So Jacob set out for Egypt with all his possessions. And when he came to Beersheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Isaac. 2 During the night God spoke to him in a vision. “Jacob! Jacob!” he called.
“Here I am,” Jacob replied.
3 “I am God, the God of your father,” the voice said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make your family into a great nation. 4 I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. You will die in Egypt, but Joseph will be with you to close your eyes.”
5 So Jacob left Beersheba, and his sons took him to Egypt. They carried him and their little ones and their wives in the wagons Pharaoh had provided for them. 6 They also took all their livestock and all the personal belongings they had acquired in the land of Canaan. So Jacob and his entire family went to Egypt— 7 sons and grandsons, daughters and granddaughters—all his descendants.
8 These are the names of the descendants of Israel—the sons of Jacob—who went to Egypt:
Reuben was Jacob’s oldest son. 9 The sons of Reuben were Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
10 The sons of Simeon were Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jakin, Zohar, and Shaul. (Shaul’s mother was a Canaanite woman.)
11 The sons of Levi were Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12 The sons of Judah were Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (though Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan). The sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
13 The sons of Issachar were Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron.
14 The sons of Zebulun were Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.
15 These were the sons of Leah and Jacob who were born in Paddan-aram, in addition to their daughter, Dinah. The number of Jacob’s descendants (male and female) through Leah was thirty-three.
16 The sons of Gad were Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.
17 The sons of Asher were Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah. Their sister was Serah. Beriah’s sons were Heber and Malkiel.
18 These were the sons of Zilpah, the servant given to Leah by her father, Laban. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Zilpah was sixteen.
19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin.
20 Joseph’s sons, born in the land of Egypt, were Manasseh and Ephraim. Their mother was Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, the priest of On.
21 Benjamin’s sons were Bela, Beker, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.
22 These were the sons of Rachel and Jacob. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Rachel was fourteen.
23 The son of Dan was Hushim.
24 The sons of Naphtali were Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.
25 These were the sons of Bilhah, the servant given to Rachel by her father, Laban. The number of Jacob’s descendants through Bilhah was seven.
26 The total number of Jacob’s direct descendants who went with him to Egypt, not counting his sons’ wives, was sixty-six. 27 In addition, Joseph had two sons who were born in Egypt. So altogether, there were seventy members of Jacob’s family in the land of Egypt.
Jacob’s Family Arrives in Goshen
28 As they neared their destination, Jacob sent Judah ahead to meet Joseph and get directions to the region of Goshen. And when they finally arrived there, 29 Joseph prepared his chariot and traveled to Goshen to meet his father, Jacob. When Joseph arrived, he embraced his father and wept, holding him for a long time. 30 Finally, Jacob said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen your face again and know you are still alive.”
31 And Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s entire family, “I will go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘My brothers and my father’s entire family have come to me from the land of Canaan. 32 These men are shepherds, and they raise livestock. They have brought with them their flocks and herds and everything they own.’”
33 Then he said, “When Pharaoh calls for you and asks you about your occupation, 34 you must tell him, ‘We, your servants, have raised livestock all our lives, as our ancestors have always done.’ When you tell him this, he will let you live here in the region of Goshen, for the Egyptians despise shepherds.”
Then Joseph went to see Pharaoh and told him, “My father and my brothers have arrived from the land of Canaan. They have come with all their flocks and herds and possessions, and they are now in the region of Goshen.”
2 Joseph took five of his brothers with him and presented them to Pharaoh. 3 And Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”
They replied, “We, your servants, are shepherds, just like our ancestors. 4 We have come to live here in Egypt for a while, for there is no pasture for our flocks in Canaan. The famine is very severe there. So please, we request permission to live in the region of Goshen.”
5 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and brothers have joined you here, 6 choose any place in the entire land of Egypt for them to live. Give them the best land of Egypt. Let them live in the region of Goshen. And if any of them have special skills, put them in charge of my livestock, too.”
7 Then Joseph brought in his father, Jacob, and presented him to Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
8 “How old are you?” Pharaoh asked him.
