Heb “we will become contemptible.” The Hebrew word בּוּז (buz) describes the contempt that a respectable person would have for someone who is worthless, foolish, or disreputable.
121 tn Heb “it was told to Judah, saying.”
122 tn Or “has been sexually promiscuous.” The verb may refer here to loose or promiscuous activity, not necessarily prostitution.
123 tn Heb “and also look, she is with child by prostitution.”
124 tn Heb “she was being brought out and she sent.” The juxtaposition of two clauses, both of which place the subject before the predicate, indicates synchronic action.
125 tn Heb “who these to him.”
127 tn Traditionally “more righteous”; cf. NCV, NRSV, NLT “more in the right.”
sn She is more upright than I. Judah had been irresponsible and unfaithful to his duty to see that the family line continued through the levirate marriage of his son Shelah. Tamar fought for her right to be the mother of Judah’s line. When she was not given Shelah and Judah’s wife died, she took action on her own to ensure that the line did not die out. Though deceptive, it was a desperate and courageous act. For Tamar it was within her rights; she did nothing that the law did not entitle her to do. But for Judah it was wrong because he thought he was going to a prostitute. See also Susan Niditch, “The Wronged Woman Righted: An Analysis of Genesis 38,” HTR 72 (1979): 143-48.
128 tn Heb “and he did not add again to know her.” Here “know” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
129 tn The word “child” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
130 tn Heb “Look, his brother came out.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the reader to view the scene through the midwife’s eyes. The words “before him” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
131 tn Heb “How you have made a breach for yourself!” The Hebrew verb translated “make a breach” frequently occurs, as here, with a cognate accusative. The event provided the meaningful name Perez, “he who breaks through.”
132 sn The name Perez means “he who breaks through,” referring to Perez reaching out his hand at birth before his brother was born. The naming signified the completion of Tamar’s struggle and also depicted the destiny of the tribe of Perez who later became dominant (Gen 46:12 and Num 26:20). Judah and his brothers had sold Joseph into slavery, thinking they could thwart God’s plan that the elder brothers should serve the younger. God demonstrated that principle through these births in Judah’s own family, affirming that the elder will serve the younger, and that Joseph’s leadership could not so easily be set aside. See J. Goldin, “The Youngest Son; or, Where Does Genesis 38 Belong?” JBL 96 (1977): 27-44.
133 sn Perhaps the child was named Zerah because of the scarlet thread. Though the Hebrew word used for “scarlet thread” in v. 28 is not related to the name Zerah, there is a related root in Babylonian and western Aramaic that means “scarlet” or “scarlet thread.” In Hebrew the name appears to be derived from a root meaning “to shine.” The name could have originally meant something like “shining one” or “God has shined.” Zerah became the head of a tribe (Num 26:20) from whom Achan descended (Josh 7:1).
134 tn The disjunctive clause resumes the earlier narrative pertaining to Joseph by recapitulating the event described in 37:36. The perfect verbal form is given a past perfect translation to restore the sequence of the narrative for the reader.
136 tn Heb “from the hand of.”
138 tn Heb “and he was.”
139 tn The Hebrew text adds “in his hand,” a phrase not included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
140 sn The Hebrew verb translated became his personal attendant refers to higher domestic service, usually along the lines of a personal attendant. Here Joseph is made the household steward, a position well-attested in Egyptian literature.
141 tn Heb “him”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
142 tn Heb “put into his hand.”
143 tn Heb “and it was from then.”
144 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Potiphar) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
145 sn The Hebrew word translated blessed carries the idea of enrichment, prosperity, success. It is the way believers describe success at the hand of God. The text illustrates the promise made to Abraham that whoever blesses his descendants will be blessed (Gen 12:1-3).
146 tn Heb “in the house and in the field.” The word “both” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
147 sn The passage gives us a good picture of Joseph as a young man who was responsible and faithful, both to his master and to his God. This happened within a very short time of his being sold into Egypt. It undermines the view that Joseph was a liar, a tattletale, and an arrogant adolescent.
148 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Potiphar) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
149 sn The Hebrew verb translated left indicates he relinquished the care of it to Joseph. This is stronger than what was said earlier. Apparently Potiphar had come to trust Joseph so much that he knew it was in better care with Joseph than with anyone else.
150 tn Heb “hand.” This is a metonymy for being under the control or care of Joseph.
151 tn Heb “did not know.”
152 sn The expression except the food he ate probably refers to Potiphar’s private affairs and should not be limited literally to what he ate.
154 tn Heb “she lifted up her eyes toward,” an expression that emphasizes her deliberate and careful scrutiny of him.
155 tn Heb “lie with me.” Here the expression “lie with” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
sn The story of Joseph and Potiphar’s wife has long been connected with the wisdom warnings about the strange woman who tries to seduce the young man with her boldness and directness (see Prov 5-7, especially 7:6-27). This is part of the literary background of the story of Joseph that gives it a wisdom flavor. See G. von Rad, God at Work in Israel, 19-35; and G. W. Coats, “The Joseph Story and Ancient Wisdom: A Reappraisal,” CBQ 35 (1973): 285-97.
156 tn Heb “and he said.”
157 tn Heb “know.”
158 tn The word “here” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
159 tn Heb “hand.” This is a metonymy for being under the control or care of Joseph.
160 tn The nuance of potential imperfect fits this context.
161 tn The verse begins with the temporal indicator, followed by the infinitive construct with the preposition כְּ (kÿ). This clause could therefore be taken as temporal.
162 tn Heb “listen to.”
163 tn Heb “to lie beside her to be with her.” Here the expression “to lie beside” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
164 tn Heb “and it was about this day.”
165 tn Heb “the men of the house.”
166 tn Heb “he fled and he went out.” The construction emphasizes the point that Joseph got out of there quickly.
167 sn For discussion of this episode, see A. M. Honeyman, “The Occasion of Joseph’s Temptation,” VT 2 (1952): 85-87.
168 tn The verb has no expressed subject, and so it could be treated as a passive (“a Hebrew man was brought in”; cf. NIV). But it is clear from the context that her husband brought Joseph into the household, so Potiphar is the apparent referent here. Thus the translation supplies “my husband” as the referent of the unspecified pronominal subject of the verb (cf. NEB, NRSV).
169 sn A Hebrew man. Potiphar’s wife raises the ethnic issue when talking to her servants about what their boss had done.
170 tn Heb “to make fun of us.” The verb translated “to humiliate us” here means to hold something up for ridicule, or to toy with something harmfully. Attempted rape would be such an activity, for it would hold the victim in contempt.
171 tn Heb “he came to me to lie with me.” Here the expression “lie with” is a euphemism for sexual intercourse.
172 tn Heb “and I cried out with a loud voice.”
173 tn Heb “that I raised.”
174 tn Heb “and she spoke to him according to these words, saying.”
175 sn That Hebrew slave. Now, when speaking to her husband, Potiphar’s wife refers to Joseph as a Hebrew slave, a very demeaning description.
176 tn Heb “came to me to make fun of me.” The statement needs no explanation because of the connotations of “came to me” and “to make fun of me.” See the note on the expression “humiliate us” in v. 14.
177 tn Heb “and when his master heard the words of his wife which she spoke to him, saying.”
178 tn Heb “according to these words.”
179 tn Heb “did to me.”
180 tn Heb “his anger burned.”
181 tn Heb “the house of roundness,” suggesting that the prison might have been a fortress or citadel.
182 sn The story of Joseph is filled with cycles and repetition: He has two dreams (chap. 37), he interprets two dreams in prison (chap. 40) and the two dreams of Pharaoh (chap. 41), his brothers make two trips to see him (chaps. 42-43), and here, for the second time (see 37:24), he is imprisoned for no good reason, with only his coat being used as evidence. For further discussion see H. Jacobsen, “A Legal Note on Potiphar’s Wife,” HTR 69 (1976): 177.
183 tn Heb “and he extended to him loyal love.”
184 tn Or “the chief jailer” (also in the following verses).
185 tn Heb “all which they were doing there, he was doing.” This probably means that Joseph was in charge of everything that went on in the prison.
186 tn Heb “was not looking at anything.”
187 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
188 sn The Hebrew term cupbearer corresponds to the Egyptian wb’, an official (frequently a foreigner) who often became a confidant of the king and wielded political power (see K. A. Kitchen, NBD3 248). Nehemiah held this post in Persia.
189 sn The baker may be the Egyptian retehti, the head of the bakers, who had privileges in the royal court.
190 sn The Hebrew verb translated offended here is the same one translated “sin” in 39:9. Perhaps there is an intended contrast between these officials, who deserve to be imprisoned, and Joseph, who refused to sin against God, but was thrown into prison in spite of his innocence.
191 tn The Hebrew word סָרִיס (saris), used here of these two men and of Potiphar (see 39:1), normally means “eunuch.” But evidence from Akkadian texts shows that in early times the title was used of a court official in general. Only later did it become more specialized in its use.
193 tn Heb “they were days in custody.”
194 tn Heb “dreamed a dream.”
195 tn Heb “a man his dream in one night.”
196 tn Heb “a man according to the interpretation of his dream.”
198 tn Heb “why are your faces sad today?”
