Genesis 47:15 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 47:15, NIV: When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, 'Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.'

Genesis 47:15, ESV: And when the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? For our money is gone.”

Genesis 47:15, KJV: And when money failed in the land of Egypt, and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came unto Joseph, and said, Give us bread: for why should we die in thy presence? for the money faileth.

Genesis 47:15, NASB: When the money was all spent in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, all the Egyptians came to Joseph saying, 'Give us food, for why should we die in your presence? For our money is gone.'

Genesis 47:15, NLT: When the people of Egypt and Canaan ran out of money, all the Egyptians came to Joseph. 'Our money is gone!' they cried. 'But please give us food, or we will die before your very eyes!'

Genesis 47:15, CSB: When the silver from the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan was gone, all the Egyptians came to Joseph and said, "Give us food. Why should we die here in front of you? The silver is gone! "

What does Genesis 47:15 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

When a resource is scarce, it becomes more valuable. The more important the resource is, the more power it bestows. During a famine, those with food become the most powerful of all. Joseph, under the blessing of God, made Pharaoh very powerful and wealthy, indeed.

Pharaoh had empowered Joseph to store away enough grain before the famine to provide food for all the people in the land during the seven years of barren lands (Genesis 41:39–44). Joseph collected surplus grain through taxes (Genesis 41:34) as Pharaoh's representative. When hard times came, though, he did not give the food back for free. Instead, he sold it to the people for the first two to three years of the seven-year famine (Genesis 41:55–57). In fact, as the famine wore on, the people of Egypt and Canaan exchanged all their wealth for food (Genesis 47:13–14). Pharaoh now had all the money in the region.

As the people continued coming to Joseph looking for more food, they had no coins or other money to offer. Yet they came, both Egyptians and Canaanites, in desperation, demanding food they could not pay for. "Why should we die before your eyes?" they said. Joseph's answer reveals that he was ready for that question (Genesis 47:16).