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The Seven Year Famine

Intensifies & Sends the Egyptians Scrambling for Relief?

So therefore, the Egyptians would eventually run out of money to purchase grain with. And because of this, the Egyptians went to Joseph, and cried out: "Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is used up."

(Article Covers : Genesis 47:13-26)

Short Recap?

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In the last article, we'd learned how Joseph was able to get Pharaoh to agree, when it came to the Israelites settling from within the Goshen region. For the Sacred Record had revealed, that Joseph had a plan when it came to Goshen. And part of this plan, basically dealt with Joseph placing the Israelites from within the region, before he'd officially sought permission from Pharaoh.

Understand that this move on Joseph's part, was important -- for it would help to nudge Pharaoh, when it came to him finalizing the Goshen settlement for the Israelites.

For Joseph had believed, that if the Egyptian ruler had found that the Israelites were already settling from within the region, before they had asked his permission.

Joseph just knew, Pharaoh wouldn't be so quick to disrupt the Israelites efforts. I mean after all, if you're already there, and if you're already settling, then why not? But know that this was only one part of Joseph's plan, when it came to the Israelites settlement. For we would also find, that Joseph had also instructed his family, when it came to what they should exactly say, when they had finally come before Pharaoh.

And needless-to-say, as we would soon learn, Joseph's planned had worked to perfection. For we would find, that not only were the Israelites settling from within the Goshen region just like Joseph had planned -- but Joseph was able to get Pharaoh to make it official. Now the reason why it was important to get Pharaoh to make the Goshen settlement officially -- basically dealt, with keeping others from being able to force the Israelites, away from that location, outside of Pharaoh.

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Nonetheless -- Things Get Intense?

However that may have been... after all of this had occur, know that Joseph still had a job to do. For he was still "Zaphenath-Paneah the Revealer of Secrets" the prime minister of Egypt. And the reason why I'm bring this to your attention, deals with the fact -- we now find that the famine had worsened. And because of this, the people and the land, were now found to be without bread:

"Now there was no bread in all the land; for the famine was very severe, so that the land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine." -- Genesis 47:13

And because of this new level of intensity, when it came to the famine -- the Sacred Record reveals, that the people were found to be fainted. Now this basically meant, that their spirits were broken, for they no longer had encouraging thoughts, when it came to what "good" could possibly come, from out of this dreadful experience.

Know that they were no longer optimistic when it came to their overall situation, for they were now found to be pessimistic. And because of this, their thoughts were now given over to gloom, negativity and possibly that they might not survive.

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No More Money?

Now perhaps the reason why they had become so desperate, deals with the mere fact, that they were beginning to run out of money. For they no longer had the funds to be able to purchase more grain with. For the Sacred Scriptures would reveal, that Joseph had indeed, collected all the money that was to be found in all the land.

I also want you to know, that this collection process was done through the people buying the grain, and not by force. For I'd like to think, that it's important to know, that Joseph didn't take anything that wasn't given to him: "Joseph collected all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan in payment for the grain they were buying, and he brought it to Pharaoh's palace." -- Genesis 47:14

Notice how the passage reveals, that the money that Joseph was collecting, didn't go directly into his pocket -- but it went directly to Pharaoh's palace. Nonetheless, like I stated earlier, the Egyptians would eventually run out of money to purchase grain with. And because of this, the Egyptians would eventually go to Joseph, and cried out to him: "Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is used up." -- Genesis 47:15

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What About Your Livestock?

And after Joseph had heard their pleas and complaints, he responded by saying: "Then bring your livestock. I will sell you food, in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone." -- Genesis 47:16

And after hearing this, the Egyptians went away, in order to get their livestock. For they would do as Joseph had suggested, by trading their livestock to the Egyptian kingdom, in exchange for some grain. Understand that this new agreement between Joseph and the people, would end up lasting throughout that current year. For this would be how long it would take, for the people to run through the grain supply that they had traded their livestock for.

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Take Us and Our Land!

Now when the current year was over, and the Egyptians had once again ran out of grain, they approached Joseph once again saying:

"We cannot hide from our lord, the fact that since our money is gone; and our livestock belong to you, there is nothing left for our lord -- except our bodies and our land. Why should we perish before your eyes, we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land; will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed, so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate." -- Genesis 47:18,19

And after hearing this, Joseph would indeed, accept their new proposal. And because of this, he ended up buying all the land from within Egypt, for Pharaoh. For the Sacred Record reveals, that the Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields in return for some grain. And it's for this reason, that the land now belonged to Pharaoh. And after this had happened, Joseph would move the Egyptians into the cities -- which would be, from one end of the Egyptian border, to the other end.

Now I want you to know, that there are several reasons why Joseph did this. But since none of those reasons can be confirmed as "truth" and they may seem to be just speculative on my part -- I won't state them. But do understand, that this relocation campaign of the Egyptians, that was put forth by Joseph, would only be a temporary situation -- for Joseph knew that there was only one year left, before the seven year famine would end.

