Legacy of Jacob, Genesis 46-47. How large is Jacob's household when he settles in Egypt? All the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy. Such a small number of Israelites settled into the land of Egypt! They would seem to have little or no effect on the economy of Egypt, but, as we know, that will change drastically in 400 years.
1 So Israel took his journey with all that he had and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac. 2 And God spoke to Israel in visions of the night and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here am I.” 3 Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you into a great nation. 4 I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again, and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes.”
26 All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into Egypt, who were his own descendants, not including Jacob's sons' wives, were sixty-six persons in all. 27 And the sons of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two. All the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy.
28 He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to show the way before him in Goshen, and they came into the land of Goshen. 29 Then Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet Israel his father in Goshen. He presented himself to him and fell on his neck and wept on his neck a good while. 30 Israel said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen your face and know that you are still alive.”
Genesis 46:1-4 & 26-30, ESV
27 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. 28 And Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years. So the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were 147 years.
29 And when the time drew near that Israel must die, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If now I have found favor in your sight, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal kindly and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but let me lie with my fathers. Carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burying place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.” 31 And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself upon the head of his bed.
Genesis 47:27-31, ESV
We will take a short break from Joseph to focus on Israel (Jacob). Chapter 46 begins with an assurance to Jacob by God that He will go with Jacob into the land of Egypt, and will keep the covenant that He has made with Him.
How large is Jacob's household when he settles in Egypt? All the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy. Such a small number of Israelites settled into the land of Egypt! They would seem to have little or no effect on the economy of Egypt, but, as we know, that will change drastically in 400 years.
Though Jacob lived in the land of Egypt for 17 years, his heart was in the land of Canaan. He called Joseph and made him swear that when he died, he would be buried in the land of promise, Canaan.
As you think through the years of Jacob's life, what was the legacy of Jacob that he left for his family? Though his life had been filled with unbelievable trials, almost up to until the time of his death, his faith in God remained strong. From the time he wrestled with God, that faith never wavered.
Thinking of the legacy of Jacob, what legacy are you building for your family? What will you leave them? How does your family perceive you most? These are difficult questions to ponder, but are of utmost importance.
We think of leaving an inheritance for our children, but there is an inheritance that is worth more than all of the riches of this world. Have you taught your children through your words and example that nothing is worth more than a life rich with faith in God?
Go to God; pray that He will give you a vibrant testimony of faith in Him. Only by His grace are you saved, through faith in Christ; and only by His grace and faith in Him can you live a life of faith. That is the richest and most powerful legacy you can leave!
Just as the legacy of Jacob was one of faith in God, so let us think of an eternal legacy for our families, and not just a temporal legacy!