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Genesis Per Day

Discussion in 'Daily Devotionals' started by WebersHome, May 8, 2017.

  1. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Genesis 45:14-28


    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 confrontational 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. You 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 finds out later from Joseph.

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  2. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Genesis 46:1-30


    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.

    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.

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  3. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Genesis 47:1-7a


    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.

    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." (Php 2:9-11)

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  4. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Genesis 47:7b-13


    Gen 47:7b . . and Jacob blessed Pharaoh

    As a rule, the lesser is blessed of 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 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 seafood too.

    "We remember the fish we ate in Egypt" (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.

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  5. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Genesis 47:14-20


    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.

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

    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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  6. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Genesis 47:21-26


    Gen 47:21-22 . . and Joseph reduced the people to servitude, from one end of Egypt to the other. However, he did not buy the land of the priests, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment Pharaoh gave them. That is why they did not sell their land.

    That regular State allotment must have made religion seem like an attractive career path. Their constituents may have been suffering, but the priests were doing just fine and coasting right through all the hard times.

    I think it's notable that God doesn't permit Judaism's priests to own land; nor permit them to feed at the Federal trough either, thus making them fully dependent upon the prosperity of ordinary pew warmers. Thus the Aaronic priests were highly motivated to keep the people in a good standing with God in order to keep themselves fed because lack of good standing could easily result in a poor economy in Israel. (cf. Deut 28:1-68)

    When Saul was king, there was a time in Israel when the priests didn't even have enough food of their own on hand to supply David's escape (1Sam 21:1-6). That was a pretty good indication that Saul's kingdom had fallen into spiritual decline during his administration; and definitely time for a change in leadership.

    Gen 47:23-24 . . Joseph said to the people: Now that I have bought you and your land today for Pharaoh, here is seed for you so you can plant the ground. But when the crop comes in, give a fifth of it to Pharaoh. The other four-fifths you may keep as seed for the fields and as food for yourselves and your households and your children.

    Four-fifths is equal to 80% which is a pretty good percentage for share-croppers. In addition, there's no mention of either rents or leases. In other words, the Egyptians lived on Pharaoh's land essentially for free. The only rent they paid, if you could call it that, was the one-fifth of the land's produce.

    That was a very good deal for the Egyptians because it was flexible. In other words; no matter how well or how poorly the land produced in any given year, whether little or much, the percentage never changed. Thus they were always able to satisfy their obligation to Pharaoh even in years when disease and/or insects decimated their crops. It was virtually impossible to ever fall behind in payments.

    Since Pharaoh owned all the land, and exacted neither rent nor lease from share-croppers; it became possible for Egypt's poor to apply for a piece of acreage. While the drought was a curse for some people; it was a blessing for others.

    Gen 47:25 . .You have saved our lives; they said. May we find favor in the eyes of our lord; we will be in bondage to Pharaoh.

    The word "bondage" is from 'ebed (eh'-bed) which includes all kinds of servitude; including outright slavery. Another word for "servant" is sakiyr (saw-keer') which is a person who works for wages; viz: an employee.

    It's reasonable to assume that not everyone in Egypt took up farming as there would still be the need for goods and services like metal smiths, butchers, seamstresses, barbers, shipwrights, wagon and chariot builders, longshoremen, pottery, merchant marine, general mercantile, weavers, shoemakers, freight haulers, and building contractors; et al: every sort of trade and commercial enterprise imaginable.

    Pharaoh had all the money. So then, the barter system probably thrived in Egypt-- the farmers trading out of their 80% and the merchants and tradesmen paying Pharaoh his one-fifth out of what trickled down from the farmers. In other words: in that economy, food was gold.

    Apparently few, if any, complained. One thing you could say about the Egyptians; they didn't look a gift horse in the mouth. If not for Joseph's providence, they would have all surely died, and lost everything, and they knew it too. Thanks to him, instead of dying, they all enjoyed a pretty good standard of living. There were some sacrifices to be made, yes, but all in all, they fared pretty well under Joseph's administration.

    Gen 47:26 . . So Joseph established it as a law concerning land in Egypt-- still in force today --that a fifth of the produce belongs to Pharaoh. It was only the land of the priests that did not become Pharaoh's.

    The "today" in that passage of course refers of the author's own day.

    The 20% flat tax was fair across the board for everybody; rich, poor, and middle class alike-- no deductions and no exemptions.

    Thank God Joseph was a man of integrity because the kind of power he wielded has a way of tempting men to do some very greedy things; for example: enforcement of the so-called law of supply and demand. Of one thing we can be pretty sure: Pharaoh's approval rating no doubt broke all the records thanks to his selection of Joseph to manage Egypt's affairs during a very serious national crisis.

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    Genesis 47:27-30a


    Gen 47:27-28 . . Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number. Jacob lived in Egypt seventeen years, and the years of his life were a hundred and forty-seven.

    Jacob immigrated to Egypt when he was 130 (Gen 47:9) so he spent as many years with Joseph at the last as he had at the first-- seventeen (cf. Gen 37:2). At this point, the famine had been done and over for 12 years, since it was during the second year of the seven-year famine that the people of Israel arrived (Gen 45:11).

    During those 12 years, and no doubt the other five too, Jacob's clan did very well for themselves; so that they eventually became a political element to be reckoned with (Ex 1:6-10). By the time of the Exodus, the Israelites numbered over 600,000 adults, not counting children. Israelites were accounted "children" until the age of 20 (Num 26:2). Here in America, we let children of 18 vote for Presidents. Now that's scary.

    It's interesting that another Pharaoh, in the future-- who would enslave them in the book of Exodus --wasn't worried about the Israelites increasing to the point of taking over his country, no, he was concerned they might up and leave it. What's that saying? It's saying, that as a people, Jacob's clan were excellent, productive citizens who accounted for a significant portion of Egypt's gross national product.

    The palace itself benefited from their ranching skills (Gen 47:5). No doubt Hebrew beef from the Nile delta became a highly sought commodity everywhere in Egypt. Jacob's people not only maintained a fishing industry, but they farmed too (Num 11:5). And among them were experts in the construction trades (Ex 1:11) and in every manner of skill and artifice (Ex 31:1-6, Ex 35:20-36:7).

    That all tells me that the Israelites weren't freeloaders by any means. They were hard workers who put their noses to the grindstone and contributed their fair share to Egypt's prosperity just like today's Hispanic immigrants contribute their own fair share to America's prosperity. In point of fact, if today's Hispanic work force should all up and return to their native lands, America's economy would really feel it. So is it really any wonder then why the US Government does all it can to accommodate Hispanic immigrants; even the illegal ones?

    Gen 47:29a . . And when the time approached for Israel to die, he summoned his son Joseph

    Normally, the patriarchs would convene with a natural firstborn son for serious family business, but that position was transferred to Joseph because of Reuben's tryst with his father's concubine. (1Chrn 5:1)


    NOTE: The reason genealogies aren't reckoned by birthright is because the status is conferrable upon a younger sibling; which of course would produce an inaccurate family chronology.

