Genesis 46: Jacob goes to Egypt:

Last week, we closed with these thoughts:

 

(Gen 45:25) Then they went up out of Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to Jacob their father. {26} And they told him, saying, "Joseph is still alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt." And Jacob's heart stood still, because he did not believe them.

 

Jacob's heart stood still: When you have believed for 15 years that your son had been torn to pieces by a wild animal, this is truly an amazing story! 

 

When did Israel ever learn the truth? or did he?  I think he must have at some point in time, but I know of no record of it. 

Did the ten sons break and tell their dad?

They knew he could ask Joseph when he got to Egypt.

It’s part of the story that I don’t know about.

 

(Gen 45:27) But when they told him all the words which Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived. {28} Then Israel said, "It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die."

 

“The spirit of Jacob their father revived.”  Now there is hope! Now there is a reason for living!

 

(Gen 46 NKJV)  So Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.

 

“And came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God”  I can only say:  how appropriate!

1)           Joseph is alive and well!

2)           They have food to eat during famine.

3)           Joseph is going to provide for them.

4)           They are going to a foreign land.

5)           They really don’t know what awaits them other than getting to see Joseph.

6)           They certainly need to “take God along with them.”

Beersheba: like Bethel, has become a special place:

 

(Gen 21:32-33 NKJV)  Thus they made a covenant at Beersheba. So Abimelech rose with Phichol, the commander of his army, and they returned to the land of the Philistines. {33} Then Abraham planted a tamarisk tree in Beersheba, and there called on the name of the LORD, the Everlasting God.

 

It was calm after the storm: 

(Gen 21:25 NKJV)  Then Abraham rebuked Abimelech because of a well of water which Abimelech's servants had seized.

 

BDB Definition:

Beer-sheba = “well of the sevenfold oath”

1) a city at the south edge of Israel

 

(Gen 21:29-30 NKJV)  Then Abimelech asked Abraham, "What is the meaning of these seven ewe lambs which you have set by themselves?" {30} And he said, "You will take these seven ewe lambs from my hand, that they may be my witness that I have dug this well."

(Gen 46:2) Then God spoke to Israel in the visions of the night, and said, "Jacob, Jacob!" And he said, "Here I am." {3} So He said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not fear to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. {4} "I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will put his hand on your eyes."

 

God places his approval on the move to Egypt, even though He knew problems would follow.  We know that because He had told Abraham that

But did Jacob know what God told Abraham?

 

(Gen 15:12-14 NKJV)  Now when the sun was going down, a deep sleep fell upon Abram; and behold, horror and great darkness fell upon him. {13} Then He said to Abram: "Know certainly that your descendants will be strangers in a land that is not theirs, and will serve them, and they will afflict them four hundred years. {14} "And also the nation whom they serve I will judge; afterward they shall come out with great possessions.

 

So the time with God is concluded, and Jacob continues on his journey to Egypt.

 

(Gen 46:5) Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried [loaded or took] their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the carts which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.

 

“The sons of Israel carried . . . :”  They’ve taken over now.  “The sons become the father, and the father becomes the son.”  It’s that time of life for Jacob, and the “sons step up to plate” to help their father in his advancing age.  If they still have misgivings about things their father has done, they have put that aside to do the right thing.

 

(Gen 46:6) So they took their livestock and their goods, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and went to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him. {7} His sons and his sons' sons, his daughters and his sons' daughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.

The Genealogy of those who left Canaan for Egypt follows.  Parts of the genealogy seem much more important than other parts. 

 

(Gen 46:8) Now these were the names of the children of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt: Reuben was Jacob's firstborn. {9} The sons of Reuben were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.

 

“Reuben was Jacob's firstborn.”  Normally being the first born would be very important, but not in the case of being Jacob’s first born because Jacob didn’t believe in living by the rules if the rules did not agree with what he wanted to do.  In his mind, Joseph was his first born because the wife he chose was Rachael.  Rachael’s first born was Joseph, so Jacob will see to it that Joseph, not Reuben, gets the inheritance of the first born. 

