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Salut mesdames et messieurs!

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I greet you from the comfort of my bed and I trust that all is well. This note is to address the Bible study and perhaps, a few other matters. If you’ve been reading my other blog, I’ve addressed the bout of recent headaches I’ve been experiencing and the severity of it. Sometimes, I’m up to two or three headaches a day, and each one can last up to 3 hours.

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Most of the time, I pray and sleep through them for I’ve decided to forgo medication as I’ve been over dependent on them in the years gone by. This is the reason why I haven’t been able to comply the study notes for Exodus as my concentration is not strong at the moment. It’s also why I haven’t been reading your blogs and I hope to rectify this soon. The reason why you’re seeing posts on the blog is simple: they were scheduled beforehand, so thank you for stopping by and taking the time to read and leave comments. I’ll get to them in a timing.

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Thank you for understanding and I trust that you’re having a great weekend wherever in the world you might be. Include God in your plans and let Him direct you.

As for me, I’m going to get rest and I should be back to business soon for this too, shall pass.

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In case you missed it:

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Exodus II: Moses

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The book of Exodus begins with enslaved Israelites in Egypt. Joseph was no more and his good deeds for Egypt was a thing of distant memory. The Pharaoh decided to oppress the Israelites and ordered the midwives to kill the male children. Later, the Pharaoh became even crueler in wanting to kill the male children. God’s people felt deserted and in need of a leader.

And then a baby was born.

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Moses kills the Egyptian within him

Scripture in focus: Exodus 2

2:1-2 > Moses is born. He is healthy and utterly beautiful. His parents’ names are listed later in Exodus 6:20 as Amram and Jochebed. Moses was hidden for three months as an act of faith (Hebrews 11:23). The 3 months that he was hidden reminds me of Christ’s 3 days in the tomb.

2:3-4 > The ark was a vessel of divine deliverance and when Moses is placed in an ark of bulrushes (a floating basket), we see God’s hand in every detail. God sealed Noah in the ark for safety; Moses is placed in an ark of safety. It was placed where the Egyptian women of the palace came to dip as part of their religious ritual so it was no accident that she placed her son there and had big sister Miriam to guard it from afar off.

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2:5-6 > Pharaoh’s daughter eventually comes along, sees the basket and have one of her maidens fetch it. Upon opening it, the princess realizes that it was a Hebrew baby. But then that baby wept and it melted her heart. She accepts this baby as if it was a gift from Hapi, god of the Nile. The flags mentioned were weeds that grew near the bank in the water.

2:7-9 > Moses’ mother trusted God in hiding him for 3 months, and she trusted Him again in setting her baby out on the river. God rewarded her faith wonderfully! Jochebed gets to train him in the early years and get paid for it, no background check needed.

2:10 > After the child is fully weaned, he is adopted by the princess and is called Moses because he was drawn out of the water. A fitting name for later, he’ll draw God’s people out of Egypt.

2:11-12 > Moses is 40 (Acts 7:23-25) when he witnesses an Egyptian slave driver beating a Hebrew slave and something just snaps in him. He feels the need to avenge his brethren and so, he kills the slave driver and buries the body in the hot, unforgiving sand. This was a hasty act upon Moses’ part.

That day, Moses kills the Egyptian inside him and buried it in the sand, but he was yet to find his identity as a Hebrew. He went from being a prince to a fugitive in that very moment.

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2:13-14 > When Moses tries to intervene in a violent dispute between two Hebrew men, he is put in place: “Who made you a prince and a judge over us?” First, he is a murderer and then a meddler? Moses was in fact a great prince and judge for Israel, but they did not want him. Here, we see Moses being rejected by his own people as a type of Christ for when Jesus came into the world, He was rejected by His very own people despite His royal background. Just as Jesus had to come out of the Palace and into a humble place before delivering mankind, Moses had to come out of the glorious palace and into a humble place.

Moses had intended for no one to see him kill the Egyptian, but as the saying goes, “be sure your sins will find you out” (Numbers 32:23).

2:15 > When the Pharaoh learned that Moses killed an Egyptian, his heart changed rather quickly. Moses might’ve been adopted by the princess and given an Egyptian upbringing, but he was not born an Egyptian. He flees to Midian (meaning “brawling” or “contention”) which becomes a place of refuge for him.

2:16-17 > Coming to Midian, Moses meets the daughters (7) of a priest in Midian. Moses helped them water their flocks. This is a BIG change from the life Moses enjoyed as one of the royal family and being waited on hand and foot. The desert was his working years. It was in the desert that he learned humility; how to serve.

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2:18-20 > The priest of Midian was Reuel (meaning “friend of God”) also known as Jethro (a title meaning his excellence), a worshiper of the true God. Since Moses still had his Egyptian clothes on (after all, he fled Egypt with the clothes on his back, and he was a well-educated Egyptian), the women assumed that he was Egyptian.

2:21-22 > Moses becomes part of Jethro’s family by marrying Zipporah (“sparrow”) and having a son Gershom (“refugee”). He settled in Midian and now had a family. He was a shepherd, an utmost humbling occupation.

2:23-25 > God hears the cries of the Israelites and remembers them. After all, He is the One Who hears, remembers, and sees. 400 years of misery comes to a climax after Thutmose III (1483-1450 B.C.) dies. Why do we wait until things get badly out of hand to cry out to God?

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God calls Moses to lead His people

Scripture in focus: Exodus 3

3:1 > For 40 years, Moses lived as a shepherd in the desert. Even at this point in his life, he doesn’t even have a flock to call his own. He is now 80 and God has a special task for him.

