Notes & Commentary:
Ver. 1. The well of the oath. Bersabee.
Ver. 3. Fear not. He might be apprehensive, lest his children should be depraved, living among idolaters, or prefer Egypt before the promised land. He was also afraid to undertake this journey without consulting God. (Menochius)
Ver. 4. Thence; in thy posterity. Septuagint add at last, or after a long time. Jacob’s bones were brought back and buried in Chanaan. (Calmet) — Eyes, as he is the most dear to thee. Parents closed the eyes of their children in death. The Romans opened them again when the corpse was upon the funeral pile; thinking it a mark of disrespect for the eyes to be shut to heaven; “ut neque ab homine supremum eos spectari fas sit, & cœlo non ostendi, nefas.” (Pliny, xi. 37.)
Ver. 7. Daughters. Dina, and grand-daughter Sara, (ver. 17,) and his sons’ wives, &c. (Calmet) — We may observe, that all here mentioned were not born at the time when Jacob went down into Egypt, but they were before he or Joseph died; that is, during the space of 17 or 71 years. See St. Augustine, q. 151, 173. (Menochius) — The names of the Hebrew and Septuagint vary some little from the Vulgate, which may be attributed to the difference of pronunciation, or to the same person having many names. The number is also different in the Septuagint as the authors of that version have, perhaps, inserted some names taken from other parts of Scripture, to remove any apparent contradiction. The genealogies of Juda, Joseph, and Benjamin, are carried farther than the rest, as those families were of greater consequence.
Ver. 9. Hesron and Charmi, were probably born in Egypt, as Ruben had only two sons, chap. xlii. 37. (Philo.)
Ver. 10. Jamuel. Numbers xxvi. 12, he is called Namuel. — Jachin is Jarid[Jarib?], 1 Paralipomenon iv. 24. (Calmet)
Ver. 12. Were born, afterwards. (Menochius)
Ver. 15. Syria. This must be restrained to her seven children. — Thirty-three, comprising Lia or Jacob; but without Her and Onan, who were dead. (Calmet)
Ver. 20. Ephraim. The Septuagint take in here the children of both, Numbers xxvi. 29, 35.
Ver. 21. Benjamin. Ten in number; though the Septuagint have only nine, and suppose that some of them were his grand-children. He was 33 (or 24, Menochius) years old. (Calmet) — Grotius thinks three names have been made out of two; Echi, Ros, and Mophim, out of Ahiram and Supham, as we read, Numbers xxvi. 38.
Ver. 23. Sons. The Arabic has son. Husim is Suham, (Numbers xxvi. 42,) by change and transposition of letters. (Kennicott)
Ver. 26. Sixty-six; not including Jacob, Joseph, and his two children, who make up 70, ver. 27. (Deuteronomy x. 22.) The Septuagint taking in Joseph’s grand-children, read 75; in which they are followed by St. Stephen, Acts vii. 14. See St. Jerome q. Heb. (Calmet) — St. Augustine cannot account for these grand-children and great grand-children of Joseph being mentioned as coming with Jacob into Egypt, since some of them were not born during his life-time. He suspects some hidden mystery. (Worthington) See ver. 7. — Some think St. Stephen excludes Jacob, Joseph, and his sons; and includes the 64 men, with 11 wives. (Du Hamel)
Ver. 34. Abomination. See chap. xliii. 32. The source of this hatred against foreign shepherds, was probably because, about 100 years before Abraham, the shepherd-kings, Hycussos, had got possession of a great part of Egypt, and were at last expelled by the kings of Thebais. See Manetho ap. Eusebius, Pręp. x. 13. Another reason why they hated foreigners was, because they slew and eat sheep, &c., which they themselves adored. The Egyptians kept sheep for this purpose, and for the benefits to be derived from their wool, &c., chap. xlvii. 17. (Calmet) — Joseph took advantage of this disposition of the inhabitants, to keep his brethren at a distance from them, that they might not be perverted. He does not introduce them at court, that no jealousy might be excited. He shews that he is not ashamed of his extraction. (Menochius)
Bible Text & Cross-references:
Israel warranted by a vision from God: goeth down into Egypt with all his family.
1 And Israel taking his journey,* with all that he had, came to the well of the oath, and killing victims there to the God of his father Isaac,
2 He heard him, by a vision in the night, calling him, and saying to him: Jacob, Jacob. And he answered him: Lo, here I am.