199 tn Heb “a dream we dreamed.”
200 tn The word “them” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
201 tn The Hebrew text adds “and he said to him.” This has not been translated because it is redundant in English.
202 tn Heb “the cup of Pharaoh.” The pronoun “his” has been used here in the translation for stylistic reasons.
203 sn The cupbearer’s dream is dominated by sets of three: three branches, three stages of growth, and three actions of the cupbearer.
204 tn Heb “the three branches [are].”
205 tn Heb “Pharaoh will lift up your head.” This Hebrew idiom usually refers to restoring dignity, office, or power. It is comparable to the modern saying “someone can hold his head up high.”
206 tn Heb “according to the former custom.”
207 tn Heb “but you have remembered me with you.” The perfect verbal form may be used rhetorically here to emphasize Joseph’s desire to be remembered. He speaks of the action as already being accomplished in order to make it clear that he expects it to be done. The form can be translated as volitional, expressing a plea or a request.
208 tn This perfect verbal form with the prefixed conjunction (and the two that immediately follow) carry the same force as the preceding perfect.
209 tn Heb “deal with me [in] kindness.”
210 tn The verb זָכַר (zakhar) in the Hiphil stem means “to cause to remember, to make mention, to boast.” The implication is that Joseph would be pleased for them to tell his story and give him the credit due him so that Pharaoh would release him. Since Pharaoh had never met Joseph, the simple translation of “cause him to remember me” would mean little.
211 tn Heb “house.” The word “prison” has been substituted in the translation for clarity.
212 tn The verb גָּנַב (ganav) means “to steal,” but in the Piel/Pual stem “to steal away.” The idea of “kidnap” would be closer to the sense, meaning he was stolen and carried off. The preceding infinitive absolute underscores the point Joseph is making.
213 tn Heb “that [the] interpretation [was] good.” The words “the first dream” are supplied in the translation for clarity.
214 tn Or “three wicker baskets.” The meaning of the Hebrew noun חֹרִי (khori, “white bread, cake”) is uncertain; some have suggested the meaning “wicker” instead. Comparison with texts from Ebla suggests the meaning “pastries made with white flour” (M. Dahood, “Eblaite h¬a-rí and Genesis 40,16 h£o„rî,” BN 13 : 14-16).
215 tn Heb “the three baskets [are].”
216 tn Heb “Pharaoh will lift up your head from upon you.” Joseph repeats the same expression from the first interpretation (see v. 13), but with the added words “from upon you,” which allow the statement to have a more literal and ominous meaning – the baker will be decapitated.
217 tn The translation puts the verb in quotation marks because it is used rhetorically here and has a double meaning. With respect to the cup bearer it means “reinstate” (see v. 13), but with respect to the baker it means “decapitate” (see v. 19).
218 tn Heb “his cupbearing.”
219 tn Heb “had interpreted for them.”
sn The dreams were fulfilled exactly as Joseph had predicted, down to the very detail. Here was confirmation that Joseph could interpret dreams and that his own dreams were still valid. It would have been a tremendous encouragement to his faith, but it would also have been a great disappointment to spend two more years in jail.
220 tn The wayyiqtol verbal form here has a reiterative or emphasizing function.
221 tn Heb “two years, days.”
222 tn Heb “was dreaming.”
223 tn Heb “And look, he was standing by the Nile, and look, from the Nile were coming up seven cows, attractive of appearance and fat of flesh.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the audience to see the dream through Pharaoh’s eyes.
224 tn Heb “And look, seven other cows were coming up after them from the Nile, bad of appearance and thin of flesh.”
225 tn Heb “the Nile.” This has been replaced by “the river” in the translation for stylistic reasons.
226 tn Heb “coming up.”
227 tn Heb “fat.”
228 tn Heb “And look.”
229 tn Heb “And look, a dream.”
sn Pharaoh’s two dreams, as explained in the following verses, pertained to the economy of Egypt. Because of the Nile River, the land of Egypt weathered all kinds of famines – there was usually grain in Egypt, and if there was grain and water the livestock would flourish. These two dreams, however, indicated that poverty would overtake plenty and that the blessing of the herd and the field would cease.
230 tn Heb “his spirit.”
231 tn Heb “he sent and called,” which indicates an official summons.
232 tn The Hebrew term חַרְטֹם (khartom) is an Egyptian loanword (hyr-tp) that describes a class of priests who were skilled in such interpretations.
233 tn The Hebrew text has the singular (though the Samaritan Pentateuch reads the plural). If retained, the singular must be collective for the set of dreams. Note the plural pronoun “them,” referring to the dreams, in the next clause. However, note that in v. 15 Pharaoh uses the singular to refer to the two dreams. In vv. 17-24 Pharaoh seems to treat the dreams as two parts of one dream (see especially v. 22).
234 tn “there was no interpreter.”
235 tn Heb “for Pharaoh.” The pronoun “him” has been used in the translation for stylistic reasons.
237 tn Heb “and we dreamed a dream in one night, I and he, each according to the interpretation of his dream we dreamed.”
238 tn Or “slave.”
239 tn Heb “a servant to the captain of the guards.” On this construction see GKC 419-20 §129.c.
240 tn The words “our dreams” are supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
241 tn Heb “and he interpreted for us our dreams, each according to his dream he interpreted.”
242 tn Heb “interpreted.”
243 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Pharaoh) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
244 tn Heb “him”; the referent (the baker) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
245 tn Heb “and Pharaoh sent and called,” indicating a summons to the royal court.
246 tn Heb “dreamed a dream.”
247 tn Heb “there is no one interpreting.”
248 tn Heb “saying.”
249 tn Heb “you hear a dream to interpret it,” which may mean, “you only have to hear a dream to be able to interpret it.”
250 tn Heb “not within me.”
251 tn Heb “God will answer.”
252 tn The expression שְׁלוֹם פַּרְעֹה (shÿlom par’oh) is here rendered “the welfare of Pharaoh” because the dream will be about life in his land. Some interpret it to mean an answer of “peace” – one that will calm his heart, or give him the answer that he desires (cf. NIV, NRSV, NLT).
253 tn Heb “In my dream look, I was standing.” The use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”) here (and also in vv. 18, 19, 22, 23) invites the hearer (within the context of the narrative, Joseph; but in the broader sense the reader or hearer of the Book of Genesis) to observe the scene through Pharaoh’s eyes.
254 tn Heb “and look, from the Nile seven cows were coming up, fat of flesh and attractive of appearance, and they grazed in the reeds.”
255 tn Heb “And look.”
256 tn The word “cows” is supplied here in the translation for stylistic reasons.
257 tn Heb “the seven first fat cows.”
258 tn Heb “when they went inside them.”
259 tn Heb “it was not known.”
260 tn Heb “and I saw in my dream and look.”
261 tn Heb “And look.”
262 tn The words “all this” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
263 tn Heb “and there was no one telling me.”
264 tn Heb “the dream of Pharaoh is one.”
265 tn Heb “declared.”
266 tn The active participle here indicates what is imminent.
267 tn Heb “one dream it is.”
268 tn Heb “are.” Another option is to translate, “There will be seven years of famine.”
269 tn Heb “it is the word that I spoke.”
270 tn The perfect with the vav consecutive continues the time frame of the preceding participle, which has an imminent future nuance here.
271 tn The Hebrew verb כָּלָה (kalah) in the Piel stem means “to finish, to destroy, to bring an end to.” The severity of the famine will ruin the land of Egypt.
272 tn Heb “known.”
273 tn Or “heavy.”
274 tn Heb “and concerning the repeating of the dream to Pharaoh two times.” The Niphal infinitive here is the object of the preposition; it is followed by the subjective genitive “of the dream.”
275 tn Heb “established.”
276 tn The clause combines a participle and an infinitive construct: God “is hurrying…to do it,” meaning he is going to do it soon.
277 tn Heb “let Pharaoh look.” The jussive form expresses Joseph’s advice to Pharaoh.
278 tn Heb “a man discerning and wise.” The order of the terms is rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
279 tn Heb “and let him set him.”
280 tn The imperfect verbal form has an obligatory nuance here. The Samaritan Pentateuch has a jussive form here, “and let [Pharaoh] do.”
281 tn Heb “and let him appoint.” The jussive form expresses Joseph’s advice to Pharaoh.
282 tn Heb “appointees.” The noun is a cognate accusative of the preceding verb. Since “appoint appointees” would be redundant in English, the term “officials” was used in the translation instead.
283 tn Heb “and he shall collect a fifth of the land of Egypt.” The language is figurative (metonymy); it means what the land produces, i.e., the harvest.
284 tn Heb “all the food.”
285 tn Heb “under the hand of Pharaoh.”
286 tn Heb “[for] food in the cities.” The noun translated “food” is an adverbial accusative in the sentence.
287 tn The perfect with vav (ו) consecutive carries the same force as the sequence of jussives before it.
288 tn Heb “and the land will not be cut off in the famine.”
289 tn Heb “and the matter was good in the eyes of Pharaoh and in the eyes of all his servants.”
290 tn Heb “like this,” but the referent could be misunderstood to be a man like that described by Joseph in v. 33, rather than Joseph himself. For this reason the proper name “Joseph” has been supplied in the translation.