3:2-3 > The Angel of the LORD appears in the burning bush. This messenger is the Lord Himself taking to Moses (Acts 7:30). This fire was not consumable and it was probably the Spirit of Jesus Christ (Matthew 3:11). The sight was so unusual that Moses had to investigate why the burning bush was not… burning.

3:4 > Our Lord is a consuming fire (Hebrews 12:29)! 🙌 Notice that God did not speak to Moses until He had his full attention. Sometimes, His Word doesn’t touch our heart as it should for we neglect to give it full attention; I can testify to this. Also, note that the first words God spoke to Moses were his very own name reminding him that although he might’ve been forgotten by men, he was important to God. God remembered him even after all of these years. The double call (Moses, Moses) implies a sense of urgency, just as when God called Abraham (Genesis 22:11), Samuel (1 Samuel 3:10), Simon (Luke 22:31), Martha (Luke 10:41) and Saul (Acts 9:4)

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While Moses was tending to his father-in-law’s flock of sheep in the mountains of Midian, God spoke to Him via a burning bush. A few years later, Moses recieved the 10 Commandments there.

3:5 > Wherever the presence of God is, it is considered holy. The area near the bush was God’s house and it had to be treated with great respect. Moses was coming even closer to inspect this burning phenomenal when God told him to do two things:

1. Don’t come any nearer: God is holy and there’ll always be a distance between God and mortals. No matter how beautiful, rich, or perfect we might be, we’ll never be equal to God.

2. Remove your sandals: In Afro-Asia culture, people do not wear shoes inside a home. Moses was in God’s house, and he had to show respect by the removal of his shoes. 

3:6 > The great I AM! God’s opening words take us back to 2:24 showing that He has remembered His people. Moses hides his face in reverent fear.

3:7-10 > God explains His plans to Moses and what Moses’ place in the plan will be. God is compassionate and He cares for His people. I love where He says “And I am come down to deliver them out of the hands of the Egyptians” (v. 8), for it points to a future  incarnation of Jesus coming to deliver us from worldy bondage to salvation (John 1:14). Here, God is going to deliver His people through Moses who’ll be an instrument. 

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3:11-12 > Moses’ answer is a question, and we immediately see that he has some doubts about taking on the task that God has set before him. All God wants is a willing vessel, and He’ll do the rest, so when/if He comes to us with a task, remember that with Him, ANYTHING is possible and reply, “Here I am, send me” (Isaiah 6:8). We need to be willing to be used by God; humble and willing in His presence, and He’ll do the rest. God didn’t answer Moses’ “Who am I?” question, instead, He takes Moses’ focus off himself and places it where it should be – on Him. When Moses questions his ability, God promises to be with him. He was very patient with Moses. 

3:13-14 > Moses wonders what he’ll tell the Israelites about Who has sent him. There are 3 primary names of God:

1. Elohim (God) – This name emphasizes His strength and creative power and it occurs 31 times in Genesis 1

2. Jehovah/Yahweh – Often translated as Lord in the KJV, this Name is used to express God’s self-existence.

3. Adonai (Lord) – Simply “master”.

Moses did not understand enough about God’s authority, but that is soon solved when God reveals Himself as “I AM” (Yahweh). This name shows that God simply is, and points to His self-existence. He is unchanging, uncreated, and eternal. “I AM” speaks of absolute presence, breathes of His timelessness, and cements His existence. With a statement so powerful as “I AM”, how then, can we gloss over His existence as we LITERALLY see His intimate woven detail throughout His wonderful works of Creation. He is! (Hebrews 11:6)

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3:15 > “The LORD God of your fathers”This ain’t no new god. This is the God that placed Noah in an ark to keep him safe, that walked with Abraham, the One that kept His promise to Hagar, and Who was with Joseph in Egypt. He is everlasting and eternal. He’ll never die for He is the same throughout (Hebrews 13:8). In times of despair, “I AM” becomes what we lack: when we’re hungry, He says, “I AM the bread of life”. When we’re in the dark, He says, “I AM the light”. “I AM” announces His presence and invites the interested to get to know Him (Revelation 3:20), to taste and see that He is good.

Life in Him is eternal (John 8:24).

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3:16-17 > God instructs Moses what to tell the elders of Israelites. His plan is to deliver His children from bondage so they could worship Him and be established as His chosen people. If we want to start a new life in Christ, we must believe that there is a Promised Land and be willing to leave the world (Egypt) behind. We cannot serve God while we’re caught up in the world (Egypt); we must leave worldliness behind if we truly want to worship God.

3:18 > God instructs Moses what to tell Pharaoh.

3:19-20 > God warns Moses that Pharaoh will not listen, but he’ll let the people go after God performs His miracles. God already knew that Pharaoh wouldn’t let His people go easily, so He’ll bring great judgment against Egypt to persuade him. He shows Moses that it’s going to be a battle. The great symbolism here shows that we, Christians (Israelites) too, are in a spiritual warfare fighting against principalities (Ephesians 6:12). Satan is fighting with all his might to keep us in the world, but we can overcome the world through Christ and follow God. Pharaoh (symbolic of Satan) would fight to keep the Hebrews under subjection to him.

3:21-22 > God tells Moses how the Israelites will plunder the Egyptians; they were not going to leave empty-handed (Genesis 15:14; Deuteronomy 15:12-14). After all, the Hebrews’ fight was not with the Egyptian people, but against the cruel rulership which made them slaves. Most likely, they would’ve come into favor with some of the Egyptians. Since the Hebrews were slaves and without resources, the silver and gold were definitely necessary to finance the building of the tabernacle.

