OceanSide church of Christ

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Genesis 47

Victor M. Eskew


I.           The Title of Genesis 47


A.   Settling into Egypt

B.    Don’t Leave Me in Egypt

C.   Lived in Egypt; Buried in Canaan

D.   Jacob “In the Land of Goshen” (Gen. 47:1, 4, 6, 27)


II.         The Key Verse of Genesis 47:  Genesis 47:5-6


And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph saying, thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee.  The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and thy brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell:  and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.


Why this verse?  Pharaoh grants Israel the right to dwell in Egypt.  Three phrases are used in this text to describe the land:  1) “the land of Egypt,” 2) “the best of the land,” and 3) “the land of Goshen.”  NOTE:  In verse 11, it is also referred to as “the land of Rameses.”


III.       The Outline of Genesis 47


i.               SOJOURNING IN EGYPT (Gen. 47:1-12, see v. 4)

ii.              SUBJECTION OF EGYPT (Gen. 47:13-25)

iii.            SEPARATION FROM EGYPT (Gen. 47:26-31)


IV.        The Lessons of Genesis 47


A.   Keeping rulers, overseers, and leaders informed about matters is a wise practice (Gen. 47:1).


Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, My father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan, and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen.


B.    Why was Goshen a good place for Israel to dwell while Israel increased in number?

1.     Immediately, the land of Egypt provided them with sustenance during the famine.

2.     “God had carefully chosen Egypt as the one place where Israel could grow into a nation.  The Egyptians abhorrence for the Jews would limit the danger of intermingling, either racially or religiously (a problem which would lead to much trouble in Canaan).  The size and prosperity of Egypt would allow the Hebrew people to become numerous while still being a minority in the country.  The later invasion of the Hyksos, an eastern people, led to the enslavement of the Jews, which served to make them physically strong” (Hebrew-Greek Key Study Bible, Zodhiates, p. 72).


C.   Good leaders understand that people with talents need to be put into places where they can use those talents (Gen. 47:6b).


…and if thou knowest any man of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle.


D.   All of us have assessments we make about our lives (Gen. 47:9).


And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years:  few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my father in the days of their pilgrimage.


E.    Good and wise children will care for their parents and their families (Gen. 47:12).


And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father’s household, with bread, according to their families.


F.     When people become dependent upon government, they become the slaves of that government.

1.     The famine drove the Egyptians to beg for assistance from the leadership of the land (Gen. 47:13, see also v. 19).

2.     The people had many things taken from them to “pay” for the government’s assistance.

a.     Money (Gen. 47:14)

b.    Cattle (Gen. 47:16-17)

c.    Land and their own bodies (Gen. 47:20-21)

3.     In addition, a tax of 20% of all that their lands produced was imposed (Gen. 47:24-26).

4.     People will sell their freedom to be cared for by the government (Gen. 47:25).


And they said, Thou hast saved our lives:  let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s servants.


G.   It is not wrong to have a request that will be fulfilled after one’s death (Gen. 47:29-30a).


And the time drew nigh that Israel must die:  and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in my thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not I pray thee in Egypt:  but I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bring me in their burial place.