The Lord tells Israel in verse 2 that Egypt is where he should now go, and where he will become a great nation. Remember, God had forbidden his father Isaac to go there during a previous famine (Gen 26:1-5). So Jacob, his sons and daughters, and all of their families set out for Egypt. The Lord, through Moses, remembers his sons – and their sons in the text; and verse 26 tells us that the number of Jacob’s descendants (not including his sons’ wives) was 66. Add Israel himself, Joseph and his two sons, and there were 70 (verse 27). That number will multiply by more that 80,000 – to over 600,000 at Sinai (Num 1:44-46) after Moses has led them out of Egypt in Exodus 12:51.
Joseph and Israel have an emotional reunion in Goshen, and Joseph reveals how they will be (for now) left to their own devices there in verses 31-34 because “every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians”.
(Side note: “Ferrell’s Travel Blog” has several articles, accompanied with some photographs, concerning Goshen. Two that I find interesting are “Why were shepherds detestable to Egyptians?” and “The Land of Rameses“)
image © V. Gilbert & Arlisle F. Beers
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