Related scripture reading:

^ Acts 7:22 > Moses was educated in all things Egyptian given that he was raised as a prince.

^ Hebrews 11:24 > When he becomes of age, Moses is refused to be called “the son of Pharaoh’s daughter”.

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Additional Notes

^ Moses in Egyptian most likely meant “to give birth to/born”; the Hebrew equivalent means “to be drawn out”.

^ The Midianites, who were descendants of Abraham and Keturah (Gen. 25:1-4), settle in the Arabian Peninsula along the eastern shore of the Gulf of Aqabah.

^ In 3:1, we see Moses leading the flock of sheep to Mount “Horeb” (Sinai). This is also the place where God gave Israel His gift of the Law.

^ The Israelites must be willing to be delivered. They have to want Moses to deliver them before he could deal with the Pharaoh. We must be willing to give up the world (Egypt) before Jesus can deliver us. Just as Jesus had to deal with Satan to defeat and deliver us from our sinful bondage, Moses had to deal with the Pharaoh (Satan) to deliver the Israelites.

^ God had planned for the deliverance of both Moses and for the Israelites. The details in His plan was flawlessly executed. God did this.

Reference/Aids

* Prayer

* The Holy Spirit

* The Holy Bible

* Historical research

* The ever trusted bible-studys.org

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Exodus I: The Israelites in Egypt

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The story of Exodus begins where Genesis ends. The book begins with the words of Genesis 46:8 and from Exodus 1:1 – 12:36 recounts Israel’s final years in Egypt before the Exodus. I’ve always found Ancient Egypt to be fascinating, and although the Biblical Pharaohs may require additional research on my part, I’ve read that during the Second Intermediate Period (1786-1550), Egypt was overrun by the Hyksos (a people of diverse origins possibly from Western Asia).

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They were said to have introduced the horse and chariot to Egypt. By 1550 B.C., the Hyksos were expelled by Ahmose, who ushered in the 18th Dynasty and the New Kingdom Period (1550-1070 B.C.). It is from this period that a new king arose who did not know what Joseph had done for Egypt and viewed the Israelites mightier than his people (Exodus 1:8-10). Thutmose III was ruler over Egypt while Moses was in exile in Midian, but when he finally returned to Egypt, Amenhotep II was on the throne, and he was the Pharaoh of Exodus.

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Israel’s affliction in Egypt.

Scripture in focus: Exodus 1

1:1-6 > In these opening verses, we have a recital of Israel coming into Egypt via the 12 patriarchs, Joseph’s death, and the passing away of that generation. 

1:7 > Here, we see that the seed of Abraham was now a nation. Gen. 35:11-12 had been fulfilled in Egypt. To think that this family started with 5 people (Jacob, Rachel, Leah, Zilphah, and Bilhah) back in Haran!

1:8-10 > When Joseph was alive, he was loved for all the good that he did for Egypt, now that he was dead, he was soon forgotten and all of his influences were wiped clean from the new councils. Solomon puts this well in Eccl. 9:5; 15. If we work to please man, our works will die with us, but if we work to please and serve God, they will follow us (Rev. 14:13).

This new king did not care for Joseph’s heroics for he did not live during the famine, did not know him, and thus, felt no obligation to the mass of foreigners living in his land. He only cared that they were too many and some sort of control over them had to take place for he feared they were mightier than the locals. 

Also, this “new king” is said to be most likely a Hykso for the Amorites were one of the main elements of the Hyksos people, and they might as well have a reason to loathe the descendants of Jacob because of the Shechem incident (Gen. 34) and Jacob’s later conflict with the Amorites (Gen. 48:22). 

1:11 > The Hebrews are put to work to build treasure cities for the Egyptians. Work also took the Hebrews’ minds off war: at that time, the Egyptians feared invasion from the Hittites of the north, and had the Hebrews choose to join their enemies, then it would’ve shaken their security.

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1:12-14 > Despite their bondage, the Hebrews continues to prosper and grow. Egypt was like a mother’s womb for Israel to multiple into the nation that it was destined to become so when it was time for them to finally leave Egypt, it was like leaving the nest.

1:15-17 > Pharaoh Amenhotep I (1545-1525 B.C.) commanded the midwives to commit infanticide; he is succeeded by Thutmose I (1525-1508 B.C.) who commanded the Hebrew boys to be thrown into the Nile in verse 22. These Pharaohs were agents of Satan for the attempted destruction of the Seed of the woman, but God preserved the Messiah’s line. The midwives refuse to partake in the killing of the young ones for they feared God. And rightly so, for we should not break God’s law to obey Government.

1:18-21 > Because they obeyed God before man, the midwives were blessed by God.

1:22 > The Pharaoh is relentless in pursuing his drive to get rid of the newborn baby boys, that he goes even further: he gave public orders to drown all the male children of the Hebrews. The Nile river was worshiped by the Egyptians, and they believed in many gods so this was like human sacrifice. However, they’ll rue the day that they followed their Pharaoh’s orders for the 10th plague would kill their firstborn.

Related scripture reading:

^ Psalms 105 and 106: these psalms look at Israel’s history from God’s perspective, their faithfulness, God’s mercy in spite of Israel’s sinfulness, and the Lord’s justice. 

