Genesis 46

Genesis 46 has Jacob (Israel) deciding it was ok to make the trip to see his lost and dead son Joseph.  At least that is what he had been convinced was the case.  This is a big deal as Jacob and the entire family have to leave everything that was familiar to them.  “God spoke to Israel in visions of the night….Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. 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”.  God directly communicated with Jacob that it is the right thing to do – to go to Egypt with all his family and livestock as Joseph had requested.  God makes that very clear to him.

Before leaving, Jacob offers sacrifices to God.  He doesn’t ask for anything but gives God praise that his son Joseph is alive.  We get a list of how many are going to make the trip here:

Sons of Leah – 33

Sons of Zilpah – 16

Sons of Rachel – 14

Sons of Bilhah – 7

All the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy”.  This is quite a batch of people to move from Canaan to Egypt.

They take off from Canaan and begin the rather long journey.  Judah is sent ahead of the rest to show the way and to let Joseph know they are enroute.  Remember that Judah is the one who had made promises earlier about protecting his family before.  This shows that Jacob trusted his son, even with some of the shortcomings he has had.  Grace is part of God’s kingdom and needs to be part of our families.  As they moved closer “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”.

The reunion happens and Jacob comes face to face with the son he thought he had lost 22 years earlier.  The fact that he is able to be reunited gives Jacob peace and he tells Joseph that he is now ready to die.  Joseph prepares his family for their encounter with Pharaoh and tells them to be completely honest – which hasn’t been one of the traits that defined the family over the years.  “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”.  He tells them not to play any games but to be truthful and trust God to take care of the situation.

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