9 Jacob replied, “I have traveled this earth for 130 hard years. But my life has been short compared to the lives of my ancestors.”10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh again before leaving his court.
11 So Joseph assigned the best land of Egypt—the region of Rameses—to his father and his brothers, and he settled them there, just as Pharaoh had commanded. 12 And Joseph provided food for his father and his brothers in amounts appropriate to the number of their dependents, including the smallest children.
Joseph’s Leadership in the Famine
13 Meanwhile, the famine became so severe that all the food was used up, and people were starving throughout the lands of Egypt and Canaan. 14 By selling grain to the people, Joseph eventually collected all the money in Egypt and Canaan, and he put the money in Pharaoh’s treasury. 15 When the people of Egypt and Canaan ran out of money, all the Egyptians came to Joseph. “Our money is gone!” they cried. “But please give us food, or we will die before your very eyes!”
16 Joseph replied, “Since your money is gone, bring me your livestock. I will give you food in exchange for your livestock.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph in exchange for food. In exchange for their horses, flocks of sheep and goats, herds of cattle, and donkeys, Joseph provided them with food for another year.
18 But that year ended, and the next year they came again and said, “We cannot hide the truth from you, my lord. Our money is gone, and all our livestock and cattle are yours. We have nothing left to give but our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we die before your very eyes? Buy us and our land in exchange for food; we offer our land and ourselves as slaves for Pharaoh. Just give us grain so we may live and not die, and so the land does not become empty and desolate.”
20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold him their fields because the famine was so severe, and soon all the land belonged to Pharaoh. 21 As for the people, he made them all slaves, from one end of Egypt to the other.22 The only land he did not buy was the land belonging to the priests. They received an allotment of food directly from Pharaoh, so they didn’t need to sell their land.
23 Then Joseph said to the people, “Look, today I have bought you and your land for Pharaoh. I will provide you with seed so you can plant the fields. 24 Then when you harvest it, one-fifth of your crop will belong to Pharaoh. You may keep the remaining four-fifths as seed for your fields and as food for you, your households, and your little ones.”
25 “You have saved our lives!” they exclaimed. “May it please you, my lord, to let us be Pharaoh’s servants.” 26 Joseph then issued a decree still in effect in the land of Egypt, that Pharaoh should receive one-fifth of all the crops grown on his land. Only the land belonging to the priests was not given to Pharaoh.
27 Meanwhile, the people of Israel settled in the region of Goshen in Egypt. There they acquired property, and they were fruitful, and their population grew rapidly. 28 Jacob lived for seventeen years after his arrival in Egypt, so he lived 147 years in all.
29 As the time of his death drew near, Jacob called for his son Joseph and said to him, “Please do me this favor. Put your hand under my thigh and swear that you will treat me with unfailing love by honoring this last request: Do not bury me in Egypt. 30 When I die, please take my body out of Egypt and bury me with my ancestors.”
So Joseph promised, “I will do as you ask.”
31 “Swear that you will do it,” Jacob insisted. So Joseph gave his oath, and Jacob bowed humbly at the head of his bed.
One day not long after this, word came to Joseph, “Your father is failing rapidly.” So Joseph went to visit his father, and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
2 When Joseph arrived, Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to see you.” So Jacob gathered his strength and sat up in his bed.
3 Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me. 4 He said to me, ‘I will make you fruitful, and I will multiply your descendants. I will make you a multitude of nations. And I will give this land of Canaan to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’
5 “Now I am claiming as my own sons these two boys of yours, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born here in the land of Egypt before I arrived. They will be my sons, just as Reuben and Simeon are. 6 But any children born to you in the future will be your own, and they will inherit land within the territories of their brothers Ephraim and Manasseh.
7 “Long ago, as I was returning from Paddan-aram, Rachel died in the land of Canaan. We were still on the way, some distance from Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem). So with great sorrow I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath.”
8 Then Jacob looked over at the two boys. “Are these your sons?” he asked.
9 “Yes,” Joseph told him, “these are the sons God has given me here in Egypt.”
And Jacob said, “Bring them closer to me, so I can bless them.”
