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.

Joseph then brought his father in to see Pharaoh. Pharaoh asked Jacob how old he was to which Jacob answered 130 but, he said, he hadn't lived as long as his father and grandfather. His father, Isaac lived 180 years and his grandfather, Abraham, lived to be 175. Notice instead of Jacob receiving Pharaoh's blessing, Pharaoh is blessed by Jacob. Joseph placed his family in the best possible place for them to prosper and kept them in food and provisions throught the remainder of the famine.


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 Priests.)

While the rest of the land was suffering, Israel was growing and multipling in the land of Goshen. They lived there a total of seventeen years before it came down time for Jacob to die. He called Joseph in to him and made him promise that he would not bury him in Egypt. Joseph swore to him that he would take him out of Egypt and bury him with the rest of his relatives. After receiving this promise, Jacob resigned himself to die.



Do 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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{Genesis 46} {GENESIS 48}


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