What does Genesis 47:27 mean?
ESV: Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the land of Goshen. And they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied greatly.
NIV: Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.
NASB: Now Israel lived in the land of Egypt, in Goshen, and they acquired property in it and were fruitful and became very numerous.
CSB: Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen. They acquired property in it and became fruitful and very numerous.
NLT: Meanwhile, the people of Israel settled in the region of Goshen in Egypt. There they acquired property, and they were fruitful, and their population grew rapidly.
KJV: And Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions therein, and grew, and multiplied exceedingly.
NKJV: So Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions there and grew and multiplied exceedingly.
Verse Commentary:
Having completed the description of the famine's impact on the lives of the Egyptian citizens, Genesis now turns attention back to Joseph's family. Here the entire group is called by Jacob's God-given name Israel (Genesis 35:10–11). It is the name that will come to identify the nation that will grow from them.

Jacob and his family found themselves in a unique situation. At the request of Egypt's own monarch, known by the title "Pharaoh," they had become landowners settled in the land of Goshen (Genesis 45:16–20; 47:6). Joseph provided their allotment of food (Genesis 47:12). This meant they did not need to sell their possessions or land to avoid starvation (Genesis 47:20–21). In a very short number of years, the Israelites in Egypt grew wealthy while most of the Egyptians lost everything and became slaves to the state.

Of course, this gave Jacob's family an advantage. They gained possessions while most Egyptians lost theirs. They thrived in Goshen, and they kept having babies, adding to their growing numbers (Exodus 1:7). Years later, when the rulers had forgotten the benefits of blessing Israel, the Egyptians would grow to resent these thriving Israelites in their midst. This would lead to oppression and brutal slavery by Egypt (Exodus 1:8–14).
Verse Context:
Genesis 47:27–31 follows an explanation of how a famine brought all Egypt into servanthood under the Pharaoh. That included a standing twenty percent tax. The Israelites, meanwhile, grow and prosper. In the future, this will lead to jealousy and oppression by leaders with no memory of Joseph and his contributions (Exodus 1:8–13). After years of safety in his son's care, Jacob nears death and asks for his body to one day be buried with his ancestors in Canaan.
Chapter Summary:
Genesis 47 begins with Pharaoh interviewing Joseph's brothers and father before granting their request to settle in the region of Goshen in Egypt. Just as Joseph had hoped, his family is secure. The rest of the people of Egypt and Canaan are not. Most run out of money and can no longer buy food from Joseph. On Pharaoh's behalf, Joseph trades food for their livestock and then their land and even their freedom. Nearly all people will be required to pay to Pharaoh 20 percent of their harvest each year from this time forward. After several years, Jacob asks Joseph to swear that he will bury Jacob's body with his fathers in Canaan.
Chapter Context:
After describing the family's journey from Canaan and their arrival in Egypt in chapter 46, this passage opens on a formal conversation between Pharaoh and Joseph's family. He officially grants their request to settle in Egypt. As the famine continues, citizens of Egypt and Canaan turn over their money, land, and livestock to Joseph in exchange for food. The final three chapters of Genesis explain Jacob's dying blessings, and the passing of both Jacob and Joseph.
Book Summary:
The book of Genesis establishes fundamental truths about God. Among these are His role as the Creator, His holiness, His hatred of sin, His love for mankind, and His willingness to provide for our redemption. We learn not only where mankind has come from, but why the world is in its present form. The book also presents the establishment of Israel, God's chosen people. Many of the principles given in other parts of Scripture depend on the basic ideas presented here in the book of Genesis. Within the framework of the Bible, Genesis explains the bare-bones history of the universe leading up to the captivity of Israel in Egypt, setting the stage for the book of Exodus.
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