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GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 46 (Gen 46:1) And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. Jacob could not believe the news, but Israel believed and took a step of faith. Now it was Israel that took his journey. But before he went he felt a need to go to Beersheba, the well of the oath, and make a new sacrifice to God. Horace Greely, long ago, set the fashion of saying, "Go West, young man, go West"; and there is wisdom in the advice, provided it be conjoined with the admonition, "But don't go without your God." Perhaps some here are meditating on the propriety of their pushing away into the places where the labor market is not overstocked, and the opportunities are far better than they are in a comparatively crowded city such as this. Nor do we say a word against the project. Go, by all means, if you are not afraid to work; but remember the sacrifice at Beer-sheba, and don't go without your God. Too many have done that, and have gone to ruin. But take Him with you, and He will be "your shield and your exceeding great reward." (W. M. Taylor, D. D.) (Gen 46:2) And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. Apparently that same night after he had made his sacrifice that day, the Lord spoke to him about the covenant promise. Jacob then presented himself as a living sacrifice before the Lord. He may have remembered the prophecy to Abraham that his posterity was to be afflicted in Egypt and also that his father had been expressly told not to go [Gen_15:13; Gen_26:2]; he may have feared the contamination of idolatry to his family and their forgetfulness of the land of promise. These doubts were removed by the answer of the oracle, and an assurance given him of great and increasing prosperity. (JFB) (Gen 46:3) And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:

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God could have spoken to him earlier and told him what had transpired, where his son really was and that all was in His control. However God does not usually work that way. He usually leaves us in the dark as he did Jacob until the moment that something needs to be revealed to us of His promise. We would like for God to spare us all the sorrow and pain, but He uses those things to build our character, which is worth more than its weight in gold. (Gen 46:4) I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes. Now the Lord was gracious to him and promised not only to go with him down to Egypt but also to bring him back. That is, He would bring his body back for burial, and one day bring him up from the grave. Now he found out that God had known all along where Joseph was and had been with both of them working out His plan. God often conceals His purpose for His own glory (Pro_25:2) (Gen 46:5) And Jacob rose up from Beersheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. Jacob finished his sacrifice in Beer-sheba and took advantage of Egypt’s hospitality and came into the land of Egypt to sojourn. Stephen later referred to his coming to Egypt and dying there (Act_7:15). God had been silent to him all these years that Joseph was in Egypt. Now He appeared to him again to assure him of the covenant promises. (Gen 46:6) And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him: They had accumulated much over the years so it must have been quite a large caravan of all their belongings plus much of what they had brought with them when they left Joseph. They were now going to enter Egypt to begin the four hundred years of being strangers in a land that was not theirs as God had told Abraham (Gen_15:13).

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(Gen 46:7) His sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt. Here we learn that Jacob had other daughters beside Dinah. Daughters are not usually recorded however. It is only the male line that is used to go back in genealogy, so the ladies are left out of the census. But we find that Jacob had daughters and we do not know how many, nor do we know how many his sons had. (Gen 46:8) And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob's firstborn. We were given no record of the majority of the wives of these sons so we still do not know their names, nor do we know when Leah died and was buried, but we know it was before this time. He began with Reuben, the firstborn by Leah. Here are listed for the first time the children of the sons of Jacob. We are also ignorant of all the daughters because ladies in those days were not mentioned in the genealogical records. (Gen 46:9) And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi. And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, - "Initiated or Dedicated;" the name also of Cain's firstborn (Gen_4:17), and of the son of Jared (Gen_5:19) - and Phallu, - "Distingushed" (Gesenius) - and Hezron, "Enclosed" (Gesenius), "Of the Court or Village" (Murphy), "Blooming One" (Furst) - and Carmi, - "Vine-dresser" (Gesenius, Murphy), "Noble One" (Furst). (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 46:10) And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman. And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, - "Day of El" (Gesenius, Murphy); in 1Ch_4:24, Nemuel - and Jamin, - "Right Hand" (Gesenius, Murphy) and Ohad, - "Joined together" (Gesenius, Murphy) - and Jachin, "Whom God strengthens" (Gesenius), "He shall establish" (Murphy), or Jarib (1Ch_4:24) - and Zohar, - "Whiteness" (Gesenius, Murphy); named Zerah (1Ch_4:24) - and Shaul, - "Asked for" (Gesenius) - the

