a. Israel settles and grows. The final section of our chapter begins the end of the story which will spread across the next few chapters until the end of the book. In Egypt, Israel settled and they gained possessions in it. If it were not for Joseph their possessions and possibly their lives would have been forfeit. But in Egypt, in the land of affliction, they are blessed by God. You notice the contrast here, don’t you? The Egyptians gave all of their money, possessions, land, and their service to Pharaoh while Israel gained possessions and they were fruitful and multiplied. As Moses uses this phrase our minds go back to the first use, where God commanded Adam and Eve to be fruitful and multiply. After the flood, Noah’s family was to be fruitful and multiply. Here again, at a new beginning, Israel was to be fruitful and multiply. We can’t help from seeing that God is a covenant or promise-keeping God. Time and the people have changed but God’s promises have continued on. b. Jacob spends 17 years in Egypt. Jacob would spend 17 years in the land of Goshen and would not return alive to Canaan. He was 147 years old when he died. Now the famine only lasted until Jacob’s 135th year. Why did he not return to Canaan? I refer you back to Hebrews 11. “These all died in faith, not having received the things promised, but having seen them and greeted them from afar, and having acknowledged that they were strangers and exiles on the earth. 14 For people who speak thus make it clear that they are seeking a homeland. 15 If they had been thinking of that land from which they had gone out, they would have had opportunity to return. 16 But as it is, they desire a better country, that is, a heavenly one. Therefore God is not ashamed to be called their God, for he has prepared for them a city.” c. Jacob’s funeral preparations. Finally, we jump some time ahead and we have a scene from Jacob’s life as his health is beginning to decline. Jacob begins to set his affairs in order. He calls Joseph to him and makes him swear an oath in the same way that Abraham made his servant swear, by placing his hand under his thigh. He makes Joseph swear that he would not be buried in Egypt but in the cave a Machpelah where Abraham and Isaac were laid to rest. Though we might have had our doubts of Jacob’s trust and faith in God over the years we find him here, nearing his death, worshipping God. “Then Israel bowed himself upon the head of his bed or staff.” The Septuagint says staff which is what the writer of Hebrews cites when he says the Jacob bowed in worship over the head of his staff. God has been faithful to Jacob all these years and Jacob enters the last days of his life worshipping his Lord. May this be true of all of us when death comes for us. May we be found to be worshipping our Lord.