28 Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. When they arrived in the region of Goshen, 29 Joseph had his chariot made ready and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. As soon as Joseph appeared before him, he threw his arms around his father[h] and wept for a long time.
30 Israel said to Joseph, “Now I am ready to die, since I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”
31 Then Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and speak to Pharaoh and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were living in the land of Canaan, have come to me. 32 The men are shepherds; they tend livestock, and they have brought along their flocks and herds and everything they own.’ 33 When Pharaoh calls you in and asks, ‘What is your occupation?’ 34 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.”
47 Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and brothers, with their flocks and herds and everything they own, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in Goshen.” 2 He chose five of his brothers and presented them before Pharaoh.
3 Pharaoh asked the brothers, “What is your occupation?”
“Your servants are shepherds,” they replied to Pharaoh, “just as our fathers were.” 4 They also said to him, “We have come to live here for a while, because the famine is severe in Canaan and your servants’ flocks have no pasture. So now, please let your servants settle in Goshen.”
5 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you, 6 and the land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock.”
‘So Jacob came to Egypt, no longer feeling old.’ Or so goes the song at the conclusion of ‘Joseph and the amazing technicolour dream coat.’ Personally, ‘I’m not sure about the ‘no longer feeling old’ bit, but I get the sentiment the song is wanting to convey. What a touching scene in 46:29. After years of separation, the father and beloved son were reunited.
Although this is more implicit than explicit, I think we are meant to see God’s providence in that Jacob’s family were settled in “Goshen”, away from the general Egyptian populace. Here they could grow, and keep their culture and customs. It enabled them to maintain their distinctive identity. In this place they would prosper and thrive, and have opportunities to employ their gifts. Oh, and by the way, Goshen was no slum:
“…settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land. Let them live in Goshen” (6a).
We go on to read in verses 11, 12:
“So Joseph settled his father and his brothers in Egypt and gave them property in the best part of the land, the district of Rameses, as Pharaoh directed. Joseph also provided his father and his brothers and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their children.”
They had all the space they needed to grow and develop. Their needs were generously taken care of.
We may trust God with the details – great and small. He knows where He wants us and He will provide.