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פָּרָשַׁת וַיִּגַּשׁ | Parashat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27), color-coded according to its narrative layers

According to the poetry of the Midrash Tanchuma, Bereshit 1:1, the words of the Torah were inscribed “black fire on white fire.” For many years, I’ve wanted to look deeply into the black fire and visualize the full spectrum of the Torah’s sources, hidden within the black fire but revealed through a critical analysis of its layers of redaction. Below, I’ve set the text of the first Torah portion in the annual Torah reading cycle, using color-coding to distinguish the stratigraphic layers forming the composition of the Masoretic text according to the Supplementary Hypothesis presented by Tsemaḥ Yoreh in his Kernel to Canon series of books (2013-2017). As Dr. Yoreh explains,

The Supplementary Hypothesis asserts that the Pentateuch was composed by several different writers. This reflects an overwhelming academic consensus on Biblical authorship, even among scholars who do not subscribe to the Supplementary Hypothesis in particular.[….] According to the Supplementary Hypothesis, Biblical narrative is layered. No editor took a blowtorch to the parts of the Bible he disagreed with and destroyed them; if he had, we would not find these repetitions and contradictions. Instead, Biblical narrative began with a coherent, foundational bedrock, which over time accreted more and more storylines. Unlike geological processes, though, this process of addition was deliberate. What happened if one author disagreed with his predecessor’s storyline or worldview? He did not simply take an axe to the narrative; instead, he attempted to bury his predecessor’s point of view by repeating his own over and over again, thus skewing our understanding of the story in new ways. Every generation of readers sees the world differently, and thus every generation of writers seeks to adapt their predecessors’ cultural heritage to their own situation. We are not meant simply to dismiss earlier stories; rather, the intention of later writers is to transform our understanding of those stories via their additions.

⬛ The kernel of biblical text upon which all other narratives were laid is thought to have been composed in the mid- to late eighth century BCE toward the end of the heyday of the northern Kingdom of Ephraim (one of the two kingdoms that occupied Biblical Israel). This layer, commonly referred to as ‘E’, is indicated with INDIGO text. The first parashah containing text of this layer was parashat Vayera.

⬛ The next oldest layer is thought to have been composed in the late eighth or early seventh century BCE in the southern Kingdom of Judah. This layer, commonly known as ‘J’, is indicated with a BLUE text.

⬛ The next strata, thought to have been composed during the exilic to early post-exilic period (571–486 BCE) is, as Dr. Yoreh explains, “responsible for supplementing the ‘J’ narrative with dates, names, and numbers, thus ‘ordering’ and authenticating ‘J’s account.” This layer, commonly referred to as ‘P’ (for ‘Priestly’) appears here in GREEN text.

⬛ The most recent layer of text, is a post-exilic (pre-3rd century BCE) text that Dr. Yoreh refers to as the “Bridger” which supplements earlier strata with genealogies and popular myths, providing narrative bridges between distant story cycles. This ‘B’ layer is presented here in FUCHSIA.

Parashat Vayigash (Genesis 44:18-47:27) in the annual Torah reading cycle, is read on the first shabbat of the month of Tevet. The parashah is preceded by Miqets (Genesis 41:1-44:17); parashat Vayeḥi (Genesis 47:28-50:26), the last parashah in Sefer Bereshit, follows it.

Source (Hebrew) Translation (English)

מד יח וַיִּגַּ֨שׁ אֵלָ֜יו יְהוּדָ֗ה וַיֹּ֘אמֶר֮ בִּ֣י אֲדֹנִי֒ יְדַבֶּר־נָ֨א עַבְדְּךָ֤ דָבָר֙ בְּאׇזְנֵ֣י אֲדֹנִ֔י וְאַל־יִ֥חַר אַפְּךָ֖ בְּעַבְדֶּ֑ךָ כִּ֥י כָמ֖וֹךָ כְּפַרְעֹֽה׃ יט אֲדֹנִ֣י שָׁאַ֔ל אֶת־עֲבָדָ֖יו לֵאמֹ֑ר הֲיֵשׁ־לָכֶ֥ם אָ֖ב אוֹ־אָֽח׃ כ וַנֹּ֙אמֶר֙ אֶל־אֲדֹנִ֔י יֶשׁ־לָ֙נוּ֙ אָ֣ב זָקֵ֔ן וְיֶ֥לֶד זְקֻנִ֖ים קָטָ֑ן וְאָחִ֣יו מֵ֔ת וַיִּוָּתֵ֨ר ה֧וּא לְבַדּ֛וֹ לְאִמּ֖וֹ וְאָבִ֥יו אֲהֵבֽוֹ׃ כא וַתֹּ֙אמֶר֙ אֶל־עֲבָדֶ֔יךָ הוֹרִדֻ֖הוּ אֵלָ֑י וְאָשִׂ֥ימָה עֵינִ֖י עָלָֽיו׃ כב וַנֹּ֙אמֶר֙ אֶל־אֲדֹנִ֔י לֹא־יוּכַ֥ל הַנַּ֖עַר לַעֲזֹ֣ב אֶת־אָבִ֑יו וְעָזַ֥ב אֶת־אָבִ֖יו וָמֵֽת׃ כג וַתֹּ֙אמֶר֙ אֶל־עֲבָדֶ֔יךָ אִם־לֹ֥א יֵרֵ֛ד אֲחִיכֶ֥ם הַקָּטֹ֖ן אִתְּכֶ֑ם לֹ֥א תֹסִפ֖וּן לִרְא֥וֹת פָּנָֽי׃
44 18 Now Yehuda came closer to him and said: “Please, my lord, pray let your servant speak a word in the ears of my lord, and do not let your anger flare up against your servant, for you are like Pharaoh! 19 My lord asked his servants, saying: ‘Do you have a father or (another) brother?’ 20 And we said to my lord: ‘We have an old father and a young child of his old age, whose brother is dead, so that he alone is left of his mother, and his father loves him.’ 21 And you said to your servants: ‘Bring him down to me, I wish to set my eyes upon him.’ 22 But we said to my lord: ‘The lad cannot leave his father, were he to leave his father, he would die.’ 23 But you said to your servants: ‘If your youngest brother does not come down with you, you shall not see my face again.'”

כד וַיְהִי֙ כִּ֣י עָלִ֔ינוּ אֶֽל־עַבְדְּךָ֖ אָבִ֑י וַנַּ֨גֶּד־ל֔וֹ אֵ֖ת דִּבְרֵ֥י אֲדֹנִֽי׃ כה וַיֹּ֖אמֶר אָבִ֑ינוּ שֻׁ֖בוּ שִׁבְרוּ־לָ֥נוּ מְעַט־אֹֽכֶל׃ כו וַנֹּ֕אמֶר לֹ֥א נוּכַ֖ל לָרֶ֑דֶת אִם־יֵשׁ֩ אָחִ֨ינוּ הַקָּטֹ֤ן אִתָּ֙נוּ֙ וְיָרַ֔דְנוּ כִּי־לֹ֣א נוּכַ֗ל לִרְאוֹת֙ פְּנֵ֣י הָאִ֔ישׁ וְאָחִ֥ינוּ הַקָּטֹ֖ן אֵינֶ֥נּוּ אִתָּֽנוּ׃
24 “Now it was, when we went up to your servant, my father, we told him my lord’s words, 25 and our father said: ‘Return, buy us some food-rations.’ 26 But we said: ‘We cannot go down; if our youngest brother is with us, then we will go down, for we cannot see the man’s face if our youngest brother is not with us.'”

כז וַיֹּ֛אמֶר עַבְדְּךָ֥ אָבִ֖י אֵלֵ֑ינוּ אַתֶּ֣ם יְדַעְתֶּ֔ם כִּ֥י שְׁנַ֖יִם יָֽלְדָה־לִּ֥י אִשְׁתִּֽי׃ כח וַיֵּצֵ֤א הָֽאֶחָד֙ מֵֽאִתִּ֔י וָאֹמַ֕ר אַ֖ךְ טָרֹ֣ף טֹרָ֑ף וְלֹ֥א רְאִיתִ֖יו עַד־הֵֽנָּה׃ כט וּלְקַחְתֶּ֧ם גַּם־אֶת־זֶ֛ה מֵעִ֥ם פָּנַ֖י וְקָרָ֣הוּ אָס֑וֹן וְהֽוֹרַדְתֶּ֧ם אֶת־שֵׂיבָתִ֛י בְּרָעָ֖ה שְׁאֹֽלָה׃
27 “Now your servant, my father, said to us: ‘You yourselves know that my wife bore two to me. 28 One went away from me, I said: For sure he is torn, torn-to-pieces! And I have not seen him again thus far. 29 Now should you take away this one as well from before my face, should harm befall him, you will bring down my gray hair in ill-fortune to Sheol!’

