Click here to read Genesis 46:1-47:27

Today’s passage focuses on Jacob’s (and his family’s) migration to Egypt, that it is the will of God, and the results of the move.

The passage begins with Jacob stopping at Beersheba on his way to Egypt and offering sacrifices. God appears to Jacob in a dream that night and tells him that he shouldn’t be afraid to move and that it is indeed His will for Jacob and all his family to move to Egypt.  And in the process of assuring Abraham, God also refers to Himself as the “God of your father,” assuring Jacob that the promises that have been made to his father and to him are still good.  Jacob and his family then continue on their trip to Egypt, knowing that the promises God has made to them are secure.

Like a number of other times, God also blesses them greatly as they settle in Egypt in accordance with His will.  In this passage God blesses both the offspring of Jacob and all of Egypt through Joseph. Joseph wisely (and honestly) guides his family though their meeting with Pharaoh.  The end result is that they are able to settle in the best part of the land of Goshen and we are told that during their time there they were “fruitful and increased greatly in number.”  Through the prejudices of the Egyptian people and the generosity of Pharaoh (and ultimately thanks to God) they are able to profit greatly in Egypt.

And what’s more is that God blesses all of Egypt through Joseph.  Because of Joseph’s previous response to the dreams that God gave Pharaoh and the wise management of the supply, the nations of Egypt is able to avoid being destroyed during the famine.  In addition to this, Pharaoh is greatly blessed, too.

This passage helps to set up the historical backdrop for the next book, the book of Exodus. However, before all of those events take place we see that God blesses the sons of Jacob in the land of Egypt and through them Egypt is also blessed.  The picture is one of the Israelite people and Egyptians able to live together, both prospering, and one in which Pharaoh recognizes Joseph, his character, and that God is with him.

Names Places
Major 

God – God

Jacob/Israel – Joseph’s father

Joseph – favorite son of Jacob

Pharaoh – ruler of Egypt

Major 

Beersheba – “well of oath” – where Abraham planted a tree and Isaac lived

Egypt – where Joseph finally ended up

Canaan – where Joseph’s family lived

Goshen – where Joseph’s family would live

“district of Ramses” – the specific area of Goshen where Joseph’s family would live

Minor  

66 people who travelled to Egypt – sons of Jacob, their spouses and their little ones

Minor 

none

Interesting fact:

It seems likely that Jacob stopped at Beersheba to sacrifice to make sure that he wasn’t going against God’s will.  Previously God had directed Jacob and given him His blessing before Jacob moved.  It would have been exciting for Jacob to see his son again, but he would have also realized that he was leaving the land that God had promised to him and his offspring.  It is even possible that Jacob had remembered the promise God had made to Abraham concerning the offspring of Abraham being slaves in a foreign land.  Fortunately God appears to Jacob here and tells him that he should not fear travelling to Egypt.

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