Jacob’s Family Settles in Goshen
47 Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and their herds and all that they own, have come from the land of Canaan, and they are in the land of Goshen.” 2 He took five men from among his brothers and presented them to Pharaoh. 3 And Pharaoh said to his brothers [as Joseph expected], “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers [before us].” 4 Moreover, they said to Pharaoh, “We have come to live temporarily (sojourn) in the land [of Egypt], for there is no pasture for the flocks of your servants [in our land], for the famine is very severe in Canaan. So now, please let your servants live in the land of Goshen.” 5 Then Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, saying, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6 The land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land. Let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know of any men of ability among them, [a]put them in charge of my livestock.”
7 Then Joseph brought Jacob (Israel) his father and presented him before Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 And Pharaoh asked Jacob, [b]“How old are you?” 9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The [c]years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty. Few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, and they have [d]not reached the years that my fathers lived during the days of their pilgrimage.” 10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and departed from his presence. 11 So Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them a possession in Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses (Goshen), as Pharaoh commanded. 12 Joseph provided and supplied his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to [the needs of] their children.
13 Now [in the course of time] there was no food in all the land, for the famine was distressingly severe, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan languished [in destitution and starvation] because of the famine. 14 Joseph gathered all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan [in payment] for the grain which they bought, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house. 15 And when the money was exhausted in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food! Why should we die before your very eyes? For our money is gone.” 16 Joseph said, “Give up your livestock, and I will give you food in exchange for your livestock, since the money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for the horses and the flocks and the herds and the donkeys; and he supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year. 18 When that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord [the fact] that our money is spent; my lord also has our herds of livestock; there is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our lands. 19 Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we and our land will be servants to Pharaoh. And give us seed [to plant], that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.”
Result of the Famine
20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for every Egyptian sold his field because the famine was severe upon them. So the land became Pharaoh’s. 21 And as for the people, he relocated them [temporarily] to cities from one end of Egypt’s border to the other. 22 Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived on the amount which Pharaoh gave them, so they did not sell their land. 23 Then Joseph said to the people, “Look, today I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you shall plant the land. 24 At harvest time [when you reap the increase] you shall give one-fifth of it to Pharaoh, and four-fifths will be your own to use for seed for the field and as food for you and those of your households and for your little ones.” 25 And they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.” 26 And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt—valid to this [e]day—that Pharaoh should have the fifth part [of the crops]; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s.
27 Now [the people of] Israel lived in the country of Egypt, in [the land of] Goshen, and they gained possessions and acquired property there and were fruitful and multiplied greatly. 28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the [f]length of Jacob’s life was a hundred and forty-seven years.
29 And when the time drew near for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, [g]please put your hand under my thigh and [promise to] deal loyally and faithfully with me. Please do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I lie down with my fathers [in death], you will carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place [at Hebron in the cave of Machpelah].” And Joseph said, “I will do as you have directed.” 31 Then he said, “Swear to me [that you will do it].” So he swore to him. Then Israel (Jacob) bowed in worship at the head of the bed.
- Genesis 47:6 Lit set them as princes of my cattle.
- Genesis 47:8 Lit how many are the days of the years of your life?
- Genesis 47:9 Lit the days of the years of.
- Genesis 47:9 Abraham, Jacob’s grandfather, had lived to be a hundred and seventy-five years old; Isaac, Jacob’s father, lived to be a hundred and eighty. Jacob lived seventeen years after making this statement to Pharaoh, in which time he had an opportunity to get a much more optimistic view of God’s treatment of him. He died at a hundred and forty-seven, having said, “The Angel...has redeemed me continually from all evil” (Gen 48:16).
- Genesis 47:26 I.e. the time of Moses.
- Genesis 47:28 Lit the days of Jacob, the years of his.
- Genesis 47:29 I.e. this was a customary manner of taking a solemn oath.