    Gen 47:29b . . and said unto him: If now I have found grace in thy sight,

    The phrase "found grace in they sight" seems to be a Genesis colloquialism for someone disposed to do you a favor; e.g. Gen 6:8 where God singled out Noah to survive the Flood.

    Gen 47:29c . . put your hand under my thigh, and deal kindly and truly with me.

    This is the second, and last, place in Genesis where a hand was placed under a patriarch's thigh during the making of a promise. The first was Gen 24:2-3, with Abraham.

    Gen 47:29d-30a . . Do not bury me in Egypt, but when I rest with my fathers, carry me out of Egypt and bury me where they are buried.

    Jacob's statement underscores the fact that when people are gathered to their ancestors, it doesn't necessarily indicate burial because Jacob's remains would be stored in Egypt until such a time as he could be transported back to Canaan. So he would already be at rest with his ancestors prior to actually being buried with them later. (cf. Gen 49:33, Gen 50:3, and Gen 50:12-13)

    When you think about it, choosing the location of one's burial site has no practical advantages to speak of. Some people want to buried overlooking the sea or an orchard. But do they themselves really get much of a view? No, they're gone on to the netherworld; and their remains, being underground and quite without life or eyesight, have only the inky blackness of a subterranean pit to view, if that.

    So then, is there really any significance to Jacob's request? Yes, it means that Jacob believed the land of Canaan was on his own property; rather than just the land of his nativity. He wanted to be buried at home, rather than on foreign soil. God had promised Jacob deed and title to that land back in chapter 35; and although he never really possessed it in his own days, Jacob was confident that God was a man of integrity who would eventually make good on His promises. The patriarchs were amazingly patient. (Heb 11:13-16)

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    Genesis 47:30b-31


    Gen 47: 30b-31a . . He replied: I will do as you have spoken. And he said: Swear to me. And he swore to him.

    The Hebrew word for "swear" is shaba` (shaw-bah'). It's basically a promise, guaranteed by repeating it seven times. When God's name is dragged into a shaba` then it becomes a sacred oath; e.g. Gen 24:2-3. Christ okayed promises, but frowned upon sacred oaths. (Matt 5:33-37)

    Gen 47:31b . .Then Israel bowed at the head of the bed.

    There's differences of opinion among the experts how best to interpret that verse; but in context, it appears to me that Jacob has become bedridden, and is-- as best he can for a man of his age and health --doing obeisance to Joseph as a courtesy in the manner that Abraham did with the Hittites back in chapter 23. In other words; Jacob lowered his eyes and nodded his head in a sort of salute; which, courtesy aside, was somewhat equal to saying: Okay then; we're good.

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    Genesis 48:1-4


    Gen 48:1a . . Some time afterward, Joseph was told "Your father is ill"

    The Hebrew word for "ill" is chalah (khaw-law') and can mean not only sick, but also weak (Judg 16:17) sad (1Sam 22:8) suppliant (1Kgs 13:6) injured (1Kgs 22:34) in pain (Jer 4:31) drunk (Hos 7:5) and evil: as disaster or misfortune. (Ecc 5:13)

    Gen 48:1b . . So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.

    The visit was probably just a comfort call; like visiting a friend or relative at the hospital. I really don't think it was prompted by a fear that Jacob was going to die at any moment. Joseph's boys apparently came on their own, rather than by request, because Jacob wasn't expecting them; and what kid can resist a trip to grandpa's house.

    The boys by this time were young men, having been born during the seven years of plenty, prior to the beginning of the seven years of famine (Gen 41:50). Jacob lived in Egypt at least seventeen years prior to this current event (Gen 47:28), and immigrated during the second year of the seven years of famine (Gen 45:6, Gen 45:11). So his grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim were both in their early twenties by now.

    Gen 48:2 . .When Jacob was told "Your son Joseph has come to see you" Israel gathered his strength and sat up in bed.

    No greetings or social graces are recorded from this meeting; though they must have occurred. Surely Jacob wouldn't just launch into a speech the moment his kin walked through the door. How weird would that be; especially since Joseph was Jacob's very favorite son? But Genesis skips over that part of the meeting, and without even so much as hinting how the topic came up at this point in the visit; just goes right to the meat of it.

    The speech Jacob is going to make was probably one he had been rehearsing in his mind for some time as he sensed the nearness of his impending death; which would certainly serve to remind him that he was running out of time; so if he was ever going to get these things off his chest, he better do it at the very next opportunity, while he was able, because who really knows how many more opportunities one might have left?

    People often put off important things-- e.g. making out their will --till sudden death, or the onset of dementia finally closes the door. Jacob had something important to say about his two grandsons, so it was fortuitous that they came along with their dad to visit grandpa that day.

    Gen 48:3a . . And Jacob said to Joseph: El Shaddai appeared to me at Luz

    El Shaddai-- the god who controls the laws of nature (cf. Col 1:17) --is also Yhvh because that's an appellation Genesis labels Him at Bethel (Gen 28:13). And an appellation Jacob labeled Him too, at the very same site. (Gen 28:16-20)

    Luz is Bethel (Gen 28:10-19, Gen 35:6-7). That location was an especially sacred site for Jacob because it was his very first personal encounter with God. You know, hearing about God, and reading about God, and praying to God, just aren't the same as actually meeting God. Not the same at all. Head knowledge is one thing, personal experience is quite another; yes, quite, quite another. There's nothing like a close encounter with God to set someone's faith in concrete.

    Gen 48:3b . . and He blessed me

    At this point, Jacob paraphrases the essential elements of El Shaddai's Luz blessing, with the exception of one element which I would esteem even more valuable than the prosperity elements: God's ever-abiding companionship.

    "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." (Gen 28:15)

    Gen 48:4 . . and said to me; "I will make you fertile and numerous, making of you a nation; and I will assign this land to your offspring to come for an everlasting possession."

    Although Israel's possession of Palestine is eternal, their occupation of it isn't, as the Jews' past evictions have easily demonstrated.

    Jacob's statement of the blessing is selective, and left out a couple of items; one of which is that God also assigned the land to Jacob himself, not just to his offspring (Gen 28:13) so God will have to resurrect Jacob in order to make good on that portion of the blessing.

    Exactly how Ephraim and Manasseh felt about the next event in Jacob's life isn't stated; nor would they have had a say in it anyway as Jacob was the reigning paterfamilias at the time; and within his own clan, Jacob was only one step in rank below Yhvh.

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    Genesis 48:5-7


    Gen 48:5-6 . . Now, your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, shall be mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine no less than Reuben and Simeon. Progeny born to you after them shall be yours; but they shall be recorded under the names of their brothers in their inheritance.

    Jacob set a rather odd precedent by adopting his own two grandsons Manasseh and Ephraim; thus giving them tribal positions equal in rank to his twelve boys. Jacob did that in order to add two sons to Rachel's brood.

    His motive for adopting Manasseh and Ephraim was in sympathy for his deceased wife being cut off during her child bearing years, which subsequently prevented her from having any more children of her own. Manasseh and Ephraim brought Rachel's total up to six, two boys of her own, two by her maid Bilhah, and two by Joseph's wife Asenath.

