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Bible Commentaries

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Genesis 47



1Joseph presents his father, and five of his brethren before Pharaoh.
11He gives them habitation and maintenance.
13He gets the Egyptians' money;
16their cattle;
18and their lands, except the priests', to Pharaoh.
23He restores the land for a fifth.
28Jacob's age.
29He swears Joseph to bury him with his fathers.

Verse 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.
45:16; 46:31; Hebrews 2:11
in the land
45:10; 46:28,34; Exodus 8:22; 9:26

Verse 2
And he took some of his brethren, even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh.
Acts 7:13; 2 Corinthians 4:14; Colossians 1:28; Jude 1:24

Verse 3
And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, What is your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, Thy servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers.
What is
46:33,34; Amos 7:14,15; Jonah 1:8; 2 Thessalonians 3:10

Verse 4
They said moreover unto Pharaoh, For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen.
For to
12:10; 15:13; Deuteronomy 26:5; Psalms 105:23; Isaiah 52:4; Acts 7:6
for the famine
43:1; Acts 7:11
let thy

Verse 6
The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and 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.
11; 13:9; 20:15; 34:10; 45:18-20; Proverbs 21:1; John 17:2
men of activity
Anshey chayil, men of strength, power, ability, or prowess. It implies both fitness of mind and body; and so valour, prudence, diligence, and virtue.
Exodus 18:21; 1 Samuel 21:7; 1 Chronicles 27:29-31; 2 Chronicles 26:10; Proverbs 22:29
cattle {Mikneh}, from {kanah}, to posses, signifies property or possession of any kind, though it frequently is used for cattle, because in ancient times they constituted the principal part of a man's possessions
16; Exodus 9:3-6,10,21

Verse 7
And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
And Jacob
10; 35:27; Exodus 12:32; Numbers 6:23,24; Joshua 14:13; 1 Samuel 2:20; 2 Samuel 8:10; 2 Samuel 19:39; 1 Kings 1:47; 2 Kings 4:29; Matthew 26:26; Luke 22:19; 1 Peter 2:17

Verse 8
And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou?
How old art thou
Heb. How many are the days of the years of thy life?

Verse 9
And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an 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 fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.
The days
1 Chronicles 29:15; Psalms 39:12; 119:19,54; 2 Corinthians 5:6; Hebrews 11:9-16; 13:14; 1 Peter 2:11
and hundred
Job 14:1; Psalms 39:5; 89:47,48; 90:3-12; James 4:14
have not
28; 5:27; 11:11,24,25; 25:7,8; 35:28; 50:26; Exodus 6:4; 7:7; Deuteronomy 34:7; Joshua 24:29; 2 Samuel 19:32-35; Job 8:8,9; 42:16,17

Verse 10
And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh.
7; 14:19; Numbers 6:23-27; Deuteronomy 33:1; Ruth 2:4; 2 Samuel 8:10; 19:39; Psalms 119:46; Psalms 129:8; Hebrews 7:7

Verse 11
And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.
6; Exodus 1:11; 12:37; John 10:10,28; 14:2,23; 17:2,24

Verse 12
And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families.
Ruth 4:15
his father
Exodus 20:12; Matthew 15:4-6; Mark 7:10-13; 1 Timothy 4:8; 5:4,8
according to their families
or, as a little child is nourished. Heb. according to the little ones.
1,21,24; 1 Thessalonians 2:7

Verse 13
And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine.
A. M. 2300. B.C. 1704. so that
41:30,31; 1 Kings 18:5; Jeremiah 14:1-6; Lamentations 2:19,20; 4:9; Acts 7:11
Jeremiah 9:12; Joel 1:10-12

Verse 14
And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house.
the money
Joseph brought
Luke 16:1,2,10-12; 1 Corinthians 4:2; 1 Peter 4:10

Verse 15
And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth.
A. M. 2301. B.C. 1703. Give us bread
18,19,24; Judges 8:5,8; 1 Samuel 21:3; 25:8; Psalms 37:3; Isaiah 33:16; Matthew 6:11

Verse 16
And Joseph said, Give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail.
Give your cattle
This was the wisest measure that could be adopted, both for the preservation of the people and the cattle. As the people had not grain for their own sustenance, consequently they could have none for their cattle: hence they were in the most imminent danger of starving; and the people also were in equal danger; as they must have divided a portion of that bought for themselves with the cattle, which, for the sake of tillage, etc., they wished of course to preserve till the seven years' famine should end.
Daniel 6:5-7; Proverbs 12:17; 1 Corinthians 10:32; Philippians 4:8; Colossians 4:5

Verse 17
And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.
for horses
Exodus 9:3; 1 Kings 10:28; Job 2:4; Isaiah 31:1; Matthew 6:24
fed them
Heb. led them.

