Migration to Egypt. 1* Israel set out with all that was his. When he arrived at Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called: Jacob! Jacob! He answered, “Here I am.” 3Then he said: I am God,* the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you a great nation. 4I will go down to Egypt with you and I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes.
5So Jacob departed from Beer-sheba, and the sons of Israel put their father and their wives and children on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. 6They took with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan. So Jacob and all his descendants came to Egypt.a 7His sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters—all his descendants—he took with him to Egypt.
Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn,b 9* and the sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.c 10The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, son of a Canaanite woman.d 11The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.e 12The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah—but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan; and the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.f 13The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron.g 14The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.h 15These were the sons whom Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, along with his daughter Dinah—thirty-three persons in all, sons and daughters.
16The sons of Gad: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arod, and Areli.i 17The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah, with their sister Serah; and the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel.j 18These are the children of Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah; these she bore to Jacob—sixteen persons in all.
19The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin. 20In the land of Egypt Joseph became the father of Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis, bore to him.k 21The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ahiram, Shupham, Hupham, and Ard.l 22These are the sons whom Rachel bore to Jacob—fourteen persons in all.
23The sons of Dan: Hushim.m 24The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.n 25These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel; these she bore to Jacob—seven persons in all.
26Jacob’s people who came to Egypt—his direct descendants, not counting the wives of Jacob’s sons—numbered sixty-six persons in all.o 27Together with Joseph’s sons who were born to him in Egypt—two persons—all the people comprising the household of Jacob who had come to Egypt amounted to seventy persons* in all.p
28Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph, so that he might meet him in Goshen. On his arrival in the region of Goshen, 29Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. As soon as Israel made his appearance, Joseph threw his arms around him and wept a long time on his shoulder. 30And Israel said to Joseph, “At last I can die, now that I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”
31Joseph then said to his brothers and his father’s household: “I will go up and inform Pharaoh, telling him: ‘My brothers and my father’s household, whose home is in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32The men are shepherds, having been owners of livestock;* and they have brought with them their flocks and herds, as well as everything else they own.’ 33So when Pharaoh summons you and asks what your occupation is, 34you must answer, ‘We your servants, like our ancestors, have been owners of livestock from our youth until now,’ in order that you may stay in the region of Goshen, since all shepherds are abhorrent to the Egyptians.”
* [46:3] I am God: more precisely according to the Hebrew text, “I am El.” “El” is here a divine name, not the common noun “god.”
* [46:27] Seventy persons: it is difficult to get this exact number by adding up the persons mentioned in the preceding genealogies. One might assume it refers to Jacob and sixty-nine descendants, excluding Er and Onan but including Dinah. Ex 1:5 repeats the number but excludes Jacob. Dt 10:22 refers to seventy persons descending to Egypt. The best solution is to take the number as expressing totality. Since there are seventy nations in chap. 10, it is likely that the text is drawing a parallel between the two entities and suggesting that Israel “represents” the nations before God.