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Author Topic: A Journey Thru Genesis  (Read 3610 times)

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Bladerunner

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #312 on: September 19, 2019, 06:51:04 pm »
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● Gen 43:31-32 . .Then he washed his face and came out; and regaining his composure, said: Serve the food. So they set him a place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat food with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.

Apparently the brothers didn't think anything of Joseph eating alone. Maybe they just thought (as common Egyptian culture dictated) the other Egyptians were too far below their host to be considered worthy of an invitation to sit at his table. In their minds, to do so would have been fraternization; viz: associating with people of lower official rank; thus implying that they were equal in worth.


NOTE: If the steward had told them Joseph was a Hebrew, I wonder how Jacob's sons would have reacted to that?

● Gen 43:33 . . And they were seated before him, the firstborn according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth; and the men looked in astonishment at one another.

Reuben was the natural firstborn; but due to his incestuous tryst with Bilhah (Gen 35:22) Jacob transferred the position to Joseph (1Chrn 5:1). However, seeing as how Joseph wasn't seated with his brothers, then what would've been his position around the table defaulted to Reuben.

The seating arrangement wasn't at the brothers' discretion. It was totally under their host's control and that's why they were all so amazed. According to permutation, the odds of seating the 11 men according to their respective ages by coincidence is like 39,917,000 : 1

Since they had no reason to believe that Joseph knew any more about their family other than what they had already told him, perhaps at this point they suspected he was either clairvoyant or else blessed with an amazing degree of intuition; and they would have certainly been correct on that account even if circumstances had been different because any man with the ability to correctly interpret dreams should have no trouble figuring out birth orders.


NOTE: A Jewish Midrash (Genesis Rabba 92:5) has Joseph pretending to "divine" their seating order by means of his special silver goblet-- a key item coming up in just a few more verses.

● Gen 43:34 . .Then he took servings to them from before him, but Benjamin's serving was five times as much as any of theirs. So they imbibed and were merry with him.

Every time I read that passage, my mind, like a knee-jerk reflex, instantly fantasizes a really hulking, heaping, ranch-size platter of vittles placed before Benjamin like is so often seen at buffets. Instead of making more than one trip to the food bars, there's invariably at least one person who piles everything they'll ever want onto just one plate, like Mt. Vesuvius, and then does a delicate balancing act while cautiously maneuvering their way to a table.

But a 5x serving isn't eo ipso a large amount; it would really depend upon the size of a standard portion. And if the food was served a' la carte, then five standard portions of just one item wouldn't necessarily take on the appearance of a banquet. Gourmet foods, especially, are typically small presentations that would barely qualify as an hors d'oeuvre to a strapping man like an ice-road trucker or a Pacific northwest logger. Five servings of gourmet food to one of those guys would amount to little more than an appetizer. But the point is: Benny's plate contained quite a bit more than his brothers' and that had to raise some curious eyebrows.


NOTE: The Hebrew word for "merry" is shakar (shaw-kar') which means to become tipsy; in a qualified sense, to satiate with a stimulating drink or (figuratively) influence; which indicates that the beverage Joseph's brothers were served had alcohol in it.
_


still at it.
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #313 on: September 20, 2019, 08:06:16 am »
.
● Gen 44:1-2 . .Then he instructed his house steward as follows: Fill the men's bags with food, as much as they can carry, and put each one's money in the mouth of his bag. Put my silver goblet in the mouth of the bag of the youngest one, together with his money for the rations. And he did as Joseph told him.

When the brothers threw Joseph into that pit back in chapter 37, they fully intended to leave him there to die; all alone. So it makes sense that Joseph would want to gauge their reaction to his kid brother Benjamin being placed in a similar danger. Would they do to Benjamin what they had done to Joseph? . . . just leave him in Egypt to rot in a dungeon while they went back home to comfort and safety?

● Gen 44:3-5 . . As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way with their burros. They had not gone far from the city when Joseph said to his steward: Go after those men at once, and when you catch up with them, say to them "Why have you repaid good with evil? Isn't this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for divination? This is a wicked thing you have done."

Divination cups were usually made out of silver and adorned with symbols, spells, and religious phrases; and oftentimes the owner's name was inscribed on it too. Divining cups were a kind of crystal ball for determining future events or solving current mysteries. I would suspect that Joseph's divination cup was a personal gift from his father-in-law Mr. Poti-phera; priest of On.

Diviners used their goblets in various ways. Some read surface patterns when a few drops of one liquid (e.g. oil) was dripped into a second liquid (e.g. water). Others divined by the movement of objects floating upon, or sinking within, the goblet's contents. Others yet studied the patterns that particles of gold formed when they settled to the bottom.

● Gen 44:6-8 . .When he caught up with them, he repeated these words to them. But they said to him: Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do anything like that! We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the silver we found inside the mouths of our sacks. So why would we steal silver or gold from your master's house?

The brothers' appeal to reason was of course a waste of righteous passion. It's well known that kleptomaniacs suffer a persistent neurotic impulse to steal without economic motive to do so. Booty to them is like blood to a vampire; viz: just the sight of it excites. Every once in a while, a famous celebrity gets caught shoplifting and we're all amazed that a millionaire would stoop to such a petty crime.

● Gen 44:9 . . If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die; and the rest of us will become my lord's slaves.

The brothers' rash response evidences their complete confidence that there is just no way on God's green earth that any of them would ever steal anything at all; let alone from an Egyptian big shot's home. Many a poker player has lost it all on just one hand with that kind of confidence. Sometimes, you just can't tell what the other guy is holding; and in this case, the situation is a stacked deck.

● Gen 44:10 . .Very well, then; he said; let it be as you say. Whoever is found to have it will become my slave; the rest of you will be free from blame.

Either the steward wasn't listening, or he was instructed to say just exactly those words. They all volunteered to enslave themselves, but he'll settle on just the one who allegedly took the goblet, and it's because Joseph wants to gauge the elder brothers' reaction to his own kid brother's danger. If they failed to prove themselves honorable men, then I really think Joseph planned to harbor Benjamin and dispatch an escort for his father; but permanently bar the brothers from ever returning to Egypt. They would just have to make do on their own the best as they could till the famine was over regardless of their blood kinship.

● Gen 44:11-13 . . So each one hastened to lower his bag to the ground, and each one opened his bag. He searched, beginning with the oldest and ending with the youngest; and the goblet turned up in Benjamin's bag. At this they rent their clothes. Each reloaded his pack animal, and they returned to the city.

