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Genesis 41:53--42:3

Context

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, 1  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, 2  “Go to Joseph and do whatever he tells you.”

41:56 While the famine was over all the earth, 3  Joseph opened the storehouses 4  and sold grain to the Egyptians. The famine was severe throughout the land of Egypt. 41:57 People from every country 5  came to Joseph in Egypt to buy grain because the famine was severe throughout the earth.

Joseph’s Brothers in Egypt

42:1 When Jacob heard 6  there was grain in Egypt, he 7  said to his sons, “Why are you looking at each other?” 8  42:2 He then said, “Look, I hear that there is grain in Egypt. Go down there and buy grain for us 9  so that we may live 10  and not die.” 11 

42:3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain from Egypt.

1 tn Heb “began to arrive.”

2 tn Heb “to all Egypt.” The name of the country is used by metonymy for the inhabitants.

3 tn Or “over the entire land”; Heb “over all the face of the earth.” The disjunctive clause is circumstantial-temporal to the next clause.

4 tc The MT reads “he opened all that was in [or “among”] them.” The translation follows the reading of the LXX and Syriac versions.

5 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.

6 tn Heb “saw.”

7 tn Heb “Jacob.” Here the proper name has been replaced by the pronoun (“he”) in the translation for stylistic reasons.

8 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.

9 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.

10 tn Following the imperatives, the prefixed verbal form with prefixed vav expresses purpose of result.

11 tn The imperfect tense continues the nuance of the verb before it.



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