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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 50:4-9


    Gen 50:4a . . and when the mourning period was over, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh's court

    It's curious that Joseph didn't meet with Pharaoh in person; I mean, after all, Joseph was second in command over the entire country of Egypt, and certainly outranked all of Pharaoh's courtiers. It's guessed by some that in the Egypt of Joseph's day, a dead man's close kin were deemed unfit to approach a Pharaoh. Whether it was for religious reasons, or just simply customary propriety is unknown.

    Gen 50:4b-5a . . saying; Do me this kindness, and lay this appeal before Pharaoh: "My father made me swear, saying; I am about to die. Be sure to bury me in the grave which I made ready for myself in the land of Canaan."

    Apparently some time in the past, prior to his immigration to Egypt, Jacob spent some time in Abraham's cemetery preparing a spot in it for his own burial so that his surviving kin only had to take him there-- no muss, no fuss, no money problems, and no legal hassles. It's a good idea for people to make arrangements for their own burials rather than leaving it all up to the inconvenience of their kin.

    Gen 50:5b . . Now, therefore, let me go up and bury my father; then I shall return.

    It's quite probable that Joseph's assurance of his return anticipated Pharaoh's anxiety that Joseph might stay back in the land with his brothers if permitted to leave the country and thus The Man would lose the services of not only his kingdom's best cattle ranchers but also the services of an extraordinarily capable bureaucrat.

    Gen 5:6 . . And Pharaoh said: Go up and bury your father, as he made you promise on oath.

    Pharaoh's choice of words, though inadvertent, were quite appropriate. Travel to Israel is to go "up" and to leave it is to go down. Israel is biblically regarded as the top of the mountains. (Isa 2:2-3)

    Gen 50:7-8 . . So Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the officials of Pharaoh, the senior members of his court, and all of Egypt's dignitaries, together with all of Joseph's household, his brothers, and his father's household; only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the region of Goshen.

    Leaving the children and the flocks back in Egypt was not only a practical consideration but served to reassure Pharaoh that Joseph and his family fully intended to return as he had promised; which sort of reminds me of a scene in Goodbye Girl when Richard Dreyfuss leaves his guitar behind when he goes to a new acting job to assure Marsha Mason he'll be back.

    When people pick up and move; lock, stock, and barrel; you pretty much know they aren't coming back; which is probably why a later-to-come Pharaoh wouldn't let Moses go to worship with everything his people possessed. (Ex 10:24)

    Precisely why Pharaoh's courtiers, and all of Egypt's dignitaries came along is hard to understand unless protocol and custom demanded they pay their respects because of Joseph's rank. Though he wasn't really a home boy, Joseph's marriage to the daughter of the priest of On, and his Pharaoh-given name of Tsophnath Pa'neach, made him a naturalized Egyptian; and he was entitled to just as much of the nation's respect afforded its native sons.


    NOTE: I've heard it said that the reason half of us go to funerals is to pay our respects to people we couldn't be bothered with when they were alive.

    Gen 50:9 . . Chariots, too, and horsemen went up with him; it was a very large troop.

    The unit of fighting men was no doubt to safeguard all the dignitaries. Palestine was a frontier in those days; and a caravan of aristocrats would be a really tempting target for brigands.

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  2. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Genesis 50:10-21


    Gen 50:10 . .When they came to Gorena ha-Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and solemn lamentation; and he observed a mourning period of seven days for his father.

    A geographic location described as "beyond the Jordan" suggests the east side of the river but the term is ambiguous and can just as easily mean west (e.g. Deut 3:18-20).

    The Hebrew word for Gorena is goren (go'-ren) which identifies smooth places; e.g. threshing floors or any cleared space like a parade ground. Judging by the size of Joseph's cortege, I'd have to say Gorena ha-Atad comprised some appreciable acreage.

    Seven days became a traditional period of Jewish mourning (e.g. 1Sam 31:13, Job 2:13)

    Gen 50:11 . . And when the Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw the mourning at Goren ha-Atad, they said; This is a solemn mourning on the part of the Egyptians. That is why it was named Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.

    Abel-mizraim means Meadow of the Egyptians. Unfortunately, it's precise location has been lost in antiquity.

    Gen 50:12-14 . .Thus his sons did for him as he had instructed them. His sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, the field near Mamre, which Abraham had bought for a burial site from Ephron the Hittite. After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.

