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Genesis 47:19-20

Context
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 1  Pharaoh’s slaves. 2  Give us seed that we may live 3  and not die. Then the land will not become desolate.” 4 

47:20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. Each 5  of the Egyptians sold his field, for the famine was severe. 6  So the land became Pharaoh’s.

1 tn After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with vav here indicates consequence.

2 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.

3 tn After the imperative, the prefixed verbal form with vav here indicates purpose or result.

4 tn The disjunctive clause structure (vav [ו] + subject + negated verb) highlights the statement and brings their argument to a conclusion.

5 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.

6 tn The Hebrew text adds “upon them.” This has not been included in the translation for stylistic reasons.



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