Genesis 47:8 Parallel Verses [⇓ See commentary ⇓]

Genesis 47:8, NIV: Pharaoh asked him, 'How old are you?'

Genesis 47:8, ESV: And Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many are the days of the years of your life?”

Genesis 47:8, KJV: And Pharaoh said unto Jacob, How old art thou?

Genesis 47:8, NASB: And Pharaoh said to Jacob, 'How many years have you lived?'

Genesis 47:8, NLT: 'How old are you?' Pharaoh asked him.

Genesis 47:8, CSB: Pharaoh said to Jacob, "How many years have you lived? "

What does Genesis 47:8 mean? [⇑ See verse text ⇑]

Joseph is presenting his father Jacob to the Pharaoh—the monarch—of Egypt (Genesis 47:7). It is a special moment in history. Each man represents a nation, and those nations will become entwined for the next four centuries. Unfortunately, that relationship will include a long period of Israeli slavery at the hands of the Egyptians (Exodus 1:8–14). At this time, however, Pharaoh has saved Jacob's people during a time of desperate famine. Pharaoh's blessing on Abraham's family has led to blessings on his own kingdom (Genesis 12:3). Echoing that, Jacob has begun their conversation by blessing Pharaoh.

Now Pharaoh asks Jacob a respectful question, one often asked of an older person: How old are you? Jacob will reveal that he is 130 years old. His life, as he sees it, has been difficult and filled with tragedies. He continues to view many parts of his unusual experience from a negative perspective. It's possible Jacob is not in good health, though he will live another seventeen years in Egypt (Genesis 47:28). It is possible he required assistance even to stand before Pharaoh.