Chapter 37

THE DOMESTICATION OF EGYPT (the land of the unsaved), WITH BREAD (the word of God)


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(Gen 46:29-34)  And Joseph [let him add, adding] 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. And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive. And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father's house, I will go up, and show Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father's house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me; And the men are shepherds, for their trade hath been to feed cattle [flocks, herds]; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have. And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation? 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 [Why?].

1.        abomination = Heb: something disgusting (mor.), i.e. (as noun) (an abhorrence; espec. idolatry or (concr.) an idol:--abominable (custom, thing), abomination /// to loathe, i.e. (mor.) detest:--(make to be) abhor (-red), (be, commit more, do) abominable (-y), X utterly.

2.        shepherd = Heb: to tend a flock, i.e. pasture it; to graze; gen. to rule; by extens. to associate with (as a friend):--companion, keep company with, feed, use as a friend, make friendship with, herdman, keep [sheep] (-er), pastor.

3.        shepherd = Dictionary: 1. a person who herds and takes care of sheep. 2. a leader of a group; esp. a clergyman; to tend, herd, guard, lead, etc. as or like a shepherd.

4.        (Gen 1:26)  And God said, Let us make man in our image, after our likeness: and let them have dominion [rule] over the fish of the sea, and over the fowl of the air, and over the cattle, and over all the earth, and over every creeping thing that creepeth upon the earth.

5.        (Gen 2:15)  And the LORD God took the man, and put him into the garden of Eden to dress it [to serve it] and to keep it [to guard it].

6.        Commentary: Why did the Egyptians consider shepherds to be an abomination? No-one knows. Egyptians shaved their body hair, which perhaps was an attempt to separate and distinguish themselves from animals. In a related vein, the most likely spiritual reason for their hatred was that Egypt was entirely populated by “wild men” who knew not God; they therefore hated (abomination) shepherds who domesticated and ruled their formerly “wild” charges.

(Gen 47:1-4)  Then Joseph [a type of Jesus Christ] came and told Pharaoh [a type of God], 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 [perhaps “The Hand Ministry” Eph 4:11], 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 [live temporarily, but not settle] 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.

(Gen 47:5,6)  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 [i.e. not lazy; able to exercise strength (with military connotations)] among them, then make them rulers over my cattle [herds and flocks].

1.        activity = Heb: a force, whether of men, means or other resources; an army, wealth, virtue, valor, strength:--able, activity, (+) army, band of men (soldiers), company, (great) forces, goods, host, might, power, riches, strength, strong, substance, train, valiant (-ly), valour, virtuous (-ly), war, worthy (-ily).

2.        The Pentateuch And Haftorahs by Hertz: “make them rulers over my cattle” A further sign of the king’s gratitude [to Joseph]. Joseph’s relatives are to be appointed royal officers, superintendents of the king’s herdsmen.

(Gen 47:7-10)  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 [“the less is blessed of the better” Heb 7:7], and went out from before Pharaoh.

(Gen 47:11,12)  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.

(Gen 47:13-17)  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 [bread] 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 [cows], and for the asses: and he fed them with bread for all their cattle for that year.

(Gen 47:18-22)  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 [they were married to the 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.

1.        Commentary: “buy us and our land for bread” = Jesus Christ, who is the “bread of life,” bought us through His death, burial, and resurrection in exchange for His life.

2.        (John 6:48-51)  I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

(Gen 47:23-26)  Then Joseph [a type of Jesus Christ] said unto the people, Behold, I have bought you [purchased, redeemed you] this day and your land for Pharaoh [a type of God]: 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.

1.       Commentary: This narrative depicts the conversion of the unsaved people of Egypt from individuals each doing “that which was right in his own eyes” (Judg 21:25), into the Lord’s people. The unsaved people of Egypt progressively lost their individual identities and independence, their wild thought patterns, as they increasingly sought (focused upon) “the bread of life.” They wanted to live. They became more and more heedful and dependent upon Joseph (Jesus Christ) as they looked to Him for help and received and assimilated His domesticated thought patterns. In exchange for the bread (the Word of God) to eat and live dispensed by Joseph (Jesus Christ), the people first gave all their money to Joseph, then they gave all their cattle, then they gave all their land and all themselves (they presented their bodies “a living sacrifice” Rom 12:1) as servants. Please note from the onset that the progression of heeding and giving sacrificially (it hurt) to Jesus Christ became increasingly more intimate and personal as the world with its outer distractions (money, cattle, land) was pruned or stripped away, departing like chaff blown and separated from the seed, until, finally, the people having given all of themselves are wholly the Lord’s converted servants, subsisting entirely upon the Word of God (bread), and think like Him.

2.   (Gen 15:1)  After these things the word of the LORD came unto Abram in a vision, saying, Fear not, Abram: I am thy shield, and thy exceeding great reward.


What Is Your Occupation?

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