ל וְעַתָּ֗ה כְּבֹאִי֙ אֶל־עַבְדְּךָ֣ אָבִ֔י וְהַנַּ֖עַר אֵינֶ֣נּוּ אִתָּ֑נוּ וְנַפְשׁ֖וֹ קְשׁוּרָ֥ה בְנַפְשֽׁוֹ׃ שני לא וְהָיָ֗ה כִּרְאוֹת֛וֹ כִּי־אֵ֥ין הַנַּ֖עַר וָמֵ֑ת וְהוֹרִ֨ידוּ עֲבָדֶ֜יךָ אֶת־שֵׂיבַ֨ת עַבְדְּךָ֥ אָבִ֛ינוּ בְּיָג֖וֹן שְׁאֹֽלָה׃ לב כִּ֤י עַבְדְּךָ֙ עָרַ֣ב אֶת־הַנַּ֔עַר מֵעִ֥ם אָבִ֖י לֵאמֹ֑ר אִם־לֹ֤א אֲבִיאֶ֙נּוּ֙ אֵלֶ֔יךָ וְחָטָ֥אתִי לְאָבִ֖י כׇּל־הַיָּמִֽים׃ לג וְעַתָּ֗ה יֵֽשֶׁב־נָ֤א עַבְדְּךָ֙ תַּ֣חַת הַנַּ֔עַר עֶ֖בֶד לַֽאדֹנִ֑י וְהַנַּ֖עַר יַ֥עַל עִם־אֶחָֽיו׃ לד כִּי־אֵיךְ֙ אֶֽעֱלֶ֣ה אֶל־אָבִ֔י וְהַנַּ֖עַר אֵינֶ֣נּוּ אִתִּ֑י פֶּ֚ן אֶרְאֶ֣ה בָרָ֔ע אֲשֶׁ֥ר יִמְצָ֖א אֶת־אָבִֽי׃
30 “So now, when I come back to your servant, my father, and the lad is not with us, – with whose life his own life is bound up! – 31 it will be, that when he sees that the lad is no more, he will die, and your servant will have brought down the gray hair of your servant, our father, in grief to Sheol![1]Judah’s impassioned plea does not totally accord with the dialogue he quotes between Jacob and his sons in J. This need not be construed as a problem since Judah’s is making an impassioned plea and is not bound by the exact facts. Note the repetition of the Sheol metaphor, and compare 37:34 (J). 32 For your servant pledged himself for the lad to my father, saying: ‘If I do not bring him back to you, I will be culpable-for-sin against my father all the days (to come).’ 33 So now, pray let your servant stay instead of the lad, as servant to my lord, but let the lad go up with his brothers! 34 For how can I go up to my father, when the lad is not with me? Then would I see the ill-fortune that would come upon my father!”[2]The final three verses allude to the conversation between Judah and Israel, which was added by the Bridger to Chapter 43 and compare: vs. 32: For your servant became surety for the boy to my father, saying, “If I do not bring him back to you, then I will bear the blame in the sight of my father all my life.” And 43:9 “I myself will be surety for him; you can hold me accountable for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame for ever”.

מה א וְלֹֽא־יָכֹ֨ל יוֹסֵ֜ף לְהִתְאַפֵּ֗ק לְכֹ֤ל הַנִּצָּבִים֙ עָלָ֔יו וַיִּקְרָ֕א הוֹצִ֥יאוּ כׇל־אִ֖ישׁ מֵעָלָ֑י וְלֹא־עָ֤מַד אִישׁ֙ אִתּ֔וֹ בְּהִתְוַדַּ֥ע יוֹסֵ֖ף אֶל־אֶחָֽיו׃ ב וַיִּתֵּ֥ן אֶת־קֹל֖וֹ בִּבְכִ֑י וַיִּשְׁמְע֣וּ מִצְרַ֔יִם וַיִּשְׁמַ֖ע בֵּ֥ית פַּרְעֹֽה׃ ג וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יוֹסֵ֤ף אֶל־אֶחָיו֙ אֲנִ֣י יוֹסֵ֔ף הַע֥וֹד אָבִ֖י חָ֑י וְלֹֽא־יָכְל֤וּ אֶחָיו֙ לַעֲנ֣וֹת אֹת֔וֹ כִּ֥י נִבְהֲל֖וּ מִפָּנָֽיו׃ ד וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יוֹסֵ֧ף אֶל־אֶחָ֛יו גְּשׁוּ־נָ֥א אֵלַ֖י
45 1 Yosef could no longer restrain himself in the presence of all who were stationed around him, he called out: “Have everyone leave me!” So no one stood (in attendance upon) him when Yosef made himself known to his brothers. 2 He put forth his voice in weeping: Mitsrayim heard, Pharaoh’s household heard. 3 Then Yosef said to his brothers: “I am Yosef. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers were not able to answer him, for they were confounded in his presence. 4 Yosef said to his brothers: “Pray come close to me!”

וַיִּגָּ֑שׁוּ וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אֲנִי֙ יוֹסֵ֣ף אֲחִיכֶ֔ם אֲשֶׁר־מְכַרְתֶּ֥ם אֹתִ֖י מִצְרָֽיְמָה׃ ה וְעַתָּ֣ה ׀ אַל־תֵּעָ֣צְב֗וּ וְאַל־יִ֙חַר֙ בְּעֵ֣ינֵיכֶ֔ם כִּֽי־מְכַרְתֶּ֥ם אֹתִ֖י הֵ֑נָּה כִּ֣י לְמִֽחְיָ֔ה שְׁלָחַ֥נִי אֱלֹהִ֖ים לִפְנֵיכֶֽם׃ ו כִּי־זֶ֛ה שְׁנָתַ֥יִם הָרָעָ֖ב בְּקֶ֣רֶב הָאָ֑רֶץ וְעוֹד֙ חָמֵ֣שׁ שָׁנִ֔ים אֲשֶׁ֥ר אֵין־חָרִ֖ישׁ וְקָצִֽיר׃ ז וַיִּשְׁלָחֵ֤נִי אֱלֹהִים֙ לִפְנֵיכֶ֔ם לָשׂ֥וּם לָכֶ֛ם שְׁאֵרִ֖ית בָּאָ֑רֶץ וּלְהַחֲי֣וֹת לָכֶ֔ם לִפְלֵיטָ֖ה גְּדֹלָֽה׃ שלישי ח וְעַתָּ֗ה לֹֽא־אַתֶּ֞ם שְׁלַחְתֶּ֤ם אֹתִי֙ הֵ֔נָּה כִּ֖י הָאֱלֹהִ֑ים וַיְשִׂימֵ֨נִֽי לְאָ֜ב לְפַרְעֹ֗ה וּלְאָדוֹן֙ לְכׇל־בֵּית֔וֹ וּמֹשֵׁ֖ל בְּכׇל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרָֽיִם׃ ט מַהֲרוּ֮ וַעֲל֣וּ אֶל־אָבִי֒ וַאֲמַרְתֶּ֣ם אֵלָ֗יו כֹּ֤ה אָמַר֙ בִּנְךָ֣ יוֹסֵ֔ף שָׂמַ֧נִי אֱלֹהִ֛ים לְאָד֖וֹן לְכׇל־מִצְרָ֑יִם רְדָ֥ה אֵלַ֖י אַֽל־תַּעֲמֹֽד׃ י וְיָשַׁבְתָּ֣ בְאֶֽרֶץ־גֹּ֗שֶׁן וְהָיִ֤יתָ קָרוֹב֙ אֵלַ֔י אַתָּ֕ה וּבָנֶ֖יךָ וּבְנֵ֣י בָנֶ֑יךָ וְצֹאנְךָ֥ וּבְקָרְךָ֖ וְכׇל־אֲשֶׁר־לָֽךְ׃ יא וְכִלְכַּלְתִּ֤י אֹֽתְךָ֙ שָׁ֔ם כִּי־ע֛וֹד חָמֵ֥שׁ שָׁנִ֖ים רָעָ֑ב פֶּן־תִּוָּרֵ֛שׁ אַתָּ֥ה וּבֵֽיתְךָ֖ וְכׇל־אֲשֶׁר־לָֽךְ׃ יב וְהִנֵּ֤ה עֵֽינֵיכֶם֙ רֹא֔וֹת וְעֵינֵ֖י אָחִ֣י בִנְיָמִ֑ין כִּי־פִ֖י הַֽמְדַבֵּ֥ר אֲלֵיכֶֽם׃ יג וְהִגַּדְתֶּ֣ם לְאָבִ֗י אֶת־כׇּל־כְּבוֹדִי֙ בְּמִצְרַ֔יִם וְאֵ֖ת כׇּל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר רְאִיתֶ֑ם וּמִֽהַרְתֶּ֛ם וְהוֹרַדְתֶּ֥ם אֶת־אָבִ֖י הֵֽנָּה׃
They came close. He said: “I am Yosef your brother, whom you sold into Mitsrayim. 5 But now, do not be pained, and do not let upset be in your eyes that you sold me here! For it was to save life that Elohim sent me on before you. 6 For it is two years now that the famine has been in the midst of the land, and there are still another five years in which there shall be no plowing or harvest. 7 So Elohim sent me on before you to make you a remnant on earth, to keep you alive as a great body-of-survivors. 8 So now, it was not you that sent me here, but Elohim! He has made me Father to Pharaoh and lord of all his household and ruler over all the land of Mitsrayim. 9 Make haste, go up to my father and say to him: ‘Thus says your son, Yosef: Elohim has made me lord of all Mitsrayim; come down to me, do not remain![3]In E, God worked behind the scenes to aid Joseph and his family, whereas in J, the Lord has a more active presence, such as in Chapter 39, where he orchestrates the occurrences in the house of Potiphar. 10 You shall stay in the region of Goshen,[4]Goshen was the dwelling place of the Israelite in Egypt according to J, until the Exodus, and is referred to many times as such in the book of Exodus (e.g. Exodus 9:26). you shall be near me, you and your sons and the sons of your sons, your sheep, your oxen, and all that is yours. 11 I will sustain you there, for there are still five years of famine left – lest you be as disinherited, you and your household and all that is yours. 12 Here, your eyes see, as well as my brother Binyamin’s eyes, that it is my mouth that speaks to you!’ 13 So tell my father of all the weight I carry in Mitsrayim, and of all that you have seen, and make haste, bring my father down here!”

