Jacob and his sons are presented before Pharao: he giveth them the land of Gessen. The famine forceth the Egyptians to sell all their possessions to the king.
47:1. Then Joseph went in and told Pharao, saying: My father and brethren, their sheep and their herds, and all that they possess, are come out of the land of Chanaan: and behold they stay in the land of Gessen.
47:2. Five men also, the last of his brethren, he presented before the king:
The last...Extremos. Some interpret this word of the chiefest, and most rightly: but Joseph seems rather to have chosen out such as had the meanest appearance, that Pharao might not think of employing them at court, with danger of their morals and religion.
47:3. And he asked them: What is your occupation? They answered: We, thy servants, are shepherds, both we and our fathers.
47:4. We are come to sojourn in thy land, because there is no grass for the flocks of thy servants, the famine being very grievous in the land of Chanaan: and we pray thee to give orders that we thy servants may be in the land of Gessen.
47:5. The king therefore said to Joseph: Thy father and thy brethren are come to thee.
47:6. The land of Egypt is before thee: and make them dwell in the best place, and give them the land of Gessen. And if thou knowest that there are industrious men among them, make them rulers over my cattle.
47:7. After this Joseph brought in his father to the king, and presented him before him: and he blessed him.
47:8. And being asked by him: How many are the days of the years of thy life?
47:9. He answered: The days of my pilgrimage are a hundred and thirty years, few, and evil, and they are not come up to the days of the pilgrimage of my fathers.
47:10. And blessing the king, he went out.
47:11. But Joseph gave a possession to his father and his brethren in Egypt, in the best place of the land, in Ramesses, as Pharao had commanded.
47:12. And he nourished them, and all his father's house, allowing food to every one.
47:13. For in the whole world there was want of bread, and a famine had oppressed the land, more especially of Egypt and Chanaan;
47:14. Out of which he gathered up all the money for the corn which they bought, and brought it in to the king's treasure.
47:15. And when the buyers wanted money, all Egypt came to Joseph, saying: Give us bread: why should we die in thy presence, having now no money?
47:16. And he answered them: Bring me your cattle, and for them I will give you food, if you have no money.
47:17. And when they had brought them, he gave them food in exchange for their horses, and sheep, and oxen, and asses: and he maintained them that year for the exchange of their cattle.
47:18. And they came the second year, and said to him: We will not hide from our lord, how that our money is spent, and our cattle also are gone: neither art thou ignorant that we have nothing now left but our bodies and our lands.
47:19. Why therefore shall we die before thy eyes? we will be thine, both we and our lands: buy us to be the king's servants, and give us seed, lest for want of tillers the land be turned into a wilderness.
47:20. So Joesph bought all the land of Egypt, every man selling his possessions, because of the greatness of the famine. And he brought it into Pharao's hands:
47:21. And all its people from one end of the borders of Egypt, even to the other end thereof,
47:22. Except the land of the priests, which had been given them by the king: to whom also a certain allowance of food was given out of the public stores, and therefore they were not forced to sell their possessions.
47:23. Then Joseph said to the people: Behold, as you see, both you and your lands belong to Pharao; take seed and sow the fields,
47:24. That you may have corn. The fifth part you shall give to the king; the other four you shall have for seed, and for food for your families and children.
47:25. And they answered: our life is in thy hand; only let my lord look favourably upon us, and we will gladly serve the king.
47:26. From that time unto this day, in the whole land of Egypt, the fifth part is paid to the kings, and it is become as a law, except the land of the priests, which was free from this covenant.
47:27. So Israel dwelt in Egypt, that is, in the land of Gessen, and possessed it; and grew, and was multiplied exceedingly.
47:28. And he lived in it seventeen years: and all the days of his life came to a hundred and forty-seven years.
47:29. And when he saw that the day of his death drew nigh, he called his son Joseph, and said to him: If I have found favour in thy sight, put thy hand under my thigh; and thou shalt shew me this kindness and truth, not to bury me in Egypt.
47:30. But I will sleep with my fathers, and thou shalt take me away out of this land, and bury me in the burying place of my ancestors. And Joseph answered him: I will do what thou hast commanded.
47:31. And he said: Swear then to me. And as he was swearing, Israel adored God, turning to the bed's head.
To the bed's head... St. Paul, Heb. 11.21, following the Greek translation of the Septuagint, reads adored the top of his rod. Where note, that the same word in the Hebrew, according to the different pointing of it, signifies both a bed and a rod. And to verify both these sentences, we must understand that Jacob leaning on Joseph's rod adored, turning towards the head of his bed: which adoration, inasmuch as it was referred to God, was an absolute and sovereign worship: but inasmuch as it was referred to the rod of Joseph, as a figure of the sceptre, that is, of the royal dignity of Christ, was only an inferior and relative honour.
Genesis Chapter 48
Joseph visiteth his father in his sickness, who adopteth his two sons Manasses and Ephraim, and blesseth them, preferring the younger before the elder.
48:1. After these things, it was told Joseph that his father was sick; and he set out to go to him, taking his two sons Manasses and Ephraim.
48:2. And it was told the old man: Behold thy son Joseph cometh to thee.
And being strengthened, he sat on his bed.
48:3. And when Joseph was come in to him, he said: God almighty apppeared to me at Luza, which is in the land of Chanaan, and he blessed me,
48:4. And said: I will cause thee to increase and multiply, and I will make of thee a multitude of people: and I will give this land to thee, and to thy seed after thee for an everlasting possession.
48:5. So thy two sons, who were born to thee in the land of Egypt before I came hither to thee, shall be mine: Ephraim and Manasses shall be reputed to me as Ruben and Simeon.
48:6. But the rest whom thou shalt have after them, shall be thine, and shall be called by the name of their brethren in their possessions.
48:7. For, when I came out of Mesopotamia, Rachel died from me in the land of Chanaan in the very journey, and it was spring time: and I was going to Ephrata, and I buried her near the way of Ephrata, which by another name is called Bethlehem.
48:8. Then seeing his sons, he said to him: Who are these?
48:9. He answered: They are my sons, whom God hath given me in this place. And he said: Bring them to me, that I may bless them.
48:10. For Israel's eyes were dim by reason of his great age, and he could not see clearly. And when they were brought to him, he kissed and embraced them,
48:11. And said to his son: I am not deprived of seeing thee; moreover God hath shewn me thy seed.
48:12. And when Joseph had taken them from his father's lap, he bowed down with his face to the ground.
48:13. And he set Ephraim on his right hand, that is, towards the left hand of Israel; but Manasses on his left hand, to wit, towards his father's right hand, and brought them near to him.
48:14. But he, stretching forth his right hand, put it upon the head of Ephraim, the younger brother; and the left upon the head of Manasses, who was the elder, changing his hands.