    Gen 48:7 . . As I was returning from Paddan, to my sorrow Rachel died in the land of Canaan while we were still on the way, a little distance from Ephrath. So I buried her there beside the road to Ephrath (that is, Bethlehem).

    This obscure bit of patriarchal prerogative has managed to evade the notice of modern Jewry as evidenced by their stubborn rejection of Christ as a valid candidate for David's throne on the basis that the boy didn't descend from Solomon biologically. By demanding a strictly biological connection to Solomon, they have effectively locked themselves into perpetual error; and have impudently, and shamefully, taken it upon themselves to overrule Jacob's precedent.

    How do I know that Joseph adopted Mary's baby? Easy Peasy, Lemon Squeasy.

    The Lord spoke to Joseph in a dream and ordered him to take part in naming Mary's child.

    "She will give birth to a son, and you are to give him the name Jesus" (Matt 1:21)

    Joseph obeyed.

    "And he gave him the name Jesus." (Matt 1:25)

    A child's name in those days wasn't chipped into stone until its father agreed. For example; John the Baptist's dad Zacharias was ordered to give his impending child the name of John.

    "The angel said to him: your wife Elizabeth will bear you a son, and you shall call his name John." (Luke 1:13-14)

    And later on, "John" wasn't accepted until Zacharias gave his consent.

    "So it was, on the eighth day, that they came to circumcise the child; and they would have called him by the name of his father, Zacharias. His mother answered and said: No; he shall be called John. But they said to her: There is no one among your relatives who is called by this name. So they made signs to his father-- what he would have him called. And he asked for a writing tablet, and wrote, saying: His name is John." (Luke 1:59-63)

    Thus, by participating in the naming of Mary's baby, Joseph as much as declared himself to be its father.

    "Isn't this Joseph's son? they asked." (Luke 4:22)

    By law; he sure was. In point of fact, according to Luke 2:21 and Luke 2:27, Mary and Joseph stood together as parents when her baby was given the name Jesus. Luke identified them as Jesus' parents again at Luke 2:41 and Luke 2:48.

    It was necessary that God instruct Joseph to follow Jacob's precedent in order to place Mary's baby in line for Solomon's throne because David's crown never passes down through Solomon's female descendants; no, only his males. Though Jesus is biologically connected to David via Heli and his daughter Mary, they are biologically connected to Solomon's brother Nathan; which, as far as the Davidic dynasty is concerned, isn't a valid path to the throne. According to Rom 1:3, Jesus had the correct genes; but according to Luke's genealogy, Jesus wasn't in the correct line.

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    Last edited: Mar 11, 2018
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    Genesis 48:8-14


    Gen 48:8a . .When Israel

    At this point, Genesis switches from Jacob's earthly name to his God-given name; viz: his spiritual name; probably because the first portion of the interview was personal business while the second half will be conducted in Jacob's official capacity as a prophet.

    The Hebrew word for "prophet" is nabiy' (naw-bee') which just means an inspired man. Abel was a prophet (Luke 11:50-51) and Abraham was a prophet (Gen 20:7).

    People needn't be high powered prognosticators like Isaiah to be prophets. Anybody whom God empowers with a degree of spiritual intuition is a prophet because prophets aren't necessarily predictors of the future, nor revealers of sacred secrets, but also just simply savvy in the knowledge of God.

    Where did they get that savvy? From seminary and yeshiva? From rabbis and Sunday school teachers? No. From God's Spirit.

    "Turn you at My reproof: behold: I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you." (Prv 1:23)

    It was Moses' wish that all of Yhvh's people were prophets. (Num 11:29)

    In the future, they will. (Ezek 36:24-27)

    Gen 48:8b-10a . . saw the sons of Joseph, he asked: Who are these? They are the sons God has given me here; Joseph said to his father. Then Israel said: Bring them to me so I may bless them. Now Israel's eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see.

    The leading cause of eyesight problems in older people is a condition known as Macular Degeneration. The cone cells within the human eye work hard all our lives, and when their waste products build up faster than the body can clear them, tiny yellow spots can form around the fovea. As a person ages, those plaques, along with leaky blood vessels, tend to interrupt normal rod and cone functioning.

    When you add MD into the mix with cataracts, glaucoma, and stiffening of the lens, then the victim is really in a bad state of affairs; and in Jacob's day, there was absolutely nothing people could do about it.

    I've heard young people say that old people are cute; and that's probably because of the grandpa/grandma charisma connected with senior citizens. Well; let me tell those youngsters something: getting old is neither fun nor cute; no, not at all. The aging process is cruel and disagreeable.

    It disfigures our faces, puts bags under our eyes, diminishes our libido, thins our hair, dulls our hearing, misshapes our figures, makes us smell, sags our flesh, adds pounds where we don't want them, shrinks our muscles, stiffens our joints, weakens our stomach, recedes our gums, robs of us vitality and stamina, makes us look haggard, turns down the corners of our mouths giving us permanent frowns, and seriously diminishes our quality of life.

    It would be difficult to believe that Jacob didn't recognize his own grandsons; but with failing eyesight, it's to be expected that he would require verbal authentication of their identities before proceeding with the sacred business at hand.

    Gen 48:10b-12 . . So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them. And Israel said to Joseph: I never expected to see you again, and here God has let me see your children as well. Joseph then removed them from his knees, and bowed low with his face to the ground.

    I seriously doubt the boys were sitting on Jacob's knees since they were grown men; but the wording suggests they had each taken a turn kneeling between Jacob's knees so he could embrace them and then got up and stepped back to let the other in. In the next sequence, the brothers likely knelt again, only this time one on either side, so Jacob could reach the tops of both their heads from a sitting position.

    I'm guessing Joseph's bow was either a gesture of whole-hearted approval and/or submission to Jacob's position as the supreme, God-appointed patriarch over Yhvh's people at that time so that whatever Jacob says, goes, regardless of how anybody else in the family, including Joseph, might feel about it.

    Would to God the elderly were treated with such respect nowadays. One of my favorite movie lines is from "Moonstruck" starring Cher and Nicolas Cage wherein the grandpa makes this statement at the breakfast table one morning prior to offering his son a father's advice. "I am old; and the old are not wanted. And if they say it, they have no weight."

    In other words: the typical young person really doesn't care too much for an elderly person's opinions; nor even for their feelings. There was a time when my grown son would force me to give him room in a narrow hallway so he wouldn't have to shoulder me aside as we passed. He not only wouldn't yield to a senior citizen, but he wouldn't even yield to his own biological father; and to this day-- in his thirties and no less inconsiderate, no less arrogant, and no less aggressive than when he was in college --actually has the chutzpah to regard himself a mature Christian man.

    Gen 48:13-14 . . And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel's left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel's right hand, and brought them close to him. But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim's head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh's head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.

    Jacob's inspired intuition guided his hands to the boy God wanted to have the higher rank in spite of the natural dictates of primogeniture.

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    Genesis 48:8-14


    Gen 48:8a . .When Israel

    At this point, Genesis switches from Jacob's earthly name to his God-given name; viz: his spiritual name; probably because the first portion of the interview was personal business while the second half will be conducted in Jacob's official capacity as a prophet.

