Genesis 47:7
Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and presented him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
An Interview with RoyaltyJ. J. Wray.Genesis 47:7
Growth by TransplantingA. Maclaren, D. D.Genesis 47:7
Jacob and PharaohA. E. Dunning.Genesis 47:7
Jacob and PharaohJ. C. Gray.Genesis 47:7
Jacob and PharaohD. C. Hughes, M. A.Genesis 47:7
Jacob Before PharaohT. G. Horton.Genesis 47:7
Joseph and His FatherF. E. Clark.Genesis 47:7
Joseph Introduces Jacob and His Family to PharaohT. H. Leale.Genesis 47:7
Joseph's Filial ConductAmerican Sunday School TimesGenesis 47:7
The Presentation to PharaohR.A. Redford Genesis 47:1-10


1. A gracious meeting. In the visions of the night, at Beersheba, Jehovah, after a lapse of upwards of a quarter of a century, again makes known his presence to his servant. It was a signal act of gracious condescension on the part of God.

2. A promised meeting. As the God of Abraham and of Isaac, Jehovah had solemnly taken Jacob into covenant with himself, and engaged to be with him for guidance and succor wherever he might wander and whensoever he might need assistance; and such an occasion had manifestly arisen then in the experience of the patriarch.

3. A solicited meeting. It is more than likely this was the explanation of Jacob's sacrifices at Beersheba. He was asking God to come to him with counsel and help at the important crisis which had come upon him. 4. An encouraging meeting. Jacob got all that he desired and more - words of cheer and promises of love, that sufficed at once to dispel his fears and animate his hopes.


1. A longed-for meeting. How earnestly father and son had yearned to behold one another we can imagine better than express.

2. An expected meeting. No doubt Joseph instructed Judah to inform Jacob that he (Joseph) would visit him at Goshen.

3. A happy meeting. Those who have passed through experiences in any degree similar to thin of Joseph and Jacob meeting after many years, when each perhaps thought the other dead, will not be surprised at their emotion.


1. An interesting, meeting. Of age with (probable) youth, of poverty with wealth, of lowly birth (at least, comparatively) with regal dignity, of piety with superstition.

2. An instructive meeting. No doubt the monarch would learn something of Jacob's by-past history, and let us hope too of Jacob's God; and perhaps Jacob would discover something in what he heard from Pharaoh concerning Joseph that would lead him to recognize the Divine hand even mere clearly than he did.

3. A profitable meeting. Pharaoh got a good man's blessing, and Jacob won a great man's smile. - W.

And Joseph brought in Jacob his father.

II. JOSEPH HONOURED HIS FATHER BY SHOWING HIS LOVE FOR HIM. One of our martyr-Presidents never stood higher in the nation's eyes than when he turned around, after his inauguration, and, before all the assembled thousands, greeted his mother with a filial kiss.

III. JOSEPH HONOURED HIS FATHER BY HIS PURE AND NOBLE LIFE. Words of respect are comparatively worthless unless they have a life behind them.

IV. JOSEPH HONOURED HIS FATHER BY PRESENTING HIM SO PROMPTLY TO PHARAOH. He shows not a particle of shame of his rusticity, Jacob's homespun must have contrasted strangely with Pharaoh's purple; Jacob's uncouth phrases of country-life with the king's polished diction. Joseph knew well enough how such people were ordinarily despised at the court, and yet how he omits no chance to show to Pharaoh how much he loved and honoured his father. The story is told of the Dean of Canterbury, afterwards Archbishop Tillotson, that one day after he had attained his churchly honours, an old man from the country, with uncouth manners, called at his door and inquired for John Tillotson. The foot. man was about to dismiss him with scorn for presuming to ask in that familiar way for his master, when the Archbishop caught sight of his visitor and flew down the stairs to embrace the old man before all the servants, exclaiming with tones of genuine delight, "It is my beloved father!" We all admire such exhibitions of filial love, which overcomes the fear of the cool conventionalities of the world, and we find from our lesson that Pharaoh was touched by his prime minister's loyalty to his poor relations, for he gave him this royal token of his pleasure: "The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and thy brethren to dwell;" &c.