"they" didn't really have to go back; Joseph's steward had already pre-released them. But surprise of surprises; instead of leaving Benny to rot in slavery like they had done to his big brother many years previously, they accompany him back to Egypt.

This turn of events wasn't due to a sincere concern for Benny's safety. As it turned out, the real concern was for their father Jacob and how he would handle the loss of yet another of Rachel's babies.
_

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #314 on: September 21, 2019, 08:01:07 am »
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● Gen 44:14-17 . .When Judah and his brothers re-entered the house of Joseph, who was still there, they threw themselves on the ground before him. Joseph said to them: What is this deed that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me practices divination?

. . . Judah replied: What can we say to my lord? How can we plead, how can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered the crime of your servants. Here we are, then, slaves of my lord, the rest of us as much as he in whose possession the goblet was found. But he replied: Far be it from me to act thus! Only he in whose possession the goblet was found shall be my slave; the rest of you go back in peace to your father.

Surely Jacob wouldn't blame the older boys for the loss, since he was fully aware of the risks involved when he sent his sons back to Egypt for food; and the evidence against Benjamin made it appear he had no one to blame but himself for getting into trouble. And this time, the men wouldn't have to fake a death like they did Joseph's. It was a perfect situation; and I really think Joseph fully expected them to take advantage of Benjamin's plight and go back home without Joseph's brother; clapping themselves on the back for their good fortune at ridding themselves of yet one more "favorite" sibling.

I can only imagine Joseph's surprise to see them all, to a man, including the Terrible Trio-- Rueben, Simeon, and Levi --following his steward home with their clothing ripped, and their heads hung low with fear and anxiety.

Then, as if that wasn't surprise enough; Judah steps forward and pins the blame, not on Benjamin, but on all eleven of their own selves; thus demonstrating a degree of solidarity that I have no doubt Joseph had never before seen among his prone-to-rivalry elder brothers. Instead of asking how can Benjamin prove "his" innocence, Judah asks how can "we" prove "our" innocence. So then, Benjamin's alleged guilt is the whole family's guilt, rather than an individual matter; and in point of fact, it is a national matter too because those twelve men (counting Joseph) as a unit, represented the blossoming nation of Israel.

● Gen 44:18 . .Then Judah went up to him and said: Please, my lord, let your servant appeal to my lord, and do not be impatient with your servant, you who are the equal of Pharaoh.

Joseph didn't dispute Judah on the matter of being the equal of Pharaoh. Not that he was a pharaoh; but that to Egypt's people, Joseph was as close to being the actual pharaoh as anybody under a pharaoh could possibly get. Compare Dan 7:13-13 where a human being is honored with the powers of God; so that God's subjects have to bend the knee to that highly exalted man just as if he were God in person. (cf. Ps 110:1 and Php 2:9-11)

● Gen 44:19-34 . . My lord asked his servants: Have you a father or another brother? We told my lord: We have an old father, and there is a child of his old age, the youngest; his full brother is dead, so that he alone is left of his mother, and his father dotes on him. Then you said to your servants: Bring him down to me, that I may set eyes on him. We said to my lord: The boy cannot leave his father; if he were to leave him, his father would die. But you said to your servants: Unless your youngest brother comes down, you will not see my face.

. . .When we came back to your servant my father, we reported my lord's words to him. Later our father said: Go back and procure some food for us. We answered: We cannot go down; only if our youngest brother is with us can we go down, for we may not see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us.

. . .Your servant my father said to us: As you know, my wife bore me two sons. But one is gone from me, and I said: Alas, he was torn by a beast! And I have not seen him since. If you take this one from me, too, and he meets with disaster, you will send my white head down to death in sorrow.

. . . Now, if I come to your servant my father and the boy is not with us-- since his own life is so bound up with his --when he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will send the white head of your servant our father down to death in grief. Now your servant has pledged himself for the boy to my father, saying: If I do not bring him back to you, I shall stand guilty before my father forever.

. . .Therefore, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord instead of the boy, and let the boy go back with his brothers. For how can I go back to my father unless the boy is with me? Let me not be witness to the woe that would overtake my father!

Judah's impassioned plea isn't for Benjamin's sake, but for the sake of his father. That is an incredible turn-around since nobody seemed to care much about Jacob's feelings back in chapter 37 when they all to a man manipulated their dad into concluding Joseph was mauled to death by a wild animal.
_

Bladerunner

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #315 on: September 21, 2019, 08:32:53 pm »
.
● Gen 44:14-17 . .When Judah and his brothers re-entered the house of Joseph, who was still there, they threw themselves on the ground before him. Joseph said to them: What is this deed that you have done? Do you not know that a man like me practices divination?

. . . Judah replied: What can we say to my lord? How can we plead, how can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered the crime of your servants. Here we are, then, slaves of my lord, the rest of us as much as he in whose possession the goblet was found. But he replied: Far be it from me to act thus! Only he in whose possession the goblet was found shall be my slave; the rest of you go back in peace to your father.

Surely Jacob wouldn't blame the older boys for the loss, since he was fully aware of the risks involved when he sent his sons back to Egypt for food; and the evidence against Benjamin made it appear he had no one to blame but himself for getting into trouble. And this time, the men wouldn't have to fake a death like they did Joseph's. It was a perfect situation; and I really think Joseph fully expected them to take advantage of Benjamin's plight and go back home without Joseph's brother; clapping themselves on the back for their good fortune at ridding themselves of yet one more "favorite" sibling.

I can only imagine Joseph's surprise to see them all, to a man, including the Terrible Trio-- Rueben, Simeon, and Levi --following his steward home with their clothing ripped, and their heads hung low with fear and anxiety.

Then, as if that wasn't surprise enough; Judah steps forward and pins the blame, not on Benjamin, but on all eleven of their own selves; thus demonstrating a degree of solidarity that I have no doubt Joseph had never before seen among his prone-to-rivalry elder brothers. Instead of asking how can Benjamin prove "his" innocence, Judah asks how can "we" prove "our" innocence. So then, Benjamin's alleged guilt is the whole family's guilt, rather than an individual matter; and in point of fact, it is a national matter too because those twelve men (counting Joseph) as a unit, represented the blossoming nation of Israel.

● Gen 44:18 . .Then Judah went up to him and said: Please, my lord, let your servant appeal to my lord, and do not be impatient with your servant, you who are the equal of Pharaoh.