    The Hebrew word for "prophet" is nabiy' (naw-bee') which just means an inspired man. Abel was a prophet (Luke 11:50-51) and Abraham was a prophet (Gen 20:7).

    People needn't be high powered prognosticators like Isaiah to be prophets. Anybody whom God empowers with a degree of spiritual intuition is a prophet because prophets aren't necessarily predictors of the future, nor revealers of sacred secrets, but also just simply savvy in the knowledge of God.

    Where did they get that savvy? From seminary and yeshiva? From rabbis and Sunday school teachers? No. From God's Spirit.

    "Turn you at My reproof: behold: I will pour out My Spirit unto you, I will make known My words unto you." (Prv 1:23)

    It was Moses' wish that all of Yhvh's people were prophets. (Num 11:29)

    In the future, they will. (Ezek 36:24-27)

    Gen 48:8b-10a . . saw the sons of Joseph, he asked: Who are these? They are the sons God has given me here; Joseph said to his father. Then Israel said: Bring them to me so I may bless them. Now Israel's eyes were failing because of old age, and he could hardly see.

    The leading cause of eyesight problems in older people is a condition known as Macular Degeneration. The cone cells within the human eye work hard all our lives, and when their waste products build up faster than the body can clear them, tiny yellow spots can form around the fovea. As a person ages, those plaques, along with leaky blood vessels, tend to interrupt normal rod and cone functioning.

    When you add MD into the mix with cataracts, glaucoma, and stiffening of the lens, then the victim is really in a bad state of affairs; and in Jacob's day, there was absolutely nothing people could do about it.

    I've heard young people say that old people are cute; and that's probably because of the grandpa/grandma charisma connected with senior citizens. Well; let me tell those youngsters something: getting old is neither fun nor cute; no, not at all. The aging process is cruel and disagreeable.

    It disfigures our faces, puts bags under our eyes, diminishes our libido, thins our hair, dulls our hearing, misshapes our figures, makes us smell, sags our flesh, adds pounds where we don't want them, shrinks our muscles, stiffens our joints, weakens our stomach, recedes our gums, robs of us vitality and stamina, makes us look haggard, turns down the corners of our mouths giving us permanent frowns, and seriously diminishes our quality of life.

    It would be difficult to believe that Jacob didn't recognize his own grandsons; but with failing eyesight, it's to be expected that he would require verbal authentication of their identities before proceeding with the sacred business at hand.

    Gen 48:10b-12 . . So Joseph brought his sons close to him, and his father kissed them and embraced them. And Israel said to Joseph: I never expected to see you again, and here God has let me see your children as well. Joseph then removed them from his knees, and bowed low with his face to the ground.

    I seriously doubt the boys were sitting on Jacob's knees since they were grown men; but the wording suggests they had each taken a turn kneeling between Jacob's knees so he could embrace them and then got up and stepped back to let the other in. In the next sequence, the brothers likely knelt again, only this time one on either side, so Jacob could reach the tops of both their heads from a sitting position.

    I'm guessing Joseph's bow was either a gesture of whole-hearted approval and/or submission to Jacob's position as the supreme, God-appointed patriarch over Yhvh's people at that time so that whatever Jacob says, goes, regardless of how anybody else in the family, including Joseph, might feel about it.

    Would to God the elderly were treated with such respect nowadays. One of my favorite movie lines is from "Moonstruck" starring Cher and Nicolas Cage wherein the grandpa makes this statement at the breakfast table one morning prior to offering his son a father's advice. "I am old; and the old are not wanted. And if they say it, they have no weight."

    In other words: the typical young person really doesn't care too much for an elderly person's opinions; nor even for their feelings. There was a time when my grown son would force me to give him room in a narrow hallway so he wouldn't have to shoulder me aside as we passed. He not only wouldn't yield to a senior citizen, but he wouldn't even yield to his own biological father; and to this day-- in his thirties and no less inconsiderate, no less arrogant, and no less aggressive than when he was in college --actually has the chutzpah to regard himself a mature Christian man.

    Gen 48:13-14 . . And Joseph took both of them, Ephraim on his right toward Israel's left hand and Manasseh on his left toward Israel's right hand, and brought them close to him. But Israel reached out his right hand and put it on Ephraim's head, though he was the younger, and crossing his arms, he put his left hand on Manasseh's head, even though Manasseh was the firstborn.

    Jacob's inspired intuition guided his hands to the boy God wanted to have the higher rank in spite of the natural dictates of primogeniture.

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    Genesis 48:15-16


    Gen 48:15a . .Then he blessed Joseph

    All three men there that day were "Joseph" so the blessing wasn't really directed to Mr. Joseph himself alone but rather to his tribe as a unity.

    Gen 48:15b . . saying: The god in whose ways my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked, the god who has been my shepherd from my birth to this day--

    On the surface it might appear that God was Jacob's shepherd beginning at chapter 28, when he was on the lamb from Esau; but in truth, God was Jacob's shepherd from day one, beginning with Rachel's pregnancy in chapter 25 when God decreed the elder would serve the younger.

    That's an interesting note; because it indicates that God foreknew each and every human being who would value spiritual things; and from eternity, he began making sure they survived any and all misfortune in order to take advantage of His salvation. (cf. Eph 1:4-5)

    Gen 48:16a . .The Angel

    Referring to God as an angel may be unusual; but certainly not disrespectful. The Old Testament patriarchs never did see The True God in person; they encountered only representations and apparitions either as voices, fire, wind, smoke, or human forms. Those served as proxies for God, and as such, had to be worshipped and respected as God.

    The "angel of The Lord" appears many, many times in the Old Testament and really means: the messenger of the Lord; which of course we know by now at this point in Genesis was actually the rather curious divine being whose name is his master's.

    Gen 48:16b . . who has redeemed me from all evil--

    The word "redemption" is often associated with salvation from the wrath of God; but it primarily means to rescue, spare, and/or provide for and protect. (e.g. Gen 38:6-10, Lev 25:25, Lev 25:47-49, and Ruth 3:1-4:12)

    Gen 48:16c . . may He bless the lads.

    Jacob himself was blessed by The Angel in Gen 32:24-29.

    Webster's defines "bless" as 1) to speak well of; viz: approve, 2) to confer prosperity or happiness upon, 3) to protect, to preserve, 4) to endow, and 5) to favor.

    I suppose there's a middle ground somewhere between blessing and cursing, which could probably be labeled a zone of indifference: but in regards to God, indifference is dangerously close to a curse because where there's indifference, there's no blessing. Some might consider indifference a blessing in itself, but personally I would far rather be blessed than ignored. To be ignored is to be neglected, and in regards to matters of eternal consequence; that can't be a good thing.

    Gen 48:16d . . And may my name live on in them, and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;

    Jacob certainly got his wish. The Israelites have survived some pretty extreme genocidal attempts on their existence, but they're still here, and in them, the names of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob have remained famous; and a perpetual reminder of the Bible's God.