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Egyptian Priests -- Were Exempted?

Now as we move forward, the Sacred Record reveals that when it came to the Egyptian priests -- Joseph didn't buy their land. And the reason for this, dealt with the fact, that they were receiving a regular allotment from Pharaoh. And fortunately for them, they had enough food from that agreed upon allotment, that they were able to use that allotment, to help them to outlast the seven year famine. So therefore, this is why the Egyptian priest didn't have to sell their land.

Now just to be clear, know that these priests who were also known as: "magicians" or "wise-men" -- were the ones, who served and administered the worship ceremonies, when it came to the many different deities that the Egyptians were serving. I also want you to understand, that Joseph didn't approve of their religious beliefs, worship services or the false deities, that the Egyptians chose to serve.

I want you to know, that Joseph was simply being faithful, and dutiful, when it came to the position that he'd held from within the land, as Pharaoh's second-in-command. And so therefore, Joseph obeyed, and respected the orders, that had came down from Pharaoh.

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Required To Pay a Fifth of Your Crops?

However that may have been -- Joseph would have all the Egyptians to gather before him. And after they'd assembled before him, Joseph spoke these words:

"Now that I have brought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it -- to Pharaoh. The other four fifths, you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children." -- Genesis 47:23,24

NOTE: Now remember, the Egyptians were in the last year of the seven year famine, and this is why Joseph had given the Egyptians seeds for their crops at this time: " is seed for you so you can plant the ground." Now obviously, they wouldn't had been able to plant their seeds from within the cities, where Joseph had relocated them to -- so what they did instead, was to plant their crops out in the country, after the famine had finally lifted from the land.

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Joseph the Fair-Minded?

Now some would say, that Joseph was guilty of taking advantage of the Egyptians situation. But personally, I find a viewpoint of such, to be way off the mark. In fact, I find Joseph's actions, to be quite to the contrary? For I want you to notice what Joseph does next, when it comes to the agreement that he had just made with the Egyptians.

For he could have easily reversed the conditions, when it dealt with their payment for Pharaoh, by having the Egyptians pay four fifths to Pharaoh. And if this would have happened, this would have left the Egyptians with only a fifth to live on. But no! Joseph didn't do that, for he wasn't trying to take advantage of them -- he was simply trying to help them.

And actually, the Egyptians knew this to be so, for this is why we find them responding to Joseph's proposal, in a very positive way: "You have saved our lives. May we find favor in the eyes of our lord? We will be in bondage to Pharaoh." -- Genesis 47:25

Now after the people had said this, Joseph made the new land agreement law: "So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt — still in force today—that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh’s." -- Genesis 47:26

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Added Insight -- Jewish Historian -- Josephus?

Now let's take a quick look, at what the renowned Jewish historian Josephus records, after the famine had lifted:

"But when this misery ceased, and the river overflowed the ground, and the ground brought forth its fruits plentifully, Joseph came to every city, and gathered the people thereto belonging together, and gave them back entirely the land which, by their own consent, the king might have possessed alone, and alone enjoyed the fruits of it. 

"He also exhorted them to look on it as everyone's own possession, and to fall to their husbandry (farming) with cheerfulness; and to pay, as a tribute to the king, the fifth part of the fruits of the land which the king, when it was his own, restored to them. These men rejoiced upon their becoming unexpectedly owners of their lands, and diligently observed what was enjoined them; and by this means Joseph procured to himself a greater authority among the Egyptians, and greater love to the king from them." -- The Renowned Jewish Historian: ~Josephus~

In the next Bible Study Online Article:

Now that the famine is about to lift from the land, the Holy Scriptures begins to turn our attention back towards the record that dealt with the Israelites. And it's at this time, that we begin approaching the very last days of Jacob's life. For we find, the great patriarch asking his son Joseph to promise him something. What is that promise? And will Joseph be able to up hold it?

May God blessings be upon you, and thank you for your support

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Jacob - The Path of Uncertainty

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Joseph the Favorite Son

Joseph the Overseer of Egypt


Bible Study Online -- Continue Reading the Current Series:

100) The Unveiling of Joseph

101) Joseph's Great Advantage

102) Jacob the Stunned & Delighted

103) Jacob the Great Israel

104) Father and Son Reunited

105) Israel's Blessing to Pharaoh


107) The Promise Between Father & Son

108) Jacob Becomes Ill

109) Jacob Adds Manasseh and Ephraim

110) Jacob Places Ephraim Before Manasseh

111) Joseph's Expectation and Disappointment

112) The Promise Covenant with Humanity

113) The Prophecy of Reuben, Simeon and Levi

114) The Prophecy of Judah

115) The Tribe of Kings

116) Representation of the Scepter

117) The Importance of the Sanhedrin

118) The Gathering of the People

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