Reading For Tuesday Genesis 46:28-47:12
As the journey nears its destination, Jacob sends Judah ahead to lead the way. Judah's action marks the fourth and last significant act of leadership by Judah in these chapters. Perhaps Judah precedes the family to Egypt to make the necessary arrangements for settlement in the land of Goshen. When the family arrives a few days later, Joseph goes out in his chariot to meet them. It has been more than twenty years since father and son have seen each other. The reunion itself is full of emotion. Jacob expresses his satisfaction with life and states that he was ready to die now because he had seen for himself that his son was still alive.
Joseph shows his political skill, and he thought it wise to secure Pharaoh’s approval of the plans for the settlement of his family. He would explain to the king that his family were shepherds by trade and that they had brought their flocks and herds with them. He even coached his family to identify their occupation as shepherds. This was no deception on their part, for shepherding was the primary occupation of these men. The problem was that shepherds were detestable to the Egyptians and Pharaoh would probably authorize Jacob’s clan to settle in the more or less isolated area of Goshen. It is possible that Joseph was acting with the covenant in mind, and he wanted his family to be insulated as much as possible Egyptian influence.
Joseph went before his sovereign and reported the arrival of his family. He selected five of his brothers to stand before Pharaoh, and as anticipated, Pharaoh interrogated the brothers about their occupation. The brothers responded as they were instructed by Joseph earlier. They requested that they be allowed to settle in the pasture lands of Goshen. Pharaoh directed Joseph to settle his family in the finest part of the land, and any of his brothers with special ability would be given royal appointment over Pharaoh’s livestock.
At this point, Joseph brought his father in before Pharaoh and the aged patriarch blessed the king and after pronouncing a second blessing, Jacob departed from the presence of Pharaoh. Following the directions of Pharaoh, Joseph settled his family in the best part of Goshen and provisions of food were awarded to the head of each household according to the number of children.
Thing To Consider:
- What does this reunion remind us about our promised reunion as followers of Jesus?
- What evidence of grace do you see in Judah's life?
- Why do you think Joseph rode in his chariot?
- What do you think the brothers were thinking as they watched their father be reunited with his long lost son?
- What do we learn about Joseph by the way he handles the settling of his family?
- There seems to be a recurring theme of shepherds in the biblical narrative... think of how many places shepherds are a part of God's story? Why do you think that is?