Joseph didn't dispute Judah on the matter of being the equal of Pharaoh. Not that he was a pharaoh; but that to Egypt's people, Joseph was as close to being the actual pharaoh as anybody under a pharaoh could possibly get. Compare Dan 7:13-13 where a human being is honored with the powers of God; so that God's subjects have to bend the knee to that highly exalted man just as if he were God in person. (cf. Ps 110:1 and Php 2:9-11)

● Gen 44:19-34 . . My lord asked his servants: Have you a father or another brother? We told my lord: We have an old father, and there is a child of his old age, the youngest; his full brother is dead, so that he alone is left of his mother, and his father dotes on him. Then you said to your servants: Bring him down to me, that I may set eyes on him. We said to my lord: The boy cannot leave his father; if he were to leave him, his father would die. But you said to your servants: Unless your youngest brother comes down, you will not see my face.

. . .When we came back to your servant my father, we reported my lord's words to him. Later our father said: Go back and procure some food for us. We answered: We cannot go down; only if our youngest brother is with us can we go down, for we may not see the man's face unless our youngest brother is with us.

. . .Your servant my father said to us: As you know, my wife bore me two sons. But one is gone from me, and I said: Alas, he was torn by a beast! And I have not seen him since. If you take this one from me, too, and he meets with disaster, you will send my white head down to death in sorrow.

. . . Now, if I come to your servant my father and the boy is not with us-- since his own life is so bound up with his --when he sees that the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will send the white head of your servant our father down to death in grief. Now your servant has pledged himself for the boy to my father, saying: If I do not bring him back to you, I shall stand guilty before my father forever.

. . .Therefore, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord instead of the boy, and let the boy go back with his brothers. For how can I go back to my father unless the boy is with me? Let me not be witness to the woe that would overtake my father!

Judah's impassioned plea isn't for Benjamin's sake, but for the sake of his father. That is an incredible turn-around since nobody seemed to care much about Jacob's feelings back in chapter 37 when they all to a man manipulated their dad into concluding Joseph was mauled to death by a wild animal.
_


You said:"; and I really think Joseph fully expected them to take advantage of Benjamin's plight "

You got to be kidding me?
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #316 on: September 22, 2019, 07:52:52 am »
.
● Gen 45:1-2 . . Joseph could stand it no longer. Out, all of you! he cried out to his attendants. He wanted to be alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. Then he broke down and wept aloud. His sobs were so loud that the Egyptians could hear, and so the news reached Pharaoh's palace.

The brothers have repeatedly proven their integrity, their family unity, and their filial loyalty. Joseph could gain nothing more conclusive than Judah's impassioned plea by additional stratagems; and by now, his own emotional tension was becoming overwhelming; even for a big strong man like himself, and it was all he could do to order his entourage out of the room before totally losing his composure right in front of everybody.

I can well imagine the shock and confusion that Joseph's housekeeping staff must have felt when their normally rock steady, no-monkey-business master broke down and began sobbing like a little girl who just lost her favorite Barbie down the garbage disposal. They had probably never once seen the second highest man in Egypt make an open display of emotion like this before; and the palace grapevine was instantly abuzz about it.

● Gen 45:3a . . I am Joseph: he said to his brothers. Is my father still alive?

That question is so unnecessary that it makes no sense he would even ask. The brothers had mentioned Joseph's dad no less than fourteen times up to this point. Reading between the lines, and given the stress of the moment, what Joseph actually said was: Is my father really, really still alive!? And I don't think he asked that question of his brothers; but of himself; like a lottery winner who asks themselves: I won!? Me!?

I think, that as the years in Egypt accumulated, Joseph had given up his dad for dead and fully expected never to see him again. The news of Jacob's continuing existence has been just beyond belief, and way too good to be true. No doubt some of us feel very strongly that the world would be a much better place to be rid of our own dads; but not Joseph. He enjoyed a normal relationship at home, and was in fact his own dad's favorite son over all the others.

Joseph was a very fortunate man to have lived with a dad who filled his developing years with love, nurturing, attention, and acceptance. Some of us, your host included, have no clue what that must be like; and never will. I've seen a report online indicating that upwards of 80% of prison inmates were victims of child abuse. Following are some interesting "father" facts.

Only about 50% of America's kids will spend their entire childhood in an intact family. 24,000,000 children in America sleep in homes where their natural fathers do not live.

Approximately half of the kids in the United States will live in a single parent home at some point before the age of 18.

Nationally, 40% of kids whose fathers live outside the home have zero contact with them. The other 60 percent have contact an average of just 69 days during the year.

Kids from father-absent homes are 5x more likely to live in poverty, 3x more likely to fail in school, 2 to 3x more likely to develop emotional and behavioral problems, and 3x more likely to commit suicide.

Up to 70% of adolescents charged with murder are from fatherless homes; and up to 70% of long-term prison inmates grew up in a fatherless home.

People like that can't be expected to connect with Joseph's feelings for his dad. Reading this section in Genesis is about as emotional an experience for them as reading the Wall Street Journal. I'm not criticizing; I'm only pointing out that it's difficult for some people to relate to this section of Genesis all because they were emotionally mangled in the meat grinder of an affection-starved childhood.


NOTE: The physical growth of thousands of North Korean children is being stunted by malnutrition; while here in America where our cities' homeless eat like kings in comparison, the emotional development of thousands of children is being stunted by filial neglect and indifference. I really don't know whom to say is the worse off . . NK children or US children.

● Gen 45:3b . . But his brothers could not answer him, for his sudden emergence was making them palpitate.

I think part of their internal shivering was due to the fact that they instantly realized that this man, whom they assumed was a foreigner, knew their language and perfectly understood everything they had been discussing in his presence all along. Coupled with that was their instant terror that their long-lost kid brother was in a pretty good position for revenge: to do unto them as they had done unto him. And the brothers were utterly powerless to prevent him from doing so.
_

Bladerunner

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #317 on: September 22, 2019, 10:45:02 am »
.
● Gen 45:1-2 . . Joseph could stand it no longer. Out, all of you! he cried out to his attendants. He wanted to be alone with his brothers when he told them who he was. Then he broke down and wept aloud. His sobs were so loud that the Egyptians could hear, and so the news reached Pharaoh's palace.

