Story of the Week

Israel in Egypt

Genesis 45:17 – 50:21

 
 
 
 
 

Pharaoh told Joseph, “Tell your brothers to go back to Canaan and get your father. They should bring him back here, as well as their families. Have them take wagons from Egypt so their wives and children can travel in comfort. Don’t worry about their belongings, because I will give them the best of Egypt.

When the men got back to Canaan, Jacob was stunned when they told him everything that happened! At first he didn’t believe that Joseph was actually alive. But eventually, he became thrilled as he listened to stories about Joseph and all he had done.

So Jacob’s entire clan started the journey to Egypt. Along the way, he stopped and sacrificed to the Lord. That night God appeared to him in a vision. He said, “I am God, the God of your father. Don’t be afraid to go to Egypt. I will go with you and make you a great nation. In time I will bring them back to this land.”

Finally Jacob, his children, and all their children arrived in Egypt. Pharaoh provided everything they needed because of Joseph. They were given the best land for their families and herds.

Jacob lived for another seventeen years. When he was about to die, he called Joseph to his side. “Your two sons are now mine. Manasseh and Ephraim are my sons as much as Reuben and Simeon are mine. They will have part of my inheritance and be counted as the sons of Israel.”

Joseph brought both sons next to his father to receive the blessing. He put Manasseh next to Jacob’s right hand because he was the oldest. But Jacob reached out and put his right hand on Ephraim.

Joseph tried to correct this by moving his father’s hand, saying “Father, Manasseh is the oldest and should receive the blessing of your right hand.”

Jacob said, “Son, I know what I’m doing. Yes, Manasseh will be father of a great tribe, but the descendants of Ephraim will have a larger population.

Jacob then called in all his sons and gave each one a blessing. He said Judah would be the kingly tribe, and the promise would go down through his descendants.

Jacob visited with his sons a bit longer and then he died. A large crowd took his body back to Canaan, including his family and many Egyptians. He was buried in the same cave as Abraham and Sarah, Isaac and Rebekah, and his wife Leah.

After the death of Jacob, the brothers of Joseph became fearful. They said, “Joseph has been kind to us only because of our father. Now he will remember how we abused him. The time has come for him to get even with us.”

They sent a message to Joseph saying, “Your father asked you to forgive us for the great sin we committed against you. Therefore, please forgive us.”

Joseph broke down and cried when he heard this message. Then his brothers came before him and bowed down and said, “We are your slaves.”

Joseph said, “Don’t be afraid of me. I can’t act in the place of God. It’s true you wanted to hurt me, but God was in control the entire time. He planned it to save the lives of our entire clan. Listen to me and don’t be afraid. I will take care of you and your children.”

Joseph spoke words of comfort to his brothers. He reassured them of his love and care.

 
 
 
 
 

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