And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.
Verse 1. - And Israel (as the head of the theocratic family) took his journey - literally, broke up, sc. his encampment (cf. Genesis 12:9) - with all that he had, and came - from Hebron (Genesis 37:14) - to Beersheba, - where Abraham (Genesis 21:33) and Isaac (Genesis 26:25) had both sojourned for considerable periods, and erected altars to Jehovah - and offered sacrifices unto the God (the Elohim) of his father Isaac. Probably giving thanks to God for the tidings concerning Joseph (Ainsworth); consulting God' about his journey to Egypt (Rosenmüller); it may be, pouring out before God his fear as well as gratitude and joy, more especially if he thought about the stern prophecy (Genesis 15:13) which had been given to Abraham (Kalisch); perhaps commending himself and family to the care of his covenant God (Keil), and certainly praying that God would confirm to him and his the covenant which had been made with his fathers (Calvin).
And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.
Verse 2. - And God (Elohim) spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob - the name Jacob being employed probably to remind Jacob of what he had been (Lawson, Bush, Wordsworth), and repeated ut magis attentus reddatur (Calvin). And he said, Here am I - literally, behold me (cf. Genesis 22:1),
And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:
Verse 3. - And he said, I am God, the God of thy father - literally, I am the El (the Mighty One), the Elohim of thy father. Though in consequence of this phrase the section (vers. 1-7), indeed the entire chapter, is usually assigned to the Elohist (Tuch, Bleek, Vaihinger), yet the contents of this theophany are felt to be so substantially Jehovistic in their import (Hengstenberg), that certain critics have been constrained to give verses 1-5 to the Jehovist (Colenso), or, omitting the last clause of ver. 5, to the redactor (Davidson). In Genesis 28:13 the designation used is "I am Jehovah, the God of Abraham thy father." As on that former occasion when setting out for Padanaram, so now, when departing for Egypt, he receives a comforting assurance. Fear not to go down into Egypt. Them was reason for Jacob's apprehensions, since Abraham had been in peril in the land of the Pharaohs (Genesis 12:14-20), Isaac had been forbidden to go thither (Genesis 26:2), and Egypt had been foreshadowed as a place of servitude for his descendants (Genesis 15:13). מֵרְדָה is an irregular infinitive רֵדָה for רֶדֶת (cf. דֵּעַה for דַּעַת, Exodus 2:4), with מִן. prefixed after a verb of fearing (vide Ewald's 'Hebrews Synt.,' § 336). For I will there make of thee a great nation - literally, for to a great nation will I put thee there (cf. Genesis 21:13). Jacob had previously received the injunction, accompanied by the Divine benediction, to be fruitful and multiply (Genesis 28:3). Twice over had it previously been predicted that he should develop into a multitudinous people (Genesis 28:14; Genesis 35:11). The present promise was an indication that the fulfillment of the prophecy was at band.
I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.
Verse 4. - I will go down with thee into Egypt; - not a proof that the Hebrews believed in a local deity following them when they changed their abodes, and confined to the district in which they happened for tire time being to reside (Tuch, Bohlen), but simply a metaphorical expression for the efficiency and completeness of the Divine protection (Kalisch) - and I will also surely bring thee up again (literally, and I will bring thee up also, bringing thee up; a double emphasis lying in the use of the infinitive absolute, with גַּם preceding, as in Genesis 31:15, meaning that God would assuredly recover his body for interment in Canaan should he die in Egypt, and his descendants for settlement in the land of their inheritance): and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes - i.e. will perform for thee the last offices of affection by closing thine eyes in death, a service upon which the human heart in all ages and countries has set the highest value (vide Homer, ' I1 .' 11. 453; 'Odys.,' 24:294; Virg., 'AEn.,' 9:487; Ovid, ' Epist.,' 1:162). "A father at the point of death is always very desirous that his wife, children, and grandchildren should be with him. Should there be one at a distance, he will be immediately sent for, and until he arrive the father will mourn and complain, 'My son, will you not come? I cannot die without you.' When he arrives, he will take the hands of his son, and kiss them, and place them on his eyes, his face, and mouth, and say, ' Now I die.'" (Roberts' 'Oriental Illustrations,' p. 52).