יד וַיִּפֹּ֛ל עַל־צַוְּארֵ֥י בִנְיָמִֽן־אָחִ֖יו וַיֵּ֑בְךְּ וּבִ֨נְיָמִ֔ן בָּכָ֖ה עַל־צַוָּארָֽיו׃ טו וַיְנַשֵּׁ֥ק לְכׇל־אֶחָ֖יו וַיֵּ֣בְךְּ עֲלֵהֶ֑ם וְאַ֣חֲרֵי כֵ֔ן דִּבְּר֥וּ אֶחָ֖יו אִתּֽוֹ׃
14 He flung himself upon his brother Binyamin’s neck and wept, and Binyamin wept upon his neck. 15 Then he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them. After this his brothers spoke with him.

טז וְהַקֹּ֣ל נִשְׁמַ֗ע בֵּ֤ית פַּרְעֹה֙ לֵאמֹ֔ר בָּ֖אוּ אֲחֵ֣י יוֹסֵ֑ף וַיִּיטַב֙ בְּעֵינֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֔ה וּבְעֵינֵ֖י עֲבָדָֽיו׃ יז וַיֹּ֤אמֶר פַּרְעֹה֙ אֶל־יוֹסֵ֔ף אֱמֹ֥ר אֶל־אַחֶ֖יךָ זֹ֣את עֲשׂ֑וּ טַֽעֲנוּ֙ אֶת־בְּעִ֣ירְכֶ֔ם וּלְכוּ־בֹ֖אוּ אַ֥רְצָה כְּנָֽעַן׃ יח וּקְח֧וּ אֶת־אֲבִיכֶ֛ם וְאֶת־בָּתֵּיכֶ֖ם וּבֹ֣אוּ אֵלָ֑י וְאֶתְּנָ֣ה לָכֶ֗ם אֶת־טוּב֙ אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם וְאִכְל֖וּ אֶת־חֵ֥לֶב הָאָֽרֶץ׃ רביעי יט וְאַתָּ֥ה צֻוֵּ֖יתָה זֹ֣את עֲשׂ֑וּ קְחוּ־לָכֶם֩ מֵאֶ֨רֶץ מִצְרַ֜יִם עֲגָל֗וֹת לְטַפְּכֶם֙ וְלִנְשֵׁיכֶ֔ם וּנְשָׂאתֶ֥ם אֶת־אֲבִיכֶ֖ם וּבָאתֶֽם׃ כ וְעֵ֣ינְכֶ֔ם אַל־תָּחֹ֖ס עַל־כְּלֵיכֶ֑ם כִּי־ט֛וּב כׇּל־אֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם לָכֶ֥ם הֽוּא׃
16 The news was heard in Pharaoh’s household, they said: “Yosef’s brothers have come!” It was good in Pharaoh’s eyes and in the eyes of his servants. 17 And Pharaoh said to Yosef: “Say to your brothers: Do this – load your animals and go, come back to the land of K’naan; 18 fetch your father and your households and come to me! I will give you the good-things of the land of Mitsrayim, so that you will eat of the fat of the land! 19 And you, you have been commanded: Do this – take you wagons from the land of Mitsrayim for your little ones and your wives, and carry your father down and come! 20 Let not your eyes look-with-regret on your household-wares, for the good-things of all the land of Mitsrayim – they are yours!”

כא וַיַּֽעֲשׂוּ־כֵן֙ בְּנֵ֣י יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל וַיִּתֵּ֨ן לָהֶ֥ם יוֹסֵ֛ף עֲגָל֖וֹת עַל־פִּ֣י פַרְעֹ֑ה וַיִּתֵּ֥ן לָהֶ֛ם צֵדָ֖ה לַדָּֽרֶךְ׃ כב לְכֻלָּ֥ם נָתַ֛ן לָאִ֖ישׁ חֲלִפ֣וֹת שְׂמָלֹ֑ת וּלְבִנְיָמִ֤ן נָתַן֙ שְׁלֹ֣שׁ מֵא֣וֹת כֶּ֔סֶף וְחָמֵ֖שׁ חֲלִפֹ֥ת שְׂמָלֹֽת׃ כג וּלְאָבִ֞יו שָׁלַ֤ח כְּזֹאת֙ עֲשָׂרָ֣ה חֲמֹרִ֔ים נֹשְׂאִ֖ים מִטּ֣וּב מִצְרָ֑יִם וְעֶ֣שֶׂר אֲתֹנֹ֡ת נֹֽ֠שְׂאֹ֠ת בָּ֣ר וָלֶ֧חֶם וּמָז֛וֹן לְאָבִ֖יו לַדָּֽרֶךְ׃ כד וַיְשַׁלַּ֥ח אֶת־אֶחָ֖יו וַיֵּלֵ֑כוּ וַיֹּ֣אמֶר אֲלֵהֶ֔ם אַֽל־תִּרְגְּז֖וּ בַּדָּֽרֶךְ׃
21 The sons of Yisrael did so, Yosef gave them wagons in accordance with Pharaoh’s orders and gave them victuals for the journey. 22 To all of them, each man, he gave changes of clothes, but to Binyamin he gave three hundred pieces-of-silver and five changes of clothes, 23 and to his father he sent in like manner: ten donkeys, carrying the good-things of Mitsrayim, and ten she-asses, carrying grain and bread, and food for his father, for the journey. 24 Then he sent off his brothers, and they went; he said to them: “Do not be agitated on the journey!”[5]Note that once again Joseph bestows five times the gifts on Benjamin, and that since Joseph had only six brothers according to E, the bestowal is a literary statement equating Benjamin with Joseph’s other five brothers.

כה וַֽיַּעֲל֖וּ מִמִּצְרָ֑יִם וַיָּבֹ֙אוּ֙ אֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן אֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֖ב אֲבִיהֶֽם׃ כו וַיַּגִּ֨דוּ ל֜וֹ לֵאמֹ֗ר ע֚וֹד יוֹסֵ֣ף חַ֔י וְכִֽי־ה֥וּא מֹשֵׁ֖ל בְּכׇל־אֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרָ֑יִם וַיָּ֣פׇג לִבּ֔וֹ כִּ֥י לֹא־הֶאֱמִ֖ין לָהֶֽם׃ כז וַיְדַבְּר֣וּ אֵלָ֗יו אֵ֣ת כׇּל־דִּבְרֵ֤י יוֹסֵף֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר דִּבֶּ֣ר אֲלֵהֶ֔ם וַיַּרְא֙ אֶת־הָ֣עֲגָל֔וֹת אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַ֥ח יוֹסֵ֖ף לָשֵׂ֣את אֹת֑וֹ וַתְּחִ֕י ר֖וּחַ יַעֲקֹ֥ב אֲבִיהֶֽם׃ חמישי כח וַיֹּ֙אמֶר֙ יִשְׂרָאֵ֔ל רַ֛ב עוֹד־יוֹסֵ֥ף בְּנִ֖י חָ֑י אֵֽלְכָ֥ה וְאֶרְאֶ֖נּוּ בְּטֶ֥רֶם אָמֽוּת׃
25 They went up from Mitsrayim and came to the land of K’naan, to Yaakov[6]There is no critical reason to attribute the name “Jacob” here to a second author except consistency, since thus far in E’s Joseph cycle Israel is the only name used. The text reads smoothly without the word “Jacob”, since Joseph’s father is frequently alluded to elsewhere as “their father” without a specific name. their father, 26 and they told him, saying: “Yosef is still alive! Indeed, he is ruler of all the land of Mitsrayim!” His heart failed, for he did not believe them. 27 But when they spoke to him all of Yosef’s words which he had spoken to them, and when he saw the wagons that Yosef had sent to carry him down,[7]This is the first time Joseph’s father appears as a character within E since chapter 37, the rest of his appearances are attributable to either J or B. their father Yaakov’s spirit came to life.[8]Note the use of the Jacob in this verse, as opposed to Israel in the subsequent verse. The statements are somewhat contradictory, Jacob’s spirit is revived (the root hayah which in Hebrew has to do with life is employed), whereas Israel says that he wants to go down to Egypt to see Joseph before he dies. Perhaps J wishes to add some pathos to the text as he did in his description of Jacob’s mourning for Joseph in Chapter 37:34. 28 Yisrael said: “Enough! Yosef my son is still alive; I must go and see him before I die!”[9]See the above comment.

מו א וַיִּסַּ֤ע יִשְׂרָאֵל֙ וְכׇל־אֲשֶׁר־ל֔וֹ וַיָּבֹ֖א בְּאֵ֣רָה שָּׁ֑בַע וַיִּזְבַּ֣ח זְבָחִ֔ים לֵאלֹהֵ֖י אָבִ֥יו יִצְחָֽק׃ ב וַיֹּ֨אמֶר אֱלֹהִ֤ים ׀ לְיִשְׂרָאֵל֙ בְּמַרְאֹ֣ת הַלַּ֔יְלָה וַיֹּ֖אמֶר יַעֲקֹ֣ב ׀ יַעֲקֹ֑ב וַיֹּ֖אמֶר הִנֵּֽנִי׃
46 1 Yisrael traveled with all that was his and came to Be’er-shava, and he slaughtered slaughter-offerings to the elo’ah of his father[10]An Elohistic statement – Jacob/Israel having left from Beer Sheva in 28:10 now returns there. Since Jacob/Israel originated in Beer-Sheva, a sacrifice to the God of his father makes sense. Since, however, Isaac was sacrificed according to E without bearing children, I hypothesize that this name was added to the text, and compare a similar addition to the text in Exodus 3:6. Indeed, such specification is frequently added to this expression (the god of fathers) in the Book of Deuteronomy (e.g. Deuteronomy 1:8) according to some scholars. Yitsḥaq.[11]See the above comment. 2 And Elohim said to Yisrael in visions of the night,[12]This dream revelation (typical to E) stands at the center of the Elohistic work in the liminal period between the sojourn in Canaan and the descent to Egypt. he said: “Yaakov! Yaakov!” He said: “Here I am.”