291 tn The rhetorical question expects the answer “No, of course not!”
292 tn Heb “as discerning and wise.” The order has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
293 tn Heb “and at your mouth (i.e., instructions) all my people will kiss.” G. J. Wenham translates this “shall kowtow to your instruction” (Genesis [WBC], 2:395). Although there is some textual support for reading “will be judged, ruled by you,” this is probably an attempt to capture the significance of this word. Wenham lists a number of references where individuals have tried to make connections with other words or expressions – such as a root meaning “order themselves” lying behind “kiss,” or an idiomatic idea of “kiss” meaning “seal the mouth,” and so “be silent and submit to.” See K. A. Kitchen, “The Term Nsq in Genesis 41:40,” ExpTim 69 (1957): 30; D. S. Sperling, “Genesis 41:40: A New Interpretation,” JANESCU 10 (1978): 113-19.
294 tn Heb “only the throne, I will be greater than you.”
295 tn The translation assumes that the perfect verbal form is descriptive of a present action. Another option is to understand it as rhetorical, in which case Pharaoh describes a still future action as if it had already occurred in order to emphasize its certainty. In this case one could translate “I have placed” or “I will place.” The verb נָתַן (natan) is translated here as “to place in authority [over].”
296 sn Joseph became the grand vizier of the land of Egypt. See W. A. Ward, “The Egyptian Office of Joseph,” JSS 5 (1960): 144-50; and R. de Vaux, Ancient Israel, 129-31.
297 tn The Hebrew word שֵׁשׁ (shesh) is an Egyptian loanword that describes the fine linen robes that Egyptian royalty wore. The clothing signified Joseph’s rank.
298 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Pharaoh) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
299 tn Heb “and he caused him to ride in the second chariot which was his.”
300 tn The verb form appears to be a causative imperative from a verbal root meaning “to kneel.” It is a homonym of the word “bless” (identical in root letters but not related etymologically).
301 tn Heb “apart from you.”
302 tn Heb “no man,” but here “man” is generic, referring to people in general.
303 tn The idiom “lift up hand or foot” means “take any action” here.
304 sn The meaning of Joseph’s Egyptian name, Zaphenath-Paneah, is uncertain. Many recent commentators have followed the proposal of G. Steindorff that it means “the god has said, ‘he will live’” (“Der Name Josephs Saphenat-Pa‘neach,” ZÄS 31 : 41-42); others have suggested “the god speaks and lives” (see BDB 861 s.v. צָפְנָת פַּעְנֵחַ); “the man he knows” (J. Vergote, Joseph en Égypte, 145); or “Joseph [who is called] áIp-àankh” (K. A. Kitchen, NBD3 1262).
305 sn The name Asenath may mean “she belongs to the goddess Neit” (see HALOT 74 s.v. אָֽסְנַת). A novel was written at the beginning of the first century entitled Joseph and Asenath, which included a legendary account of the conversion of Asenath to Joseph’s faith in Yahweh. However, all that can be determined from this chapter is that their children received Hebrew names. See also V. Aptowitzer, “Asenath, the Wife of Joseph – a Haggadic Literary-Historical Study,” HUCA 1 (1924): 239-306.
307 tn Heb “and he passed through.”
308 tn Heb “a son of thirty years.”
309 tn Heb “when he stood before.”
310 tn Heb “went out from before.”
311 tn Heb “and he passed through all the land of Egypt”; this phrase is interpreted by JPS to mean that Joseph “emerged in charge of the whole land.”
312 tn Heb “brought forth by handfuls.”
313 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
314 tn Heb “all the food.”
315 tn Heb “of the seven years which were in the land of Egypt and placed food in the cities.”
316 tn Heb “and Joseph gathered grain like the sand of the sea, multiplying much.” To emphasize the vast amount of grain he stored up, the Hebrew text modifies the verb “gathered” with an infinitive absolute and an adverb.
317 tn Heb “before the year of the famine came.”
318 tn Heb “gave birth for him.”
319 sn The name Manasseh (מְנַשֶּׁה, mÿnasheh) describes God’s activity on behalf of Joseph, explaining in general the significance of his change of fortune. The name is a Piel participle, suggesting the meaning “he who brings about forgetfulness.” The Hebrew verb נַשַּׁנִי (nashani) may have been used instead of the normal נִשַּׁנִי (nishani) to provide a closer sound play with the name. The giving of this Hebrew name to his son shows that Joseph retained his heritage and faith; and it shows that a brighter future was in store for him.
320 tn The word “saying” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
321 tn Or “for.”
322 sn The name Ephraim (אֶפְרַיִם, ’efrayim), a form of the Hebrew verb פָּרָה (parah), means “to bear fruit.” The theme of fruitfulness is connected with this line of the family from Rachel (30:2) on down (see Gen 49:22, Deut 33:13-17, and Hos 13:15). But there is some difficulty with the name “Ephraim” itself. It appears to be a dual, for which F. Delitzsch simply said it meant “double fruitfulness” (New Commentary on Genesis, 2:305). G. J. Spurrell suggested it was a diphthongal pronunciation of a name ending in -an or -am, often thought to be dual suffixes (Notes on the text of the book of Genesis, 334). Many, however, simply connect the name to the territory of Ephraim and interpret it to be “fertile land” (C. Fontinoy, “Les noms de lieux en -ayim dans la Bible,” UF 3 : 33-40). The dual would then be an old locative ending. There is no doubt that the name became attached to the land in which the tribe settled, and it is possible that is where the dual ending came from, but in this story it refers to Joseph’s God-given fruitfulness.
323 tn The word “saying” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
324 tn Or “for.”
325 tn Heb “began to arrive.”
326 tn Heb “to all Egypt.” The name of the country is used by metonymy for the inhabitants.
327 tn Or “over the entire land”; Heb “over all the face of the earth.” The disjunctive clause is circumstantial-temporal to the next clause.
328 tc The MT reads “he opened all that was in [or “among”] them.” The translation follows the reading of the LXX and Syriac versions.
329 tn Heb “all the earth,” which refers here (by metonymy) to the people of the earth. Note that the following verb is plural in form, indicating that the inhabitants of the earth are in view.
330 tn Heb “saw.”
331 tn Heb “Jacob.” Here the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.
332 sn Why are you looking at each other? The point of Jacob’s question is that his sons should be going to get grain rather than sitting around doing nothing. Jacob, as the patriarch, still makes the decisions for the whole clan.
333 tn Heb “and buy for us from there.” The word “grain,” the direct object of “buy,” has been supplied for clarity, and the words “from there” have been omitted in the translation for stylistic reasons.
334 tn Following the imperatives, the prefixed verbal form with prefixed vav expresses purpose of result.
335 tn The imperfect tense continues the nuance of the verb before it.
336 tn Heb “But Benjamin, the brother of Joseph, Jacob did not send with his brothers.” The disjunctive clause highlights the contrast between Benjamin and the other ten.
337 tn The Hebrew verb אָמַר (’amar, “to say”) could also be translated “thought” (i.e., “he said to himself”) here, giving Jacob’s reasoning rather than spoken words.
338 tn The Hebrew noun אָסוֹן (’ason) is a rare word meaning “accident, harm.” Apart from its use in these passages it occurs in Exodus 21:22-23 of an accident to a pregnant woman. The term is a rather general one, but Jacob was no doubt thinking of his loss of Joseph.
339 tn Heb “encounters.”
340 tn Heb “in the midst of the coming ones.”
341 tn The disjunctive clause either introduces a new episode in the unfolding drama or provides the reader with supplemental information necessary to understanding the story.
342 sn Joseph’s brothers came and bowed down before him. Here is the beginning of the fulfillment of Joseph’s dreams (see Gen 37). But it is not the complete fulfillment, since all his brothers and his parents must come. The point of the dream, of course, was not simply to get the family to bow to Joseph, but that Joseph would be placed in a position of rule and authority to save the family and the world (41:57).
343 tn The word “faces” is an adverbial accusative, so the preposition has been supplied in the translation.
344 sn But pretended to be a stranger. Joseph intends to test his brothers to see if they have changed and have the integrity to be patriarchs of the tribes of Israel. He will do this by putting them in the same situations that they and he were in before. The first test will be to awaken their conscience.
345 tn Heb “said.”
346 tn The verb is denominative, meaning “to buy grain”; the word “food” could simply be the direct object, but may also be an adverbial accusative.
347 sn You are spies. Joseph wanted to see how his brothers would react if they were accused of spying.
348 tn Heb “to see the nakedness of the land you have come.”
349 tn Heb “and they said to him.” In context this is best understood as an exclamation.
350 tn Heb “and he said, ‘No, for the nakedness of the land you have come to see.’” The order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged in the translation for clarity.
351 tn Heb “twelve [were] your servants, brothers [are] we.”
352 tn Heb “today.”
353 tn Heb “and the one is not.”
354 tn Heb “to you, saying.”