    What is the purpose of Yhvh's people anyway? To chafe and annoy the world with their arrogance and their superiority complexes and their famous master-race mentality? No, they hold the distinction of being the one political body on earth who's sacred duty is to prevent the knowledge of God from becoming lost forever; a virtual human depository of divine revelation.

    "Moses was in the assembly in the desert, with The Angel who spoke to him on Mount Sinai, and with our fathers; and he received living words to pass on to us." (Acts 7:38)

    "the Jews were entrusted with the whole revelation of God." (Rom 3:2)

    What Jacob conferred upon Manasseh and Ephraim wasn't just the dubious fortune to be identified with the world's most famous patriarchs, but rather, the solemn duty of perpetuating the patriarchs' religion too. That's a heavy responsibility; one that Esau himself scoffed, and finally traded for a temporary pleasure.

    Identification with Israel is not something to brag about; rather, it's something to be frightened about.

    "Hear this word, O people of Israel, that Yhvh has spoken concerning you, concerning the whole family that I brought up from the land of Egypt: You alone have I singled out of all the families of the earth-- that is why I will call you to account for all your iniquities." (Amos 3:1-2)

    In other words; people called to an association with the Bible's God are held to a higher standard than outsiders.

    Gen 48:16e . . And may they grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.

    The Hebrew word for "grow" is dagah (daw-gaw'); which means to spawn.

    Webster's defines "spawn" as: to produce young; especially in large numbers.

    Curiously, this one verse is the only instance in the entire Old Testament where dagah appears.

    Increasing by spawning is quite a bit different than increasing by other means like adoption or naturalizing; so the blessing of spawning that Jacob conferred upon the two men is somewhat similar to the blessing of fertility that God conferred upon Adam and his wife at the very beginning. (Gen 1:27-28)

    Being fruitful just means being fertile, and doesn't automatically imply generating a multitude, whereas spawning implies both fertility and massive numbers of offspring together. As an example of the proliferation implied by spawning; Coho salmon lay an average of 3,096 eggs per fish in just one run upriver.

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    Genesis 48:17-22


    Gen 48:17-19a . .When Joseph saw that his father was placing his right hand on Ephraim's head, he thought it an error; so he took hold of his father's hand to move it from Ephraim's head to Manasseh's. Not so, Father; Joseph said to his father; for the other is the firstborn; place your right hand on his head. But his father objected, saying: I know, my son, I know.

    Joseph himself was an inspired man; so you'd think he'd instantly perceive that Jacob's prioritizing Ephraim over Manasseh was from God; but didn't. That's curious, and tells me that inspired people aren't always 100% inspired all the time. Inspiration is, after all, a Divine prerogative rather than a personal talent. God is under no one's beck and call; and inspired people are able to understand certain things only as God himself decides when, where, and how to get in their heads and clear things up.

    For example according to 1John 2:26-27 all believers are endowed with a special anointing that enables them to grasp God's meanings; but does that mean they can get by on their own without Spirit-empowered Bible teachers? No. It's via Spirit-empowered Bible teachers that God communicates His meanings. (Eph 4:11-15)

    Gen 48:19b . . He too shall become a people, and he too shall be great. Yet his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall be plentiful enough for nations.

    This is now the third instance in Genesis where the right of the firstborn is seen transferred to a younger sibling. The first instance was Jacob and Esau, and the second was Joseph and Reuben. The important lesson to be learned from this is that in the Bible, the male born first isn't eo ipso the firstborn. That may seem trivial but when its applied to Christ, it's a really big deal.

    "He is the image of the invisible God, the firstborn of all creation." (Col 1:14-15)

    Was Christ the first human born in all creation? No; Adam was; and there was a time when Adam was the creation's senior patriarch; but not any more. That honor has been transferred to Christ so that there is not a man on earth superior to that one. (Dan 7:13-14, Matt 28:18, Php 2:9-11)

    Gen 48:20-22 . . So he blessed them that day, saying: By you shall Israel invoke blessings, saying: God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh. Thus he put Ephraim before Manasseh. Then Israel said to Joseph: I am about to die; but God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers. And now, I assign to you one portion more than to your brothers, which I wrested from the Amorites with my sword and bow.

    There exists no specific Biblical record of Jacob's own personal conquest of Canaanite peoples; so what Jacob is doing here is apparently predicting Joshua's conquest of Canaan as something so certain to take place that he could speak of it as an historical fact already accomplished; similar to the manner in which the apostle John reported many of his visions in the book of Revelation as having taken place as he watched them.

    Jacob was an inspired man, so it shouldn't surprise anyone if he was permitted a vision of his offspring's future successes in Palestine. Whatever Joshua was to conquer in later years, would certainly be credited to Jacob's sword and bow just as surely as if he'd been there and led the attacks himself because it was his own blood kin who eventually did all of it, which would be in keeping with his prediction that "God will be with you and bring you back to the land of your fathers." Joseph's body returned to the land as a mummy. But the prediction is a reality: Joseph will return to the land some day, not just to be buried, but to take up residence. (Ezk 37:1-14, Dan 12:1-2, Heb 11:8-16)

    The "one portion more than to your brothers" was in keeping with the custom of the firstborn son inheriting a double portion of his father's estate.

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    Genesis 49:1-7


    Gen 49:1-4 . . And Jacob summoned his sons and said: Come together that I may tell you what is to befall you in days to come. Assemble and hearken, O sons of Jacob; hearken to Israel your father:

    . . . Reuben, you are my first-born, my might and first fruit of my vigor, exceeding in rank and exceeding in honor. Unstable as water, you shall excel no longer; for when you mounted your father's bed, you brought disgrace-- my couch he mounted!


    Reuben was clearly a reckless, impetuous individual ruled by the passions and impulses of human nature rather than better judgment. Compare Isa 57:20 where the ocean is depicted subject to the forces of nature rather than under its own control.

    The affair to which Jacob referred occurred in Gen 35:22. Even today in modern industrial societies, it is not only unthinkable for a man to sleep with one of his father's wives; but even with one of his girlfriends. True, Bilhah and Jacob weren't officially married but still, she was the legal mother of two Israeli tribal heads: Dan and Naphtali.

    Because of his illicit tryst, Reuben lost the firstborn's position (1Chrn 5:1) demonstrating once again that the biblical rank of firstborn isn't restricted to the son born first, but is a transferable status that can be bestowed upon a younger male sibling.

    Gen 49:5 . . Simeon and Levi are a pair; their weapons are tools of lawlessness.

    With Rueben demoted, Simeon would have been next in primogeniture, and after him; Levi. But the two men are alike as peas in a pod and brothers in arms-- they're both criminals who simply cannot be trusted to conduct themselves in a manner befitting the honor and the dignity properly associated with the position of Israel's firstborn. If Reuben was water, then Simeon and Levi are leaky boats with no oars, no sail, no rudder, and no compass.

    Ironically, Levi produced Aaron, Israel's line of high priests; and the whole tribe of Levi is exempt from war though they were sired by a bloody man. It would appear then, that the office of Israel's firstborn is far more sacred than any of the Levitical priests, including the Aaronic category.


