Jacob Blesses Pharaoh
1-2Joseph took five of his brothers with him to Pharaoh and presented them to the king. Joseph said to Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers have come from Canaan with their flocks, their herds, and all that they own. They have made their camp in the region of Goshen.”
3Pharaoh asked the men, “What is your occupation?”
“We, your servants, are shepherds, just as our fathers were,” they answered. 4“We have come to stay as temporary residents in this country, because in the land of Canaan, the famine is so severe that there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks. Please give us permission to settle in the land of Goshen.”
5Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and your brothers have arrived, 6the land of Egypt is theirs. Let them settle in the best part of the land, in the region of Goshen. And if there are any competent men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.” # 47:6 Or “place them as princes over my livestock,” thus making them officers of the crown and granting them legal protection. Ancient Egyptian inscriptions tell of Pharaoh owning huge herds of royal livestock with superintendents watching over them.
7Later, Joseph brought Jacob into the house and presented him before Pharaoh. And Jacob gave Pharaoh a blessing. # 47:7 Or “Jacob greeted Pharaoh with great respect.” Jacob blessed Pharaoh, not the other way around! Although he was the most powerful person on earth, Pharaoh came under the blessing of Jacob. A refugee from Canaan became the “blesser” of Pharaoh! With the authority of a prophet, Jacob blessed Egypt’s ruler. The fact that Jacob blessed Pharaoh proves that he was greater than Pharaoh (see Heb. 7:7).
8Pharaoh asked Jacob, “How old are you?”
9Jacob answered, “My earthly journey has been one hundred and thirty years. My years have been few and hard, but it doesn’t compare to the length of the earthly journeys of my fathers.” 10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again and departed.
11So Joseph settled his father and brothers in the choicest part of the land of Egypt, in the district of Rameses, # 47:11 Rameses was another name for Goshen. as Pharaoh had commanded. 12Joseph also provided his father and brothers and their families, down to their little ones, with all the food they needed.
13Now there was no food anywhere, for the famine was very severe. Both the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. 14And the people of Egypt and Canaan spent all their money to buy grain. Joseph gathered all the money from the sale of grain and deposited the wealth into Pharaoh’s treasury. 15When the money ran out in Egypt and Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and pleaded with him, “All our money is gone; give us food! Why would you let us die in front of your eyes?”
16Joseph answered, “If your money is gone, then give me your livestock. I will give you food in exchange for your livestock.” 17So in that year, they brought their livestock to Joseph—their horses, sheep, cattle, and donkeys—and he supplied them with food in exchange for their livestock. 18The next year, they came to him and said, “Master, it’s no secret to you that we are broke. All our silver and livestock are now yours. We have nothing left but ourselves and our lands. 19Why would you let us die in front of your eyes, leaving all our lands uninhabited? Buy us and our lands in exchange for food. We’ll become Pharaoh’s slaves and give up our land. Only give us seed so that we may live and not die and so that the land will not become a desert.”
20So Joseph gained possession of all the farmland in Egypt for Pharaoh. Every Egyptian sold his land in exchange for food, for the famine was that severe. Eventually, the Egyptians had transferred all the land to Pharaoh. # 47:20 This was perhaps one of the greatest transfers of wealth in human history! This was important, for when the Israelites left Egypt, this was the wealth they would take with them (see Ex. 12:36). God used Joseph to make Egypt rich; in time, Egypt gave its riches back to God’s people—with interest. 21Everyone became a slave to Pharaoh, # 47:21 As translated from the Samaritan Pentateuch and the Septuagint. The Hebrew reads “He removed the people to the cities.” from one end of Egypt to the other. 22However, he did not take over the land of the priests, for they received royal subsidies from Pharaoh. They lived on the food he provided for them, and that is why they did not have to sell their land.
23Joseph said to the people, “Today I have acquired for Pharaoh you and all your land. Here is seed for you to sow in the land. 24But when harvest comes, you must pay one-fifth to Pharaoh, and you may keep the rest for planting your fields and for food for yourselves and your families to nourish your household and your little ones.”
25“You have saved our lives!” they said. “May we find your favor, our lord, and we will be slaves to Pharaoh.” 26Thus, Joseph established the law of the land in Egypt, which is still in effect, “A fifth will go to Pharaoh.” Only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s.
Jacob’s Last Request
27Israel and his descendants settled in Egypt in the land of Goshen. They had many children and multiplied, and they acquired property.
28Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years and lived a total of one hundred and forty-seven years. 29When the time of Israel’s death was near, he summoned his beloved son Joseph and said to him, “Son, do me this favor before I die: Place your hand under my thigh as a pledge that you will show me kindness and loyal love. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30but when I go to rest with my fathers, I want you to carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried. # 47:30 This refers to the cave of Machpelah purchased by Abraham from the Hittites in ch. 23. Why did Jacob’s burial place matter so much to him? He was looking forward to the time of resurrection! Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob were all buried near the ancient site of Jerusalem, where many centuries later Jesus would be crucified, buried, and raised from the dead. On the day Jesus was nailed to the cross, tombs nearby opened, and many holy people arose in resurrection life and were seen walking about the city (Matt. 27:52–53)! In faith, Jacob asked to be buried near the spot where the Messiah would be crucified. God honored that faith and raised many holy people to life to glimpse the city they had only dreamed of! Jacob knew the fulfillment of the promise would be in Canaan, not Egypt. 31Swear that you will do this.”
So Joseph took the oath and said, “I will do as you say.”
Then Israel worshiped and leaned on the top of his staff. # 47:31 Or “by the head of his bed.” See Heb. 11:21.
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Jacob Blesses Pharaoh
1Then Joseph went to see Pharaoh and told him, “My father and my brothers have arrived from the land of Canaan. They have come with all their flocks and herds and possessions, and they are now in the region of Goshen.”
2Joseph took five of his brothers with him and presented them to Pharaoh. 3And Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”
They replied, “We, your servants, are shepherds, just like our ancestors. 4We have come to live here in Egypt for a while, for there is no pasture for our flocks in Canaan. The famine is very severe there. So please, we request permission to live in the region of Goshen.”
5Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and brothers have joined you here, 6choose any place in the entire land of Egypt for them to live. Give them the best land of Egypt. Let them live in the region of Goshen. And if any of them have special skills, put them in charge of my livestock, too.”
7Then Joseph brought in his father, Jacob, and presented him to Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
8“How old are you?” Pharaoh asked him.
9Jacob replied, “I have traveled this earth for 130 hard years. But my life has been short compared to the lives of my ancestors.” 10Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again before leaving his court.
11So Joseph assigned the best land of Egypt—the region of Rameses—to his father and his brothers, and he settled them there, just as Pharaoh had commanded. 12And Joseph provided food for his father and his brothers in amounts appropriate to the number of their dependents, including the smallest children.
Joseph’s Leadership in the Famine
13Meanwhile, the famine became so severe that all the food was used up, and people were starving throughout the lands of Egypt and Canaan. 14By selling grain to the people, Joseph eventually collected all the money in Egypt and Canaan, and he put the money in Pharaoh’s treasury. 15When the people of Egypt and Canaan ran out of money, all the Egyptians came to Joseph. “Our money is gone!” they cried. “But please give us food, or we will die before your very eyes!”
16Joseph replied, “Since your money is gone, bring me your livestock. I will give you food in exchange for your livestock.” 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph in exchange for food. In exchange for their horses, flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and donkeys, Joseph provided them with food for another year.
18But that year ended, and the next year they came again and said, “We cannot hide the truth from you, my lord. Our money is gone, and all our livestock and cattle are yours. We have nothing left to give but our bodies and our land. 19Why should we die before your very eyes? Buy us and our land in exchange for food; we offer our land and ourselves as slaves for Pharaoh. Just give us grain so we may live and not die, and so the land does not become empty and desolate.”
20So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold him their fields because the famine was so severe, and soon all the land belonged to Pharaoh. 21As for the people, he made them all slaves,#47:21 As in Greek version and Samaritan Pentateuch; Hebrew reads he moved them all into the towns. from one end of Egypt to the other. 22The only land he did not buy was the land belonging to the priests. They received an allotment of food directly from Pharaoh, so they didn’t need to sell their land.
23Then Joseph said to the people, “Look, today I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. I will provide you with seed so you can plant the fields. 24Then when you harvest it, one-fifth of your crop will belong to Pharaoh. You may keep the remaining four-fifths as seed for your fields and as food for you, your households, and your little ones.”
25“You have saved our lives!” they exclaimed. “May it please you, my lord, to let us be Pharaoh’s servants.” 26Joseph then issued a decree still in effect in the land of Egypt, that Pharaoh should receive one-fifth of all the crops grown on his land. Only the land belonging to the priests was not given to Pharaoh.
27Meanwhile, the people of Israel settled in the region of Goshen in Egypt. There they acquired property, and they were fruitful, and their population grew rapidly. 28Jacob lived for seventeen years after his arrival in Egypt, so he lived 147 years in all.
29As the time of his death drew near, Jacob#47:29 Hebrew Israel; also in 47:31b. See note on 35:21. called for his son Joseph and said to him, “Please do me this favor. Put your hand under my thigh and swear that you will treat me with unfailing love by honoring this last request: Do not bury me in Egypt. 30When I die, please take my body out of Egypt and bury me with my ancestors.”
So Joseph promised, “I will do as you ask.”
31“Swear that you will do it,” Jacob insisted. So Joseph gave his oath, and Jacob bowed humbly at the head of his bed.#47:31 Greek version reads and Israel bowed in worship as he leaned on his staff. Compare Heb 11:21.
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