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Genesis 47:4-10

47:4 Then they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to live as temporary residents 1  in the land. There 2  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 3  among them, put them in charge 4  of my livestock.”

47:7 Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and presented him 5  before Pharaoh. Jacob blessed 6  Pharaoh. 47:8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How long have you lived?” 7  47:9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, “All 8  the years of my travels 9  are 130. All 10  the years of my life have been few and painful; 11  the years of my travels are not as long as those of my ancestors.” 12  47:10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and went out from his presence. 13 

1 tn Heb “to sojourn.”

2 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.

3 tn Heb “men of skill.”

4 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.

5 tn Heb “caused him to stand.”

6 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.

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

8 tn Heb “the days of.”

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

10 tn Heb “the days of.”

11 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.

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

13 tn Heb “from before Pharaoh.”

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