The brothers have repeatedly proven their integrity, their family unity, and their filial loyalty. Joseph could gain nothing more conclusive than Judah's impassioned plea by additional stratagems; and by now, his own emotional tension was becoming overwhelming; even for a big strong man like himself, and it was all he could do to order his entourage out of the room before totally losing his composure right in front of everybody.

I can well imagine the shock and confusion that Joseph's housekeeping staff must have felt when their normally rock steady, no-monkey-business master broke down and began sobbing like a little girl who just lost her favorite Barbie down the garbage disposal. They had probably never once seen the second highest man in Egypt make an open display of emotion like this before; and the palace grapevine was instantly abuzz about it.

● Gen 45:3a . . I am Joseph: he said to his brothers. Is my father still alive?

That question is so unnecessary that it makes no sense he would even ask. The brothers had mentioned Joseph's dad no less than fourteen times up to this point. Reading between the lines, and given the stress of the moment, what Joseph actually said was: Is my father really, really still alive!? And I don't think he asked that question of his brothers; but of himself; like a lottery winner who asks themselves: I won!? Me!?

I think, that as the years in Egypt accumulated, Joseph had given up his dad for dead and fully expected never to see him again. The news of Jacob's continuing existence has been just beyond belief, and way too good to be true. No doubt some of us feel very strongly that the world would be a much better place to be rid of our own dads; but not Joseph. He enjoyed a normal relationship at home, and was in fact his own dad's favorite son over all the others.

Joseph was a very fortunate man to have lived with a dad who filled his developing years with love, nurturing, attention, and acceptance. Some of us, your host included, have no clue what that must be like; and never will. I've seen a report online indicating that upwards of 80% of prison inmates were victims of child abuse. Following are some interesting "father" facts.

Only about 50% of America's kids will spend their entire childhood in an intact family. 24,000,000 children in America sleep in homes where their natural fathers do not live.

Approximately half of the kids in the United States will live in a single parent home at some point before the age of 18.

Nationally, 40% of kids whose fathers live outside the home have zero contact with them. The other 60 percent have contact an average of just 69 days during the year.

Kids from father-absent homes are 5x more likely to live in poverty, 3x more likely to fail in school, 2 to 3x more likely to develop emotional and behavioral problems, and 3x more likely to commit suicide.

Up to 70% of adolescents charged with murder are from fatherless homes; and up to 70% of long-term prison inmates grew up in a fatherless home.

People like that can't be expected to connect with Joseph's feelings for his dad. Reading this section in Genesis is about as emotional an experience for them as reading the Wall Street Journal. I'm not criticizing; I'm only pointing out that it's difficult for some people to relate to this section of Genesis all because they were emotionally mangled in the meat grinder of an affection-starved childhood.


NOTE: The physical growth of thousands of North Korean children is being stunted by malnutrition; while here in America where our cities' homeless eat like kings in comparison, the emotional development of thousands of children is being stunted by filial neglect and indifference. I really don't know whom to say is the worse off . . NK children or US children.

● Gen 45:3b . . But his brothers could not answer him, for his sudden emergence was making them palpitate.

I think part of their internal shivering was due to the fact that they instantly realized that this man, whom they assumed was a foreigner, knew their language and perfectly understood everything they had been discussing in his presence all along. Coupled with that was their instant terror that their long-lost kid brother was in a pretty good position for revenge: to do unto them as they had done unto him. And the brothers were utterly powerless to prevent him from doing so.
_


HUH?

Blade
1 Cor 15:3-4.."For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:"

Acts 17:11.."These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so."

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #318 on: September 23, 2019, 01:33:35 pm »
.
● Gen 45:4a . .Then Joseph said to his brothers: Come close to me.

You can just safely bet they had reflexively shrunk back from him as far as the boundaries of the room would permit.

● Gen 45:4b-7 . .When they had done so, he said: I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be disappointed in yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a progeny on earth and to save your lives by a great rescue.

If it was only God's ambition to preserve Israel's future, He could have easily prevented the famine. And if He was looking ahead to Israel's rescue from Egyptian slavery, then couldn't He have just simply ordered Jacob to move everybody down to Egypt? No, that wouldn't have worked because the Hebrews were an abomination to the Egyptians. They would never have allowed the Hebrews to immigrate and settle in Egypt's choicest land under normal circumstances.

So then, God set things up so that Egypt would owe the Hebrews a big favor; and would welcome them in spite of their disgust. Pharaoh and the Egyptians couldn't just take Joseph's providence for granted; no, they were deeply indebted for saving them all from starvation and possibly conquest by foreign powers.


NOTE: Famines are the result of climate change; which is a natural earth cycle. Nowadays, climate change is depicted as a man-made evil; but in reality, climate change is normal and would happen anyway regardless of the amount of fossil fuel man burns or doesn't burn. In other words: God didn't cause the famine in Josephs' day as a special event like the Flood; no, He simply saw it coming before anybody else did; just as He had seen many like it in the past.

● Gen 45:8 . . So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He made me father to Pharaoh; lord of his entire household and ruler of all Egypt.

The sense in which Joseph was a "father" to Pharaoh, was in the capacity of a guardian; viz: of a provider and a protector. If not for Joseph, Pharaoh's kingdom would have surely collapsed.

The Hebrew word for "father" is 'ab (awb); which is ambiguous in that it has several applications. It can apply to a genetic ancestor (e.g. Gen 2:24), an inventor of skills and trades (e.g. Gen 4:20-21), a political big shot (2Kgs 5:13), a spiritual counselor (2Kings 2:12, 2Kgs 6:21), and God. (Ps 44:1)

● Gen 45:9-11 . . Now hurry back to my father and say to him "This is what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come down to me; don't delay. You shall live in the region of Goshen and be near me-- you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and herds, and all you have. I will provide for you there, because five years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household and all who belong to you will become destitute.

Goshen was the fertile region in northeastern Egypt; situated to the west of today's Suez Canal: a district of about 900 square miles; which is pretty much the eastern half of the Nile delta.


NOTE: When Moses left Goshen, he didn't go directly to Palestine along the coastal trade route; but took Moses' people a bit south first towards the modern city of Suez (Ex 13:17-18). In his day, the Gulf Of Suez arm of the Red Sea extended about 50 miles farther north than it does now. Lake Timsah-- at the current town of Ismailia --and The Great Bitter Lake, and the Little Bitter Lake are all that remain as witnesses to that portion of the ancient sea bed.

● Gen 45:12-13 . .You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. Tell my father about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.

