Community Development
 

Va-yiggash

Genesis 44:18 - 47:27

This translation was taken from the JPS Tanakh

18 Then Judah went up to him and said, "Please, my lord, let Your servant appeal to my lord, and do not be impatient with your servant, You who are the equal of Pharaoh. 19 My lord asked his servants, 'Have you a father or another brother?' 20 We told my lord, 'We have an old father, and there is a child of his old age, the youngest; his full brother is dead, so that he alone is left of his mother, and his father dotes on him.' 21 Then you said to your servants, 'Bring him down to me, that I may set eyes on him.' 22 We said to my lord, 'The boy cannot leave his father; if he were to leave him, his father would die.' 23 But you said to your servants, 'Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, do not let me see your faces.' 24 When we came back to Your servant my father, we reported my lord's words to him.

25 "Later our father said, 'Go back and procure some food for us.' 26 We answered, 'We cannot go down; only if our youngest brother is with us can we go down, for we may not show our faces to the man unless our youngest brother is with us.' 27 Your servant my father said to us, 'As you know, my wife bore me two sons. 28 But one is gone from me, and I said: Alas, he was torn by a beast! And I have not seen him since. 29 If you take this one from me, too, and he meets with disaster, you will send my white head down to Sheol in sorrow.'

30 "Now, if I come to your servant my father and the boy is not with us — since his own life is so bound up with his — 31 when he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will send the white head of your servant our father down to Sheol in grief. 32 Now your servant has pledged himself for the boy to my father, saying, 'If I do not bring him back to you, I shall stand guilty before my father forever.' 33 Therefore, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord instead of the boy, and let the boy go back with his brothers. 34 For how can I go back to my father unless the boy is with me? Let me not be witness to the woe that would overtake my father!"

Chapter 45
1 Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, "Have everyone withdraw from me!" So there was no one else about when Joseph made himself known to his brothers. 2 His sobs were so loud that the Egyptians could hear, and so the news reached Pharaoh's palace.

3 Joseph said to his brothers, "I am Joseph. Is my father still well?" But his brothers could not answer him, so dumfounded were they on account of him.

4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, "Come forward to me." And when they came forward, he said, "I am your brother Joseph, he whom you sold into Egypt. Now do not be distressed or reproach Yourselves because you sold me hither; it was to save life that God sent me ahead of you. 6 It is now two years that there has been famine in the land, and there are still five years to come in which there shall be no yield from tilling. 7 God has sent me ahead of you to ensure Your survival on earth, and to save your lives in an extraordinary deliverance. 8 So, it was not you who sent me here, but God; and He has made me a father to Pharaoh, lord of all his household, and ruler over the whole land of Egypt.

9 "Now, hurry back to my father and say to him: Thus says your son Joseph, 'God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me without delay. 10 You will dwell in the region of Goshen, where You will be near me — you and your children and your grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all that is yours. 11 There I will provide for you — for there are yet five years of famine to come — that you and your household and all that is yours may not suffer want.' 12 You can see for yourselves, and my brother Benjamin for himself, that it is indeed I who am speaking to You. 13 And you must tell my father everything about my high station in Egypt and all that you have seen; and bring my father here with all speed."

14 With that he embraced his brother Benjamin around the neck and wept, and Benjamin wept on his neck. 15 He kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; only then were his brothers able to talk to him.

16 The news reached Pharaoh's palace: "Joseph's brothers have come." Pharaoh and his courtiers were pleased. 17 And Pharaoh said to Joseph, "Say to your brothers, 'Do as follows: load up your beasts and go at once to the land of Canaan. 18 Take your father and your households and come to me; I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you shall live off the fat of the land.' 19 And you are bidden [to add], 'Do as follows: take from the land of Egypt wagons for your children and your wives, and bring your father here. 20 And never mind your belongings, for the best of all the land of Egypt shall be yours.'"

21 The sons of Israel did so; Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had commanded, and he supplied them with provisions for the Journey. 22 To each of them, moreover, he gave a change of clothing; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and several changes of clothing. 23 And to his father he sent the following: ten he-asses laden with the best things of Egypt, and ten she-asses laden with grain, bread, and provisions for his father on the journey. 24 As he sent his brothers off on their way, he told them, "Do not be quarrelsome on the way."

25 They went up from Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. 26 And they told him, "Joseph is still alive; yes, he is ruler over the whole land of Egypt." His heart went numb, for he did not believe them. 27 But when they recounted all that Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived. 28 "Enough!" said Israel. "My son Joseph is still alive! I must go and see him before I die."

Chapter 46
1 So Israel set out with all that was his, and he came to Beer-sheba, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 God called to Israel in a vision by night: "Jacob! Jacob!" He answered, "Here." 3 And He said, "I am God, the God of your father. Fear not to go down to Egypt, for I will make you there into a great nation. 4 I Myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I Myself will also bring you back; and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes."

5 So Jacob set out from Beer-sheba. The sons of Israel put their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to transport him; 6 and they took along their livestock and the wealth that they had amassed in the land of Canaan. Thus Jacob and all his offspring with him came to Egypt: 7 he brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, his daughters and granddaughters — all his offspring.

8 These are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his descendants, who came to Egypt.

Jacob's first-born Reuben; 9 Reuben's sons: Enoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi. 10 Simeon's sons: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Saul the son of a Canaanite woman. 11 Levi's sons: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari. 12 Judah's sons: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah — but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan; and Perez's sons were Hezron and Hamul. 13 Issachar's sons: Tola, Puvah, Iob, and Shimron. 14 Zebulun's sons: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel. 15 Those were the sons whom Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, in addition to his daughter Dinah. Persons in all, male and female: 33.