355 tn Heb “[By] the life of Pharaoh.”
sn As surely as Pharaoh lives. Joseph uses an oath formula to let the brothers know the certainty of what he said. There is some discussion in the commentaries on swearing by the life of Pharaoh, but since the formulation here reflects the Hebrew practice, it would be hard to connect the ideas exactly to Egyptian practices. Joseph did this to make the point in a way that his Hebrew brothers would understand. See M. R. Lehmann, “Biblical Oaths,” ZAW 81 (1969): 74-92.
356 tn Heb “send from you one and let him take.” After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with prefixed vav (ו) indicates purpose.
357 tn The disjunctive clause is here circumstantial-temporal.
358 tn Heb “bound.”
359 tn The words “to see” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
360 tn Heb “the truth [is] with you.”
361 sn The same Hebrew word is used for Joseph’s imprisonment in 40:3, 4, 7. There is some mirroring going on in the narrative. The Hebrew word used here (אָסַף, ’asaf, “to gather”) is not normally used in a context like this (for placing someone in prison), but it forms a wordplay on the name Joseph (יוֹסֵף, yosoef) and keeps the comparison working.
362 tn Heb “Do this.”
363 tn After the preceding imperative, the imperative with vav (ו) can, as here, indicate logical sequence.
364 sn For I fear God. Joseph brings God into the picture to awaken his brothers’ consciences. The godly person cares about the welfare of people, whether they live or die. So he will send grain back, but keep one of them in Egypt. This action contrasts with their crime of selling their brother into slavery.
365 tn Heb “bound in the house of your prison.”
366 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial-temporal.
367 tn Heb “[for] the hunger of your households.”
368 tn The imperfect here has an injunctive force.
369 tn After the injunctive imperfect, this imperfect with vav indicates purpose or result.
370 tn The Niphal form of the verb has the sense of “to be faithful; to be sure; to be reliable.” Joseph will test his brothers to see if their words are true.
371 tn Heb “and they did so.”
372 tn Heb “a man to his neighbor.”
373 tn Or “we are guilty”; the Hebrew word can also refer to the effect of being guilty, i.e., “we are being punished for guilt.”
374 tn Heb “the distress of his soul.”
375 sn The repetition of the Hebrew noun translated distress draws attention to the fact that they regard their present distress as appropriate punishment for their refusal to ignore their brother when he was in distress.
376 tn Heb “and also his blood, look, it is required.” God requires compensation, as it were, from those who shed innocent blood (see Gen 9:6). In other words, God exacts punishment for the crime of murder.
377 tn The disjunctive clause provides supplemental information that is important to the story.
378 tn “was listening.” The brothers were not aware that Joseph could understand them as they spoke the preceding words in their native language.
379 tn Heb “for [there was] an interpreter between them.” On the meaning of the word here translated “interpreter” see HALOT 590 s.v. מֵלִיץ and M. A. Canney, “The Hebrew melis (Prov IX 12; Gen XLII 2-3),” AJSL 40 (1923/24): 135-37.
380 tn Heb “and he turned to them and spoke to them.”
381 tn Heb “took Simeon.” This was probably done at Joseph’s command, however; the grand vizier of Egypt would not have personally seized a prisoner.
382 tn Heb “and he bound him.” See the note on the preceding verb “taken.”
383 tn Heb “and they filled.” The clause appears to be elliptical; one expects “Joseph gave orders to fill…and they filled.” See GKC 386 §120.f.
384 tn Heb “and he did for them so.” Joseph would appear to be the subject of the singular verb. If the text is retained, the statement seems to be a summary of the preceding, more detailed statement. However, some read the verb as plural, “and they did for them so.” In this case the statement indicates that Joseph’s subordinates carried out his orders. Another alternative is to read the singular verb as passive (with unspecified subject), “and this was done for them so” (cf. NEB, NIV, NRSV).
385 tn Heb “and they went from there.”
386 tn Heb “and the one.” The article indicates that the individual is vivid in the mind of the narrator, yet it is not important to identify him by name.
387 tn Heb “at the lodging place.”
388 tn Heb “and look, it [was] in the mouth of his sack.” By the use of the particle הִנֵּה (hinneh, “look”), the narrator invites the reader to look through the eyes of the character and thereby draws attention to the money.
389 tn Heb “and their heart went out.” Since this expression is used only here, the exact meaning is unclear. The following statement suggests that it may refer to a sudden loss of emotional strength, so “They were dismayed” adequately conveys the meaning (cf. NRSV); NIV has “Their hearts sank.”
390 tn Heb “and they trembled, a man to his neighbor.”
391 tn Heb “What is this God has done to us?” The demonstrative pronoun (“this”) adds emphasis to the question.
392 tn Heb “made us.”
393 tn The words “if we were” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
394 tn Heb “twelve [were] we, brothers, sons of our father [are] we.”
395 tn Heb “the one is not.”
396 tn Heb “today.”
397 tn The word “grain” is not in the Hebrew text, but has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
398 tn After the imperative, the cohortative with prefixed vav indicates purpose/result.
399 tn Heb “that you are not spies, that you are honest men.”
400 sn Joseph’s brothers soften the news considerably, making it sound like Simeon was a guest of Joseph (Leave one of your brothers with me) instead of being bound in prison. They do not mention the threat of death and do not at this time speak of the money in the one sack.
401 tn Heb “is not.”
402 tn Heb “is not.”
403 tn The nuance of the imperfect verbal form is desiderative here.
404 tn The nuance of the imperfect verbal form is permissive here.
405 tn Heb “my hand.”
406 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
407 sn The expression he alone is left meant that (so far as Jacob knew) Benjamin was the only surviving child of his mother Rachel.
408 sn The expression bring down my gray hair is figurative, using a part for the whole – they would put Jacob in the grave. But the gray head signifies a long life of worry and trouble.
409 tn Heb “to Sheol,” the dwelling place of the dead.
410 tn The disjunctive clause gives supplemental information that is important to the storyline.
411 tn The infinitive absolute with the finite verb stresses the point. The primary meaning of the verb is “to witness; to testify.” It alludes to Joseph’s oath, which was tantamount to a threat or warning.
412 tn The idiom “see my face” means “have an audience with me.”
413 tn Heb “if there is you sending,” that is, “if you send.”
414 tn The verb may even have a moral connotation here, “Why did you do evil to me?”
415 tn The infinitive construct here explains how they brought trouble on Jacob.
416 tn The word “us” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
417 tn The infinitive absolute with the perfect verbal form emphasizes that Joseph questioned them thoroughly.
418 sn The report given here concerning Joseph’s interrogation does not exactly match the previous account where they supplied the information to clear themselves (see 42:13). This section may reflect how they remembered the impact of his interrogation, whether he asked the specific questions or not. That may be twisting the truth to protect themselves, not wanting to admit that they volunteered the information. (They admitted as much in 42:31, but now they seem to be qualifying that comment.) On the other hand, when speaking to Joseph later (see 44:19), Judah claims that Joseph asked for the information about their family, making it possible that 42:13 leaves out some of the details of their first encounter.
419 tn Heb “and we told to him according to these words.”
420 tn The infinitive absolute emphasizes the imperfect verbal form, which here is a historic future (that is, future from the perspective of a past time).
421 tn Once again the imperfect verbal form is used as a historic future (that is, future from the perspective of past time).
422 tn Heb “and we will rise up and we will go.” The first verb is adverbial and gives the expression the sense of “we will go immediately.”
423 tn After the preceding cohortatives, the prefixed verbal form (either imperfect or cohortative) with the prefixed conjunction here indicates purpose or result.
424 tn The pronoun before the first person verbal form draws attention to the subject and emphasizes Judah’s willingness to be personally responsible for the boy.
425 sn I will bear the blame before you all my life. It is not clear how this would work out if Benjamin did not come back. But Judah is offering his life for Benjamin’s if Benjamin does not return.
426 tn Heb “we could have returned.”
427 tn Heb “in your hand.”
428 tn Heb “take back in your hand.” The imperfect verbal form probably has an injunctive or obligatory force here, since Jacob is instructing his sons.
429 tn Heb “arise, return,” meaning “get up and go back,” or “go back immediately.”
432 tn Heb “release to you.” After the jussive this perfect verbal form with prefixed vav (ו) probably indicates logical consequence, as well as temporal sequence.
433 sn Several Jewish commentators suggest that the expression your other brother refers to Joseph. This would mean that Jacob prophesied unwittingly. However, it is much more likely that Simeon is the referent of the phrase “your other brother” (see Gen 42:24).
434 tn Heb “if I am bereaved I am bereaved.” With this fatalistic sounding statement Jacob resolves himself to the possibility of losing both Benjamin and Simeon.
435 tn Heb “they arose and went down to Egypt.” The first verb has an adverbial function and emphasizes that they departed right away.
436 tn Heb “the man.” This has been replaced in the translation by the pronoun “he” for stylistic reasons.
438 tn Heb “over the matter of.”
439 tn Heb “in the beginning,” that is, at the end of their first visit.
440 tn Heb “to roll himself upon us and to cause himself to fall upon us.” The infinitives here indicate the purpose (as viewed by the brothers) for their being brought to Joseph’s house.
441 tn The word “take” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
442 tn The infinitive absolute is used for emphasis before the finite verbal form.
444 tn Heb “in its weight.”
445 tn Heb “brought it back in our hand.”