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son of a Canaanitish woman. The wives of the other sons, except Judah, were probably from Mesopotamia. (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 46:11) And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. And the sons of Levi; Gershon, - or Gershom, - "Expulsion" (Gesenins), - Kohath, or Kehath, - "Assembly" (Gesenius) - and Merari, - "Bitter," "Ufi, happy" (Gesenius), Flowing" (Murphy), Harsh One" (Lange). (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 46:12) And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zerah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul; some think that these could not be born in Canaan, but in Egypt; and that they are mentioned among those that went down to Egypt, because they went there in the loins of their father, and to supply the places of Er and Onan, who died before, and have the honour to be here named, because they might be the first of Jacob's great grandchildren born there; though others suppose that Pharez was at this time fourteen years of age, and instances are given of some, who before that age have been fathers of children; the difficulty is not easily solved: the Targum of Jonathan expressly says,"Shelah and Zarah did not beget children in Canaan, but there were two sons of Pharez who went down into Egypt, Hezron and Hamul.'' (Gill) (Gen 46:13) And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron. There is no commentary that accepts this Job as the one who wrote the book of Job and was from the land of Uz, but I personally believe he was the same for several reasons. In the first place every one of the other characters in the book can be traced back to Abraham, and it would appear unusual for the Bible to contain a book written by some foreigner to Israel. Though there is a chapter written by a pagan king (Daniel 4), there is no book written by someone outside of Israel, and the only reason Daniel four is in the Bible is because God showed His

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glory through this heathen king and what is written is an acknowledgement that He is the Living God. (Gen 46:14) And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, - "Fear" (Gesenius) - and Elon, "Oak" - and Jahleel, - "Whom God has made sick" (Gesenius). (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 46:15) These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padanaram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three. These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Parian-dram (i.e. the descendants of Leah's sons which were born in Padan-aram), with his daughter Dinah (who probably had continued unmarried after her misfortune in Shechem, and is here mentioned as an independent member of Jacob's family): (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 46:16) And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli. And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, - "Expectation" (Gesenius); Zephon (Num_26:15) - and Haggi, - " Festive" (Gesenius) - Shuni, - "Quiet" (Gesenius) - and Esbon, - "Toiling" (Murphy); named Ozni (Num_26:16) - Eri, - "Guarding" (Gesenius) - and Arodi, - "Wild Ass" (Gesenius), "Rover" (Murphy), "Descendants" (Lange); styled Arod (Num_26:17) - and Areli - "Lion of El" (Murphy), "Son of a Hero" (Gesenius), "Heroic" (Lange). (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 46:17) And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel. And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, - "Prosperity" (Gesenius) - and Ishuah, - "Even, Level" (Gesenius) - and Isui, - "Even," "Level" (Gesenius): they may have been twins - and Beriah, - "Gift" (Gesenius), "In Evil" (Murphy) - and Serah - "Abundance" (Gesenius), "Over- flow" (Murphy) - their sister: and the sons of

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Beriah; Heber, - "Fellowship" (Gesenius) - and Malchiel - "King of El" (Gesenius, Murphy), "My king is El" (Lange). (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 46:18) These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls. Of Zilpah, Leah's handmaid, there are mentioned 2 sons, 11 grandsons, 2 great-grandsons, and 1 daughter (who is reckoned like Dinah, both here and Num_26:46, for some special reason, which is not particularly described); in all, 2 + 11 + 2 + 1 = 16 souls. (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary) (Gen 46:19) The sons of Rachel Jacob's wife; Joseph, and Benjamin. Of Rachel, "Jacob's (favorite) wife," 2 sons and 12 grandsons are named, of whom, according to Num 26:40, two were greatgrandsons, = 14 souls; and of Rachel's maid Bilhah, 2 sons and 5 grandsons = 7 souls. The whole number therefore was 33 + 16 + 14 + 7 = 70. (Keil & Delitzsch Commentary) (Gen 46:20) And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him. It is possible that Joseph had other sons, but they would fall under the tribes of these two brothers for Jacob made each of them into a tribe of Israel by adopting them as his own. He told Joseph that any other children he had could be considered his own but that these two were his. This he did to ensure Joseph the double portion of the birthright. (Gen 46:21) And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard. And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, - "Devouring (Gesenius); the ancient name of Zoar, one of the cities in the Jordan circle (Gen_14:2) - and Becher, - "a Young Camel" (Gesenius) - and Ashbol, - "Opinion of God" (Gesenius), "Sprout" (Lange), "Short?" (Murphy)

