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Joseph’s Family Settles in Goshen

47 After this, Joseph went to inform Pharaoh. “My father and brothers have come here from Canaan,”[a] he said, “and they’ve come with their flocks, herds, and everything else they have. I settled them in the Goshen territory!” He brought along five of his brothers to present before Pharaoh.

Pharaoh asked his brothers, “What are your occupations?”

“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied, “both we and our ancestors. We’ve come to live for a while[b] in this region, since there is no pasture back in Canaan[c] for your servants’ flocks. May your servants please live in the Goshen territory?”

Then Pharaoh replied to Joseph, “Now that your father and your brothers have come to you, Egypt[d] is at your disposal,[e] so settle your father and brothers in the best part of the land! Let them live in the Goshen territory. If you learn that any of them are especially skilled, put them in charge of my livestock.”

Later, Joseph brought his father Jacob to Pharaoh and introduced him. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. “How old are you?”[f] Pharaoh asked Jacob.

“I’m 130 years old,” Jacob replied. “My years have turned out to be few and unpleasant, but I haven’t yet reached the age my ancestors did during their travels on earth.”[g] 10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and then left the throne room.[h]

11 Joseph settled his father and brothers, assigning them their own land in the best part of Egypt (in the territory of Rameses), just as Pharaoh had ordered. 12 Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and all of his father’s household, proportionate to the number of young children.

The Famine Continues

13 Meanwhile, there continued to be no food throughout the land, because the famine remained very severe. As a result, both Egypt and Canaan languished under the effects of the famine. 14 So Joseph kept on accumulating all the money that was to be found throughout Egypt and Canaan in exchange for the grain that was being purchased. He stored the money in Pharaoh’s palace.

15 After all the money had been spent throughout Egypt and Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and demanded, “Give us food! Why should we die right in front of you? Our money is spent!”

16 “You can surrender your livestock,” Joseph replied. “I’ll feed them in exchange, since your money is gone.”

17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph traded food in exchange for horses, various flocks and herds, and donkeys. He fed them with food in exchange for their livestock during that year.

18 The following year, they came to him and reminded him, “We won’t hide from you, your Excellency, that we’ve spent all of our money, and that our livestock all belong to you. There’s nothing left to trade with you, your Excellency, except our bodies and our territories. 19 So why should we and our land die right in front of you? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we and our land will be slaves to Pharaoh. Give us seed, so we can survive and not die, and so the land won’t stay desolate.”

Pharaoh Gains Control of All of Egypt

20 So Joseph purchased all of the Egyptian territory for Pharaoh. Every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine’s effect was so severe. That’s how Pharaoh came to own the land. 21 Then Joseph transported the people to cities from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not purchase land belonging to the priests, because the priests held an allotment, previously provided to them by Pharaoh, from which they lived. That’s why they did not sell their land.

23 After this, Joseph addressed the people. “Pay attention,” he said. “I’ve bought you and your land for Pharaoh today, in exchange for seed for you. Now go sow the land. 24 When harvest season arrives, you are to provide a fifth of the harvest to Pharaoh. The remaining four fifths are to be for your use, for seed, and to feed you, your households, and your little ones.”

25 “You’ve saved our lives,” they replied. “If it pleases you, your Excellency, we’ll be Pharaoh’s slaves.”

26 So Joseph crafted a statute concerning Egypt that remains valid to this day that Pharaoh should own a fifth of the produce, excluding the land belonging to the priests, which remained outside of Pharaoh’s control.

27 Israel remained in Egypt’s Goshen territory, acquired land there, became prosperous, and his descendants[i] grew very numerous. 28 He lived for seventeen more years in Egypt, until he was 147 years old. 29 As the time approached for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and addressed him. “Please,” he asked, “if you’re happy with me, make a solemn promise[j] that you’ll treat me fairly and kindly by not burying me in Egypt. 30 Instead, when I’ve died, as my ancestors have, you are to carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their tomb.”[k]

“I’ll do what you’ve asked,” Joseph[l] replied.

31 “Promise me,” Israel[m] insisted. So Joseph promised. Then Israel collapsed[n] on his bed.

Footnotes

  1. Genesis 47:1 Lit. from the land of Canaan, and so throughout the chapter
  2. Genesis 47:4 The Heb. lacks for a while
  3. Genesis 47:4 The Heb. lacks back in Canaan
  4. Genesis 47:6 Lit. from the land of Egypt, and so throughout the chapter
  5. Genesis 47:6 Lit. is before you
  6. Genesis 47:8 Lit. How many years have you lived?
  7. Genesis 47:9 The Heb. lacks on earth
  8. Genesis 47:10 Lit. left his presence
  9. Genesis 47:27 The Heb. lacks his descendants
  10. Genesis 47:29 Lit. me, place your hand under my thigh; i.e., make a solemn promise based on the sanctity of the family and commitment to the family line
  11. Genesis 47:30 Lit. place
  12. Genesis 47:30 Lit. he
  13. Genesis 47:31 Lit. he
  14. Genesis 47:31 Lit. Israel bent low

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