Genesis 46


I.        Verse 1-4, And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac. {2} And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I. {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: {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.

II.     Israel goes to Egypt.

A.     Took his journey with all he had.

1.       It seems that Jacob took all his stuff even though Pharaoh had commanded them to leave it behind, 45:20.

2.       Jacob was old enough to realize that sometimes the promises people make failed to be kept.

3.       If Jacob left his stuff behind in Canaan, and he got down in Egypt, he would be unable to return to Canaan for it.

a.      He would be unable to make the trip because of his age and health.

b.      Looters would have taken it all when he got back.

B.     Offered sacrifices at Beersheba.

1.       Beersheba is located at the southern most portion of Canaan.

2.       Jacob got that far and stopped trying to ascertain just exactly what he was supposed to do.

a.      He may have remembered that Abraham and Isaac both went into Egypt and both lied about their wives being their sister.

b.      He may have remembered that God told Abraham He would give him the land of Canaan, Genesis 12:6.

c.      He may have remembered that God told Isaac not to go to Egypt, Genesis 26:2.

3.       I believe it is very commendable that Jacob would consider not moving into Egypt if it is God’s will that he stay in Canaan.

a.      So far, Jacob has not asked God if he should move to Egypt, nor has God told him it is okay.

b.      Jacob does want to see Joseph, but it is more important for him to obey God and see his long lost son.

c.      Shouldn’t it be more important for us to obey God than have our families close to us?

d.      Matt. 10:37 - “He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me.”

C.     Visions of the night.

1.       How could Jacob tell this vision was from God and other visions of the night weren’t from God?

a.      God identified Himself.

b.      God referred to the promises made to Abraham and Isaac.

c.      God gave Jacob assurance of future events.

2.       Everybody has visions (not dreams) in the night.

a.      Those visions are from God if what is said is confirmed in the Bible.

b.      If the vision is not confirmed in the Bible, it is not a vision from God.

D.     Notice who God spoke to.

1.       Verse 1 - Jacob offered sacrifices to the God of Isaac.  Isn’t this also the God of Jacob?

2.       Verse 2 - God did not call Jacob by the name Israel.

3.       Verse 3 - God identified Himself as the God of Isaac, not the God of Jacob.

4.       The answer is:

a.      Jacob was afraid that his actions as a man would spoil the promises to a nation.

b.      When Jacob offered sacrifices to God, he offered them as a man, not as a nation.  He was afraid of the journey and uncertain of what to do.

c.      When God answered, He quieted the fears of a man with the promises of a nation.

E.      The nation of Israel will become great in Egypt.

1.       What God is doing seems the opposite of what He ought to do!

2.       Is 55:8 - God’s thoughts are not our thoughts.

3.       Sometimes God does things with us that we don’t understand.

4.       We must understand that God is always right, and we must yield ourselves to Him.

F.      Jacob’s death foretold.

1.       “Jacob will put his hands upon thine eyes” speaks of Jacob dying in Egypt in the presence of Joseph.

2.       “I will bring you up again.”

a.      Jacob will die in Egypt, but Joseph will bury him in Canaan, in the cave which is in the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought for a burying place, Genesis 50:13.

b.      About 200 years later, Moses will lead Israel (Jacob’s God given name) out of Egypt.

G.     Why was it the will of God for Israel to go to Egypt?

1.       It seems logical to me that since God had the power to start the famine, He also had the power to stop it and keep Israel in Canaan if that had been his will.

2.       I believe there are two scriptures that need to be considered.

a.      Gen. 15:16, “But in the fourth generation they shall come hither again: for the iniquity of the Amorites is not yet full.”

b.      Eccl. 8:11, “Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil.”  To a man, it appears that these false teachers are getting away with their wickedness, and they can get away with wickedness also.

3.       We must realize that God knows Israel is not greater or mightier than any other people, and that they, like us, will follow false teachers if He leaves them alone.

a.      If God had left Israel in Canaan to watch the Amorites got worse and worse, without an immediate judgment from God, they would have accepted their sinfulness, and would have faced the judgment of God with them.

b.      This is what happened to Lot, and it would happen to Israel, and it can happen to us.

4.       Deut. 7:1-10, God has chosen Israel as His favorites.  God will let the inhabitants of Israel (the Amorites) sin to the full, then He will use His favorites to judge them.

5.       Therefore, we can see that God, because of His great love for Israel, delivered them from a temptation they couldn’t withstand, and gave them trouble in Egypt they would withstand.  The trouble in Egypt allowed Israel to see a side of God they would never have seen had they not gone to Egypt.

