Day 16

Genesis 46-47

Chapter 46

There’s a discrepancy between translations in Genesis 46:4. The KJV (and Hebrew) says ‘I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again’, and the SAB notes ‘God promises to bring Jacob safely back from Egypt, but Jacob dies in Egypt’. However not all translations interpret this passage to mean that god is promising to bring Jacob back before he dies. The NLT says ‘I will go with you down to Egypt, and I will bring you back again. You will die in Egypt’. Edward Falzon uses this interpretation in his retelling as well. (“You’ll die there, but it’s all good”.) The NIV says ‘I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again.’ The wording is ambiguous. It could also mean that Jacob’s body be returned from Egypt after he dies. In fact, the next chapter reflects this (47:29-30) “bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt: But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying place.”

There are tons of contradictions in the genealogies, especially in the list of Benjamin’s sons. Also interesting to note – The total number of Jacob’s descendants in Egypt were 70, not counting wives. In just four generations, this will leap to an astounding 600,000 adult males (Exodus 12:37).

Chapter 47

V 1: Joseph went and told Pharaoh

V 1: Joseph went and told Pharaoh

I find it odd that there is no annotation about Joseph’s treatment of the starving Egyptians. After they run out of money to buy grain, he feeds them in exchange for livestock, then land, and finally, their labor. Is Joseph’s behavior righteous? honorable? just? Edward Falzon titled this chapter in his book “Joseph cons all Egypt into servitude”. Is he right? I know nothing about economics, but it seems to me that Joseph has turned the Egyptians into virtual slaves. Not cool, hitting people when they’re down. And considering all the histrionics Moses will create when the Israelites become enslaved by the Egyptians, a little hypocritical.

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