FROM THE LAND OF FAMINE TO THE LAND OF PLENTY
Genesis xlv: 25, to l: 26.
O Joseph's eleven brothers went home to their old father
with the glad news that Joseph was alive and was ruler
over the land. It was such a joyful surprise to Jacob
that he fainted. But after a time he revived; and when
they showed him the wagons that Joseph had sent to
bring him and his family to Egypt, old Jacob said, "It
is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive; I will go and
see him before I die."
 Then they went on their journey, with their wives, and
children, and servants, and sheep and cattle, a great
company. They stopped to rest at Beersheba, which had
been the home of Isaac and of Abraham, and made
offerings to the Lord, and worshipped. And that night
the Lord appeared to Jacob, and said to him:
"Jacob, I am the Lord, the God of your father; fear not
to go down to Egypt; for I will go down with you; and
there you shall see your son Joseph; and in Egypt I
will make of your descendants, those that come from
you, a great people; and I will surely bring them back
again to this land."
They came down to Egypt, sixty-six of Jacob's children
and grand-children. Joseph rode in his chariot to meet
his father, and fell on his neck, and wept upon him.
And Jacob said, "Now, I am ready to die, since I know
that you are still alive; and I have seen your face."
And Joseph brought his father in to see King Pharaoh;
and Jacob, as an old man, gave his blessing to the
JOSEPH BRINGS JACOB TO PHARAOH
The part of the land of Egypt where Joseph found for
his brothers a home, was called Goshen. It was on the
 Egypt and the desert, and it was a very rich land,
where the soil gave large harvests. But at that time,
and for five years after, there were no crops, because
of the famine that was in the land. During those years,
the people of Israel in the land of Goshen, were fed as
were all the people of Egypt, with grain from the
store-houses of Joseph.
Jacob lived to be almost a hundred and fifty years old.
Before he died he blessed Joseph and all his sons, and
said to them:
"When I die, do not bury me in the land of Egypt, but
take my body to the land of Canaan, and bury me in the
cave at Hebron, with Abraham, and Isaac my father."
And Joseph brought his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim,
to his father's bed, Jacob's eyes were dim with age, as
his father Isaac's had been (see Story Twelve), and he
would not see the two young men. And he said, "Who are
And Joseph said, "They are my two sons, whom God has
given me in this land."
"Bring them to me," said Jacob, "that I may bless them
before I die."
And Jacob kissed them, and put his arms around them,
and he said:
"I had not thought that I should ever see your face, my
son; and God has let me see both you and your children
And Jacob placed his right hand on Ephraim's head, the
younger, and his left on Manasseh the older. Joseph
tried to change his father's hands, so that his right
hand should be on the older son's head. But Jacob would
not allow him, and he said:
"I know what I am doing, God will bless the older son;
but the greater blessing shall be with the younger, for
his descendants, those who spring from him, shall be
greater and stronger than the descendants of his
And so it came to pass many years after this; for the
tribe of Ephraim, the younger son, became greater and
more powerful than the tribe of Manasseh, the older
When Jacob died a great funeral was held. They carried
his body up out of Egypt to the land of Canaan, and
buried it,—as he had said to them,—in the
cave of Machpelah, where Abraham and Isaac were buried
THE TOMB OF ABRAHAM, ISAAC AND JACOB
 When the sons of Jacob came back to Egypt after the
burial of their father, they said one to another:
"It may be that Joseph will punish us, now that his
father is dead, for the wrong that we did to him many
And they sent a message, asking Joseph to forgive them,
for his father's sake. And again they came and bowed
down before him, with their faces to the ground; they
said, "We are your servants; be merciful to us."
Jacob wept when his brothers spoke to him, and he said:
"Fear not. Am I in God's place to punish and to reward?
It is true that you meant evil to me, but God turned it
to good, so that all your families might be kept alive.
Do not be afraid; I will care for you, and for your
After this Joseph lived to a good old age, until he was
a hundred and ten years old. Before he died he said to
his children, and to all the children of Israel, who
had now increased to very many people:
"I am going to die; but God will come to you, and will
bring you up out of this land, into your own land,
which he promised
 to your fathers, to Abraham, and Isaac, and Jacob. When
I die do not bury me in Egypt, but keep my body until
you go out of this land, and take it with you."
So when Joseph died they embalmed his body, as the
Egyptians embalmed the dead; so that the body would not
decay, and they placed his body in a stone coffin, and
kept it in the land of Goshen among the people of
Israel. Thus Joseph not only showed his faith in God's
promise, that he would bring his people back to the
land of Canaan; but he also encouraged the faith of
those who came after him. For as often as the
Israelites looked on the stone coffin that held the
body of Joseph, they said to one another:
"There is the token, the sign, that this land is not our
home. This coffin will not be buried until we bury it
in our own land, the land of Canaan, where God will
lead us in his own time."