And now, when I come to your servant our
father, the lad will not be with us. His soul is bound up with the
lad's soul! When he sees that the lad is not there, he will die! I will have brought your servant our
father's white head down to the grave in misery. Besides, I offered myself to my father as a
guarantee for the lad, and I said, If I do not bring him back to you, I will have sinned to my father for
all time. So now let me remain as your slave in place of the lad. Let the lad go back with his brothers!
For how can I go back to my father if the lad is not with me? I cannot bear to see the evil misery that
my father would suffer!"
Joseph Reveals Himself to his Brothers
Joseph could not hold in his emotions. Since all
his attendants were present, he cried out, "Have everyone leave my presence!"
That way no one else was with him when Joseph revealed himself to his brothers.
He began to weep with such loud sobs that the
Egyptians could hear it. The news of these strange happenings reached
Joseph said to his brothers,
"I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?" His brothers were so startled,
they could not respond.
"Please, come close to me," said Joseph to his brothers.
When they came closer, he said, "I am Joseph your brother! You sold me to Egypt.
Now don't worry or feel guilty because you sold me. Look! HaShem has sent me ahead of you to save lives!
There has been a famine in the area for two years, and for another five years there will be no
plowing or harvest. HaShem has sent me ahead of you to insure that you
survive in the land and to keep you alive through such extraordinary means.
Now it is not you who sent me here, but God. He has made me
Pharaoh's vizier, director of his entire government, and dictator of all Egypt.
Hurry, go back to my father, and give him the message: Your son Joseph says,
HaShem has made me master of all Egypt. Come to me without delay.
You will be able to settle in the Goshen district and be close to me - you, your children, your
grandchildren, your sheep, your cattle, and all that you own.
I will fully provide for you there, since there will still be another five years of famine. I do not
want you to become destitute, along with your family and all that is
yours. You and my brother Benjamin can see with your own eyes that I myself am speaking to you.
Tell Father all about my high position in Egypt, and about all that you saw. You must hurry and bring
With that, Joseph fell on the shoulders of his
brother Benjamin, and he wept. Benjamin also cried on Joseph's shoulders.
Joseph then kissed all his brothers and wept on their shoulders. After that, his brothers
conversed with him.
News spread to
Pharaoh's palace that Joseph's brothers had shown up. Pharaoh and his advisors were
Pharaoh told Joseph to instruct his brothers,
"This is what you must do: Load your beasts and go directly to Canaan.
Bring your father and your families and come to me. I will give you the best land in Egypt. You will
eat the fat of the land. Now you are instructed to do the following: Take
wagons from Egypt for your small children and wives, and also use them for your father. Come
and do not be concerned with your belongings, for the best of Egypt will be yours."
Israel's sons agreed to do this. Joseph gave
them wagons according to Pharaoh's instructions, and he also provided them with food for the journey.
He gave each of his brothers an outfit of
clothes. To Benjamin, however, he gave 300 pieces of silver and five outfits.
Joseph sent the following to his father: Ten male donkeys, loaded with
Egypt's finest products, as well as ten female donkeys, loaded with grain, bread,
and food for his father's journey.
He sent his brothers on their way. As they were leaving, he said to them,
"Have a pleasant journey!"
The brothers headed north from Egypt, and they
came to their father Jacob in Canaan. They broke the news to him:
"Joseph is still
alive. He is the ruler of all Egypt."
Jacob's heart became numb, for he could not
believe them. "It's too much!" said Israel. "My son Joseph is
alive! I must go and see him before I die!"
Israel began the journey, taking all his possessions, and he arrived in Beer-sheba. He offered
sacrifices to the HaShem of his father Isaac.
spoke to Israel in a dream, and said, "Jacob! Jacob!"
"Yes," replied Jacob.
HaShem said, "I am the Omnipotent G-d of your father. Do not be afraid to go to Egypt, for it is
there that I will make you into a great nation. I will go to Egypt with you, and I will also
bring you back again. Joseph will place his hands on your eyes."
Jacob set out from Beer-sheba.
Israel's sons transported their father, along with their children and wives, on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to
carry them. They took their livestock and all the possessions
that they had acquired in Canaan. Jacob came to Egypt with all his descendants.
His sons and grandsons were with him. He also brought his daughters, his grand-daughters, and all
his offspring to Egypt with him.
These are the names of the Israelites who came to
Jacob and his sons.
Reuben was Jacob's first-born. Reuben's sons were Enoch (Chanokh), Palu,
Chetzron and Carmi.
Simeon's sons: Yemuel, Yamin, Ohad, Yakhin,
Tzochar, as well as Saul (Shaul) son of the Canaanite woman.
Levi's sons: Gershon, Kehath and Merari.
Judah's sons: Er, Onan, Shelah, Peretz and
Zerach. Er and Onan died in Canaan. The sons of Peretz were Chetzron and Chamul.
Issachar's sons: Tolah, Puvah, Yov and Shimron.
Zebulun's sons: Sered, Elon and Yachle"el.
from the sons that Leah bore to Jacob in Padan Aram. Besides this, there was
also Jacob's daughter Dinah. The tally so far, including his sons and daughters, is 33.
Gad's sons: Tzifion, Chagi, Shuni, Etzbon, Eri,
Arodi, and Areli.