^ Acts 7:8

^ For Exodus 1:7 cross-reference the multiplication promises in Genesis 1:28; 9:1; 12:2; 17:2; 26:4; 28:14 and 48:4.

Additional Notes

^ The book of Exodus reflects how we Christians were in bondage to the slave of sin before our Savior comes to deliver us. The cruel Pharaoh (Satan) afflicts Israel (God’s children) until the gift of salvation through the Deliverer. This is our story, too.

Reference/Aids

* Prayer

* The Holy Spirit

* The Holy Bible

* Historical research

* The ever trusted bible-studys.org

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Bible Study

Exodus: a short introduction

Meaning: Exodus is a Greek word meaning “exit”, “departure” or “going out”.

Author: Moses

Penned: 1445-1404 B.C.

Position: the 2nd book of the Bible, Old Testament, and Pentateuch 

Chapters: 40

300 years separate Genesis from Exodus.

In Exodus, we’ll read about the freedom for God’s people from slavery and the beginning of national identity. This book gives us an insight into Hebrew customs and it emphasizes God’s covenant. The deliverance from bondage is a beautiful analogy of the sinner’s redemption from the bondage of sin. God is presented as:

^ The great “I AM”;

^ The One Who controls history;

^ A holy God;

^ The God Who remembers, and

^ The God Who speaks.

Exodus records the 10 Commandments, the 10 plagues, the beginning of the Passover, the parting of the Red Sea and the building of the Tabernacle.

 

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Soon, I’ll be uploading the study for Exodus and I invite you to join me. Until then, study the Word and continue to look heavenward for we need to hold onto God more than ever given the times that we’re living in. The coming of our King draws near.

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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Genesis: an origins recap

After completing the study of Genesis last year, I wanted to dive straight into Exodus, but the timing was not right. I’ve since moved on to restudy other books and I’ve discovered so many gems, but they’re not to be shared until the Lord permits me to. So, let’s recap where it all started.

Meaning: Genesis comes from the Greek word meaning “origin”, “source”, “generation” or “beginning”.

Author: Moses

Penned: 1450-1410 B.C.

Position: the 1st book of the Bible, Old Testament, and Pentateuch 

Chapters: 50

The Book of Genesis opens with the story of creation. It is followed by the fall of man, the spread of civilization, the Great Flood, the call of Abraham, promises of salvation through the Messiah and Joseph in Egypt as a type of Christ.

Genesis relates to the beginning of the universe, life, time, mankind, the Sabbath, marriage, sin, death, family, redemption, prophesy, language, and sacrifice. This book covers more time than the remaining books of the Bible combined.

It has 3 sequential geographical settings:

(1) Mesopotamia (chapters 1-22);

(2) The Promised Land (chapters 12-36); and

(3) Egypt (chapters 37-50).

The time frame of these 3 segments are:

(1) Creation to ca 2090 B.C.;

(2) 2090-1897 B.C.; and

(3) 1897-1804 B.C.

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I’ve learned a lot since I’ve restudied Genesis. From creation to redemption plans. However, there is an analogy that stood out for me besides the typification of Christ, and that is when God clothed Adam and Eve. After the couple is banished from the Garden of Eden, God clothed them (3:21; also cross-reference Matthew 6:25-34). This scene typified Christ’s death for in order for God to clothe the pair, He had to sacrifice an animal to create the garments. That means blood had to be shed and in this early scene, we see God’s desire to save mankind, but first, someone had to die for our sins. And in 22:13, a ram is provided for a sacrifice. Christ arrives on the scene later to fulfill every Messianic predictions from Genesis: 

3:15 – Christ is the seed of the woman.

4:25 – From the line of Seth.

9:27 – From the line of Shem.

12:3 – The descendant of Abraham.

21:12 – The descendant of Isaac.

25:23 – The descendant of Jacob

49:10 – From the tribe of Judah

After the fall of man, God could’ve ended mankind and declared the end, but He had us in His heart, and thus, we’re just at the beginning of the greatest love story ever told. Although we grieve Him, He still loves us very much.

Genesis covers more time than any other book in the Bible. It opens with the words: “In the beginning God created” (1:1), and it ends with “in a coffin in Egypt” (50:26). Thus, it covers the whole plight of man, who was created in God’s image to live forever, but because of sin became destined for the grave. The book leaves the reader anxiously anticipating the redemptive intervention of God (via bible-studys.org).

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Have you read this wonderful book where our history begins? What’s your favorite verse or chapter? Which character did you identified with the most? What was your favorite lesson, discovery, or analogy?

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Genesis XXVIII: the deaths of Jacob and Joseph

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Jacob blesses his sons

Scripture in focus: Genesis 49

49:1-2 > Jacob calls his sons together to pronounce a blessing upon each one. Israel was about to speak to his sons, and he did not want them to only listen, but to take heed of what he was about to say.

49:3-4 > Being the firstborn, Reuben had claims to the inheritance rights of the firstborn, but he defiled it through pride and immorality by laying with Bilhah, the mother of his brothers Dan and Naphtali (35:22). “Thou shall not excel”: The birthright and the double portion was given to Joseph; Reuben had one. He did not excel in honor, wealth, riches, or in numbers (Deuteronomy 33:6) all because his eyes were set on temporal fleshy pleasures rather than on God. His tribe never did excel and no important person (judge, king, or prophet) came from the tribe of Reuben. 

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49:5-7 > The second-born son Simeon and the third-born Levi are also harshly reprimanded for their evil deeds. They used circumcision (their covenant with God) to cruelly kill and avenge the rape of their sister Dinah. This only brought shame and disgrace to the house of Israel. The tribe of Simeon became the smallest in the second census of Moses (Numbers 26:14), were left out from the blessing of Moses (Deut. 33:8) and shared territory with Judah later on (Joshua 19:1-9). As for the tribe of Levi, they were scattered throughout Israel and because of their loyalty to God and by His grace (Exodus 32:26), they became a priestly tribe and the Lord was their inheritance.

49:8-12 > Judah’s name signifies praise. David and Solomon were of this tribe as well as the Messiah Who is referred to as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah” in Revelation 5:5. Jesus is referred to as Shiloh, the name meaning, “He whose right it is”. This tribe prospered greatly and had the largest population in Moses’ census (Numbers 1:27; 26:22). Judah was greatly blessed in material abundance and their land was a wine-growing country (Song of Solomon 1:14). We can see Christ through the everlasting blessings of Judah!

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49:13 > The tribe of Zebulun was situated by the seashore (between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee) and benefited greatly from the trade route, the Via Maris.

49:14-15 > The tribe of Issachar is compared to an ass for its strength and for also their use in farming. They were strong, yes, but they would enjoy the good of the land and not strive for it, hence why they were mostly always put into servitude.

49:16-18 > Dan signifies “to judge” and one such notable judge that came from this tribe was Samson. Dan shall be a serpent by the way: This was certainly a troublesome tribe for they introduced idolatry into Israel (Judges 18:30). In 1 Kings 12:26-30, Jeroboam set up an idolatrous golden calf in Dan and later on, Dan, unfortunately, became a center of idol worship (Amos 8:14). Dan was left out of the listing of tribes regarding the 144,000 in Revelation 7:5-8; however, it is the first tribe listed in the millennial roll call of the tribes in Ezekiel 48. “I have waited for thy salvation, O LORD.”: The salvation of Samson was a temporary one whereas the salvation of the Messiah is an everlasting one. Jacob was ready to rest in Jesus. 

49:19: The tribe of Dan was a warlike one and this tribe supplied many troops for David (1 Chronicles 12:14).

49:20 > The tribe of Asher (which signifies happy or blessed) occupied great land from Zidon to Carmel of the sea; from the great sea to Asor, and even to Naason. They were fruitful in oil, wine, and wheat.

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49:21 > Naphtali certainly give beautiful or goodly words for their land was in the key portion near the Sea of Galilee, where Jesus did much of his teaching and ministry (Matthew 4:12-16).

49:22-26 > Joseph was a type of Christ. Although he was shot at (The archers have bitterly grieved him), he was still a prosperous and fruitful bough. His strength came not of himself, but from God. Jacob listed 5 wonderful titles for God while pouring out his blessing over Joseph: The Shepherd; the Stone of Israel; the Almighty; the mighty God of Jacob and the God of your father

49:27 > The tribe of Benjamin was a warlike tribe. Examples can be found through Ehud in Judges 3:15-23; Saul (1 Samuel 9:1; 14:47-52) and Paul (Acts 8:1-3) who was a ravenous prosecutor. Mordecai and Esther were also from this tribe.

49:28 > Jacob concludes the blessings of his sons aka the 12 tribes of Israel.

49:29-32 > Jacob’s dying instructions are carried out later in 50:12-14. He was the last of the great patriarchs (of Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob) although God rose up other great men to use after them. Bible scholars put Jacob’s death at ca. 1858 B.C.

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Joseph dies

Scripture in focus: Genesis 50

50:1-3 > Jacob is embalmed and mourned for 70 days among the nation of Egypt.  Embalming is not a Hebrew custom, but rather an Egyptian one. The Hebrews do not embalm but bury their dead. In this case, it was necessary to embalm Jacob in order for his corpse to be carried and buried in the land of Canaan.

50:4-6 > After the mourning period, Joseph seeks the Pharaoh’s approval to go up to Canaan to bury his father. 

50:7-11 > It was a grand and honorable funeral procession fit for a king. The Egyptians did this because of their love and respect for Joseph. There was a seven-day mourning period for Jacob at the threshing floor of “Atad”. Seven means spiritually complete. Abel-mizraim or “Mourning of Egypt” was so named by the locals perhaps due to seeing so many Egyptians, they thought it was an Egyptian who died.

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50:12-14 > Jacob is buried in the cave of the field of Machpelah by his sons and everyone returns to Egypt. 

50:15 > Seeing that Jacob was now dead and buried, Joseph’s brothers yet again developed another fear through guilt. They thought that Joseph hated them and he pretended to get along with them for the sake of their father and now that Jacob was dead, a new hatred was going to take root. In the following chapters, we’ll see how this is further from the truth.

50:16-18 > Joseph’s brothers concocted a story through fear and their guilty conscience. Their action causes Joseph to weep for they thought lowly of him. He had already forgiven them and put the past behind. In the 18th verse, the brothers decided to go for themselves and humbly fall before Joseph (37:9).

50:19-21 > “Fear not: for am I in the place of God?”: Here, Joseph reminds his brothers that he would not arrogate himself with the power and vengeance that belongs to the Almighty. Given his status in Egypt as a high-ranking official, his word would’ve been good as gold, but Joseph knew that he was not God. Besides, whatever evil man may bring against us, God uses it for good (Romans 8:28).

Joseph comforts his brothers through his word and showed compassion. He loved them, forgave them, and provided for them. He is a beautiful shining example of how we should live with our family, enemies, and neighbors. 

