The Kraig Josiah Rice
Devotional Bible Commentary on Genesis

Genesis chapters 47 and 48

written by
Kraig J. Rice
www.7-star-admiral.com

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TABLE OF CONTENTS
(Clicking on these links will move you down this web page)
Genesis chapters forty seven and forty eight
 Chapter 47 Israel and his family stayed in Egypt
 Gen. 47:1 - 12 You and I need to bless others
 How long will you and I live?
 Gen. 47:13 - 26 How are your leadership skills?
 Gen. 47:27 - 31 The spiritual Promised Land
 Chapter 48 Israel blessed the sons of Joseph
 Gen. 48:1 - 22 God has adopted us
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I mostly quote scriptures from the Old King James Translation of the Bible (the authorized 1611 version)
Many words on this web page are color coded:

The words of God are in red that symbolize His shed blood.
The words of Scripture are in purple that symbolize His royalty.
A devotional commentary is different from an exegetical commentary. In a devotional commentary like this one I can give the application of a verse rather than just the interpretation of a verse.






Genesis Chapter 47
Israel and his family stayed in Egypt

"Then Joseph came and told Pharaoh, and said, my father and my brethren, and their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have, are come out of the land of Canaan; and, behold, they are in the land of Goshen. And he took some of his brethren, even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto his brethren, what is your occupation? And they said unto Pharaoh, thy servants are shepherds, both we, and also our fathers. They said moreover unto Pharaoh, for to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen. And Pharaoh spake unto Joseph, saying, thy father and thy brethren are come unto thee: the land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle. And Joseph brought in Jacob his father, and set him before Pharaoh: and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, how old art thou? And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, the days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh. And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. And Joseph nourished his father, and his brethren, and all his father's household, with bread, according to their families"
(Genesis 47:1-12).

Jacob blessed Pharaoh (you and I need to bless others):
Jacob was introduced to Pharaoh and Pharaoh received Jacob in peace and friendship. Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh. The word for "blessed" in Hebrew is barak meaning to invoke divine care for, to confer happiness upon, and to praise or salute.

Then Pharaoh blessed Jacob: "Pharaoh...gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land". God did not just give Jacob the land but the best of the land. And God only wants the best for you and I but we have to trust Him, and sometimes, wait for Him to fulfill His plan for our life.

Later, the psalmist sang a song about how God blessed Jacob in Egypt, "Moreover he called for a famine upon the land: he brake the whole staff of bread. He sent a man before them, even Joseph, who was sold for a servant: whose feet they hurt with fetters: he was laid in iron: until the time that his word came: the word of the Lord tried him. The king sent and loosed him; even the ruler of the people, and let him go free. He made him lord of his house, and ruler of all his substance: to bind his princes at his pleasure; and teach his senators wisdom. Israel also came into Egypt; and Jacob sojourned in the land of Ham. And he increased his people greatly; and made them stronger than their enemies"
(Psalm 105:16-24).

One day Christ will reign in Israel and will bless the nations of the world
(Daniel 2:35; Revelation 20:6).

One time a pastor of a church asked his Sunday School class this question: "why do you go to church?" One person answered: "to worship God and receive a blessing". Then the pastor's wife said: "No, to worship God and to be a blessing". There is a difference. Jacob's act of blessing was a witness for God. Likewise, you and I need to give blessings and be a blessing to others as often as we can
(Matthew 25:40).


How long will you and I live? (Jacob lived a long time):
Jacob was 130 years old at that time- he lived another 17 years in Egypt with Joseph. Jacob gave the glory to God for his long life span. Here is what the Lord had to say about long life:
"Because he hath set his love upon Me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known My name. He shall call upon Me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him. With long life will I satisfy him, and show him My salvation"
(Psalm 91:14-16).

And here is what God, through King Solomon, had to say:
"My son, forget not my law; but let thine heart keep my commandments: for length of days, and long life, and peace, shall they add to thee. Let not mercy and truth forsake thee: bind them about thy neck; write them upon the table of thine heart: so shalt thou find favour and good understanding in the sight of God and man. Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths. Be not wise in thine own eyes: fear the Lord, and depart from evil. It shall be health to thy navel, and marrow to thy bones. Honour the Lord with thy substance, and with the firstfruits of all thine increase: so shall thy barns be filled with plenty, and thy presses shall burst out with new wine"
(Proverbs 3:1-10).

Each day that we live on this earth is a blessing- each day is a gift from God. No matter how long we live on this earth, let us dedicate each day of our life to God to fulfill His Great Commission because there are souls to be won to Him
(Mark 16:15-16).


"And there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very sore, so that the land of Egypt and all the land of Canaan fainted by reason of the famine. And Joseph gathered up all the money that was found in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, for the corn which they bought: and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's house. And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth. And Joseph said, give your cattle; and I will give you for your cattle, if money fail. And they brought their cattle unto Joseph: and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for horses, and for the flocks, and for the cattle of the herds, and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year. When that year was ended, they came unto him the second year, and said unto him, we will not hide it from my lord, how that our money is spent; my lord also hath our herds of cattle; there is not ought left in the sight of my lord, but our bodies, and our lands: wherefore shall we die before thine eyes, both we and our land? buy us and our land for bread, and we and our land will be servants unto Pharaoh: and give us seed, that we may live, and not die, that the land be not desolate. And Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh; for the Egyptians sold every man his field, because the famine prevailed over them: so the land became Pharaoh's. And as for the people, he removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof. Only the land of the priests bought he not; for the priests had a portion assigned them of Pharaoh, and did eat their portion which Pharaoh gave them: wherefore they sold not their lands. Then Joseph said unto the people, behold, I have bought you this day and your land for Pharaoh: lo, here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land. And it shall come to pass in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own, for seed of the field, and for your food, and for them of your households, and for food for your little ones. And they said, thou hast saved our lives: let us find grace in the sight of my lord, and we will be Pharaoh's servants. And Joseph made it a law over the land of Egypt unto this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth part; except the land of the priests only, which became not Pharaoh's."
(Genesis 47:13-26).

How are your leadership skills? (Joseph gave leadership during the famine):
Joseph had great leadership skills and was a good witness for God. Joseph was a type of Christ because he was a savior to those who were perishing. Today, a good leader can also be a good witness for Christ and try to help those who want it.

What does it mean "when money failed in the land of Egypt"? The verb word for "failed" in Hebrew is Tamam meaning "to be consumed or exhausted". It simply means that folks ran out of money. Sometimes, when money is in short supply, folks use the barter system. What is that? They trade by exchanging goods. In the case of the Egyptians, they bartered livestock for grain and then land for grain. If the barter is not of equal value, one might have to throw in a little "boot". What is that? Something to equalize the trade such as an item of another kind. My father used to "horse trade" a lot, and, in my younger years, I used to do quite a bit of bartering with my friends and acquaintances. If you run out of money today, get on your knees and pray in your needs. God is a BIG God, has unlimited resources, and He has many different ways that He can answer your prayers. One time my wife and I were out of money so we went to the Lord in prayer. Soon, I received money in an envelope in the mail from a company that I had not worked for in several years. They said they had made some mistake back then and owed me that money so they sent it to me. When it came, it was just enough to meet our needs. Praise His name!

The bible stated that Joseph "removed them to cities from one end of the borders of Egypt even to the other end thereof". Why did Joseph relocate the folks of Egypt from the country to the cities? During the Great Depression of the 1930's in the U.S.A. folks would stand in line in the cities to get bread. My grandmother Rice told me about them in Texas. These were called "bread lines". It was easier for the government to distribute bread to large numbers of folks that way. It was probably that way in Egypt under Joseph.

The bible stated "...in the increase, that ye shall give the fifth part unto Pharaoh, and four parts shall be your own". I believe that was an early version of sharecropping. What was that? A laborer would plant crops on another person's land and give the owner of the land one fifth or 20% of the total crop at harvest time for the rent of that land.

The bible stated "...here is seed for you, and ye shall sow the land". After the drought was over with, the Egyptians had to have seed to start over again and plant their new crops. How did the ancient Egyptians sow the land in those days? First, the dry fields were ploughed- the plough being pulled by teams of oxen. Secondly, the seed was thrown by hand onto the soil. Thirdly, herds of pigs were driven over the fields to trample in the seed. And, fourthly, the fields were watered so the new seeds could germinate into new life. Likewise, the gospel seeds that you and I plant in others may one day germinate into new spiritual life. Some Christian folks are planters (they plant the gospel seeds in others to get them saved), some are waterers (they continually share the gospel message with others to keep them saved), and some are harvesters (they work to gather in others for salvation as a spiritual crop). Which one are you?

The Egyptians were happy with the leadership of Joseph. Why? Because Joseph was a servant. He was Christ-like. When any government is the servant of the people, it functions as it should, but when any government is oppressive and tyrannical, the people may revolt and overthrow it. Someone did a comparison of nearly every country that has ever existed on this earth and found that the average age for any nation is about 200 years before it crumbles into dust. How about the nation you live in? Is that government a servant of the people as Egypt was under Joseph? How are your leadership skills? The bible states: "When the righteous are in authority, the people rejoice: but when the wicked beareth rule, the people mourn"
(Proverbs 29:2).


"And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly. And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years: so the whole age of Jacob was an hundred forty and seven years. And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, if now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt: but I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their buryingplace. And he said, I will do as thou hast said. And he said, swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head"
(Genesis 47:27-31).

We are headed to the spiritual Promised Land (Israel was headed to the Promised Land):
Jacob had faith in God that God would bring about His promise to him that the Land of Canaan would be inherited by his descendants. That land was also promised to his grandfather, Abraham, and father, Isaac
(Genesis 12:7, 15:7 & 18, 26:3, 28:13-15, 48:4, 50:24). Because God's promise was a reality to him (as his faith was that strong), he asked Joseph to bury him in the Promised Land. What kind of a message would that send to his descendants? Jacob, being buried in the Promised Land, was a kind of firstfruits- that is, the Promised Land would be seen by his descendants as their permanent possession because Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob believed it enough to have been buried there. And, for Jacob, it was kind of a homecoming, in a way. One might say that he was going home to permanently rest.

Likewise, you and I are on a spiritual journey- we are headed to the Promised Land that is a type of Heaven but we are not there yet. We have to cross over the Jordan River, a type of death, before we get our inheritance in the Promised Land of Heaven. We have to rely on God's promise to us that He will see us safely home as it will be a spiritual homecoming. The Lord went before us in death as a first fruits of our resurrection as we can only get there by faith
(Romans 8:23; 1 Corinthians 15:20-23; James 1:18; Revelation 14:4). Once there, we will permanently rest in His safe arms and be alive with Him forevermore.






