461Jacob packed up all he had and went to Beersheba, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2God spoke to him in a vision at night and called, “Jacob, Jacob!”
“Yes, here I am,” he answered.
3“I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go to Egypt; I will make your descendants a great nation there. 4I will go with you to Egypt, and I will bring your descendants back to this land. Joseph will be with you when you die.”
5Jacob set out from Beersheba. His sons put him, their small children, and their wives in the wagons which the king of Egypt had sent. 6
They took their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in Canaan and went to Egypt. Jacob took all his descendants with him: 7his sons, his grandsons, his daughters, and his granddaughters.
8The members of Jacob's family who went to Egypt with him were his eldest son Reuben 9and Reuben's sons: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10Simeon and his sons: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman. 11Levi and his sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12Judah and his sons: Shelah, Perez, and Zerah. (Judah's other sons, Er and Onan, had died in Canaan.) Perez' sons were Hezron and Hamul. 13Issachar and his sons: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron. 14Zebulun and his sons: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15These are the sons that Leah had borne to Jacob in Mesopotamia, besides his daughter Dinah. In all, his descendants by Leah numbered 33.
16Gad and his sons: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arod, and Areli. 17Asher and his sons: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah's sons were Heber and Malchiel. 18These sixteen are the descendants of Jacob by Zilpah, the slave woman whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah.
19Jacob's wife Rachel bore him two sons: Joseph and Benjamin. 20
In Egypt Joseph had two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, by Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, a priest in Heliopolis. 21Benjamin's sons were Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22These fourteen are the descendants of Jacob by Rachel.
23Dan and his son Hushim. 24Naphtali and his sons: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25These seven are the descendants of Jacob by Bilhah, the slave woman whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel.
26The total number of the direct descendants of Jacob who went to Egypt was 66, not including his sons' wives. 27
Two sons were born to Joseph in Egypt, bringing to seventy the total number of Jacob's family who went there.
28Jacob sent Judah ahead to ask Joseph to meet them in Goshen. When they arrived, 29Joseph got in his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father. When they met, Joseph threw his arms round his father's neck and cried for a long time. 30Jacob said to Joseph, “I am ready to die, now that I have seen you and know that you are still alive.”
31Then Joseph said to his brothers and the rest of his father's family, “I must go and tell the king that my brothers and all my father's family, who were living in Canaan, have come to me. 32I will tell him that you are shepherds and take care of livestock and that you have brought your flocks and herds and everything else that belongs to you. 33When the king calls for you and asks what your occupation is, 34be sure to tell him that you have taken care of livestock all your lives, just as your ancestors did. In this way he will let you live in the region of Goshen.” Joseph said this because Egyptians will have nothing to do with shepherds.
471So Joseph took five of his brothers and went to the king. He said, “My father and my brothers have come from Canaan with their flocks, their herds, and all that they own. They are now in the region of Goshen.” 2He then presented his brothers to the king. 3The king asked them, “What is your occupation?”
“We are shepherds, sir, just as our ancestors were,” they answered. 4“We have come to live in this country, because in the land of Canaan the famine is so severe that there is no pasture for our flocks. Please give us permission to live in the region of Goshen.” 5The king said to Joseph, “Now that your father and your brothers have arrived, 6the land of Egypt is theirs. Let them settle in the region of Goshen, the best part of the land. And if there are any capable men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.”
7Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to the king. Jacob gave the king his blessing, 8and the king asked him, “How old are you?”
9Jacob answered, “My life of wandering has lasted 130 years. Those years have been few and difficult, unlike the long years of my ancestors in their wanderings.” 10Jacob gave the king a farewell blessing and left. 11Then Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt, giving them property in the best of the land near the city of Rameses, as the king had commanded. 12Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and all the rest of his father's family, including the very youngest.
13The famine was so severe that there was no food anywhere, and the people of Egypt and Canaan became weak with hunger. 14As they bought corn, Joseph collected all the money and took it to the palace. 15When all the money in Egypt and Canaan was spent, the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food! Don't let us die. Do something! Our money is all gone.”
16Joseph answered, “Bring your livestock; I will give you food in exchange for it if your money is all gone.” 17So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, sheep, goats, cattle, and donkeys. That year he supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock.