446 tn Heb “and he said, ‘peace to you.’” Here the statement has the force of “everything is fine,” or perhaps even “calm down.” The referent of “he” (the man in charge of Joseph’ household) has been specified in the translation for clarity, and the order of the introductory clause and the direct discourse has been rearranged for stylistic reasons.
447 sn Your God and the God of your father…This is the first clear reference in the story to the theme of divine providence – that God works through the human actions to do his will.
448 tn Heb “your money came to me.”
449 tn Heb “the man.”
450 tn The construction uses the infinitive construct after the preposition, followed by the subjective genitive.
451 tn The action precedes the action of preparing the gift, and so must be translated as past perfect.
452 tn Heb “eat bread.” The imperfect verbal form is used here as a historic future (future from the perspective of the past).
453 tn Heb “into the house.”
454 tn Heb “concerning peace.”
455 tn Heb “and they bowed low and they bowed down.” The use of synonyms here emphasizes the brothers’ humility.
456 tn Heb “and he lifted his eyes.” The referent of “he” (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
457 sn Joseph’s language here becomes warmer and more personal, culminating in calling Benjamin my son.
459 tn Heb “and he sought to weep.”
460 tn Heb “and he controlled himself and said.”
461 tn Heb “them”; the referent (Joseph’s brothers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
462 tn Or “disgraceful.” The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (to’evah, “abomination”) describes something that is loathsome or off-limits. For other practices the Egyptians considered disgusting, see Gen 46:34 and Exod 8:22.
463 tn Heb “and they set for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians who were eating with him by themselves, for the Egyptians are not able to eat food with the Hebrews, for it is an abomination for the Egyptians.” The imperfect verbal form in the explanatory clause is taken as habitual in force, indicating a practice that was still in effect in the narrator’s time.
sn That the Egyptians found eating with foreigners disgusting is well-attested in extra-biblical literature by writers like Herodotus, Diodorus, and Strabo.
464 tn Heb “the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth.”
465 sn The brothers’ astonishment indicates that Joseph arranged them in this way. They were astonished because there was no way, as far as they were concerned, that Joseph could have known the order of their birth.
466 tn Heb “and he lifted up portions from before his face to them.”
467 tn Heb “and they drank and were intoxicated with him” (cf. NIV “drank freely with him”; NEB “grew merry”; NRSV “were merry”). The brothers were apparently relaxed and set at ease, despite Joseph’s obvious favoritism toward Benjamin.
468 tn The imperfect verbal form is used here to express Joseph’s instructions.
469 tn Heb “and he did according to the word of Joseph which he spoke.”
470 tn Heb “the morning was light.”
471 tn Heb “and the men were sent off, they and their donkeys.” This clause, like the preceding one, has the subject before the verb, indicating synchronic action.
472 tn Heb “they left the city, they were not far,” meaning “they had not gone very far.”
473 tn Heb “and Joseph said.” This clause, like the first one in the verse, has the subject before the verb, indicating synchronic action.
474 tn Heb “arise, chase after the men.” The first imperative gives the command a sense of urgency.
475 tn After the imperative this perfect verbal form with vav consecutive has the same nuance of instruction. In the translation it is subordinated to the verbal form that follows (also a perfect with vav consecutive): “and overtake them and say,” becomes “when you overtake them, say.”
476 tn Heb “Is this not what my master drinks from.” The word “cup” is not in the Hebrew text, but is obviously the referent of “this,” and so has been supplied in the translation for clarity.
477 tn Heb “and he, divining, divines with it.” The infinitive absolute is emphatic, stressing the importance of the cup to Joseph.
478 tn Heb “you have caused to be evil what you have done.”
479 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the man who was in charge of Joseph’s household) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
480 tn Heb “Why does my lord speak according to these words?”
481 tn Heb “according to this thing.”
482 tn Heb “The one with whom it is found from your servants.” Here “your servants” (a deferential way of referring to the brothers themselves) has been translated by the pronoun “us” to avoid confusion with Joseph’s servants.
483 tn Heb “Also now, according to your words, so it is.” As the next statement indicates, this does mean that he will do exactly as they say. He does agree with them the culprit should be punished, but not as harshly as they suggest. Furthermore, the innocent parties will not be punished.
484 tn Heb “The one with whom it is found will become my slave.”
485 tn The words “the rest of” have been supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
486 tn The Hebrew word נָקִי (naqi) means “acquitted,” that is, free of guilt and the responsibility for it.
sn The rest of you will be free. Joseph’s purpose was to single out Benjamin to see if the brothers would abandon him as they had abandoned Joseph. He wanted to see if they had changed.
487 tn Heb “and they hurried and they lowered.” Their speed in doing this shows their presumption of innocence.
488 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (the man who was in charge of Joseph’s household) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
489 sn Judah and his brothers. The narrative is already beginning to bring Judah to the forefront.
490 tn The disjunctive clause here provides supplemental information.
491 tn Heb “What is this deed you have done?” The demonstrative pronoun (“this”) adds emphasis to the question. A literal translation seems to contradict the following statement, in which Joseph affirms that he is able to divine such matters. Thus here the emotive force of the question has been reflected in the translation, “What did you think you were doing?”
492 tn Heb “[is] fully able to divine,” meaning that he can find things out by divination. The infinitive absolute appears before the finite verb for emphasis, stressing his ability to do this.
493 tn The imperfect verbal form here indicates the subject’s potential.
494 tn The Hitpael form of the verb צָדֵק (tsadeq) here means “to prove ourselves just, to declare ourselves righteous, to prove our innocence.”
495 sn God has exposed the sin of your servants. The first three questions are rhetorical; Judah is stating that there is nothing they can say to clear themselves. He therefore must conclude that they have been found guilty.
496 tn The words “the rest of” have been supplied in the translation for clarification and for stylistic reasons.
497 tn Heb “up” (reflecting directions from their point of view – “up” to Canaan; “down” to Egypt).
498 tn Heb “Please my lord, let your servant speak a word into the ears of my lord.”
499 tn Heb “and let not your anger burn against your servant.”
500 sn You are just like Pharaoh. Judah’s speech begins with the fear and trembling of one who stands condemned. Joseph has as much power as Pharaoh, either to condemn or to pardon. Judah will make his appeal, wording his speech in such a way as to appeal to Joseph’s compassion for the father, whom he mentions no less than fourteen times in the speech.
501 tn Heb “and a small boy of old age,” meaning that he was born when his father was elderly.
502 tn Heb “his”; the referent (the boy just mentioned) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
503 tn Heb “he, only he, to his mother is left.”
504 tn The cohortative after the imperative indicates purpose here.
505 tn Heb “that I may set my eyes upon him.”
506 tn Heb “he”; the referent (the boy’s father, i.e., Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
507 tn The last two verbs are perfect tenses with vav consecutive. The first is subordinated to the second as a conditional clause.
508 tn The direct object is not specified in the Hebrew text, but is implied; “there” is supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
509 tn Heb “go down.”
510 tn Heb “that two sons my wife bore to me.”
511 tn Heb “went forth from me.”
512 tn The construction uses a perfect verbal form with the vav consecutive to introduce the conditional clause and then another perfect verbal form with a vav consecutive to complete the sentence: “if you take…then you will bring down.”
513 sn The expression bring down my gray hair is figurative, using a part for the whole – they would put Jacob in the grave. But the gray head signifies a long life of worry and trouble. See Gen 42:38.
515 tn Heb “to Sheol,” the dwelling place of the dead.
516 tn Heb “his life is bound up in his life.”
517 tn Heb “when he sees that there is no boy.”
518 tn Or “for.”
519 tn The Hebrew text has “lest I see,” which expresses a negative purpose – “I cannot go up lest I see.”
520 tn Heb “the calamity which would find my father.”
521 tn Heb “all the ones standing beside him.”
522 tn Heb “stood.”
523 tn Heb “and he gave his voice in weeping,” meaning that Joseph could not restrain himself and wept out loud.
524 tn Heb “and the Egyptians heard and the household of Pharaoh heard.” Presumably in the latter case this was by means of a report.
525 tn Heb “let there not be anger in your eyes.”
526 sn You sold me here, for God sent me. The tension remains as to how the brothers’ wickedness and God’s intentions work together. Clearly God is able to transform the actions of wickedness to bring about some gracious end. But this is saying more than that; it is saying that from the beginning it was God who sent Joseph here. Although harmonization of these ideas remains humanly impossible, the divine intention is what should be the focus. Only that will enable reconciliation.
527 tn Heb “the famine [has been] in the midst of.”
529 tn Heb “to make you a remnant.” The verb, followed here by the preposition לְ (lÿ), means “to make.”
530 tn The infinitive gives a second purpose for God’s action.
531 tn Heb “a father.” The term is used here figuratively of one who gives advice, as a father would to his children.
532 tn Heb “hurry and go up.”
533 tn The perfect verbal form with vav consecutive here expresses instruction.
535 tn Heb “And, look, your eyes see and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that my mouth is the one speaking to you.”
536 tn The perfect verbal form with the vav consecutive here expresses instruction.
537 tn Heb “and hurry and bring down my father to here.”
538 tn Heb “and the sound was heard.”