10 Jacob was half blind because of his age and could hardly see. So Joseph brought the boys close to him, and Jacob kissed and embraced them. 11 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “I never thought I would see your face again, but now God has let me see your children, too!”
12 Joseph moved the boys, who were at their grandfather’s knees, and he bowed with his face to the ground. 13 Then he positioned the boys in front of Jacob. With his right hand he directed Ephraim toward Jacob’s left hand, and with his left hand he put Manasseh at Jacob’s right hand. 14 But Jacob crossed his arms as he reached out to lay his hands on the boys’ heads. He put his right hand on the head of Ephraim, though he was the younger boy, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, though he was the firstborn. 15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,
“May the God before whom my grandfather Abraham
and my father, Isaac, walked—
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life, to this very day,
16 the Angel who has redeemed me from all harm—
may he bless these boys.
May they preserve my name
and the names of Abraham and Isaac.
And may their descendants multiply greatly
throughout the earth.”
17 But Joseph was upset when he saw that his father placed his right hand on Ephraim’s head. So Joseph lifted it to move it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 “No, my father,” he said. “This one is the firstborn. Put your right hand on his head.”
19 But his father refused. “I know, my son; I know,” he replied. “Manasseh will also become a great people, but his younger brother will become even greater. And his descendants will become a multitude of nations.”
20 So Jacob blessed the boys that day with this blessing: “The people of Israel will use your names when they give a blessing. They will say, ‘May God make you as prosperous as Ephraim and Manasseh.’” In this way, Jacob put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “Look, I am about to die, but God will be with you and will take you back to Canaan, the land of your ancestors. 22 And beyond what I have given your brothers, I am giving you an extra portion of the land that I took from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”
Then Jacob called together all his sons and said, “Gather around me, and I will tell you what will happen to each of you in the days to come.
2 “Come and listen, you sons of Jacob;
listen to Israel, your father.
3 “Reuben, you are my firstborn, my strength,
the child of my vigorous youth.
You are first in rank and first in power.
4 But you are as unruly as a flood,
and you will be first no longer.
For you went to bed with my wife;
you defiled my marriage couch.
5 “Simeon and Levi are two of a kind;
their weapons are instruments of violence.
6 May I never join in their meetings;
may I never be a party to their plans.
For in their anger they murdered men,
and they crippled oxen just for sport.
7 A curse on their anger, for it is fierce;
a curse on their wrath, for it is cruel.
I will scatter them among the descendants of Jacob;
I will disperse them throughout Israel.
8 “Judah, your brothers will praise you.
You will grasp your enemies by the neck.
All your relatives will bow before you.
9 Judah, my son, is a young lion
that has finished eating its prey.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down;
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from his descendants,
until the coming of the one to whom it belongs,
the one whom all nations will honor.
11 He ties his foal to a grapevine,
the colt of his donkey to a choice vine.
He washes his clothes in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth are whiter than milk.
13 “Zebulun will settle by the seashore
and will be a harbor for ships;
his borders will extend to Sidon.
14 “Issachar is a sturdy donkey,
resting between two saddlepacks.
15 When he sees how good the countryside is
and how pleasant the land,
he will bend his shoulder to the load
and submit himself to hard labor.
16 “Dan will govern his people,
like any other tribe in Israel.
17 Dan will be a snake beside the road,
a poisonous viper along the path
that bites the horse’s hooves
so its rider is thrown off.
18 I trust in you for salvation, O Lord!
19 “Gad will be attacked by marauding bands,
but he will attack them when they retreat.
20 “Asher will dine on rich foods
and produce food fit for kings.
21 “Naphtali is a doe set free
that bears beautiful fawns.
22 “Joseph is the foal of a wild donkey,
the foal of a wild donkey at a spring—
one of the wild donkeys on the ridge.
23 Archers attacked him savagely;
they shot at him and harassed him.
24 But his bow remained taut,
and his arms were strengthened
by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob,
by the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel.
25 May the God of your father help you;
may the Almighty bless you
with the blessings of the heavens above,
and blessings of the watery depths below,
and blessings of the breasts and womb.