ג וַיֹּ֕אמֶר אָנֹכִ֥י הָאֵ֖ל אֱלֹהֵ֣י אָבִ֑יךָ אַל־תִּירָא֙ מֵרְדָ֣ה מִצְרַ֔יְמָה כִּֽי־לְג֥וֹי גָּד֖וֹל אֲשִֽׂימְךָ֥ שָֽׁם׃ ד אָנֹכִ֗י אֵרֵ֤ד עִמְּךָ֙ מִצְרַ֔יְמָה וְאָנֹכִ֖י אַֽעַלְךָ֣ גַם־עָלֹ֑ה וְיוֹסֵ֕ף יָשִׁ֥ית יָד֖וֹ עַל־עֵינֶֽיךָ׃
3 Now he said:[13]The call to Jacob is likely a J addition, inserting “his” name for Joseph’s father at the important moment of divine revelation. “I am El, the elo’ah of your father. Do not be afraid of going down to Mitsrayim, for a great nation will I make of you there. 4 I myself will go down with you to Mitsrayim, and I myself will bring you up, yes, up again. And Yosef will lay his hand on your eyes.”[14]The content of the revelation emphasizes its transitional character. God promises both a descent from, and an ascent back to Canaan, and see penultimate comment on 46:3.

ה וַיָּ֥קׇם יַעֲקֹ֖ב מִבְּאֵ֣ר שָׁ֑בַע וַיִּשְׂא֨וּ בְנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֜ל אֶת־יַעֲקֹ֣ב אֲבִיהֶ֗ם וְאֶת־טַפָּם֙ וְאֶת־נְשֵׁיהֶ֔ם בָּעֲגָל֕וֹת אֲשֶׁר־שָׁלַ֥ח פַּרְעֹ֖ה לָשֵׂ֥את אֹתֽוֹ׃ ו וַיִּקְח֣וּ אֶת־מִקְנֵיהֶ֗ם וְאֶת־רְכוּשָׁם֙ אֲשֶׁ֤ר רָֽכְשׁוּ֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן וַיָּבֹ֖אוּ מִצְרָ֑יְמָה יַעֲקֹ֖ב וְכׇל־זַרְע֥וֹ אִתּֽוֹ׃ ז בָּנָ֞יו וּבְנֵ֤י בָנָיו֙ אִתּ֔וֹ בְּנֹתָ֛יו וּבְנ֥וֹת בָּנָ֖יו וְכׇל־זַרְע֑וֹ הֵבִ֥יא אִתּ֖וֹ מִצְרָֽיְמָה׃
5 Yaakov departed from Be’er-shava. Yisrael’s sons carried Yaakov their father, their little-ones and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent for carrying him, 6 and they took their acquired-livestock and their property that they had gained in the land of K’naan and came to Mitsrayim, Yaakov and all his seed with him, 7 his sons and the sons of his sons with him, his daughters and the daughters of his sons; all his seed he brought with him to Mitsrayim.

ח וְאֵ֨לֶּה שְׁמ֧וֹת בְּנֵֽי־יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל הַבָּאִ֥ים מִצְרַ֖יְמָה יַעֲקֹ֣ב וּבָנָ֑יו בְּכֹ֥ר יַעֲקֹ֖ב רְאוּבֵֽן׃ ט וּבְנֵ֖י רְאוּבֵ֑ן חֲנ֥וֹךְ וּפַלּ֖וּא וְחֶצְרֹ֥ן וְכַרְמִֽי׃ י וּבְנֵ֣י שִׁמְע֗וֹן יְמוּאֵ֧ל וְיָמִ֛ין וְאֹ֖הַד וְיָכִ֣ין וְצֹ֑חַר וְשָׁא֖וּל בֶּן־הַֽכְּנַעֲנִֽית׃ יא וּבְנֵ֖י לֵוִ֑י גֵּרְשׁ֕וֹן קְהָ֖ת וּמְרָרִֽי׃ יב וּבְנֵ֣י יְהוּדָ֗ה עֵ֧ר וְאוֹנָ֛ן וְשֵׁלָ֖ה וָפֶ֣רֶץ וָזָ֑רַח וַיָּ֨מׇת עֵ֤ר וְאוֹנָן֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן וַיִּהְי֥וּ בְנֵי־פֶ֖רֶץ חֶצְרֹ֥ן וְחָמֽוּל׃ יג וּבְנֵ֖י יִשָּׂשכָ֑ר תּוֹלָ֥ע וּפֻוָ֖ה וְי֥וֹב וְשִׁמְרֹֽן׃ יד וּבְנֵ֖י זְבֻל֑וּן סֶ֥רֶד וְאֵל֖וֹן וְיַחְלְאֵֽל׃ טו אֵ֣לֶּה ׀ בְּנֵ֣י לֵאָ֗ה אֲשֶׁ֨ר יָֽלְדָ֤ה לְיַעֲקֹב֙ בְּפַדַּ֣ן אֲרָ֔ם וְאֵ֖ת דִּינָ֣ה בִתּ֑וֹ כׇּל־נֶ֧פֶשׁ בָּנָ֛יו וּבְנוֹתָ֖יו שְׁלֹשִׁ֥ים וְשָׁלֹֽשׁ׃ טז וּבְנֵ֣י גָ֔ד צִפְי֥וֹן וְחַגִּ֖י שׁוּנִ֣י וְאֶצְבֹּ֑ן עֵרִ֥י וַֽאֲרוֹדִ֖י וְאַרְאֵלִֽי׃ יז וּבְנֵ֣י אָשֵׁ֗ר יִמְנָ֧ה וְיִשְׁוָ֛ה וְיִשְׁוִ֥י וּבְרִיעָ֖ה וְשֶׂ֣רַח אֲחֹתָ֑ם וּבְנֵ֣י בְרִיעָ֔ה חֶ֖בֶר וּמַלְכִּיאֵֽל׃ יח אֵ֚לֶּה בְּנֵ֣י זִלְפָּ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֥ן לָבָ֖ן לְלֵאָ֣ה בִתּ֑וֹ וַתֵּ֤לֶד אֶת־אֵ֙לֶּה֙ לְיַעֲקֹ֔ב שֵׁ֥שׁ עֶשְׂרֵ֖ה נָֽפֶשׁ׃ יט בְּנֵ֤י רָחֵל֙ אֵ֣שֶׁת יַֽעֲקֹ֔ב יוֹסֵ֖ף וּבִנְיָמִֽן׃ כ וַיִּוָּלֵ֣ד לְיוֹסֵף֮ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֒יִם֒ אֲשֶׁ֤ר יָֽלְדָה־לּוֹ֙ אָֽסְנַ֔ת בַּת־פּ֥וֹטִי פֶ֖רַע‏[15]בספרי תימן פּֽוֹטִיפֶ֖רַע בתיבה אחת כֹּהֵ֣ן אֹ֑ן אֶת־מְנַשֶּׁ֖ה וְאֶת־אֶפְרָֽיִם׃
8 Now these are the names of the Sons of Yisrael who came to Mitsrayim: Yaakov and his sons: Yaakov’s firstborn was Re’uven. 9 Re’uven’s sons: Ḥanokh, Phallu, Ḥetsron, and Kharmi. 10 Shim’on’s sons: Yemuel, Yamin, Ohad, Yakhin, and Tsoḥar, and Sha’ul the son of the K’naanite-woman. 11 Levi’s sons: Gershon, Qehat, and Merari. 12 Yehuda’s sons: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perets, and Zeraḥ,[16]The number of the Israelites descending to Egypt according to P is 66 (Jacob + 65 descendants), an aesthetic number in a culture influenced by the base six numbering system. but Er and Onan had died in the land of K’naan. And Perets’s sons were Ḥetzron and Ḥamul.[17]I attribute the allusion to the deaths of Er and Onan in this genealogy to the Bridger, who commonly supplements genealogical lists with narrative material and allusions (compare Genesis 10) and inserted Chapter 38 (which feature Er and Onan) into the Joseph Cycle. 13 Yissakhar’s sons: Tola, Puvvah, Yov, and Shimron. 14 Zevulun’s sons: Sered, Elon, and Yaḥl’el.[18]According to P, only 31 sons were born to Leah not 33 as stated in vs. 15. “33” seems to include the sons of Peretz, mentioned in verse 12 which was an addition by the Bridger (Dinah is not included in the tally here, yet she appears to be part of the final count, and see below). It thus seems likely that this verse too (vs. 15), was added by the Bridger. Note also the use of the qal passive yulad (to bear to) which is distinctive to Bridger genealogies. The tallying of the children that is added after the sons of each of Jacob’s four wives are listed (vss. 19-20, 25, 27) uses the same terminology as vs. 15 and is thus also assigned to the Bridger. 15 These are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Yaakov in the country of Aram, and also Dinah his daughter; all the persons among his sons and daughters were thirty-three.[19]See the above comment. 16 Gad’s sons: Tsifyon and Ḥaggi, Shuni and Etsbon, Eri, Arodi, and Ar’eli. 17 Asher’s sons: Yimna, Yishva, Yishvi, and Beri’ah, and Seraḥ their sister. And Beri’ah’s sons: Ḥever and Malkiel.[20]Note the number of children born to Leah and her concubine is far greater than the number of children born to Rachel and her maidservant, 47 versus 21. In fact the number of Rachel’s progeny is even less than that of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah – 14 versus 16. To rectify matters it seems that the Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation) or a Hebrew precursor may have added 4 to Rachel’s tally and included a more detailed tally of Joseph’s children, including Joseph’s great grandchildren – a generation which appears nowhere in the Masoretic genealogy. 18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Lavan had given to Leah his daughter, she bore these to Yaakov: sixteen persons. 19 The sons of Raḥel, Yaakov’s wife: Yosef and Binyamin. 20 To Yosef there were born in the land of Mitsrayim – whom Asnat, daughter of Poti Fera, priest of On, bore to him: Menasheh and Efrayim.[21]See comment on 46:14. Note also the addition of Joseph as part of the Bridger’s genealogy for the express purpose of arriving at 70 as the number of Israelites descending to Egypt. The Septuagint added a more detailed tally of Joseph’s children after vs. 20.

