What does Exodus 1:6 mean?
ESV: Then Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.
NIV: Now Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation died,
NASB: And Joseph died, and all his brothers and all that generation.
CSB: Joseph and all his brothers and all that generation eventually died.
NLT: In time, Joseph and all of his brothers died, ending that entire generation.
KJV: And Joseph died, and all his brethren, and all that generation.
NKJV: And Joseph died, all his brothers, and all that generation.
Verse Commentary:
Moses continues his overview of Israel's history. After describing Jacob's move into Egypt, he refers to the pivotal event of Joseph's death. Joseph's dramatic rise into a leadership role in Egypt had allowed Jacob and his family to settle in Egypt during seven years of severe famine. Their family both survived and thrived during a time when many died or became slaves of Pharaoh. However, much time passed and Joseph was no longer alive. Neither were his brothers or any of the other people from "that generation." An entirely new population had replaced the first Israeli settlers in Egypt.

This passage of time is significant. Joseph lived 110 years according to Genesis 50:26. Since he had been enslaved at seventeen years old, he had lived in Egypt for about ninety-three years. He was about thirty-nine years old when Jacob and his family moved to Egypt. Jacob's family had been greatly respected during his time, but 400 years later there was a new king who apparently did not know Joseph (Exodus 1:8). He will see the exploding Israelite population as a threat, and resort to forced labor and infanticide to slow population growth. Yet God will work in a miraculous way, raising up Moses as a leader to rescue the Jewish people and lead them out of bondage.
Verse Context:
Exodus 1:1–14 describes the explosive growth of the nation of Israel and the erosion of their relationship to Egypt. Joseph's efforts in the past saved Egypt from ruin, and his family was welcomed into the land. Generations later, the drastic increase in their population is seen as a threat to the Egyptian people. Motivated by a combination of fear and disgust, the king of Egypt brutally enslaves the people of Israel in an attempt to reduce their numbers. This effort fails, and the following passage shows Pharaoh resorting to infanticide in an effort to control the Hebrews.
Chapter Summary:
The children of Abraham and Jacob grow rapidly, forming a prosperous nation made up of twelve tribes, one for each son of Jacob. This inspires fear and hate from the Egyptians. Their king first tries to slow down the Hebrews' growth by enslaving them. Next, he increases the brutality of their work. Then, he tries to command Jewish midwives to kill their own people's newborn baby boys. When these all fail, he openly orders the murder of all Jewish infant boys. Inadvertently, this creates the very situation which leads to the rise of Israel's eventual leader, Moses.
Chapter Context:
Exodus chapter 1 establishes the difficult reality faced by the nation of Israel. At the end of Genesis, Abraham's descendants were finally safe. In this passage, they become prosperous and expand rapidly. This, however, results in fear and hatred from the native Egyptians, who enact a program of slavery and infanticide against the Hebrews. This sets the scene for the arrival of Israel's greatest leader, the prophet Moses, who will speak for God during this time of Israel's rescue. The next chapter explains Moses' dangerous childhood and exile in the desert.
Book Summary:
The book of Exodus establishes God's covenant relationship with the full-fledged nation of Israel. The descendants of Abraham prosper after settling in Egypt, only to be enslaved by a fearful, hateful Egyptian Pharaoh. God appoints Moses to lead the people out of this bondage. Moses serves as God's spokesman, as the Lord brings plagues and judgments on Egypt, leading to the release of Israel.
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