And Jacob rose up from Beersheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
Verses 5-7. - And Jacob rose up - having received new vigor from the vision (Calvin) - from Beersheba (it is not probable that his stay there was of more than a day or two's, perhaps only a night's, duration): and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, - "Unlike the heathen tribes around them, and Oriental nations generally, the family of Jacob gave honor to the wife as to the weaker vessel" (Lawson) - in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him (vide Genesis 45:19, 21). And they took their cattle, and their goods (including probably their servants), which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, - Pharaoh had desired Jacob not to regard his stuff, because the good of all the land of Egypt was before him; but he wished not to take advantage of Pharaoh's goodness, or to owe greater obligations to him than he found necessary" (Lawson) - and came into Egypt, - a scene depicted on the tomb of Chumhotep, the near relative and successor of Osirtasen I., at Benihassan, represents a company of immigrants, apparently Shemitic in their origin, entering Egypt with their goods, as well as women and children, borne upon asses. Without affirming that this was the Egyptian version of the descent of Israel into Egypt, it may serve as a striking illustration of that event (vide. Wilkinson, 'Ancient Egyptians,' vol. 1. p. 480, ed. 1878; Brugsch, 'Histoire d'Egypte,' p. 63; Hengstenberg's 'Egypt and the Books of Moses,' p. 37) - Jacob, and all his seed (i.e. his descendants) with him: his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters (this need not imply that Jacob had more daughters than Dinah, but may include his sons wives, who are not otherwise mentioned in this enumeration), and his sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt. The date of this event was in the 130th year of Jacob's life (Genesis 47:9), and 215 years after the call of Abraham (Genesis 12:4), i.e. B.C. 1728 (Usher), 1885 (Hales); or A.M. 2276 (Usher), 3526 (Hales).
And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him:
His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt.
And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn.
Verse 8. - And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt. The phrase "which came into Egypt" must obviously be construed with some considerable latitude, since in the appended list of seventy persons, "souls of the house of Jacob which came into Egypt," are reckoned Joseph, who undoubtedly came into Egypt, but not with Jacob, Hezron and Hamul, the sons of Pharos, as well as the descendants of Benjamin, who probably, and Ephraim and Manasseh, the children of Joseph, who certainly, were born in Egypt. Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn.
And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi.
Verse 9. - And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, - "Initiated or Dedicated;" the name also of Cain's firstborn (Genesis 4:17), and of the son of Jared (Genesis 5:19) - and Phallu, - "Distingushed" (Gesenius) - and Hezron, - "Enclosed" (Gesenius), "Of the Court or Village" (Murphy), "Blooming One" (Furst) - and Carmi, - "Vine-dresser" (Gesenius, Murphy), "Noble One" (Furst).
And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman.
Verse 10. - And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, - "Day of El" (Gesenius, Murphy); in 1 Chronicles 4:24, Nemuel - and Jamin, - "Right Hand" (Gesenius, Murphy) - and Ohad, - "Joined together" (Gesenius, Murphy) - and Jachin, - "Whom God strengthens" (Gesenius), "He shall establish" (Murphy), or Jarib (1 Chronicles 4:24) - and Zohar, - "Whiteness" (Gesenius, Murphy); named Zerah (1 Chronicles 4:24) - and Shaul, - "Asked for" (Gesenius) - the son of a Canaanitish woman. The wives of the other sons, except Judah, were probably from Mesopotamia.
And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
Verse 11. - And the sons of Levi; Gershon, - or Gershom, - "Expulsion" (Gesenins), - Kohath, or Kehath, - "Assembly" (Gesenius) - and Merari, - "Bitter," "Ufi, happy" (Gesenius), Flowing" (Murphy), Harsh One" (Lange).
And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul.
Verse 12. - And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah (vide Genesis 38:3), and Pharos, and Zarah (Genesis 38:29; 1 Chronicles 2:4): but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan (Genesis 8:7, 10). And the sons of Pharez were Hezron (vide on ver. 9) and Hamul, - "One who has experienced mercy" (Gesenius).
And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron.
Verse 13. - And the sons of Issachar; Tola, - "Worm, Scarlet" (Gesenius) - and Phuvah, - "Mouth"? (Gesenius) - and Job, - perhaps an incorrect reading for Jashub ("Turning Oneself"), as in Numbers 26:24; 1 Chronicles 7:1 (Gesenius), which the LXX. adopts - and Shimron, - "Watch" (Gesenius).
And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel.
Verse 14. - And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, - "Fear" (Gesenius) - and Elon, "Oak" - and Jahleel, - "Whom God has made sick" (Gesenius).
These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padanaram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three.
Verse 15. - These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Parian-dram (i.e. the descendants of Leah's sons which were born in Padan-aram), with his daughter Dinah (who probably had continued unmarried after her misfortune in Shechem, and is here mentioned as an independent member of Jacob's family): all the souls of his sons and his daughters (reckoning him- self, and excluding Er and Onan) were thirty and three.
And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.
Verse 16. - And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, - "Expectation" (Gesenius); Zephon (Numbers 26:15) - and Haggi, - " Festive" (Gesenius) - Shuni, - "Quiet" (Gesenius) - and Esbon, - "Toiling" (Murphy); named Ozni (Numbers 26:16) - Eri, - "Guarding" (Gesenius) - and Arodi, - "Wild Ass" (Gesenius), "Rover" (Murphy), "Descendants" (Lange); styled Arod (Numbers 26:17) - and Areli - "Lion of El" (Murphy), "Son of a Hero" (Gesenius), "Heroic" (Lange).