כא וּבְנֵ֣י בִנְיָמִ֗ן בֶּ֤לַע וָבֶ֙כֶר֙ וְאַשְׁבֵּ֔ל גֵּרָ֥א וְנַעֲמָ֖ן אֵחִ֣י וָרֹ֑אשׁ מֻפִּ֥ים וְחֻפִּ֖ים וָאָֽרְדְּ׃ כב אֵ֚לֶּה בְּנֵ֣י רָחֵ֔ל אֲשֶׁ֥ר יֻלַּ֖ד לְיַעֲקֹ֑ב כׇּל־נֶ֖פֶשׁ אַרְבָּעָ֥ה עָשָֽׂר׃ כג וּבְנֵי־דָ֖ן חֻשִֽׁים׃ כד וּבְנֵ֖י נַפְתָּלִ֑י יַחְצְאֵ֥ל וְגוּנִ֖י וְיֵ֥צֶר וְשִׁלֵּֽם׃ כה אֵ֚לֶּה בְּנֵ֣י בִלְהָ֔ה אֲשֶׁר־נָתַ֥ן לָבָ֖ן לְרָחֵ֣ל בִּתּ֑וֹ וַתֵּ֧לֶד אֶת־אֵ֛לֶּה לְיַעֲקֹ֖ב כׇּל־נֶ֥פֶשׁ שִׁבְעָֽה׃ כו כׇּל־הַ֠נֶּ֠פֶשׁ הַבָּאָ֨ה לְיַעֲקֹ֤ב מִצְרַ֙יְמָה֙ יֹצְאֵ֣י יְרֵכ֔וֹ מִלְּבַ֖ד נְשֵׁ֣י בְנֵי־יַעֲקֹ֑ב כׇּל־נֶ֖פֶשׁ שִׁשִּׁ֥ים וָשֵֽׁשׁ׃ כז וּבְנֵ֥י יוֹסֵ֛ף אֲשֶׁר־יֻלַּד־ל֥וֹ בְמִצְרַ֖יִם נֶ֣פֶשׁ שְׁנָ֑יִם כׇּל־הַנֶּ֧פֶשׁ לְבֵֽית־יַעֲקֹ֛ב הַבָּ֥אָה מִצְרַ֖יְמָה שִׁבְעִֽים׃
21 Binyamin’s sons: Bela, Bekher and Ashbel, Gera and Naaman, Aḥi and Rosh, Muppim, Ḥuppim, and Ard.[22]There is some variation as to who is Benjamin’s son and who was his grandson in the Septuagint. 22 These are the sons of Raḥel, who were born to Yaakov, all the persons were fourteen.[23]See comments on 46:14 and 46:20. 23 Dan’s sons: Ḥushim. 24 Naftali’s sons: Yaḥtze’el, Guni, Yetser, and Shillem.[24]See comment on 46:20. 25 These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Lavan had given to Raḥel his daughter, she bore these to Yaakov: all the persons were seven.[25]See comment on 46:14. 26 All the persons who came with Yaakov to Mitsrayim, those going out from his loins, aside from the wives of Yaakov’s sons: all the persons were sixty-six.[26]The 66 tally includes Jacob, and Er and Onan, who do not die in P’s version of events, and excludes Jacob’s wives and female progeny (such as Dinah). 27 Now Yosef’s sons, who had been born to him in Mitsrayim: the persons were two. (Thus) all the persons of Yaakov’s household who came to Mitsrayim were seventy.[27]The Bridger has to do some creative manipulation of the numbers here so that he can arrive at the desired seventy. The Bridger’s tally includes the 65 sons in the Priestly tally, except for Er and Onan who die in Canaan (thus getting us to 63), it includes Peretz’s sons Hezron and Hamul (getting us to 65 once more), Joseph and his sons Menasseh and Ephraim (thus getting us to 68), and finally Dinah (Leah’s daughter) and Jacob, getting us to 70.

ששי כח וְאֶת־יְהוּדָ֞ה שָׁלַ֤ח לְפָנָיו֙ אֶל־יוֹסֵ֔ף לְהוֹרֹ֥ת לְפָנָ֖יו גֹּ֑שְׁנָה וַיָּבֹ֖אוּ אַ֥רְצָה גֹּֽשֶׁן׃ כט וַיֶּאְסֹ֤ר יוֹסֵף֙ מֶרְכַּבְתּ֔וֹ וַיַּ֛עַל לִקְרַֽאת־יִשְׂרָאֵ֥ל אָבִ֖יו גֹּ֑שְׁנָה וַיֵּרָ֣א אֵלָ֗יו וַיִּפֹּל֙ עַל־צַוָּארָ֔יו וַיֵּ֥בְךְּ עַל־צַוָּארָ֖יו עֽוֹד׃ ל וַיֹּ֧אמֶר יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל אֶל־יוֹסֵ֖ף אָמ֣וּתָה הַפָּ֑עַם אַחֲרֵי֙ רְאוֹתִ֣י אֶת־פָּנֶ֔יךָ כִּ֥י עוֹדְךָ֖ חָֽי׃
28 Now Yehudah he had sent on ahead of him, to Yosef, to give directions ahead of him to Goshen. When they came to the region of Goshen,[28]Goshen is the future dwelling place of the Israelites according to J, and is mentioned as such throughout the Plague account. Judah leads the family into Egypt, as part of J’s agenda to portray Judah as the leader of Jacob’s children, and compare his central role in selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites in Chapter 37 and in convincing his father to send Benjamin to Egypt (Chapter 43:1-5). 29 Yosef had his chariot harnessed and went up to meet Yisrael his father,[29]The use of Israel as the name for Joseph’s father, indicating E as the author of this passage. to Goshen.[30]See penultimate comment. When he caught sight of him he flung himself upon his neck and wept upon his neck continually. 30 Yisrael said to Yosef: “Now I can die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive!”[31]In E’s version, Israel dies soon after reaching Canaan, it’s only P that he lives for 17 years in Egypt.

לא וַיֹּ֨אמֶר יוֹסֵ֤ף אֶל־אֶחָיו֙ וְאֶל־בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֔יו אֶעֱלֶ֖ה וְאַגִּ֣ידָה לְפַרְעֹ֑ה וְאֹֽמְרָ֣ה אֵלָ֔יו אַחַ֧י וּבֵית־אָבִ֛י אֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּאֶֽרֶץ־כְּנַ֖עַן בָּ֥אוּ אֵלָֽי׃ לב וְהָאֲנָשִׁים֙ רֹ֣עֵי צֹ֔אן כִּֽי־אַנְשֵׁ֥י מִקְנֶ֖ה הָי֑וּ וְצֹאנָ֧ם וּבְקָרָ֛ם וְכׇל־אֲשֶׁ֥ר לָהֶ֖ם הֵבִֽיאוּ׃ לג וְהָיָ֕ה כִּֽי־יִקְרָ֥א לָכֶ֖ם פַּרְעֹ֑ה וְאָמַ֖ר מַה־מַּעֲשֵׂיכֶֽם׃ לד וַאֲמַרְתֶּ֗ם אַנְשֵׁ֨י מִקְנֶ֜ה הָי֤וּ עֲבָדֶ֙יךָ֙ מִנְּעוּרֵ֣ינוּ וְעַד־עַ֔תָּה גַּם־אֲנַ֖חְנוּ גַּם־אֲבֹתֵ֑ינוּ בַּעֲב֗וּר תֵּשְׁבוּ֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ גֹּ֔שֶׁן כִּֽי־תוֹעֲבַ֥ת מִצְרַ֖יִם כׇּל־רֹ֥עֵה צֹֽאן׃
31 Yosef said to his brothers and to his father’s household: “I will go up, so that I may tell Pharaoh and say to him: ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of K’naan, have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds of flocks, indeed, they have always been livestock men, and their sheep and their oxen, all that is theirs, they have brought along.’ 33 Now it will be, when Pharaoh has you called and says: ‘What is it that you do?’ 34 Then say: ‘Your servants have always been livestock men, from our youth until now, so we, so our fathers – in order that you may settle in the region of Goshen. For every shepherd of flocks is an abomination to Mitsrayim.[32]This section is a late Priestly spin off on why the Israelites are to dwell in Goshen, separate from the Egyptians and explains what the Israelites are to do with all the livestock they brought with them according to P (vs. 6).

