Thru The Word Ministries

Genesis 46-48


1 - So Israel set out with all that belonged to him, and came to Beer-sheba, and slaughtered a sacrifice unto the God of his father Isaac.  

Here’s how we know Israel/Jacob had experienced personal revival: He worshiped the Lord publicly.  

2 - And Elohim spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.”  And he said, “I am here.”  

3 - And He said, “I [am] Elohim, the God of your father.  Fear not to go down to Egypt, because [it is] there I will make of you a great nation.  

4 - “I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up; and Joseph will put his hand upon your eyes.”

Elohim responds to his worship by speaking to him.  God’s directive to Jacob seems to center around a certain amount of trepidation he has about going to Egypt.  Even though he knows he will see his son alive again, Jacob is fearful of the journey nonetheless.  Yet we know he will go on to arrive safely at his destination where he will be reunited with his son.  What made the difference?  The Word of the Lord!  Not just hearing His voice, but acting on it is what makes the difference.  It’s the difference-maker for us today as well, if we allow Him to be.  Why do we depend on the word of man in general and things like psychology in particular?  What is wrong with spending time with the Lord and finding out what He has to say to us and abiding in Him?  But there are so many in the church today who deny the sufficiency of the Scriptures without realizing that so-called Christian psychology is such a Johnny-come-lately.  I pray if it comes down to heeding the word of man or the Word of God, that you and I would always make the choice to hear and obey His Word.  

5 - So Jacob arose from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, and their children, and their wives, in the carts that Pharaoh had sent to carry him.  

6 - And they took their cattle, and their property that they had collected in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him.  

7 - His sons, and his grandsons with him, his daughters, and his granddaughters, and all his offspring he brought with him to Egypt.

He obeyed the Word of the Lord to the point that everything belonging to him came along for the ride.

8 - Now these [are] the names of the descendants of Israel, that came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, first-born of Jacob;

9 - And the sons of Reuben [are] Enoch, and Palu, and Hezron, and Carmi.  

10 - And the sons of Simeon [are] Yemuel, and Yamin, and Ohad, and Yakin, and Yohar, and Shaul, son of a Canaanite [woman].  

11 - And the sons of Levi [are] Gershon, and Kehath, and Merari.  

12 - And the sons of Judah [are] Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Perez, and Zerah; but Er and Onan died.  And the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.  

13 - And the sons of Issachar [were] Tola, and Puvah, and Yob, and Shimron.  

14 - And the sons of Zebulon [were] Sered, and Elon, and Yahleel.  

15 -  These [are] the sons of Leah that she bore to Jacob in Padan-aram, along with Dinah his daughter; all thirty-three souls [were] his sons and daughters.  

16 - And the sons of Gad [were] Zepon, and Hagi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.  

17 - And the sons of Asher [were] Imnah, and Ishvah, and Beriah, and Serah their sister; and the sons of Beriah [were] Heber and Malchiel.  

18 - These [were] the sons of Zilpah, that Laban gave to Leah his daughter; and she bore these to Jacob - sixteen souls.  

19 - The sons of Rachel, wife of Jacob, [were] Joseph and Benjamin.  

20 - And to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born to him Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenat, daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.  

21 - And the sons of Benjamin [were] Bela, and Beker, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Mupim, and Hupim, and Ard.  

22 - These [were] the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob - all fourteen souls.  

23 - And the son of Dan [was] Hushim.  

24 - And the sons of Naptali [were] Yaheze-el, and Guni, and Yezer, and Shilem.  

25 - These [were] the sons of Bilhah, that Laban had given to Rachel his daughter; and she bore these to Jacob - all seven souls.  

26 - All the souls coming with Jacob into Egypt [that] came out of his loins, apart from the wives of the sons of Jacob; all the souls [numbered] sixty-six.  

27 - And the sons of Joseph that were born to him in Egypt [were] two souls.  All the souls of the house of Jacob that had come into Egypt [were] seventy.

It’s the birth of a nation!  Remember all great things take time.  In God’s economy there is nowhere near as much time as eternity.  In other words, God has all the time in the world - literally!  Guzik points out that it took God 215 years to grow this family from one to seventy, but in the next 430 years it would grow to two million.  And Abraham was the man He used to do it.  He was just searching for one man to be obedient to Him and He found that man in Abraham.  The result was the birth of a nation.