    NOTE: Moses descended from Levi. (Ex 2:1-10)

    Gen 49:6a . . Let not my person be included in their council, let not my being be counted in their assembly.

    Simeon and Levi were not the kind of people from whom a sensible person would deem it wise to seek advice and counsel. In other words; they were a bad influence.

    Jacob's initial reaction to the murders committed by two of his eldest sons back in chapter 34 was one of concern for his family's safety, and the effect the deed had upon his reputation in those parts. Not till now does he excoriate the two men for their conduct; and the denunciation is severe.

    Gen 49:6c . . For when angry they slay men, and when pleased they maim oxen.

    Simeon and Levi not only committed malicious murders; but also took satisfaction in cruelty to animals. People like that always justify their cruelty by saying they're teaching the animal a lesson and/or breaking it of a bad habit. But in their case it's a lie. They're just heartless and violent; that's all.

    One could almost excuse Cain for murdering his kid brother in a fit of rage because in his day there were no divine prohibitions against murder and/or manslaughter. But Simeon and Levi had no excuse. They didn't act upon a sudden provocation, and both of those men knew full well God prohibited murder and manslaughter because they lived many years after grandpa Noah came off the ark. (cf. Gen 9:5-6)

    By all rights, Jacob should have had those two sons of his executed for what they did back in Shechem; but like they say: blood is thicker than water. Jacob let them get away with murder because they're kin, which is the sin of partiality; defined by Webster's as inclined to favor one party over another; viz: bias.

    Gen 49:7 . . Cursed be their anger so fierce, and their wrath so relentless. I will divide them in Jacob, scatter them in Israel.

    Jacob was speaking for Yhvh in the last sentence; and the purpose of dividing and scattering was apparently to make it all the more difficult for the two tribes to unite in a dastardly cause.

    Jacob cursed only his sons' anger rather than the sons-- actually, their category of anger; which he described as fierce and relentless.

    Webster's defines "fierce" as a behavior exhibited by humans and animals that inspires terror because of the wild and menacing aspect of fury in attack. Ferocity is an aspect commonly seen among roaring, snarling lions savagely attacking prey. There's neither sportsmanship nor sympathy in ferocity; only sheer terror, brutality, and blood lust.

    Webster's defines "relentless" as: 1) not softening or yielding in determination; viz: tough, hard, and stern, and 2) not letting up or weakening in vigor or pace; viz: constant, persistent.

    The wrath of God is depicted in much the same way. (Isa 13:9)

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    Genesis 49:8-15


    Gen 49:8 . .You, O Judah, your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the nape of your foes; your father's sons shall bow low to you.

    Reuben was the original ranking brother, then the position passed to Joseph, and finally to the family of Judah's grandson David; and that's where it remains to this day. (Ps 89:20-27)

    Gen 49:10a . .The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the scepter from between his feet

    Refer to: 2Sam 7:16, 2Sam 23:5, Ps 85:35-38, Ps 89:4 , and Ps 89:30

    Gen 49:10b . . And the homage of peoples be his.

    The "peoples" of that verse are non Jews; viz: Gentiles. The jurisdiction of Davidic monarchs is normally limited to their own country, among their fellow Jews; but one is coming in Judah's family who will one day rule the entire world. (Dan 7:13-14 and Ps 2:7-9)

    This next prediction is the scariest one of all.

    Gen 49:11 . . He washes his garment in wine, his robe in blood of grapes.

    See: Isa 63:1-6, and Rev 19:15-16

    Gen 49:13 . . Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore; he shall be a haven for ships, and his flank shall rest on Sidon.

    Zebulun never did actually occupy a Mediterranean shore (Josh 19:10-16) but their proximity to the coast, via the territory of Ashur, gave them opportunity to earn their livings in sea related trades like stevedoring, ship building, and possibly crews on fishing vessels and cargo ships owned and operated by the Philistines and Phoenicians.

    Zebulun's flank didn't extend to the coastal city named Sidon, but to a region generally known as Sidonia-- which included the city of Trye --a territory often labeled Sidon for short.

    Gen 49:14-15 . . Issachar is a strong-boned burro, crouching among the sheepfolds. When he saw how good was security, and how pleasant was the country, he bent his shoulder to the burden, and became a toiling serf.

    Men like Zebulun, and Issachar are the invisible people. They don't want much out of life; and they're never really in the news as movers and shakers; the paparazzi don't follow them around, nor are they among the rich, famous, and powerful. Zebulun, and Issachar represent the blue collar labor force, the non-professional working men and women who make a country productive in goods and services.

    Unfortunately, the two tribes, on the whole, believed in peace at any price, and were wont to trade their independence for corvee labor in order to avoid conflict with overlords and invaders-- the two notable exceptions being Zebulun's response when mustered for duty with Gideon (Judg 6:35) and the two tribes responses when mustered by Barak (Judg 5:14-15) but they rarely took the initiative to go on the offensive.

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    Genesis 49:16-21


    Gen 49:16 . . Dan shall govern his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

    That prediction alludes to Dan's autonomous attitude towards the other tribes. In point of fact, Dan's tribe didn't join forces with the others in the north to help repel oppressors. (Judg 5:17)

    A good example of Dan's autonomous attitude is Mr. Samson. During his tenure as a Judge in Israel (Judg 13:1-16:31) Samson never mustered an army nor led his own men in a charge up a San Juan hill. He fought alone, and he died alone; and seemed to prefer it that way. Definitely neither a commander nor a team player.

    Gen 49:17 . . Dan shall be a serpent by the road, a viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that his rider is thrown backward.

    A number of poisonous snakes-- e.g. rattlesnakes --don't hunt for food by chasing their prey in racy pursuit but choose rather to coil up and patiently wait along the edges of paths for something to come along. They're typically sluggish on the move but very speedy on the strike. Rattlers, especially, are powerful strikers that don't even have to clamp down to bite. Their strike inertia is powerful enough to drive their fangs into a target's flesh like sewing needles.

    When rattlers bite large animals like horses, it's not for food, but generally a reflexive response to a perceived threat; which suggests that Dan's tribe would have hair-trigger tempers that flair up at every provocation-- real or imagined --totally surprising the objects of their fury. People like that are extremely reactive: they're never rational and objective, no, they are emotional, thin-skinned and easily insulted; they get mad over nothing, and every disagreement is an act of war.

    It's conceivable that the viper-ish nature of Dan's tribe reminded Jacob of Gen 3:15's prediction to crush the head of the Serpent who caused Man's ruin; and possibly prompted his next remark.

    Gen 49:18 . . I wait for your deliverance, O Lord!

    Everyone becomes curious at one time or another how the Old Testament's luminaries were saved prior to Christ's crucifixion. Well, the interesting thing is: they were all aware that Christ was on the way.

    "Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow." (1Pet 1:10-11)

    A prophet is simply an inspired man-- the earliest known were Abel (Luke 11:50-51) Enoch (Jude 1:14) Noah (2Pet 2:5) and Abraham. (Gen 20:7)

    In other words: pre-crucifixion believers looked forward to Christ, while post-crucifixion believers look back.