18The following year they came to him and said, “We will not hide the fact from you, sir, that our money is all gone and our livestock belongs to you. There is nothing left to give you except our bodies and our lands. 19Don't let us die. Do something! Don't let our fields be deserted. Buy us and our land in exchange for food. We will be the king's slaves, and he will own our land. Give us corn to keep us alive and seed to sow in our fields.”
20Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for the king. Every Egyptian was forced to sell his land, because the famine was so severe; and all the land became the king's property. 21Joseph made slaves of the people from one end of Egypt to the other. 22The only land he did not buy was the land that belonged to the priests. They did not have to sell their lands, because the king gave them an allowance to live on. 23Joseph said to the people, “You see, I have now bought you and your lands for the king. Here is seed for you to sow in your fields. 24At the time of harvest you must give a fifth to the king. You can use the rest for seed and for food for yourselves and your families.”
25They answered, “You have saved our lives; you have been good to us, sir, and we will be the king's slaves.” 26So Joseph made it a law for the land of Egypt that a fifth of the harvest should belong to the king. This law still remains in force today. Only the lands of the priests did not become the king's property.
27The Israelites lived in Egypt in the region of Goshen, where they became rich and had many children. 28Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen years, until he was 147 years old. 29
When the time drew near for him to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “Place your hand between my thighs47.29 Place… thighs: See 24.2. and make a solemn vow that you will not bury me in Egypt. 30I want to be buried where my fathers are; carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”
Joseph answered, “I will do as you say.”
31Jacob said, “Make a vow that you will.” Joseph made the vow, and Jacob gave thanks there on his bed.
481Some time later Joseph was told that his father was ill. So he took his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, and went to see Jacob. 2When Jacob was told that his son Joseph had come to see him, he gathered his strength and sat up in bed. 3
Jacob said to Joseph, “Almighty God appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 4He said to me, ‘I will give you many children, so that your descendants will become many nations; I will give this land to your descendants as their possession for ever.’ ”
5Jacob continued, “Joseph, your two sons, who were born to you in Egypt before I came here, belong to me; Ephraim and Manasseh are just as much my sons as Reuben and Simeon. 6If you have any more sons, they will not be considered mine; the inheritance they get will come through Ephraim and Manasseh. 7
I am doing this because of your mother Rachel. To my great sorrow she died in the land of Canaan, not far from Ephrath, as I was returning from Mesopotamia. I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.” (Ephrath is now known as Bethlehem.)
8When Jacob saw Joseph's sons, he asked, “Who are these boys?”
9Joseph answered, “These are my sons, whom God has given me here in Egypt.”
Jacob said, “Bring them to me so that I may bless them.” 10Jacob's eyesight was failing because of his age, and he could not see very well. Joseph brought the boys to him, and he hugged them and kissed them. 11Jacob said to Joseph, “I never expected to see you again, and now God has even let me see your children.” 12Then Joseph took them from Jacob's lap and bowed down before him with his face to the ground.
13Joseph put Ephraim at Jacob's left and Manasseh at his right. 14But Jacob crossed his hands, and put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, even though he was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, who was the elder. 15Then he blessed Joseph:48.15 Joseph: In blessing Ephraim and Manasseh, Jacob was in fact blessing Joseph.
“May the God whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac served bless these boys!
May God, who has led me to this very day, bless them!
16May the angel, who has rescued me from all harm, bless them!
May my name and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac live on through these boys!
May they have many children, many descendants!”
17Joseph was upset when he saw that his father had put his right hand on Ephraim's head; so he took his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to the head of Manasseh. 18He said to his father, “Not that way, father. This is the elder boy; put your right hand on his head.”
19His father refused, saying, “I know, my son, I know. Manasseh's descendants will also become a great people. But his younger brother will be greater than he, and his descendants will become great nations.”
So he blessed them that day, saying, “The Israelites will use your names when they pronounce blessings. They will say, ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’ ” In this way Jacob put Ephraim before Manasseh.
21Then Jacob said to Joseph, “As you see, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will take you back to the land of your ancestors. 22It is to you and not to your brothers that I am giving Shechem, that fertile region which I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”