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Genesis 48:17-22

17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head, it displeased him; and he grasped his father’s hand to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head. 18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father, for this one is the firstborn. Place your right hand on his head.” 19 But his father refused and said, “I know, my son, I know; he also will become a people and he also will be great. However, his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.” 20 He blessed them that day, saying,

“By you Israel will pronounce blessing, saying,
`May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh!'”
Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Behold, I am about to die, but God will be with you, and bring you back to the land of your fathers. 22 “I give you one portion more than your brothers, which I took from the hand of the Amorite with my sword and my bow.”

That was a pretty incredible blessing. Israel said that men would bless others by saying that you would be like the sons of Joseph. What will your legacy look like. Would men use your name as part of a blessing? Or would they use it as part of a curse? Or would anyone even care? The thing that really matters is that you serve God faithfully, then your legacy will live on after you.

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Genesis 48:8-16

8 When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?” 9 Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” So he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.” 10 Now the eyes of Israel were so dim from age that he could not see. Then Joseph brought them close to him, and he kissed them and embraced them. 11 Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face, and behold, God has let me see your children as well.” 12 Then Joseph took them from his knees, and bowed with his face to the ground.13 Joseph took them both, Ephraim with his right hand toward Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand toward Israel’s right, and brought them close to him. 14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, crossing his hands, although Manasseh was the firstborn. 15 He blessed Joseph, and said,

“The God before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
The God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
16 The angel who has redeemed me from all evil,
Bless the lads;
And may my name live on in them,
And the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.”

It’s funny that Israel (Jacob) purposefully crosses his hands to give the greater blessing to the youngest, and Joseph somehow thinks it is a mistake. He should have known better, since Israel was the younger brother in his family and received the birthright, and the greater blessing. But we often forget the past and fall back on tradition. We decide to just coast along instead of hearing (and following) God’s voice. Keep your ears tuned, and don’t rely on tradition to take you on the path of God’s will. You may not get to the destination you hoped for otherwise.

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Genesis 48:1-7

1 Now it came about after these things that Joseph was told, “Behold, your father is sick.” So he took his two sons Manasseh and Ephraim with him. 2 When it was told to Jacob, “Behold, your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel collected his strength and sat up in the bed. 3 Then Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, 4 and He said to me, `Behold, I will make you fruitful and numerous, and I will make you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your descendants after you for an everlasting possession.’ 5 “Now your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, as Reuben and Simeon are. 6 “But your offspring that have been born after them shall be yours; they shall be called by the names of their brothers in their inheritance.7 “Now as for me, when I came from Paddan, Rachel died, to my sorrow, in the land of Canaan on the journey, when there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).”

Even though the covenant and blessing will now belong to all of Jacob’s sons, he knew he needed to pass it on to someone. And he trusted Joseph the most, so he tells him the blessing here. Don’t assume your children will learn their heritage by themselves. Tell them, and tell them again. Later on, the Israelites forgot this, and there was a whole generation who didn’t learn the promises or the miracles of God, and they paid the price. Don’t let your children grow up that way.

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Genesis 47:20-31

20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh, for every Egyptian sold his field, because the famine was severe upon them. Thus the land became Pharaoh’s. 21 As for the people, he removed them to the cities from one end of Egypt’s border to the other. 22 Only the land of the priests he did not buy, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh gave them. Therefore, they did not sell their land. 23 Then Joseph said to the people, “Behold, I have today bought you and your land for Pharaoh; now, here is seed for you, and you may sow the land. 24 “At the harvest you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own for seed of the field and for your food and for those of your households and as food for your little ones.” 25 So they said, “You have saved our lives! Let us find favor in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.” 26 Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt valid to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh’s. 27 Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous. 28 Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the length of Jacob’s life was one hundred and forty-seven years. 29 When the time for Israel to die drew near, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “Please, if I have found favor in your sight, place now your hand under my thigh and deal with me in kindness and 2faithfulness. Please do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I lie down with my fathers, you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” And he said, “I will do as you have said.” 31 He said, “Swear to me.” So he swore to him. Then Israel bowed in worship at the head of the bed.

