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46. Jacob Goes to Egypt
1And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. 2And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. 3And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: 4I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes. 5And Jacob rose up from Beer-sheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him: 7his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons's daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt.
8And these are the names of the children of Israel, who came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob's first-born. 9And the sons of Reuben: Hanoch, and Pallu, and Hezron, and Carmi. 10And the sons of Simeon: Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman. 11And the sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12And the sons of Judah: Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Perez, and Zerah; but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 13And the sons of Issachar: Tola, and Puvah, and Iob, and Shimron. 14And the sons of Zebulun: Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. 15These are the sons of Leah, whom she bare unto Jacob in Paddan-aram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three. 16And the sons of Gad: Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli. 17And the sons of Asher: Imnah, and Ishvah, and Ishvi, and Beriah, and Serah their sister; and the sons of Beriah: Heber, and Malchiel. 18These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter; and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls. 19The sons of Rachel Jacob's wife: Joseph and Benjamin. 20And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-phera priest of On, bare unto him. 21And the sons of Benjamin: Bela, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard. 22These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen. 23And the sons of Dan: Hushim. 24And the sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem. 25These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob: all the souls were seven. 26All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, that came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six; 27and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, that came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.
28And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to show the way before him unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. 29And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen; and he presented himself unto him, and fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. 30And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, that thou art yet alive. 31And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's house, I will go up, and tell Pharaoh, and will say unto him, My brethren, and my father's house, who were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me; 32and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have. 33And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation? 34that ye shall say, Thy servants have been keepers of cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.
Ge 46:1-4. Sacrifice at Beer-sheba.
1. Israel took his journey with all that he had—that is, his household; for in compliance with Pharaoh's recommendation, he left his heavy furniture behind. In contemplating a step so important as that of leaving Canaan, which at his time of life he might never revisit, so pious a patriarch would ask the guidance and counsel of God. With all his anxiety to see Joseph, he would rather have died in Canaan without that highest of earthly gratifications than leave it without the consciousness of carrying the divine blessing along with him.
came to Beer-sheba—That place, which was in his direct route to Egypt, had been a favorite encampment of Abraham (Ge 21:33) and Isaac (Ge 26:25), and was memorable for their experience of the divine goodness; and Jacob seems to have deferred his public devotions till he had reached a spot so consecrated by covenant to his own God and the God of his fathers.
2. God spake unto Israel—Here is a virtual renewal of the covenant and an assurance of its blessings. Moreover, here is an answer on the chief subject of Jacob's prayer and a removal of any doubt as to the course he was meditating. At first the prospect of paying a personal visit to Joseph had been viewed with unmingled joy. But, on calmer consideration, many difficulties appeared to lie in the way. He may have remembered the prophecy to Abraham that his posterity was to be afflicted in Egypt and also that his father had been expressly told not to go [Ge 15:13; 26:2]; he may have feared the contamination of idolatry to his family and their forgetfulness of the land of promise. These doubts were removed by the answer of the oracle, and an assurance given him of great and increasing prosperity.
3. I will there make of thee a great nation—How truly this promise was fulfilled, appears in the fact that the seventy souls who went down into Egypt increased [Ex 1:5-7], in the space of two hundred fifteen years, to one hundred eighty thousand.
4. I will also surely bring thee up again—As Jacob could not expect to live till the former promise was realized, he must have seen that the latter was to be accomplished only to his posterity. To himself it was literally verified in the removal of his remains to Canaan; but, in the large and liberal sense of the words, it was made good only on the establishment of Israel in the land of promise.
Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes—shall perform the last office of filial piety; and this implied that he should henceforth enjoy, without interruption, the society of that favorite son.
Ge 46:5-27. Immigration to Egypt.
5. And Jacob rose up from Beer-sheba—to cross the border and settle in Egypt. However refreshed and invigorated in spirit by the religious services at Beer-sheba, he was now borne down by the infirmities of advanced age; and, therefore, his sons undertook all the trouble and toil of the arrangements, while the enfeebled old patriarch, with the wives and children, was conveyed by slow and leisurely stages in the Egyptian vehicles sent for their accommodation.
6. goods, which they had gotten in the land—not furniture, but substance—precious things.
7. daughters—As Dinah was his only daughter, this must mean daughters-in-law.
all his seed brought he with him—Though disabled by age from active superintendence, yet, as the venerable sheik of the tribe, he was looked upon as their common head and consulted in every step.
8-27. all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten—Strictly speaking, there were only sixty-six went to Egypt; but to these add Joseph and his two sons, and Jacob the head of the clan, and the whole number amounts to seventy. In the speech of Stephen (Ac 7:14) the number is stated to be seventy-five; but as that estimate includes five sons of Ephraim and Manasseh (1Ch 7:14-20), born in Egypt, the two accounts coincide.
Ge 46:28-34. Arrival in Egypt.
28. he sent Judah before him unto Joseph—This precautionary measure was obviously proper for apprising the king of the entrance of so large a company within his territories; moreover, it was necessary in order to receive instruction from Joseph as to the locale of their future settlement.
29, 30. Joseph made ready his chariot—The difference between chariot and wagon was not only in the lighter and more elegant construction of the former, but in the one being drawn by horses and the other by oxen. Being a public man in Egypt, Joseph was required to appear everywhere in an equipage suitable to his dignity; and, therefore, it was not owing either to pride or ostentatious parade that he drove his carriage, while his father's family were accommodated only in rude and humble wagons.
presented himself unto him—in an attitude of filial reverence (compare Ex 22:17). The interview was a most affecting one—the happiness of the delighted father was now at its height; and life having no higher charms, he could, in the very spirit of the aged Simeon, have departed in peace [Lu 2:25, 29].
31-34. Joseph said, … I will go up, and show Pharaoh—It was a tribute of respect due to the king to inform him of their arrival. And the instructions which he gave them were worthy of his character alike as an affectionate brother and a religious man.