Jacob would want to know just exactly how the brothers learned Joseph's Egyptian identity. By getting the news right from the horse's mouth, there would be no reason for Jacob to doubt their story.

Joseph didn't refer to Jacob as "our" father; no, he made his association with Jacob far more personal than that. He referred to Jacob as "my" father; which reminds me of another's statement.

"Go to my brethren, and say unto them: I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20:17)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #319 on: September 24, 2019, 07:55:05 am »
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● Gen 45:14-15 . .Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept, and Benjamin embraced him, weeping. And he kissed all his brothers and wept over them. Afterward his brothers talked with him.

I seriously think the ten brothers were so consternated to the point of paralyzing terror as to be rendered utterly mute until Joseph adequately allayed their fears, and proved his good will towards them with all his blubbering and hugging; and I also think they never took their eyes off his hands the whole time, half expecting him to draw a jeweled dagger and pierce it through each man's liver in turn.

There was a time when the older brothers were so infected with rivalry towards Joseph that any conversation they had with him, if they had any at all, was punctuated with hostility (Gen 37:4). I think you can safely bet that at this point, their conversation is re-punctuated with supplication, humility, hats in hand, and profuse apologies rather than hostility.

Joseph was an extremely magnanimous man; with a degree of self control that is really quite amazing. If anybody in the Old Testament was justified to nurse a grudge, it has to be him. Surely he deserves some recognition for exemplifying at least one of Jesus' beatitudes.

"Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." (Matt 5:9)

There are some people in this world who are simply implacable. They refuse to bury the hatchet and move on. No, for them, rivalry, revenge, spite, retaliation, stubbornness, and grudging are a way of life: every disagreement is an act of war-- they're emotional and reactive, and they thrive on criticism, sarcasm, chafing, carping, finding fault, thoughtless remarks, demeaning comments, insults, contempt, ridicule, bickering, retort upon retort, endless yeah-buts, telling other people off, and giving people a piece of their mind.

It should go without saying that warlike people can't possibly be allowed into heaven because God's home is a place of peace. It just wouldn't be fair to the others to let toxic people loose in paradise to wreck it for everybody.

● Gen 45:21-22a . .The sons of Israel did so; Joseph gave them wagons as Pharaoh had commanded, and he supplied them with provisions for the journey. To each of them, moreover, he gave a change of clothing;

Their "change of clothing" wasn't just some fresh clothes. The changes were actually garments suitable for formal occasions like an audience with a king, or hob-nobbing with aristocrats (e.g. Gen 41:14, 2Kgs 25:27-30). So the changes were pretty expensive; like Valentino suits.

● Gen 45:22b . . but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and several changes of clothing.

You know, some people just never seem to learn. It was because of favoritism that Joseph's brothers were provoked to malicious sibling rivalry in the first place; and here he is repeating the very same mistake grandpa Isaac made in chapter 25, and the very same mistake papa Jacob made in chapter 37. Benjamin had done nothing to deserve preferential treatment over and above his elder brothers. The only reason that Joseph treated him better than the others is simply the fact that they shared the same mother; that's all: which Webster's defines as nepotism.

● Gen 45:23-24 . . And he sent to his father these things: ten jack burros loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female burros loaded with grain, bread, and food for his father for the journey. So he sent his brothers away, and they departed; and he said to them: See that you are not distracted along the way.

Apparently the trade route from Egypt to Canaan offered diversions aplenty to entertain grown men; which Joseph would like his brothers to avoid this time around because he was anxious to get his dad moved into Egypt as soon as was practical. In point of fact, time was of the essence what with five more years of famine conditions yet to come; with each succeeding year much worse than those preceding it. I think Joseph wanted his dad settled in before the worst of it took hold of the region and put them all, including their livestock, in very imminent danger of perishing.

● Gen 45:25-26 . . So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan. They told him: Joseph is still alive! In fact, he is ruler of all Egypt. Jacob was stunned and didn't believe them.

He didn't believe them because for one thing; he was led to believe all these years that Joseph was dead; hence Jacob was incredulous and one could hardly blame him. As an example, suppose a total stranger should walk up to your door some day and announce you won a 42-million dollar Powerball lottery. Now add that to the fact that you have never bought a Powerball lottery ticket in your whole life. Would you begin jumping up and down and shouting hallelujah? I don't think so. I think you would be skeptical; just as skeptical as Jacob.

The actual Hebrew of Gen 45:26 says that Jacob's heart became sluggish; viz: his blood pressure dropped and he quite literally paled. We have to remember that Jacob was 135 years old at this point in his life, and would live only another seventeen more (Gen 47:28). Older people don't do well with shock; it can actually kill them.

● Gen 45:26-28 . . But when they told him everything Joseph had said to them, and when he saw the carts Joseph had sent to carry him back, their father Jacob's strength returned. And Israel said: I'm convinced! My son Joseph is still alive. I will go and see him before I die.

No doubt Jacob had to sit down-- more likely lay down with his feet elevated --while his sons related their adventures in Egypt; and quite possibly it was right then that they confessed to their selling Jacob's favorite son into slavery. Better they tell him now than wait till he hears about ii later from Joseph.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #320 on: September 25, 2019, 07:50:13 am »
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● Gen 46:1 . . So Israel set out with all that was his, and he came to Beer-sheba, where he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.

I would imagine that Jacob was a bit uncertain as to whether or not he should leave the promised land and go to Egypt, even though his granddad had migrated for that exact same reason back in chapter 12. Jacob was promised a multitude of offspring who were supposed to inherit Palestine, and how ever could that happen if he wasn't even living in the land? And it seemed every time a patriarch left Palestine they got into trouble. Jacob had to wonder: Was he walking into a trap?

Jacob, being a prophet, may have suspected that the prediction below was somehow related to his present circumstances.

 "Then Yhvh said to Abram: Know for certain that your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own, and they will be enslaved and mistreated four hundred years. But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions." (Gen 15:13-15)

● Gen 46:2-4a . . God called to Israel in a vision by night: Jacob! Jacob! He answered: Here. And He said: I am 'El, the god of your father. Fear not to go down to Egypt, for I will make you there into a great nation. I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I myself will also bring you back;

Although El's promise to accompany Jacob in Egypt was generous; He pretty much had to because back in Gen 28:15 Yhvh said "Remember, I am with you: I will protect you wherever you go and will bring you back to this land. I will not leave you until I have done what I have promised you."

