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Genesis 46

1So Yisrael set out with all that was his, and he came to Be'er Sheva, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Yitzchak.

אוַיִּסַּע יִשְׂרָאֵל וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר־לוֹ וַיָּבֹא בְּאֵרָה שָּׁבַע וַיִּזְבַּח זְבָחִים לֵאלֹהֵי אָבִיו יִצְחָק׃

2Hashem called to Yisrael in a vision by night: “Yaakov! Yaakov!” He answered, “Here.”

בוַיֹּאמֶר אֱלֹהִים לְיִשְׂרָאֵל בְּמַרְאֹת הַלַּיְלָה וַיֹּאמֶר יַעֲקֹב יַעֲקֹב וַיֹּאמֶר הִנֵּנִי׃

3And He said, “I am Hashem, the God of your father. Fear not to go down to Egypt, for I will make you there into a great nation.

גוַיֹּאמֶר אָנֹכִי הָאֵל אֱלֹהֵי אָבִיךָ אַל־תִּירָא מֵרְדָה מִצְרַיְמָה כִּי־לְגוֹי גָּדוֹל אֲשִׂימְךָ שָׁם׃

4I Myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I Myself will also bring you back; and Yosef's hand shall close your eyes.”

a-no-KHEE ay-RAYD i-m'-KHA mitz-RAI-ma v'-a-no-KHEE a-al-KHA gam a-LO v'-yo-SAYF ya-SHEET ya-DO al ay-NE-kha

דאָנֹכִי אֵרֵד עִמְּךָ מִצְרַיְמָה וְאָנֹכִי אַעַלְךָ גַם־עָלֹה וְיוֹסֵף יָשִׁית יָדוֹ עַל־עֵינֶיךָ׃

 46:4   I Myself will go down with you to Egypt

Statue of the Maharal in Prague

Yaakov’s family descends to Egypt to escape the famine in Eretz Yisrael. In this verse, Hashem assures Yaakov that when the Children of Israel are in exile, Hashem’s presence will accompany them. Rabbi Yehuda Lowe, a sixteenth century Talmudic scholar known as the Maharal, points out that the word ‘descend’ in this verse was carefully chosen. It conveys the idea that spiritually speaking, Eretz Yisrael is the highest of all places, and hence one who leaves that land is descending. Of course, the opposite is also true. Travel to Israel is repeatedly referred to in the Bible as an ‘ascension.’ Whenever one enters the land Israel, he or she experiences an elevated spiritual state.

5So Yaakov set out from Be'er Sheva. The sons of Yisrael put their father Yaakov and their children and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to transport him;

הוַיָּקָם יַעֲקֹב מִבְּאֵר שָׁבַע וַיִּשְׂאוּ בְנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶת־יַעֲקֹב אֲבִיהֶם וְאֶת־טַפָּם וְאֶת־נְשֵׁיהֶם בָּעֲגָלוֹת אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַח פַּרְעֹה לָשֵׂאת אֹתוֹ׃

6and they took along their livestock and the wealth that they had amassed in the land of Canaan. Thus Yaakov and all his offspring with him came to Egypt:

ווַיִּקְחוּ אֶת־מִקְנֵיהֶם וְאֶת־רְכוּשָׁם אֲשֶׁר רָכְשׁוּ בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן וַיָּבֹאוּ מִצְרָיְמָה יַעֲקֹב וְכָל־זַרְעוֹ אִתּוֹ׃

7he brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, his daughters and granddaughters—all his offspring.

זבָּנָיו וּבְנֵי בָנָיו אִתּוֹ בְּנֹתָיו וּבְנוֹת בָּנָיו וְכָל־זַרְעוֹ הֵבִיא אִתּוֹ מִצְרָיְמָה׃

8These are the names of the Israelites, Yaakov and his descendants, who came to Egypt. Yaakov's first-born Reuven;

חוְאֵלֶּה שְׁמוֹת בְּנֵי־יִשְׂרָאֵל הַבָּאִים מִצְרַיְמָה יַעֲקֹב וּבָנָיו בְּכֹר יַעֲקֹב רְאוּבֵן׃

9Reuven's sons: Chanoch, Pallu, Chetzron, and Carmi.

טוּבְנֵי רְאוּבֵן חֲנוֹךְ וּפַלּוּא וְחֶצְרוֹן וְכַרְמִי׃

10Shimon's sons: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanite woman.