539 tn Heb “was good in the eyes of.”
540 tn Heb “and go! Enter!”
542 tn After the cohortative the imperative with vav states the ultimate goal.
543 tn Heb “fat.”
544 tn The words “to say” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
545 tn Heb “let not your eye regard.”
546 tn Heb “and the sons of Israel did so.”
547 tn Heb “according to the mouth of Pharaoh.”
548 tn Heb “to all of them he gave, to each one, changes of outer garments.”
549 tn Heb “changes of outer garments.”
550 tn Heb “according to this.”
551 tn Heb “do not be stirred up in the way.” The verb means “stir up.” Some understand the Hebrew verb רָגָז (ragaz, “to stir up”) as a reference to quarreling (see Prov 29:9, where it has this connotation), but in Exod 15:14 and other passages it means “to fear.” This might refer to a fear of robbers, but more likely it is an assuring word that they need not be fearful about returning to Egypt. They might have thought that once Jacob was in Egypt, Joseph would take his revenge on them.
552 tn Heb “and they entered the land of Canaan to their father.”
553 tn Heb “and his heart was numb.” Jacob was stunned by the unbelievable news and was unable to respond.
554 tn Heb “and they spoke to him all the words of Joseph which he had spoke to them.”
555 tn Heb “and Israel journeyed, and all that was his.”
557 tn Heb “in visions of the night.” The plural form has the singular meaning, probably as a plural of intensity.
558 tn Heb “the God.”
559 tn Heb “and I, I will bring you up, also bringing up.” The independent personal pronoun before the first person imperfect verbal form draws attention to the speaker/subject, while the infinitive absolute after the imperfect strongly emphasizes the statement: “I myself will certainly bring you up.”
560 tn Heb “and Joseph will put his hand upon your eyes.” This is a promise of peaceful death in Egypt with Joseph present to close his eyes.
561 tn Heb “arose.”
562 tn Heb “and they took their livestock and their possessions which they had acquired in the land of Canaan and they went to Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him.” The order of the clauses has been rearranged in the translation for stylistic reasons.
563 tn The Hebrew text adds “with him” here. This is omitted in the translation because it is redundant in English style (note the same phrase earlier in the verse).
566 tn Heb “all the lives of his sons and his daughters, thirty-three.”
568 sn On is another name for the city of Heliopolis.
569 sn The sons of Benjamin. It is questionable whether youthful Benjamin had ten sons by the time he went into Egypt, but it is not impossible. If Benjamin was born when Joseph was six or seven, he was ten when Joseph was sold into Egypt, and would have been thirty-two at this point. Some suggest that the list originally served another purpose and included the names of all who were in the immediate family of the sons, whether born in Canaan or later in Egypt.
571 tn Heb “All the people who went with Jacob to Egypt, the ones who came out of his body, apart from the wives of the sons of Jacob, all the people were sixty-six.”
sn The number sixty-six includes the seventy-one descendants (including Dinah) listed in vv. 8-25 minus Er and Onan (deceased), and Joseph, Manasseh, and Ephraim (already in Egypt).
573 tn Heb “And the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two people; all the people belonging to the house of Jacob who came to Egypt were seventy.”
sn The number seventy includes Jacob himself and the seventy-one descendants (including Dinah, Joseph, Manasseh, and Ephraim) listed in vv. 8-25, minus Er and Onan (deceased). The LXX gives the number as “seventy-five” (cf. Acts 7:14).
574 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
575 tn Heb “to direct before him to Goshen.”
576 tn Heb “and he appeared to him.”
577 tn Heb “after my seeing your face that you are still alive.”
578 tn Heb “tell Pharaoh and say to him.”
579 tn Heb “feeders of sheep.”
580 tn Heb “for men of livestock they are.”
581 tn Heb “your servants are men of cattle.”
582 sn So that you may live in the land of Goshen. Joseph is apparently trying to stress to Pharaoh that his family is self-sufficient, that they will not be a drain on the economy of Egypt. But they will need land for their animals and so Goshen, located on the edge of Egypt, would be a suitable place for them to live. The settled Egyptians were uneasy with nomadic people, but if Jacob and his family settled in Goshen they would represent no threat.
583 tn Heb “is an abomination.” The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (to’evah, “abomination”) describes something that is loathsome or off-limits. For other practices the Egyptians considered disgusting, see Gen 43:32 and Exod 8:22.
584 tn Heb “Look they [are] in the land of Goshen.” Joseph draws attention to the fact of their presence in Goshen.
585 tn Heb “and from the whole of his brothers he took five men and presented them before Pharaoh.”
586 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
587 tn Heb “both we and our fathers.”
588 tn Heb “to sojourn.”
589 tn Heb “for there.” The Hebrew uses a causal particle to connect what follows with what precedes. The translation divides the statement into two sentences for stylistic reasons.
590 tn Heb “men of skill.”
591 tn Heb “make them rulers.”
sn Put them in charge of my livestock. Pharaoh is, in effect, offering Joseph’s brothers jobs as royal keepers of livestock, a position mentioned often in Egyptian inscriptions, because the Pharaohs owned huge herds of cattle.
592 tn Heb “caused him to stand.”
593 sn The precise meaning of the Hebrew verb translated “blessed” is difficult in this passage, because the content of Jacob’s blessing is not given. The expression could simply mean that he greeted Pharaoh, but that seems insufficient in this setting. Jacob probably praised Pharaoh, for the verb is used this way for praising God. It is also possible that he pronounced a formal prayer of blessing, asking God to reward Pharaoh for his kindness.
594 tn Heb “How many are the days of the years of your life?”
595 tn Heb “the days of.”
596 tn Heb “sojournings.” Jacob uses a term that depicts him as one who has lived an unsettled life, temporarily residing in many different places.
597 tn Heb “the days of.”
598 tn The Hebrew word רַע (ra’) can sometimes mean “evil,” but that would give the wrong connotation here, where it refers to pain, difficulty, and sorrow. Jacob is thinking back through all the troubles he had to endure to get to this point.
599 tn Heb “and they have not reached the days of the years of my fathers in the days of their sojournings.”
600 tn Heb “from before Pharaoh.”
601 tn Heb “a possession,” or “a holding.” Joseph gave them a plot of land with rights of ownership in the land of Goshen.
602 sn The land of Rameses is another designation for the region of Goshen. It is named Rameses because of a city in that region (Exod 1:11; 12:37). The use of this name may represent a modernization of the text for the understanding of the intended readers, substituting a later name for an earlier one. Alternatively, there may have been an earlier Rameses for which the region was named.
603 tn The verb לַהַה (lahah, = לָאָה, la’ah) means “to faint, to languish”; it figuratively describes the land as wasting away, drooping, being worn out.
604 tn Or “in exchange.” On the use of the preposition here see BDB 90 s.v. בְּ.
605 tn Heb “house.”
606 tn Heb “all Egypt.” The expression is a metonymy and refers to all the people of Egypt.
607 tn The imperfect verbal form has a deliberative force here.
608 tn The word “food” has been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
609 tn On the use of the preposition here see BDB 90 s.v. בְּ.
610 tn The definite article is translated here as a possessive pronoun.
611 tn Heb “my.” The expression “my lord” occurs twice more in this verse.
612 tn After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with vav here indicates consequence.
613 sn Pharaoh’s slaves. The idea of slavery is not attractive to the modern mind, but in the ancient world it was the primary way of dealing with the poor and destitute. If the people became slaves of Pharaoh, it was Pharaoh’s responsibility to feed them and care for them. It was the best way for them to survive the famine.
614 tn After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with vav here indicates purpose or result.
615 tn The disjunctive clause structure (vav [ו] + subject + negated verb) highlights the statement and brings their argument to a conclusion.
616 tn The Hebrew text connects this clause with the preceding one with a causal particle (כִּי, ki). The translation divides the clauses into two sentences for stylistic reasons.
617 tn The Hebrew text adds “upon them.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
618 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
619 tc The MT reads “and the people he removed to the cities,” which does not make a lot of sense in this context. The Samaritan Pentateuch and the LXX read “he enslaved them as slaves.”
620 tn The perfect verbal form with the vav consecutive is equivalent to a command here.
621 tn The words “the crop” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
622 tn The perfect form with the vav (ו) consecutive is equivalent to an imperfect of instruction here.
623 tn Heb “four parts.”
624 tn Heb “we find favor in the eyes of my lord.” Some interpret this as a request, “may we find favor in the eyes of my lord.”
626 tn On the term translated “statute” see P. Victor, “A Note on Hoq in the Old Testament,” VT 16 (1966): 358-61.
627 tn The words “which is in effect” have been supplied in the translation for stylistic reasons.
628 tn Heb “the days of the years.”
629 tn Heb “days.”
631 tn Or “deal with me in faithful love.”
632 tn Heb “lie down.” Here the expression “lie down” refers to death.
633 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
634 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
635 tn Heb “swear on oath to me.” The words “that you will do so” have been supplied in the translation for clarity.
636 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
637 tn Heb “swore on oath to him.”
638 sn The Hebrew verb normally means “bow down,” especially in worship or prayer. Here it might simply mean “bend low,” perhaps from weakness or approaching death. The narrative is ambiguous at this point and remains open to all these interpretations.