    "Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad." (John 8:56)

    Gen 49:19 . . Gad shall be raided by raiders, but he shall raid at their heels.

    Gad's tribe, along with Rueben and Manasseh, chose to settle on the wrong side of the Jordan River instead of crossing over into Canaan (Num 32:1-32). Their decision effectively isolated them from the other nine tribes and left their eastern flank vulnerable to desert marauders; which were more nuisance than anything else as Gad's tribe were competent warriors and able to hold their own. (cf. 1Chrn 5:18)

    Though the major portion of Christ's ministry was confined within the national borders of Israel, he crossed over the Jordan on occasion to visit the three tribes on the east side (Matt 11:21, Mark 6:45). Gad was the region of the famous swine-herd suicide. (Mark 5:1-13)

    Gen 49:20 . . Asher's bread shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties.

    Asher's tribe was apportioned land bordering Zebulun and Naphtali, along the Mediterranean coastline in the region of ancient Tyre. The area was famed for its fertility (Deut 33:24). Ashur was located in a Phoenician stronghold of political and commercial activity. The phrase "he shall yield royal dainties" possibly alludes to the tribe's best produce being sold to supply the homes of Phoenician dignitaries.


    NOTE: This chapter in Genesis wasn't recorded in prose, but rather, Hebrew poetry, making it difficult, if not impossible, for translators to correctly interpret some of Jacob's sayings. The poem contains tricky metaphors rather than clear facts; which only complicates the section even more.

    Gen 49:21 . . Naphtali is a hind let loose, which yields lovely fawns.

    A hind is a female of the red deer species-- males are harts. (e.g. Ps 42:1)

    Red deer aren't a domestic breed; so the metaphor refers to a captured hind being returned to the wild rather than butchered for its meat. Apparently, this particular hind was pregnant when captured, and the hunter knew the unborn would certainly die if he killed their mother. By returning the expectant hind to the field, the hunter helped assure the survival of local herds; and he no doubt intended to hunt the fawns as adults in the future. That was not only humane, but also a very wise conservation measure too.

    Exactly what Jacob meant to convey by this metaphor is difficult to ascertain with confidence. It could be that Naphtali's people exhibited artifice, artistry, intelligence, abilities and aptitudes that their enemies would recognize as far too valuable to waste by just indiscriminately killing them off in wholesale slaughter simply to seize their lands and goods.

    As an example; some of Nazi Germany's scientists were brought to American and became very useful in developing the USA's rocket science, and subsequently NASA's space program. What if the US had executed those scientists because they were responsible for the buzz bombs that devastated London? No, sometimes human resources are well worth the restraint to spare them.


    NOTE: Barak, an ordinary man recruited by Deborah to become a military commander, was of Naphtali. (Judg 4:4-5:31)

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    Genesis 49:22-33


    Gen 49:22 . . Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.

    Jacob's assessment of Joseph is similar to the assessment of a blessed man in the very first Psalm.

    "Blessed is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, nor taken the path of sinners, nor joined the company of the insolent; rather, Yhvh's teaching is his delight, and he studies that teaching day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, whose foliage never fades, and whatever it produces thrives."

    Gen 49:23 . . Archers bitterly assailed him; they shot at him and harried him.

    The "archers" in that sentence are the kind who wait in ambush.

    Well, that certainly happened to Joseph. He was totally ambushed by his very own brothers, and then later on, ambushed by Potipher's wife. But he escaped them all. They thought to ruin Joseph, but he prospered instead.

    Gen 49:24-25a . .Yet his bow stayed taut, and his arm were made firm by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob-- there is the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel --the God of your father who helps you, and Shaddai who blesses you

    It is so easy to admire Joseph's perseverance in the face of overwhelming adversity while overlooking the real reason behind his success. It was Yhvh's providence all the way. Left to himself, it's very likely Joseph would have been dead before he was thirty years old; either by murder, execution, or suicide.

    Gen 49:25 . .With blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lurk below, blessings of the breast and womb.

    Those blessings consist of rain, dew, and abundant water resources; all of which depict fruitfulness of the soil and the fecundity of both man and beast.

    Gen 49:2 6. .Your father's blessings surpassed the blessings of my ancestors, to the utmost bounds of the eternal hills. May they rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the elect of his brothers.

    Compare Deut 33:13-17 where Manasseh and Ephraim are indirect recipients of Joseph's blessings, and will apparently conquer and colonize quite a bit of the earth some day in the future.

    Jacob pronounced Joseph the "elect" of his brothers not out of a spirit of favoritism, but out of a spirit of prophecy. You can easily tell that Yhvh is micro-managing the entire meeting.

    Compared to man, the hills really are eternal; viz: perpetual from one generation to another. Jacob's ancestors included Abel, Seth, and Noah. They were good men but none of them inherited the promises God made to Abraham; which are promises just as eternal as the hills; if not more so.

    Gen 49:27 . . Benjamin rends in pieces, like a wolf-- in the morning he consumes the prey, and in the evening he apportions the booty.

    That is hardly the picture of a peaceful, agrarian society. Israel used to be a land of milk and honey (Ex 3:8) and you have to wonder what on earth happened that caused the transformation of a tribe of herders and farmers into human predators.

    As a testament to the cruel nature of the tribe of Benjamin, Israel's first king-- ego-driven, selfish Mr. Saul --came from there. (1Sam 9:1-2)

    The nightmarish events of Judges 19 and 20 took place in Benjamin's borders and led to the tribe's decimation in a brief civil war.

    Gen 49:28 . . All these were the tribes of Israel, twelve in number, and this is what their father said to them as he bade them farewell, addressing to each a parting word appropriate to him.

    Numbering the tribes of Israel is tricky because Jacob has twelve birth sons, and two adopted sons; which adds up to fourteen. But the tribes are always listed so that the numbering comes out to twelve. Compare the list at Rev 7:5-8 where everybody but Dan and Ephraim are named so that the number again comes out to twelve. The same strange numbering system was employed in counting the Lord's apostles. Even after Judas was eliminated, they were still referred to as the twelve. (1Cor 15:5)

    Gen 49:29-33 . .Then he instructed them, saying to them: I am about to be gathered to my kin. Bury me with my fathers in the cave which is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, the cave which is in the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site-- there Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried; there Isaac and his wife Rebecca were buried; and there I buried Leah --the field and the cave in it, bought from the Hittites.

    . . .When Jacob finished his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and, breathing his last, he was gathered to his kin.


    The phrase "gathered to his kin" is an action separate from being buried side by side with kin in a cemetery. Jacob was gathered to his kin immediately upon expiration, but wasn't buried with them till more than seventy days after his demise.

    According to Christ, though Jacob's flesh expired many centuries ago in Egypt, he continues to exist somewhere else.

    "But now, as to whether the dead will be raised-- even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to Yhvh as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. So He is the God of the living, not the dead. They all live unto Him." (Luke 20:37-38)

    There is a region in the netherworld where faithful Israelites were at one time warehoused waiting for the resurrection of their bodies. (e.g. Luke 16:19-31, cf. Matt 17:1-9)

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    Genesis 50:1-3


    Gen 50:1 . . Joseph threw himself upon his father's face and wept over him and kissed him.

