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Genesis 46

Jacob Makes the Move

When Israel set out on his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, "Jacob, Jacob." And he said, "Here I am." 3 Then he said, "I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there. 4 I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph's own hand shall close your eyes." 5 Then Jacob set out from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6 They also took their livestock and the goods that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, 7 his sons, and his sons' sons with him, his daughters, and his sons' daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt. 8 Now these are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his offspring, [...].

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Musings

God speaks to Jacob at Beersheba to confirm that the move to Egypt is part of his plan, but also to foretell of their people's exodus to come. When God calls for Jacob (in his dream) he replies "Here I am," which is the same reply Joseph gives to Jacob at the beginning of the story when asked to go on a journey to check on his brothers. This is not the conclusion (after all this is the story of Jacob's family, not just Joseph), but it does provide a certain sense of closure to the main Joseph story line.

The Biblical account of course has more than what is selected here as its closing, because it is concluding not only the story of Jacob's family (the bulk of the text beyond chapter 45), but also the book of Genesis itself (to a lesser extent). Genesis begins with the creation of the universe and ends with the creation of the "chosen" race. The brothers do finally ask for forgiveness in an indirect sort of way, and it is clear that Joseph has forgiven them. Joseph's tribal legacy will live on through Ephraim and Manasseh (displacing Reuben) as the Bible story heads through the exodus and into Israel.


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Genesis - Creation - Noah - Babel - Abraham - Isaac - Jacob - Joseph
Exodus - Egypt - Wandering - 10 Commandments

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