Genesis 46 – Skeptic's Annotated Bible answered

A response and reply to the notes on Genesis 46 in the Skeptic's Annotated Bible (SAB).

King James Version

SAB comment

My comment

1 And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beer-sheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.

2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.

(46:2) "And God spake unto Israel ... and said, Jacob, Jacob."
God calls Jacob Jacob, though he said in Genesis 32:28 and 35:10 that he would no longer be called Jacob but Israel.
What chapter 32:28 says is that Jacob would not be called Jacob only.

3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:

4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.

(46:4) "I will surely bring thee up again."
God promises to bring Jacob safely back from Egypt, but Jacob dies in Egypt (Genesis 47:28-29)
The phrase “bring thee” means that God would bring back his seed. God promised to Jacob that although he and his seed would go to Egypt, they would not stay there permanently.

5 And Jacob rose up from Beer-sheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.

6 And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him:

7 His sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt.

8 And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn.

9 And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi.

10 And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman.

11 And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

(46:11) "The sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari."
Was Mahli the son of Levi?

12 And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zarah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul.

13 And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron.

14 And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel.

15 These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padan-aram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three.

The number mentioned here is the number of Leah's descendants excluding the two who died, Er and Onan as they did not come into Egypt, but also including Jacob as he is expressly mentioned at the start of this account, see verse 8.

16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.

17 And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel.

18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls.

19 The sons of Rachel Jacob’s wife; Joseph, and Benjamin.

20 And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Poti-pherah priest of On bare unto him.

(46:20) "And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him."
Will God destroy those that intermarry?
The author of the SAB confuses commands forbidding marriage with specific nations as a general command not to intermarry. See Ex. 34:16.

21 And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard.

(46:21) "The sons of Benjamin"
There are four lists of Benjamin's sons in the Bible, and none of them agree. This one lists ten sons, Num.26:38-40, 1 Chronicles 7:6 lists three, and 1 Chronicles 8:1-2 lists five. Only one son (Bela) is found in all four lists.
Who were the sons of Benjamin?
Were Naamn and Ard the sons or grandsons of Benjamin?
How old was Benjamin when his clan migrated to Egypt?
On the sons of Benjamin, this verse gives the complete list, other verses give only summaries. See also 1 Chr. 7:6.
On Naamn and Ard, this chapter and this verse makes it clear they were sons, because if they were not, they would be specifically listed so, as for example in verse 17. On the two sons of Bela, also named Ard and Naaman, see Num. 26:40.
On how old Benjamin was when his clan migrated, see chapter 44:20.

22 These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen.

23 And the sons of Dan; Hushim.

24 And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem.

25 These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven.

26 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six;

The number 66 is 32 children through Leah (two had died already, see verse 15), 16 through Zipla, 14 through Rachel and 7 through Bilhah, which make 69, and subtracting Joseph and his two sons already in Egypt. See Acts 7:14 for a detailed breakdown.

27 And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.

(46:27) "All the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten."
How many were in Jacob's family when they came into Egypt?
To the 66 direct descendants of the preceding verse (verse 26) that came into Egypt, the writer now gives the number of Joseph's descendants who were in Egypt after the arrival: that's the preceding 66 + Joseph, his two sons and Jacob himself.
See Acts 7:14 on the supposed contradiction.

28 And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.

29 And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.

30 And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.

31 And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father’s house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father’s house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me;

32 And the men are shepherds, for their trade hath been to feed cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.

33 And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation?

34 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.