3 God said to him: I am the most mighty God of thy father; fear not, go down into Egypt, for I will make a great nation of thee there.
4 I will go down with thee thither, and will bring thee back again from thence: Joseph also shall put his hands upon thy eyes.
5 And Jacob rose up from the well of the oath:* and his sons took him up, with their children and wives in the waggons, which Pharao had sent to carry the old man,
6 And all that he had in the land of Chanaan: and he came into Egypt with all his seed;*
7 His sons, and grandsons, daughters, and all his offspring together.
8 And these are the names of the children of Israel, that entered into Egypt, he and his children. *His first-born Ruben,
9 The sons of Ruben: Henoch and Phallu, and Hesron and Charmi.
10 *The sons of Simeon: Jamuel and Jamin and Ahod, and Jachin and Sohar, and Saul, the son of a woman of Chanaan.
11 *The sons of Levi: Gerson and Caath, and Merari.
12 *The sons of Juda: Her and Onan, and Sela, and Phares and Zara. And Her and Onan died in the land of Chanaan. And sons were born to Phares: Hesron and Hamul.
13 *The sons of Issachar: Thola and Phua, and Job and Semron.
14 The sons of Zabulon: Sared, and Elon, and Jahelel.
15 These are the sons of Lia, whom she bore in Mesopotamia of Syria, with Dina, his daughter. All the souls of her sons and daughters, thirty-three.
16 The sons of Gad: Sephion and Haggi, and Suni and Esebon, and Heri and Arodi, and Areli.
17 *The sons of Aser: Jamne and Jesua, and Jessuri and Beria, and Sara their sister. The sons of Beria: Heber and Melchiel.
18 These are the sons of Zelpha, whom Laban gave to Lia, his daughter. And these she bore to Jacob, sixteen souls.
19 The sons of Rachel, Jacob’s wife: Joseph and Benjamin.
20 *And sons were born to Joseph, in the land of Egypt, whom Aseneth, the daughter of Putiphare, priest of Heliopolis, bore him: Manasses and Ephraim.
21 The sons of Benjamin: *Bela and Bechor, and Asbel and Gera, and Naaman and Echi, and Ross and Mophim, and Ophim and Ared.
22 These are the sons of Rachel, whom she bore to Jacob: all the souls, fourteen.
23 The sons of Dan: Husim.
24 The sons of Nephthali: Jaziel and Guni, and Jeser and Sallem.
25 These are the sons of Bala, whom Laban gave to Rachel, his daughter: and these she bore to Jacob: all the souls, seven.
26 All the souls that went with Jacob into Egypt, and that came out of his thigh, besides his sons’ wives, sixty-six.
27 And the sons of Joseph, that were born to him in the land of Egypt, two souls. *All the souls of the house of Jacob, that entered into Egypt, were seventy.
28 And he sent Juda before him to Joseph, to tell him; and that he should meet him in Gessen.
29 And when he was come thither, Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet his father in the same place: and seeing him, he fell upon his neck, and embracing him, wept.
30 And the father said to Joseph: Now shall I die with joy, because I have seen thy face, and leave thee alive.
31 And Joseph said to his brethren, and to all his father’s house: I will go up, and will tell Pharao, and will say to him: My brethren, and my father’s house, that were in the land of Chanaan, are come to me:
32 And the men are shepherds, and their occupation is to feed cattle; their flocks, and herds, and all they have, they have brought with them.
33 And when he shall call you, and shall say: What is your occupation?
34 You shall answer: We, thy servants, are shepherds, from our infancy until now, both we and our fathers. And this you shall say, that you may dwell in the land of Gessen, because the Egyptians have all shepherds in abomination.
1: Year of the World 2298, Year before Christ 1706.
5: Acts vii. 15.
6: Josue xxiv. 5.[4.?]; Psalm civ. 23.; Isaias lii. 4.
8: Exodus i. 2. and vi. 14.; Numbers xxvi. 5.; 1 Paralipomenon v. 1. and 3.
10: Exodus vi. 15.; 1 Paralipomenon iv. 24.
11: 1 Paralipomenon vi. 1.
12: 1 Paralipomenon ii. 3. and iv. 21.
13: 1 Paralipomenon vii. 1.
17: 1 Paralipomenon vii. 30.
20: Genesis xli. 50.
21: 1 Paralipomenon vii. 6. and viii. 1.
27: Deuteronomy x. 22.