Lectionary Calendar
Wednesday, May 29th, 2024
the Week of Proper 3 / Ordinary 8
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Bible Commentaries
Genesis 46

Peake's Commentary on the BiblePeake's Commentary

Verses 1-34

Genesis 46:1 to Genesis 47:12 . Jacob and his Descendants Go down into Egypt and Settle in Goshen.— The list in Genesis 46:8-27 with the introductory verses Genesis 46:6 f. is from P, as are Genesis 47:5-6 a, Genesis 46:7-11. The rest is JE. To E belong Genesis 46:1-5 (in the main) and perhaps Genesis 47:12, the rest to J. Jacob visits the sanctuary at Beersheba, where he has a vision dispelling the fears which he naturally feels at leaving his native land and settling in Egypt so late in life. He will not leave his father’ s God behind him; He will go with him and bring him back in the great nation that will spring from him, though he himself will die in Egypt, and the dearly-loved Joseph will close his eyes. The catalogue inserted from P raises critical and material problems, which must be passed over here. According to J’ s story it looks as if Pharaoh had no knowledge about Joseph’ s family till they were actually in Egypt. Joseph is obviously anxious that they should be permitted to live in Goshen, perhaps because it was near the frontier, so that they could more easily leave the country if they wished, and also that they might retain their distinctive nationality. He is apparently doubtful of the king’ s permission, for the frontier was vulnerable in that district, and foreigners might prove dangerous. So he carefully instructs his brothers to ask permission to remain in Goshen, whither they had come driven by lack of pasture in Canaan (no reference is made to the invitation of Joseph and Pharaoh recorded in E). Their request is all the more plausible that shepherds were an abomination to the Egyptians, and should, therefore, not live in their midst. We have no evidence for this, though cowherds and swineherds were despised by the Egyptians. All went well. Pharaoh gave permission, and even offered to take any who were specially competent into his service. Jacob’ s introduction to Pharaoh is then inserted from P, with its pathetic summary of his career; his days both few (130 years) and evil, long exile, hard life, the death of Rachel, the bitterness of Joseph’ s loss, pass before his mind.

Genesis 47:5 f. The LXX has here a more original text, whose discrepancies are smoothed out in MT. See the larger commentaries.

Bibliographical Information
Peake, Arthur. "Commentary on Genesis 46". "Peake's Commentary on the Bible ". https://www.studylight.org/commentaries/eng/pfc/genesis-46.html. 1919.
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