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Genesis - Chapter 46

Bible Study Notes

Genesis 46:1-4 Jacob stopped at Beersheba on his way to Egypt and offered sacrifices to the Lord. The Lord came to him in a vision and promised Jacob that He will make the nation of Israel great in Egypt and to not fear for He would be with them in Egypt and bring them out again.

Notes: God reassures Jacob that his journey to Egypt will not undermine the divine promises that center on Canaan. Although Jacob will die in Egypt, he will then be buried with his ancestors, Abraham and Isaac, in Canaan. While the patriarchs died before witnessing the fulfillment of God’s redemptive purposes for the whole world, they believed that their eternal destiny was secure because of their relationship with God.

They arrived in Egypt around 1875 b.c. They remained 430 years until the exodus in 1445 b.c.

Genesis 46:5-7 Everyone and everything that belonged to Jacob went with him to Egypt.

Genesis 46:8-15 Thirty-three persons from his sons born to Leah went to Egypt.

Genesis 46:16-18 Sixteen persons from his sons born to Zilpah went to Egypt.

Genesis 46:19-22 Fourteen persons from his sons born to Rachel went to Egypt.

Genesis 46:23-25 Seven persons from his sons born to Bilhah went to Egypt.

Genesis 46:27 Total count of people coming from Jacob’s descendants was seventy persons.

Genesis 46:28-29 Judah went ahead to tell Joseph that Jacob and all were on their way. Joseph went out with his chariot to meet his father in Goshen. Joseph and his father Jacob wept and Jacob was not content to die now that he has seen his son Joseph alive.

Notes: Once again Judah was the leader going ahead as Jacob’s representative, not Reuben.

Genesis 46:30-34 Joseph informed his family that he would contact Pharaoh and let him know that his family had arrived. He will mention that they are shepherds, and have brought their flock and livestock. When asked by Pharaoh what they did for a living, the brothers were to tell Pharaoh the truth, and because a shepherd is deemed an abomination in Egypt, they will dwell away from the Egyptians in the land of Goshen.

Notes: Joseph’s instructions about his preparatory interview with Pharaoh were designed to secure his relatives a place somewhat separate from the mainstream of Egyptian society. The social stigma regarding the Hebrews, who were shepherds, also played a crucial role in protecting Israel from intermingling and losing their identity in Egypt.

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