מז א וַיָּבֹ֣א יוֹסֵף֮ וַיַּגֵּ֣ד לְפַרְעֹה֒ וַיֹּ֗אמֶר אָבִ֨י וְאַחַ֜י וְצֹאנָ֤ם וּבְקָרָם֙ וְכׇל־אֲשֶׁ֣ר לָהֶ֔ם בָּ֖אוּ מֵאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וְהִנָּ֖ם בְּאֶ֥רֶץ גֹּֽשֶׁן׃ ב וּמִקְצֵ֣ה אֶחָ֔יו לָקַ֖ח חֲמִשָּׁ֣ה אֲנָשִׁ֑ים וַיַּצִּגֵ֖ם לִפְנֵ֥י פַרְעֹֽה׃ ג וַיֹּ֧אמֶר פַּרְעֹ֛ה אֶל־אֶחָ֖יו מַה־מַּעֲשֵׂיכֶ֑ם
47 1 So Yosef came and told Pharaoh, he said: “My father and my brothers, their sheep and their oxen and all that is theirs, have come from the land of K’naan, and here, they are in the region of Goshen!” 2 Now from the circle of his brothers he had picked out five men and had set them in Pharaoh’s presence. 3 Pharaoh said to his brothers: “What is it that you do?”

וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֗ה רֹעֵ֥ה צֹאן֙ עֲבָדֶ֔יךָ גַּם־אֲנַ֖חְנוּ גַּם־אֲבוֹתֵֽינוּ׃ ד וַיֹּאמְר֣וּ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֗ה לָג֣וּר בָּאָ֘רֶץ֮ בָּ֒אנוּ֒ כִּי־אֵ֣ין מִרְעֶ֗ה לַצֹּאן֙ אֲשֶׁ֣ר לַעֲבָדֶ֔יךָ כִּֽי־כָבֵ֥ד הָרָעָ֖ב בְּאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנָ֑עַן וְעַתָּ֛ה יֵֽשְׁבוּ־נָ֥א עֲבָדֶ֖יךָ בְּאֶ֥רֶץ גֹּֽשֶׁן׃
They said to Pharaoh: “Your servants are shepherds of flocks, so we, so our fathers.” 4 And they said to Pharaoh: “It is to sojourn in the land that we have come, for there is no grazing for the flocks that are your servants’, for the famine is heavy in the land of K’naan. So now, pray let your servants settle in the region of Goshen!”[33]The continuation of the previous Priestly section in Chapter 46, Joseph’s tells his brothers to ask Pharaoh for a dwelling place for them and their flocks and now they do so.

ה וַיֹּ֣אמֶר פַּרְעֹ֔ה אֶל־יוֹסֵ֖ף לֵאמֹ֑ר אָבִ֥יךָ וְאַחֶ֖יךָ בָּ֥אוּ אֵלֶֽיךָ׃ ו אֶ֤רֶץ מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ לְפָנֶ֣יךָ הִ֔וא בְּמֵיטַ֣ב הָאָ֔רֶץ הוֹשֵׁ֥ב אֶת־אָבִ֖יךָ וְאֶת־אַחֶ֑יךָ יֵשְׁבוּ֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ גֹּ֔שֶׁן וְאִם־יָדַ֗עְתָּ וְיֶשׁ־בָּם֙ אַנְשֵׁי־חַ֔יִל וְשַׂמְתָּ֛ם שָׂרֵ֥י מִקְנֶ֖ה עַל־אֲשֶׁר־לִֽי׃
5 Pharaoh said to Yosef, saying: “(So) your father and your brothers have come to you: 6 the land of Mitsrayim is before you; in the goodliest-part of the land, settle your father and your brothers,[34]The dialogue between Pharaoh and Joseph’s brothers does not occur in E, instead Pharaoh simply tells Joseph where he plans to settle the Israelites. let them settle in the region of Goshen.[35]Goshen is the dwelling place of the Israelites according to J and P and is added to E texts on other occasions as well, such as in 46:28-29. According to E the brother’s dwelling place was Ramses (vs. 11). And if you know that there are able men among them, make them chiefs of livestock over what is mine.”[36]The bias of the Egyptians against shepherds, P remarks on (46:34) is not apparent in E, Pharaoh asks them to be in charge of his flocks. ¶ Vs. 7 switches gears and describes an encounter between Jacob (J’s name for Joseph’s father) and Pharaoh, then vs. 11 comes back and informs the reader of the results of Pharaoh’s command to settle the Israelites (E) vss. 11-12. Jacob’s blessing of Pharaoh may have been inserted by J in order to portray Jacob as a venerable elder, and thus explain why all of Egypt mourned his passing in Chapter 50.

ז וַיָּבֵ֤א יוֹסֵף֙ אֶת־יַֽעֲקֹ֣ב אָבִ֔יו וַיַּֽעֲמִדֵ֖הוּ לִפְנֵ֣י פַרְעֹ֑ה וַיְבָ֥רֶךְ יַעֲקֹ֖ב אֶת־פַּרְעֹֽה׃ ח וַיֹּ֥אמֶר פַּרְעֹ֖ה אֶֽל־יַעֲקֹ֑ב כַּמָּ֕ה יְמֵ֖י שְׁנֵ֥י חַיֶּֽיךָ׃ ט וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יַעֲקֹב֙ אֶל־פַּרְעֹ֔ה יְמֵי֙ שְׁנֵ֣י מְגוּרַ֔י שְׁלֹשִׁ֥ים וּמְאַ֖ת שָׁנָ֑ה מְעַ֣ט וְרָעִ֗ים הָיוּ֙ יְמֵי֙ שְׁנֵ֣י חַיַּ֔י וְלֹ֣א הִשִּׂ֗יגוּ אֶת־יְמֵי֙ שְׁנֵי֙ חַיֵּ֣י אֲבֹתַ֔י בִּימֵ֖י מְגוּרֵיהֶֽם׃ י וַיְבָ֥רֶךְ יַעֲקֹ֖ב אֶת־פַּרְעֹ֑ה וַיֵּצֵ֖א מִלִּפְנֵ֥י פַרְעֹֽה׃ שביעי יא וַיּוֹשֵׁ֣ב יוֹסֵף֮ אֶת־אָבִ֣יו וְאֶת־אֶחָיו֒ וַיִּתֵּ֨ן לָהֶ֤ם אֲחֻזָּה֙ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֔יִם בְּמֵיטַ֥ב הָאָ֖רֶץ בְּאֶ֣רֶץ רַעְמְסֵ֑ס כַּאֲשֶׁ֖ר צִוָּ֥ה פַרְעֹֽה׃ יב וַיְכַלְכֵּ֤ל יוֹסֵף֙ אֶת־אָבִ֣יו וְאֶת־אֶחָ֔יו וְאֵ֖ת כׇּל־בֵּ֣ית אָבִ֑יו לֶ֖חֶם לְפִ֥י הַטָּֽף׃
7 Yosef brought Yaakov his father and had him stand in Pharaoh’s presence. And Yaakov gave Pharaoh a blessing-of-greeting.[37]Jacob (J’s name for Joseph’s father) blesses Pharaoh, the content of the blessing is not mentioned (vs. 7). Instead a dialogue between Jacob and Pharaoh ensues in typical Priestly language (vss. 8-9) (שני חיי – the years of my life, and cf. 23:1, מגוריהם – their sojourn, and cf. 28:4). Then there is a short resumptive repetition in vs. 10, “Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh” which indicates that the dialogue was a secondary insertion. In the J text there is simply a statement that Jacob blessed Pharoah then he leaves Pharaoh’s presence. 8 Pharaoh said to Yaakov: “How many are the days and years of your life?” 9 Yaakov said to Pharaoh: “The days and years of my sojourn are thirty and a hundred years; few and ill-fated have been the days and years of my life, they have not attained the days and years of my fathers’ lives in the days of their sojourn.” 10 Yaakov gave Pharaoh a blessing-of-farewell and went out from Pharaoh’s presence.[38]See the above comment. 11 So Yosef settled his father and his brothers,[39]See penultimate comment (the second comment on 47:6). giving them holdings in the land of Mitsrayim,[40]A Priestly insertion (אחזה- holding, and cf. 23:20), which encumbers the verse since the indirect object of “Joseph settled…” appears only later in the verse (“in the best part of the land”). in the goodliest-part of the land, in the region of Ra’mses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12 Yosef sustained his father, his brothers, and his father’s entire household with bread, in proportion to the little-ones.[41]The children of Israel dwell in the land of Ramses according to E (vs. 11) as opposed to in the land of Goshen according to J and P.

