Joseph Finally Meets His Father!
And, it tells us of the touching scene whereby Joseph, the ruler of the great land of Egypt, humbles himself before his aged father, and then weeps while embracing him…for a long time.
Jacob’s Family Arrives in Goshen
As they neared their destination, Jacob sent Judah ahead to meet Joseph and get directions to the region of Goshen. And when they finally arrived there, Joseph prepared his chariot and traveled to Goshen to meet his father, Jacob. When Joseph arrived, he embraced his father and wept, holding him for a long time. Finally, Jacob said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen your face again and know you are still alive.”
Genesis 46:28-30 (NLT)
The eleven brothers had already been reunited with Joseph, but now Jacob would meet him after a separation of twenty-two years. That Jacob chose Judah to be their guide indicates that he trusted his son, which suggests that the men had told their father everything and were in his good graces again. Now Jacob could see the hand of God in all that had happened. In spite of his past failures, Judah now proved himself faithful, and his descendants were eventually named the royal tribe (49:8-12).
The land of Goshen was located in the northeast part of the Nile delta, an area of about nine hundred square miles, very fertile and excellent for grazing cattle. It was there that Joseph and his father met each other, Joseph waiting in his royal chariot and Jacob riding in one of the wagons Pharaoh had provided. For the fifth time, we find Joseph weeping, although there’s no specific statement that Jacob wept. Perhaps Jacob was so overcome with joy and thanksgiving to God at seeing Joseph again that he was unable to shed tears.
Jacob’s statement in verse 30 reminds us of Simeon’s words when he beheld the infant Jesus: “Sovereign Lord, now let your servant die in peace, as you have promised. I have seen your salvation“ (Luke 2:29-30). Jacob seemed to be preoccupied with sorrow and death rather than with the joys of spending his latter years with his family and especially Joseph.
Joseph’s dreams had all come true. Now it was time to share the joys and sorrows of life with his extended family.
And Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s entire family, “I will go to Pharaoh and tell him, ‘My brothers and my father’s entire family have come to me from the land of Canaan. These men are shepherds, and they raise livestock. They have brought with them their flocks and herds and everything they own.’”
Then he said, “When Pharaoh calls for you and asks you about your occupation, you must tell him, ‘We, your servants, have raised livestock all our lives, as our ancestors have always done.’ When you tell him this, he will let you live here in the region of Goshen, for the Egyptians despise shepherds.”
Genesis 46:31-34 (NLT)
Joseph now turned his attention to his brothers and the rest of his father’s household. Anticipating tensions caused by cultural differences between Egyptians and Hebrews, Joseph informed his brothers of a plan that would guarantee them the right to settle in the land of Goshen.
First, he himself would inform Pharaoh that his father’s household had arrived and that his family members were shepherds, an occupation considered abhorrent to Egyptians. Then he would arrange for Pharaoh to meet with his family.
If Pharoah asked about their occupation, they were to inform him that they and their fathers were men of livestock. Receiving this confirmation, Pharaoh would then issue a land grant to Jacob’s clan, permitting them to reside in the eastern Nile Delta.