Genesis Chapter 47 to 48 : Easy-to-Read Version  | SearchSearch | Next Version | Previous Page | Next Page |

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Israel Settles in Goshen

47 Joseph went in to Pharaoh and said, “My father and my brothers and all their families are here. They have all their animals and everything they own from the land of Canaan with them. They are now in the land of Goshen.” 2Joseph chose five of his brothers to be with him before the Pharaoh. 3Pharaoh said to the brothers, “What work do you do?” The brothers said to Pharaoh, “Sir, we are shepherds. And our ancestors* were shepherds before us.” 4They said to Pharaoh, “The time of hunger is very bad in Canaan. There are no fields left with grass for our animals. So we have come to live in this land. We ask you to please let us live in Goshen.” 5Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6You can choose any place in Egypt for them to live. Give your father and your brothers the best land. Let them live in the land of Goshen. And if they are skilled shepherds, then they can also care for my cattle.” 7Then Joseph called his father Jacob to come in to meet Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8And Pharaoh said to him, “How old are you?” 9Jacob said to Pharaoh, “I have had a short life with many troubles. I have lived only 130 years. My father and his ancestors* lived to be much older than I am.” 10Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Then Jacob left from his meeting with Pharaoh. 11Joseph did what Pharaoh said and gave his father and brothers land in Egypt. It was the best land in Egypt, {in the eastern part of the country} in the land of Rameses. 12Joseph also gave his father, his brothers, and all their people the food that they needed.

Joseph Buys Land for Pharaoh

13The time of hunger became worse. There was no food anywhere in the land. Egypt and Canaan became very poor because of this bad time. 14People in the land bought more and more grain. Joseph saved the money and brought it to Pharaoh’s house. 15After some time, the people in Egypt and Canaan had no money left. They had spent all their money to buy grain. So the people of Egypt went to Joseph and said, “Please give us food. Our money is gone. If we don’t eat, we will die while you are watching.” 16But Joseph answered, “Give me your cattle, and I will give you food.” 17So the people used their cattle and horses and all their other animals to buy food. And that year, Joseph gave them food and took their animals. 18But the next year, people had no animals and nothing to buy food with. So the people went to Joseph and said, “You know that we have no money left. And all our animals belong to you. So we have nothing left—only what you see—our bodies and our land. 19Surely we will die while you are watching. But if you give us food, then we will give Pharaoh our land, and we will be his slaves. Give us seed so that we can plant. Then we will live and not die. And the land will grow food for us again.” 20So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. All the people in Egypt sold Joseph their fields. They did this because they were very hungry. 21And all the people became slaves of Pharaoh. Everywhere in Egypt, people were Pharaoh’s slaves. 22The only land Joseph didn’t buy was the land that the priests owned. The priests didn’t need to sell their land because Pharaoh paid them for their work. So they used this money to buy food to eat. 23Joseph said to the people, “Now I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. So I will give you seed, and you can plant your fields. 24At harvest time, you must give one fifth of your crops to Pharaoh. You can keep four-fifths for yourselves. You can use the seed you keep for food and planting the next year. Now you can feed your families and your children.” 25The people said, “You have saved our lives. We are happy to be slaves to Pharaoh.” 26So Joseph made a law at that time in the land. And that law still continues today. The law says that one fifth of everything from the land belongs to the Pharaoh. The Pharaoh owns all the land. The only land he doesn’t own is the land of the priests.