יוּבְנֵי שִׁמְעוֹן יְמוּאֵל וְיָמִין וְאֹהַד וְיָכִין וְצֹחַר וְשָׁאוּל בֶּן־הַכְּנַעֲנִית׃

11Levi's sons: Gershon, Kehat, and Merari.

יאוּבְנֵי לֵוִי גֵּרְשׁוֹן קְהָת וּמְרָרִי׃

12Yehuda's sons: Er, Onan, Sheila, Peretz, and Zerach—but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan; and Peretz's sons were Chetzron and Hamul.

יבוּבְנֵי יְהוּדָה עֵר וְאוֹנָן וְשֵׁלָה וָפֶרֶץ וָזָרַח וַיָּמָת עֵר וְאוֹנָן בְּאֶרֶץ כְּנַעַן וַיִּהְיוּ בְנֵי־פֶרֶץ חֶצְרוֹן וְחָמוּל׃

13Yissachar's sons: Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron.

יגוּבְנֵי יִשָׂשכָר תּוֹלָע וּפֻוָּה וְיוֹב וְשִׁמְרוֹן׃

14Zevulun's sons: Sered, Eilon, and Jahleel.

ידוּבְנֵי זְבוּלֻן סֶרֶד וְאֵלוֹן וְיַחְלְאֵל׃

15Those were the sons whom Leah bore to Yaakov in Paddan-aram, in addition to his daughter Dina. Persons in all, male and female: 33.

טואֵלֶּה בְּנֵי לֵאָה אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה לְיַעֲקֹב בְּפַדַּן אֲרָם וְאֵת דִּינָה בִתּוֹ כָּל־נֶפֶשׁ בָּנָיו וּבְנוֹתָיו שְׁלֹשִׁים וְשָׁלֹשׁ׃

16Gad's sons: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.

טזוּבְנֵי גָד צִפְיוֹן וְחַגִּי שׁוּנִי וְאֶצְבֹּן עֵרִי וַאֲרוֹדִי וְאַרְאֵלִי׃

17Asher's sons: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah's sons: Chever and Malchiel.

יזוּבְנֵי אָשֵׁר יִמְנָה וְיִשְׁוָה וְיִשְׁוִי וּבְרִיעָה וְשֶׂרַח אֲחֹתָם וּבְנֵי בְרִיעָה חֶבֶר וּמַלְכִּיאֵל׃

18These were the descendants of Zilpa, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah. These she bore to Yaakov—16 persons.

יחאֵלֶּה בְּנֵי זִלְפָּה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן לָבָן לְלֵאָה בִתּוֹ וַתֵּלֶד אֶת־אֵלֶּה לְיַעֲקֹב שֵׁשׁ עֶשְׂרֵה נָפֶשׁ׃

19The sons of Yaakov's wife Rachel were Yosef and Binyamin.

יטבְּנֵי רָחֵל אֵשֶׁת יַעֲקֹב יוֹסֵף וּבִנְיָמִן׃

20To Yosef were born in the land of Egypt Menashe and Efraim, whom Asenath daughter of Poti-phera priest of On bore to him.

כוַיִּוָּלֵד לְיוֹסֵף בְּאֶרֶץ מִצְרַיִם אֲשֶׁר יָלְדָה־לּוֹ אָסְנַת בַּת־פּוֹטִי פֶרַע כֹּהֵן אֹן אֶת־מְנַשֶּׁה וְאֶת־אֶפְרָיִם׃

21Binyamin's sons: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard.

כאוּבְנֵי בִנְיָמִן בֶּלַע וָבֶכֶר וְאַשְׁבֵּל גֵּרָא וְנַעֲמָן אֵחִי וָרֹאשׁ מֻפִּים וְחֻפִּים וָאָרְדְּ׃

22These were the descendants of Rachel who were born to Yaakov—14 persons in all.

כבאֵלֶּה בְּנֵי רָחֵל אֲשֶׁר יֻלַּד לְיַעֲקֹב כָּל־נֶפֶשׁ אַרְבָּעָה עָשָׂר׃

23Dan's son: Hushim.

כגוּבְנֵי־דָן חֻשִׁים׃

24Naftali's sons: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.

כדוּבְנֵי נַפְתָּלִי יַחְצְאֵל וְגוּנִי וְיֵצֶר וְשִׁלֵּם׃

25These were the descendants of Bilha, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel. These she bore to Yaakov—7 persons in all.

