GENESIS 46:29-30 "And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to
Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good
while. And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou
art yet alive."
The last five chapters of Genesis tells of Jacob's family settling down in the land of Goshen
in Egypt. Jacob felt he was about to die but in fact he had seventeen more years to live after
his move. This was the beginning of a 430-year stay in Egypt for Jacob's family, where they
would grow to be a nation known as the nation of Israel.
When Jacob came to Beersheba, he felt the need to stop and offer a sacrifice to God. He was
seeking God's approval for the move to Egypt. God assured Jacob that He would be with him in
Egypt and would eventually bring his family back to the land of Canaan, the promised land. I
believe this move was planned by God all along to separate His people from the rest of the
world population. In order for them to be a separated people unto God, they would not be able
to intermarry with the ungodly pagans and those who worshipped false gods. By placing them in
Egypt God could be assured of keeping them separate from the rest of the world because the
Egyptians would have no dealings with them; first of all because they were Hebrews and secondly
because they were shepherds, both of which were an abomination to the Egyptians.
This chapter gives the names of everyone traveling in the group to Egypt. Verse 27 gives the
total number as seventy but this was including Joseph and his two sons who were already in
Egypt. There were thirty-two descendants of Leah, eleven of Rachel, sixteen of Zilpah and
seven of Bilhah, for a total of sixty-six. Adding Jacob, Joseph and Joseph's two sons makes a
grand total of seventy. In Acts 7:14 the number is given as seventy-five. This is not a
contradiction. This passage is a quote by Stephen and was probably including the children and
grandchildren of Ephraim and Manasseh, Joseph's sons, as listed in Numbers 26:28-37
After greeting his father, Joseph told them of his plan to get them settled in Goshen. He
told them he would tell Pharaoh that they were shepherds and therefore needed to be in the
little populated, fertile land called Goshen so they would have pasture for their flocks. As I
stated earlier, shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians and they could be assured of
living in Goshen in peace. Joseph cautioned them that when Pharaoh called them in to speak
with them that they were to reiterate what he told Pharaoh.
FOOD FOR THOUGHT
Why do you think Joseph wanted his family separated from the Egyptians? We know what
God's reason probably was, but do you believe Joseph could see this far ahead, also?
After all, he had already married outside his family, remember? Pharaoh gave him the daughter
of the priest of On as a wife back in chapter 41!
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