 

(Gen 46:10) The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. {11} The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

The sons of Levi are of special importance because the priests come through Levi; hence, the Levitical priesthood.

 

(Gen 46: {12} The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.

 

The genealogy of Judah is extremely important because Christ came through Judah.

 

(Mat 1:3 NKJV)  Judah begot Perez and Zerah by Tamar, Perez begot Hezron, and Hezron begot Ram.

 

The Genealogy Continues:

 

{13} The sons of Issachar were Tola, Puvah, Job, and Shimron. {14} The sons of Zebulun were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. {15} These were the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Padan Aram, with his daughter Dinah. All the persons, his sons and his daughters, were thirty-three.

“These were the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob,” The sad truth is that Leah and her children did not seem to mean much to Jacob.  For example, Joseph kept Simeon in prison.

It didn’t seem to bother Jacob that much.  Seemingly the only reason he complied with the terms for his release was to get more food for the family.  Yet look at Leah’s sons:  They include Levi through whom we have the priesthood,

and Judah through whom we have King David, and Jesus Christ.  I ask, “Was Jacob carried away with Rachael’s physical beauty and failed to consider her sister whom God seems to have richly blessed with important children?

The Genealogy continues:

 

(Gen 46:16) The sons of Gad were Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. {17} The sons of Asher were Jimnah, Ishuah, Isui, Beriah, and Serah, their sister. And the sons of Beriah were Heber and Malchiel. {18} These were the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter; and these she bore to Jacob: sixteen persons.

(Gen 46:19) The sons of Rachel, Jacob's wife, were Joseph and Benjamin. {20} And to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Poti-Pherah priest of On, bore to him. {21} The sons of Benjamin were Belah, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. {22} These were the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob: fourteen persons in all. {23} The son of Dan was Hushim. {24} The sons of Naphtali were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. {25} These were the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter, and she bore these to Jacob: seven persons in all. {26} All the persons who went with Jacob to Egypt, who came from his body, besides Jacob's sons' wives, were sixty-six persons in all. {27} And the sons of Joseph who were born to him in Egypt were two persons. All the persons of the house of Jacob who went to Egypt were seventy.

 

I take the math to look like this:  66 + 2 sons of Joseph, + Joseph and his wife = 70.  Four of these were already in Egypt at the time.

I think we should briefly mention Stephen’s statement in Acts 7:14,  "Then Joseph sent and called his father Jacob and all his relatives to him, seventy-five people.  So how do we account for this difference?

 

It’s easier than you might think.  The Septuagint version was in common use and widely quoted.

 

“The Septuagint gives seventy-five as the sum-total, which is made out by inserting Makir the son, and Gilead the grandson of Menasseh, Shuthelah and Tahan, sons, and Edom or Eran, a grandson of Ephraim Num. 26.”  -- Albert Barnes

 

(Gen 46:28) Then he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out before him the way to Goshen. And they came to the land of Goshen. {29} So Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; and he presented himself to him, and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while.

 

What a day!  What a day!  It had been 15 years since he had seen his father.  Now here he is!

(Gen 46:30) And Israel said to Joseph, "Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you are still alive."

 

"Now let me die,”  Not that he wanted to die, but now he was at peace.  His son Joseph was okay and more.  We would more likely say, “I couldn’t be happier!”

 

(Gen 46:31) Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, "I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and say to him, 'My brothers and those of my father's house, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. {32} 'And the men are shepherds, for their occupation has been to feed livestock; and they have brought their flocks, their herds, and all that they have.' {33} "So it shall be, when Pharaoh calls you and says, 'What is your occupation?' {34} "that you shall say, 'Your servants' occupation has been with livestock from our youth even till now, both we and also our fathers,' that you may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians."—You’ll be separated from them.

 

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