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Genesis 47-50 Common English Bible (CEB)

47 Joseph went to inform Pharaoh and said, “My father and brothers with their flocks, herds, and everything they own have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the land of Goshen.” From all of his brothers, he selected five men and presented them before Pharaoh.

Pharaoh said to Joseph’s brothers, “What do you do?”

They said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our ancestors.” They continued, “We’ve come to the land as immigrants because the famine is so severe in the land of Canaan that there are no more pastures for your servants’ flocks. Please allow your servants to settle in the land of Goshen.”

Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since your father and brothers have arrived, the land of Egypt is available to you. Settle your father and brothers in the land’s best location. Let them live in the land of Goshen. And if you know capable men among them, put them in charge of my own livestock.”

Joseph brought his father Jacob and gave him an audience with Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?”

Jacob said to Pharaoh, “I’ve been a traveler for 130 years. My years have been few and difficult. They don’t come close to the years my ancestors lived during their travels.” 10 Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left Pharaoh’s presence. 11 Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them property in the land of Egypt, in the best location in the land of Rameses, just as Pharaoh had ordered. 12 Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and his father’s entire household, in proportion to the number of children.

Joseph centralizes power in Egypt

13 There was no food in the land because the famine was so severe. The land of Egypt and the land of Canaan dried up from the famine. 14 Joseph collected all of the silver to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain, which people came to buy, and he deposited it in Pharaoh’s treasury. 15 The silver from the land of Egypt and from the land of Canaan had been spent, and all of the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes, just because the silver is gone?”

16 Joseph said, “Give me your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock if the silver is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food for the horses, flocks, cattle, and donkeys. He got them through that year with food in exchange for all of their livestock.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We can’t hide from my master that the silver is spent and that we’ve given the livestock to my master. All that’s left for my master is our corpses and our farmland. 19 Why should we die before your eyes, we and our farmland too? Buy us and our farms for food, and we and our farms will be under Pharaoh’s control. Give us seed so that we can stay alive and not die, and so that our farmland won’t become unproductive.” 20 So Joseph bought all of Egypt’s farmland for Pharaoh because every Egyptian sold his field when the famine worsened. So the land became Pharaoh’s. 21 He moved the people to the cities[a] from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he didn’t buy the farmland of the priests because Pharaoh allowed the priests a subsidy, and they were able to eat from the subsidy Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they didn’t have to sell their farmland.

23 Joseph said to the people, “Since I’ve now purchased you and your farmland for Pharaoh, here’s seed for you. Plant the seed on the land. 24 When the crop comes in, you must give one-fifth to Pharaoh. You may keep four-fifths for yourselves, for planting fields, and for feeding yourselves, those in your households, and your children.”

25 The people said, “You’ve saved our lives. If you wish, we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 26 So Joseph made a law that still exists today: Pharaoh receives one-fifth from Egypt’s farmland. Only the priests’ farmland didn’t become Pharaoh’s.

Jacob blesses Ephraim and Manasseh

27 Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. They settled in it, had many children, and became numerous. 28 After Jacob had lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years, and after he had lived a total of 147 years, 29 Israel’s death approached. He summoned his son Joseph and said to him, “If you would be so kind, lay your hand under my thigh, and be loyal and true to me. Don’t bury me in Egypt. 30 When I lie down with my fathers, carry me from Egypt and bury me in their grave.”

Joseph said, “I will do just as you say.”

31 Israel said, “Give me your word!” and Joseph gave his word. Then Israel slumped down at the head of the bed.

48 After this happened, Joseph was told,[b] “Your father is getting weaker,” so he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. When Jacob was informed,[c] “Your son Joseph is here now,” he[d] pulled himself together and sat up in bed. Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty[e] appeared to me in Luz in the land of Canaan. He blessed me and said to me, ‘I am about to give you many children, to increase your numbers, and to make you a large group of peoples. I will give this land to your descendants following you as an enduring possession.’ Now, your two sons born to you in the land of Egypt before I arrived in Egypt are my own. Ephraim and Manasseh are just like Reuben and Simeon to me. Your family who is born to you after them are yours, but their inheritance will be determined under their brothers’ names. When I came back from Paddan-aram,[f] Rachel died, to my sorrow, on the road in the land of Canaan, with some distance yet to go to Ephrathah, so I buried her there near the road to Ephrathah,[g] which is Bethlehem.”

When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”

Joseph told his father, “They’re my sons, whom God gave me here.”

Israel said, “Bring them to me and I will bless them.” 10 Because Israel’s eyesight had failed from old age and he wasn’t able to see, Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed and embraced them.