639 tc The MT reads מִטָּה (mittah, “bed, couch”). The LXX reads the word as מַטֶּה (matteh, “staff, rod”) and interprets this to mean that Jacob bowed down in worship while leaning on the top of his staff. The LXX reading was used in turn by the writer of the Letter to the Hebrews (Heb 11:21).
640 tn Heb “and one said.” With no expressed subject in the Hebrew text, the verb can be translated with the passive voice.
641 tn Heb “and one told and said.” The verbs have no expressed subject and can be translated with the passive voice.
642 tn Heb “Look, your son Joseph.”
644 tn Heb “Look, I am making you fruitful.” The participle following הִנֵּה (hinneh) has the nuance of a certain and often imminent future.
645 tn The perfect verbal form with vav consecutive carries on the certain future idea.
646 tn The Hebrew text adds “after you,” which has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.
647 tn The Hebrew word אֲחֻזָּה (’akhuzzah), translated “possession,” describes a permanent holding in the land. It is the noun form of the same verb (אָחַז, ’akhaz) that was used for the land given to them in Goshen (Gen 47:27).
648 sn They will be mine. Jacob is here adopting his two grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim as his sons, and so they will have equal share with the other brothers. They will be in the place of Joseph and Levi (who will become a priestly tribe) in the settlement of the land. See I. Mendelsohn, “A Ugaritic Parallel to the Adoption of Ephraim and Manasseh,” IEJ (1959): 180-83.
649 tn Or “you fathered.”
650 tn Heb “called” or “named.”
651 sn Listed under the names of their brothers in their inheritance. This means that any subsequent children of Joseph will be incorporated into the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh.
652 tn Heb “upon me, against me,” which might mean something like “to my sorrow.”
654 tn Heb “my.”
655 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Joseph’s father) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
656 tn The cohortative with prefixed vav (ו) indicates purpose after the imperative.
657 tn Heb “heavy.”
sn The disjunctive clause provides supplemental information that is important to the story. The weakness of Israel’s sight is one of several connections between this chapter and Gen 27. Here there are two sons, and it appears that the younger is being blessed over the older by a blind old man. While it was by Jacob’s deception in chap. 27, here it is with Jacob’s full knowledge.
658 tn Heb “he”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
659 tn Heb “them”; the referent (Joseph’s sons) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
660 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Joseph’s father) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
662 tn Heb “your face.”
663 tn Heb “offspring.”
664 tn Heb “and Joseph brought them out from with his knees.” The two boys had probably been standing by Israel’s knees when being adopted and blessed. The referent of the pronoun “his” (Israel) has been specified in the translation for clarity.
665 tn Heb “and Joseph took the two of them.”
666 tn Heb “and he brought near to him.” The referents of the pronouns “he” and “him” (Joseph and his father respectively) have been specified in the translation for clarity.
667 tn The disjunctive clause is circumstantial-concessive here.
668 tn Heb “shepherded me.” The verb has been translated as an English noun for stylistic reasons.
669 sn The Samaritan Pentateuch reads “king” here, but the traditional reading (“angel”) may be maintained. Jacob closely associates God with an angelic protective presence. This does not mean that Jacob viewed his God as a mere angel, but it does suggest that he was aware of an angelic presence sent by God to protect him. Here he so closely associates the two that they become virtually indistinguishable. In this culture messengers typically carried the authority of the one who sent them and could even be addressed as such. Perhaps Jacob thought that the divine blessing would be mediated through this angelic messenger.
670 tn The verb גָּאַל (ga’al) has the basic idea of “protect” as a near relative might do. It is used for buying someone out of bondage, marrying a deceased brother’s widow, paying off debts, avenging the family, and the like. The meanings of “deliver, protect, avenge” are most fitting when God is the subject (see A. R. Johnson, “The Primary Meaning of √גאל,” Congress Volume: Copenhagen, 1953 [VTSup], 67-77).
671 tn Or “be recalled through them.”
672 tn Heb “it was bad in his eyes.”
673 tn Heb “fullness.”
674 tn The pronoun is singular in the Hebrew text, apparently elevating Ephraim as the more prominent of the two. Note, however, that both are named in the blessing formula that follows.
675 tn Or “pronounce a blessing.”
676 sn On the elevation of Ephraim over Manasseh see E. C. Kingsbury, “He Set Ephraim Before Manasseh,” HUCA 38 (1967): 129-36; H. Mowvley, “The Concept and Content of ‘Blessing’ in the Old Testament,” BT 16 (1965): 74-80; and I. Mendelsohn, “On the Preferential Status of the Eldest Son,” BASOR 156 (1959): 38-40.
677 tn The pronouns translated “you,” “you,” and “your” in this verse are plural in the Hebrew text.
678 tn The pronouns translated “your” and “you” in this verse are singular in the Hebrew text.
679 tn The Hebrew word שְׁכֶם (shÿkhem) could be translated either as “mountain slope” or “shoulder, portion,” or even taken as the proper name “Shechem.” Jacob was giving Joseph either (1) one portion above his brothers, or (2) the mountain ridge he took from the Amorites, or (3) Shechem. The ambiguity actually allows for all three to be the referent. He could be referring to the land in Shechem he bought in Gen 33:18-19, but he mentions here that it was acquired by warfare, suggesting that the events of 34:25-29 are in view (even though at the time he denounced it, 34:30). Joseph was later buried in Shechem (Josh 24:32).
680 tn After the imperative, the cohortative with prefixed vav (ו) indicates purpose/result.
681 tn The expression “in the future” (אַחֲרִית הַיָּמִים, ’akharit hayyamim, “in the end of days”) is found most frequently in prophetic passages; it may refer to the end of the age, the eschaton, or to the distant future. The contents of some of the sayings in this chapter stretch from the immediate circumstances to the time of the settlement in the land to the coming of Messiah. There is a great deal of literature on this chapter, including among others C. Armerding, “The Last Words of Jacob: Genesis 49,” BSac 112 (1955): 320-28; H. Pehlke, “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Genesis 49:1-28” (Th.D. dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1985); and B. Vawter, “The Canaanite Background of Genesis 49,” CBQ 17 (1955): 1-18.
682 tn The Hebrew noun פַּחַז (pakhaz) only occurs here in the OT. A related verb occurs twice in the prophets (Jer 23:32; Zeph 3:4) for false prophets inventing their messages, and once in Judges for unscrupulous men bribed to murder (Judg 9:4). It would describe Reuben as being “frothy, boiling, turbulent” as water. The LXX has “run riot,” the Vulgate has “poured out,” and Tg. Onq. has “you followed your own direction.” It is a reference to Reuben’s misconduct in Gen 35, but the simile and the rare word invite some speculation. H. Pehlke suggests “destructive like water,” for Reuben acted with pride and presumption; see his “An Exegetical and Theological Study of Genesis 49:1-28” (Th.D. dissertation, Dallas Theological Seminary, 1985).
683 tn Heb “Do not excel!” The Hiphil of the verb יָתַר (yatar) has this meaning only here. The negated jussive is rhetorical here. Rather than being a command, it anticipates what will transpire. The prophecy says that because of the character of the ancestor, the tribe of Reuben would not have the character to lead (see 1 Chr 5:1).
685 tn The last verb is third masculine singular, as if for the first time Jacob told the brothers, or let them know that he knew. For a discussion of this passage see S. Gevirtz, “The Reprimand of Reuben,” JNES 30 (1971): 87-98.
686 tn The meaning of the Hebrew word מְכֵרָה (mÿkherah) is uncertain. It has been rendered (1) “habitations”; (2) “merchandise”; (3) “counsels”; (4) “swords”; (5) “wedding feasts.” If it is from the verb כָּרַת (karat) and formed after noun patterns for instruments and tools (maqtil, miqtil form), then it would refer to “knives.” Since the verb is used in Exod 4:25 for circumcision, the idea would be “their circumcision knives,” an allusion to the events of Gen 34 (see M. J. Dahood, “‘MKRTYHM’ in Genesis 49,5,” CBQ 23 : 54-56). Another explanation also connects the word to the events of Gen 34 as a reference to the intended “wedding feast” for Dinah which could take place only after the men of Shechem were circumcised (see D. W. Young, “A Ghost Word in the Testament of Jacob (Gen 49:5)?” JBL 100 : 335-422).
687 tn The Hebrew text reads “my glory,” but it is preferable to repoint the form and read “my liver.” The liver was sometimes viewed as the seat of the emotions and will (see HALOT 456 s.v. II כָּבֵד) for which the heart is the modern equivalent.
688 sn Divide…scatter. What is predicted here is a division of their tribes. Most commentators see here an anticipation of Levi being in every area but not their own. That may be part of it, but not entirely what the curse intended. These tribes for their ruthless cruelty would be eliminated from the power and prestige of leadership.
689 sn There is a wordplay here; the name Judah (יְהוּדָה, yÿhudah) sounds in Hebrew like the verb translated praise (יוֹדוּךָ, yodukha). The wordplay serves to draw attention to the statement as having special significance.
