In this portion we conclude the cycle of Jacob stories and the Book of Genesis. After 17 years in Egypt, Jacob feels that his end is approaching. He makes Joseph swear that he will bury him with his forebearers in the land of Israel, and he blesses Joseph’s children, Ephraim and Manasseh, thereby effectively elevating them to the status of Israelite tribes. Jacob then calls in all of his sons and delivers his testament in which he characterizes them and predicts what the future will bring each of them. Upon Jacob’s death, the brothers bury him in the Cave of Machpelah and return to Egypt where they beg Joseph’s forgiveness for the way they treated him. Joseph reassures them again that it was all part of God’s plan. The concluding verses remind us of God’s promise that the Israelites would return to the land of Canaan and prepare us to move in the Book of Exodus with its account of the enslavement and redemption.