I’m not trying to make the point that God wants to birth a nation through any of us, but there is a lesson for us, to put it spiritually.  What does He await from each us?  Obedience.  He longs for each of us to lock arms with Him, spiritually speaking, so He can show us even more of Himself.  Are you and I on mission with the Lord today?  

28 - Then he had sent Judah before him to Joseph, in order to show him how to [get to] Goshen; then they came into the land of Goshen.  

29 - And Joseph harnessed his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet Israel his father.  Then he presented himself to him, and he fell on his neck, and he wept on his neck a good while.  

30 - And Israel said to Joseph, “Now I can die, since I have seen you with my own eyes, because you [are] still alive.”

There’s quite a family reunion going on here, wouldn’t you say?  We have to admit, don’t we, that in this scene Israel has come a long way from the depths of despair in chapter forty-two.  That’s the way it is when revival comes to one’s heart and life.  

31 - Then Joseph said to his brothers and to the house of his father, “I will go up and declare to Pharaoh, and I will say to him, ’My brothers and the house of my father who [were] in the land of Canaan, have come to me.  

32 - ’And the men [are] shepherding, for the men have been [over] flocks; and they have brought in their cattle and flocks and herds, and all that belongs to them.’  

33 - “So it will be when Pharaoh calls for you and says, ‘What do you do [for a living]?’

34 - “Then you are to say,  ‘We men, your servants, have been livestock breeders from our youth until now, both we and our ancestors‘, so that you may dwell in the land of Goshen, because every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”

This is not unusual considering the disdain toward those who tended sheep.  People who planted and harvested crops were much more respected among the general populace where agriculture was concerned.  This is one of the things that makes the birth of Jesus so significant.  The message of the Messiah’s birth was delivered by angels to shepherds (Luke 2:8-14).  It is a reminder that the birth of the Messiah and the Gospel of God was and is for every man, and not just for the cultural elite or the intelligentsia as many believed then and many others do today.  The only question remains: have you made Him your Savior and Lord?  If you haven’t, do it today while there’s still time!  


1 - Then Joseph went in and declared to Pharaoh, and said, “My father and my brothers, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that belongs to them, have come from the land of Canaan, and behold, they [are] in the land of Goshen.”  

James Montgomery Boice once said it may be as challenging for a man to be both godly and a politician as for a camel to go through the eye of a needle. And yet, he points out, look at Joseph. He was one of the most godly men to ever live, and yet he was a politician extraordinaire! It was one thing for him to be able to present his family to Pharaoh; it was yet another to be able to carve out enough Egyptian land on which his father and brothers and all their possessions could dwell.

His standards were high in a day when much lower standards were the norm. He was respected by all the people, yet he was masterful when it came to being second-in-command. But even being second-in-command was not enough to be able to decree such a huge tract of land for his family to dwell in. He first went before Pharaoh to get it done. Perhaps he did it not out of necessity, but out of respect for Pharaoh and who he was. Regardless, he excelled at making certain all parties were cared for in this unprecedented scenario.

2 - And from all of his brothers, he took five men and brought them before Pharaoh.  

Joseph could’ve used the occasion to point out all their sin, their error, their mistreatment of him; he could’ve chose not to introduce them at all, believing they are ‘not good enough’. Rather he brings them before the throne and introduces them to greatness. Such will be the case when Jesus ushers each of us into the presence of the Father. Not showing to Him our sin and guilt, but introducing each of us as one clothed in His righteousness.

3 - Then Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What [is] your occupation?”  And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants tend sheep, we as well as our ancestors.”  

4 - They said to Pharaoh, “To sojourn in the land we have come, because your servants have no pasture for the flocks, because the famine is heavy in the land of Canaan.  And now, please let your servants dwell in the land of Goshen.”

They did exactly as Joseph instructed them, insuring them success in the land.

5 - Then Pharaoh spoke to Joseph, saying, “Your father and your brothers have come to you.  

6 - “The land of Egypt [is] before you; in the best of the land your father and your brothers may dwell.  Let them dwell in the land of Goshen; and if you know any men of power in existence among them, then make them overseer of my herds.”

One day they were ordinary foreigners just minding their own business in search of food for their family.  The next thing they knew, they were in charge of all of Pharaoh’s flocks.  God’s prophecy (foretelling) to Joseph had come to pass on many different levels to where all of them had come to a place of prominence while remaining under the supervision of Joseph.

