Genesis Lesson 27 Day 5
Jacob and his family were allowed to settle in Goshen.
12) Joseph coaches his brothers before they meet Pharaoh.
When Pharaoh asks them about their occupation, he wants them to say they’ve taken care of herds all their lives just as their ancestors did so that they can live in the region of Goshen. Joseph considers this location desirable because it has good pasture and it’s relatively isolated from the Egyptians.8
Ellicott’s notes that Joseph instructed them to say “just as our ancestors” because occupations were hereditary among Egyptians. Pharaoh would conclude that in their culture, it was the same so “no change was possible in their mode of life.”7
The two nations were in some important respects mutually repulsive. The idolatrous and superstitious customs of the Egyptians were abhorrent to a worshiper of the true God; and “every shepherd was the abomination of Egypt.”8
Pharaoh said, “The land of Egypt is before you. Settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land. Let them settle in the land of Goshen . . .” Genesis 47:
In Goshen God provided a dwelling place for their discipline and multiplication. 430 years later, He led them out as a nation of more than a million strong.
13) The years of my life have been few and difficult. . .
“Few and evil: A typical state in ancient Semitic literature.”5
Pharaoh asked Jacob, “How many are the days of the years of your life?” An interesting question. Ellicott’s says, “for to an Egyptian, 120 was the utmost limit of longevity. Jacob was now 130 and Pharaoh treats him with the greatest honor and twice accepts his blessing.”7
He ultimately lived to be 147. (Genesis 47:11)
Few, when compared to his father and grandfather
- Abraham lived 175 years.
- Isaac lived 180 years.
- His brother, Esau, threatened to kill him.
- Fled to Paddan Aram and probably never saw his mother again.
- Deceived, manipulated, and taken advantage of by his father-in-law, Laban.
- Had to run away with his family then Laban chased him down.
- Wrestled with God and suffered from a permanent limp.
- Dinah raped in Shechem.
- His sons tricked and murdered the men of Schechem.
- Leah and Rachel competed and quarreled with each other.
- Beloved wife Rachel was barren for many years, then died in childbirth.
- Lived for years believing his son Joseph was torn to pieces by a wild animal.
- Forced to send Benjamin with his brothers to buy grain.
- Now, he’s forced to leave the promised land and make the long journey to Egypt because the famine continues.
14) Jacob’s character on display before Pharaoh
Jacob calls his 130 years a pilgrimage. Several commentaries explain that Jacob said this because his treasures are in heaven. I prefer Keil and Delitzsch’s take on it—
Jacob called his own life and that of his fathers a pilgrimage (מגוּרים), because they had not come into actual possession of the promised land, but had been obliged all their life long to wander about, unsettled and homeless, in the land promised to them for an inheritance, as in a strange land. This pilgrimage was at the same time a figurative representation of the inconstancy and weariness of the earthly life, in which man does not attain to that true rest of peace with God and blessedness in His fellowship, for which he was created, and for which therefore his soul is continually longing (cf. Psalm 39:13; Psalm 119:19, Psalm 119:54; 1 Chronicles 29:15).
The apostle, therefore, could justly regard these words as a declaration of the longing of the patriarchs for the eternal rest of their heavenly fatherland (Hebrews 11:13-16).9
The first and the last thing Jacob did was bless Pharaoh.
Pharaoh acknowledged Jacob was a man of God by accepting his blessing. In the Egyptian religion, Pharaoh himself was thought to be a god. They considered Pharaoh the human embodiment of Ra, the sun god. This means that it was remarkable that he allowed Israel to bestow a blessing on him.1
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1 EnduringWord.com used by written permission.
2 AWM Living Commentary used by written permission.
3 Unless otherwise indicated, all Scripture quotations from *The ESV Bible® (The Holy Bible, English Standard Version®) copyright © 2001 by Crossway, a publishing ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
4 Strong’s Concordance, public domain.
5 *Spirit Filled Life Bible®copyright © 1991 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. (The Holy Bible, New King James Bible) copyright © 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.
6 The Book of Genesis by Chuck Smith © 2012 The Word For Today
7 Ellicott’s Commentary, public domain.
8 Barnes’ Notes on the Bible, public domain.
9 Keil and Delitzsch Biblical Commentary on the Old Testament, public domain
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My answers, research, and notes for BSF Bible Study Fellowship questions Genesis Lesson 27 Day 5