Genesis 46 (NRSV)
Jacob Brings His Whole Family to Egypt
When Israel set out on his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”
3Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. 4I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph’s own hand shall close your eyes.”
Are you worried about your future? Do you feel anxious while facing the unclear and unknown? The promise God made to Jacob is also meant for you. Take heart and believe the Lord: “Do not be afraid, (insert your name here), for I am God. I have good plans for you. I myself will go with you wherever you go, and even death cannot separate you from my love.”
HERE is a song that speaks to the divine providence of God. “God will make a way where there seems to be no way” by Don Moen is a very encouraging song!
5Then Jacob set out from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6They also took their livestock and the goods that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, 7his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.
8Now these are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his offspring, who came to Egypt.
Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn, 9and the children of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
10The children of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman.
11The children of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12The children of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan); and the children of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
13The children of Issachar: Tola, Puvah, Jashub, and Shimron.
14The children of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel 15(these are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, together with his daughter Dinah; in all his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three).
16The children of Gad: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.
17The children of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. The children of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel 18(these are the children of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and these she bore to Jacob—sixteen persons).
19The children of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 20To Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.
21The children of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard 22(these are the children of Rachel, who were born to Jacob—fourteen persons in all).
23The children of Dan: Hashum.
24The children of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem 25(these are the children of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and these she bore to Jacob—seven persons in all).
26All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into Egypt, who were his own offspring, not including the wives of his sons, were sixty-six persons in all. 27The children of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy.
Jacob Settles in Goshen
28Israel sent Judah ahead to Joseph to lead the way before him into Goshen. When they came to the land of Goshen, 29Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. He presented himself to him, fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
30Israel said to Joseph, “I can die now, having seen for myself that you are still alive.”
31Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32The men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.’
33When Pharaoh calls you, and says, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our ancestors’ —in order that you may settle in the land of Goshen, because all shepherds are abhorrent to the Egyptians.”
Remember the musical Oklahoma? Well, the Egyptians are the farmers, and the Hebrews are the ranchers, and at this place and this time, they can’t be friends!
John 10:14-15 (English Standard Version)
Jesus said, “I am the good shepherd. I know my own and my own know me, just as the Father knows me and I know the Father; and I lay down my life for the sheep.”
The New Revised Standard Version, copyright 1989 by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved.