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Verses 1-34

The Descent of Jacob into Egypt. The Genealogical Table of the Israelites

1-4. On reaching Beersheba, the southern boundary of the Promised Land, Jacob offers sacrifices to God. In return God assures him of His continued favour and of the fulfilment of the promises made to Abraham.

4. Put his hand upon thine eyes] i.e. close them in death.

5. Little ones] rather,’household servants and their families.’

6-27. This passage is from the Priestly source, and shows its characteristic fondness for genealogies.

27. Threescore and ten] This number included Jacob and Joseph and his two sons. See on Exodus 1:5 as to the total number of those that went down to Egypt.

28-34. Joseph was anxious to settle his people in Goshen both because the land was rich in pasture and because their calling was distasteful to the Egyptians.

34. Every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians] The reasons for this dislike are disputed. ’Herdmen are represented on the monuments as uncouth and ill clad. They led a rough, unsettled life in the marshes, and seem to have been regarded as pariahs by the scrupulously clean Egyptians’ (D.).

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