Read Genesis 47:13-31
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13 Now there was no food in all the land, for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished by reason of the famine. 14 And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, in exchange for the grain that they bought. And Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house. 15 And when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? For our money is gone.” 16 And Joseph answered, “Give your livestock, and I will give you food in exchange for your livestock, if your money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the herds, and the donkeys. He supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year. 18 And when that year was ended, they came to him the following year and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent. The herds of livestock are my lord’s. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we with our land will be servants to Pharaoh. And give us seed that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.”
20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for all the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine was severe on them. The land became Pharaoh’s. 21 As for the people, he made servants of them from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh and lived on the allowance that Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their land.
23 Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh. Now here is seed for you, and you shall sow the land. 24 And at the harvests you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones.” 25 And they said, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be servants to Pharaoh.” 26 So Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt, and it stands to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; the land of the priests alone did not become Pharaoh’s.
27 Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly. 28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years. So the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were 147 years.
29 And when the time drew near that Israel must die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favour in your sight, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal kindly and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but let me lie with my fathers. Carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.” 31 And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself upon the head of his bed.
Thoughts to consider
In this scene we see the effects of both God’s blessing upon Pharaoh and Egypt because of Joseph, and Joseph’s wise business dealings which made the Pharaoh exceedingly rich during the seven years of famine. In this we see that God indeed blesses His covenant people and blesses those who bless them. During this time we are told that Jacob’s family which numbered seventy people upon arriving in Egypt was growing. This too was because of God’s covenant blessing that included many children as one of its blessings. In both the prosperous blessing of Pharaoh and Joseph’s brothers we clearly witness the faithfulness of God to his covenant promises. Additionally, we witness the lavishness of his grace as neither the godless Pharaoh who himself believed he was a god, or the brothers who had sinned greatly against God, their father, and Joseph deserved the bounty which God had given to them. And, with Jacob now in Egypt and the covenant family growing in number the stage was set by God’s providential hand to fulfill the prophecy God had given to Abraham. In Genesis 15:12-14 God had previously promised to Abraham that his descendants would spend four hundred years enslaved in Egypt before God liberated them as a great nation. All of the prophecies given by God to Abraham are in the process of being fulfilled in Genesis which sets the stage for the book of Exodus which is the sequel to Genesis also penned by Moses. God got the family to Egypt through Joseph and the famine. And, this small family that begins increasing there in Genesis 47:27 is a nation of a few million people some four hundred years later when God crushes the Pharaoh in that day for mistreating His covenant people in accordance with His promise to Abraham to not only bless those who blessed His people but also curse those who cursed them.
- How do we see the truths of Deuteronomy 7:9 actually occurring as we near the end of Genesis?
- To get more of an overview of this time and a summary, read the amazing preach that Stephen made in Acts 7 about the lives of the patriarchs and their connection to Moses in Exodus.
- How does Jacob’s last request of Joseph show his faith in God’s promise regarding his descendants and their own land (47:28-30)?
- Spend some time thinking about how useful wisdom is in your day to day life. Ask God for more.
Father I have seen throughout these readings how you have taken very ordinary sinful people and made them into people that you can use. I ask you to do the same with me. Thank you that your great grace has been poured on me and you have chosen me. Now I pray that you will change me each day by the power of your Holy Spirit. Help me to be wise in all my dealings today and may you get the glory for every good deed done today. I pray all of this in the wonderful name of Jesus, amen.