Verse 18
When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, We will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands:
A. M. 2302. B.C. 1702
2 Kings 6:26; Jeremiah 38:9

Verse 19
Wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate.
buy us
Nehemiah 5:2,3; Job 2:4; Lamentations 1:11; 5:6,9; Matthew 16:26; Philippians 3:8,9
and give

Verse 21
And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof.
A. M. 2303. B.C. 1701
And as
It is highly probable, that Joseph was influenced by no political motive in removing the people to the cities, but merely by motives of prudence and humanity; for, as the corn was laid up in the cities, it would be more eligible to bring then from distant towns and villages to places where they might be more conveniently supplied with food.
to cities

Verse 22
Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands.
of the priests
or, princes.
14:18; 41:45,50; *marg:; 2 Samuel 8:18
for the priests
Deuteronomy 12:19; Joshua 21:1-45; Ezra 7:24; Nehemiah 13:10; Matthew 10:10; 1 Corinthians 9:13; Galatians 6:6; 2 Thessalonians 3:10; 1 Timothy 5:17

Verse 23
Then Joseph said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land.
here is seed
41:27; 45:6; Psalms 41:1; 107:36,37; 112:5; Proverbs 11:26; 12:11; 13:23; Ecclesiastes 11:6; Isaiah 28:24,25; 55:10; Matthew 24:45; 2 Corinthians 9:10

Verse 24
And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones.
the fifth part
25; 41:34; Leviticus 27:32; 1 Samuel 8:15-17; Psalms 41:1; 112:5

Verse 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.
Thou hast
6:19; 41:45; *marg:; 45:6-8; 50:20; Proverbs 11:26,27
let us
18:3; 33:15; Ruth 2:13

Verse 26
And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part; except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh's.
made it a law
From this history, and from Diodorus Siculus (lib. i.), we learn that the land of Egypt was divided into three parts: one belonged to the Priests, (ver. 22, 26;) a second was the king's, (which appears to have been the land of Rameses, or Goshen, ver. 11;) the remainder was the subjects'. Now Joseph, having purchased the land of the people (ver. 19, 20), restored it, on the condition of their paying a fifth part of the produce to the king, beyond which he appears to have made no demand.
22; Ezekiel 7:24
or, princes.

Verse 27
And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.
8:7,9; 13:16; 26:4; 28:14; 46:3; Exodus 1:7,12; Deuteronomy 10:22; 26:5; Nehemiah 9:23; Psalms 105:24; 107:38; Zechariah 10:8; Acts 7:17

Verse 28
And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years.
A. M. 2315. B.C. 1689. seventeen
the whole age
Heb. the days of the years of his life.
8; *marg:; 9; Psalms 90:10,12; 119:84

Verse 29
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 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:
must die
9; 3:19; 50:24; Deuteronomy 31:14; 2 Samuel 7:12; 14:14; 1 Kings 2:1; Job 7:1; Job 14:14; 30:23; Psalms 6:5; 49:7,9; 89:48; Hebrews 9:27
deal kindly
bury me not
50:24,25; Acts 7:15,16; Hebrews 11:22

Verse 30
But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou hast said.
23:19; 25:9; 49:29-32; 50:5-14,25; 2 Samuel 19:37; 1 Kings 13:22; Nehemiah 2:3,5

Verse 31
And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.
And Israel bowed
As shachah, which primarily signifies to bow, denotes also to worship; and as mittah, a bed, pronounced matteh, is a staff; the LXX. have taken the passage in the latter sense, and rendered it [kai prosekunésen Israel epi to akron tés rabdou autou] "and Israel worshipped upon the top of his staff," which is literally copied by the apostle Paul, in his Epistle to the Hebrews. The present reading is, however, supported by the Masoretic pointing and the Targums; and is most probably correct, as it would appear that Jacob was confined to his bed.
29; 24:26; 48:1,2; 1 Kings 1:47; Hebrews 11:21


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These files are public domain.
Text Courtesy of Used by Permission.

Bibliography Information
Torrey, R. A. "Commentary on Genesis 47:4". "The Treasury of Scripture Knowledge".

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