7 - Then Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.  

8 - And Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many [are the] days [and] years of your life?”  

9 - And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “[The] days [and] years of my sojourning [are] a hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been [the] days [and] years of my life, but they have not equaled the days and years of the lives of my ancestors in the days of their sojourning.”

Jacob is telling Pharaoh that who he is and what he has experienced is nothing compared to that of those in his line who came before him. I like Jacob’s style here. He is neither affirming nor complaining; just stating the facts.

10 - And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh.  

11 - Then Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave to them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, according to how Pharaoh had commanded.  

12 - And Joseph sustained his father and brothers and all of the household of his father with bread, according to the number of the children.

Joseph once again shows himself to be the great administrator he is by having everything rationed out for the members of his family. What each family received depended on the number of children per household.

13 - Now no bread [was] in the land because the famine [was] very oppressive, that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.

14 - Then Joseph gathered all the money to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, for the grain that they bought; and Joseph brought the money into the house of Pharaoh.

15 - So when the money was gone in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, then came all the Egyptians to Joseph, saying, “Give food to us! So why should we die in your presence? For the money is gone.”

16 - And Joseph said, “Give your cattle, and I will give you [food] for your cattle if [the] money is gone.”

17 - So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave food to them in [exchange] for horses, and for flocks, and for the cattle of the flocks, and for the donkeys. That is how he provided food - [in exchange] for all the cattle in that year.

A barter system was instituted by Joseph and the people to where the people received food to survive in exchange for money, then livestock. There are many who would believe Joseph was using this system as a get-rich-quick scheme. But let’s hasten to point out that it was the people’s idea and none of the money went to Joseph; it all went to Pharaoh. As a result Joseph was freed up to continue to adjudicate and minister to the people in a fair and equitable manner. After all, Joseph knew Who is the ultimate Judge!

The God of Israel said, the Rock of Israel spake to me, He that ruleth over men must be just, ruling in the fear of God. 2 Samuel 2:23

18 - When that year ended, then they came to him in the second year, and they said to him, “We cannot hide from our lord that our money is gone. My lord also has possession of our herds of cattle. Nothing [is] left in the sight of my lord except for 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 will be slaves for Pharaoh in the land. Now give us seed that we may live and not die, that the land will not become desolate.”

20 - So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian had sold his field, because the famine had become very great in the land; so the land now belonged to Pharaoh.

21 - Now as for the people, he moved them to the cities in Egypt, from border to border.

22 - Only the land of the priests he did not buy, because the priests had a fixed income from Pharaoh, and they ate their ration that Pharaoh had given to them. For this reason they did not sell their lands.

23 - Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have bought you and your land this day for Pharaoh. Behold - seed for you, so you may sow the land!

24 - “And it shall come to be in the harvest that you shall give the fifth [portion] to Pharaoh, and four portions shall be yours for the seed of the land, and for your food, and for those in your house, and for food for your children.”

25 - And they said, “You have saved our lives! May we find favor in your eyes, my lord, and we will become slaves to Pharaoh.”

26 - So Joseph made it a rule over the land of Egypt up to this day, for Pharaoh to have the fifth [portion] of the land; only the land belonging to the priests [was] separated, not to become Pharaoh’s.

A twenty percent flat tax was instituted over the land with seed distributed among the people by which they could grow their own food so they would not starve. They got to keep eighty percent of that for their families while Pharaoh got twenty percent. Was this unfair? Why should it have been when Pharaoh through Joseph had done everything conceivably possible by this time to ensure the people lived and didn’t starve to death. I see nothing unfair about a flat tax instituted on the people. It would probably teach many how to better deal with the money with which the Lord has provided them.

27 - So Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, and the land of Goshen, and they settled there and grew and multiplied greatly.

God’s plan and purpose prevails once again in spite of Jacob’s sons robbing he and his family of many years of his life and their attempt to leave Joseph for dead. God was able to use all of that to minister to and sustain a nation birthed for His purpose - to bring birth to the Savior.

28 - And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so it was that the years of the life of Jacob were one hundred forty-seven years.

Wiersbe points out that Jacob had nothing about which to complain. When he thought his beloved son was dead, then discovered he was alive, we learn in chapter 37 that he enjoyed being with Joseph for seventeen years. Then from the time of sojourning down to Egypt to the time of his death, they were together another seventeen years. A blessed man indeed!