כהאֵלֶּה בְּנֵי בִלְהָה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַן לָבָן לְרָחֵל בִּתּוֹ וַתֵּלֶד אֶת־אֵלֶּה לְיַעֲקֹב כָּל־נֶפֶשׁ שִׁבְעָה׃

26All the persons belonging to Yaakov who came to Egypt—his own issue, aside from the wives of Yaakov's sons—all these persons numbered 66.

כוכָּל־הַנֶּפֶשׁ הַבָּאָה לְיַעֲקֹב מִצְרַיְמָה יֹצְאֵי יְרֵכוֹ מִלְּבַד נְשֵׁי בְנֵי־יַעֲקֹב כָּל־נֶפֶשׁ שִׁשִּׁים וָשֵׁשׁ׃

27And Yosef's sons who were born to him in Egypt were two in number. Thus the total of Yaakov's household who came to Egypt was seventy persons.

כזוּבְנֵי יוֹסֵף אֲשֶׁר־יֻלַּד־לוֹ בְמִצְרַיִם נֶפֶשׁ שְׁנָיִם כָּל־הַנֶּפֶשׁ לְבֵית־יַעֲקֹב הַבָּאָה מִצְרַיְמָה שִׁבְעִים׃

28He had sent Yehuda ahead of him to Yosef, to point the way before him to Goshen. So when they came to the region of Goshen,

כחוְאֶת־יְהוּדָה שָׁלַח לְפָנָיו אֶל־יוֹסֵף לְהוֹרֹת לְפָנָיו גֹּשְׁנָה וַיָּבֹאוּ אַרְצָה גֹּשֶׁן׃

29Yosef ordered his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father Yisrael; he presented himself to him and, embracing him around the neck, he wept on his neck a good while.

כטוַיֶּאְסֹר יוֹסֵף מֶרְכַּבְתּוֹ וַיַּעַל לִקְרַאת־יִשְׂרָאֵל אָבִיו גֹּשְׁנָה וַיֵּרָא אֵלָיו וַיִּפֹּל עַל־צַוָּארָיו וַיֵּבְךְּ עַל־צַוָּארָיו עוֹד׃

30Then Yisrael said to Yosef, “Now I can die, having seen for myself that you are still alive.”

לוַיֹּאמֶר יִשְׂרָאֵל אֶל־יוֹסֵף אָמוּתָה הַפָּעַם אַחֲרֵי רְאוֹתִי אֶת־פָּנֶיךָ כִּי עוֹדְךָ חָי׃

31Then Yosef said to his brothers and to his father's household, “I will go up and tell the news to Pharaoh, and say to him, ‘My brothers and my father's household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me.

לאוַיֹּאמֶר יוֹסֵף אֶל־אֶחָיו וְאֶל־בֵּית אָבִיו אֶעֱלֶה וְאַגִּידָה לְפַרְעֹה וְאֹמְרָה אֵלָיו אַחַי וּבֵית־אָבִי אֲשֶׁר בְּאֶרֶץ־כְּנַעַן בָּאוּ אֵלָי׃

32The men are shepherds; they have always been breeders of livestock, and they have brought with them their flocks and herds and all that is theirs.'

לבוְהָאֲנָשִׁים רֹעֵי צֹאן כִּי־אַנְשֵׁי מִקְנֶה הָיוּ וְצֹאנָם וּבְקָרָם וְכָל־אֲשֶׁר לָהֶם הֵבִיאוּ׃

33So when Pharaoh summons you and asks, ‘What is your occupation?'

לגוְהָיָה כִּי־יִקְרָא לָכֶם פַּרְעֹה וְאָמַר מַה־מַּעֲשֵׂיכֶם׃

34you shall answer, ‘Your servants have been breeders of livestock from the start until now, both we and our fathers'—so that you may stay in the region of Goshen. For all shepherds are abhorrent to Egyptians.”

לדוַאֲמַרְתֶּם אַנְשֵׁי מִקְנֶה הָיוּ עֲבָדֶיךָ מִנְּעוּרֵינוּ וְעַד־עַתָּה גַּם־אֲנַחְנוּ גַּם־אֲבֹתֵינוּ בַּעֲבוּר תֵּשְׁבוּ בְּאֶרֶץ גֹּשֶׁן כִּי־תוֹעֲבַת מִצְרַיִם כָּל־רֹעֵה צֹאן׃