7/29/10 In response to Joseph’s invitation the house of Jacob packed up to head for Egypt. They soon arrived in Beersheba, where Abraham and Abimilech had once made a covenant, and from which Jacob had fled from Esau. In this place so filled with history and memory already Jacob offered sacrifices to God and God spoke to Jacob in vision.
It must have been with some fear that Jacob was going to Egypt, so God comforted him that this was a part of his plans for him and his descendants. This is the place where his people would grow into a great nation. And God promised that Joseph would be there at his death.
The account lists the sons and grandsons of Jacob and that his household numbered 70 when they came to Egypt. As they arrived Jacob sent Judah to Joseph for directions to Goshen and Joseph met them there. Quite a reunion for them.
Joseph’s instructions to his family was that when Pharaoh asked their occupation they were to emphasize the fact that they were shepherds. Since shepherds were a low class of Egyptian society Pharaoh would see to it that they had plenty of room so that the Egyptians wouldn’t have to mingle with them. This likely was Joseph’s thinking to keep them from intermarriage.