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A Snippet of Poetry in Genesis 46

Updated: Nov 13, 2021

The concentric parallels in Genesis 46:6b-7 are obvious in the original language in a way that they aren't in most English translations. The following is my translation:

And they entered Egypt,

Jacob and all his offspring with him,

his sons and grandsons.

His daughters and granddaughters,

and all his offspring

he caused to enter Egypt with him.

Notice especially the repeated phrase, "all his offspring." "Offspring" reminds us of the promise to Abraham, that his offspring would be as many as the sand of the seashore, the stars of the sky. Next notice the word "all." This isn't emigration by only certain members of an extended family. You know, the scene where a few make a fresh start in a new land and the rest remain in the homeland waiting for postcards to hear how it's going. No, Jacob's entire clan -- the precursor to the nation of Israel -- is moving to Egypt.

As we'll see in Sunday's sermon, God is at work here, ultimately setting up the background to the quintessential Old Testament act of redemption -- the Exodus.

Finally, spend some time this coming week meditating on 1 Peter 2:9-12. It's a New Testament parallel that elaborates on the themes we will consider in Sunday's sermon.

photo credit: Matt Seymour on Unsplash



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