Genesis 46

Listen to Genesis 46

Joseph Brings His Family to Egypt

1 So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to 1Beersheba, and offered sacrifices 2to the God of his father Isaac.
2 And God spoke to Israel 3in visions of the night and said, "Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here am I."
3 Then he said, "I am God, 4the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will 5make you into a great nation.
4 I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also 6bring you up again, and 7Joseph's hand shall close your eyes."
5 Then Jacob set out from Beersheba. The sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons 8that Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
6 They also took their livestock and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and 9came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him,
7 his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters. All his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.
8 10Now 11these are the names of the descendants of Israel, who came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons. 12Reuben, Jacob's firstborn,
9 and the sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
10 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman.
11 The sons of 13Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12 The sons of 14Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but 15Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan); and the sons of 16Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
13 17The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puvah, Yob, and Shimron.
14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
15 These are the sons of Leah, 18whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, together with his daughter Dinah; altogether his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three.
16 The sons of Gad: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.
17 19The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, with Serah their sister. And the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel.
18 20These are the sons of Zilpah, 21whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter; and these she bore to Jacob--sixteen persons.
19 The sons of Rachel, Jacob's wife: Joseph and Benjamin.
20 And 22to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera the priest of 23On, bore to him.
21 And 24the sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.
22 These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob--fourteen persons in all.
23 The sons of Dan: Hushim.
24 25The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.
25 26These are the sons of Bilhah, 27whom Laban gave to Rachel his daughter, and these she bore to Jacob--seven persons in all.
26 All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into Egypt, who were his own descendants, not including Jacob's sons' wives, were sixty-six persons in all.
27 And the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two. 28All the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy.

Jacob and Joseph Reunited

28 He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to show the way before him in Goshen, and they came 29into the land of Goshen.
29 Then Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen. He presented himself to him and 30fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while.
30 Israel said to Joseph, 31"Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive."
31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, 32"I will go up and tell Pharaoh and will say to him, 'My brothers and my father's household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me.
32 33And the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock, and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.'
33 When Pharaoh calls you and says, 34'What is your occupation?'
34 you shall say, 35'Your servants have been keepers of livestock 36from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,' in order that you may dwell 37in the land of Goshen, for every shepherd is 38an abomination to the Egyptians."

Genesis 46 Commentary

Chapter 46

God's promises to Jacob. (1-4) Jacob and his family go to Egypt. (5-27) Joseph meets his father and his brethren. (28-34)

Verses 1-4 Even as to those events and undertakings which appear most joyful, we should seek counsel, assistance, and a blessing from the Lord. Attending on his ordinances, and receiving the pledges of his covenant love, we expect his presence, and that peace which it confers. In all removals we should be reminded of our removal out of this world. Nothing can encourage us to fear no evil when passing through the valley of the shadow of death, but the presence of Christ.

Verses 5-27 We have here a particular account of Jacob's family. Though the fulfilling of promises is always sure, yet it is often slow. It was now 215 years since God had promised Abraham to make of him a great nation, ch. 12:2 ; yet that branch of his seed, to which the promise was made sure, had only increased to seventy, of whom this particular account is kept, to show the power of God in making these seventy become a vast multitude.

Verses 28-34 It was justice to Pharaoh to let him know that such a family was come to settle in his dominions. If others put confidence in us, we must not be so base as to abuse it by imposing upon them. But how shall Joseph dispose of his brethren? Time was, when they were contriving to be rid of him; now he is contriving to settle them to their advantage; this is rendering good for evil. He would have them live by themselves, in the land of Goshen, which lay nearest to Canaan. Shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians. Yet Joseph would have them not ashamed to own this as their occupation before Pharaoh. He might have procured places for them at court or in the army. But such preferments would have exposed them to the envy of the Egyptians, and might have tempted them to forget Canaan and the promise made unto their fathers. An honest calling is no disgrace, nor ought we to account it so, but rather reckon it a shame to be idle, or to have nothing to do. It is generally best for people to abide in the callings they have been bred to and used to. Whatever employment and condition God in his providence has allotted for us, let us suit ourselves to it, satisfy ourselves with it, and not mind high things. It is better to be the credit of a mean post, than the shame of a high one. If we wish to destroy our souls, or the souls of our children, then let us seek for ourselves, and for them, great things; but if not, it becomes us, having food and raiment, therewith to be content.

Cross References 38

  • 1. Genesis 21:31, 33; Genesis 26:33; Genesis 28:10
  • 2. Genesis 26:24, 25; Genesis 28:13; Genesis 31:42
  • 3. Genesis 15:1; Job 33:14, 15
  • 4. Genesis 28:13
  • 5. Genesis 35:11; [Genesis 12:2; Exodus 1:7, 9; Deuteronomy 26:5]
  • 6. Genesis 15:16; Genesis 28:15; Genesis 48:21; Genesis 50:24; Exodus 3:8
  • 7. Genesis 50:1
  • 8. Genesis 45:19, 21, 27
  • 9. Joshua 24:4; Psalms 105:23; Isaiah 52:4; Acts 7:14, 15
  • 10. For ver. 8-11, see Exodus 6:14-16
  • 11. Exodus 1:1-5
  • 12. Numbers 26:5; 1 Chronicles 5:1-3
  • 13. 1 Chronicles 6:1
  • 14. 1 Chronicles 2:3; 1 Chronicles 4:21
  • 15. Genesis 38:3, 7, 10
  • 16. Genesis 38:29; 1 Chronicles 2:5
  • 17. 1 Chronicles 7:1
  • 18. See Genesis 29:32-35; Genesis 30:1-21
  • 19. 1 Chronicles 7:30
  • 20. See Genesis 30:10-13
  • 21. Genesis 29:24
  • 22. Genesis 41:50-52
  • 23. Genesis 41:45
  • 24. See Numbers 26:38-40; 1 Chronicles 7:6-12; 1 Chronicles 8:1
  • 25. 1 Chronicles 7:13
  • 26. See Genesis 30:5-8
  • 27. Genesis 29:29
  • 28. Exodus 1:5; Deuteronomy 10:22; [Acts 7:14]
  • 29. See Genesis 45:10
  • 30. [Genesis 45:14]
  • 31. [Luke 2:29, 30]
  • 32. Genesis 47:1
  • 33. Genesis 47:3
  • 34. [See ver. 32 above]
  • 35. [See ver. 32 above]
  • 36. Genesis 37:12
  • 37. ver. 28
  • 38. Genesis 43:32; Exodus 8:26

Chapter Summary


In this chapter we are told, that Jacob with all his family and substance took a journey to Egypt to see his son Joseph, as he determined, in which he was encouraged to proceed by a vision from God, Ge 46:1-7; and an account is given of all his sons, his sons' sons and daughters that went thither with him, Ge 46:8-27; when he came near to Egypt he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to acquaint him of his coming, who met him at Goshen, where there was a most affectionate interview between them, Ge 46:28-30; and when he gave directions and instructions what answers to give to Pharaoh's questions, when they should appear before him, to whom he proposed to go and inform him of their being come into Egypt, Ge 46:31-34.

Genesis 46 Commentaries

The English Standard Version is published with the permission of Good News Publishers.