Genesis Chapter 47
1 Then Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, and said, "My father and my brothers, with their flocks, their herds, and all that they own, have come out of the land of Canaan; and behold, they are in the land of Goshen."
2 From amongst his brothers he took five men, and presented them to Pharaoh.
3 Pharaoh said to his brothers, "What is your occupation?" They said to Pharaoh, "Your servants are shepherds, both we, and our fathers."
4 They also said to Pharaoh, "We have come to live as foreigners in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks. For the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now therefore, please let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen."
5 Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, saying, "Your father and your brothers have come to you.
6 The land of Egypt is before you. Make your father and your brothers dwell in the best of the land. Let them dwell in the land of Goshen. If you know any able men amongst them, then put them in charge of my livestock."
7 Joseph brought in Jacob, his father, and set him before Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, "How old are you?"
9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, "The years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years. The days of the years of my life have been few and evil. They have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage."
10 Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh.
11 Joseph placed 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.
12 Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all of his father's household with bread, according to the sizes of their families.
13 There was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine.
14 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.
15 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 bread, for why should we die in your presence? For our money fails."
16 Joseph said, "Give me your livestock; and I will give you food for your livestock, if your money is gone."
17 They brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for the horses, and for the flocks, and for the herds, and for the donkeys: and he fed them with bread in exchange for all their livestock for that year.
18 When that year was ended, they came to him the second year, and said to him, "We will not hide from my lord how our money is all spent, and the herds of livestock are my lord's. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands.
19 Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants to Pharaoh. Give us seed, that we may live, and not die, and that the land won't be desolate."
20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every man of the Egyptians sold his field, because the famine was severe on them, and the land became Pharaoh's.
21 As for the people, he moved them to the cities from one end of the border of Egypt even to the other end of it.
22 Only he didn't buy the land of the priests, for the priests had a portion from Pharaoh, and ate their portion which Pharaoh gave them. That is why they didn't sell their land.
23 Then Joseph said to the people, "Behold, I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh. Behold, here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land.
24 It will happen at the harvests, that you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four parts will be your own, for seed of the field, for your food, for them of your households, and for food for your little ones."
25 They said, "You have saved our lives! Let us find favour in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants."
26 Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth. Only the land of the priests alone didn't become Pharaoh's.
27 Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen; and they got themselves possessions therein, and were fruitful, and multiplied exceedingly.
28 Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. So the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were one hundred and forty-seven years.
29 The time came near that Israel must die, and he called his son Joseph, and said to him, "If now I have found favour in your sight, please put your hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me. Please don't bury me in Egypt,
30 but when I sleep with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying place." Joseph said, "I will do as you have said."
31 Israel said, "Swear to me," and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself on the bed's head.
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Genesis Chapter 47 Guide
To watch Jacob is to see a man who alternated between faith and fear. Standing before Pharaoh, his faith in God and his consciousness of his own position in the divine economy were clearly apparent. The less is ever blessed of the greater, and when Jacob gave his blessing to Pharaoh it was undoubtedly with a consciousness of his own relation to a divine program.
Joseph's policy in administering Egyptian affairs must be judged by the times in which he lived. It was a policy which ensured the interests of the king, of the nation, and of the people. It was one of unification and consolidation. So far as Israel was concerned, his action precluded the possibility of their harassment by petty princes. It is equally true that by this very action Joseph made possible what subsequently happened, the enslavement of the whole people by the will of the supreme Pharaoh. Here again the hand of God is seen operating through the Egyptian policy for the immediate safety of His people and then for the discipline and suffering through which they were to pass.
The interchange of names in this story is arresting. Referring to the man, it is said that "Jacob lived in the land of Egypt"; but when referring to his departure, he is called "Israel"; Jacob, in himself; Israel, in the government of God. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews speaks of his faith as manifest only when dying he blessed his sons and worshipped, and even then speaks of him as "Jacob." In the end of this narrative his faith and fear are manifest: his faith, in that he chose to be buried with his fathers; his fear, in that he made Joseph swear so to bury him.
From "An Exposition of the Whole Bible" by G. Campbell Morgan.