(F. E. Clark.)

I desire to linger awhile on this thrilling scene. There are wise, good lessons in it.

1. I look upon it first of all and see an attractive picture of venerable old age. "The hoary head is a crown of glory," says Solomon, "if it he found in the way of righteousness." Age invests many things with a beauty of its own. An aged oak, wide-spread, gnarled, and weather-warped, stalwart, green, and stately; or an ancient castle, weatherworn and storm-swept, moss-clad and ivy-covered, its grey towers still standing bold and brave to all the winds of heaven; but of all attractive pictures that old time can draw, nothing is more winsome than the silver locks and mellowed features of godly old age. They remind me of some retired Greenwich or Chelsea veteran who can tell the tale of scars and wounds, of hair-breath escapes, of brave comrades, of stirring campaigns, of hard-fought battles; only this has been a holier war, followed by a dearer peace and more sweet reward and victories than ever followed Trafalgar or Waterloo. So with the godly character. It is beautiful in all its stages from youth to manhood; hut surely, fairest of all when age, experience, and grace hath ripened it into saintliness, and something of the heavenly shines outward from the soul within. As I look upon this aged patriarch confronting all the splendours of Pharaoh's court, I see him standing on the utmost border, waiting to be ushered into the presence of a grand Monarch, into a fairer palace, and among a richer and nobler throng, and where he himself will be the wearer of a richer crown. As I look upon this strange scene in Pharaoh's palace, I see that there is something grander and more powerful in moral worth than in any kind or amount of material power or possessions. In the epistle to the Hebrews I find this sentence, "Without contradiction, the less is blessed of the greater." Jacob has something and can procure something which makes the monarch less than he, something which makes him better and greater than the king. It is the blessing of God. It is power with God. It is that influence from heaven and with heaven which belongs to moral goodness and virtue, and especially to aged piety everywhere and at all times. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Never forget that righteousness is far away greater than the riches.

2. And once more, as I look upon that striking scene in Pharaoh's palace and listen to the aged patriarch's words, I think of his testimony concerning life. He calls it a pilgrimage. Young men! have you ever thought of that? Behind you there is a stern uncompromising power that is always muttering, "Move on! Move on! March through the moments! hurry through the hours! tramp along the days! tread through the mouths! stride along the years! You can't halt! You can't step backward. Move on!" Oh, but this is a tremendous view of human life! God help us from this hour to walk aright; to keep the path of duty, the ways of the Lord, lest the later stages of our pilgrimage find us in swamp and quagmire, scorching desert or thorny jungle when our strength is exhausted and the dull night winds blow!

3. I notice, too, that Jacob calls his days evil days. He means by that they had been sorrowful, full of trouble and care. Well, his was a hard life, he had had disappointment and distress beyond the common. If you will read his history you will find that his own conduct had to answer largely for his cares; his sins were the seed of his sorrows; his wrong-doing caused the very most of his rough usage, and nobody knew that better than Jacob did himself. Sin is the mother of sorrow, and its seeds sown in the life are sure to bring a harvest of pain. There is an Australian weapon called the boomerang, which is thrown so as to describe a series of curves and comes back at last to the feet of the thrower. Sin is a boomerang which we throw off into space, but it turns upon its author, and strikes the soul that launched it.

4. Learn another lesson from this striking picture — a lesson of God's sure faithfulness. Jacob with all his faults had served and trusted God. His troubles and distresses had helped to bring him more fully into pious confidence and patient faith; and his trust in God brought about all things right at last.

(J. J. Wray.)

1. The chief value of this narrative is that it affords one of the most impressive of all illustrations of the providential purposes of God.

2. We gain here some insight into the business regulations of a successful government. Pharaoh appears to have been a model king. He managed the state on business principles. The first question he asked these strangers who had come to settle in his kingdom was, "What is your occupation?" Such a government expects its subjects to be men of business. No idlers were wanted there in time of famine; none but men of ability, active habits, prudence, capacity.

