“So they loaded up the wagons and they moved to…the land of Goshen.” OK, it doesn’t have the same ring to it as Flatt and Scruggs (kids, ask your grandparents).
Anyway, Jacob/Israel and his entire household left Beer-Sheba and relocated to the land of Goshen in Egypt. The whole second paragraph of this chapter simply details all of the people who went. It turns out to be seventy in all, but I’ll let the reader go find out everyone’s names. It reads like a genealogy and as people know, I’m not a fan of those.
Joseph and his father, Jacob/Israel are finally reunited after many years, since that day his brothers sold him to the Ishmaelites. He can now die having seen that his son is alive. Joseph is going to tell Pharaoh that the family is now moved in and tells his brothers what to say. It turns out that Egyptians don’t care much for shepherds.
I wish I had more to say about this chapter, but there’s not much going on at this point. I think we can all predict what’s going to happen, since we still have sixty-five books to go after this one.
Joseph introduces the family the family to Pharaoh and the brothers tell him what Joseph told them to say and Pharaoh instructs Joseph to set them up on the best part of the land and put them in charge of his livestock as well. Then he brings in Jacob who blesses Pharaoh and Jacob tells him that he is one-hundred and thirty years old. Joseph settled them in the land of Rameses and gave them enough food to sustain them.
The famine raged on and the people bought as much food as they could with the money they had, but that wasn’t enough. Then they sold their livestock to Pharaoh to buy more food, but that still wasn’t enough to make it through the famine, so they sold their land to him and became slaves to Pharaoh in exchange for food. See where this is going? Then they had to give one-fifth of everything that they grew to Pharaoh. The priests didn’t have to sell their land or become slaves because they’re given an allowance by the Pharaoh.
Seventeen years after moving to the land of Goshen in Egypt, Jacob/Israel would die. Before he died, he called upon Joseph to swear an oath (by touching his junk) to bury him in the land of his ancestors. Joseph agreed.
So we get the origin of how the Israelites became slaves to Egypt and we will get the naming of the Twelve Tribes of Israel in a couple chapters. This chapter just felt anti-climactic with absolutely no resistance to being enslaved. I mean, they volunteered to be enslaved.
Joseph came to his father’s bedside with his two children so that Jacob could bless them. Jacob tell Joseph that he will make him fruitful and multiply, but that Joseph’s two sons are now his (Jacob’s), because they will inherit the land that Jacob inherited. Anymore children that Joseph has will be his own.
When Jacob asked the two sons to approach and he blessed them, he put his right hand on the younger one’s head and his left on the older one’s head. This is obviously a callback to how Jacob got his father’s blessing as the younger. When Joseph tried to correct his father, he crossed his arms, still putting his right hand on the younger one’s head. Joseph wasn’t happy about this, but he didn’t seem to do anything about it. Jacob says that Ephraim, the younger, will be greater than his brother. Then he gives Joseph, I’m assuming, the land where Jacob’s ancestor’s are buried since he talks about land that he apparently took from the Amorites. The problem is that this didn’t happen, or at least it’s not anywhere in this book.