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.”
491Jacob called for his sons and said, “Gather round, and I will tell you what will happen to you in the future:
2“Come together and listen, sons of Jacob.
Listen to your father Israel.
3“Reuben, my firstborn, you are my strength
And the first child of my manhood,
The proudest and strongest of all my sons.
4You are like a raging flood,
But you will not be the most important,
For you slept with my concubine
And dishonoured your father's bed.
5“Simeon and Levi are brothers.
They use their weapons to commit violence.
6I will not join in their secret talks,
Nor will I take part in their meetings,
For they killed men in anger
And they crippled bulls for sport.
7A curse be on their anger, because it is so fierce,
And on their fury, because it is so cruel.
I will scatter them throughout the land of Israel.
I will disperse them among its people.
8“Judah, your brothers will praise you.
You hold your enemies by the neck.
Your brothers will bow down before you.
Judah is like a lion,
Killing his victim and returning to his den,
Stretching out and lying down.
No one dares disturb him.
10Judah will hold the royal sceptre,
And his descendants will always rule.
Nations will bring him tribute49.10 Probable text Nations… tribute; Hebrew unclear.
And bow in obedience before him.
11He ties his young donkey to a grapevine,
To the very best of the vines.
He washes his clothes in blood-red wine.
12His eyes are bloodshot from drinking wine,
His teeth white from drinking milk.49.12 His eyes… milk; or His eyes are darker than wine, his teeth are whiter than milk.
13“Zebulun will live beside the sea.
His shore will be a haven for ships.
His territory will reach as far as Sidon.
14“Issachar is no better than a donkey
That lies stretched out between its saddlebags.
15But he sees that the resting place is good
And that the land is delightful.
So he bends his back to carry the load
And is forced to work as a slave.
16“Dan will be a ruler for his people.
They will be like the other tribes of Israel.
17Dan will be a snake at the side of the road,
A poisonous snake beside the path,
That strikes at the horse's heel,
So that the rider is thrown off backwards.
18“I wait for your deliverance, LORD.
19“Gad will be attacked by a band of robbers,
But he will turn and pursue them.
20“Asher's land will produce rich food.
He will provide food fit for a king.
21“Naphtali is a deer that runs free,
Who bears lovely fawns.49.21 Naphtali… fawns; or Naphtali is a spreading tree that puts out lovely branches.
22“Joseph is like a wild donkey by a spring,
A wild colt on a hillside.49.22 Joseph… hillside; or Joseph is like a tree by a spring, a fruitful tree that spreads over a wall.
23His enemies attack him fiercely
And pursue him with their bows and arrows.
24But his bow remains steady,
And his arms are made strong49.24 But… strong; or But their bows were broken and splintered, the muscles of their arms torn apart.
By the power of the Mighty God of Jacob,
By the Shepherd, the Protector of Israel.
25It is your father's God who helps you,
The Almighty God who blesses you
With blessings of rain from above
And of deep waters from beneath the ground,
Blessings of many cattle and children,
26Blessings of corn and flowers,49.26 Probable text corn and flowers; Hebrew your fathers are mightier than.
Blessings of ancient mountains,49.26 One ancient translation ancient mountains; Hebrew my ancestors to.
Delightful things from everlasting hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
On the brow of the one set apart from his brothers.
27“Benjamin is like a vicious wolf.
Morning and evening he kills and devours.”
28These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he spoke a suitable word of farewell to each son.
29Then Jacob commanded his sons, “Now that I am going to join my people in death, bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, 30
at Machpelah, east of Mamre, in the land of Canaan. Abraham bought this cave and field from Ephron for a burial ground. 31
That is where they buried Abraham and his wife Sarah; that is where they buried Isaac and his wife Rebecca; and that is where I buried Leah. 32The field and the cave in it were bought from the Hittites. Bury me there.” 33
When Jacob had finished giving instructions to his sons, he lay down again and died.