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Bible Commentaries

Morgan's Exposition on the Whole Bible

Genesis 47

Verses 1-31

To watch Jacob is to see a man who alternated between faith and fear. Standing before Pharaoh, his faith in God and his consciousness of his own position in the divine economy were clearly apparent. The less is ever blessed of the greater, and when Jacob gave his blessing to Pharaoh it was undoubtedly with a consciousness of his own relation to a divine program.

Joseph's policy in administering Egyptian affairs must be judged by the times in which he lived. It was a policy which ensured the interests of the king, of the nation, and of the people. It was one of unification and consolidation. So far as Israel was concerned, his action precluded the possibility of their harassment by petty princes. It is equally true that by this very action Joseph made possible what subsequently happened, the enslavement of the whole people by the will of the supreme Pharaoh. Here again the hand of God is seen operating through the Egyptian policy for the immediate safety of His people and then for the discipline and suffering through which they were to pass.

The interchange of names in this story is arresting. Referring to the man, it is said that "Jacob lived in the land of Egypt"; but when referring to his departure, he is called "Israel"; Jacob, in himself; Israel, in the government of God. The writer of the letter to the Hebrews speaks of his faith as manifest only when dying he blessed his sons and worshiped, and even then speaks of him as "Jacob." In the end of this narrative his faith and fear are manifest: his faith, in that he chose to be buried with his fathers; his fear, in that he made Joseph swear so to bury him.

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Bibliographical Information
Morgan, G. Campbell. "Commentary on Genesis 47". "Morgan's Exposition on the Bible". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/gcm/genesis-47.html. 1857-84.