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50:22-24 > Every time I read these closing chapters of Joseph’s life, I tend to get a little teary-eyed. Joseph was basically the first person I admired greatly when I was younger and was first introduced to Bible stories in primary school. Had none of those events occurred in his young life, then the Messiah couldn’t have come forth (see additional notes below). So, Joseph lived to be 110 years old and saw his great grandchildren’s children. In his last days on this earth, Joseph was content and happy. 

50:25-26 > Joseph died as he lived: firmly trusting in God to carry out His promises. It was by faith that he trusted in things not yet seen. According to Hebrews 11:22, Joseph was never buried in Egypt, but he was put in a coffin for 400 or so years until it was taken back to Canaan by Moses (Exodus 13:19) and buried by Joshua at Shechem (Joshua 24:32).

Bible scholars put the death of this remarkable man at ca. 1804 B.C. 

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And this is where the Book of Beginnings ends. 

Up next: A look back…

Additional Notes/Recap

^ Reuben is a great example of how the first can be last (Matthew 19:30).

^ Even when forgiven, the sins of our past can come back to hurt/haunt us for they may carry dreadful consequences that we have to face for a lifetime as we saw with Reuben and Simeon and Levi.

^ Dan shall be a serpent by the way: Because it was the tribe of Dan that introduced idol worship to Israel, some Bible scholars think that “serpent by the way” suggests that the Antichrist comes from this tribe based on Daniel 11:37 and Jeremiah 8:16.

^ Joseph lived a remarkable life because he trusted firmly in God. Had his brothers never sold him, he would’ve never gone to Egypt. Had he not gone to Egypt, he never would’ve been sold to Potiphar. Had he not been sold to Potiphar, he never would’ve been accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife. Had she never falsely accused him, he never would’ve been put in prison where he meets the baker and the butler. Had he never met them, he never interprets their dreams, never gets to interpret the Pharaoh’s dreams, is never made Prime Minister, will never consult and save lives during the severe famine. Had he never gone to Egypt to go through what made him who he was because of God, then his family would’ve surely died from the famine in Canaan. Had this family ceased to exist because of death by famine, then the Messiah can’t come forth and Jesus never came. Now, take a moment and imagine, what if Jesus never came?

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Heavenly Father, we bless and thank You for sending Jesus Christ to die for our sins and to give us hope. We also thank You for Joseph and the role he played in allowing the Messiah to come forth through his faithful actions in Jesus’ Name. Amen. 

Reference/Aids

* The Holy Bible 

* bible-studys.org

* blueletterbible.org

* prayer

***GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

Disclaimer

Thank You

Bible Study

Genesis XXVII: Israel dwells in Goshen

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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Joseph presents his brothers 

Scripture in focus: Genesis 47

47:1-4 > After his family arrives in Goshen, Joseph introduced five of his brothers to Pharaoh so the King can ask them what questions he sees fit.

47:5-6 > Pharaoh gives them the best of the land. Also from his statement about wanting able-bodied rulers over his livestock, we can see that the Pharaoh had flocks, herds, and perhaps shepherds. Foreign shepherds who lived on plunder and up to no good were perhaps, an abomination to the Egyptians.

47:7 > After the introduction of his brothers and the granting of Goshen, Joseph presents his father Jacob who then blessed the Pharaoh. 

47:8-10 > Pharaoh enquires of Jacob’s age to which the reply was 130 years old. He also acknowledged that he was on pilgrimage for this world was not his real home. He then blessed the Pharaoh – perhaps wishing him happiness and thanks – and left the King’s presence.

47:11-12 > Joseph became his family’s only source of provision and supply after settling them down in Goshen (also referred to as the Land of Rameses in verse 11 although the first Rameses dynasty didn’t reign until 1319 B.C. Before the city was called Rameses, it was known as Tanis and before that, Avaris. In Psalm 78:12, 43, the region is referred to as Zoan).

47:13-14 > The famine was severe and the inhabitants of both Egypt and Canaan didn’t know what to do. During the earlier years of the famine, money was poured into the treasury of Egypt given that it was the only place to purchase food. Joseph took the money to Pharaoh for it belonged to him. It was with Pharaoh’s money, storehouses were built, corn was brought and men were employed to look after the corn and sell them.

47:15-17 > Due to the severity of the famine, Egypt and Canaan were bankrupted. With no more money to purchase provisions, the Egyptians approach Joseph for bread. A barter system was put in place: animals for grain.

47:18-20 > In time of national crisis, the government benefits the most. In what appears to be the 7th and final year of the famine, the people came yet again to Joseph, this time offering their land and bodies (as servants to the Pharaoh) in order to eat. Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh making him the sole proprietor. Now that the land belonged to the Pharaoh, the people would now pay rent as directed by law.

47:21 > Those that probably dwelled in towns and villages were moved to cities and those that dwelled in cities, Joseph moved them to provinces. The Egyptians were strangers in their own land. They were alive, yes, but they did not own anything in their name for everything now belonged to the wealthier Pharaoh.

47:22 > Priests in Egypt are sacred. They had to be pure in order to serve the gods and the King always provided their needs including food and land, so the priests did not have to sell their land.

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In Egypt, the Pharaoh was believed to be the mediator between the gods and mankind. And since he couldn’t perform ceremonies at all the temples, he appointed priests to carry out the rituals at each temple. 

47:23-24 > Joseph addresses the Egyptians concerning the land. A generous proposal was made in which the Pharaoh receives 20% from the produce of the land annually. This is the first record in Scripture of a national income tax.