Asher's sons: Yimnah, Yishvah, Yishvi and
Beriah. There was also their sister Serach. The sons of Beriah were Chever and Malkiel.
are from the sons of Zilpah. Laban gave her to his daughter Leah, and she bore these sons
to Jacob. Here there are 16 in all.
The sons of
Jacob's wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. In Egypt, Joseph had sons born to him by
Asenath, daughter of Poti Phera, priest of On: Manasseh and Ephraim.
Benjamin's sons: Bela, Bekher, Ashbel, Gera,
Naaman, Echi, Rosh, Muppim, Chuppim and Ard.
the sons that Rachel bore to Jacob. There are 14 in all.
Yachtze'el, Guni, Yetzer and Shilem.
are from the sons of Bilhah. Laban gave her to his daughter Rachel, and she bore these
sons to Jacob. Here there are 7 in all.
Thus, the number of people who came to Egypt
with Jacob, who were his blood descendants, was 66, not counting the wives of
Jacob's sons. Joseph's sons, born to him in Egypt, added
another two individuals. Adding it all up, the number of individuals in
Jacob's family who came to Egypt was 70.
Jacob Arrives in Egypt
Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to make
preparations in Goshen. They then arrived in the Goshen district. Joseph
personally harnessed his chariot, and he went to greet his father Israel in Goshen. He
presented himself to his father, and threw himself
on his shoulders, weeping on his shoulders for a long time.
"Now I can die," said Israel to Joseph.
"I have seen your face, and you are still alive."
To his brothers and his
father's family, Joseph said, "I will go and tell Pharaoh. I will say the
following to him: My brothers and my father's family have come to me from Canaan.
These men deal in livestock and are tenders of sheep. They have brought along their sheep, their
cattle, and all their possessions. When Pharaoh summons you and inquires as to
your occupation, you must say, We and our fathers have dealt in livestock all our
lives. You will then be able to settle in the Goshen district, since all shepherds are
not allowed in Egypt."
Joseph went and told Pharaoh. He said, "My father and brothers have come from Canaan, along with their
sheep, their cattle, and all their belongings. They are now in the Goshen district."
From among his brothers, he selected five men and
presented them to Pharaoh.
Joseph's brothers, "What is your occupation?"
"We are shepherds," they replied to Pharaoh, "we and our fathers before
us. We have come to stay awhile in your land, because there is no grazing for
our flocks, so severe is the famine in Canaan. If you allow us, we will settle in the Goshen district."
Pharaoh said to Joseph,
"Your father and brothers have now come to you. The land of Egypt is at your disposal. Settle
your father and brothers in the best area. Let them settle in the Goshen District. If you have capable men
among them, you can appoint them as livestock officers over my
Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him
to Pharaoh. Jacob blessed Pharaoh. "How old are you?" asked Pharaoh of Jacob.
"My journey through life has lasted 130 years,"
replied Jacob. "The days of my life have been few and hard. I did not live as long as my fathers did during
their pilgrimage through life."
With that, Jacob blessed Pharaoh and left his
presence. Joseph found a place for his father and brothers to live. He gave them an estate in the Rameses region,
in the best area, as Pharaoh had ordered.
Joseph provided all the needs of his father, his
brothers, and all his father's family, down to the very youngest.
There was no bread in the entire area, since the famine was very severe.
The people of Egypt and Canaan became weak with hunger. Joseph collected all the money in Egypt and
Canaan in payment for the food the people were buying. Joseph brought
all the money to Pharaoh's treasury.
When the money in Egypt and Canaan was used up,
Egyptians from all over came to Joseph. "Give us bread!" they cried.
"Why should we die before you just because there is no money?"
"Bring your livestock," replied Joseph.
"If there is no more money, I will give you what you need in exchange for your animals."
They brought their livestock to Joseph, and
Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, flocks of sheep, herds of cattle, and donkeys. He saw them
through that year with bread in exchange for all their livestock.
The year came to an end. They came to him the
next year, and said, "We are not holding anything back from you, your highness. But since the money and
animal stocks are used up, there is nothing left for you besides our dried-up bodies and our land.
Why should we die before your very eyes - us and our land? Buy our bodies and our land in exchange for
bread. Let us become Pharaoh's serfs, and let our land also be
his. Give us seed grain! Let us live and not die! Let the land not become desolate."
bought up all the farm land in Egypt for Pharaoh. Every man in Egypt had sold his
field, for the famine was too much for them, and the land became
Joseph moved the people to the cities in all
Egypt's borders, from one end to the other. The only land he did not buy up was that of the
priests, since the priests had a food allotment from Pharaoh. They ate the
food allotment that Pharaoh gave them, and did not have to sell their lands.
Joseph announced to the people,
"Today I have purchased your bodies and your lands for Pharaoh.
Here is seed grain for you. Plant your fields. When it produces grain, you will have to give a
fifth to Pharaoh. The other four parts will be yours, as seed grain for your fields, and as food for you,
your wives and your children."
"You have saved our lives," they responded.
"Just let us find favor in your eyes, and we will be Pharaoh's serfs."
Joseph set down a decree
that one-fifth of whatever grows on the farm land of Egypt belonged to Pharaoh. Only the priestly
lands did not belong to Pharaoh. Meanwhile, the nation of Israel lived in Egypt, in the Goshen district. They acquired
property there, and were fertile, with their population increasing very rapidly.