Getting A New Passport
The reader will do well to note the dialogue between Joseph, Pharoah, his brothers, and his father. It’s based on an honor code, and not the rule of law.
In the previous chapter, Joseph began to coach his family on how to talk to Pharoah. It’s the first thing he says to them after regaining composure, that’s how important it was to get right. He knew moving 70 foreigners to the front portion of Pharoah’s kingdom (the land of Rameses) was a big deal, and something he would have to answer for, even though Pharoah was showing him favor.
Joseph doesn’t bring everyone to meet Pharoah, he selects 5, which of the brothers is unknown, and they would’ve been dressed in the finest garments and taken a good bath.
The brothers answer Pharoah as Joseph taught them, “Your servants are shepherds, as our fathers were. We have come to sojourn in the land…and now please let your servants stay in the land of Goshen.”
The word sojourn is the same word used to describe Abram’s calling in Genesis 12:10. It is the idea of we aren’t planning on staying long, but they will, they just don’t know it.
Goshen was the best of Egyptian land, moderate of temperature, rich and fertile, and absolutely gorgeous with prime beachfront, river, and ocean views. The negatives were related to location, a nearby trade route could bring thieves, and if an army came to attack Pharoah, Goshen was not defensible, and would easily fall.
Pharoah enjoyed Joseph’s brothers and said to them, “the land of Goshen is before you,” then he gave them a job. If any of them is able, they are asked to be put in charge of Pharoah’s livestock. As will be seen below, Pharoah is buying everything in exchange for food, even buying people, so he quickly gaining a gross amount of livestock.
Pharaoh Meets Jacob
I absolutely love how Pharaoh talks, instead of asking Jacob how old are you, he says, “How many are the days of the years of your life,” v.8. Jacob will say, “He’s been sojourning 130 years,” it’s a cheery way of saying I’m pretty old.
Jacob also says to Pharaoh, “Few and evil have been the days of my life,” which is his way of saying, God has been good to me. The aged Patriarch is a picture of perseverance and a living testimony to God’s sustaining power. He financially prospered wherever he went, and will again in Goshen. While the rest of the nation was selling out, this tiny dysfunctional clan will prosper “by gaining possessions, and will be fruitful and multiply.” No one defeated him, not Laban, his brother, his own sin, nor deceitful children—no power save God has ever gotten the better of him.
Jacob blessed Pharaoh, most likely with a strong proclamation asking God to bless Pharoah.
How Fascism Started
Fascism takes place when government gains leverage on people in such a way, that government is allowed to punish those who disagree with them. In Joseph’s Egypt, fear and desperation took over the culture, abandoning all dignity they sold themselves into slavery saying, “Why should we die before your eyes…buy us and our land for food.”
“So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharoah.”
The people would never regain their freedom.
Father And Son
Jacob was 130 at this time and live another 17 years, the exact number of years he had with Joseph as a boy. God redeemed each year, dying at the ripe old age of 147.
On his death bed, Jacob clings to faith, knowing God promised the land of Israel to his family and demands a sacred promise from Joseph to take his bones back home to Beersheba. Jacob bowed before he died, a gesture of worship and love.