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Genesis 43:32

Context
43:32 They set a place for him, a separate place for his brothers, 1  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 2  to do so.) 3 

Genesis 46:34

Context
46:34 Tell him, ‘Your servants have taken care of cattle 4  from our youth until now, both we and our fathers,’ so that you may live in the land of Goshen, 5  for everyone who takes care of sheep is disgusting 6  to the Egyptians.”

1 tn Heb “them”; the referent (Joseph’s brothers) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

2 tn Or “disgraceful.” The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (toevah, “abomination”) describes something that is loathsome or off-limits. For other practices the Egyptians considered disgusting, see Gen 46:34 and Exod 8:22.

3 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.

4 tn Heb “your servants are men of cattle.”

5 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.

6 tn Heb “is an abomination.” The Hebrew word תּוֹעֵבָה (toevah, “abomination”) describes something that is loathsome or off-limits. For other practices the Egyptians considered disgusting, see Gen 43:32 and Exod 8:22.



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