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Genesis 47 Contemporary English Version (CEV)

47 1-2 Joseph took five of his brothers to the king and told him, “My father and my brothers have come from Canaan. They have brought their sheep, goats, cattle, and everything else they own to the region of Goshen.”

Then he introduced his brothers to the king, who asked them, “What do you do for a living?”

“Sir, we are shepherds,” was their answer. “Our families have always raised sheep. But in our country all the pastures are dried up, and our sheep have no grass to eat. So we, your servants, have come here. Please let us live in the region of Goshen.”

The king said to Joseph, “It’s good that your father and brothers have arrived. I will let them live anywhere they choose in the land of Egypt, but I suggest that they settle in Goshen, the best part of our land. I would also like for your finest shepherds to watch after my own sheep and goats.”

Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and introduced him to the king. Jacob gave the king his blessing, and the king asked him, “How old are you?”

Jacob answered, “I have lived only a hundred thirty years, and I have had to move from place to place. My parents and my grandparents also had to move from place to place. But they lived much longer, and their life was not as hard as mine.” 10 Then Jacob gave the king his blessing once again and left. 11 Joseph obeyed the king’s orders and gave his father and brothers some of the best land in Egypt near the city of Rameses. 12 Joseph also provided food for their families.

A Famine in Egypt

13 The famine was bad everywhere in Egypt and Canaan, and the people were suffering terribly. 14 So Joseph sold them the grain that had been stored up, and he put the money[a] in the king’s treasury. 15 But when everyone had run out of money, the Egyptians came to Joseph and demanded, “Give us more grain! If you don’t, we’ll soon be dead, because our money’s all gone.”

16 “If you don’t have any money,” Joseph answered, “give me your animals, and I’ll let you have some grain.” 17 From then on, they brought him their horses and donkeys and their sheep and goats in exchange for grain.

Within a year Joseph had collected every animal in Egypt. 18 Then the people came to him and said:

Sir, there’s no way we can hide the truth from you. We are broke, and we don’t have any more animals. We have nothing left except ourselves and our land. 19 Don’t let us starve and our land be ruined. If you’ll give us grain to eat and seed to plant, we’ll sell ourselves and our land to the king.[b] We’ll become his slaves.

20 The famine became so severe that Joseph finally bought every piece of land in Egypt for the king 21 and made everyone the king’s slaves,[c] 22 except the priests. The king gave the priests a regular food allowance, so they did not have to sell their land. 23 Then Joseph said to the people, “You and your land now belong to the king. I’m giving you seed to plant, 24 but one-fifth of your crops must go to the king. You can keep the rest as seed or as food for your families.”

25 “Sir, you have saved our lives!” they answered. “We are glad to be slaves of the king.” 26 Then Joseph made a law that one-fifth of the harvest would always belong to the king. Only the priests did not lose their land.

Jacob Becomes an Old Man

27 The people of Israel made their home in the land of Goshen, where they became prosperous and had large families. 28 Jacob himself lived there for seventeen years, before dying at the age of one hundred forty-seven. 29 When Jacob knew he did not have long to live, he called in Joseph and said, “If you really love me, you must make a solemn promise not to bury me in Egypt. 30 Instead, bury me in the place where my ancestors are buried.”

“I will do what you have asked,” Joseph answered.

31 “Will you give me your word?” Jacob asked.

“Yes, I will,” Joseph promised. After this, Jacob bowed down and prayed at the head of his bed.

Footnotes:

  1. 47.14 money: See the note at 42.25.
  2. 47.19 the king: See the note at 12.15.
  3. 47.21 made. . . slaves: One ancient translation and the Samaritan Hebrew Text; the Standard Hebrew Text “made everyone move to the cities.”

Genesis 47 New International Version (NIV)

47 Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.

Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”

“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.”

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.

Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh. After Jacob blessed[a] Pharaoh, Pharaoh asked him, “How old are you?”

And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. My years have been few and difficult, and they do not equal the years of the pilgrimage of my fathers. 10 Then Jacob blessed[b] Pharaoh and went out from his presence.

11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. 12 Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their children.

Joseph and the Famine

13 There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14 Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh’s palace. 15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”

16 “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone. 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”

20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude,[c] from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.”

25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”

26 So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt—still in force today—that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s.

27 Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.

28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”

“I will do as you say,” he said.

31 “Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.[d]

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 47:7 Or greeted
  2. Genesis 47:10 Or said farewell to
  3. Genesis 47:21 Samaritan Pentateuch and Septuagint (see also Vulgate); Masoretic Text and he moved the people into the cities
  4. Genesis 47:31 Or Israel bowed down at the head of his bed
New International Version (NIV)

Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

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