Since Jacob was destined to die in Egypt, God's promise to "bring you back" would be quite hollow unless He intended to raise Jacob from the dead some day; which He does. (Matt 8:11)

There were so many 'els out and about in Jacob's day that it was necessary for Jacob's god to pick His words carefully in order to make sure people fully understood who He was so they didn't confuse Him with one of the other deities popular in that day. By identifying Himself to Jacob as the "god of your father" there was no mistaking who was speaking.

● Gen 46:4b . . and Joseph's hand shall close your eyes.

That must have been a comforting prediction for Jacob. Not the dying part, but the fact that he would die in Joseph's company, rather than dying somewhere distant only for Joseph to hear about it later before he had a chance to say his farewells.

● Gen 46:5-7 . . So Jacob set out from Beer-sheba. The sons of Israel put their father Jacob and their children and their wives in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to transport him; and they took along their livestock and the wealth that they had amassed in the land of Canaan. Thus Jacob and all his offspring with him came to Egypt: he brought with him to Egypt his sons and grandsons, his daughters and granddaughters-- all his offspring.

Not mentioned as participants in the wagon train were the slaves; the "wealth that they had amassed in the land of Canaan" would have included them as well as the livestock. If Isaac passed down granddad Abraham's army to Jacob; then the whole troupe-- family, wagons, slaves, and of course the herds; composed of sheep, goats, cows, burros, and camels --must have been a very impressive sight traveling down the road to Shur into Egypt.

The Hebrew word for "daughter" is ambiguous. It can mean an immediate female offspring (e.g. Gen 46:15) or even all the females in a whole country (e.g. Gen 28:8). But in this case, the females referred to were limited to Jacob's own biological children (vs 7 and vs 26) rather than including every female in the camp.

● Gen 46:8-27 . .These are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his descendants, who came to Egypt-- all the persons belonging to Jacob who came to Egypt --his own issue, aside from the wives of Jacob's sons --all these persons numbered 66. And Joseph's sons who were born to him in Egypt were two in number. Thus the total of Jacob's household who came to Egypt was seventy persons.

The number would have to include both Joseph and Jacob in order to come out right. The nose count has its problems with other portions of scripture that contain the rosters. Expositors with higher IQ's and better educations than mine haven't had much luck at harmonizing those discrepancies so I could hardly expect myself to do any better.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #321 on: September 26, 2019, 10:28:59 am »
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● Gen 46:28-29a . . He had sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph, to point the way before him to Goshen. So when they came to the region of Goshen, Joseph ordered his chariot and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel;

Judging from all past events, and the current ones; Judah appears to have been the most grown-up (mature and serious) of all the other brothers, and a man whom Jacob could reasonably depend upon to look after business and not goof around or allow himself to get distracted.

Judah's going ahead of Jacob wasn't really to get instructions as to where Jacob should settle (the Hebrew of "point the way before him" is a bit difficult) but rather, as point man (liaison) to inform Joseph of his father's imminent arrival. Subsequently Joseph gassed up his Federally-provided conveyance and roared off to meet his father and personally guide him to the correct location.


NOTE: Some feel that Joseph's headquarters were in the vicinity of Ramses; which supports Gen 45:10 that Jacob would settle where he would be "near me"; that is: in Joseph's neighborhood-- sort of.

● Gen 46:29b-30 . . he presented himself to him and, embracing him around the neck, he wept on his neck a good while. Then Israel said to Joseph: Now I can die, having seen for myself that you are still alive.

There's sometimes an overtone of sadness at reunions as kin become shaken a bit by the too obvious damage that the aging process wreaked upon loved ones during the years of their absence; plus the sadness of not being a part of the years that long-lost kin have lived their lives without us.

● Gen 46:28 . . Now Jacob sent Judah ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen.

That was in accord with Joseph's instructions back in 45:10.

Goshen was located in the Eastern delta of the Nile river.

● Gen 46:29 . . And Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to Goshen to meet his father Israel; as soon as he appeared before him, he fell on his neck and wept on his neck a long time.

I've made the statement before, and don't mind making it again, that young people should not attempt to teach the book of Genesis; the reason being that there are emotional portions of Genesis that cannot be properly appreciated till somebody has been around the block a time or two, so to speak. In other words: a verse like 46:29 can't be taught; it has to be felt to be appreciated.

● Gen 46:30 . .Then Israel said to Joseph: Now let me die, since I have seen your face, that you are still alive.

Jacob had never really gotten over the loss of his favorite son. His statement back in 37:35 that he would go to the grave mourning Joseph would've surely come true had not the two re-united.

● Gen 46:31-32 . . And Joseph said to his brothers and to his father's household: I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him; "My brothers and my father's household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me; and the men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks and their herds and all that they have."

● Gen 46:33-34 . . And it shall come about when Pharaoh calls you and says: "What is your occupation?" that you shall say "Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our fathers" that you may live in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is loathsome to the Egyptians.

From what i gather, the above isn't talking about a caste system. It was more of a political/religious issue relative to the Egyptians' experiences with a people group called the Hyksos, whom it's believed by some were in control of Egypt's government during Joseph's time.

The land of Goshen was some distance from Egypt's main population centers; so the area would suffice as a sort of quarantine; which no doubt the Egyptians would applaud, thus making it all the easier for Pharaoh to grant Joseph's kin permission to settle in Egypt; probably with the understanding that as soon as the famine was over, they should leave and return to the land of Canaan. (The Israelites overstayed their welcome and eventually ended up in slavery.)

Goshen wasn't a ghetto. Joseph's kin wouldn't be under armed guard or sealed in behind a Berlin Wall so to speak; and apparently the land was suitable for crops as well as pastures; so Joseph's intentions were good medicine for everyone all around.
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #322 on: September 27, 2019, 07:57:17 am »
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● Gen 47:1-2 . .Then Joseph came and reported to Pharaoh, saying: My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that is theirs, have come from the land of Canaan and are now in the region of Goshen. And selecting five of his brothers, he presented them to Pharaoh.

Aren't you curious which five of the eleven brothers Joseph selected; and what guided his decision?

