Introduction: I love happy endings! When a book or movie end
on a sour note, it makes the entire story less appealing. We
all want happy endings for our personal stories. Let’s jump
into our study as we finish up Genesis to see how this story
ends. But, like many stories, the author drops a hint at the
end that the story will continue in another book. Let’s get
I. The Move
A. Read Genesis 45:16-18. Is this an offer you cannot
refuse? Recall that the family is in a situation
in which they feared starvation.
B. Read Genesis 45:21-24. Why would Joseph give
Benjamin more if he is worried about his brothers
quarreling? Has that family learned nothing about
showing favoritism? Or, is this another test for
C. Read Genesis 45:26-28. Is this a happy ending to
the grief of Jacob (Israel)?
1. What problem does it pose for the brothers?
2. Does this create a problem for Jacob? What
about the promise of Canaan as the dwelling
place for his descendants? God never
mentioned Egypt as a future home.
D. Read Genesis 46:1-4. What does God say about this
move and the Canaan promise?
1. Has Jacob decided to make the move before he
receives God’s permission? (Look again at
Genesis 45:28. Jacob is not committing to a
permanent move. He simply says that he will
“see [Joseph] before I die.” I don’t think
Jacob is making any permanent decisions ahead
of God’s leading.)
2. Note that Genesis 46:1 refers to moving “with
all that he had.” How much do you think that
was? (If they were facing starvation, and that
is the reason Jacob let Benjamin go to Egypt
(see Genesis 43:8), then I imagine that Jacob
and his family have eaten most of the
E. Read Genesis 46:29. What a great reunion! Why does
Joseph take his chariot? (Horses and chariots were
the latest advance in military technology. No
doubt Joseph’s chariot was extremely fancy. He is
giving his father visual evidence that he has
wildly succeeded in life.)
F. Read Genesis 46:31-34. Why is it a good idea to
say that your occupation is something that is
considered an abomination by the Egyptians? “Hi,
my family is deplorable!” (Commentators have
several excellent explanations. We have seen that
the Egyptians grow corn. They were farmers on land
which was periodically flooded by the Nile. Goshen
never flooded, it was better for grazing
livestock. This would keep God’s people and the
Egyptians separate – which Joseph wisely
considered to be consistent with God’s will. In
addition, Joseph’s family ate animals that the
Egyptians worshiped, which was another reason to
keep them tucked away in Goshen. Finally, Goshen
was closer to Canaan.)
II. The Destination
A. Genesis 47 recounts that Pharaoh is true to his
word and things work out just as Joseph planned.
Read Genesis 47:7-10. We are told twice that Jacob
blessed Pharaoh. We recently discussed that
Pharaoh was considered the connection between
humans and the gods. Why would Pharaoh allow this?
Isn’t this a huge insult? An arrogance on the
part of Jacob? (Recall from our recent discussion
that Pharaoh recognized that same “god-connection”
quality in Joseph. Pharaoh has abundant proof that
Joseph is connected with God by the way things are
working out. Since Jacob is Joseph’s father, I
think that makes the blessing a good idea and not
an insult. Plus, Pharaoh’s question shows that
Jacob looked old – Pharaoh might have considered
the blessing a quaint part of advanced of age.)
1. Has Pharaoh been blessed by the true God? (He
is receiving an extraordinary blessing.)
B. Read Genesis 47:12. What results from the move?
(The family has enough to eat.)
III. Big Government?
A. Read Genesis 47:13-14. What is Joseph doing for
the wealth of Pharaoh? (It is a huge transfer of
wealth from Canaan and the average Egyptian to the
government of Egypt.)
B. Read Genesis 47:15-17. What do you think about
C. Read Genesis 47:18-21. What do you think about
1. Recall that the food was a tax originally paid
by the people (Genesis 41:34). Why should the
people have to pay for the food that they
2. If you were a smart farmer, what should you
have done? (The same thing the government was
doing – storing 20% of the bumper crops.)
D. Read Genesis 47:23-25. Is Joseph a villain or a
E. Read Genesis 47:26. What is the basis for this
tax? (Everything now belongs to Pharaoh, so this
seems more than generous.)
1. Is Joseph directing how they should plant?
(No, a free-market economy is still in place.)
IV. The Blessings
A. Read Genesis 48:8-11. Is this an emotional time
for Jacob? Has God been kind to him?
1. What problem does Jacob have, aside from
getting old? (His sight is poor.)
B. Read Genesis 48:17-19. How is this possible since
Jacob cannot see well enough to recognize the
boys? (God’s spirit is strong in him. It is God
who directs his.)
C. Read Genesis 48:20-21. Could Joseph have avoided
the enslavement of his people if he had returned
to Canaan during his reign? Is Jacob telling
Joseph to return?
1. Read Exodus 12:50-51. Is this how Jacob saw
God leading the people back to Canaan?
2. Read Exodus 13:19. How was Jacob’s prophecy
D. Read Genesis 48:22. What additional portion of
land does Jacob give to Joseph?
1. How do you think the brothers would react to
2. I’ve always thought that the favoritism
towards Joseph was a bad thing. Do you think
this is something that God inspired, like the
switch in the blessings on Joseph’s sons?
V. The End of Jacob
A. Read Genesis 50:1-3. How do you explain this when
shepherds were deplorable to Egyptians? (Either
this is out of respect for Joseph, or Jacob has
become a prominent figure among the leadership in
B. Read Genesis 50:5-8. I’ve spent time trying to
confirm that Goshen was close to Canaan, and I’m
still uncertain. What do these verses suggest
about their proximity? (They must be close.
Consider all the people who are going to Jacob’s
C. Read Genesis 50:12-14. Is the return a mistake?
1. Do you think Joseph and his brothers even
thought about the fact that they were
returning to Egypt, and the promise was that
they would inherit Canaan?
D. Read Genesis 50:22-24. Joseph has not forgotten
the promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. Is the
luxury of Egypt keeping them in place? Is inertia
keeping them in place? (Read Genesis 46:1-4 and
Exodus 1:6-7. God was blessing them in Egypt. I
think they were waiting for God to give them
specific directions to return. Perhaps without the
following slavery, most of God’s people would have
decided to stay in Egypt.)
E. Read Genesis 47:8-9. How does Jacob view his life
in Canaan? Is that part of the reason to stay in
F. Friend, God gives Jacob and Joseph happy endings
to their life stories. But, both look forward to
God’s promise of family greatness in the land of
Canaan. A similar promise of a heavenly Canaan is
made to you! Will you accept God’s offer of
salvation today so that your future is bright?
VI. Next week we begin a new study on the topic of Jesus
Copr. 2022, Bruce N. Cameron, J.D. Scripture quotations are
from the ESV Bible (The Holy Bible, English Standard
Version ), copyright 2001 by Crossway, a publishing
ministry of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All
rights reserved. Suggested answers are found within
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