Genesis 47:2 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 47:2, NIV: "He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh."

Genesis 47:2, ESV: "And from among his brothers he took five men and presented them to Pharaoh."

Genesis 47:2, KJV: "And he took some of his brethren, even five men, and presented them unto Pharaoh."

Genesis 47:2, NASB: "And he took five men from among his brothers and presented them to Pharaoh."

Genesis 47:2, NLT: "Joseph took five of his brothers with him and presented them to Pharaoh."

Genesis 47:2, CSB: "He took five of his brothers and presented them to Pharaoh."

What does Genesis 47:2 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joseph is presenting his family at the court of Pharaoh. They are newly arrived at Pharaoh's invitation (Genesis 45:16–20), in the land of Egypt. Jacob and his descendants are a large group from the land of Canaan. Pharaoh commanded Joseph to offer the best of the land of Egypt to his family to save them from a widespread famine (Genesis 41:28–31).

Instead of presenting all 11 of his brothers before Pharaoh, Joseph selects five. Egyptians preferred the number five, much as Scripture often values the number seven. Joseph seems very concerned that his family make the best impression possible. Joseph knows that he is highly favored by Pharaoh, but he wants to make the best home for his own people while avoiding any ill will between them and the Egyptians. In the prior passage, Joseph prepared his family with the right words to say when they met Egypt's ruler (Genesis 46:31–34).