GENESIS 47:10-11 "And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from
before Pharaoh. And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in
the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.
And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread,
according to their families."
Joseph took five of his brothers, probably the five
oldest, to meet with Pharaoh. Upon being asked their occupation, they recited what they had
rehersed at Joseph's instructions that they were shepherds. They confided in Pharaoh that
they had no pasture left for their flock and herds in Egypt and asked him for permission to
move into the land of Goshen. Pharaoh was happy to be able to do this for Joseph's family.
He told Jacob to give them the best area in the land and to put some of the more deligent of
his kinsmen over his cattle as well.
A NEW SYSTEM OF GOVERNMENT
Because of the famine, a new system of government is born
and Pharaoh becomes very wealthy. As the people ran out of food, they came to Joseph to buy
from the storehouses Joseph had erected the seven years of plenty that preceded the seven years
of famine. (See Genesis 41) But
then they ran out of money. First, they traded their livestock for food and when they ran out
of animals, they signed over their land to Pharaoh in return for food. It was either this or
starve to death! Although Pharaoh prospered, there is nothing saying whether Joseph gained
anything during the seven years of famine. The Bible does say that the people praised
him, though. They realized that, due to him, they had been saved and it seems they were not
bitter at having to turn over their possessions for food. Toward the end of the famine, many
of the people were moved into the cities because they lost their land. Joseph made a new law
in Egypt that the people would till their land but Pharaoh would always receive one fifth of
all the fruits of the land that had fallen into his possession during this time. (Excluding the
FOOD FOR THOUGHTDo you think Joseph and Pharaoh took undue advantage of the people of Egypt during the seven years of famine? Do you have a better idea of what could have been done to preserve life during this time?
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