6.       God also does the same thing for us.

a.      He will never lead us into a temptation we can’t withstand.

b.      He will “route” us around those temptations, sometimes giving us troubles we don’t understand, so He can deliver us with a great deliverance, thus revealing His graciousness toward us.

c.      Some would say God would be greater if He would simply remove all temptation.

d.      The problem with that theory is that we would never be able to see how He has delivered us.


III.   Verse 5-7, the people that go into Egypt.  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. {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: {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.

A.      Verse 8-15 - The sons of Leah.  And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn. {9} And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi. {10} And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman. {11} And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. {12} And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zarah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul. {13} And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron. {14} And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel. {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.




























































Reuben has a total of ........... 5 souls.

Simeon has a total of........... 7 souls.

Levi has a total of........... 4 souls.

Judah has a total of........... 6 souls.

Issachar has a total of........... 5 souls.

Zebulun has a total of ........... 4 souls.

Jacob (Verse 8)........... 1 soul.

Dinah (#1)........... 1 soul.

Total souls from Jacob and Leah........... 33 souls.


1.       (#1) Dinah is counted because she is unmarried and still in the family.

2.       Leah is not counted because women are not counted.  There is a good possibility that Leah has already died.  There is no record of her death, but when Jacob gives instructions to his sons in Genesis 49:31 about burying him, Leah has already been buried.  It seems very likely she died before Jacob went to Egypt.

3.       Er and Onan, sons of Judah, are not counted because they died in Canaan.

B.     Verse 16-18, the sons of Zilpah.  And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli. {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. {18} These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls.

























Serah their sister



Gad has a total of........... 8 souls.

Asher has a total of........... 8 souls.

Total souls from Jacob and Zilpah........... 16 souls.

1.       Zilpah is not counted because women are not counted.

2.       Serah is counted because she is unmarried and still in the family.

C.     Verse 19-22, the sons of Rachel.  The sons of Rachel Jacob’s wife; Joseph, and Benjamin. {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. {21} And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard. {22} These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen.


























Joseph has a total of........... 3 souls.

Benjamin has a total of ........... 11 souls.

Total souls from Jacob and Rachel........... 14 souls.

1.       Rachel is not counted because women are not counted.

D.     Verse 23-25, The sons of Bilhah.  And the sons of Dan; Hushim. {24} And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem. {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.














Dan has a total of........... 2 souls.

Naphtali has a total of........... 5 Souls.

Total souls from Jacob and Bilhah........... 7 souls.

1.       Bilhah is not counted because she is not a wife.

E.      Verse 26,27 Total Souls.  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; {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.

1.       Verse 26 states there were 66 souls.

a.      This means the ones that came with Jacob, excluding Jacob.

b.      Joseph and his two sons are also not counted, 27a.

The sons of Leah........... 32 souls

The sons of Zilpah........... 16 souls

The sons of Rachel........... 11 souls

The sons of Bilhah........... 7 souls

Total souls........... 66 souls

2.       Verse 27b - 70 souls of the house of Jacob come into Egypt.  (This includes Jacob, Joseph, Manasseh and Ephraim.)

Jacob........... 1 soul

The sons of Leah........... 32 souls

The sons of Zilpah........... 16 souls

The sons of Rachel........... 14 souls

The sons of Bilhah........... 7 souls

Total Souls........... 70 souls

F.      Acts 7:14 - Stephen said there were 75 souls.

1.       I really don’t know the answer to this difficulty.

a.      I can only quote from Barnes Notes on the Old Testament (Genesis II, page 1116) and Matthew Henry’s Commentary (Acts, 7:14, page 80, col. 1).

b.      “It must be that Luke in writing the Book of Acts followed the Septuagint translation, which gives five grandsons of Joseph.  For Manasseh’s son Machir and his son Gilead are there listed as well as two sons of Ephraim, Soutalaam and Taam, and also one son of Soutalaam, namely Edem.  ...  So, then, from one point of view there were seventy clans, according to another count seventy-five -- all depending on a man’s point of view.”