Jacob never lost sight of the promise of God as he grew older. It would have been easy to say, “hey, this land in Egypt is fruitful, and we are prospering. Let’s just stay here.” He remembered the land God had promised him, and made sure Joseph remembered it. He thus asked Joseph to take him back to the promised land for burial. Never get satisfied where you are if God has other plans.

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Genesis 47:13-19

13 Now there was no food in all the land, because the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. 14 Joseph gathered all the money that was found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan for the grain which they bought, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house. 15 When the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food, for why should we die in your presence? For our money is gone.” 16 Then Joseph said, “Give up your livestock, and I will give you food for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses and the flocks and the herds and the donkeys; and he fed them with food in exchange for all their livestock that year. 18 When that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, “We will not hide from my lord that our money is all spent, and the cattle are my lord’s. There is nothing left for my lord except our bodies and our lands. 19“Why should we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land for food, and we and our land will be slaves to Pharaoh. So give us seed, that we may live and not die, and that the land may not be desolate.”

Joseph could have just given the people food for free. After all, it came from them in the first place. However, he also knew that they would not value it as much, and perhaps squander it more easily, and then they might run out of food before the famine ended. So he made their livestock the property of Pharaoh, that they would not take it lightly and be wasteful. It’s easy to take something for granted when it doesn’t cost you much. Whether it just seems cheap because you’re rich, or whether you just get it for free, things have little value to us if they don’t cost us. Sometimes it costs someone else a great deal, and we need to be mindful of that. Our salvation is free (initially), but it cost Jesus a great deal. Don’t ever take that for granted.

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Genesis 47:1-12

1 Then Joseph went in and told Pharaoh, and said, “My father and my brothers and their flocks and their herds and all that they have, have come out of the land of Canaan; and behold, they are in the land of Goshen.” 2 He took five men from among his brothers and presented them to Pharaoh. 3 Then Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” So they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, both we and our fathers.” 4They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to sojourn in the land, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks, for the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now, therefore, please let your servants live in the land of Goshen.” 5Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you. 6 “The land of Egypt is 1at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock.”

7 Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. 8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many years have you lived?” 9 So Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my sojourning are one hundred and thirty; few and unpleasant have been the years of my life, nor have they attained the years that my fathers lived during the days of their sojourning.” 10 And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from his presence. 11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had ordered. 12 Joseph provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to their little ones.

It’s interesting to note who did the blessing here. Jacob blesses Pharaoh. Why? Because Jacob served the one true God, and his blessing was the only one worth having. Pharaoh had nothing that could compare with that, and could only make small talk. But Jacob was the one who brought something of real value to the table. He ought to have known the value of a blessing also, since he tricked his own father into giving him Esau’s blessing many years prior to this. So he gave Pharaoh the best thing he could: a blessing from the Lord.

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Genesis 46:8-34

8 Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, Jacob and his sons, who went to Egypt: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn. 9 The sons of Reuben: Hanoch and Pallu and Hezron and Carmi. 10 The sons of Simeon: Jemuel and Jamin and Ohad and Jachin and Zohar and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman. 11 The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 The sons of Judah: Er and Onan and Shelah and Perez and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan). And the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul. 13 The sons of Issachar: Tola and Puvvah and Iob and Shimron. 14 The sons of Zebulun: Sered and Elon and Jahleel. 15 These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, with his daughter Dinah; all his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three. 16 The sons of Gad: Ziphion and Haggi, Shuni and Ezbon, Eri and Arodi and Areli. 17 The sons of Asher: Imnah and Ishvah and Ishvi and Beriah and their sister Serah. And the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel. 18These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and she bore to Jacob these sixteen persons. 19 The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 20 Now to Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, the daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him. 21 The sons of Benjamin: Bela and Becher and Ashbel, Gera and Naaman, Ehi and Rosh, Muppim and Huppim and Ard. 22These are the sons of Rachel, who were born to Jacob; there were fourteen persons in all. 23 The sons of Dan: Hushim. 24 The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel and Guni and Jezer and Shillem. 25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and she bore these to Jacob; there were seven persons in all. 26 All the persons belonging to Jacob, who came to Egypt, his direct descendants, not including the wives of Jacob’s sons, were sixty-six persons in all, 27 and the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob, who came to Egypt, were seventy.

