A Biography Of Jacob Essay Research Paper — страница 7

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were introduced to Pharaoh, and he asked what their occupation was. Pharaoh allowed them to settle in the best land of Egypt. When Pharaoh asked Jacob how old he was, Jacob answered, ?The years of my earthly sojourn are one hundred and thirty; few and hard have been the years of my life. They do not compare with the years of my life of my ancestors during their long sojourn.? (Gen 47:9)(534) Joseph made sure they settled nicely, and provided the household with food and supplies. Jacob lived in Egypt for seventeen more years, making him 147 years old. The time of Jacob?s death was neigh. He called Joseph to him, and made him swear, by placing his hand under his thigh (testimony), to deal truthfully with him, and when he was dead, not to bury him in Egypt, but to do so in the

burial place of his ancestors. Soon after, Joseph learned his father was ill. Joseph took his brothers Manasseh and Ephraim with him to see Jacob, and the sick, elderly man sat up in bed to see them. Jacob told Joseph that god came to him at Luz, and told him he would be fruitful and multiply, his numbers would be great, and he would get the land that was promised to him. Jacob said that Joseph?s two sons, who were born to him in Egypt, are now his, just as any other of his sons, but the children of Joseph?s children, shall belong to Joseph. Joseph brought Jacob his sons, and he blessed them. Joseph, Ephraim, and Manasseh, gathered around Jacob, and he blessed Joseph, and said, ?The god before whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked, the god who has been my shepherd all my

life to this day, the angel who has redeemed me from all harm, bless the boys; and in them let me name be perpetuated, and the name of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude on the earth.? (Gen 48:15)(535) Joseph saw something wrong in that, in their gathering, Jacob put on hand on Manasseh?s head and one hand on Ephraim?s. Joseph, placing the hand on Ephraim?s head to Manasseh?s, said, ?Not so, my father! Since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.? (Gen 48:18)(536) Jacob acknowledged Joseph, saying that Manasseh shall become great indeed through his offspring, but Ephraim shall become even greater through his, so he blessed them, ?By you Israel,? (Jacob) ?will invoke blessings, saying, ?god make you like Ephraim and like

Manasseh.?? Jacob said he was about to die, but for god to remain with them and deliver them to the land of their ancestors. He then gave them a larger portion of what he took from the Amorites. Jacob then called all his sons and told them to gather around him so that he can tell them what will happen in days to come. For Reuben, being his firstborn, growing in power, shall no longer grow, because he lay with his father?s concubine, in the bed, defiling it, and even on the couch. He then addressed Simeon and Levi together, saying that they were ?weapons of violence?, and that they are to be cursed for their fierce anger, cruel it is, and they are to be scattered in Israel. For Judah he foresaw peace and prosperity, and compares him to a lion, and he shall hold the scepter with

his hands and the ruler?s staff at his feet, until tribute comes to him. Zebulun, Jacob said, shall settle on the shores of the sea, and a haven for ships he will be, with his border at Sidon. Issachar, being compared to a strong donkey, shall become a slave at forced labor. Dan shall be a judge and a snake, biting at the horse?s heels so that the rider may fall backwards. Gad shall suffer raids from others, but shall do the same unto them. Asher shall provide royal delicacies, his food being very rich. Naphtali is compared to a doe that bears lovely fawns. For Joseph, Jacob foresaw that he shall remain strong, by righteousness, and shall have his father?s strong blessings upon him. Finally, Benjamin, being compared to a ravenous wolf, shall eat the prey in the morning, and divvy

the spoils of it in the evening. After this, Jacob said that he was about to die, and to bury him in the cave of Ephron the Hittite, the cave of Machpelah, where his ancestors were buried, near Mamre, in Canaan, in Ephron?s field that Abraham bought from the Hittite for a burial site for his wife. That is where Abraham?s wife and his self were both buried, and where Isaac and Rebekah, Jacob?s parents, were buried. After telling them this, Jacob bundled into his bed, with his family around him, and died. Joseph threw himself over his father and wept sorrowfully. All of Egypt wept for Joseph?s father, Jacob, for several days. That is the length of the tale of Jacob, father of Israel. Early in his life he was cunning, and not very faithful to god, but in the end, he died a legend,