47:25-26 > The Egyptians are grateful to Joseph and they agree with the new law regarding the land. Only the priests did not have to worry about paying anything since the Pharaoh assigns land (the first parts) to them so they were free of tax and tribute.

47:27 > The family of Israel grows rich and numerous.

47:28-31 > Jacob lived 17 years in Egypt and was now 147 years old. He saw the fulfillment of God’s promise of the Israel nation multiplying and now, the time of his death was at hand. He sends for Joseph and made him promise that he’ll be buried in Canaan and not Egypt. After Joseph promises to adhere to his wishes, Jacob bowed on the bed head to give God thanks. 

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Joseph brings his sons to Jacob

Scripture in focus: Genesis 48

48:1-2 > Sometime after Joseph conversed with his father and promised to bury him in Canaan, he gets word that Jacob is sick. Joseph takes his two sons to see their grandfather to hear his dying words and to also receive his blessing. When Jacob got word that his favorite son was coming to visit, his spirits revived and he sat upon the bed with the help of his staff (Hebrews 11:21). 

48:3-4 > Luz is another name for Beth-el. God had done MANY things for Jacob where it concerns both spiritual and temporal worldly blessings.

48:5-6 > Jacob adopts Joseph’s two sons as his. They were his despite having Egyptian blood. In a way, they were replacements for Reuben and Simeon, who lost the right to leadership and any form of status in Israel’s family because of their sin (34:25; 35:22). Ephraim and Manasseh would be two tribes for they would receive Rueben and Simeon’s birthright.

48:7 > Here, Jacob concludes his testimony.

48:8-10 > Jacob then turns his attention to his grandsons. He could not see plainly. He saw Joseph’s sons, but he couldn’t discern who they were clearly. He brought them nearer to him so he could have a better sight of them and bless them.

48:11-12 > Jacob had never hoped to see Joseph again – given that he thought his beloved son was dead – much less his beloved son’s offsprings. After reuniting with Joseph, he lived 17 more years. We’ll be with God for eternity!

48:13-14 > Given that Manasseh was the eldest by birthright, Joseph was placing him in front of Jacob’s right hand to receive the preferential blessing. Ephraim, being younger, was to receive the lesser blessing of the left hand. However, Jacob intentionally crossed his hands giving the preferential blessing to the younger for Ephraim would become a substitute name for Israel. Both tribes were blessed, but Ephraim was greater as a tribe and in Isaiah 7:8, 7:17, and Hosea 4:17, Ephraim became equal to the name Israel.

48:15-16 > Jacob then blessed Joseph. In v. 16, we get the first mention of God as Redeemer/Deliverer/Savior (“the Angel which redeemed me”). Also in v. 15, we get the first mention in the Bible of God as a shepherd to His people: “the God who had fed me” is literally “the God who has shepherded me” (blueletterbible.org).

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48:17-20 > It displeased Joseph to see the youngest receiving the superior blessing, but Jacob knew what he was doing because of the spirit of prophecy. Sometimes, the last shall be first and the first last (Matthew 20:16).

48:21-22 > The passing of the torch from Jacob to Joseph. I love how strong the recognition of God in Jacob’s life was: God was with him (28:15), He expected young Jacob to trust Him no matter the situation (31:3) and Jacob was able to give a beautiful testimony of God’s presence in his life (31:5). Now, Jacob was able to encourage others with the promise of God’s presence (48:21). 

Up next: The death of Jacob and Joseph

Additional Notes/Recap

^ Chapter 47 reminds me that we were bought with a prize. Thank You, Jesus! 💙

^ The right hand has always been the favored position in the Bible. The right hand signifies strength and skill. The right hand of God is a place of salvation and protection (Psalm 16:8) and God’s strength (Exodus 15:6). The bride of a King sat at his right hand (Psalm 45:9). Jesus Christ is always described as sitting at the right hand of God (Mark 14:62; 16:19). He sits at God’s right hand where He intercedes as a Priest for believers (Romans 8:34; Hebrews 8:1).

^ In 48:13-16, we see another example of the firstborn’s blessings given to the younger brother instead of the eldest. However, in this instance, there is no scheming or bitterness (Proverbs 10:22), as we read of in chapter 27.

Reference/Aids

* The Holy Bible 

* bible-studys.org

* blueletterbible.org

* prayer

***GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

Disclaimer

Thank You

Bible Study

Genesis XXVI: Jacob learns that Joseph is alive.

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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Joseph makes himself known

Scripture in focus: Genesis 45 

45:1-3 > Emotionally charged, Joseph breaks down in front of everyone. He orders the Egyptians away from his presence and reveals to his brothers who he truly was. His brethren were sent into a state of shock that they were not able to say anything for a while. They were terrified for he was supposed to be dead years ago! They were probably anticipating the punishment to come thinking Joseph was after revenge. 

45:4-8 > Joseph gives his testimony about God’s divine intervention in his life. He did not hold a grudge or seek revenge for overtime (all the years he spent in Egypt) he realized that he was part of God’s plan to get the children of Israel into Egypt (via the famine) for 400 years. This was the fulfillment of that prophecy. v. 5, 7 & 8: “And God sent me” Joseph acknowledges that God was in control of his life and every situation and because of this, all things worked together for good.

