Genesis 46

Jacob Moves to Egypt

1 So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to 1Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the 2God of his father Isaac.
2 3God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, "4Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here I am."
3 He said, "5I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will 6make you a great nation there.
4 "7I will go down with you to Egypt, and 8I will also surely bring you up again; and 9Joseph will close * your eyes."
5 Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob and their little ones and their wives in the 10wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
6 They took their livestock and their property, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and 11came to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him:
7 his sons and his grandsons with him, his daughters and his granddaughters *, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.

Those Who Came to Egypt

8 Now these are the 12names of the sons of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn.
9 The sons of Reuben: Hanoch and Pallu and Hezron and Carmi.
10 The 13sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.
11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12 The sons of Judah: Er and Onan and Shelah and Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan ). And the 14sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
13 The sons of Issachar: Tola and Puvvah and Iob and Shimron.
14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered and Elon and Jahleel.
15 These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, with his daughter Dinah; all his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three *.
16 The 15sons of Gad: Ziphion and Haggi, Shuni and Ezbon, Eri and Arodi and Areli.
17 The 16sons of Asher: Imnah and Ishvah and Ishvi and Beriah and their sister Serah. And the 17sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel.
18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and she bore to Jacob these sixteen * persons.
19 The sons of Jacob's wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
20 18Now to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.
21 The 19sons of Benjamin: Bela and Becher and Ashbel, Gera and Naaman, Ehi and Rosh, Muppim and Huppim and Ard.
22 These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob; there were fourteen * persons in all.
23 The sons of Dan: Hushim.
24 The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel and Guni and Jezer and Shillem.
25 These are the 20sons of Bilhah, whom 21Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and she bore these to Jacob; there were seven persons in all.
26 22All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob's sons, were sixty-six persons in all,
27 and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; 23all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy.
28 Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out the way before him to 24Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.
29 Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and 25wept on his neck a long time.
30 Then Israel said to Joseph, "Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive."
31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, "26I 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 and 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, '27What is your occupation?'
34 you shall say, 'Your servants have been 28keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,' that you may live in the land of 29Goshen; for every shepherd is 30loathsome 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 30

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

Footnotes 28

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

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