11 Israel said to Joseph, “I didn’t expect I’d see your face, but now God has shown me your children too.” 12 Then Joseph took them from Israel’s knees, and he bowed low with his face to the ground. 13 Joseph took both of them, Ephraim in his right hand at Israel’s left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand at Israel’s right hand, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel put out his right hand and placed it on the head of Ephraim, the younger one, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands because Manasseh was the oldest son. 15 He blessed them[h] and said,

“May the God before whom my fathers
        Abraham and Isaac walked,
may the God who was my shepherd
        from the beginning until this day,
16 may the divine messenger who protected me from all harm,
        bless the young men.
Through them may my name be kept alive
        and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac.
May they grow into a great multitude
        throughout the land.”

17 When Joseph saw that his father had placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head, he was upset and grasped his father’s hand to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to his father, “No, my father! This is the oldest son. Put your right hand on his head.”

19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He’ll become a people too, and he’ll also be great. But his younger brother will be greater than he will, and his descendants will become many nations.” 20 Israel blessed them that day, saying,

“Through you, Israel will pronounce blessings, saying,
        ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So Israel put Ephraim before Manasseh. 21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I’m about to die. God will be with you and return you to the land of your fathers. 22 I’m giving you one portion more than to your brothers,[i] a portion that I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

Jacob reveals his sons’ destinies

49 Jacob summoned his sons and said, “Gather around so that I can tell you what will happen to you in the coming days.

Assemble yourselves and listen, sons of Jacob;
        listen to Israel your father.
Reuben, you are my oldest son,
    my strength and my first contender,[j]
    superior in status and superior in might.
As wild as the waters, you won’t endure,
    for you went up to your father’s bed,
    you went up[k] and violated my couch.
Simeon and Levi are brothers,
        weapons of violence their stock in trade.
May I myself never enter their council.
May my honor never be linked to their group;
        for when they were angry, they killed men,
        and whenever they wished, they maimed oxen.
Cursed be their anger; it is violent,
        their rage; it is relentless.
I’ll divide them up within Jacob
        and disperse them within Israel.
Judah, you are the one your brothers will honor;
        your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
        your father’s sons will bow down to you.
Judah is a lion’s cub;
        from the prey, my son, you rise up.
He lies down and crouches like a lion;
        like a lioness—who dares disturb him?
10 The scepter won’t depart from Judah,
        nor the ruler’s staff from among his banners.[l]
Gifts will be brought to him;
        people will obey him.
11 He ties his male donkey to the vine,
        the colt of his female donkey to the vine’s branches.
He washes his clothes in wine,
        his garments in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
        and his teeth whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun will live at the seashore;
        he’ll live at the harbor of ships,
        his border will be at Sidon.
14 Issachar is a sturdy donkey,
        bedding down beside the village hearths.[m]
15 He saw that a resting place was good
        and that the land was pleasant.
He lowered his shoulder to haul loads
        and joined the work gangs.
16 Dan[n] will settle disputes for his people,
        as one of Israel’s tribes.
17 Dan will be a snake on the road,
        a serpent on the path,
biting a horse’s heels,
        so its rider falls backward.
18 I long for your victory, Lord.
19 Gad[o] will be attacked by attackers,
        but he’ll attack their back.
20 Asher[p] grows fine foods,
        and he will supply the king’s delicacies.
21 Naphtali is a wild doe
        that gives birth to beautiful fawns.[q]
22 Joseph is a young bull,[r]
        a young bull by a spring,
        who strides with oxen.[s]
23 They attacked him fiercely and fired arrows;
        the archers attacked him furiously.
24 But his bow stayed strong,
        and his forearms were nimble,[t]
            by the hands of the strong one of Jacob,
            by the name of the shepherd, the rock of Israel,
25                 by God, your father, who supports you,
            by the Almighty[u] who blesses you
                with blessings from the skies above
                and blessings from the deep sea below,
                blessings from breasts and womb.
26 The blessings of your father exceed
            the blessings of the eternal mountains,[v]
            the wealth of the everlasting hills.
        May they all rest on Joseph’s head,
            on the forehead of the one set apart from his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a wolf who hunts:
        in the morning he devours the prey;
        in the evening he divides the plunder.”

28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them. He blessed them by giving each man his own particular blessing.

Jacob’s death and burial

29 Jacob ordered them, “I am soon to join my people. Bury me with my ancestors in the cave that’s in the field of Ephron the Hittite; 30 in the cave that’s in the field of Machpelah near Mamre in the land of Canaan that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial property. 31 That is where Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and where Isaac and his wife Rebekah are buried, and where I buried Leah. 32 It is the field and the cave in it that belonged to the Hittites.” 33 After he finished giving orders to his sons, he put his feet up on the bed, took his last breath, and joined his people.

