King James Bible
with Catholic Commentary by George Leo Haydock

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Genesis 46

God’s promises to Jacob. (1-4) Jacob and his family go to Egypt. (5-27) Joseph meets his father and his brethren. (28-34)

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God’s promises to Jacob

1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.

2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.

3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:

4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.

Jacob and his family go to Egypt

5 And Jacob rose up from Beersheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.

6 And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him:

7 His sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt.

8 And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn.

9 And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi.

10 And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman.

11 And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

12 And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zarah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul.

13 And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron.

14 And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel.

15 These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padanaram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three.

16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.

17 And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel.

18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls.

19 The sons of Rachel Jacob’s wife; Joseph, and Benjamin.

20 And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him.

21 And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard.

22 These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen.

23 And the sons of Dan; Hushim.

24 And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem.

25 These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven.

26 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six;

27 And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.

Joseph meets his father and his brethren

28 And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.

29 And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.

30 And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.

31 And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father’s house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father’s house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me;

32 And the men are shepherds, for their trade hath been to feed cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.

33 And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation?

34 That ye shall say, Thy servants’ trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.

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G Haydock's Catholic Bible Commentary

Ver. 1. The well of the oath. Bersabee.

Ver. 3. Fear not. He might be apprehensive, lest his children should be depraved, living among idolaters, or prefer Egypt before the promised land. He was also afraid to undertake this journey without consulting God. M.

Ver. 4. Thence; in thy posterity. Sept. add at last, or after a long time. Jacob’s bones were brought back and buried in Chanaan. C. — Eyes, as he is the most dear to thee. Parents closed the eyes of their children in death. The Romans opened them again when the corpse was upon the funeral pire; thinking it a mark of disrespect for the eyes to be shut to heaven; “ut neque ab homine supremum eos spectari fas sit, & cœlo non ostendi, nefas.“ Plin. xi. 37.

Ver. 7. Daughters. Dina, and grand-daughter Sara, (v. 17,) and his sons’ wives, &c. C. — We may observe, that all here mentioned were not born at the time when Jacob went down into Egypt, but they were before he or Joseph died; that is, during the space of 17 or 71 years. See S. Aug. q. 151. 173. M. — The names of the Heb. and Sept. vary some little from the Vulgate, which may be attributed to the difference of pronunciation, or to the same person having many names. The number is also different in the Sept. as the authors of that version have, perhaps, inserted some names taken from other parts of Scripture, to remove any apparent contradiction. The genealogies of Juda, Joseph, and Benjamin, are carried farther than the rest, as those families were of greater consequence.

Ver. 9. Hesron and Charmi were probably born in Egypt, as Ruben had only two sons. C. xlii. 37. Philo.

Ver. 10. Jamuel. Num. xxvi. 12, he is called Namuel. — Jachin is Jarid. 1 Par. iv. 24. C.

Ver. 12. Were born, afterwards. M.

Ver. 15. Syria. This must be restrained to her seven children. — Thirty-three, comprising Lia, or Jacob; but without Her and Onan, who were dead. C.

Ver. 20. Ephraim. The Sept. take in here the children of both. Num. xxvi. 29. 35.

Ver. 21. Benjamin. Ten in number; though the Sept. have only nine, and suppose that some of them were his grandchildren. He was 33 (or 24, M.) years old. C. — Grotius thinks three names have been made out of two; Echi, Ros, and mophim, out of Ahiram and Supham, as we read, Num. xxvi. 38.

Ver. 23. Sons. The Arab. has son. Husim is Suham, (Num. xxvi. 42,) by change and transposition of letters. Ken.

Ver. 26. Sixty-six; not including Jacob, Joseph, and his two children, who make up 70, v. 27. Deut. x. 22. The Sept. taking in Joseph’s grandchildren, read 75; in which they are followed by S. Stephen. Acts. vii. 14. See S. Jer. q. Heb. C. — S. Augustine cannot account for these grand-children and great grand-children of Joseph being mentioned as coming with Jacob into Egypt, since some of them were not born during his life-time. He suspects some hidden mystery. W. See v. 7. — Some think S. Stephen excludes Jacob, Joseph, and his sons; and included the 64 men, with 11 wives. D.

Ver. 34. Abomination. See C. xliii. 32. The source of this hatred against foreign shepherds, was probably because, about 100 years before Abraham, the shepherd-kings, Hycussos, had got possession of a great part of Egypt, and were at last expelled by the kings of Thebais. See Manetho ap. Eus. præp. x. 13. Another reason why they hated foreigners was, because they slew and eat sheep, &c. which they themselves adored. The Egyptians kept sheep for this purpose, and for the benefits to be derived from their wool, &c. C. xlvii. 17. C. — Joseph took advantage of this disposition of the inhabitants, to keep his brethren at a distance from them, that they might not be perverted. He does not introduce them at court, that no jealousy might be excited. He shews that he is not ashamed of his extraction. M.