When Christ went up on a mountain to transfigure (Matt 17:1, Mark 19:2) he took along only three of his twelve hand-picked apostles. Some expositors believe he took Peter, James, and John not because they were the strongest in faith of the twelve; but on the contrary, the weakest. But who really knows. It could be that Christ chose those three men because he knew for himself they could be trusted to keep a secret. (cf. Mark 9:9-10)

Quite possibly, Joseph had carefully gauged all eleven brother's reactions under the stress to which he only just recently had subjected them and noted the ones who were not easy to intimidate. These would be his best choice to meet the king because the last thing Joseph needed was his kin stammering and shivering in the audience of his boss; the Pharaoh of Egypt. He wanted them to leave the impression that they knew what they were doing in the world of animal husbandry. (This is all conjecture of course because I don't really know why Joseph selected the five.)

● Gen 47:3 . . Pharaoh said to his brothers: What is your occupation? They answered Pharaoh: We your servants are shepherds, as were also our fathers.

Bang! Direct question/Direct answer-- no stammering, no shivering, no apologizing, and no beating around the bush as if they had anything to be ashamed of for being ranchers.

● Gen 47:4 . .We have come; they told Pharaoh; to sojourn in this land, for there is no pasture for your servants' flocks, the famine being severe in the land of Canaan. Pray, then, let your servants stay in the region of Goshen.

After first assuring the king that they had no intention of settling permanently in his jurisdiction, they then boldly request exactly what they want. It's a pity more people don't pray like Joseph's brothers because there's no need to circumnavigate the issue with God. He already knows what's on your mind before you even open your mouth so you might just as well get right to the point.

"And when you pray, do not use vain repetitions as the heathen do. For they think that they will be heard for their many words. Therefore do not be like them. For your Father knows the things you have need of before you ask Him." (Matt 6:7-8)

"Let us therefore come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need." (Heb 4:16)

The Greek word for "boldly" is parrhesia (par-rhay-see'-ah) which means all out-spokenness, i.e. frankness, bluntness, and/or confidence.

In other words: God's people shouldn't be shy about speaking up and telling Him exactly what's on their minds. Rote mantras like the Ave Maria and/or the Our Father etc. are not what I call forthright, out-spoken, frank and/or speaking up. You just try speaking to your spouse and/or your friends and associates in rote and see what happens.

● Gen 47:5-6 . .Then Pharaoh said to Joseph: As regards your father and your brothers who have come to you, the land of Egypt is open before you: settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land; let them stay in the region of Goshen. And if you know any capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.

Communication between the brothers and Pharaoh was probably of the very same nature as their own first encounter with Joseph; which was through an interpreter. In this case, Joseph is the interpreter; viz: actually a mediator between king and subjects. A mediator doesn't only interpret, but also looks out for the best interests of both parties and brings about a resolution of their differences; if any. The brothers were foreign herders, and for that reason, the king was loathe to speak with them; much less to associate with them. If not for Joseph, there would have been no audience; the men would have been barred from Pharaoh's court.

Joseph was both an Israelite and an Egyptian. He understood, and moved about, in both cultures; consequently he was accepted by each party as one of their own.

In the same way; remove Christ, and nobody would ever be able to contact God; not even anybody in the Old Testament. Since Christ is both Divine and Human, he is perfectly capable of resolving the differences between God and Man; and he is accepted by both because he's one of their own.

"For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus" (1Tim 2:5)

● Gen 47:7a . .Then Joseph brought his father Jacob in and presented him before Pharaoh.

Probably no other moment in Pharaoh's life would be more historic than this one. Standing before him, as a feeble old common rancher, was one of the most significant men who ever lived on this earth; but Pharaoh could have never guessed it under the circumstances. How was Pharaoh to know that this tired, broken down old man standing before him was to be the progenitor of a monarch that would dominate not only the entire over-world; but even the netherworld.

"In my vision at night I looked, and there before me was one like a son of Adam, coming with the clouds of heaven. He approached the Ancient of Days and was escorted into His presence. He was given authority, glory and sovereign power; that all peoples, nations and men of every language should worship him. His dominion is an everlasting dominion that will not pass away, and his kingdom is the one that will never be destroyed." (Dan 7:13-14)

"God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is supreme-- to the glory of God the Father." (Phil 2:9-11)
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Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #323 on: September 28, 2019, 08:47:59 am »
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● Gen 47:7b . . and Jacob blessed Pharaoh

As a rule of thumb, the lesser is blessed by the better (Heb 7:7). However, it's possible for the better to be blessed by the lesser too. (e.g. Ps 16:7, Ps 26:12, Ps 34:1, et al). It all depends on the nature of the blessing. There's nothing a man can do to improve God's lot in life, but there's certainly a lot God can do to improve a man's lot in life; however, either can say nice things about the other.

Precisely what form Jacob's blessing took is difficult to know for certain; but it could have been something like: Be fruitful and increase in number; fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air and over every living creature that moves on the ground (Gen 1:28) or maybe: God give thee of the dew of heaven, and the fatness of the earth, and plenty of corn and wine; let people serve thee, and nations bow down to thee; be lord over thy brethren, and let thy mother's sons bow down to thee; cursed be every one that curseth thee, and blessed be he that blesseth thee (Gen 27:28-29) or even as simple as: Let my lord the king live forever. (1Kgs 1:31)

● Gen 47:8-9a . . And Pharaoh said unto Jacob: How old are you? And Jacob said unto Pharaoh: The days of the years of my pilgrimage are an hundred and thirty years: few and evil have the days of the years of my life been, and have not attained unto the days of the years of the life of my fathers

The word "evil" isn't restricted to moral awfulness; but can indicate hard times as well as just plain old bad luck (cf. Job 5:7, Isa 45:7). The days of Jacob's life weren't totally disagreeable, though he makes it sound like that.

However, he did spend a good number of years in the outdoors, in all sorts of weather, tending herds. That's not an easy life. Then there was the grief visited upon him by the sons of his own flesh; Dinah was no help either. And the peace in his home wrecked by the tension caused by the bitter sibling rivalry between his wives Leah and Rachel; not to mention all the headaches uncle Laban contributed.

Jacob also endured the latter years of his life with a handicap resulting from his encounter with a divine being in chapter 32. It's odd how human nature tends to dwell upon its misfortunes instead of spending more time reflecting upon its blessings. For some, the glass is half empty, and for others it's half full, and yet for others the quantity is satisfactory; the glass is too big.

At this point in his life Jacob is wore out: he's winding down, and ready to retire. Aging folks tend to be a little on the negative side, and sometimes dwell more on the bad memories rather than the good. It's wise to consider that the aged weren't born that way. In reality; they're children who've been alive for a long time. When I was a kid, I tended to think that senior citizens were a species; not appreciating, till later in life, that I was actually looking at my future.

