Summary of passage: Jacob left Beersheba for Egypt, taking with him all his sons, their wives and children, his daughters and their families and all his possessions including his livestock. They numbered 66 persons who went with Jacob that were direct descendants. Counting Joseph and his two sons and Jacob the total came to 70 in Egypt.
Joseph met his family at Goshen to escort them to Egypt and he threw his arms around his father and wept. Joseph said he will go to Pharaoh and ask for them to settle in Goshen as shepherds for all shepherds are detestable to Egyptians. Pharaoh gave them the best land in Goshen and told Joseph to choose some to tend his flocks as well.
Jacob blessed Pharaoh and settled in Goshen in the best part of the land and had plenty to eat.
5a) 66 that journeyed with Jacob, 70 including Joseph and his 2 kids and Jacob himself.
b) Personal Question. My answer: To preserve the record to Jesus. These sons are also going to be the 12 Nations of Israel, God’s chosen people, so it’s important to know who’s who.
c) Personal Question. My answer: Our names are written in heaven and those who accept Jesus as their Savior are written in the book of life and go to heaven. Anyone else goes to the lake of fire. It lets me know that I am saved, I am known, I am remembered, I am important, I am loved.
6a) Personal Question. My answer: So as not to intermix with the locals. To stay as a separate people and propagate the land as God commanded. To grow together and not separate. And to obey God who told Jacob to go to Egypt where He would make them into a great nation.
b) It kept the Israelites separate from the Egyptians, away from their influence and corruptible practices and kept God’s people from intermingling. It was apparently a good land to graze animals on.
7) Even though Pharaoh did not believe in the One, True God, he recognized God’s power and abilities and God’s will for Joseph. He recognized competency and put Joseph in charge despite who he was and his background. He was gracious to Joseph and Jacob, allowing them to come to Egypt and have the best land and whatever else they need.
He made every effort to assimilate Joseph and make him comfortable by giving him a prominent Egyptian wife. He trusted Joseph implicitly with his empire. He gave Joseph carts for Jacob to travel to Egypt.
Ultimately, Pharaoh was saving his people and was using whomever could do that for him. He cared for the people by preparing for the famine instead of letting the poor die out. He was preparing for the future, not the present. He delegated where he needed to delegate and trusted those under him to do the job. He rewarded those who served him well (such as Joseph). Overall, Pharaoh saved his kingdom along with God’s people.
Conclusions: Let’s not forget that Joseph is the whole reason Jacob and his family were saved. “Joseph settled his father”. “Joseph provided food”. Pharaoh accepted Jacob and the family only because of Joseph. If they had just been regular Hebrews looking for relief from the famine, they would have been turned away. But because of Joseph (and God) they were saved–as was God’s will.
The Egyptians considered sheep unclean; hence, everyone who worked with sheep were unclean.
Goshen was what is basically the Sinai Peninsula today. Today it is a desert land but in ancient times it was renown for it’s grazing of animals. Succinct history on Goshen HERE.
Map of Goshen: http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bc/images/03990_000_bible-map-9.pdf