26 May my fatherly blessings on you
surpass the blessings of my ancestors,
reaching to the heights of the eternal hills.
May these blessings rest on the head of Joseph,
who is a prince among his brothers.
27 “Benjamin is a ravenous wolf,
devouring his enemies in the morning
and dividing his plunder in the evening.”
28 These are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said as he told his sons good-bye. He blessed each one with an appropriate message.
Jacob’s Death and Burial
29 Then Jacob instructed them, “Soon I will die and join my ancestors. Bury me with my father and grandfather in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite. 30 This is the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre in Canaan, that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a permanent burial site. 31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried. There Isaac and his wife, Rebekah, are buried. And there I buried Leah. 32 It is the plot of land and the cave that my grandfather Abraham bought from the Hittites.”
33 When Jacob had finished this charge to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and joined his ancestors in death.
Joseph threw himself on his father and wept over him and kissed him. 2 Then Joseph told the physicians who served him to embalm his father’s body; so Jacob was embalmed. 3 The embalming process took the usual forty days. And the Egyptians mourned his death for seventy days.
4 When the period of mourning was over, Joseph approached Pharaoh’s advisers and said, “Please do me this favor and speak to Pharaoh on my behalf. 5 Tell him that my father made me swear an oath. He said to me, ‘Listen, I am about to die. Take my body back to the land of Canaan, and bury me in the tomb I prepared for myself.’ So please allow me to go and bury my father. After his burial, I will return without delay.”
6 Pharaoh agreed to Joseph’s request. “Go and bury your father, as he made you promise,” he said. 7 So Joseph went up to bury his father. He was accompanied by all of Pharaoh’s officials, all the senior members of Pharaoh’s household, and all the senior officers of Egypt. 8 Joseph also took his entire household and his brothers and their households. But they left their little children and flocks and herds in the land of Goshen. 9 A great number of chariots and charioteers accompanied Joseph.
10 When they arrived at the threshing floor of Atad, near the Jordan River, they held a very great and solemn memorial service, with a seven-day period of mourning for Joseph’s father. 11 The local residents, the Canaanites, watched them mourning at the threshing floor of Atad. Then they renamed that place (which is near the Jordan) Abel-mizraim, for they said, “This is a place of deep mourning for these Egyptians.”
12 So Jacob’s sons did as he had commanded them. 13 They carried his body to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, near Mamre. This is the cave that Abraham had bought as a permanent burial site from Ephron the Hittite.
Joseph Reassures His Brothers
14 After burying Jacob, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had accompanied him to his father’s burial. 15 But now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful. “Now Joseph will show his anger and pay us back for all the wrong we did to him,” they said.
16 So they sent this message to Joseph: “Before your father died, he instructed us 17 to say to you: ‘Please forgive your brothers for the great wrong they did to you—for their sin in treating you so cruelly.’ So we, the servants of the God of your father, beg you to forgive our sin.” When Joseph received the message, he broke down and wept. 18 Then his brothers came and threw themselves down before Joseph. “Look, we are your slaves!” they said.
19 But Joseph replied, “Don’t be afraid of me. Am I God, that I can punish you? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it all for good. He brought me to this position so I could save the lives of many people. 21 No, don’t be afraid. I will continue to take care of you and your children.” So he reassured them by speaking kindly to them.
The Death of Joseph
22 So Joseph and his brothers and their families continued to live in Egypt. Joseph lived to the age of 110. 23 He lived to see three generations of descendants of his son Ephraim, and he lived to see the birth of the children of Manasseh’s son Makir, whom he claimed as his own.
24 “Soon I will die,” Joseph told his brothers, “but God will surely come to help you and lead you out of this land of Egypt. He will bring you back to the land he solemnly promised to give to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
25 Then Joseph made the sons of Israel swear an oath, and he said, “When God comes to help you and lead you back, you must take my bones with you.” 26 So Joseph died at the age of 110. The Egyptians embalmed him, and his body was placed in a coffin in Egypt.