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Genesis 47

47
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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