Jacob Descends to Egypt

Genesis 46:1-47:12

Jacob sets out for Egypt, stopping in Beersheba on the way. There, God addresses him, reassuring him not to fear the descent to Egypt, for there He will make them a great nation. The Israel Bible remarks on the use of the word ‘descent’, which serves as a reminder that the Land of Israel is the ultimate height of spirituality. From there, Jacob transports his family and belongings in the wagons sent by Pharaoh. Here, the Torah enumerates the names of all the children and grandchildren who travelled with Jacob.


Judah is sent ahead to prepare the land of Goshen for Jacob’s arrival. Joseph, meanwhile, rides out to meet his father, crying on his neck. Jacob tells his son he can now die in peace, having seen him once more.


Joseph alerts his brothers to the Egyptians’ squeamishness over herding. He tells them that if they inform Pharaoh they are shepherds, he will give them leave to live in Goshen, where the land is suitable for their profession and they will be out of sight of the Egyptians. The brothers follow Joseph’s advice, and Pharaoh does as Joseph predicted, asking them as well to choose competent men from among themselves to tend for Pharaoh’s own livestock.


Joseph presents his father to Pharaoh, and Jacob blesses him. Pharaoh asks Jacob his age, and he answers that at 130, his years have been bitter. Joseph also settles his father and brothers in their new land.


Virtual Classroom Discussion

The Torah indicates Joseph weeps upon seeing his father, but Jacob does not. Why do you think that might be?

Comments ( 5 )

The comments below do not necessarily reflect the beliefs and opinions of The Israel Bible™.

  • Sherwin T

    Perhaps also, he was vexed by his own lack of faith that the Lord, through his own 12 sons, would build a great nation, to fulfill His will and plan for mankind. Joseph and indeed Benjamin would preserved for this purpose. As with Ishmael, 12 sons=NATION for the Lord’s economy and purposes.

  • Ja’acov at this time didn’t trust the truth that the brothers had told him. 2. He did not trust his sons so much. 3. First seeing than believing 4. Joseph was wearing Egyptian clothes and was not easily te be recognized.

  • I suspect there was a super-storm of emotion in Jacob at this time. First, the son he thought was dead for many years is instead alive and prospering. Second, he remembers the grief he experienced when Joseph's brothers pronounced him dead – not only the grief but also the sudden understanding and disappointment that the brothers did such an evil thing. And last I am sure that subtle knowledge that Joseph was sent ahead by God to preserve them in this time of famine was not lost on Jacob. Maybe, with all this swirling in his head at this moment, tears were just not possible.

  • At this point, Ya'acov may well have been beyond weeping anymore. He has mourned his beloved son for so many years, there are no more tears for him, only the joy of their reunion and the pleasure of meeting his two grandsons.
    Baruch Hashem.

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