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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 46

Hampton's Commentary on Selected BooksHampton's Commentary

Verses 1-30

A Journey Toward Reunion

Jacob had believed a lie so long that he could not accept the truth. It took hearing his sons repeat Joseph's words and seeing the carts he sent to convince him. Then, he said, "It is enough. Joseph my son is still alive. I will go and see him before I die" ( Gen_45:25-28 ). Jacob stopped at Beersheba on his way to Egypt. He offered sacrifices to God, perhaps in thanksgiving for learning Joseph was still alive. God reassured him that going into Egypt was in accord with his will. He promised to make of Jacob a great nation and bring that nation safely out of Egypt. God also promised Jacob that his favorite son, Joseph, would be there to close his eyes in death.

Jacob sent Judah ahead to get directions from Joseph as to where they should settle. They went to the land of Goshen, as directed. "So Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; and he presented himself to him, and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while." Jacob was so happy that he said, "Now let me die, since I have seen your face, because you are still alive" ( Gen_46:1-30 ).

Verses 31-34

Joseph's Statesmanship

Joseph directed all the members of his father's household to say they were shepherds. He well knew the attitude of the Egyptians toward nomadic herdsmen. They thought of shepherds as an abomination. By having his family so identify themselves, Joseph was assuring Pharaoh would favor settling them in Goshen where he wanted them to settle (45:10).

Joseph selected five of his brothers to go with him before Pharaoh. After they told Pharaoh they were herdsmen, he directed them to settle in Goshen. He also asked them to be in charge of his own livestock. Then, Joseph brought Jacob before the ruler of Egypt. When asked, Jacob said he was one hundred thirty years old. Interestingly, he described his life as a pilgrimage, probably because he never had a permanent home on earth. Also, it was he who blessed Pharaoh and not the other way around. The writer of Hebrews says the one who gives the blessing is always the greater of the two ( Heb_7:7 ). Joseph then situated his family in Goshen, which was later known as Rameses. He saw to it that they had plenty of food to make it throughout the famine. ( Gen_46:31-34 ; Gen_47:1-12 ).

Bibliographical Information
Hampton, Gary. "Commentary on Genesis 46". "Hampton's Commentary on Selected Books". https://studylight.org/commentaries/eng/ghc/genesis-46.html. 2014.
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