Jacob’s view of his life

Genesis Bible Background

01.20.2018 – Old Testament: Gen 47.7–10

To read the Bible in a year, read Genesis 46–48 on January 20, In the year of our Lord 2018

By Don Ruhl

Pharaoh was very impressed with Joseph and when the time arrived, Pharaoh gladly met Joseph’s father. It was obvious that Jacob was much older than Joseph. When Pharaoh met Jacob, Pharaoh asked how old the great patriarch was,

Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob and set him before Pharaoh; and Jacob blessed Pharaoh. Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How old are you?” And Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The days of the years of my pilgrimage are one hundred and thirty years; few and evil have been the days of the years of my life, and they have not attained to the days of the years of the life of my fathers in the days of their pilgrimage.” So Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh (Genesis 47.7–10).

Joseph was 39 when his father and Pharaoh met, and since Jacob was 130 at the time, that means Jacob was 91 when Joseph was born. Yet, Jacob’s view of his life he summarized as being “few and evil.” He saw his days as few in number because he compared them to the days of his father Isaac (he died at 180 years), and his grandfather Abraham (he died at 175 years). Perhaps he did the same thing with the quality of his days.

To me, 130 is not a few days, and he had 13 children, daughters-in-law and numerous grandchildren, all of whom loved him.


  • How would you summarize your life?
  • When you give that summary by what standard do you judge your life?

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