690 tn Or perhaps “from his descendants,” taking the expression “from between his feet” as a euphemism referring to the genitals. In this case the phrase refers by metonymy to those who come forth from his genitals, i.e., his descendants.
691 tn The Hebrew form שִׁילֹה (shiloh) is a major interpretive problem. There are at least four major options (with many variations and less likely alternatives): (1) Some prefer to leave the text as it is, reading “Shiloh” and understanding it as the place where the ark rested for a while in the time of the Judges. (2) By repointing the text others arrive at the translation “until the [or “his”] ruler comes,” a reference to a Davidic ruler or the Messiah. (3) Another possibility that does not require emendation of the consonantal text, but only repointing, is “until tribute is brought to him” (so NEB, JPS, NRSV), which has the advantage of providing good parallelism with the following line, “the nations will obey him.” (4) The interpretation followed in the present translation, “to whom it [belongs]” (so RSV, NIV, REB), is based on the ancient versions. Again, this would refer to the Davidic dynasty or, ultimately, to the Messiah.
692 tn “and to him [will be] the obedience of the nations.” For discussion of this verse see J. Blenkinsopp, “The Oracle of Judah and the Messianic Entry,” JBL 80 (1961): 55-64; and E. M. Good, “The ‘Blessing’ on Judah,” JBL 82 (1963): 427-32.
693 tn The perfect verbal form is used rhetorically, describing coming events as though they have already taken place.
694 tn Some translate these as comparatives, “darker than wine…whiter than milk,” and so a reference to his appearance (so NEB, NIV, NRSV). But if it is in the age of abundance, symbolized by wine and milk, then the dark (i.e., red or perhaps dull) eyes would be from drinking wine, and the white teeth from drinking milk.
695 tn The verb שָׁכַן (shakhan) means “to settle,” but not necessarily as a permanent dwelling place. The tribal settlements by the sea would have been temporary and not the tribe’s territory.
697 tn The verb forms in this verse (“sees,” “will bend,” and “[will] become”) are preterite; they is used in a rhetorical manner, describing the future as if it had already transpired.
698 sn The oracle shows that the tribe of Issachar will be willing to trade liberty for the material things of life. Issachar would work (become a slave laborer) for the Canaanites, a reversal of the oracle on Canaan. See C. M. Carmichael, “Some Sayings in Genesis 49,” JBL 88 (1969): 435-44; and S. Gevirtz, “The Issachar Oracle in the Testament of Jacob,” ErIsr 12 (1975): 104-12.
699 sn The name Dan (דָּן, dan) means “judge” and forms a wordplay with the following verb.
700 tn Or “govern.”
701 sn The comparison of the tribe of Dan to a venomous serpent is meant to say that Dan, though small, would be potent, gaining victory through its skill and shrewdness. Jewish commentators have linked the image in part with Samson. That link at least illustrates the point: Though a minority tribe, Dan would gain the upper hand over others.
703 tc Heb “heel.” The MT has suffered from misdivision at this point. The initial mem on the first word in the next verse should probably be taken as a plural ending on the word “heel.”
sn In Hebrew the name Gad (גָּד, gad ) sounds like the words translated “raided” (יְגוּדֶנּוּ, yÿgudennu) and “marauding bands” (גְּדוּד, gÿdud).
704 tc Heb “from Asher,” but the initial mem (מ) of the MT should probably be moved to the end of the preceding verse and taken as a plural ending on “heel.”
705 tn The Hebrew word translated “rich,” when applied to products of the ground, means abundant in quantity and quality.
706 tn The word translated “delicacies” refers to foods that were delightful, the kind fit for a king.
707 tn Heb “a doe set free.”
708 tn Heb “the one who gives words of beauty.” The deer imagery probably does not continue into this line; Naphtali is the likely antecedent of the substantival participle, which is masculine, not feminine, in form. If the animal imagery is retained from the preceding line, the image of a talking deer is preposterous. For this reason some read the second line “the one who bears beautiful fawns,” interpreting אִמְרֵי (’imre) as a reference to young animals, not words (see HALOT 67 s.v. *אִמֵּר).
sn Almost every word in the verse is difficult. Some take the imagery to mean that Naphtali will be swift and agile (like a doe), and be used to take good messages (reading “words of beauty”). Others argue that the tribe was free-spirited (free running), but then settled down with young children.
709 tn The Hebrew text appears to mean “[is] a son of fruitfulness.” The second word is an active participle, feminine singular, from the verb פָּרָה (parah, “to be fruitful”). The translation “bough” is employed for בֵּן (ben, elsewhere typically “son”) because Joseph is pictured as a healthy and fruitful vine growing by the wall. But there are difficulties with this interpretation. The word “son” nowhere else refers to a plant and the noun translated “branches” (Heb “daughters”) in the third line is a plural form whereas its verb is singular. In the other oracles of Gen 49 an animal is used for comparison and not a plant, leading some to translate the opening phrase בֵּן פָּרָה (ben parah, “fruitful bough”) as “wild donkey” (JPS, NAB). Various other interpretations involving more radical emendation of the text have also been offered.
710 tn Heb “daughters.”
712 tn Heb “the arms of his hands.”
713 tn Heb “from there,” but the phrase should be revocalized and read “from [i.e., because of] the name of.”
714 tn Or “Stone.”
715 tn Heb “and he will help you.”
717 tn Heb “and he will bless you.”
718 sn Jacob envisions God imparting both agricultural (blessings from the sky above, blessings from the deep that lies below) and human fertility (blessings of the breasts and womb) to Joseph and his family.
719 tn Heb “have prevailed over.”
720 tn One could interpret the phrase הוֹרַי (horay) to mean “my progenitors” (literally, “the ones who conceived me”), but the masculine form argues against this. It is better to emend the text to הַרֲרֵי (harare, “mountains of”) because it forms a better parallel with the next clause. In this case the final yod (י) on the form is a construct plural marker, not a pronominal suffix.
722 tn Heb “All these.”
723 tn Heb “and he blessed them, each of whom according to his blessing, he blessed them.”
724 tn The Hebrew text adds “and he said to them,” which is not included in the translation because it is redundant in English.
725 tn Heb “I am about to be gathered” The participle is used here to describe what is imminent.
726 tn Some translate the Hebrew term “Heth” as “Hittites” here (see also Gen 23:3), but this gives the impression that these people were the classical Hittites of Anatolia. However, there is no known connection between these sons of Heth, apparently a Canaanite group (see Gen 10:15), and the Hittites of Asia Minor. See H. A. Hoffner, Jr., “Hittites,” Peoples of the Old Testament World, 152-53.
727 tn Heb “was gathered.”
728 tn Heb “fell on.” The expression describes Joseph’s unrestrained sorrow over Jacob’s death; he probably threw himself across the body and embraced his father.
729 tn Heb “his servants the physicians.”
730 tn Heb “and forty days were fulfilled for him, for thus are fulfilled the days of embalming.”
731 tn Heb “wept.”
732 sn Seventy days. This probably refers to a time of national mourning.
733 tn Heb “weeping.”
734 tn Heb “the house of Pharaoh.”
735 tn Heb “in the ears of Pharaoh.”
736 tn Heb “saying.”
737 tn The imperfect verbal form here has the force of a command.
738 tn Heb “he made you swear on oath.”
739 tn Or “dignitaries”; Heb “elders.”
740 tn Heb “camp.”
741 sn The location of the threshing floor of Atad is not certain. The expression the other side of the Jordan could refer to the eastern or western bank, depending on one’s perspective. However, it is commonly used in the OT for Transjordan. This would suggest that the entourage came up the Jordan Valley and crossed into the land at Jericho, just as the Israelites would in the time of Joshua.
742 tn Heb “and they mourned there [with] very great and heavy mourning.” The cognate accusative, as well as the two adjectives and the adverb, emphasize the degree of their sorrow.
743 tn Heb “this is heavy mourning for Egypt.”
744 tn The verb has no expressed subject and so it may be translated as passive.
745 sn The name Abel Mizraim means “the mourning of Egypt.”
746 tn The imperfect tense could be a simple future; it could also have a desiderative nuance.
747 tn The infinitive absolute makes the statement emphatic, “repay in full.”
748 tn Or “evil.”
749 tn The verb means “command,” but they would hardly be commanding him. It probably means they sent their father’s instructions to Joseph.
750 tn Heb “and Joseph wept when they spoke to him.”
751 tn Heb “For am I.”
752 tn Heb “you devised against me evil.”
753 tn Heb “God devised it for good in order to do, like this day, to preserve alive a great nation.”
754 tn Heb “spoke to their heart.”
755 tn Heb “he and the house of his father.”
756 tn Heb “saw Ephraim, the children of the third.”
757 tn Heb “they were born on the knees of Joseph.” This expression implies their adoption by Joseph, which meant that they received an inheritance from him.
758 tn The verb פָּקַד (paqad) means “to visit,” i.e., to intervene for blessing or cursing; here Joseph announces that God would come to fulfill the promises by delivering them from Egypt. The statement is emphasized by the use of the infinitive absolute with the verb: “God will surely visit you.”
759 tn The words “to give” are supplied in the translation for clarity and for stylistic reasons.
760 tn Heb “son of a hundred and ten years.”
761 tn Heb “he.”