And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel.
Verse 17. - And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, - "Prosperity" (Gesenius) - and Ishuah, - "Even, Level" (Gesenius) - and Isui, - "Even," "Level" (Gesenius): they may have been twins - and Beriah, - "Gift" (Gesenius), "In Evil" (Murphy) - and Serah - "Abundance" (Gesenius), "Over- flow" (Murphy) - their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, - "Fellowship" (Gesenius) - and Malchiel - "King of El" (Gesenius, Murphy), "My king is El" (Lange).
These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls.
Verse 18. - These arc the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls.
The sons of Rachel Jacob's wife; Joseph, and Benjamin.
Verse 19. - The sons of Rachel Jacob's wife (cf. Genesis 44:27); Joseph and Benjamin.
And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him.
Verse 20. - And unto Joseph in the land of Eygpt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him (vide Genesis 41:50). The LXX., having probably transferred them from 1 Chronicles 7:14, append the words, Ἐγένοντο δε υἱοὶ Μανασσῆ οὕς ἔτεκεν αὐτῶ ἡ παλλακὴ ἡ Συρα τὸν Μαχίρ Μαχὶρ δὲ ἐγὲννησε τὸν Γαλαάδ Υἱοὶ δὲ Ἐφραι'μ ἀδελφοῦ Μανασσῆ Σουταλαἀμ και Ταάμ Υἱοὶ δε Σουταλαὰμ Ἐδώμ. Since they are not to be found in the Samaritan text, Rosenmüller thinks they may have been originally written on the margin, and thence by some subsequent copyist transferred to the text.
And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard.
Verse 21. - And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, - "Devouring (Gesenius); the ancient name of Zoar, one of the cities in the Jordan circle (Genesis 14:2) - and Becher, - "a Young Camel" (Gesenius) - and Ashbol, - "Opinion of God" (Gesenius), "Sprout" (Lange), "Short?" (Murphy) - Gera, "a Grain" (Gesenius), "Fighter"? (Lange) - and Naaman, - "Pleasantness" (Gesenius) - Ehi, - "Brotherly" (Lange, Murphy); = Ehud, "Joining together" (Gesenius), 1 Chronicles 8:6; styled Ahiram (Numbers 26:38) - and Rosh, - "Head" (Gesenius) - Muppim, - "Adorned One" (Lange); = Shupham (Numbers 26:38) and Shephupham (1 Chronicles 8:5), "Serpent"? (Gesenius) - and Huppim, - "Coverings" (Gesenius), or Hupham (Numbers 26:39) - and Ard - "Fugitive," "Rover" (Murphy), "Ruler"? (Lange). In Numbers 26:40 Naaman and Ard are given as the sons of Bela, and the grandsons of Benjamin; a plausible explanation of which is that Benjamin's sons died early, and were replaced in the list of heads of families by two of Bela's sons who had been named after them (Keil, Murphy, Inglis, et alii). In the same table of mishpachoth the names of Becher, Gem, and Rosh have been omitted, and that probably for a similar reason - that they died either without issue, or without a number of descendants large enough to form independent families.
These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen.
Verse 22. - These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen.
And the sons of Dan; Hushim.
Verse 23. - And the sons of Dan; Hushim - "Those who make haste" (Gesenius); designated Shuham in Numbers 26:42.
And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem.
Verse 24. - And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, - "Allotted by God" (Gesenius) - and Guni, - "Painted" (Gesenius), "Dyed" (Murphy), "Protected" (Lange) - and Jezer, - "Image," "Form" (Gesenius, Lange, Murphy) - and Shillem - "Retribution" (Gesenius), "Avenger" (Lange).
These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven.
Verse 25. - These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven.
All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six;
Verses 26, 27. - All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six; and the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten. According to the LXX. the number of Joseph's sons was nine; and the number of those who came with Jacob into Egypt seventy five, a number adopted by Stephen (Acts 7:14). The apparent confusion in these different numbers, sixty-six, seventy, seventy- five, will disappear if it be observed that the first takes no account of Jacob, Joseph, Manasseh, and Ephraim, while they are as palpably included in the second computation, and that Stephen simply adds to the seventy of ver. 27 the five grandsons of Joseph who are mentioned in the Septuagint version, from which he quoted, or to the sixty-six of ver. 26 the nine mentioned above, consisting of Jacob, Joseph, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Joseph's five grandsons, thus making seventy five in all. There is thus no irreconcilable contradiction between the Hebrew historian and the Christian orator.
And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.
