4 They said moreover unto Pharaoh, For to sojourn in the land are we come; for thy servants have no pasture for their flocks; for the famine is sore in the land of Canaan: now therefore, we pray thee, let thy servants dwell in the land of Goshen.

— To "sojourn" is to dwell temporarily, not permanently. This is the very language of the prophecy made to Abraham concerning his descendants (Gen. 15:13) and, therefore, was a vindication of its truth. Later, after the deliverance of Israel from Egypt, their sojourning there was ever kept in mind (Deut. 26:15).

To petition Pharaoh in such a manner was a tactful statement that they had not arrived to take up permanent residence in the land, nor to unduly presume upon the status of authority enjoyed by their illustrious brother.

The Christadelphian Expositor

9 And Jacob said unto Pharaoh, The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an 130 years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.

Consider Jacob's life. Like that of all God's people, it was filled with frustration, disappointment and trial. Jacob did not accomplish very much that could be seen by the natural eye. Yet how many since his day have been instructed and inspired by the simple story of the way he met the daily problems of his life!

He had the nucleus of an unshakable faith in God and recognition of His ever-present reality, passed on to him through Abraham and Isaac, but that faith had much to learn and much to suffer before it came to perfection.

Jacob was the fourth actor in this strange incident of the blessing. On what a shaky and shady, humanly-contrived foundation it was that he attempted to secure the birthright and the blessing! For the first he took a sharp advantage of foolish, careless Esau's exhaustion; for the second he used falsehood and deceit.

He had to learn by bitter experience that sharp practice and deceit are the way of natural, grasping man, and have no place with the people of God. Patience, straightforwardness, broad uncalculating generosity and unselfishness are the noble, infinitely satisfying ways of godliness.

The man of God has nothing to fear. He need not scheme and bargain, fret to get more or to prevent loss, for he cannot lose. Paul, by the Spirit, gives us the overwhelming message-

"ALL THINGS ARE YOURS, and ye are Christ's, and Christ is God's" (1 Cor. 3:23).

All things are ours ! What difference then does it make if we do not get them today? We shall tomorrow, if we are faithful-the great Tomorrow of eternal promise.

Bro Growcott - A new name

11 And Joseph placed his father and his brethren, and gave them a possession in the land of Egypt, in the best of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had commanded.

The "Aberious" (Hebrews).

-"The very name of the Hebrews is officially recorded by their persecutors as the builders of the city (of Ramesees). In a papyrus preserved in the Museum of Leyden, the scribe Kautsir reports to his superior, the scribe Bakenphtha, that in compliance with his instructions he has

"distributed the nations among the soldiers, and likewise among the Hebrews (Aberiou or Apuru), who carry the stones to the great city of King Ramesees Miamun, the lover of truth, and who are under the orders of the captain of the police-soldiers, Ameneman.

I distribute the food among them monthly, according to the excellent instructions my lord has given me."

-Smith's Ancient History.

The Christadelphian, Apr 1888

29 And the time drew nigh that Israel must die: and he called his son Joseph, and said unto him, If now I have found grace in thy sight, put, I pray thee, thy hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me; bury me not, I pray thee, in Egypt:

30 But I will lie with my fathers, and thou shalt carry me out of Egypt, and bury me in their burying place. And he said, I will do as thou hast said.

31 And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.

Seventeen years having passed away after his arrival in Egypt, the time drew nigh that Jacob must die. This residence in the land of Ham had not at all diminished his attachment to the land of Canaan. When, therefore, he found his end approaching, he took an oath of Joseph...

And Joseph promised to do as he had said. But why was Jacob thus anxious? Surely it could make no difference to him where he should crumble into dust! Nor would it, if Jacob had been a faithless Gentile; or a religionist whose mind was perverted by Platonism. He would have cared nothing about his body; all his solicitude would have been about his "immortal soul." But in Jacob's death-bed scene, he expressed no anxiety about "his soul;" all his care was for his body after death, that it might be duly deposited in the cave of Machpelah, where Abrabam, Isaac, Sarah, Rebekah, and Leah, were sleeping (Gen. 47:29-31;49:29-33).

This was equally the case with Joseph; for although Egypt had been the theatre of his glory, and he was venerated there as the saviour of the country, in which he had also lived ninety-three years, yet his last thoughts were upon the land of Canaan and the disposal of his bones. "I die," said he; 

"and God will surely visit you, and bring you out of Egypt unto the land which he sware to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob!" 

and he took an oath of them, saying, "Ye shall carry up my bones from hence."

Why, I ask, is all mankind's anxiety now about their "souls," and a heaven beyond the skies, when the friends of God, who had all their pilgrimage been the honored subjects of his fatherly care, manifested no such carefulness; but, on the contrary, exacted oaths of their survivors expressive of their love for Canaan, and of their concern that their bodies should moulder there?

The reason is that the moderns have no faith in the promises of God. Neither protestants, nor papists, "believe on God." They have a system of faith which bears no affinity to the religion of God; and hence they hope for things which He has not promised; and, consequently, the most pious of them die with a lie in their right hand.

The faith and hope of protestantism are not the faith and hope of "the fathers," whom God has constituted the "heirs of the world." The last thoughts of these holy men were on "the exceeding great and precious promises" which are to be manifested in the land of Canaan; where their posterity will yet become "a great and mighty nation" under Shiloh and His saints as the lords of Israel and the Gentiles...

...When professors believe the truth, they will have as much interest in Canaan, and the disposition of their bodies, expressive of their faith, as we find testified of Israel and Joseph by those who are high in the favour of their God. We must believe the promises concerning Canaan, if we would be immortal of body in the kingdom of God.

Elpis Israel 2.3.


And he said, Swear unto me. And he sware unto him. And Israel bowed himself upon the bed's head.—(Gen. 47:31.)

By faith Jacob, when he was a dying, blessed both the sons of Joseph; and worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.—(Heb. 11:21.)


And he said, Swear unto me; and he sware to him. Then Israel worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.


And he said sware to me, and he sware to him. And Israel worshipped, leaning upon the top of his staff.

The above passage illustrates the way in which corruptions arise, through the inventions of men. The Hebrew word matte, as originally written, without vowel points, means a staff; with the points as now written, in most Hebrew M.SS on the basis of the Masoretic invention, it is changed into mittah, which means a bed.

These vowel points are comparatively a modern invention, intended to simplify and determine the pronunciation and meaning of words. Unfortunately, when they were invented, the Hebrew language had ceased about 700 years previously to be the tongue spoken by the people, so that their guidance is not reliable.

Fortunately, however, the Septuagint (a Greek translation of the original Hebrew, made about 280 years B.C.) steps in, like a faithful witness, and proves the superiority of the pure text of the original Hebrew, over that which is encumbered by tradition, in the shape of Masoretic points.

It is another illustration of the truth of the words of Jesus to the learned Jews of his day:

"Ye have made the Word of God of none effect through your tradition which ye have delivered."

The Christadelphian, May 1874