Genesis
1-7 Jacob Leaves for Egypt 8-27 With Jacob to Egypt 28-34 Jacob Sees Joseph Again
Jacob Leaves for Egypt

1So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” 3He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. 4I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes.” 5Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob and their little ones and their wives in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6They took their livestock and their property, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and came to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him: 7his sons and his grandsons with him, his daughters and his granddaughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.

To meet Joseph, Jacob must leave behind everything he is familiar with and dear to him. We too must forget what is behind and reach out to what lies ahead: Christ (Phil 3:1414I press on toward the goal for the prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.). On the way to Joseph, Jacob offers sacrifices to God on the border of the country, near Beersheba. Beersheba means ‘well of the oath’. It reminds us of God’s promises.

Before leaving the land, he wants to honor God. It is as if he does not want to continue now without the conviction that God is going with him. The answer is not lacking. God remembers Jacob there with His promise to make him a great people.

God is called here the God of his father Isaac. This reminds us that God is the God of the resurrection. It reminds us of the Lord Jesus as the One Who passed through death and rose up. Jacob finds himself on the basis of the resurrection, the ground of new life. All blessing is connected with Christ as the risen One.


With Jacob to Egypt

8Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn. 9The sons of Reuben: Hanoch and Pallu and Hezron and Carmi. 10The sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. 11The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12The sons of Judah: Er and Onan and Shelah and Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). And the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 13The sons of Issachar: Tola and Puvvah and Iob and Shimron. 14The sons of Zebulun: Sered and Elon and Jahleel. 15These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, with his daughter Dinah; all his sons and his daughters [numbered] thirty-three. 16The sons of Gad: Ziphion and Haggi, Shuni and Ezbon, Eri and Arodi and Areli. 17The sons of Asher: Imnah and Ishvah and Ishvi and Beriah and their sister Serah. And the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel. 18These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and she bore to Jacob these sixteen persons. 19The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 20Now to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him. 21The sons of Benjamin: Bela and Becher and Ashbel, Gera and Naaman, Ehi and Rosh, Muppim and Huppim and Ard. 22These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob; [there were] fourteen persons in all. 23The sons of Dan: Hushim. 24The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel and Guni and Jezer and Shillem. 25These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and she bore these to Jacob; [there were] seven persons in all. 26All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons, [were] sixty-six persons in all, 27and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, [were] seventy.

These are the names of those with whom Jacob goes to Egypt. In verse 2626All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons, [were] sixty-six persons in all,, the number sixty-six is mentioned. Six is the number of man. Man always falls short and never reaches the perfection of which the number seven speaks. In verse 2727and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, [were] seventy. it is a total of seventy souls. That number includes Jacob, Joseph, Ephraim and Manasseh. The imperfection of man (sixty-six) is removed and changes in perfection (seventy) when Joseph (picture of the Lord Jesus) is added.

In Acts 7 we read about seventy-five souls (Acts 7:1414Then Joseph sent [word] and invited Jacob his father and all his relatives to come to him, seventy-five persons [in all].). Both numbers are correct. Stephen – or Luke as the author of Acts – bases himself on the Septuagint or LXX, the Greek translation of the Old Testament. The Septuagint counts seventy-five by mentioning in verse 2020Now to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him. another son and grandson of Manasseh and two sons and a grandson of Ephraim.


Jacob Sees Joseph Again

28Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out [the way] before him to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. 29Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time. 30Then Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.” 31Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who [were] in the land of Canaan, have come to me; 32and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ 33When Pharaoh calls you and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.”

Jacob yearns to see Joseph again, but Joseph also yearns to see his father again. He goes up to meet him. As we are on our way to meet the Lord, we will see that He is on His way to meet us. What Jacob says (verse 3030Then Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.”) reminds us of what Simeon says (Lk 2:2929“Now Lord, You are releasing Your bond-servant to depart in peace,
According to Your word;
).

We see in Joseph’s whole behavior how he, as a son, honors his father. It is the duty of the children to honor their parents (Eph 6:1-31Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right.2Honor your father and mother (which is the first commandment with a promise),3so that it may be well with you, and that you may live long on the earth.). This obligation remains, even if the children are in a better social position than their parents. Joseph’s love for his father has not diminished over the years. For Jacob, seeing Joseph again is the fulfillment of his greatest desire. He is satisfied and may die. However, he would live another seventeen years.

Joseph wants to introduce his family to Pharaoh. He tells them what to say when Pharaoh asks about their profession. It seems to be a usual question of Pharaoh to those who come to him. Joseph prepares them for this. The answer must be that they have always been keepers of livestock.

God, of whom Pharaoh is a picture here, also asks us: ‘What are you doing?’ Can we then also answer, ‘With taking care for the livestock, with taking care for what has been entrusted to us, with making sure that everything we do is to Your honor” (Col 3:1717Whatever you do in word or deed, [do] all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.)?

The word for “occupation” is the same word that is translated with “verses” in Psalm 45: “I address my verses to the King” (Psa 45:1b1For the choir director; according to the Shoshannim. A Maskil of the sons of Korah. A Song of Love.
My heart overflows with a good theme;
I address my verses to the King;
My tongue is the pen of a ready writer.
). In the answer Joseph puts in the mouth of the brothers, the brothers say that their occupation are verses about the King, about His glory, which is further described in Psalm 45. This is also what the Lord Jesus wants to bring about in our lives, what He wants to put in our mouths, as it were. He wants our life to be the verses of a song in which the glory of God is sung.

It is not surprising that it says: “For every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians” (verse 3434you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.”). Therefore the family of Jacob is assigned a separate part of the land of Egypt so it will prevent that they will connect with the Egyptians. By mixing with the Egyptians, they will lose their identity, which is not the case now. They remain separated from the Egyptians and thus retain their national and religious independence.

There is also a spiritual application of the loathsomeness of the Egyptians of the shepherd. The Egyptians are a picture of the world. To someone of the world the life of a Christian living for the glory of God is loathsome.


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