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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1So Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan; they are now in the land of Goshen.” 2And from among his brothers he took five men and presented them to Pharaoh. 3Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, as our fathers were.” 4They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to sojourn in the land; for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan; and now, we pray you, let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen.” 5Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6The land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land; let them dwell in the land of Goshen; and if you know any able men among them, put them in charge of my cattle.”
7Then Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8And Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many are the days of the years of your life?” 9And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my sojourning are a hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their sojourning.” 10And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh. 11Then Joseph settled his father and his brothers, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12And Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father's household with food, according to the number of their dependents.
13Now there was no food in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished by reason of the famine. 14And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, for the grain which they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. 15And when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, and said, “Give us food; why should we die before your eyes? For our money is gone.” 16And Joseph answered, “Give your cattle, and I will give you food in exchange for your cattle, if your money is gone.” 17So they brought their cattle to Joseph; and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the herds, and the asses: and he supplied them with food in exchange for all their cattle that year. 18And when that year was ended, they came to him the following year, and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent; and the herds of cattle are my lord's; there is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our lands. 19Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be slaves to Pharaoh; and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.”
20So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for all the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine was severe upon them. The land became Pharaoh's; 21and as for the people, he made slaves of them#47.21 Sam Gk Compare Vg: Heb he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt to the other. 22Only the land of the priests he did not buy; for the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh, and lived on the allowance which Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their land. 23Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh. Now here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. 24And at the harvests you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones.” 25And they said, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be slaves to Pharaoh.” 26So Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt, and it stands to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; the land of the priests alone did not become Pharaoh's.
27Thus Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen; and they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied exceedingly. 28And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were a hundred and forty-seven years.
29And when the time drew near that Israel must die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, put your hand under my thigh, and promise to deal loyally and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30but let me lie with my fathers; carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.” 31And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself upon the head of his bed.
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