46 1 Israel journeyed on with all that was his and came to Beer-Sheba. There he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 God said to Israel in a vision of the night, “Jacob! Jacob!” He said, “Here I am.” 3 He said, “I am El, the God of your father. Do not fear to go down to Egypt because a great nation I will make of you there. 4 I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I myself will bring you up again. Joseph will lay a hand on your eyes.”
5 Then Jacob arose from Beer-Sheba, and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives on the wagons Pharaoh had sent for carrying him. 6 They took their livestock and the possessions that they had gained in the land of Canaan, and arrived in Egypt—Jacob and all his seed with him. 7 His sons and the sons of his sons, his daughters and the daughters of his sons: all his seed he brought with him to Egypt.
8 These are the names of the sons of Israel who came to Egypt—Jacob and his sons. Jacob’s firstborn, Reuben 9 and the sons of Reuben: Enoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Saul, the son of a Canaanite woman. 11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). Perez’s sons were Hezron and Hamul. 13 The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron. 14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15 These are the sons of Leah she bore to Jacob in Paddan-Aram, and also Dinah, his daughter. All of these persons, including his sons and daughters, totaled 33.
16 The sons of Gad: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. 17 The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah’s sons were Heber and Malchiel. 18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah. She bore these to Jacob, 16 persons.
19 The sons of Rachel, Jacob’s wife, were Joseph and Benjamin. 20 To Joseph, in the land of Egypt, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him were Manasseh and Ephraim. 21 The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22 These are the sons of Rachel who were born to Jacob, 14 persons.
23 The son of Dan: Hushim. 24 The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel. She bore these to Jacob, 7 persons.
26 All of the persons who came with Jacob to Egypt—those going out of his loins, excluding the wives of Jacob’s sons—totaled 66 persons. 27 The sons of Joseph born to him in Egypt were 2 persons. All the persons of Jacob’s household who came to Egypt totaled 70.
On the way to Egypt, there is a stop along the way to visit the memory of ancestors—Beersheba. As Jacob, he engages the G*D of his father Isaac, who was constrained to the land of Canaan. As Israel, a vision of the night comes to him. This dream releases Israel from the bounds of Canaan. Word comes that it is in the unlikely place of Egypt that the promise of seed as numerous as sand and stars will be generated. Thus Israel is not to fear to go to Egypt.
Israel had left in joyous haste to be reunited with Joseph. Along the way, a second thought, as patriarch, may have entered his mind—“This is the land promised by G*D.”
Noteworthy is this particular G*D leaving his claimed territory and journeying with Israel and Company down to Egypt. Joseph has already claimed this G*D to have been with him and his interpretations of dreams. He has previously stated that being sold by his brothers has been turned to their benefit. Included in the message of this dream is a return to Canaan, followed by Israel dying and having his eyes closed by Joseph.
In time, this sequence will find Israel’s return, and his dying reversed. It will take generations for the return of his seed to Canaan.
Following this visionary episode, Jacob, yes, back to Jacob, and his sons break camp and continue on their way to see Joseph.
Having left homestead and possessions behind (limited by the capacity of the wagons sent by Pharaoh), the provisions for the journey up to Canaan and back down to Egypt were sufficient to arrive. The sons of Israel and their sons and daughters, his seed stock, arrive in Egypt. The auspicious number seventy is a large symbolic whole-number for the fullness of enough. The nucleus of a nation settles in, ready to multiply.
To honor the shift to a next part of the story—a genealogy.
One thought on “Genesis 46:1–27”
Love the commentary..it’s explained simply and great to read.
Thank you so much