    It almost looks like Joseph smothered his dad; but in reality that scene was probably a bit difficult to put in writing because there's so much emotion. I think what we're actually looking at there is a one last cheek-to-cheek farewell with Joseph clutching his father's hand; and I would not have liked to be in the room when it took place because Joseph was terribly broken up by his dad's passing.

    The word for "wept" is bakah (baw-kaw') and means not just to weep, but to bemoan; which Webster's defines as: to express deep grief and/or distress. Deep grief is what people undergo when they experience loss.

    If there is one salient characteristic of Jacob's family, I would have to say it was a lack of affection. Joseph seemed the only one in the entire home who was truly bonded with his dad. His siblings were somehow detached; and I think that the multiplicity of their mothers might have something to do with that.

    When I found out that my own dad had two sons besides me by two other women, it destroyed any notion I had of feeling special in my own home; especially when the only son my dad was ever really proud of was one that didn't even live with us; but with whom my dad stayed in contact over the years without telling me.

    Gen 50:2 . .Then Joseph ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel.

    It is apparently well known that mummification, with all its elaborate ritual, played a crucial role in Egyptian religion and was bound up with the cult of Osiris and concepts of the afterlife. Survival of death was taken for granted by the Egyptians. Central to this notion was the belief in the importance of the physical preservation of the deceased's body. They took meticulous care to prevent the putrefaction of the corpse in order to ensure the right of the dead to immortality.

    I seriously doubt Egypt's religion played a role in Joseph's decision to embalm his dad. His reason was simply one of practicality. The body was to be transported to Palestine for burial, and if care wasn't taken to preserve it, poor old Jacob would be in a terrible state of decay by the time they arrived; and very smelly too.

    Joseph's own personal physicians performed the task rather than professional morticians, thus assuring nobody would come around to defile Jacob with pagan rituals, garments, and/or enchantments and spiritual potions. Jacob's life, and afterlife, were fully consecrated to Yhvh; and no pagan deities were permitted an attempt to claim a share of his future. (cf. Jude 1:9)

    Gen 50:3 . . It required forty days, for such is the full period of embalming. The Egyptians mourned him seventy days

    I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the bewailing wasn't mandatory like that of North Korea's when Kim Jong Il passed. Citizens of that country are not only denied the freedom of speech, but they don't even have the freedom of tears.

    There exists no information about embalming procedures from Joseph's era but there is some available from the fifth century BC and from the late Hellenistic period. Herodotus (Histories 2.86) reports that bodies were soaked in niter (potassium nitrate) for seventy days.

    Diodorus of Sicily (Histories 1.91) describes a thirty-day dressing of the corpse with oils and spices and seventy-two days of public mourning for a king. That practice probably corresponds to the American flag being raised at half mast for deceased dignitaries and notable personages.

    Jacob was afforded royal honors no doubt brought about by Josephs' influence, and his connections with Egypt's aristocrats; sort of like John F. Kennedy Jr's burial at sea from the US Navy's Spruance class destroyer USS Briscoe.

    J.F.K. Jr never served in the US military, nor in any Federal civil service capacity whatsoever; ergo: he certainly did not merit burial at sea from a US Navy vessel; but the Kennedy dynasty is very influential, and well connected; and has been for a good many years beginning with patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. That just goes to show that there's undue advantages to being connected in this world.

    Anyway, under his son Joseph's auspices, Jacob's was the most grandiose funeral of any of Israel's primary patriarchs, including Abraham the paterfamilias of the entire family.

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    Genesis 50:1-3


    Gen 50:1 . . Joseph threw himself upon his father's face and wept over him and kissed him.

    It almost looks like Joseph smothered his dad; but in reality that scene was probably a bit difficult to put in writing because there's so much emotion. I think what we're actually looking at there is a one last cheek-to-cheek farewell with Joseph clutching his father's hand; and I would not have liked to be in the room when it took place because Joseph was terribly broken up by his dad's passing.

    The word for "wept" is bakah (baw-kaw') and means not just to weep, but to bemoan; which Webster's defines as: to express deep grief and/or distress. Deep grief is what people undergo when they experience loss.

    If there is one salient characteristic of Jacob's family, I would have to say it was a lack of affection. Joseph seemed the only one in the entire home who was truly bonded with his dad. His siblings were somehow detached; and I think that the multiplicity of their mothers might have something to do with that.

    When I found out that my own dad had two sons besides me by two other women, it destroyed any notion I had of feeling special in my own home; especially when the only son my dad was ever really proud of was one that didn't even live with us; but with whom my dad stayed in contact over the years without telling me.

    Gen 50:2 . .Then Joseph ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel.

    It is apparently well known that mummification, with all its elaborate ritual, played a crucial role in Egyptian religion and was bound up with the cult of Osiris and concepts of the afterlife. Survival of death was taken for granted by the Egyptians. Central to this notion was the belief in the importance of the physical preservation of the deceased's body. They took meticulous care to prevent the putrefaction of the corpse in order to ensure the right of the dead to immortality.

    I seriously doubt Egypt's religion played a role in Joseph's decision to embalm his dad. His reason was simply one of practicality. The body was to be transported to Palestine for burial, and if care wasn't taken to preserve it, poor old Jacob would be in a terrible state of decay by the time they arrived; and very smelly too.

    Joseph's own personal physicians performed the task rather than professional morticians, thus assuring nobody would come around to defile Jacob with pagan rituals, garments, and/or enchantments and spiritual potions. Jacob's life, and afterlife, were fully consecrated to Yhvh; and no pagan deities were permitted an attempt to claim a share of his future. (cf. Jude 1:9)

    Gen 50:3 . . It required forty days, for such is the full period of embalming. The Egyptians mourned him seventy days

    I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the bewailing wasn't mandatory like that of North Korea's when Kim Jong Il passed. Citizens of that country are not only denied the freedom of speech, but they don't even have the freedom of tears.

    There exists no information about embalming procedures from Joseph's era but there is some available from the fifth century BC and from the late Hellenistic period. Herodotus (Histories 2.86) reports that bodies were soaked in niter (potassium nitrate) for seventy days.

    Diodorus of Sicily (Histories 1.91) describes a thirty-day dressing of the corpse with oils and spices and seventy-two days of public mourning for a king. That practice probably corresponds to the American flag being raised at half mast for deceased dignitaries and notable personages.

    Jacob was afforded royal honors no doubt brought about by Josephs' influence, and his connections with Egypt's aristocrats; sort of like John F. Kennedy Jr's burial at sea from the US Navy's Spruance class destroyer USS Briscoe.

    JFK Jr never served in the US military, nor in any Federal civil service capacity whatsoever; ergo: he certainly did not merit burial at sea from a US Navy vessel; but the Kennedy dynasty is very influential, and well connected; and has been for a good many years beginning with patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. That just goes to show that there's undue advantages to being connected in this world.

    Anyway, under his son Joseph's auspices, Jacob's was the most grandiose funeral of any of Israel's primary patriarchs, including Abraham the paterfamilias of the entire family.

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