יג וְלֶ֤חֶם אֵין֙ בְּכׇל־הָאָ֔רֶץ כִּֽי־כָבֵ֥ד הָרָעָ֖ב מְאֹ֑ד וַתֵּ֜לַהּ אֶ֤רֶץ מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ וְאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן מִפְּנֵ֖י הָרָעָֽב׃ יד וַיְלַקֵּ֣ט יוֹסֵ֗ף אֶת־כׇּל־הַכֶּ֙סֶף֙ הַנִּמְצָ֤א בְאֶֽרֶץ־מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ וּבְאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֔עַן בַּשֶּׁ֖בֶר אֲשֶׁר־הֵ֣ם שֹׁבְרִ֑ים וַיָּבֵ֥א יוֹסֵ֛ף אֶת־הַכֶּ֖סֶף בֵּ֥יתָה פַרְעֹֽה׃ טו וַיִּתֹּ֣ם הַכֶּ֗סֶף מֵאֶ֣רֶץ מִצְרַ֘יִם֮ וּמֵאֶ֣רֶץ כְּנַ֒עַן֒ וַיָּבֹאוּ֩ כָל־מִצְרַ֨יִם אֶל־יוֹסֵ֤ף לֵאמֹר֙ הָֽבָה־לָּ֣נוּ לֶ֔חֶם וְלָ֥מָּה נָמ֖וּת נֶגְדֶּ֑ךָ כִּ֥י אָפֵ֖ס כָּֽסֶף׃ טז וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יוֹסֵף֙ הָב֣וּ מִקְנֵיכֶ֔ם וְאֶתְּנָ֥ה לָכֶ֖ם בְּמִקְנֵיכֶ֑ם אִם־אָפֵ֖ס כָּֽסֶף׃ יז וַיָּבִ֣יאוּ אֶת־מִקְנֵיהֶם֮ אֶל־יוֹסֵף֒ וַיִּתֵּ֣ן לָהֶם֩ יוֹסֵ֨ף לֶ֜חֶם בַּסּוּסִ֗ים וּבְמִקְנֵ֥ה הַצֹּ֛אן וּבְמִקְנֵ֥ה הַבָּקָ֖ר וּבַחֲמֹרִ֑ים וַיְנַהֲלֵ֤ם בַּלֶּ֙חֶם֙ בְּכׇל־מִקְנֵהֶ֔ם בַּשָּׁנָ֖ה הַהִֽוא׃
13 But bread there was none in all the land, for the famine was exceedingly heavy, and the land of Mitsrayim and the land of K’naan were exhausted by the famine. 14 Yosef had collected all the silver that was to be found in the land of Mitsrayim and in the land of K’naan, from the rations that they had bought, and Yosef had brought the silver into Pharaoh’s house. 15 When the silver in the land of Mitsrayim and in the land of K’naan had run out, all Mitsrayim came to Yosef, saying: “Come-now, (let us have) bread! Why should we die in front of you, because the silver is gone?” 16 Yosef said: “Come-now, (let me have) your livestock, and I will give you (bread) for your livestock, since the silver is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Yosef, and Yosef gave them bread (in exchange) for the horses, the sheep-livestock, the oxen-livestock, and the donkeys; he got-them-through with bread (in exchange) for all their livestock in that year.

יח וַתִּתֹּם֮ הַשָּׁנָ֣ה הַהִוא֒ וַיָּבֹ֨אוּ אֵלָ֜יו בַּשָּׁנָ֣ה הַשֵּׁנִ֗ית וַיֹּ֤אמְרוּ לוֹ֙ לֹֽא־נְכַחֵ֣ד מֵֽאֲדֹנִ֔י כִּ֚י אִם־תַּ֣ם הַכֶּ֔סֶף וּמִקְנֵ֥ה הַבְּהֵמָ֖ה אֶל־אֲדֹנִ֑י לֹ֤א נִשְׁאַר֙ לִפְנֵ֣י אֲדֹנִ֔י בִּלְתִּ֥י אִם־גְּוִיָּתֵ֖נוּ וְאַדְמָתֵֽנוּ׃ יט לָ֧מָּה נָמ֣וּת לְעֵינֶ֗יךָ גַּם־אֲנַ֙חְנוּ֙ גַּ֣ם אַדְמָתֵ֔נוּ קְנֵֽה־אֹתָ֥נוּ וְאֶת־אַדְמָתֵ֖נוּ בַּלָּ֑חֶם וְנִֽהְיֶ֞ה אֲנַ֤חְנוּ וְאַדְמָתֵ֙נוּ֙ עֲבָדִ֣ים לְפַרְעֹ֔ה וְתֶן־זֶ֗רַע וְנִֽחְיֶה֙ וְלֹ֣א נָמ֔וּת וְהָאֲדָמָ֖ה לֹ֥א תֵשָֽׁם׃
18 But when that year had run out, they came back to him in the second year and said to him: “We cannot hide from my lord that if the silver has run out and the animal-stocks are my lord’s, nothing remains for my lord except for our bodies and our fertile-ground! 19 Why should we die before your eyes, so we, so our fertile-ground? Acquire us and our fertile-ground for bread, and we and our fertile-ground will become servants to Pharaoh. Give (us) seed-for-sowing that we may live and not die, that the fertile-ground may not become desolate!”

כ וַיִּ֨קֶן יוֹסֵ֜ף אֶת־כׇּל־אַדְמַ֤ת מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ לְפַרְעֹ֔ה כִּֽי־מָכְר֤וּ מִצְרַ֙יִם֙ אִ֣ישׁ שָׂדֵ֔הוּ כִּֽי־חָזַ֥ק עֲלֵהֶ֖ם הָרָעָ֑ב וַתְּהִ֥י הָאָ֖רֶץ לְפַרְעֹֽה׃ כא וְאֶ֨ת־הָעָ֔ם הֶעֱבִ֥יר אֹת֖וֹ לֶעָרִ֑ים מִקְצֵ֥ה גְבוּל־מִצְרַ֖יִם וְעַד־קָצֵֽהוּ׃ כב רַ֛ק אַדְמַ֥ת הַכֹּהֲנִ֖ים לֹ֣א קָנָ֑ה כִּי֩ חֹ֨ק לַכֹּהֲנִ֜ים מֵאֵ֣ת פַּרְעֹ֗ה וְאָֽכְל֤וּ אֶת־חֻקָּם֙ אֲשֶׁ֨ר נָתַ֤ן לָהֶם֙ פַּרְעֹ֔ה עַל־כֵּ֕ן לֹ֥א מָכְר֖וּ אֶת־אַדְמָתָֽם׃ כג וַיֹּ֤אמֶר יוֹסֵף֙ אֶל־הָעָ֔ם הֵן֩ קָנִ֨יתִי אֶתְכֶ֥ם הַיּ֛וֹם וְאֶת־אַדְמַתְכֶ֖ם לְפַרְעֹ֑ה הֵֽא־לָכֶ֣ם זֶ֔רַע וּזְרַעְתֶּ֖ם אֶת־הָאֲדָמָֽה׃ כד וְהָיָה֙ בַּתְּבוּאֹ֔ת וּנְתַתֶּ֥ם חֲמִישִׁ֖ית לְפַרְעֹ֑ה וְאַרְבַּ֣ע הַיָּדֹ֡ת יִהְיֶ֣ה לָכֶם֩ לְזֶ֨רַע הַשָּׂדֶ֧ה וּֽלְאׇכְלְכֶ֛ם וְלַאֲשֶׁ֥ר בְּבָתֵּיכֶ֖ם וְלֶאֱכֹ֥ל לְטַפְּכֶֽם׃ מפטיר כה וַיֹּאמְר֖וּ הֶחֱיִתָ֑נוּ נִמְצָא־חֵן֙ בְּעֵינֵ֣י אֲדֹנִ֔י וְהָיִ֥ינוּ עֲבָדִ֖ים לְפַרְעֹֽה׃ כו וַיָּ֣שֶׂם אֹתָ֣הּ יוֹסֵ֡ף לְחֹק֩ עַד־הַיּ֨וֹם הַזֶּ֜ה עַל־אַדְמַ֥ת מִצְרַ֛יִם לְפַרְעֹ֖ה לַחֹ֑מֶשׁ רַ֞ק אַדְמַ֤ת הַכֹּֽהֲנִים֙ לְבַדָּ֔ם לֹ֥א הָיְתָ֖ה לְפַרְעֹֽה׃
20 So Yosef acquired all the fertile-ground of Mitsrayim for Pharaoh – for each one of Mitsrayim sold his field, for the famine was strong upon them – and the land went over to Pharaoh. 21 As for the people, he transferred them into the cities, from one edge of Mitsrayim’s border to its other edge. 22 Only the fertile-ground of the priests he did not acquire, for the priests had a prescribed-allocation from Pharaoh, and they ate from their allocation which Pharaoh had given them, therefore they did not sell their fertile-ground. 23 Yosef said to the people: “Now that I have acquired you and your fertile-ground today for Pharaoh, here, you have seed, sow the fertile-ground! 24 But it shall be at the ingatherings, that you shall give a fifth to Pharaoh, the four other parts being for you as seed for the field and for your eating-needs, for those in your households, and for feeding your little-ones.” 25 They said: “You have saved our lives! May we find favor in my lord’s eyes: we will become servants to Pharaoh.” 26 And Yosef made it a prescribed-law until this day, concerning the fertile-ground of Mitsrayim: For Pharaoh every fifth part! Only the fertile-ground of the priests, that alone did not go over to Pharaoh.[42]An etiological narrative explaining the Egyptian tax system. It is certainly a later narrative since it does not focus on Joseph’s family as in E. Note the congruity, Joseph enslaves the Egyptians and then the Egyptian enslave the Israelites. This type of ironic congruity is typical of J – who for example has Jacob cheating Laban after Laban cheated him (chapters 29 and 30), or has Abraham make a deal with the Philistines granting them parts of the future Israelite inheritance, thus heralding the Philistine incursions in Judges and Samuel in J texts, or has Sarah banishing Hagar after she herself gave Hagar to Abraham.

כז וַיֵּ֧שֶׁב יִשְׂרָאֵ֛ל בְּאֶ֥רֶץ מִצְרַ֖יִם בְּאֶ֣רֶץ גֹּ֑שֶׁן וַיֵּאָחֲז֣וּ בָ֔הּ וַיִּפְר֥וּ וַיִּרְבּ֖וּ מְאֹֽד׃
27 Now Yisrael stayed in the land of Mitsrayim, in the region of Goshen; they obtained holdings in it, bore fruit, and became exceedingly many.[43]Note the typical Priestly insertion of quantitative information. In P Jacob spends 17 years with Joseph and Canaan and then 17 years with Joseph in Egypt. Note also the expressions of fruitfulness, which are reminiscent of similar P expressions elsewhere (e.g. Ex 1:7).

