What does Genesis 46:4 mean?God is speaking to Jacob in a night vision in Beersheba (Genesis 46:1–3). Beersheba is at the southern end of the land the Lord promised to Jacob, and his grandfather Abraham, and his father Isaac (Genesis 13:14–16). God has assured Jacob not to be afraid to leave behind the land and settle in Egypt. The promise still holds. In fact, God has said He will make Jacob's people into a great nation in the land of Egypt (Exodus 1:7).
God wants Jacob to know that His ability to keep His promises is not restricted by borders. He will do all He has promised. Now He insists that He will go with Jacob down to Egypt. This is like the promise God made to Jacob when he left behind Canaan the first time when running from Esau: "Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land. For I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you." (Genesis 28:15).
God again promises Jacob that He will bring him back to the Promised Land. God uses emphatic language. This is a statement of fact. It is not a promise that Jacob will not die in Egypt. Jacob will soon pass away and be buried by Joseph in the family burial tomb in Canaan (Genesis 50). God's meaning is that Israel, the nation of Jacob's offspring, will return to their Promised Land. God also includes the tender promise that Jacob's beloved son Joseph, whom he thought to be dead, will be the one to close Jacob's eyes after his own peaceful death.
This is God's final revelation to the patriarchs of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob. He will keep all His promises, but he will not appear again until centuries later when He speaks to Moses from the burning bush (Exodus 3).