16 Gad's sons: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli. 17 Asher's sons: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah, and their sister Serah. Beriah's sons: Heber and Malchiel. 18 These were the descendants of Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah. These she bore to Jacob — 16 persons.

19 The sons of Jacob's wife Rachel were Joseph and Benjamin. 20 To Joseph were born in the land of Egypt Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath daughter of Poti-phera priest of On bore to him. 21 Benjamin's sons: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard. 22 These were the descendants of Rachel who were born to Jacob — 14 persons in all.

23 Dan's son: Hushim. 24 Naphtali's sons: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem. 25 These were the descendants of Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel. These she bore to Jacob — 7 persons in all.

26 All the persons belonging to Jacob who came to Egypt — his own issue, aside from the wives of Jacob's sons — all these persons numbered 66. 27 And Joseph's sons who were born to him in Egypt were two in number. Thus the total of Jacob's household who came to Egypt was seventy persons.

28 He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph, to point the way before him to Goshen. So when they came to the region of Goshen, 29 Joseph ordered his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel; he presented himself to him and, embracing him around the neck, he wept on his neck a good while. 30 Then Israel said to Joseph, "Now I can die, having seen for myself that you are still alive."

31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household, "I will go up and tell the news to Pharaoh, and say to him, 'My brothers and my father's household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds; they have always been breeders of livestock, and they have brought with them their flocks and herds and all that is theirs.' 33 So when Pharaoh summons you and asks, 'What is your occupation?' 34 you shall answer, 'Your servants have been breeders of livestock from the start until now, both we and our fathers' — so that you may stay in the region of Goshen. For all shepherds are abhorrent to Egyptians."

Chapter 47
1 Then Joseph came and reported to Pharaoh, saying, "My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that is theirs, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the region of Goshen." 2 And selecting a few of his brothers, he presented them to Pharaoh. 3 Pharaoh said to his brothers, "What is your occupation?" They answered Pharaoh, "We your servants are shepherds, as were also our fathers. 4 We have come," they told Pharaoh, "to sojourn in this land, for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks, the famine being severe in the land of Canaan. Pray, then, let your servants stay in the region of Goshen." 5 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, "As regards your father and your brothers who have come to you, 6 the land of Egypt is open before you: settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land; let them stay in the region of Goshen. And if you know any capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock."

7 Joseph then brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh; and Jacob greeted Pharaoh. 8 Pharaoh asked Jacob, "How many are the years of your life?" 9 And Jacob answered Pharaoh, "The years of my sojourn [on earth] are one hundred and thirty. Few and hard have been the years of my life, nor do they come up to the life spans of my fathers during their sojourns." 10 Then Jacob bade Pharaoh farewell, and left Pharaoh's presence.

11 So Joseph settled his father and his brothers, giving them holdings in the choicest part of the land of Egypt, in the region of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded. 12 Joseph sustained his father, and his brothers, and all his father's household with bread, down to the little ones.

13 Now there was no bread in all the world, for the famine was very severe; both the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine. 14 Joseph gathered in all the money that was to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, as payment for the rations that were being procured, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's palace. 15 And when the money gave out in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, "Give us bread, lest we die before your very eyes; for the money is gone!" 16 And Joseph said, "Bring your livestock, and I will sell to you against your livestock, if the money is gone." 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and Joseph gave them bread in exchange for the horses, for the stocks of sheep and cattle, and the asses; thus he provided them with bread that year in exchange for all their livestock. 18 And when that year was ended, they came to him the next year and said to him, "We cannot hide from my lord that, with all the money and animal stocks consigned to my lord, nothing is left at my lord's disposal save our persons and our farmland. 19 Let us not perish before your eyes, both we and our land. Take us and our land in exchange for bread, and we with our land will be serfs to Pharaoh; provide the seed, that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become a waste."

20 So Joseph gained possession of all the farm land of Egypt for Pharaoh, every Egyptian having sold his field because the famine was too much for them; thus the land passed over to Pharaoh. 21 And he removed the population town by town, from one end of Egypt's border to the other. 22 Only the land of the priests he did not take over, for the priests had an allotment from Pharaoh, and they lived off the allotment which Pharaoh had made to them; therefore they did not sell their land.

23 Then Joseph said to the people, "Whereas I have this day acquired you and your land for Pharaoh, here is seed for you to sow the land. 24 And when harvest comes, you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be yours as seed for the fields and as food for you and those in your households, and as nourishment for your children." 25 And they said, "You have saved our lives! We are grateful to my lord, and we shall be serfs to Pharaoh." 26 And Joseph made it into a land law in Egypt, which is still valid, that a fifth should be Pharaoh's; only the land of the priests did not become Pharaoh's.

27 Thus Israel settled in the country of Egypt, in the region of Goshen; they acquired holdings in it, and were fertile and increased greatly.

Taken from Tanakh, The Holy Scriptures, (Philadelphia, Jerusalem: Jewish Publication Society) 1985.
Used by permission of the Jewish Publication Society. Copyright ©1962, 1992
Third Edition by the Jewish Publication Society. No part of this text can be reproduced or forwarded without written permission.
Please visit the JPS website for more fine books of Jewish literature and tradition.