Day 15: Genesis 47-50

‘Tis a bittersweet day. This is the final post in the first book of the Bible: Genesis.  So technically, I can say I read a whole book. Tomorrow, I’ll be doing a recap on Genesis.


Genesis 47: The Middle of the Same Story from Genesis 46

As I mentioned yesterday, the story of Jacob moving to Egypt is split between chapters 46 and 47, which happen to be in two different daily readings. If you haven’t read yesterday’s post yet, you should. You might be lost without it.

Joseph does get his family set up in Egypt as shepherds. Consider yesterday’s cliffhanger…unhung?

Pharaoh instructed Joseph to give his father and brothers a place to live in Egypt and a flock to tend. Joseph also gave them food…enough for all 66+ of them.

At this point, the famine was really bad in Egypt. Joseph’s people had no more money to buy food, so Joseph exchanged food for livestock. That got them through the year.

But the next year, the people had no more livestock to sell (Pharaoh owned it all via Joseph) so they offered up their land and themselves. Pharaoh and Joseph bought all the land and “reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to another.” With one exception: He didn’t buy land that belonged to priests because they got regular allotments from Pharaoh.

Joseph gave the people seeds to plant on the land that now belonged to Pharaoh. He instructed them to give 1/5 of their crop to Pharaoh and to keep the rest for themselves as food and seed for future years. This ended up becoming law of the land: 1/5 of all produce belongs to Pharaoh, except that which comes from priests’ land.

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Genesis 48: Jacob and Joseph Die in Egypt

Now there’s a pretty straightforward chapter title. I wonder what’s going to happen.

Also, I completely forgot that Jacob was, at some point, renamed Israel, but he’s only been referred to as Jacob for a while…until this chapter.

Jacob/Israel had Joseph promise—by putting his hand under Jacob’s thigh—that Jacob would be buried where his fathers were, not in Egypt.

As he was dying, Jacob/Israel basically blessed everybody. Well, all of his sons and his son’s sons. So everybody who’s a male.


Genesis 49: Jacob Blesses His Sons

Just as it seems like he’s about to die, Jacob/Israel goes through his sons (those from all of his wives and wives’ slaves) individually to bless them and reiterate their strengths. This blessing spans two pages, so I’ll spare you. Most of them are animal-related metaphors, and several of them border on being prophecies.

Jacob/Israel again reiterated his wishes to be buried away from Egypt, and specified that he wanted to be laid to rest where Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, and Leah were all buried.

Then he dies at the age of 147.


Genesis 50: No Title, Which Means We’re Again Mid-story

Joseph had Jacob/Israel embalmed, which takes 40 days, and the Egyptians mourned him for 70 days.

Pharaoh gave Joseph permission to leave to bury Jacob as per his final wishes. Pharaoh’s officials and all the adult members of Joseph’s household went along.

They buried Jacob/Israel as requested and returned to Egypt.

The brothers were worried that Joseph would retaliate against them for what they had done long ago (sold him into slavery, in case you forgot). Joseph reassured the brothers that he would provide for them and their families.

Joseph ends up dying at the age of 110. He blesses his brothers and tells them God will surely care for them. He was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.


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About Megan Horn

I'm spending portions of the next 365 days reading the Bible. And document my thoughts as I work through the Holy Book.

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