Genesis 47:6 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 47:6, NIV: "and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.'"

Genesis 47:6, ESV: "The land of Egypt is before you. Settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land. Let them settle in the land of Goshen, and if you know any able men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.”"

Genesis 47:6, KJV: "The land of Egypt is before thee; in the best of the land make thy father and brethren to dwell; in the land of Goshen let them dwell: and if thou knowest any men of activity among them, then make them rulers over my cattle."

Genesis 47:6, NASB: "The land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and your brothers in the best of the land, let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock.'"

Genesis 47:6, NLT: "choose any place in the entire land of Egypt for them to live. Give them the best land of Egypt. Let them live in the region of Goshen. And if any of them have special skills, put them in charge of my livestock, too.'"

Genesis 47:6, CSB: "the land of Egypt is open before you; settle your father and brothers in the best part of the land. They can live in the land of Goshen. If you know of any capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.""

What does Genesis 47:6 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joseph's large family has arrived in Egypt from Canaan at the Pharaoh's invitation (Genesis 45:16–20). Their formal interview with him has concluded. He has heard their request to settle in Egypt since the famine has made it impossible for them to support their large herds and flocks in Canaan. Specifically, they have requested to settle in the fertile region of Goshen (Genesis 47:1–5).

To respond, Pharaoh addresses Joseph, not his brothers. He makes it clear that he is giving Joseph the authority to grant their request. This wisely maintains the understanding that the family is there under Joseph's care, not necessarily that of Pharaoh. He commands Joseph to place his brothers on the best of the land of Egypt, specifically mentioning the land of Goshen for the first time.

This is the exact outcome Joseph has been hoping for, and it would have been enough. Pharaoh goes further, however. He tells Joseph to put the most able of his brothers in charge of his own livestock, an offer with huge implications. This would make some of Joseph's brothers official officers of the court. This would afford them benefits not usually given to immigrants.

Scholars report that this position of a stockman for the Pharaoh is regularly mentioned in Egyptian history. As one might expect, it was mostly given to foreigners. This fits with Joseph's statement in Genesis 46:34 that shepherds were detestable to the Egyptians. It's not a job most Egyptians would want.