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- Gera, "a Grain" (Gesenius), "Fighter"? (Lange) - and Naaman, "Pleasantness" (Gesenius) - Ehi, - "Brotherly" (Lange, Murphy); = Ehud, "Joining together" (Gesenius), 1Ch_8:6; styled Ahiram (Num_26:38) - and Rosh, - "Head" (Gesenius) - Muppim, - "Adorned One" (Lange); = Shupham (Num_26:38) and Shephupham (1Ch_8:5), "Serpent"? (Gesenius) - and Huppim, - "Coverings" (Gesenius), or Hupham (Num_26:39) - and Ard - "Fugitive," "Rover" (Murphy), "Ruler"? (Lange). In Num_26:40 Naaman and Ard are given as the sons of Bela, and the grandsons of Benjamin; a plausible explanation of which is that Benjamin's sons died early, and were replaced in the list of heads of families by two of Bela's sons who had been named after them (Keil, Murphy, Inglis, et alii). In the same table of mishpachoth the names of Becher, Gem, and Rosh have been omitted, and that probably for a similar reason - that they died either without issue, or without a number of descendants large enough to form independent families. (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 46:22) These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen. These born to Rachel were accepted when none others would be. Judah told Joseph in Egypt that Jacob had told them when they wanted to bring Benjamin to Egypt that “You know that my wife bare me two sons.” He considered Rachel his real wife and Leah being forced on him and that by trickery he would not accept in the fullest sense, so naturally her children would not hold a high regard by him either, though two of them gained great honor, Levi by presenting to Israel the priesthood, and Judah by producing the Christ. (Gen 46:23) And the sons of Dan; Hushim. And the sons of Dan, Hushim. He had but one son, wherefore the plural is put for the singular, see Gen_46:7; Aben Ezra thinks he had two sons, and that one of them was dead, and therefore not mentioned; but the other way best accounts for the expression; though, as Schmidt observes, the plural may be indefinitely put, and the sense be this, as for the sons of Dan, there was only one, whose name was Hushim. Dan was a son of Jacob by Bilhah, Rachel's maid, as the following was another. (Gill)

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(Gen 46:24) And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem. And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, - "Allotted by God" (Gesenius) and Guni, - "Painted" (Gesenius), "Dyed" (Murphy), "Protected" (Lange) - and Jezer, - "Image," "Form" (Gesenius, Lange, Murphy) and Shillem - "Retribution" (Gesenius), "Avenger" (Lange). (Pulpit Commentary) (Gen 46:25) These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven. Bilhah was the concubine that Reuben had an affair with after the death of Rachel, which was never forgotten by Jacob. He had highly insulted his father by taking the handmaid of his favorite wife and it was prophesied over him that he would not excel; he would be unstable, and as weak as water. He linked his tribe with Gad and Manasseh on the east side of the Jordan River. (Gen 46:26) All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob's sons' wives, all the souls were threescore and six; According to the LXX. the number of Joseph's sons was nine; and the number of those who came with Jacob into Egypt seventy five, a number adopted by Stephen (Act_7:14). The apparent confusion in these different numbers, sixty-six, seventy, seventy- five, will disappear if it be observed that the first takes no account of Jacob, Joseph, Manasseh, and Ephraim, while they are as palpably included in the second computation, and that Stephen simply adds to the seventy of Gen_46:27 the five grandsons of Joseph who are mentioned in the Septuagint version, from which he quoted, or to the sixty-six of Gen_46:26 the nine mentioned above, consisting of Jacob, Joseph, Manasseh, Ephraim, and Joseph's five grandsons, thus making seventy five in all. There is thus no irreconcilable contradiction between the Hebrew historian and the Christian orator. (Pulpit Commentary)

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(Gen 46:27) And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten. From these two Ephraim and Manasseh, came two tribes in Israel, and the older was servant to the younger. Ephraim became so prominent that eventually the name Israel and Ephraim were synonymous terms. By having two tribes Joseph had two portions in the inheritance whereas the other sons received only one portion, which made Joseph the son with the birthright privileges. (Gen 46:28) And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. Judah had apparently rectified himself by his new attitude toward Benjamin, by his speech to Joseph, and other characteristics, which showed a change of heart from the past. How all the affair of Genesis 38 were worked out is not told, but apparently that was now under the blood and he was not only in good with his father, but put above Reuben, Simeon and Levi, and the reason for that is found when he blessed his sons before his death (Genesis 49). And he was also in good with Joseph and that would be good because he would need his favor as he already found out. (Gen 46:29) And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while. This must have been a tremendous occasion for both Joseph and Jacob. Jacob had given up hopes of ever seeing Joseph many years ago, and now he was able to see him in his glory. Joseph had held on to his dreams and knew that this day could only come to pass if those dreams were of God and He worked out all the circumstances. And sure enough He did. (Gen 46:30) And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive. Jacob had lived a good life and God had fulfilled so many great things for him so he felt he was ready to go now, like Simeon when he saw