3. We find in this scene an example of courtesy. There is a touching simplicity and an air of vivid reality in this picture, which leads to intuitive recognition of its genuineness. Jacob respected Pharaoh's office, and Pharaoh respected Jacob's age.

4. We have here also a model for conversation.

5. This scene suggests a sad retrospect. Jacob as a prince had prevailed with God. He had gained the birthright, but he had not escaped the consequences of his own sins. Men do not escape the fruits of sin by receiving honours in the kingdom of God. God's grace may brighten the future, but nothing else than righteous living can make happy memories; and the shadows of youthful transgression stretch across a long life.

6. We have in this scene a remainder of our eternal relations with God.

(A. E. Dunning.)

I. A STRANGE MEETING. Meetings of historical characters and their results an interesting study (Diogenes and Alexander, Columbus and Ferdinand, Luther and Charles V., Milton and Galileo, &c.). None more remarkable than this.

1. Strange circumstances led to it.

2. A strange introduction given to it. Joseph presented five of his brethren to the king. These probably were the five eldest, who were at this time advanced in life.

3. Strange conversation marked it. Pharaoh, apparently overwhelmed by the venerable aspect of Jacob, inquired his age. Jacob, talking to a much younger man, calls his own life short.

4. Strange consequences flowed from it. Nearly 400 years ago this meeting left its mark on history, never to be effaced. Consequences to Israel and Egypt.

5. After the farewell was spoken they appear to have never seen each other again.


1. A patriarch, and a prince. The one the head of God's chosen people, now numbering a few souls, to become a nation; the other the head of a mighty people, already a great nation.

2. A servant of God, and a worshipper of idols. The one the head of a people who were to become great and powerful; the other the king of a nation that should afterwards be humbled.

3. An Israelitish shepherd, and an Egyptian monarch. The occupation of the one an abomination to the other.

4. A poor man, and a rich man. The one, through his son, the benefactor and the deliverer of the other.

5. A very aged man, and a man in the prime of life. Age of Pharaoh uncertain, but the age of Jacob 130 years.

III. A STRANGE COMMENT, i.e., on life.

1. It is a pilgrimage. Not a settled, permanent, certain ,state. A journey from the cradle to the grave. Among strange people, scenes, trials, and joys. Over hills of prosperity and across plains of content, down valleys of sorrow and poverty.

2. Counted by days. The unit of measurement very short. Know not what a day may bring forth.

3. Few. Yet 130 years. How few are our years! Few as compared with eternity; or even with life of many (Methuselah, &c.). Few, compared with hopes, projects, &c.

4. Evil. Full of sin, sorrow, &c. Little done that is good. Man born to trouble. Uncertain. Full of changes.

5. Yet the longest life only a pilgrimage, and reckoned by days.Learn:

1. The best meeting for us is the meeting of the penitent sinner with the merciful Saviour. Arrangements are made for it, good results will inevitably flow from it. The closet is the audience-chamber.

2. The best contrast for us is between the old state of nature and the new state of grace. May we all realize it, and enjoy its blessings.

3. Then our new life, hopes, &c., will be a comment on the Saviour's power, and on the work of the Holy Spirit (written epistles, &c.). And when this short pilgrimage is over, we shall, in eternity, comment upon the wonderful love of God, and the blessed life in heaven.

(J. C. Gray.)


1. Of Joseph's brethren. In this appears —

(1)Joseph's character for fidelity to his promise.

(2)Joseph's respect for constituted authority.

(3)The straightforwardness of Joseph's brethren (vers. 3, 4).

2. Of Joseph's father.

(1)The reverence due to age.

(2)The priesthood of age.


1. Of the brethren.

2. Of Jacob.

(T. H. Leale.)

American Sunday School Times.

1. Approaching the king.

2. Speaking for others.

3. Presented to the king.


1. Kindly inquiry (ver. 3).

2. Truthful statement (ver. 4).

3. Generous permission (ver. 6).


1. The father honoured (ver. 7).

2. A home bestowed (ver. 11).

3. The family nourished (ver. 12).

(American Sunday School Times.)