28 Now he sent Judah before him to Joseph, to point out the way before him to Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen. 29 Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time. 30 Then Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.” 31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, `My brothers and my father’s household, who werein the land of Canaan, have come to me; 32 and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have.’ 33 “When Pharaoh calls you and says, `What is your occupation?’ 34 you shall say, `Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers,’ that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.”

God was even able to use the occupation of Jacob’s sons to provide for them. The Egyptians despised shepherds, and Goshen was apparently prime shepherd country, so they would be able to live there without resentment from the Egyptians. They would be able to live in peace, and have good pasture for their flocks in the middle of the famine. You might think of something as lowly, but God can use anything for His plans.

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Genesis 46:1-7

1 So Israel set out with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and 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 He said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you a great nation there. 4 “I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also surely bring you up again; and Joseph will close your eyes.”

5 Then Jacob arose from Beersheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob and their little ones and their wives in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6 They took their livestock and their property, which they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and came to Egypt, Jacob and all his descendants with him: 7his sons and his grandsons with him, his daughters and his granddaughters, and all his descendants he brought with him to Egypt.

Jacob was still a bit apprehensive. What if the man who claimed to be Joseph was an impostor? What if his son’s had been deceived? What if his family stayed there, and lost their inherited land? So God came and reassured him. When we are unsure, or nervous, or afraid, we can look to God for our confidence and our peace.

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Genesis 45:16-28

16 Now when the news was heard in Pharaoh’s house that Joseph’s brothers had come, it pleased Pharaoh and his servants. 17 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, `Do this: load your beasts and go to the land of Canaan, 18 and take your father and your households and come to me, and I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you will eat the fat of the land.’ 19 “Now you are ordered, `Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father and come. 20 `Do not concern yourselves with your goods, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.'”

21 Then the sons of Israel did so; and Joseph gave them wagons according to the command of Pharaoh, and gave them provisions for the journey. 22 To each of them he gave changes of garments, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five changes of garments. 23 To his father he sent as follows: ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain and bread and sustenance for his father on the journey.

24 So he sent his brothers away, and as they departed, he said to them, “Do not quarrel on the journey.” 25 Then they went up from Egypt, and came to the land of Canaan to their father Jacob. 26 They told him, saying, “Joseph is still alive, and indeed he is ruler over all the land of Egypt.” But he was stunned, for he did not believe them. 27 When they told him all the words of Joseph that he had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 Then Israel said, “It is enough; my son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.”

Even the Pharaoh saw the importance of family. Simply because these were the brothers of Joseph, he promised them the best of all the land, and told them to bring their families (wives and children) to Egypt, so that they could all live together with their brother. Joseph’s brothers were getting repeated lessons in this subject on their second journey to Egypt.

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Genesis 45:1-15

1 Then Joseph could not control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried, “Have everyone go out from me.” So there was no man with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 He wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard of it. 3 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph! Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, for they were dismayed at his presence.

4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Please come closer to me.” And they came closer. And he said, “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt. 5 “Now do not be grieved or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here, for God sent me before you to preserve life. 6 “For the famine has been in the land these two years, and there are still five years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvesting. 7 “God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant in the earth, and to keep you alive by a great deliverance. 8 “Now, therefore, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Egypt. 9 “Hurry and go up to my father, and say to him, `Thus says your son Joseph, “God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay. 10 “You shall live in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children and your flocks and your herds and all that you have. 11 “There I will also provide for you, for there are still five years of famine to come, and you and your household and all that you have would be impoverished.”‘ 12 “Behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see, that it is my mouth which is speaking to you. 13 “Now you must tell my father of all my splendor in Egypt, and all that you have seen; and you must hurry and bring my father down here.” 14 Then he fell on his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15 He kissed all his brothers and wept on them, and afterward his brothers talked with him.

Through all of this, Joseph kept his focus on God. He realized the divine plan at work in his life. He understood that the hardships he had gone through were a necessity for God’s plan to be fulfilled. The plan was to save Jacob’s family; to preserve his chosen lineage. This is what kept Joseph going: trust that God knew what He was doing, and would not forsake him, no matter where he might be.