● Gen 47:9b . . in the days of their pilgrimage.

Jacob's use of the word "pilgrimage" reflects the cruel reality that none of us comes into this world to stay. We're here for a while, but that's all: just a while.

"Where are your forefathers now? And the prophets: do they live forever?" (Zech 1:4-5)

"For what is your life? It is even a vapor, that's visible for a little time, and then vanishes away." (Jas 4:14)

● Gen 47:10 . . And Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from before Pharaoh.

Just how impressed Pharaoh was with Jacob is difficult to know, but the king had to wonder to himself just how on earth a genius like Joseph could ever arise from such humble root stock as this broken down, insignificant old man who just walked out of his court. But one thing I know for sure: of the two men; Jacob holds the higher rank in the grand scheme of things.

● Gen 47:11-12 . . 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.

Jacob's clan nourished themselves with fish too. (Num 11:5)


NOTE: My early childhood was cultured on John Wayne and cowboy westerns in which the native Americans were usually either Apache or Comanche, dwelling in arid regions nowhere near an ocean. Imagine my surprise to learn of the Wampanoag people of Massachusetts baking clams centuries before the first Europeans invaded their land.

Joseph's family lived in an area also known as Zoan (Ps 78:12) which was up in the north, near the Mediterranean Sea in the East Nile delta. The area had access to the sea, and there was lots of water and wetlands; so that seafood and migratory fowl were never in short supply. Actually, all told, Jacob's family fared quite well in Egypt in spite of the famine's overall severity. Meanwhile, the famine wrecked everybody else.

● Gen 47:13 . .There was no food, however, in the whole region because the famine was severe; both Egypt and Canaan wasted away because of the famine.

As mentioned earlier back in chapter 41, famines are usually the natural result of insufficient rainfall.


NOTE: There's no indication in the Bible that either the hand of man or the hand of God caused the dry spell. It was apparently a natural Earth cycle
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« Last Edit: September 28, 2019, 08:56:06 am by Olde Tymer »

Olde Tymer

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Re: A Journey Thru Genesis
« Reply #324 on: September 29, 2019, 08:23:55 am »
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● Gen 47:14 . . Joseph gathered in all the money that was to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, as payment for the rations that were being procured, and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh's palace.

Some people accuse Joseph of profiteering; of exploiting the people's hardship. But they fail to realize that he wasn't acting on his own. Joseph answered to a higher authority: to Mr. Pharaoh. If Joseph had gone behind Pharaoh's back and gave the Egyptians grain for free, then Joseph himself would have been arrested and either put right back in prison or, worse, gibbeted. Then who would his clan look to for representation with Pharaoh?

"it is required in stewards, that a man be found faithful." (1Cor 4:2)

The New Testament Greek word for "faithful" is pistos  (pis-tos') which means: trustworthy. Webster's defines "trustworthy" as worthy of confidence; viz: dependable/reliable.

To be faithful implies looking out for your boss' best interests rather than either your own or anybody else's. (cf. Luke 11:12-27 and 1Tim 1:12)

● Gen 47:15-17 . .When the money of the people of Egypt and Canaan was gone, all Egypt came to Joseph and said: Give us food. Why should we die before your eyes? Our money is used up. Then bring your livestock; said Joseph. I will sell you grain in exchange for your livestock, since your money is gone. So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them grain in exchange for their horses, their sheep and goats, their cattle and donkeys. And he brought them through that year with grain in exchange for all their livestock.

This is the very first mention of a horse in the Bible.


NOTE: Most Native Americans had never seen a horse until the Spanish brought them here sometime around 1540. It's believed the Pueblo people were the first to make good use of the horse; but not by choice. It was as slaves and laborers on Spanish ranchos that they learned how. After the Pueblo revolted, they became prosperous horse traders; and by that means the Plains Indians obtained horses; which greatly improved their nomadic way of life; and their tactics in warfare too.

The Old Testament Hebrew words for "horse" are cuwc (soos) and cuc (soos); which means not only a horse (as leaping), but also a swallow (from its flight style). Both swallows and horses are quite nimble; and of the two, I'd say the swallows are more so. They can flit like bats when in pursuit of winged insects.

Horses were the animal of choice for pulling chariots in ancient Egypt. (e.g. Ex 14:9)

Putting horses on the list of saleable livestock indicates that even relatively prosperous breeders were falling on hard times too, so that no matter whether the Egyptians were rich or poor, the famine was effecting them all-- the rich have to eat too, just like everybody else; and money alone makes poor nourishment.

Here in America, when the last bit of arable land is finally bulldozed for residential housing, and paved over for shopping centers, office buildings, super highways, cemeteries, malls, light rails, factory sites and warehouses: that's when we'll finally catch on that money isn't everything.

Only after the last tree is cut down,
The last of the water poisoned,
The last animal destroyed:
Only then will some realize
They cannot eat money.

-- Cree Indian Prophecy --

● Gen 47:18-19a . .The next year they came again and said: Our money is gone, and our livestock are yours. We have nothing left but our bodies and land. Why should we die right in front of you? Buy us and our land in exchange for food; we will then become servants to Pharaoh.

Joseph's plan had no intention of shackling the Egyptians in grinding poverty and humiliation like the African slaves of America's pre civil war days. Though they became Pharaoh's slaves, they also become share-croppers; which is a very tolerable arrangement in comparison to slaves who are permitted to keep none of the fruits of their labors. In effect then, the Egyptians would actually be afforded the dignity of working for compensation; and it was pretty generous too.

● Gen 47:18-19b . . Just give us grain so that our lives may be spared and so the land will not become empty and desolate.

They not only needed grain for food, but also enough to sow their fields in anticipation of next season's crop. Whether the Egyptian populace at large was aware of the famine's predicted duration can't be known for certain, but farmers often sow even in famine years because who can tell if the weather is going to change for the better or not. Joseph, of course, was privy to knowledge of the famine's end, and I would think that he would surely share that information with the delegations that negotiated with him in this matter.

● Gen 47:20 . . So Joseph gained possession of all the farm land of Egypt for Pharaoh, every Egyptian having sold his field because the famine was too much for them; thus the land passed over to Pharaoh.

It's reasonable to assume that Pharaoh's only interest would be what's known as Egypt's so called "black" land; which is primarily the arable soil located adjacent to the Nile's river banks and was at one time subject to seasonal flooding; which replenished the soil with fresh deposits of silt each year.
_

 

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