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the Messiah. Yet Jacob lived another seventeen years and saw not only Joseph again but his sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, and made them a part of his own family in order to ensure the birthright for Joseph. (Gen 46:31) And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father's house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me; It was expected that Joseph would have to get official approval for what he did with his family. He had already heard from Pharaoh that this was a good thing, but it was not yet official. Joseph had free reign and nothing would have been withheld from him, but he did not want to abuse that privilege. SEIZING AN OPPORTUNITY GEN_46:31-34 Sometimes God puts an opportunity in our way that could advance our career and bring prosperity. That’s what happened to Jacob and his sons when they migrated to Egypt. Of course, they were hardly looking for a career move; mainly they wanted to escape the famine in Canaan, and they ended up relocating largely at the request of Joseph. But once they arrived, circumstances created a unique opportunity. Joseph was faced with a bit of a problem: how to introduce his longlost family to Pharaoh. Pharaoh had an extremely high regard for Joseph. But what would be his reaction when he learned that Jacob and his sons were shepherds and ranchers? Those occupations were an “abomination” to the Egyptians (Gen_46:34), fit only for slaves. (One can gain some idea of how detestable they were by noting that when the brothers came on their second journey to Egypt, bringing Benjamin with them, they were forced to eat by themselves, away from the Egyptians (Gen_43:32). Apparently Hebrews and shepherds were synonymous in the Egyptian mind.) BUT JOSEPH TURNED THIS POTENTIAL EMBARRASSMENT INTO AN OPPORTUNITY. HE INSTRUCTED HIS BROTHERS TO BOLDLY CLAIM

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THEIR SKILLS RATHER THAN DOWNPLAY THEIR OCCUPATION. HE KNEW THAT PHARAOH PROBABLY WOULD NEVER CHANGE HIS OPINION OF SHEPHERDS, BUT MOST LIKELY THE RULER AT LEAST WOULD TO ALLOW THE FAMILY TO LIVE BY THEMSELVES IN THE GOSHEN DISTRICT. THAT’S EXACTLY HOW THE PLAN WORKED OUT (GEN_47:1-6). BUT IN ADDITION, PHARAOH’S RESPECT FOR JOSEPH LED TO A REQUEST THAT THE BROTHERS HAVE OVERSIGHT OVER PHARAOH’S OWN LIVESTOCK. HE STILL DETESTED SHEPHERDS. BUT WHEN IT CAME TO THE CARE OF HIS OWN ANIMALS, APPARENTLY HE PREFERRED TO EMPLOY THE KIN OF SOMEONE HE TRUSTED. THE ASSIGNMENT MATCHED THE SKILLS AND EXPERIENCE OF THE BROTHERS. LIKE MANY IMMIGRANTS AROUND THE WORLD TODAY, THEY WERE WILLING AND ABLE TO DO WORK THAT PEOPLE IN HOST CULTURES FIND UNACCEPTABLE. AS A RESULT, THEY PROSPERED IN THE LAND (GEN_47:27; COMPARE EXO_1:7).

FINDING THE RIGHT JOB IS A MAJOR ISSUE IN THE WORKPLACE TODAY. MANY PEOPLE WORK AT TASKS THAT DO NOT MATCH THEIR MOTIVATION OR SKILLS. SEE “YOU ARE UNIQUE” AT EXO_31:1-11, AND “YOU ARE UNIQUE” AT PSA_33:15 FOR MORE ON THIS IMPORTANT TOPIC. (Gen 46:32) And the men are shepherds, for their trade hath been to feed cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have. And the men are shepherds,.... That was their occupation and employment, by which they got their livelihood. Joseph was not ashamed of the business his father and brethren followed, even though mean; and besides, such men were an abomination to the Egyptians: this he thought proper to tell Pharaoh, lest he should think of putting them into some offices of the court or army, which would expose them to the envy of the Egyptians, and might endanger the corruption of their religion and manners, as well as be the means of separating them one from another, which he was careful to guard against, as Josephus (b) the historian suggests: (Gill)

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(Gen 46:33) And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation? According to a law promulgated by Amasis, a monarch of the 26th dynasty, every Egyptian was obliged to give a yearly account to the monarch or State governor of how he lived, with the certification that if he failed to show that he possessed an honorable calling he should be put to death (Herod., 2:177). (Pulpit Commentary) It was a tribute of respect due to the king to inform him of their arrival. And the instructions which he gave them were worthy of his character alike as an affectionate brother and a religious man. (JFB) (Gen 46:34) That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians. Joseph probably desired his brethren to settle in Goshen for three reasons. (1) It was suitable for their flocks and herds; (2) it would secure their isolation from the Egyptians; and (3) it was contiguous to Canaan, and would be easier vacated when the time arrived for their return. (Pulpit Commentary)

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GRIFFIN COMMENTS GEN 46  

Jacob could not believe the news, but Israel believed and took a step of faith. Now it was Israel that took his journey. But before he went...

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