The Masoretic text presented here is from Rabbi Dr. Seth (Avi) Kadish’s Miqra al pi ha-Mesorah. For the translation in English, I have adapted the translation of Everett Fox in the Schocken Bible (1997), mostly to re-Hebraize divine names, place names, and personal names, but I have made other changes. Where Fox translated “Mitsrayim” as ‘Egyptians,’ I have kept “Mitsrayim, and where he has translated “adamah” as ‘soil,’ I have instead used “fertile-ground.” Aside from these, I have made minor punctuation changes.

Notes   [ + ]

  1. Judah’s impassioned plea does not totally accord with the dialogue he quotes between Jacob and his sons in J. This need not be construed as a problem since Judah’s is making an impassioned plea and is not bound by the exact facts. Note the repetition of the Sheol metaphor, and compare 37:34 (J).
  2. The final three verses allude to the conversation between Judah and Israel, which was added by the Bridger to Chapter 43 and compare: vs. 32: For your servant became surety for the boy to my father, saying, “If I do not bring him back to you, then I will bear the blame in the sight of my father all my life.” And 43:9 “I myself will be surety for him; you can hold me accountable for him. If I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, then let me bear the blame for ever”.
  3. In E, God worked behind the scenes to aid Joseph and his family, whereas in J, the Lord has a more active presence, such as in Chapter 39, where he orchestrates the occurrences in the house of Potiphar.
  4. Goshen was the dwelling place of the Israelite in Egypt according to J, until the Exodus, and is referred to many times as such in the book of Exodus (e.g. Exodus 9:26).
  5. Note that once again Joseph bestows five times the gifts on Benjamin, and that since Joseph had only six brothers according to E, the bestowal is a literary statement equating Benjamin with Joseph’s other five brothers.
  6. There is no critical reason to attribute the name “Jacob” here to a second author except consistency, since thus far in E’s Joseph cycle Israel is the only name used. The text reads smoothly without the word “Jacob”, since Joseph’s father is frequently alluded to elsewhere as “their father” without a specific name.
  7. This is the first time Joseph’s father appears as a character within E since chapter 37, the rest of his appearances are attributable to either J or B.
  8. Note the use of the Jacob in this verse, as opposed to Israel in the subsequent verse. The statements are somewhat contradictory, Jacob’s spirit is revived (the root hayah which in Hebrew has to do with life is employed), whereas Israel says that he wants to go down to Egypt to see Joseph before he dies. Perhaps J wishes to add some pathos to the text as he did in his description of Jacob’s mourning for Joseph in Chapter 37:34.
  9, 11, 19, 38. See the above comment.
  10. An Elohistic statement – Jacob/Israel having left from Beer Sheva in 28:10 now returns there. Since Jacob/Israel originated in Beer-Sheva, a sacrifice to the God of his father makes sense. Since, however, Isaac was sacrificed according to E without bearing children, I hypothesize that this name was added to the text, and compare a similar addition to the text in Exodus 3:6. Indeed, such specification is frequently added to this expression (the god of fathers) in the Book of Deuteronomy (e.g. Deuteronomy 1:8) according to some scholars.
  12. This dream revelation (typical to E) stands at the center of the Elohistic work in the liminal period between the sojourn in Canaan and the descent to Egypt.
  13. The call to Jacob is likely a J addition, inserting “his” name for Joseph’s father at the important moment of divine revelation.
  14. The content of the revelation emphasizes its transitional character. God promises both a descent from, and an ascent back to Canaan, and see penultimate comment on 46:3.
  15. בספרי תימן פּֽוֹטִיפֶ֖רַע בתיבה אחת
  16. The number of the Israelites descending to Egypt according to P is 66 (Jacob + 65 descendants), an aesthetic number in a culture influenced by the base six numbering system.
  17. I attribute the allusion to the deaths of Er and Onan in this genealogy to the Bridger, who commonly supplements genealogical lists with narrative material and allusions (compare Genesis 10) and inserted Chapter 38 (which feature Er and Onan) into the Joseph Cycle.
  18. According to P, only 31 sons were born to Leah not 33 as stated in vs. 15. “33” seems to include the sons of Peretz, mentioned in verse 12 which was an addition by the Bridger (Dinah is not included in the tally here, yet she appears to be part of the final count, and see below). It thus seems likely that this verse too (vs. 15), was added by the Bridger. Note also the use of the qal passive yulad (to bear to) which is distinctive to Bridger genealogies. The tallying of the children that is added after the sons of each of Jacob’s four wives are listed (vss. 19-20, 25, 27) uses the same terminology as vs. 15 and is thus also assigned to the Bridger.
  20. Note the number of children born to Leah and her concubine is far greater than the number of children born to Rachel and her maidservant, 47 versus 21. In fact the number of Rachel’s progeny is even less than that of Leah’s maidservant Zilpah – 14 versus 16. To rectify matters it seems that the Septuagint (the ancient Greek translation) or a Hebrew precursor may have added 4 to Rachel’s tally and included a more detailed tally of Joseph’s children, including Joseph’s great grandchildren – a generation which appears nowhere in the Masoretic genealogy.
  21. See comment on 46:14. Note also the addition of Joseph as part of the Bridger’s genealogy for the express purpose of arriving at 70 as the number of Israelites descending to Egypt. The Septuagint added a more detailed tally of Joseph’s children after vs. 20.
  22. There is some variation as to who is Benjamin’s son and who was his grandson in the Septuagint.
  23. See comments on 46:14 and 46:20.
  24. See comment on 46:20.
  25. See comment on 46:14.
  26. The 66 tally includes Jacob, and Er and Onan, who do not die in P’s version of events, and excludes Jacob’s wives and female progeny (such as Dinah).
  27. The Bridger has to do some creative manipulation of the numbers here so that he can arrive at the desired seventy. The Bridger’s tally includes the 65 sons in the Priestly tally, except for Er and Onan who die in Canaan (thus getting us to 63), it includes Peretz’s sons Hezron and Hamul (getting us to 65 once more), Joseph and his sons Menasseh and Ephraim (thus getting us to 68), and finally Dinah (Leah’s daughter) and Jacob, getting us to 70.
  28. Goshen is the future dwelling place of the Israelites according to J, and is mentioned as such throughout the Plague account. Judah leads the family into Egypt, as part of J’s agenda to portray Judah as the leader of Jacob’s children, and compare his central role in selling Joseph to the Ishmaelites in Chapter 37 and in convincing his father to send Benjamin to Egypt (Chapter 43:1-5).
  29. The use of Israel as the name for Joseph’s father, indicating E as the author of this passage.
  30. See penultimate comment.
  31. In E’s version, Israel dies soon after reaching Canaan, it’s only P that he lives for 17 years in Egypt.
  32. This section is a late Priestly spin off on why the Israelites are to dwell in Goshen, separate from the Egyptians and explains what the Israelites are to do with all the livestock they brought with them according to P (vs. 6).
  33. The continuation of the previous Priestly section in Chapter 46, Joseph’s tells his brothers to ask Pharaoh for a dwelling place for them and their flocks and now they do so.
  34. The dialogue between Pharaoh and Joseph’s brothers does not occur in E, instead Pharaoh simply tells Joseph where he plans to settle the Israelites.
  35. Goshen is the dwelling place of the Israelites according to J and P and is added to E texts on other occasions as well, such as in 46:28-29. According to E the brother’s dwelling place was Ramses (vs. 11).
  36. The bias of the Egyptians against shepherds, P remarks on (46:34) is not apparent in E, Pharaoh asks them to be in charge of his flocks. ¶ Vs. 7 switches gears and describes an encounter between Jacob (J’s name for Joseph’s father) and Pharaoh, then vs. 11 comes back and informs the reader of the results of Pharaoh’s command to settle the Israelites (E) vss. 11-12. Jacob’s blessing of Pharaoh may have been inserted by J in order to portray Jacob as a venerable elder, and thus explain why all of Egypt mourned his passing in Chapter 50.
  37. Jacob (J’s name for Joseph’s father) blesses Pharaoh, the content of the blessing is not mentioned (vs. 7). Instead a dialogue between Jacob and Pharaoh ensues in typical Priestly language (vss. 8-9) (שני חיי – the years of my life, and cf. 23:1, מגוריהם – their sojourn, and cf. 28:4). Then there is a short resumptive repetition in vs. 10, “Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh” which indicates that the dialogue was a secondary insertion. In the J text there is simply a statement that Jacob blessed Pharoah then he leaves Pharaoh’s presence.
  39. See penultimate comment (the second comment on 47:6).
  40. A Priestly insertion (אחזה- holding, and cf. 23:20), which encumbers the verse since the indirect object of “Joseph settled…” appears only later in the verse (“in the best part of the land”).
  41. The children of Israel dwell in the land of Ramses according to E (vs. 11) as opposed to in the land of Goshen according to J and P.
  42. An etiological narrative explaining the Egyptian tax system. It is certainly a later narrative since it does not focus on Joseph’s family as in E. Note the congruity, Joseph enslaves the Egyptians and then the Egyptian enslave the Israelites. This type of ironic congruity is typical of J – who for example has Jacob cheating Laban after Laban cheated him (chapters 29 and 30), or has Abraham make a deal with the Philistines granting them parts of the future Israelite inheritance, thus heralding the Philistine incursions in Judges and Samuel in J texts, or has Sarah banishing Hagar after she herself gave Hagar to Abraham.
  43. Note the typical Priestly insertion of quantitative information. In P Jacob spends 17 years with Joseph and Canaan and then 17 years with Joseph in Egypt. Note also the expressions of fruitfulness, which are reminiscent of similar P expressions elsewhere (e.g. Ex 1:7).

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