Genesis 46:34
Parallel Verses
New International Version
you should answer, 'Your servants have tended livestock from our boyhood on, just as our fathers did.' Then you will be allowed to settle in the region of Goshen, for all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians."

King James Bible
That ye shall say, Thy servants' trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.

Darby Bible Translation
then ye shall say, Thy servants are men that have been occupied with cattle from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers; in order that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians.

World English Bible
that you shall say, 'Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we, and our fathers:' that you may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians."

Young's Literal Translation
that ye have said, Thy servants have been men of cattle from our youth, even until now, both we and our fathers, -- in order that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen, for the abomination of the Egyptians is every one feeding a flock.'

Genesis 46:34 Parallel
Commentary
Clarke's Commentary on the Bible

Thy servants trade hath been about cattle - "The land of Goshen, called also the land of Rameses, lay east of the Nile, by which it was never overflowed, and was bounded by the mountains of the Thebaid on the south, by the Nile and Mediterranean on the west and north, and by the Red Sea and desert of Arabia on the east. It was the Heliopolitan nome or district, and its capital was called On. Its proper name was Geshen, the country of grass or pasturage, or of the shepherds, in opposition to the rest of the land which was sown after having been overflowed by the Nile." - Bruce. As this land was both fruitful and pleasant, Joseph wished to fix his family in that part of Egypt; hence he advises them to tell Pharaoh that their trade had been in cattle from their youth: and because every shepherd is an abomination to the Egyptians, hence he concluded that there would be less difficulty to get them quiet settlement in Goshen, as they would then be separated from the Egyptians, and consequently have the free use of all their religious customs. This scheme succeeded, and the consequence was the preservation both of their religion and their lives, though some of their posterity did afterwards corrupt themselves; see Ezekiel 20:8; Amos 5:26. As it is well known that the Egyptians had cattle and flocks themselves, and that Pharaoh even requested that some of Joseph's brethren should be made rulers over his cattle, how could it be said, as in Genesis 46:34, Every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians? Three reasons may be assigned for this:

1. Shepherds and feeders of cattle were usually a sort of lawless, free-booting bandits, frequently making inroads on villages, etc., carrying off cattle, and whatever spoils they could find. This might probably have been the case formerly, for it is well known it has often been the case since. On this account such persons must have been universally detested.

2. They must have abhorred shepherds if Manetho's account of the hycsos or king-shepherds can be credited. Hordes of marauders under this name, from Arabia, Syria, and Ethiopia, (whose chief occupation, like the Bedouin Arabs of the present day, was to keep flocks), made a powerful irruption into Egypt, which they subdued and ruled with great tyranny for 259 years. Now, though they had been expelled from that land some considerable time before this, yet their name, and all persons of a similar occupation, were execrated by the Egyptians, on account of the depredations and long-continued ravages they had committed in the country.

3. The last and probably the best reason why the Egyptians abhorred such shepherds as the Israelites were, was, they sacrificed those very animals, the ox particularly, and the Sheep, which the Egyptians held sacred. Hence the Roman historian Tacitus, speaking of the Jews, says: "Caeso Ariete velut in contumelia Ammonis; Bos quoque immolatur, quem Aegyptii Apim colunt." "They sacrifice the ram in order to insult Jupiter Ammon, and they sacrifice the ox, which the Egyptians worship under the name of Apis." Though some contend that this idolatry was not as yet established in Egypt, and that the king-shepherds were either after the time of Joseph, or that Manetho by them intends the Israelites themselves; yet, as the arguments by which these conjectures are supported are not sufficient to overthrow those which are brought for the support of the contrary opinions, and as there was evidently an established religion and priesthood in Egypt before Joseph's time, (for we find the priests had a certain portion of the land of Egypt which was held so sacred that Joseph did not attempt to buy it in the time of the famine, when he bought all the land which belonged to the people, Genesis 47:20-22), and as that established priesthood was in all likelihood idolatrous, and as the worship of Apis under the form of an ox was one of the most ancient forms of worship in Egypt, we may rest tolerably certain that it was chiefly on this account that the shepherds, or those who fed on and sacrificed these objects of their worship, were an abomination to the Egyptians. Calmet has entered into this subject at large, and to his notes I must refer those readers who wish for farther information. See Clarke on Genesis 43:32 (note).