And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
Verse 28. - And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph (the noble qualities displayed by Judah had manifestly secured, as they had Certainly merited, the affectionate admiration and hearty confidence of the aged patriarch), to direct his face unto Goshen; - i.e. that Joseph might supply him with the necessary instructions for conducting the pilgrims to their appointed settlement (Dathius, Rosenmüller, Keil, Lange, Ainsworth, Murphy, 'Speaker's Commentary'), rather than that Joseph might meet him in Goshen (LXX., Vulgate, Samaritan, Kalisch) - and (having received the necessary directions) they came into the land of Goshen. The LXX. read εἴς γῆν Ῥαμεσσῆ, as in Genesis 47:11.
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.
Verse 29. - And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; - literally, he (i.e. Joseph) appeared (the niph. form of the verb, which is commonly used of the appearance of God or his angels, being here employed to indicate the glory in which Joseph came to meet his father: Keil) unto him, vie., Jacob - and he fell on his neck, - i.e. Joseph fell upon Jacob s neck (LXX., Vulgate, Calvin, Dathe, Keil, and commentators generally), though Maimonides regards Jacob as the subject of the verb fell - and wept on his neck a good while - in undoubted transports of joy, feeling his soul by those delicious moments abundantly recompensed for all the tears he had shed since he parted from his father in Hebron, upwards of twenty years before.
And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.
Verse 30. - And Israel (realizing something of the same holy satisfaction as he trembled in his son's embrace) said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art still alive - literally, I will die this time, after I have seen thy face, that (Keil, Kalisch), or since, thou art still alive; the meaning of the patriarch being that, since with his own eyes he was now assured of Joseph's happiness, he had nothing more to live for, the last earthly longing of his heart having been completely satisfied, and was perfectly prepared for the last scene of all - ready, whenever God willed, to be gathered to his fathers.
And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father's house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me;
Verses 31, 32. - And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's house, I will go up (employed in ver. 29 to describe a journey from the interior of the country to the desert, or Canaan, the verb עָלַה is here used in a courtly sense to signify a visit to a sovereign or superior), and show Pharaoh (literally, relate, or tell, to Pharaoh), and say unto him, My brethren, and my father's house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me; and the men are shepherds (literally, keepers of flocks), for their trade hath been to feed cattle (literally, they are men of cattle); and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.
And the men are shepherds, for their trade hath been to feed cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.
And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation?
Verses 33, 34. - And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation? Pharaoh's inquiry was characteristically Egyptian, being rendered necessary by the strict distinction of castes that then prevailed. According to a law promulgated by Amasis, a monarch of the 26th dynasty, every Egyptian was obliged to give a yearly account to the monarch or State governor of how he lived, with the certification that if he failed to show that he possessed an honorable calling (δικαίην ζόην) he should be put to death (Herod., 2:177). That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle (literally, men of cattle arc thy servants) from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen. Joseph probably desired his brethren to settle in Goshen for three reasons.
(1) It was suitable for their flocks and herds;
(2) it would secure their isolation from the Egyptians; and
(3) it was contiguous to Canaan, and would be easier vacated when the time arrived for their return. For every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians. These are obviously the words not of Joseph, but of the historian, and their accuracy is strikingly corroborated by Herodotus (2. 47, 164), who affirms that the swine-herds, one of the seven castes, classes, or guilds into which the Egyptians were divided, were regarded with such abhorrence that they were not allowed to enter a temple or contract marriage with any others of their countrymen; and by existing monuments, which show that though the statement of Josephus ('Ant.,' 2:07, 5) is incorrect that "the Egyptians were prohibited from meddling with the keeping of sheep,' yet those, who tended cattle were greatly despised, Egyptian artists evincing the contempt in which they were held by frequently representing them as either lame or deformed, dirty and unshaven, and sometimes of a most ludicrous appearance (vide Wilkinson, 'Ancient Egyptians,' vol. 2. p. 444, ed. 1878). It has been thought that the disrepute in which the shepherd guild was held by the Egyptians was attributable partly to the nature of their occupation, and partly to the feeling excited against them by the domination of the shepherd kings (Wilkinson, Wordsworth, Murphy, and others); but
(1) while this might account for their dislike to foreign shepherds, it would not explain their antipathy to native shepherds;
(2) if, as some think, Joseph's Pharaoh was one of the shepherd kings, it is not likely that this rooted prejudice against shepherds would then be publicly expressed, however violently it might afterwards explode;
(3) there is good reason for believing that the descent into Egypt occurred at a period much earlier than the shepherd kings. Hence the explanation of this singular antipathy to shepherds or wandering nomads has been sought in the fact that the Egyptians were essentially an agricultural people, who associated ideas of rudeness and barbarism with the very name of a shepherd (Hengstenberg, Keil, Kurtz), perhaps because from a very early period they had been exposed on their Eastern boundary to incursions from such nomadic shepherds (Rosenmüller), and perhaps also because from their occupation shepherds were accustomed to kill the animals held sacred by the other classes of the community (Kalisch).
That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.