God’s Renewing Word of Mercy and Forgiveness
Genesis 46:28—47:12: Joseph is reunited with his father, and Jacob and his family settle in Egypt in the region of Goshen, the northeastern part of Egypt in the Nile Delta.
Jacob and His Family in Egypt
28 Jacob sent Judah ahead to ask Joseph to meet them in Goshen. When they arrived, 29 Joseph got in his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father. When they met, Joseph threw his arms around his father’s neck and cried for a long time. 30 Jacob said to Joseph, “I am ready to die, now that I have seen you and know that you are still alive.”
31 Then 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. 32 I 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. 33 When the king calls for you and asks what your occupation is, 34 be 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.
47 So Joseph took five of his brothers and went to the king. He told him, “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.” 2 He then presented his brothers to the king. 3 The 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.” 5 The king said to Joseph, “Now that your father and your brothers have arrived, 6 the 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.”
7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to the king. Jacob gave the king his blessing, 8 and the king asked him, “How old are you?”
9 Jacob answered, “My life of wandering has lasted a hundred and thirty years. Those years have been few and difficult, unlike the long years of my ancestors in their wanderings.” 10 Jacob gave the king a farewell blessing and left. 11 Then 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. 12 Joseph provided food for his father, his brothers, and all the rest of his father’s family, including the very youngest.
Today’s Key Verse: Genesis 46:29b
When they met, Joseph threw his arms around his father’s neck and cried for a long time.
How do you envision the reunion between Joseph and his father? Have you ever experienced a reunion with a loved one? Reread 46:31-34. Egyptians thought that wandering sheep-herders from the east were inferior and did not like to mix with them. Joseph wanted the king to know that his brothers were shepherds so that the king would give them their own area of land (Goshen), apart from Egypt’s main population. What did Joseph instruct his brothers to say to the king when questioned about their occupation?
Gracious God, as you watch over me each day, I sense your loving arms enfolding me. May I continue to grow in knowledge of you, trusting that you are guiding me in the way of your truth. Amen.
Genesis 47:13-31: The famine in Egypt and Canaan becomes more severe.