But... everyone was still able to eat...


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Genesis 47:13 There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine. 14 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. 15 When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said, “Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is all gone.”
16 “Then bring your livestock,” said Joseph. “I will sell you food in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone.” 17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with food in exchange for all their livestock.
18 When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 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.”
20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other. 22 However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.
23 Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. 24 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.”
25 “You have saved our lives,” they said. “May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.”
26 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.
27 Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.
28 Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven. 29 When the time drew near for Israel to die, he called for his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor in your eyes, put your hand under my thigh and promise that you will show me kindness and faithfulness. Do not bury me in Egypt, 30 but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.”
“I will do as you say,” he said.
31 “Swear to me,” he said. Then Joseph swore to him, and Israel worshiped as he leaned on the top of his staff.
Here's that link for the commentary I read.

The commentary is not to focused on the verses in this part of Genesis. He mentions the tax of 20% or 1/5 of what the land produces, but he doesn't address the elephant in the room.

The verse says "still in force today". Well, it might have been in force when the Book of Genesis was sent off to the printer, but what about today, today?

The tax structure has apparently changed in Egypt. According to my google search, the tax % is now 27.5%.

This is from the commentary...

In the harvest that you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh: Joseph wasn’t unfair. He fed the people when they would have starved, and in return asked for one-fifth (20%) annually from the produce of the land. Many people today would be happy with only 20% in total taxes.​

This part of the Bible plagues me.
  • The people in Egypt had enough for quite a while... but soon, they ran out of money, so Joseph took their livestock in exchange.
  • When their livestock ran out, they sold their land.
  • When their land was gone... They were still able to eat, but they had to work the land and give back 20% of what they grew.
But... everyone was still able to eat....

Anyway, this is about how Joseph got the people of Egypt through the famine. First, they ate their own crops, then they traded cash, then they traded livestock, and then they traded land. I guess once they traded their livestock, they needed a little less because they didn't have the livestock to feed.

But... everyone was still able to eat...

Jacob [Israel] was about to kick the bucket, as we say, and Jacob made Joseph promise to bury him back in Canaan. I wonder if Jacob's brother, Esau, will show up at the funeral.

But... everyone was still able to eat...


By the way, yesterday's study kept plaguing me. Pharaoh thought he was God. It bugged me that Jacob got away with the blessing of Pharaoh. I think it had to do with the comma in the sentence. "God Bless You" said with a comma would become "God, bless you". Pharaoh probably figured Jacob was just saying "bless you" not "may my God bless you". That's how I figure Pharaoh let Jacob call on God to bless Pharaoh, in spite of Pharaoh's delusion of grandeur.