● Gen 46:1 . . So Israel set out with all that was his, and he came to Beer-sheba, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
I would imagine that Jacob was a bit uncertain as to whether or not he should leave the promised land and go to Egypt, even though his granddad had migrated for that exact same reason back in chapter 12. Jacob was promised a multitude of offspring who were supposed to inherit Palestine, and how ever could that happen if he wasn't even living in the land? And it seemed every time a patriarch left Palestine they got into trouble. Jacob had to wonder: Was he walking into a trap?
Jacob, being a prophet, may have suspected that the prediction below was somehow related to his present circumstances.
"Then Yhvh said to Abram: Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions." (Gen 15:13-15)
● Gen 46:2-4a . . God called to Israel in a vision by night: Jacob! Jacob! He answered: Here. And He said: I am 'El, the god of your father. Fear not to go down to Egypt, for I will make you there into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I myself will also bring you back;
Although El's promise to accompany Jacob in Egypt was generous; He pretty much had to because back in Gen 28:15 Yhvh said "Remember, I am with you: I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."
Since Jacob was destined to die in Egypt, God's promise to "bring you back" would be quite hollow unless He intended to raise Jacob from the dead some day; which He does. (Matt 8:11)
There were so many 'els out and about in Jacob's day that it was necessary for Jacob's god to pick His words carefully in order to make sure people fully understood who He was so they didn't confuse Him with one of the other deities popular in that day. By identifying Himself to Jacob as the "god of your father" there was no mistaking who was speaking.
● Gen 46:4b . . and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes.
That must have been a comforting prediction for Jacob. Not the dying part, but the fact that he would die in Joseph's company, rather than dying somewhere distant only for Joseph to hear about it later before he had a chance to say his farewells.
● Gen 46:5-7 . . So Jacob set out from Beer-sheba. The sons of Israel put their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to transport him; and they took along their livestock and the wealth that they had amassed in the land of Canaan. Thus Jacob and all his offspring with him came to Egypt: he brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, his daughters and granddaughters-- all his offspring.
Not mentioned as participants in the wagon train were the slaves; the "wealth that they had amassed in the land of Canaan" would have included them as well as the livestock. If Isaac passed down granddad Abraham's army to Jacob; then the whole troupe-- family, wagons, slaves, and of course the herds; composed of sheep, goats, cows, burros, and camels --must have been a very impressive sight traveling down the road to Shur into Egypt.
The Hebrew word for "daughter" is ambiguous. It can mean an immediate female offspring (e.g. Gen 46:15) or even all the females in a whole country (e.g. Gen 28:8). But in this case, the females referred to were limited to Jacob's own biological children (vs 7 and vs 26) rather than including every female in the camp.
● Gen 46:8-27 . .These are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his descendants, who came to Egypt-- all the persons belonging to Jacob who came to Egypt --his own issue, aside from the wives of Jacob's sons --all these persons numbered 66. And Joseph's sons who were born to him in Egypt were two in number. Thus the total of Jacob's household who came to Egypt was seventy persons.
The number would have to include both Joseph and Jacob in order to come out right. The nose count has its problems with other portions of scripture that contain the rosters. Expositors with higher IQ's and better educations than mine haven't had much luck at harmonizing those discrepancies so I could hardly expect myself to do any better.
● Gen 46:28-29a . . He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph, to point the way before him to Goshen. So when they came to the region of Goshen, Joseph ordered his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel;
Judging from all past events, and the current ones; Judah appears to have been the most grown-up (mature and serious) of all the other brothers, and a man whom Jacob could reasonably depend upon to look after business and not goof around or allow himself to get distracted.
Judah's going ahead of Jacob wasn't really to get instructions as to where Jacob should settle (the Hebrew of "point the way before him" is a bit difficult) but rather, as point man (liaison) to inform Joseph of his father's imminent arrival. Subsequently Joseph gassed up his Federally-provided conveyance and roared off to meet his father and personally guide him to the correct location.
NOTE: Some feel that Joseph's headquarters were in the vicinity of Ramses; which supports Gen 45:10 that Jacob would settle where he would be "near me"; that is: in Joseph's neighborhood-- sort of.
● Gen 46:29b-30 . . he presented himself to him and, embracing him around the neck, he wept on his neck a good while. Then Israel said to Joseph: Now I can die, having seen for myself that you are still alive.
There's sometimes an overtone of sadness at reunions as kin become shaken a bit by the too obvious damage that the aging process wreaked upon loved ones during the years of their absence; plus the sadness of not being a part of the years that long-lost kin have lived their lives without us.
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