Genesis – Chapter 46

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The Bible – Old Testament



Chapter 46


Israel set out with all that was his. When he arrived at Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.


There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called, «Jacob! Jacob!» «Here I am,» he answered.


1 Then he said: «I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you a great nation.


Not only will I go down to Egypt with you; I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes.»


So Jacob departed from Beer-sheba, and the sons of Israel put their father and their wives and children on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent for his transport.


They took with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan. Thus Jacob and all his descendants migrated to Egypt.


His sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters – all his descendants – he took with him to Egypt.


These are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his descendants, who migrated to Egypt. Reuben, Jacob’s first-born,


2 and the sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.


The sons of Simeon: Nemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, son of a Canaanite woman.


The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.


The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah – but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan; and the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.


The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron.


The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.


These were the sons whom Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, along with his daughter Dinah – thirty-three persons in all, male and female.


The sons of Gad: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arod, and Areli.


The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah, with their sister Serah; and the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel.


These were the descendants of Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah; these she bore to Jacob – sixteen persons in all.


The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.


In the land of Egypt Joseph became the father of Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis, bore to him.


The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ahiram, Shupham, Hupham, and Ard.


These were the sons whom Rachel bore to Jacob – fourteen persons in all.


The sons of Dan: Hushim.


The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.


These were the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel; these she bore to Jacob – seven persons in all.


Jacob’s people who migrated to Egypt – his direct descendants, not counting the wives of Jacob’s sons – numbered sixty-six persons in all.


3 Together with Joseph’s sons who were born to him in Egypt – two persons – all the people comprising Jacob’s family who had come to Egypt amounted to seventy persons in all.


Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph, so that he might meet him in Goshen. On his arrival in the region of Goshen,


Joseph hitched the horses to his chariot and rode to meet his father Israel in Goshen. As soon as he saw him, he flung himself on his neck and wept a long time in his arms.


And Israel said to Joseph, «At last I can die, now that I have seen for myself that Joseph is still alive.»


Joseph then said to his brothers and his father’s household: «I will go and inform Pharaoh, telling him: ‘My brothers and my father’s household, whose home is in the land of Canaan, have come to me.


The men are shepherds, having long been keepers of livestock; and they have brought with them their flocks and herds, as well as everything else they own.’


So when Pharaoh summons you and asks what your occupation is,


you must answer, ‘We your servants, like our ancestors, have been keepers of livestock from the beginning until now,’ in order that you may stay in the region of Goshen, since all shepherds are abhorrent to the Egyptians.»

1 [3] I am God: more precisely according to the Hebrew text, «I am El.» «El» is here a divine name, not the common noun «god.»
2 [9-27] This genealogical list has here been inserted by a redactor who based it on the clan lists (⇒ Numbers 26:5-50) at the time of Moses. Therefore it includes some of Jacob’s grandchildren, who would hardly have been born when Joseph was still a relatively young man. The number fourteen (⇒ Genesis 46:22) is based on a garbled version of the genealogical list.
3 [27] Seventy persons: either to be understood as a round number, or arrived at by including Jacob and Joseph with the preceding persons, who add up to sixty-eight.