So Israel set out on the journey with everything he owned. He arrived at Beersheba and worshiped, offering sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
God spoke to Israel in a vision that night: "Jacob! Jacob!" "Yes?" he said. "I'm listening."
God said, "I am the God of your father. Don't be afraid of going down to Egypt. I'm going to make you a great nation there.
I'll go with you down to Egypt; I'll also bring you back here. And when you die, Joseph will be with you; with his own hand he'll close your eyes."
Then Jacob left Beersheba. Israel's sons loaded their father and their little ones and their wives on the wagons Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
They arrived in Egypt with the livestock and the wealth they had accumulated in Canaan. Jacob brought everyone in his family with him
- sons and grandsons, daughters and granddaughters. Everyone.
These are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his descendants, who went to Egypt: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn.
Reuben's sons: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
Simeon's sons: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.
Levi's sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
Judah's sons: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (Er and Onan had already died in the land of Canaan). The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
Issachar's sons: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron.
Zebulun's sons: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
These are the sons that Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan Aram. There was also his daughter Dinah. Altogether, sons and daughters, they numbered thirty-three.
Gad's sons: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.
Asher's sons: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah. Also their sister Serah, and Beriah's sons, Heber and Malkiel.
These are the children that Zilpah, the maid that Laban gave to his daughter Leah, bore to Jacob - sixteen of them.
The sons of Jacob's wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
Joseph was the father of two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, from his marriage to Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On. They were born to him in Egypt.
Benjamin's sons were Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.
These are the children born to Jacob through Rachel - fourteen.
Dan's son: Hushim.
Naphtali's sons: Jahziel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.
These are the children born to Jacob through Bilhah, the maid Laban had given to his daughter Rachel - seven.
Summing up, all those who went down to Egypt with Jacob - his own children, not counting his sons' wives - numbered sixty-six.
Counting in the two sons born to Joseph in Egypt, the members of Jacob's family who ended up in Egypt numbered seventy.
Jacob sent Judah on ahead to get directions to Goshen from Joseph. When they got to Goshen,
Joseph gave orders for his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. The moment Joseph saw him, he threw himself on his neck and wept. He wept a long time.
Israel said to Joseph, "I'm ready to die. I've looked into your face - you are indeed alive."
Joseph then spoke to his brothers and his father's family. "I'll go and tell Pharaoh, 'My brothers and my father's family, all of whom lived in Canaan, have come to me.
The men are shepherds; they've always made their living by raising livestock. And they've brought their flocks and herds with them, along with everything else they own.'
When Pharaoh calls you in and asks what kind of work you do,
tell him, 'Your servants have always kept livestock for as long as we can remember - we and our parents also.' That way he'll let you stay apart in the area of Goshen - for Egyptians look down on anyone who is a shepherd."
Published by permission. Originally published by NavPress in English as THE MESSAGE: The Bible in Contemporary Language copyright 2002 by Eugene Peterson. All rights reserved. (The Message Bible Online)