Genesis Chapter 48
Israel blessed the sons of Joseph: Ephraim and Manasseh

"And it came to pass after these things, that one told Joseph: behold, thy father is sick: and he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim. And one told Israel, and said, behold, thy son Joseph cometh unto thee: and Israel strengthened himself, and sat upon the bed. And Israel said unto Joseph: God Almighty appeared unto me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and blessed me, and said unto me:
"Behold, I will make thee fruitful, and multiply thee, and I will make of thee a multitude of people; and will give this land to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession."
"And now thy two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, which were born unto thee in the land of Egypt before I came unto thee into Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. And thy issue, which thou begettest after them, shall be thine, and shall be called after the name of their brethren in their inheritance. And as for me, when I came from Padan, Rachel died by me in the land of Canaan in the way, when yet there was but a little way to come unto Ephrath: and I buried her there in the way of Ephrath; the same is Bethlehem. And Israel beheld Joseph's sons, and said, Who are these? And Joseph said unto his father, they are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said, bring them, I pray thee, unto me, and I will bless them. Now the eyes of Israel were dim for age, so that he could not see. And he brought them near unto him; and he kissed them, and embraced them. And Israel said unto Joseph, I had not thought to see thy face: and, lo, God hath showed me also thy seed. And Joseph brought them out from between his knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. And Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel's left hand, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel's right hand, and brought them near unto him. And Israel stretched out his right hand, and laid it upon Ephraim's head, who was the younger, and his left hand upon Manasseh's head, guiding his hands wittingly; for Manasseh was the firstborn. And he blessed Joseph, and said: God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk, the God which fed me all my life long unto this day, the Angel which redeemed me from all evil, bless the lads; and let my name be named on them, and the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth. And when Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand upon the head of Ephraim, it displeased him: and he held up his father's hand, to remove it from Ephraim's head unto Manasseh's head. And Joseph said unto his father, not so, my father: for this is the firstborn; put thy right hand upon his head. And his father refused, and said: I know it, my son, I know it: he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great: but truly his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his seed shall become a multitude of nations. And he blessed them that day, saying: in thee shall Israel bless, saying, God make thee as Ephraim and as Manasseh: and he set Ephraim before Manasseh. And Israel said unto Joseph, behold, I die: but God shall be with you, and bring you again unto the land of your fathers. Moreover I have given to thee one portion above thy brethren, which I took out of the hand of the Amorite with my sword and with my bow"
(Genesis 48:1-22).

God has adopted us (Israel adopted Joseph's two sons as his own):
Because Ephraim and Manasseh were adopted, they each had an equal share of Israel's inheritance and blessings from God. Why did Jacob adopt Joseph's two sons? Jacob wanted them more into his family (the family of Israel) than the family of the Egyptians. They would be equal heirs of his legally and be under God's covenant. Likewise, if we are under the blood of Christ, God has adopted you and I into His spiritual family and we are heirs and joint-heirs with Christ
(Romans 8:15 & 23, 9:4; Galatians 4:5; Ephesians 1:5).

Jacob blessed Ephraim, the younger son, over Manasseh, the elder son. Why did he do that? Jacob must have had the gift of prophecy and acted on that knowledge that he received from God. What can we learn from that? God's blessing is not always bestowed according to natural law. God's will is the deciding factor in each case
(Romans 11:29). Did Jacob's prophecy come true? Yes. When Moses numbered the children of Israel, the tribe of Manasseh had more people
(Numbers 26:34 & 37). The territory of Manasseh was divided in the Promised Land. However, the tribe of Ephraim was elevated because general Joshua was from that tribe and the Ark of the Covenant was placed in one of its towns.

In verse three, God is referred to as El Shaddai (Shadday) meaning "Almighty God".

Jacob gave the birthright to Joseph. The one who got the birthright meant that he got a double share of his father's possessions. The birthright usually went to the first born son, however, Joseph was not the first born son- Reuben was the first born son. Reuben, Simeon, and Levi were all denied the birthright. Judah was next in line but he was refused the birthright also. Why did not Judah get the birthright? I wonder if Judah lost the birthright because he sold his brother, Joseph, into slavery and deceived his father. What can we learn from that? God can overrule any circumstance of mankind at His will. God's will takes priority over everything else. Did the bible mention anything about the birthright? Yes. "Now the sons of Reuben the firstborn of Israel, (for he was the firstborn; but, forasmuch as he defiled his father's bed, his birthright was given unto the sons of Joseph the son of Israel: and the genealogy is not to be reckoned after the birthright. For Judah prevailed above his brethren, and of him came the chief ruler; but the birthright was Joseph's"
(1 Chronicles 5:1-2).

Somewhere along his journey, Jacob had a battle with the Amorites. He fought it swords and bows and arrows. He won the battle and took their land. According to the Apostle John, this property was near Sychar (Samaria)
(John 4:5). This battle may or may not have been in connection with the massacre at Shalem City
(Genesis 34:30).



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