Lesson 63 w/AnswersGenesis 46:1-34 Jacob Goes to Egypt
1 So Israel set out with all that was his, and when he reached Beersheba, he
offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
2 And God spoke to Israel in a vision at night and said, "Jacob! Jacob!"
"Here I am," he replied.
3 "I am God, the God of your father," he said. "Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. 4 I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes."
5 Then Jacob left Beersheba, and Israel’s sons took their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. 6 So Jacob and all his offspring went to Egypt, taking with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan. 7 Jacob brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons and his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring.
8 These are the names of the sons of Israel (Jacob and his descendants) who went to Egypt: Reuben the firstborn of Jacob.
9 The sons of Reuben: Hanok, Pallu, Hezron and Karmi.
10 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.
11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath and Merari.
12 The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan).
The sons of Perez: Hezron and Hamul.
13 The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub and Shimron.
14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon and Jahleel.
15 These were the sons Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram, besides his daughter Dinah. These sons and daughters of his were thirty-three in all.
16 The sons of Gad: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi and Areli.
17 The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi and Beriah. Their sister was Serah.
The sons of Beriah: Heber and Malkiel.
18 These were the children born to Jacob by Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah—sixteen in all.
19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 20 In Egypt, Manasseh and Ephraim were born to Joseph by Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On.
21 The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim and Ard.
22 These were the sons of Rachel who were born to Jacob—fourteen in all.
23 The son of Dan: Hushim.
24 The sons of Naphtali: Jahziel, Guni, Jezer and Shillem.
25 These were the sons born to Jacob by Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel—seven in all.
26 All those who went to Egypt with Jacob—those who were his direct descendants, not counting his sons’ wives—numbered sixty-six persons. 27 With the two sons who had been born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob’s family, which went to Egypt, were seventy in all.
28 Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. When they arrived in the region of Goshen, 29 Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time.
30 Israel said to Joseph, "Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive."
31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, "I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ 33 When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34 you should answer, ‘Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians."
Genesis 46:1-34 [NIV]
In this lesson, we see Joseph reunited with his father Jacob (Israel) in Egypt. It has been 22 years since Joseph last saw his father Jacob. Can you imagine that reunion, especially knowing that Jacob believed Joseph had been killed by wild animals? For 22 years, Jacob believed that his son was dead. He had no hope of ever seeing him again, and now Jacob is coming to Egypt to be reunited with him.
As we read about Jacob’s trip to Egypt, we should note how many people were traveling with him, and in addition, "their livestock and the possessions." In Genesis 46:26, we read that the total number of males descended from Jacob and traveling in the caravan were 66, plus their wives. Note that no daughters were mentioned. Also note that the term "possessions" would have included slaves and servants, along with all their livestock. It would have been a large procession for sure, and yet the Pharaoh had been given sufficient information about them that he sent enough carts to transport all of them including the children.
Before Jacob had traveled very far, he had a night vision. Read the first 5 verses of Genesis 46 and answer the following:
- What does God tell Jacob that He is going to do in Egypt for Jacob and his descendants?
- ANSWER: He promises to make Israel into a great nation in Egypt.
- Who does God say will go down into Egypt with them, and who will come back up out of Egypt with
- ANSWER: God tells Israel that He will go with them into Egypt, and He will bring them back out again. When God instructs us to do something, it is worth remembering that God will be with us while we carry out His commands. This would have been very reassuring to Jacob (Israel).
- What is God referring to in Genesis 46:4 when he tells Jacob that "Joseph’s own hand
will close your eyes."? (See also Genesis 50:1-14.)
- ANSWER: God is telling Jacob that he will spend the rest of his life in Egypt, but he, his body, will be brought back to Canaan. In point of fact, God brings all of Jacob’s descendants back to the land of Canaan with the great exodus from Egypt, many years after Jacob’s death.
After Jacob’s night vision and the listing of all of his descendants that traveled with him down into Egypt (Genesis 46:1-28), they leave the land of Canaan and arrive in Goshen, lower Egypt, the Nile Delta region.
Answer the following:
- What prophecy does their arrival in Egypt fulfill according to God’s promise to Abraham?
See Genesis 15:13-16.
- ANSWER: This is seen as the beginning of a 400-year presence in Egypt, including the period of slavery and persecution they suffered prior to Moses leading them out of Egypt as part of the great Exodus. Just as God told Jacob, God comes out of Egypt with them and leads them through the wilderness wanderings and into the Promised Land. It all begins with these seventy sons and male descendants of Jacob.
Joseph, who would have been ruling from Avaris, the Hyksos capital of Egypt located in the Nile Delta region, makes plans to meet his father and the procession in Goshen. As you can see on the map below (courtesy of Wikipedia), the Nile Delta Region is in green at the top of the map. A very fertile area, it would have been perfect for tending flocks, and herds. You will note that Jacob’s procession would have entered this region from the top right. Just below that point, you will note the city of Avaris, the Hyksos’ capital and the location that Joseph would have been ruling from. He would not have had a long journey to meet his father, Jacob.
Now respond to the last question below.
- What happens in Goshen when Joseph is reunited with his father Jacob? (See Genesis 46:28-30)
- ANSWER: As he has done before when he met his brothers, Joseph cries. We can see both father and son embracing for a long period of time. Finally, Israel (Jacob) declares, "Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive."
Figure: Nile Delta Region
Following the reunion, Joseph gives very specific instructions to them that will ensure they remain in the land of Goshen, "for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians."
I believe that the reunion between Joseph and Jacob is a beautiful example of God’s relationship with His creation. He wants to be reunited individually with all of us who have died to sin and need to be reconciled to God. What a great day of rejoicing when that occurs, when a lost and dying sinner accepts the sacrifice Christ made for them, and is born again into God’s eternal kingdom!
"In the same way, I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over
one sinner who repents."
Have a great week everyone!