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(Isaiah 2:3)

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Please read the Introductory Notes to this commentary.

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Source of Dates Used

בְּרֵאשִׁ֖ית • B'resheet
(“In Beginning” or “At First”)
The First Book of Moses,
Commonly Called


~ 46 ~

Parashah 11: Vayigash (continued)
“He approached” • 44:18–47:27
(Small Roman numerals in the text indicate each 'aliyah.)

D. The Nation of Israel Goes Down to Egypt (46:1-50:26)

1. Jacob Goes Down to Egypt (46:1-27) [1677 BCE]

1So Isra'el set out with all that he had, and came to Be’er-Sheva, MAP] and offered sacrifices to the God of his father, Yitz'chak.

a. Elohim Speaks to Isra'el (46:2-7)

 2That night Elohim[GN] spoke to Isra'el in a vision and said, “Ya'akov, Ya'akov!”[2a]

Isra'el replied, “Hinneni.”[GN]

3“I am HaElהָאֵ֖ל, the God,” He said, “Eloheאֱלוֹהַּ, God of your father.[3a] Don’t be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation.[3b] 4I will go down with you to Egypt, and I will surely bring you back. And Yosef’s own hand will close your eyes.”[4]

5Then Ya'akov left Be’er-Sheva, and the sons of Isra'el took their father Ya'akov, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6They also took their livestock and their possessions they had acquired in the land of Kena'an. Then Ya'akov went to Egypt along with all his children. 7He took his sons, his grandsons, his daughters, and his granddaughters, and all his descendants with him into Egypt.

b. The Seventy Who Went Into Egypt (46:8-27)

8These are the names of the children of Israel who went into Egypt, Ya'akov and his sons: Re’uven, Ya'akov’s firstborn.

9The sons of Re’uven: Hanokh, Pallu, Hetzron, and Karmi.

10The sons of Shim'on: ’mu’el, Yamin, Ohad, Yakhin, Tzochar, and Sha’ul the son of a Kena‘ani woman.

11The sons of Levi: Gershon, K’hat and M’rari.

12The sons of Y’hudah: ‘Er, Onan, Shelah, Peretz and Zerach; but ‘Er and Onan died in the land of Kena‘an. The sons of Peretz were Hetzron and Hamul.

13The sons of Yissakhar: Tola, Puvah, Yov, and Shimron.

14The sons of Z’vulun: Sered, Elon, and Yachle’el.

15These are the sons of Le'ah, whom she bore to Ya'akov in Paddan Aram, with his daughter Dinah. In all his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three.

16The sons of Gad: Tzifyon, Haggi, Shuni, Etzbon, ‘Eri, Arodi and Ar’eli.

17The sons of Asher: imnah, Yishvah, Yishvi, B’ri‘ah, and their sister Serach. The sons of B’ri‘ah were Hever and Malki’el.

18These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Lavan gave to Le'ah, his daughter, and these she bore to Ya'akov, sixteen people.

19The sons of Rachel, Ya'akov’s wife: Yosef and Binyamin.

20To Yosef in the land of Egypt were born M’nasheh and Efrayim, whom Osnat the daughter of Poti-Fera priest of On bore to him.

21The sons of Binyamin: Bela, Bekher, Ashbel, Gera, Na‘aman, Echi, Rosh, Mupim, Hupim and Ard.

22These are the sons of Rachel who were born to Ya'akov: fourteen people in all.

23The son of Dan: Hushim.

24The sons of Naftali: Yachtze’el, Guni, Yetzer and Shillem.

25These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Lavan gave to Rachel, his daughter, and these she bore to Ya'akov: seven people in all.

26All the people who came with Ya'akov into Egypt, those who were his direct offspring, in addition to Ya'akov’s sons’ wives, numbered sixty-six in all. 27The sons of Yosef, who were born to him in Egypt, were two. The number of all the people of the house of Ya'akov who came into Egypt were seventy.


2. Isra'el Settles in Goshen (46:28-47:27)

(vi) 28Now Ya'akov had sent Y’hudah ahead of him to Yosef to prepare for his arrival at Goshen. When they arrived in the land of Goshen, 29Yosef prepared his chariot and went there to meet his father Isra'el. He presented himself to him, embraced him, and wept on his neck for a long time. 30Then Isra'el said to Yosef, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.”

31Yosef said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and speak with Pharaoh, and will tell him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Kena'an, have come to me. 32These men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock, and they have brought their sheep, their cattle, and all that they have.’ 33When Pharaoh summons you and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34you must say, ‘Your servants, both we and our fathers, have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now.’ Then you will be allowed to settle in the land of Goshen, since all shepherd are loathsome to the Egyptians.”

Continue Reading at Chapter 47

 2.Repeating a person’s name is a Hebrew expression of intimacy. Here HaShem uses Isra'el’s former name, perhaps to remind him that He was with him them, and He will certainly continue to be with him. [BACK]

3a. “I am the only God; God Whom your father served.” [BACK]

3b. The promise made to Avraham in Gen 12:2 will be fulfilled in Egypt. [BACK]

 4. It will be the hand of Yosef that closes Isra'el’s eyes when he dies, and his body will be returned to the Cave of Machpelah in Hebron (Gen 50:12-14). [BACK]

Page originally posted on Wednesday, 06 October 2021
Revised on Monday 07 November 2022

Page last updated on Monday, 27 March 2023 02:31 PM
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