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So Jacob departed from Beer-sheba, and the sons of Israel put their father and their wives and children on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to transport him. They took with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan. So Jacob and all his descendants came to Egypt.(A) His sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters—all his descendants—he took with him to Egypt.

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26 Jacob’s people who came to Egypt—his direct descendants, not counting the wives of Jacob’s sons—numbered sixty-six persons in all.(A) 27 Together with Joseph’s sons who were born to him in Egypt—two persons—all the people comprising the household of Jacob who had come to Egypt amounted to seventy persons[a] in all.(B)

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Footnotes

  1. 46:27 Seventy persons: it is difficult to get this exact number by adding up the persons mentioned in the preceding genealogies. One might assume it refers to Jacob and sixty-nine descendants, excluding Er and Onan but including Dinah. Ex 1:5 repeats the number but excludes Jacob. Dt 10:22 refers to seventy persons descending to Egypt. The best solution is to take the number as expressing totality. Since there are seventy nations in chap. 10, it is likely that the text is drawing a parallel between the two entities and suggesting that Israel “represents” the nations before God.

But the Israelites were fruitful and prolific. They multiplied and became so very numerous that the land was filled with them.[a]

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Footnotes

  1. 1:7 Fruitful…multiplied…the land was filled with them: the language used here to indicate the fecundity of the Israelite population echoes the divine blessing bestowed upon humanity at creation (Gn 1:28) and after the flood (Gn 9:1) as well as suggesting fulfillment of the promises to the ancestors Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob (Gn 12:2; 13:16; 15:5; 28:14; passim).

He said to his people, “See! The Israelite people have multiplied and become more numerous than we are!

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14 Then Joseph sent for his father Jacob, inviting him and his whole clan, seventy-five persons;(A) 15 and Jacob went down to Egypt. And he and our ancestors died(B)

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