On the principal subject of this chapter, the going down of Jacob and his family into Egypt, Bishop Warburton, in his Divine Legation of Moses, makes the following judicious reflections: "The promise God made to Abraham, to give his posterity the land of Canaan, could not be performed till that family was grown strong enough to take and keep possession of it. In the meantime, therefore, they were necessitated to reside among idolaters, and to reside unmixed; but whoever examines their history will see that the Israelites had ever a violent propensity to join themselves to Gentile nations, and practice their manners. God therefore, in his infinite wisdom, brought them into Egypt, and kept them there during this period, the only place where they could remain for so long a time safe and unconfounded with the natives, the ancient Egyptians being by numerous institutions forbidden all fellowship with strangers, and bearing besides a particular aversion to the profession of the Israelites, who were shepherds. Thus the natural dispositions of the Israelites, which in Egypt occasioned their superstitions, and in consequence the necessity of a burdensome ritual, would in any other country have absorbed them into Gentilism, and confounded them with idolaters. From the Israelites going into Egypt arises a new occasion to adore the footsteps of Eternal Wisdom in his dispensations to his chosen people."

Treasury of Scripture Knowledge

Thy servants.

Genesis 46:32 And the men are shepherds, for their trade has been to feed cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds...

Genesis 30:35 And he removed that day the he goats that were ringstraked and spotted, and all the she goats that were speckled and spotted...

Genesis 34:5 And Jacob heard that he had defiled Dinah his daughter: now his sons were with his cattle in the field...

Genesis 37:12 And his brothers went to feed their father's flock in Shechem.

for every. From the fragments of Manetho, preserved in Josephus and Africanus, it appears that hordes of marauders, call {hycassos}, or shepherd kings, whose chief occupation, like the Dedouin Arabs of the present dya, was to keep flocks, made a powerful irruption into Egypt, which they subdued, and ruled, by a succession of kings, with great tyranny for

259 years. Hence the persons, and even the very name of shepherds were execrated, and held in the greatest odium by the Egyptians.

Genesis 43:32 And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves...

Exodus 8:26 And Moses said, It is not meet so to do; for we shall sacrifice the abomination of the Egyptians to the LORD our God: see...

Library
Estimate of the Scope and Value of Jerome's Writings.
General. The writings of Jerome must be estimated not merely by their intrinsic merits, but by his historical position and influence. It has already been pointed out that he stands at the close of the old Græco-Roman civilisation: the last Roman poet of any repute, Claudian, and the last Roman historian, Ammianus Marcellinus, died before him. Augustin survived him, but the other great Fathers, both in the East and in the West, had passed away before him. The sack of Rome by Alaric (410) and
St. Jerome—The Principal Works of St. Jerome

The Hebrews and the Philistines --Damascus
THE ISRAELITES IN THE LAND OF CANAAN: THE JUDGES--THE PHILISTINES AND THE HEBREW KINGDOM--SAUL, DAVID, SOLOMON, THE DEFECTION OF THE TEN TRIBES--THE XXIst EGYPTIAN DYNASTY--SHESHONQ OR SHISHAK DAMASCUS. The Hebrews in the desert: their families, clans, and tribes--The Amorites and the Hebrews on the left bank of the Jordan--The conquest of Canaan and the native reaction against the Hebrews--The judges, Ehud, Deborah, Jerubbaal or Gideon and the Manassite supremacy; Abimelech, Jephihdh. The Philistines,
G. Maspero—History Of Egypt, Chaldaea, Syria, Babylonia, and Assyria, V 6

Cross References
Genesis 13:7
And quarreling arose between Abram's herders and Lot's. The Canaanites and Perizzites were also living in the land at that time.

Genesis 13:8
So Abram said to Lot, "Let's not have any quarreling between you and me, or between your herders and mine, for we are close relatives.

Genesis 26:20
But the herders of Gerar quarreled with those of Isaac and said, "The water is ours!" So he named the well Esek, because they disputed with him.

Genesis 37:2
This is the account of Jacob's family line. Joseph, a young man of seventeen, was tending the flocks with his brothers, the sons of Bilhah and the sons of Zilpah, his father's wives, and he brought their father a bad report about them.

Genesis 43:32
They served him by himself, the brothers by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves, because Egyptians could not eat with Hebrews, for that is detestable to Egyptians.

Genesis 45:10
You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me--you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have.

Genesis 45:18
and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.'

Jump to Previous
Abomination Cattle Dwell Egyptians Fathers Goshen Keepers Livestock Occupation Servants Shepherd Trade Youth
Jump to Next
Abomination Cattle Dwell Egyptians Fathers Goshen Keepers Livestock Occupation Servants Shepherd Trade Youth
Links
Genesis 46:34 NIV
Genesis 46:34 NLT
Genesis 46:34 ESV
Genesis 46:34 NASB
Genesis 46:34 KJV

Genesis 46:34 Bible Apps
Genesis 46:34 Biblia Paralela
Genesis 46:34 Chinese Bible
Genesis 46:34 French Bible
Genesis 46:34 German Bible

Genesis 46:34 Commentaries

THE HOLY BIBLE, NEW INTERNATIONAL VERSION®, NIV® Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica®.

Bible Hub
Genesis 46:33
Top of Page
Top of Page