Genesis 47

Joseph works well for his master Pharaoh

1 Joseph went to Pharaoh. He told him, ‘My father and brothers, and all their animals are now in Goshen. They have come from Canaan. And they have brought everything that belongs to them.’ 2 Joseph chose 5 of his brothers. And he took them to Pharaoh. 3 Pharaoh asked the brothers, ‘What is your job?’ The brothers replied, ‘We are shepherds. And our ancestors were shepherds.’ 4 They said to Pharaoh, ‘We have come here because the famine is very bad in Canaan. We would like to stay here for a short time because our animals do not have any grass to eat. Now, please let us, who are your servants, stay in Goshen.’ 5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, ‘Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6 The land of Egypt is here for them. Your fathers and brothers can stay in the best part of the land. They can live in Goshen. You may know some of them who are good at what they do. If you do, then they can keep my own animals safe.’

7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in to Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 Then Pharaoh asked Jacob, ‘How old are you?’ 9 Jacob replied, ‘I have been alive for 130 years. My years have been few, and difficult. And I am not as old as my ancestors were.’

47:9Abraham was alive for 175 years (25:7). And Isaac was alive for 180 years (35:28).

10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left him. 11 So Joseph's father and brothers stayed in Egypt. And Joseph gave them houses in the best part of the land. This was in the place called Rameses. Joseph did as Pharaoh had told him to.

47:11Rameses is the Egyptian name for Goshen.

12 Joseph also gave food to his father, his brothers and all his father's household. He gave them enough food for themselves and all their children.

13 But, because the famine was bad, no food grew in all of Egypt. Everyone in Egypt and Canaan was hungry and thin. This was because they had no food to eat. 14 Joseph had all the money in Egypt. He received it from the people in return for food. And Joseph brought all the money to Pharaoh's palace. 15 Soon the people did not have any more money. Everyone came to Joseph and said, ‘Give us food. Do not let us die. We do not have any more money.’ 16 And Joseph replied, ‘Then bring me your animals. Because you do not have any more money, I will give you food. But you must give me your animals in return.’ 17 So the people brought their animals to Joseph. And he sold them food in return for their animals. They brought horses, sheep, goats, cows and donkeys. And Joseph sold them enough food for the year. They used their animals to buy the food. 18 The year ended. And the people came to Joseph again and said, ‘You know that we do not have any money. And our animals now belong to you. We have nothing left to sell. We only have our land and ourselves. 19 Do not let us die! And do not let our fields stay empty because we do not have seed to plant. Give us food. And we will be Pharaoh's slaves. And our land will belong to Pharaoh. Give us seed to plant. Give it to us so that we will not die. And then our fields will not be empty.’

20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. Because the famine was very bad, all the Egyptians sold their fields for food. So Pharaoh owned all the land. 21 And all the people in Egypt worked for Pharaoh. They were like slaves. 22 But Joseph did not buy the land belonging to the tribe of the priests. He did not buy it because Pharaoh gave the priests enough food. So the priests did not sell their land. 23 Joseph said to the people, ‘I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. Now I will give you some seed to plant in the fields. 24 But when the plants are ready to eat, you must give one part in every five parts to Pharaoh. You may keep the other four parts. You may keep it for seed to plant again. And for food for you, your households and your children.’ 25 The people said, ‘You have not let us die. So we agree to be slaves of the king.’ 26 So Joseph made a law about the land of Egypt. The law was that one part in every five parts of all food grown, belonged to Pharaoh. Only the land that belonged to the priests did not belong to Pharaoh. And this law is still obeyed today.

47:26Verse 26, ‘still obeyed today’ means that the law was still obeyed when Genesis was written.

27 For all of that time, the Israelites stayed in Goshen. They had property there. And they had many children. 28 Jacob lived in Egypt for 17 years. And he lived for 147 years in all.

29 The time came for Israel (that is Jacob) to die. So he called for his son Joseph. Jacob said to him, ‘If you agree, put your hand under my thigh. And promise that you will be kind to me. And promise that you will do as I ask. Do not bury me in Egypt.’

47:29Joseph put his hand under Jacob's thigh. He was promising to do as Jacob asked. He put his hand under Jacob's thigh to show this. (See also 24:2.) The thigh is the top of the leg.

30 Jacob said, ‘When I die, carry my body out of Egypt. And bury me where my ancestors are buried.’ Joseph said, ‘I will do as you say.’ 31 Jacob said, ‘Promise me.’ Then Joseph made a promise to him. And Israel rested on the top of his staff and worshipped there.