Jacob’s Family Moves to Egypt, Genesis 46:5-34; 47:1-27

So that your faith might not rest on human wisdom, but on God’s power.”    -1 Corinthians 2:5

After Jacob sought God’s direction and heard directly from Him to “not be afraid” he travels with his family from Beersheba to Egypt (46:5-7). In 46:28-30, Jacob and Judah appear to have reconciled their past as Jacob chooses Judah to be their guide. Rising above his past failures, Judah proves himself trustworthy. His descendants are eventually gifted as the royal tribe (49:8-12) and the Messiah would come from his line.

Finding Joseph alive and well gives Jacob’s tormented heart some much-needed peace. As his family’s knotted past finally untangles, he is able to see God’s sovereign hand at work.

You may read Genesis 46:5-34; 47:1-27 here: Bible Gateway.

Israel’s Heritage

The names listed in Genesis 46:8-27 list every tribe that would eventually form the nation of Israel. This would have been especially important to Genesis’ first readers. For they were not only reminded that God chose them for a special purpose, but duties and allotments were also given according to tribe: the parceling of land, the division of labor, the army’s organization.

Joseph’s Family Meets Pharaoh

Before Joseph’s family meets Pharaoh, Joseph encourages them to be honest when asked about their work as shepherds. He hopes Pharaoh will allow them to live in Goshen. Layman’s Bible Commentary notes: “Goshen had some of the best pastureland in all of Egypt. It would be a place to keep the Hebrews isolated and insulated from the culture and religion of Egypt, since the Egyptians considered sheep unclean and Hebrews detestable (43:32).”

After Joseph introduces five of his brothers to Pharaoh and explains his family needs, Pharaoh grants the brothers’ request to live in Goshen. As an added bonus he also offers any capable brothers the job of tending his own livestock.

Next, Joseph introduces his father, Jacob, to Pharaoh. After Jacob blesses him, Pharaoh asks his age. Jacob responds, “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,” (47:9).

Joseph’s Family Settles in Goshen

So Joseph settles his father and brothers in the district of Rameses. Not only have they acquired the best part of the land, but Joseph also provides the entire clan with plenty of food.

Over the next 400 years in Egypt, the Israelite population would explode from seventy to over two million!

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In 47:13-26 we not only see God using Joseph to save Egypt and its surrounding neighbors from starvation, but also the fulfillment of Jacob’s blessing to Pharaoh. Because Pharaoh blessed the Israelites with Egypt’s best, God blesses him in return.


Joseph’s faithfulness not only affected his entire family, but also Egypt and the surrounding people. Joseph had plenty of opportunities to wonder about his future: being thrown into a pit; sold into slavery; falsely accused; imprisoned. But in the midst of his trying circumstances, he chose to do what is right and yielded to God’s plan.

We may not see the exciting results of faithfulness as Joseph did, but we can be sure that God will honor our faithfulness. What area(s) is God calling you to be faithful in?

Enjoy your weekend!

Charles Spurgeon Devotion, Genesis 46:3-4

Hello! This week I bring  you a post from PassionSchmitz blog. I love that God’s truth is timeless and that both He and His message remain constant in the midst of our changing times. Charles Haddon Spurgeon was England’s best known preacher for most of the second half of the nineteenth century. I hope you are encouraged as I am after reflecting on his message.


Below is a devotion by Charles Spurgeon (1834-1892) from the May 12th evening entry of Morning and Evening. I’ve bolded a few quotes that stood out to me. ‘Fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation: I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I […]

via Charles Spurgeon Devotion: Genesis 46:3-4 — PassionSchmitz

Joseph Makes Himself Known, Genesis 45

Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, ‘Have everyone leave my presence!’ So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh’s household heard about it. . . . ‘I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.’”        -Genesis 45:1-2, 4-7

While chapters 43 and 44 depict Joseph’s tender love and tough love respectively, chapter 45 display Joseph living out of God’s sovereignty.

You may read Genesis 45 here: Bible Gateway.

This account of Joseph meeting up with his brothers finally comes to a resolution when Joseph reveals his identity. Layman’s Bible Commentary notes: “The response of the brothers to Joseph’s revelation of his identity is a term translated dismayed or dumbfounded. This is a term used of paralyzing fear as felt by those involved in war (Exodus 15:15; Judges 20:41; 1 Samuel 28:21; Psalm 48:5).”

Joseph’s emotional display of weeping, embracing, and explaining finally convinces his brothers that he doesn’t intend revenge, but is actually favorable toward them.

Reflect 7b08064b7f5b6c0a895595c9de822b30

How in the world could Joseph forgive his brothers?

After all, they had rejected him, sold him into slavery, and made it possible for Joseph’s 12-13 year stretch of being imprisoned during young adulthood, (from the age of 17 to 30). The natural response to that kind of treatment is bitterness and revenge.

But not Joseph.

His ability to discern God’s providence over events and keeping an eternal perspective mark his life. He also lays the ground work of forgiveness by seeking God’s heart. Joseph’s graciousness, not only in forgiveness, but also in sharing his prosperity, reflect God’s forgiveness and blessing to those who ask.

Is there anyone God wants you to forgive and seek restitution?

One last thought. Joseph’s father, Jacob, was stunned to learn that Joseph was still alive.

Good news is hard to believe when going through difficulties. But God’s ultimate plan for his children is a future filled with joy and blessings. Have a great weekend!

A Test of Integrity, Genesis 44

I’d like to share Bruce Sims’ post, “A Test of Integrity” with you. He has some great thoughts on Genesis 44. I hope you are having a wonderful summer. Enjoy!


Saying you are going to do something is one thing, but to follow through with it no matter what is quite the other. What if doing what you say will do may cause you harm? What is more valuable to you, your promise or your personal safety? That was the question Judah had to answer in Genesis 44.

via A Test of Integrity — Call to Witness