5 “Then Jacob set out from Beersheba. The sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him. 6 They also took their livestock and their goods, which they had gained in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him, 7 his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters. All his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.” (Genesis 46:5–7 (ESV)
Following his offering to God at Beersheba (Gen. 46:1-4), Jacob and his entire family set out for Egypt. The twenty two year separation between Jacob and his beloved son Joseph was about to end.
Jacob rode in one of the wagons Joseph provided for the journey. Unlike Joseph’s journey to Egypt as a slave of the Midianite traders (Gen. 37:28), Jacob traveled as an honorable patriarch. In other words, he traveled in a manner befitting his position. Not only Jacob, but the little ones and the wives also traveled in the Egyptian wagons. Pharaoh’s generosity was put to good use.
Along with Jacob’s family, livestock and goods were also brought to Egypt. Everything Jacob and his family owned were towed along with them. All which God had blessed Jacob with was brought. In effect, Jacob and his family left Canaan behind them and ventured to Egypt before them.
One commentator writes, “Jacob has a new vigor once God sends him into the land of the Nile. While Jacob was certainly encouraged by God’s word, it must be admitted that today’s passage primarily emphasizes Jacob’s frailty. He is elderly — nearly 130 years old (Gen. 47:9) — and must be carried by his sons in the wagons the pharaoh has provided (Gen. 46:5–7). This reality is a striking reminder that God’s promises are not achieved by human effort. Jacob, who wrestled the Lord to a standstill (Gen. 32:22–32), cannot by himself go to Egypt where he will be made into a great nation. God must guide him there providentially, directing the events that bring Joseph to power so that Jacob can stay there safely. Truly, the Lord’s will is accomplished by His Spirit, not our might or power (Zech. 4:6).”
Dr. Jon Walvoord writes, “God had told Isaac not to go to Egypt (Gen. 26:2), but now He told Jacob to go. This vision, which comforted the patriarch, would also encourage the nation of Israel when Moses would exhort them to leave the land of Egypt and return to Canaan to receive God’s promises.”
Like Jacob, when will we believe the power of God is where He says it is; in His Word and by the Holy Spirit. Though our efforts are important, our cleverness, position or reputation in the culture does not grow the Lord’s kingdom. We must learn to depend upon the Holy Spirit just as Jacob did. We must seek to obediently follow the directions and commands of God’s Word in our everyday lives. Only then will our impact be profound and lasting and result in God being glorified.
Have a blessed day in the Lord.
Soli deo Gloria!
The His Word Today Podcast begins June 1, Soli deo Gloria!