1-2Joseph took five of his brothers to the king and told him, “My father and my brothers have come from Canaan. They have brought their sheep, goats, cattle, and everything else they own to the region of Goshen.”
Then he introduced his brothers to the king, 3who asked them, “What do you do for a living?”
“Sir, we are shepherds,” was their answer. “Our families have always raised sheep. 4But in our country all the pastures are dried up, and our sheep have no grass to eat. So we, your servants, have come here. Please let us live in the region of Goshen.”
5The king said to Joseph, “It's good that your father and brothers have arrived. 6I will let them live anywhere they choose in the land of Egypt, but I suggest that they settle in Goshen, the best part of our land. I would also like your finest shepherds to look after my own sheep and goats.”
7Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and introduced him to the king. Jacob gave the king his blessing, 8and the king asked him, “How old are you?”
9Jacob answered, “I have lived only a hundred and thirty years, and I have had to move from place to place. My parents and my grandparents also had to move from place to place. But they lived much longer, and their life was not as hard as mine.” 10Then Jacob gave the king his blessing once again and left. 11Joseph obeyed the king's orders and gave his father and brothers some of the best land in Egypt near the city of Rameses. 12Joseph also provided food for their families.
A famine in Egypt
13The famine was bad everywhere in Egypt and Canaan, and the people were suffering terribly. 14So Joseph sold them the grain that had been stored up, and he put the money#47.14 money: See the note at 42.25. in the king's treasury. 15But when everyone had run out of money, the Egyptians came to Joseph and demanded, “Give us more grain! If you don't, we'll soon be dead, because our money's all gone.”
16“If you don't have any money,” Joseph answered, “give me your animals, and I'll let you have some grain.” 17From then on, they brought him their horses and donkeys and their sheep and goats in exchange for grain.
Within a year Joseph had collected every animal in Egypt. 18Then the people came to him and said:
Sir, there's no way we can hide the truth from you. We are broke, and we don't have any more animals. We have nothing left except ourselves and our land. 19Don't let us starve and our land be ruined. If you'll give us grain to eat and seed to plant, we'll sell ourselves and our land to the king.#47.19 the king: See the note at 12.15. We'll become his slaves.
20The famine became so severe that Joseph finally bought every piece of land in Egypt for the king 21and made everyone the king's slaves,#47.21 made…slaves: One ancient translation and the Samaritan Hebrew Text; the Standard Hebrew Text “made everyone move to the cities”. 22except the priests. The king gave the priests a regular food allowance, so they did not have to sell their land. 23Then Joseph said to the people, “You and your land now belong to the king. I'm giving you seed to plant, 24but one-fifth of your crops must go to the king. You can keep the rest as seed or as food for your families.”
25“Sir, you have saved our lives!” they answered. “We are glad to be slaves of the king.” 26Then Joseph made a law that one-fifth of the harvest would always belong to the king. Only the priests did not lose their land.
Jacob becomes an old man
27The people of Israel made their home in the land of Goshen, where they became prosperous and had large families. 28Jacob himself lived there for seventeen years, before dying at the age of one hundred and forty-seven. 29When Jacob knew he did not have long to live, he called in Joseph and said, “If you really love me, you must make a solemn promise not to bury me in Egypt.#Gn 49.29-32; 50.6. 30Instead, bury me in the place where my ancestors are buried.”
“I will do what you have asked,” Joseph answered.
31“Will you give me your word?” Jacob asked.
“Yes, I will,” Joseph promised. After this, Jacob bowed down and prayed at the head of his bed.
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© British and Foreign Bible Society 2012
1Joseph went to inform Pharaoh and said, “My father and brothers with their flocks, herds, and everything they own have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the land of Goshen.” 2From all of his brothers, he selected five men and presented them before Pharaoh.
3Pharaoh said to Joseph’s brothers, “What do you do?”
They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our ancestors.” 4They continued, “We’ve come to the land as immigrants because the famine is so severe in the land of Canaan that there are no more pastures for your servants’ flocks. Please allow your servants to settle in the land of Goshen.”
5Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since your father and brothers have arrived, 6the land of Egypt is available to you. Settle your father and brothers in the land’s best location. Let them live in the land of Goshen. And if you know capable men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.”
7Joseph brought his father Jacob and gave him an audience with Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, 8and Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?”
9Jacob said to Pharaoh, “I’ve been a traveler for 130 years. My years have been few and difficult. They don’t come close to the years my ancestors lived during their travels.” 10Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left Pharaoh’s presence. 11Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them property in the land of Egypt, in the best location in the land of Rameses, just as Pharaoh had ordered. 12Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and his father’s entire household, in proportion to the number of children.
Joseph centralizes power in Egypt
13There was no food in the land because the famine was so severe. The land of Egypt and the land of Canaan dried up from the famine. 14Joseph collected all of the silver to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain, which people came to buy, and he deposited it in Pharaoh’s treasury. 15The silver from the land of Egypt and from the land of Canaan had been spent, and all of the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes, just because the silver is gone?”
16Joseph said, “Give me your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock if the silver is gone.” 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food for the horses, flocks, cattle, and donkeys. He got them through that year with food in exchange for all of their livestock.
18When that year was over, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We can’t hide from my master that the silver is spent and that we’ve given the livestock to my master. All that’s left for my master is our corpses and our farmland. 19Why should we die before your eyes, we and our farmland too? Buy us and our farms for food, and we and our farms will be under Pharaoh’s control. Give us seed so that we can stay alive and not die, and so that our farmland won’t become unproductive.” 20So Joseph bought all of Egypt’s farmland for Pharaoh because every Egyptian sold his field when the famine worsened. So the land became Pharaoh’s. 21He moved the people to the cities#47.21 Sam, LXX he made the people slaves from one end of Egypt to the other. 22However, he didn’t buy the farmland of the priests because Pharaoh allowed the priests a subsidy, and they were able to eat from the subsidy Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they didn’t have to sell their farmland.
23Joseph said to the people, “Since I’ve now purchased you and your farmland for Pharaoh, here’s seed for you. Plant the seed on the land. 24When the crop comes in, you must give one-fifth to Pharaoh. You may keep four-fifths for yourselves, for planting fields, and for feeding yourselves, those in your households, and your children.”
25The people said, “You’ve saved our lives. If you wish, we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 26So Joseph made a law that still exists today: Pharaoh receives one-fifth from Egypt’s farmland. Only the priests’ farmland didn’t become Pharaoh’s.
Jacob blesses Ephraim and Manasseh
27Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. They settled in it, had many children, and became numerous. 28After Jacob had lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years, and after he had lived a total of 147 years, 29Israel’s death approached. He summoned his son Joseph and said to him, “If you would be so kind, lay your hand under my thigh, and be loyal and true to me. Don’t bury me in Egypt. 30When I lie down with my fathers, carry me from Egypt and bury me in their grave.”
Joseph said, “I will do just as you say.”
31Israel said, “Give me your word!” and Joseph gave his word. Then Israel slumped down at the head of the bed.
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