Archive for July 22nd, 2011

Genesis 46

Genesis 46 is a whole lot of math.  Jacob (Israel) is pondering a trip to see Joseph in Egypt.  “God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and 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…. Joseph’s hand shall close your eyes”.  Pretty clear direction.  Jacob doesn’t have to interpret much here.  God has given him a clear picture of what he is to do.  Load up all his stuff – head to Egypt – see Joseph – and there he will die.

So they load up the wagons and head out.  It was no little deal, and this chapter captures that reality.  Jacob has sons and a daughter from four women who now have their own sons.  We see that list here:

  1. Leah – has 33 in her lineage
  2. Zilpah (Leah’s servant) – has sixteen in her lineage
  3. Rachel – has fourteen in her lineage
  4. Bilhah – has seven in her lineage

If we total it all up there are 70 folks who made up “all the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt”.  Of course that is just the main family – then there were all the servants and flocks as well.  It was quite a deal to move all of them to Egypt.

But off they went.  “Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet Israel”.  He didn’t wait for his arrival – he headed out to meet them.  And when he did – Joseph was overwhelmed with joy.  “He presented himself to him and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while”.  This was a huge family reunion.  All of the family was there.  I can’t imagine the chaos of moving that many people and animals in wagons and on foot – but that didn’t distract Joseph from what his mission was – to see his dad again.

Jacob had his dream fulfilled.  His response was “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive”.  He has been dreaming for this day believing it would never come.  Now he is reunited with the son he had been led to believe was long dead.  That is quite a bit for an old man to take in.  He is now ready to just pass on.  But that is not the plan.  They are to settle in Goshen and take care of their flocks and herds.  Joseph is now taking care of the family – the torch is being passed.

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