    If Joseph and his brothers were aware of the prediction Yhvh made to Abraham back in Gen 15:13-14, then they probably returned to Egypt with heaviness knowing in advance the slavery and the oppression in store for their progeny.

    Gen 50:15 . .When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said: What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrong that we did him?

    Where did they get the idea that Joseph was bearing any grudge at all, let alone "still" bearing a grudge? You know what they did? They did just what Laban did to Jacob back in chapter 31 when he threatened Jacob with Divine retribution if he abused Rachel and Leah or dumped them for other women.

    Jacob had worked for Laban, on his ranch, up close and personal for twenty years and never gave Laban one single reason to either believe, or suspect that Jacob might do unkind things to his wives. In other words: Laban projected; that is: he assumed everyone was like himself. Now that's an ego!

    Joseph's brothers had a wicked conscience. It wasn't beyond them to project their own base motives upon everybody else and assume everybody else would do the very same things they themselves would do in their place. They totally brushed aside the gracious reception they received in Joseph's house back in chapter 45 and replaced his hospitality with their own corrupt imaginations; not to mention the seventeen years just past when they lived a very good life in Egypt under Joseph's generous auspices.

    Nobody's reputation is safe in the hands of people like that who fail to take into consideration someone's impeccable track record.

    Gen 50:16-17a . . So they sent this message to Joseph: Before his death your father left this instruction: So shall you say to Joseph; Forgive, I urge you, the offense and guilt of your brothers who treated you so harshly. Therefore, please forgive the offense of the servants of the God of your father.

    That is one of the most bold, bare-faced lies in the entire Bible. If Jacob had desired Joseph to let his brothers off like they said, he would have met with Joseph and said so himself in person rather than elect the brothers as his messengers posthumously.

    Gen 50:17b . . And Joseph was in tears as they spoke to him.

    The people referred to as "they" were not the brothers, but rather, the messengers they sent. I've not doubt whatsoever that Joseph suspected the message was a lie concocted by his brothers as a desperate measure to save their own skins. His disappointment in them for not trusting him must have been overwhelming. Joseph had never done even one single thing in his entire life to deliberately injure his brothers and this is how they react?

    Gen 50:18-21 . . His brothers went to him themselves, flung themselves before him, and said: We are prepared to be your slaves. But Joseph said to them: Have no fear. Am I a substitute for God? Besides, although you intended me harm, God intended it for good, so as to bring about the present result-- the survival of many people. And so, fear not. I will sustain you and your children. Thus he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

    They say repetition is an effective teaching aid; and it's probably because some people just don't pay attention. Joseph had already made a similar speech to his brothers once before already in chapter 45 and here he is having to do it all over again. Their lack of trust in his word as a man of honor and integrity is just unforgivable.

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  3. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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    Genesis 50:22-26


    Gen 50:22-26 . . So Joseph and his father's household remained in Egypt. Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. Joseph lived to see children of the third generation of Ephraim: the children of Machir, son of Manasseh, were likewise born upon Joseph's knees.

    . . . At length, Joseph said to his kin: I am about to die. God will surely take notice of you and bring you up from this land to the land that He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. So Joseph made the children of Israel swear, saying: When God has taken notice of you, you shall carry up my bones from here.

    . . . Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.


    Josephs' "coffin" was probably an ornate mummy case; and kept in storage above ground in a special location sort of like a shrine or a memorial. As they say: Out of sight, out of mind. Keeping Joseph's remains perpetually on view would make it difficult for the people of Israel to forget him.

    Did Joseph ever make it back home again? Yes; he finally did.

    "Now the Israelites went up armed out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph, who had exacted an oath from the children of Israel, saying: God will be sure to take notice of you; then you shall carry up my bones from here with you." (Ex 13:18-19)

    "The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought for a hundred kesitahs from the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, and which had become a heritage of Joseph's progeny." (Josh 24:32)

    Genesis records Jacob purchasing the property (Gen 33:17-20). But Stephen said it was Abraham's transaction (Acts 7:15-16) which strongly suggests that the county recorder in the community of Shechem was a bit careless with his paperwork and let Abraham's deed slip through a crack; necessitating Jacob pay for the lot all over again; no doubt at a higher price the second time around.


    -- The End --
     
  4. WebersHome

    WebersHome Well-Known Member Supporter

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