7/30/10 When Jacob’s household arrived in Goshen Joseph took five of his brothers. Which ones and why isn’t told, but he presents them to Pharaoh and when Pharaoh asks their occupation they tell him they are shepherds. Pharaoh then officially gives them permission to settle in the best land and tells Joseph to choose any good men from Jacob’s house to shepherd his livestock.
Then Joseph brought in his father to meet Pharaoh. Pharaoh asks his age, which he states as 130 few and unpleasant years. I had never thought about how unpleasant life was for Jacob: his parent’s relationship, his brothers’ and his relationship, stealing, fleeing, being cheated, lying, his wives, his son’s actions, losing Rachel, losing Joseph, it just never ended for Jacob. The last 17 years in Egypt, I suppose, were the best of his life with his sons reborn and Joseph restored.
Joseph managed the whole of Egypt by access to food. He acquired all the money in Egypt for Pharaoh, then all of the animals, then all of the land, and finally the people themselves as slaves. Not forced labor slaves apparently, but enough so that they could be freely taxed a fifth of their yearly harvest. Everyone from then on worked on Pharaoh’s lands instead of their own.
When the time came for Jacob to die he called Joseph to him and asked to be buried with Abraham and Isaac in Canaan. Joseph promised to make this happen. And Israel grew to many people.