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Genesis 46:1--47:12

Context
The Family of Jacob goes to Egypt

46:1 So Israel began his journey, taking with him all that he had. 1  When he came to Beer Sheba 2  he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 46:2 God spoke to Israel in a vision during the night 3  and said, “Jacob, Jacob!” He replied, “Here I am!” 46:3 He said, “I am God, 4  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. 5  Joseph will close your eyes.” 6 

46:5 Then Jacob started out 7  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. 8  46:7 He brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, 9  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:

Tola, Puah, 10  Jashub, 11  and Shimron.

46:14 The sons of Zebulun:

Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.

46:15 These were the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram, along with Dinah his daughter. His sons and daughters numbered thirty-three in all. 12 

46:16 The sons of Gad:

Zephon, 13  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.

46:20 Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph in the land of Egypt. Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, 14  bore them to him.

46:21 The sons of Benjamin: 15 

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.

46:23 The son of Dan: Hushim. 16 

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.) 17  46:27 Counting the two sons 18  of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt, all the people of the household of Jacob who were in Egypt numbered seventy. 19 

46:28 Jacob 20  sent Judah before him to Joseph to accompany him to Goshen. 21  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, 22  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.” 23  46:31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, 24  ‘My brothers and my father’s household who were in the land of Canaan have come to me. 46:32 The men are shepherds; 25  they take care of livestock. 26  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 27  from our youth until now, both we and our fathers,’ so that you may live in the land of Goshen, 28  for everyone who takes care of sheep is disgusting 29  to the Egyptians.”

Joseph’s Wise Administration

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

Canaan. They are now 30  in the land of Goshen.” 47:2 He took five of his brothers and introduced them to Pharaoh. 31 

47:3 Pharaoh said to Joseph’s 32  brothers, “What is your occupation?” They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants take care of flocks, just as our ancestors did.” 33  47:4 Then they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to live as temporary residents 34  in the land. There 35  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 36  among them, put them in charge 37  of my livestock.”

47:7 Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and presented him 38  before Pharaoh. Jacob blessed 39  Pharaoh. 47:8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How long have you lived?” 40  47:9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, “All 41  the years of my travels 42  are 130. All 43  the years of my life have been few and painful; 44  the years of my travels are not as long as those of my ancestors.” 45  47:10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence. 46 

47:11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers. He gave them territory 47  in the land of Egypt, in the best region of the land, the land of Rameses, 48  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.

1 tn Heb “and Israel journeyed, and all that was his.”

2 sn Beer Sheba. See Gen 21:31; 28:10.

3 tn Heb “in visions of the night.” The plural form has the singular meaning, probably as a plural of intensity.

4 tn Heb “the God.”

5 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.”

6 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.

7 tn Heb “arose.”

8 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.

9 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).

10 tc The MT reads “Puvah” (cf. Num 26:23); the Samaritan Pentateuch and Syriac read “Puah” (cf. 1 Chr 7:1).

11 tc The MT reads “Iob,” but the Samaritan Pentateuch and some LXX mss read “Jashub” (see Num 26:24; 1 Chr 7:1).

12 tn Heb “all the lives of his sons and his daughters, thirty-three.”

13 tc The MT reads “Ziphion,” but see Num 26:15, the Samaritan Pentateuch and the LXX, all of which read “Zephon.”

14 sn On is another name for the city of Heliopolis.

15 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.

16 tn This name appears as “Shuham” in Num 26:42. The LXX reads “Hashum” here.

17 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).

18 tn The LXX reads “nine sons,” probably counting the grandsons of Joseph born to Ephraim and Manasseh (cf. 1 Chr 7:14-20).

19 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).

20 tn Heb “and he”; the referent (Jacob) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

21 tn Heb “to direct before him to Goshen.”

22 tn Heb “and he appeared to him.”

23 tn Heb “after my seeing your face that you are still alive.”

24 tn Heb “tell Pharaoh and say to him.”

25 tn Heb “feeders of sheep.”

26 tn Heb “for men of livestock they are.”

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

28 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.

29 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.

30 tn Heb “Look they [are] in the land of Goshen.” Joseph draws attention to the fact of their presence in Goshen.

31 tn Heb “and from the whole of his brothers he took five men and presented them before Pharaoh.”

32 tn Heb “his”; the referent (Joseph) has been specified in the translation for clarity.

33 tn Heb “both we and our fathers.”

34 tn Heb “to sojourn.”

35 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.

36 tn Heb “men of skill.”

37 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.

38 tn Heb “caused him to stand.”

39 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.

40 tn Heb “How many are the days of the years of your life?”

41 tn Heb “the days of.”

42 tn Heb “sojournings.” Jacob uses a term that depicts him as one who has lived an unsettled life, temporarily residing in many different places.

43 tn Heb “the days of.”

44 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.

45 tn Heb “and they have not reached the days of the years of my fathers in the days of their sojournings.”

46 tn Heb “from before Pharaoh.”

47 tn Heb “a possession,” or “a holding.” Joseph gave them a plot of land with rights of ownership in the land of Goshen.

48 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.



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