I. The conduct of Joseph in reference to the settlement in Goshen is an example of THE POSSIBILITY OF UNITING WORLDLY PRUDENCE WITH HIGH RELIGIOUS PRINCIPLE AND GREAT GENEROSITY OF NATURE. He had promised his brothers a home in that fertile Eastern district, which afforded many advantages in its proximity to Canaan, its adaptation to pastoral life, and its vicinity to Joseph when in Zoan, the capital. But he had not consulted Pharaoh, and, however absolute his authority, it scarcely stretched to giving away Egyptian territory without leave. So his first care, when the wanderers arrive, is to manage the confirmation of the grant. He goes about it with considerable astuteness — a hereditary quality, which is redeemed from blame because used for unselfish purposes and unstained by deceit. He does not tell Pharaoh how far he had gone, but simply announces that his family are in Goshen, as if awaiting the monarch's further pleasure. Then he introduces a deputation, no doubt carefully chosen, of five of his brothers (as if the whole number would have been too formidable), previously instructed how to answer. He knows what Pharaoh is in the habit of asking, or he knows that he can lead him to ask the required question, which will bring out the fact of their being shepherds, and utilize the prejudice against that occupation, to insure separation in Goshen. All goes as he had arranged. Joseph is a saint and a politician. His shrewdness is never craft; sagacity is not alien to consecration. No doubt it has to be carefully watched lest it degenerate; but prudence is as needful as enthusiasm, and he is the complete man who has a burning fire down in his heart to generate the force that drives him, and a steady hand on the helm, and a keen eye on the chart, to guide him. Be ye "wise as serpents," but also "harmless as doves."

II. WE MAY SEE IN JOSEPH'S CONDUCT ALSO AN INSTANCE OF A MAN IN HIGH OFFICE AND NOT ASHAMED OF HIS HUMBLE RELATIONS. It is as if some high official in Paris were to walk in half-a-dozen peasants in blouse and sabots, and present them to the president as "my brothers." It was a brave thing to do; and it teaches a lesson which many people in America and England, who have made their way in the world, would be nobler and more esteemed if they learned.

III. The brothers' word to Pharaoh is another instance of THAT IGNORANT CARRYING OUT OF THE DIVINE PURPOSES WHICH WE HAVE ALREADY HAD TO NOTICE. They thought of five years, and it was to be nearly as many centuries. They thought of temporary shelter and food; God meant an education of them and their descendants. Over all this story the unseen Hand hovers, chastising, guiding, impelling; and the human agents are free and yet fulfilling an eternal purpose, blind and yet accountable, responsible for motives, and mercifully ignorant of consequences. So we all play our little parts. We have no call to be curious as to what will come of our deeds. This end of the action, the motive of it, is our care; the other end, the outcome of it, is God's business to see to.

IV. We may also observe HOW TRIVIAL INCIDENTS ARE WROUGHT INTO GOD'S SCHEME. The Egyptian hatred of the shepherd class secured one of the prime reasons for the removal from Canaan, the unimpeded growth of a tribe into a nation.


(A. Maclaren, D. D.)


1. Picture the old man's attitude of soul toward God, and death, and the world to come.

2. His retrospect of life, and how he now sees events in their true proportions and bearings.

3. His own subdued passions and amiable spirit.

4. His concern for, and interest in, the rising generation.



1. A natural reflection.

2. It may be a morbid and evil reflection. Better to imitate the Psalmist's thankful hopefulness (Psalm 23).


(T. G. Horton.)




1. The reality of Joseph's love for his brothers, as well as for his lather, is found in the abundant provision he made for them all.

2. This evidence of Joseph's forgiveness of his brother's great wrong to him, and of his care for them, completes the picture of one of the most beautiful characters presented in history.

3. And this perfection of character, combining so many qualities, presents him to us not only as a beautiful model of manliness, of filial and fraternal love, but also as one of the most perfect types of our great exemplar, the Lord Jesus Christ.Lessons:

1. God's faithfulness to His people.

2. Notwithstanding the Divine love, God's people are not exempt from suffering.

3. A good son maketh the heart of his father to rejoice.

4. Let us learn more perfectly the duty of loving one another.

(D. C. Hughes, M. A.)

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