“Don’t Bury Me in Egypt”

27Israel (Jacob) stayed in Egypt. He lived in the land of Goshen. His family grew and became very large. They got that land in Egypt and did very well. 28Jacob lived in Egypt 17 years. So Jacob was 147 years old. 29The time came when Israel (Jacob) knew he would soon die, so he called his son Joseph to him. He said, “If you love me, then put your hand under my leg and make a promise.* Promise that you will do what I say and that you will be truthful with me. When I die, don’t bury me in Egypt. 30Bury me in the place where my ancestors* are buried. Carry me out of Egypt and bury me in our family grave.” Joseph answered, “I promise that I will do what you say.” 31Then Jacob said, “Make a vow to me.” And Joseph vowed to him that he would do this. Then Israel (Jacob) laid his head back down on the bed.*

ancestors Literally, “fathers.” This means a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from. put your hand … make a promise This showed that this was a very important promise and that Jacob trusted Joseph to keep his promise.  Then Israel … on the bed Or, “Then Israel worshiped on the head of this staff.” The Hebrew word for “staff” is like the word for “bed.” And the word for “worship” also means to “bow down” or “lie down.”

Blessings for Manasseh and Ephraim

48 Some time later, Joseph learned that his father was very sick. So Joseph took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim and went to his father. 2When Joseph arrived, someone told Israel, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” Israel was very weak, but he tried hard and sat up in his bed. 3Then Israel said to Joseph, “God All- Powerful appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan. God blessed me there. 4God said to me, ‘I will make you a great family. I will give you many children and you will be a great people. Your family will own this land forever.’ 5And now you have two sons. These two sons were born here in the country of Egypt before I came. Your two sons Ephraim and Manasseh will be like my own sons. They will be the same as Reuben and Simeon to me. 6So these two boys will be my sons. They will share in everything I own. But if you have other sons, they will be your sons. But they will also be like sons to Ephraim and Manasseh—that is, in the future, they will share in everything that Ephraim and Manasseh own. 7On the trip from Paddan Aram, Rachel died. This made me very sad. She died in the land of Canaan. We were still traveling toward Ephrath. I buried her there on the road to Ephrath. (Ephrath is Bethlehem.)” 8Then Israel saw Joseph’s sons. Israel said, “Who are these boys?” 9Joseph said to his father, “These are my sons. These are the boys God gave me.” Israel said, “Bring your sons to me. I will bless them.” 10Israel was old and his eyes were not good. So Joseph brought the boys close to his father. Israel kissed and hugged the boys. 11Then Israel said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see your face again. But look! God has let me see you and your children.” 12Then Joseph took the boys off of Israel’s lap and they bowed down in front of his father. 13Joseph put Ephraim on his right side and Manasseh on his left side. (So Ephraim was on Israel’s left side, and Manasseh was on Israel’s right side.) 14But Israel crossed his hands and put his right hand on the head of the younger boy Ephraim. Then Israel put his left hand on the head of the older boy Manasseh. He had his left hand on Manasseh, even though Manasseh was firstborn. 15And Israel blessed Joseph and said, “My ancestors,* Abraham and Isaac, worshiped our God. And that God has led me all of my life. 16He was the Angel who saved me from all my troubles. And I pray that he will bless these boys. Now these boys will have my name and the name of our ancestors, Abraham and Isaac. I pray that they will grow to become great families and nations on earth.” 17Joseph saw that his father put his right hand on Ephraim’s head. This didn’t make Joseph happy. Joseph took his father’s hand. He wanted to move it from Ephraim’s head and put it on Manasseh’s head. 18Joseph said to his father, “You have your right hand on the wrong boy. Manasseh is the firstborn. Put your right hand on him!” 19But his father argued and said, “I know, son. I know. Manasseh is the firstborn. And he will be great. He will also be the father of many people. But the younger brother will be greater than the older brother. And the younger brother’s family will be much larger.” 20So Israel blessed them that day. He said, “The people of Israel will use your names whenever they bless someone. They will say, “May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.” In this way, Israel made Ephraim greater than Manasseh. 21Then Israel said to Joseph, “Look, my time to die is almost here. But God will still be with you. He will lead you back to the land of your ancestors.* 22I have given you something that I did not give your brothers. I give you the mountain that I won from the Amorite people. I used my sword and bow to fight for that mountain. And I won.”

ancestors Literally, “fathers.” This means a person’s parents, grandparents, and all the people they are descended from.

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