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 for your finest shepherds to watch 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 130 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 17 years, before dying at the age of 147. 29#Gn 49.29-32; 50.6. When 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. 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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B'resheet (Gen) 47
1Then Yosef went in and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers have come from the land of Kena‘an with their flocks, livestock and all their possessions; right now they are in the land of Goshen.” 2He took five of his brothers and presented them to Pharaoh. 3Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” They answered Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our ancestors,” 4and added, “We have come to live in the land, because in the land of Kena‘an there is no place to pasture your servant’s flocks, the famine is so severe there. Therefore, please, let your servants live in the land of Goshen.” 5Pharaoh said to Yosef, “Your father and brothers have come to you, 6and the land of Egypt lies before you. Have your father and brothers live on the best property in the country — let them live in the land of Goshen. Moreover, if you know that some of them are particularly competent, put them in charge of my livestock.”
7Yosef then brought in Ya‘akov his father and presented him to Pharaoh, and Ya‘akov blessed Pharaoh. 8Pharaoh asked Ya‘akov, “How old are you?” 9and Ya‘akov replied, “The time of my stay on earth has been 130 years; they have been few and difficult, fewer than the years my ancestors lived.” 10Then Ya‘akov blessed Pharaoh and left his presence.
(vii) 11Yosef found a place for his father and brothers and gave them property in the land of Egypt, in the best region of the country, in the land of Ra‘amses, as Pharaoh had ordered. 12Yosef provided food for his father, his brothers and all his father’s household, taking full care of even the youngest.
13There was no food anywhere, for the famine was very severe, so that both Egypt and Kena‘an grew weak from hunger. 14Yosef collected all the money there was in Egypt and Kena‘an in exchange for the grain they bought, and put the money in Pharaoh’s treasury. 15When all the money in Egypt had been spent, and likewise in Kena‘an, all the Egyptians approached Yosef and said, “Give us something to eat, even though we have no money; why should we die before your eyes?” 16Yosef replied, “Give me your livestock. If you don’t have money, I will give you food in exchange for your livestock.” 17So they brought Yosef their livestock; and Yosef gave them food in exchange for the horses, flocks, cattle and donkeys — all that year he provided them with food in exchange for all their livestock.
18When that year was over, they approached Yosef again and said to him, “We won’t hide from my lord that all our money is spent, and the herds of livestock belong to my lord. We have nothing left, as my lord can see, but our bodies and our land. 19Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we and our land will be enslaved to Pharaoh. But also give us seed to plant, so that we can stay alive and not die, and so that the land won’t become barren.” 20So Yosef acquired all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh, as one by one the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine weighed on them so severely. Thus the land became the property of Pharaoh. 21As for the people, he reduced them to serfdom city by city, from one end of Egypt’s territory to the other. 22Only the priests’ land did he not acquire, because the priests were entitled to provisions from Pharaoh, and they ate from what Pharaoh provided them; therefore they did not sell their land.
23Then Yosef said to the people, “As of today I have acquired you and your land for Pharaoh. Here is seed for you to sow the land. 24When harvest time comes, you are to give twenty percent to Pharaoh; eighty percent will be yours to keep for seed to plant in the fields, as well as for your food and for that of your households and your little ones.”
(Maftir) 25They replied, “You have saved our lives! So if it pleases my lord, we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 26Yosef made it a law for the country of Egypt, valid to this day, that Pharaoh should have twenty percent. Only the property belonging to the priests did not become Pharaoh’s.
27Isra’el lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. They acquired possessions in it and were productive, and their numbers multiplied greatly.
Haftarah Vayigash: Yechezk’el (Ezekiel) 37:15–28
B’rit Hadashah suggested reading for Parashah Vayigash: Acts 7:9–16 (specifically vv. 13–15)
Parashah 12: Vayechi (He lived) 47:28–50:26
28Ya‘akov lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; thus Ya‘akov lived to be 147 years old. 29The time came when Isra’el was approaching death; so he called for his son Yosef and said to him, “If you truly love me, please put your hand under my thigh and pledge that, out of consideration for me, you will not bury me in Egypt. 30Rather, when I sleep with my fathers, you are to carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.” He replied, “I will do as you have said.” 31He said, “Swear it to me,” and he swore to him. Then Isra’el bowed down at the head of his bed.
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