50 Joseph fell across his father’s body, wept over him, and kissed him. Joseph then ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel. They mourned for him forty days because that is the period required for embalming. Then the Egyptians mourned him for seventy days. After the period of mourning had passed, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s household: “If you approve my request, give Pharaoh this message: My father made me promise, telling me, ‘I’m about to die. You must bury me in the tomb I dug for myself in the land of Canaan.’ Now, let me leave and let me bury my father, and then I will return.”

Pharaoh replied, “Go, bury your father as you promised.”

So Joseph left to bury his father. All of Pharaoh’s servants went with him, together with the elder statesmen in his household and all of the elder statesmen in the land of Egypt, Joseph’s entire household, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only the children, flocks, and cattle remained in the land of Goshen. Even chariots and horsemen went with him; it was a huge collection of people. 10 When they arrived at the threshing floor of Atad on the other side of the Jordan River, they observed a solemn, deeply sorrowful period of mourning. He grieved seven days for his father.

11 When the Canaanites who lived in the land saw the observance of grief on Atad’s threshing floor, they said, “This is a solemn observance of grief by the Egyptians.” Therefore, its name is Abel-mizraim.[w] It is on the other side of the Jordan River. 12 Israel’s sons did for him just as he had ordered. 13 His sons carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah near Mamre, which Abraham had purchased as burial property from Ephron the Hittite. 14 Then[x] Joseph returned to Egypt, he, his brothers, and everyone who left with him to bury his father.

Joseph and his brothers in Egypt

15 When Joseph’s brothers realized that their father was now dead, they said, “What if Joseph bears a grudge against us, and wants to pay us back seriously for all of the terrible things we did to him?” 16 So they approached[y] Joseph and said, “Your father gave orders before he died, telling us, 17 ‘This is what you should say to Joseph. “Please, forgive your brothers’ sins and misdeeds, for they did terrible things to you. Now, please forgive the sins of the servants of your father’s God.”’” Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

18 His brothers wept[z] too, fell down in front of him, and said, “We’re here as your slaves.”

19 But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I God? 20 You planned something bad for me, but God produced something good from it, in order to save the lives of many people, just as he’s doing today. 21 Now, don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.” So he put them at ease and spoke reassuringly to them.

22 Thus Joseph lived in Egypt, he and his father’s household. Joseph lived 110 years 23 and saw Ephraim’s grandchildren. The children of Machir, Manasseh’s son, were also born on Joseph’s knees. 24 Joseph said to his brothers, “I’m about to die. God will certainly take care of you and bring you out of this land to the land he promised to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.” 25 Joseph made Israel’s sons promise, “When God takes care of you, you must bring up my bones out of here.” 26 Joseph died when he was 110 years old. They embalmed him and placed him in a coffin in Egypt.

Footnotes:

  1. Genesis 47:21 Sam, LXX he made the people slaves
  2. Genesis 48:1 LXX, Syr, Tg, Vulg; MT he told
  3. Genesis 48:2 LXX; MT he informed
  4. Genesis 48:2 Heb Israel
  5. Genesis 48:3 Heb El Shaddai or God of the Mountain
  6. Genesis 48:7 Sam, LXX, Syr; MT lacks aram.
  7. Genesis 48:7 Sam; MT Ephrath
  8. Genesis 48:15 LXX; MT Joseph
  9. Genesis 48:22 Heb uncertain
  10. Genesis 49:3 Or first of my power
  11. Genesis 49:4 LXX; MT he went up
  12. Genesis 49:10 Sam; MT his feet
  13. Genesis 49:14 Or stubbornly lying beneath its saddlebags
  14. Genesis 49:16 Or he judges, or settles disputes
  15. Genesis 49:19 Or he attacks or good fortune
  16. Genesis 49:20 LXX, Syr, Vulg; MT from Asher
  17. Genesis 49:21 Or who gives beautiful words
  18. Genesis 49:22 Heb uncertain
  19. Genesis 49:22 Heb uncertain
  20. Genesis 49:24 Heb uncertain; or flexible
  21. Genesis 49:25 Heb Shaddai or the Mountain One
  22. Genesis 49:26 LXX; Heb uncertain
  23. Genesis 50:11 Or the Egyptians’ observance of grief
  24. Genesis 50:14 LXX; MT includes after he buried his father.
  25. Genesis 50:16 LXX, Syr; MT they commanded
  26. Genesis 50:18 Or came
Common English Bible (CEB)

Copyright © 2011 by Common English Bible

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