2.       John Gill has a more compatible explanation.  See Gill on Acts 7:14…

and called his father Jacob to him, and all his kindred, threescore and fifteen souls; which seems to disagree with the account of Moses, who says, that "all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten", Gen. 46:27. But there is no contradiction; Moses and Stephen are speaking of different things; Moses speaks of the seed of Jacob, which came out of his loins, who came into Egypt, and so excludes his sons' wives; Stephen speaks of Jacob and all his kindred, among whom his sons' wives must be reckoned, whom Joseph called to him: according to Moses's account, the persons that came with Jacob into Egypt, who came out of his loins, and so exclusive of his sons' wives, were threescore and six; to which if we add Jacob himself, and Joseph who was before in Egypt, and who might be truly said to come into it, and his two sons that were born there, who came thither in his loins, as others in the account may be said to do, who were not yet born, when Jacob went down, the total number is threescore and ten, Gen. 46:26,27 out of which take the six following persons, Jacob, who was called by Joseph into Egypt, besides the threescore and fifteen souls, and Joseph and his two sons then in Egypt, who could not be said to be called by him, and Hezron and Hamul, the sons of Pharez not yet born, and this will reduce Moses's number to sixty four; to which sixty four, if you add the eleven wives of Jacob's sons, who were certainly part of the kindred called and invited into Egypt, Gen. 45:10,19 45:5 it will make up completely threescore and fifteen persons: or the persons called by Joseph maybe reckoned thus; his eleven brethren and sister Dinah, fifty two brother's children, to which add his brethren's eleven wives, and the amount is threescore and fifteen: so that the Jew {w} has no reason to charge Stephen with an error, as he does; nor was there any need to alter and corrupt the Septuagint version of Gen. 45:27 to make it agree with Stephen's account; or to add five names in it, in Acts 7:20 as Machir, Galaad, Sutalaam, Taam, and Edom, to make up the number seventy five: and it may be observed, that the number is not altered in the version of Deut. 10:22 which agrees with the Hebrew for seventy persons.  


IV.  Verse 28-34,  And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. {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. {30} And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive. {31} And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father’s house, I will go up, and show Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father’s house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me; {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. {33} And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation? {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.


A.     Verse 28-30 - Jacob and Joseph finally meet again.

1.       Jacob sends Judah.

a.      Genesis 37:26 - 22 years ago, Judah suggested Joseph be sold instead of killed.

b.      He has come a long way since then.

c.      Now he is being established as the leader of all Jacob’s children.

d.      This is very fitting for Jesus Christ will come from his loins.

e.      Jacob can tell a difference in Judah to entrust to him this great task.

2.       They were going to Goshen, not to Joseph.

a.      They were going into a strange land and didn’t know where Goshen was, therefore needed directions.

b.      There were too many of them (70 souls plus all their herds and flocks) to simply appear at Joseph’s house.

c.      They would certainly be welcome at Joseph’s house, but it is not correct to be so familiar with family members, especially at first.

3.       Joseph makes ready his chariot.

a.      It had probably been ready for some time, as Joseph was very anxious to see his father again.

b.      The mention of making the chariot ready shows a special preparation, for the servants would have the chariot ready for their master at all times.

4.       Joseph presented himself to his father.

a.      Here are two heads of nations meeting.

b.      The nation with the greater authority is Israel.

c.      It is fitting that Joseph, with the lesser authority of Egypt; present himself to the Jacob, who has the greater authority.

d.      Even though Joseph was the second head of the land of Egypt, and had considerably more power than his father, he recognized the authority of his father over him.

e.      Children ought to always recognize the authority of their parents, regardless of the elevated position of the child.

5.       He fell on his neck and wept.

a.      It is unclear who fell on whose neck.

b.      One thing for sure, both men fell on each other and both wept for a good while.

c.      There is no mention of the reaction of the brothers, or the other people in the party.

d.      I would imagine there were many tears shed.

e.      Some of the grandchildren and great grandchildren of Jacob were meeting a stranger who they have only heard about before.

6.       Jacob’s speech.

a.      Jacob doesn’t mean that he wants to die now.

b.      He means that he can now die in peace because he has seen the blessings of God upon Joseph.

c.      Jacob is here called Israel, meaning the fulfilling of God’s promise to Abraham.

d.      It is very amazing that Israel says he is ready to die, but God will make of Israel a great nation in Egypt.

e.      It is very true that God doesn’t really bless us until we die to self.

B.     The occupational hazard.

1.       I know there are many things Joseph talks to his brothers about, but this one is recorded for us.

2.       Joseph declares he will take his brothers to meet Pharaoh.

a.      This seems to be a very important thing even to Joseph.

b.      I think the scripture indicates that Joseph felt going to Pharaoh was not a light thing.

c.      Joseph and Pharaoh were probably friends, but Joseph took his responsibilities very seriously.

d.      He was never “familiar” with Pharaoh.

3.       Did Joseph tell the brothers to lie?

a.      He told the brothers to say they kept cattle, not that they were shepherds, which would indicate they kept sheep.

b.      Cattle is defined as: something bought, property, but only livestock -- cattle, flocks, herds, possessions, purchase, substance.

c.      Therefore cattle include sheep.

d.      It is very unrealistic of Joseph to instruct his brothers to tell a lie or a half lie.

e.      Everybody in Egypt would see the sheep, which they considered to be an abomination.

f.       So there was no way in the world to hide the fact the new residents were shepherds.

g.      Joseph was simply instructing the brothers in the proper use of words before Pharaoh.

h.      There was no trickery involved, for Joseph knew that Pharaoh would understand what was meant by the term “cattle.”