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Genesis 46 English Standard Version (ESV)
Joseph Brings His Family to Egypt
1 So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.” 3 Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. 4 I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph’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 that 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 came 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.
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 into 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 fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while.30 Israel said to Joseph, “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, “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 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, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34 you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ in order that you may dwell in the land of Goshen, for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.”
Read the passage slowly and try to feel the roller-coaster emotions.
Joseph’s brothers returned to Jacob with news of Joseph’s survival and prosperity. Israel (Jacob) then moved to Egypt in response to Joseph’s invitation and God’s encouragement.
Beersheba lay on the southern border of Canaan (v. 1). Jacob and his caravan stopped there to offer sacrifices to God. Earlier Abraham had planted a tamarisk tree there and called on the name of the Lord (21:33). Isaac had also built an altar there and called on the Lord after God had appeared to him (26:24-25). It was perhaps at this altar that Jacob now presented his sacrifices. Jacob must have had mixed feelings as he looked forward to seeing Joseph again. At the same time he realized he was leaving the land promised to his family by God. This move was as momentous for Jacob as Abram’s journey from Ur (12:1-3), Jacob’s flight to Paddan-aram (28:1-22), or his return to Canaan (31:3-54), all of which God encouraged with visions.
If God were calling you, what would God be asking you to leave behind? What would God want you to keep for this journey?
When God wants you to alter your lifestyle, what does He do? How does He get your attention? What might God be asking you to change about your lifestyle now? Will you be willing?