New Defender's Study Bible Notes
47:9 an hundred and thirty years. Jacob died at 147 (Genesis 47:28), whereas Isaac had lived to 180, Abraham to 175, and Terah to 205. Their distant ancestor Shem lived to age 600. Life-spans were still declining after the traumatic changes of the great Flood and would continue to do so until about the time of Moses.
47:9 days of their pilgrimage. Jacob considered his life on earth to be merely a “pilgrimage,” like that of his fathers. Though not much is said about it, they evidently recognized their eternal home would be with God. “These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth” (Hebrews 11:13).
47:10 Jacob blessed Pharaoh. It is significant that “Jacob blessed Pharaoh,” not the other way around. Even though Pharaoh was probably the greatest king on earth at the time, “without all contradiction the less is blessed of the better” (Hebrews 7:7), and in God’s sight, Jacob was the greatest man of his generation.
47:26 the fifth part. In effect, the people became Pharaoh’s “servants” merely in the sense that Joseph established a “flat tax” of twenty percent of their income that would go to the government. Otherwise, they still had full control over their individual property. The government provided seed for their use, and presumably all the standard government services. Furthermore, these governmental regulations as established by Joseph had literally “saved their lives” (Genesis 47:25). Their enforced savings during the seven years of prosperity had not only enabled them to survive the seven years of famine but also to help other nations as well. “Saving for a rainy day” has always been good policy, for individuals and for nations.