(Gen 47:1 NASB) Then Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, and said, “My father and my brothers and their flocks and their herds and all that they have, have come out of the land of Canaan; and behold, they are in the land of Goshen.”
(Gen 47:2 NASB) And he took five men from among his brothers, and presented them to Pharaoh.
Gen 47:2: Joseph is going to help them speak to Pharaoh. He loves his brothers, but may not have much confidence in their judgment.
(Gen 47:3 NASB) Then Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” So they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers.”
(Gen 47:4 NASB) And they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to sojourn 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 live in the land of Goshen.”
Gen 47:4: They want to dwell in the land of Goshen. Joseph does not want them to stay in the palace of Pharaoh or even in the heart of Egypt. This appears to be an intentional act of Joseph. He knows that his father and brothers have a much bigger part of the bigger plan. They are not to become too “acquainted” with the idea of staying in Egypt.
They were to be “strangers” in the land of Egypt, not residents in that land (Gen. 15:13). The awareness of the fact that they were to be strangers in the land of Egypt is also engrained in Torah (Ex. 22:21, 23:9). It would appear that one of the main reasons Elohim had Israel enslaved for 400 years was so they (we) would know how to treat the stranger among us (Lev. 19:33-34, Deut. 10:19-22).
Israel is to remain set-apart from the world and for the work of Elohim. They could not be a part of Egypt (the world) and become Egyptian.
(Gen 47:5 NASB) Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you.
(Gen 47:6 NASB) “The land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock.”
Gen 47:6: Pharaoh speaks directly to Joseph and not to the brothers. As a matter of fact, he talks as if they aren’t even there. It is as if he is granting Joseph a special favor.
It is interesting that Pharaoh suggested that any among them who are competent could be a chief herdsman over his livestock. This office is mentioned frequently in Egyptian inscriptions since the king possessed vast herds of cattle. Ramses III is said to have employed 3,264 men, mostly foreigners, to care for the royal herds. For them to be officers of the crown grants them legal protection not usually given to aliens.
(Gen 47:7 NASB) Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
(Gen 47:8 NASB) And Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many years have you lived?”
(Gen 47:9 NASB) So Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning.”
(Gen 47:10 NASB) And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from his presence.
Gen 47:10: Pharaoh wanted to know the age of Jacob. He is obviously older than probably any Egyptian. Pharaoh marveled at Jacob’s longevity. Jacob informs Pharaoh that he has not lived long compared to his father and grandfather (Isaac -180 years and Abraham – 175 years).
We do not know much about the blessing Jacob bestowed upon Pharaoh.
(Gen 47:11 NASB) So Joseph settled 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 ordered.
(Gen 47:12 NASB) And Joseph provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to their little ones.
Gen 47:12: When it is mentioned that Joseph provided “according to their little ones” is a reference to the size of their family. Each family was fed as much as they could handle.
(Gen 47:13 NASB) Now there was no food in all the land, because the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.
(Gen 47:14 NASB) And Joseph gathered 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.
Gen 47:14: The famine was horrible. Joseph gathered up all the money that was in Egypt and in Canaan because of the food he sold. Everyone was now broke except for Pharaoh and his household.
Joseph kept none of the money and gave it all to Pharaoh.
(Gen 47:15 NASB) And 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 food, for why should we die in your presence? For our money is gone.”
(Gen 47:16 NASB) Then Joseph said, “Give up your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock, since your money is gone.”
(Gen 47:17 NASB) So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses and the flocks and the herds and the donkeys; and he fed them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year.
Gen 47:17: During this time, the people were becoming wards of the state. They were depending upon the government for their survival. Joseph was now going to take their livestock in exchange for bread.
Why didn’t Joseph hand out all the food instead of making people pay for it with the very last of their possessions?
(Gen 47:18 NASB) And when that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent, and the cattle are my lord’s. There is nothing left for my lord except our bodies and our lands.
(Gen 47:19 NASB) “Why 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 slaves to Pharaoh. So give us seed, that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.”
(Gen 47:20 NASB) So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. Thus the land became Pharaoh’s.
Gen 47:20: Pharaoh got it all. He owned all the money, all the livestock, and now all the land. This might sound cruel to have done it this way, but if Joseph did not ration out the grain to the people and make them pay for it with what they had, even their livestock and land, then there would not be enough food to last the entire seven years.
(Gen 47:21 NASB) And as for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt’s border to the other.
(Gen 47:22 NASB) Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they did not sell their land.
Gen 47:22: Pharaoh saw that the priests were taken care of. Everyone else moved into cities as it was easier to take care of masses of people in an urban city as opposed to a rural one. They could not harvest anyway, so why live in the country?
(Gen 47:23 NASB) Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land.
(Gen 47:24 NASB) “And at the harvest you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own for seed of the field and for your food and for those of your households and as food for your little ones.”
(Gen 47:25 NASB) So they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.”
Gen 47:25: Joseph probably gave them this seed in order to sow the land. The famine must have been coming to an end soon.
(Gen 47:26 NASB) And Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt valid to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s.
(Gen 47:27 NASB) Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous.
Gen 47:27: The people were to be taxed from now on in the land of Egypt. One-fifth of all they grew was to go to Pharaoh and the rest they could keep for themselves. This was the law from that period forward.
(Gen 47:28 NASB) And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the length of Jacob’s life was one hundred and forty-seven years.
(Gen 47:29 NASB) When the time for Israel to die drew near, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “Please, if I have found favor in your sight, place now your hand under my thigh and deal with me in kindness and faithfulness. Please do not bury me in Egypt,
Gen 47:29: Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years which is precisely the amount of time Joseph stayed in Canaan with his father.
The life spans of Jacob, Isaac, and Abraham show us the Elohim is not haphazard in His ways, even if it takes us time to see it. Abraham lived 175 years which is 5 x 5 x 7. Isaac lived 180 years which is 6 x 6 x 5. Jacob lived 147 years which is 7 x 7 x 3. The square increases by one while the multiplier decreases by two.
Once again, the oath is made in the manner that is symbolic of the seed.
(Gen 47:30 NASB) but when I lie down with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” And he said, “I will do as you have said.”
(Gen 47:31 NASB) And he said, “Swear to me.” So he swore to him. Then Israel bowed in worship at the head of the bed.
Gen 47:31: Joseph promises to bury his father in the land given to them by Elohim.
Patrick McGuireCopyright 2015 Patrick McGuire and Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly All rights reserved, no portion of this Lesson may be reproduced in any manner whatsoever without written permission except in the case of brief quotations in articles and reviews. Beit Yeshua Torah Assembly Fort Smith, Arkansas