29 - When the time approached that Israel [was] to die, then he called for his son Joseph, and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your eyes, please put your hand underneath my thigh, and deal with me in goodness and faithfulness. Please do not bury me in Egypt,

30 - “But let me lie with my fathers, and you shall carry me out of Egypt, and you shall bury me in their burying place.” And he said, “I will do as you have said.”

31 - Then he said, “Swear to me!” And he swore to him. Then Israel bowed down on the head of the bed.

When Jacob was dying, his request to Joseph was that he be buried in Canaan. Since the land had been promised to his ancestors by Yahweh, he found it only fitting that he and his descendants be buried there and not in Egypt. Also there was likely the desire on the part of the father to direct/redirect the attention of his family to the Promised Land and encourage them to not settle for the mundane worldliness of Egypt. After all, why settle for ground beef when you can enjoy sirloin steak, as it were?

The Lord’s desire for each of us is that we enjoy His very best and not settle for what lies in front of us but, at the very best is second-best. Why would we want that when He has so much more to offer?


1 - And it came to be after these things that someone said to Joseph, “Behold, your father [is] very ill; so he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.  

2 - And when it was told to Jacob, “Behold, your son Joseph has come to you,” then Israel strengthened himself and sat up in the bed.  

Here we have the introduction to our new chapter that shows us how Israel’s life is coming to an end on the earth, but not to the point where he doesn’t have the strength to converse with Joseph about things to come. It was time to take care of family business before more time and strength got away from him.

3 - And Jacob said to Joseph, “God the Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me,  

4 - “and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and I will make you many; and I will give you a multitude of nations, and I will give this land to your offspring after you for an everlasting possession.’  

5 - “And now your two sons who were born to you in the land of Egypt, until [the time] I came to you in Egypt, they [belong to] me; Ephraim and Manasseh [are] as Reuben and Simeon - they [belong to] me.  

6 - “And your offspring that will be born after them shall be yours, and they will be called after the name of their brothers in their inheritance.  

7 - “When I was coming from Paddan, Rachel died beside me in the land of Canaan on the journey, when [there] was but a small distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath, which [is] Bethlehem.”  

There are no complaints concerning the hardships he had to endure. It’s understood everyone who ever lives this life must endure these, so why even bring them up?  Jacob chooses to spend his remaining moments recounting who God is and what He has done for him, especially related to His promises that He made to Jacob and his forefathers.  “God the Almighty” has cared for him and blessed him greatly; that is the prime message Jacob seeks to communicate to his son.

8 - Then Israel saw the sons of Joseph and said, “Who [are] these?”

9 - And Joseph said to his father, “My sons, they whom God has given to me in this [place].” So he said, “Bring them to me, please, and I will bless them.”  

10 - Now the eyes of Israel were dull because of old age, [and] not able to see. So Joseph brought them near to him, and he kissed them, and embraced them.  

11 - And Israel said to Joseph, “I assumed I would never see your face, and behold, Elohim has let me see your offspring also.”  

12 - Then Joseph removed them from his lap, and he bowed with his face to the ground.  

13 - And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim in his right hand to the left side of Israel, and Manasseh in his left hand to the right side of Israel, and brought them near to him.  

14 - But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim (now he was the younger), and put his left hand on the head of Manasseh, laying his hands crosswise, because Manasseh [was] the firstborn.  

15 - Then he blessed Joseph and said, “The God that my forefathers, Abraham and Isaac, walked before, the God who is protecting me still to this day,

16 - the Angel who has redeemed me from all evil, [please] bless the boys, and may they be called by my name, and by the name of my forefathers Abraham and Isaac, and may they multiply into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”  

17 - When Joseph saw that his father put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, then he was displeased. So he grasped the hand of his father to remove it from the head of Ephraim to the head of Manasseh.  

18 - And Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, because this [is] the firstborn; put your right hand on his head.”  

19 - But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know. He also shall become a nation, and he also shall become great. But indeed his younger brother shall be great more than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.”  

20 - So he blessed them that day, saying, “In thee shall Israel bless, saying, “May Elohim make you as Ephraim and Manasseh.” So he put Ephraim before Manasseh.  

21 - Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am dying, but Elohim will be with you and will bring you back to the land of your forefathers.  

22 - “And I am giving to you one portion more than your brothers, who I took out of the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”