Monday, April 11, 2011

Genesis 46:28-30 Family Reunion

Jacob and his household finally arrive in Egypt.  Jacob probably experienced a mixture of emotions:  joy at the prospect of seeing Joseph, thankfulness to God for their safe arrival to this place where they can wait out the famine, and also a bit of apprehension as to how they will manage in this strange land.

"Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen..."  (Genesis 46:28 NIV)

Once Jacob's family arrives in Egypt, they need more specific directions in order to go to the region where Joseph has indicated they should settle.  It is interesting that they head toward Goshen even before they have Pharaoh's permission to do so.  However, Pharaoh had said that the best of Egypt would be theirs (Gen.45:18), so I suppose it would not be too presumptuous on their part to settle in some of the best farmng and grazing land in Egypt.  This would also be a smart move considering their extensive flocks and herds.  Besides, Goshen is in the north of Egypt and one of the first places they would come upon as they enter Egypt's territory.

"When they arrived in the region of Goshen, Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel.  As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father and wept for a long time.  Israel said to Joseph, 'Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.' " (Genesis 46: 28-30 NIV)

It is remarkable that we do not hear more about what happened when Jacob and Joseph are finally reunited, but this is a family matter and I am sure that there was much excited chatter and plenty of hugging and kissing all around as the family greeted the long-lost Joseph.  Later, after things had subsided, Joseph began to put into motion his plan for their more permanent settlement in Goshen during the years of the famine:  He would go to Pharaoh and request specific permission for Israel's household to reside in Goshen.

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