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45:9-15 > Joseph tells his brothers to go home and to bring their father to Egypt to seek protection from the famine. In v. 9, he attributes his worldly grandeur, power and wealth to God and not Pharaoh and rightly so. V. 10: the land of Goshen was suitable for cattle, but it was loathed by the Egyptians. It was an Egyptian region not far from the court at Memphis, around the Wadi Tumilat, a valley that was about 40 miles long.

45:16-24 > Pharaoh blessed the sons of Jacob for Joseph’s sake. He was delighted that Joseph’s brothers had come and it had made Joseph so happy. I guess it’s safe to say that the news made the Egyptians happy for they were grateful to Joseph for his plan to keep them alive during the famine. 

45:25 > The boys arrive home safely and I can imagine Jacob’s joy at seeing them.

45:26 > They relate everything to their father and Jacob was speechless at the good news of Joseph being alive for he had been declared dead 22 years ago!

45:27-28 > The band of brothers told Jacob of Joseph’s achievements in Egypt and when he saw the magnificent wagons sent to carry him and his household to Egypt, Jacob’s countenance became cheerful for the son he was depressed over for so long was yet alive and well.  

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Jacob and family journeys to Egypt

Scripture in focus: Genesis 46

46:1 > Jacob stopped at Beer-sheba to honor God with sacrifices. Both Abraham (21:33) and Isaac (26:25) had erected altars there.

46:2-3 > God spoke to Jacob regarding the journey to Egypt bringing him assurance through a dream just as He did when Jacob was about to leave the Promised Land (28:12-17). God promised to make a great nation of Jacob in Egypt. Also, Jacob knew about the prophecy given to Abraham telling of the Israelites’ 400 years servitude in Egypt (15:13).

46:4 > “I will go down with thee into Egypt” this promise was enough to silence any fears Jacob might have harbored. After all, God is not limited to one place, He is EVERYWHERE! “I will surely bring thee up again This will be fulfilled after Jacob’s death since God is referring to the nation of Israel and not a person (Jacob). Egypt was never meant to be a permanent home for Israel. “and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes” A promise of his beloved son caring for him until his dying day.

46:5 > Being encouraged by the beautiful promises of God, Jacob proceeds with his journey. 

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46:6-7 > They arrived in Egypt safe and well. Biblical historians put the date at ca. 1877 B.C.; the Israelites stayed in Egypt for 430 years until the Exodus in 1445 B.C.

46:8-27 > A genealogical register of Jacob’s lineage in Egypt. 70 people grew to be millions at the exodus. It only takes a little for God to work with. In Acts 7:14, it is recorded as 75 people entering Egypt. It is not wrong if you add 5 more sons or grandsons of Joseph born in Egypt according to Bible scholars.

46:28 > Judah, of the Messianic line, was sent ahead to inform Joseph of his father’s arrival and to direct him a meeting place in Goshen for Jacob needed directions to find the area.

46:29 > Father and son are emotionally reunited after over 20 years! Joseph held onto his father for a good while as he wept with joy.

46:30 > After seeing and touching the apple of his eyes, Jacob could now be content to die. But he lived after this emotional reunion 17 more years (47:28).

46:31-34 > Joseph informs his family about his plans to ask Pharaoh for the area of Goshen, a place separate from the mainstream of Egyptian society. Also, Joseph’s father and brethren are shepherds and he is not embarrassed by their occupation. Goshen was abandoned with good pasture. God has already provided the perfect place for His children to dwell in this foreign land. Goshen was also the nearest part of the land to Canaan and perhaps nearer to Joseph who might have dwelled at Heliopolis or On. 

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Up next: Joseph meets with Pharaoh and brings his sons to Jacob. 

Additional Notes/Recap

^ The famine lasted for 7 years. When Joseph revealed himself to his brothers in chapter 45, only 2 of the 7 years had come to pass thus far (45:11). These 7 years of famine is like the 7 years of tribulation about to come on earth, and like Joseph, we must be prepared.

^ Go back again to 45:18. Dwell on it. Can you see a type and shadow here in what Joseph was promising his brothers and what Jesus promises His own? Jesus is preparing a place for us (John 14:2-3) and He’ll see to our every need. There will be a river of crystal clear water and a tree that bears fruit every month of the year (Revelation 22:1-2). How can we not want this? Also, reread 45:20. When Joseph’s brethren were told not to use their material things as an excuse to stay in Canaan, I see this as God telling us to leave our earthly things behind if we want to begin a new (and eternal) life with Him. In 45:22, the change of clothes shadows that when we leave this earth, we will put on our white robes of righteousness (Revelation 19:7-8). In v. 24, Joseph warns his brothers to keep a strait path (cross-reference Matthew 7:14). In other words, do not make things of this temporal world cause you to stray.

^ Overall, Chapter 45 is a shadow of beautiful promising things to come!

Reference/Aids

* The Holy Bible 

* bible-studys.org

* blueletterbible.org

* prayer

***GIFs/Images that don’t belong to LPM are via Google Search (Right-click for original source)

Disclaimer

Bible Study

Genesis XXV: The return to Egypt

In case you missed it: 

Bible Study Guide 

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Joseph entertains his brothers

Scripture in focus: Genesis 43

43:1-2 > The famine wore on in Canaan and the food eventually ran out due to the size of Jacob’s family (children, grandchildren, and servants). Jacob commanded his sons to return to Egypt to purchase more food. 

43:3-5 > Judah tries to convince his father to send Benjamin with them on the journey. Joseph is referred to as “the man” for Judah did not know who he was. 

43:6 > Jacob doesn’t want to let go of Benjamin for he was the child of his beloved Rachel and he was afraid that he’ll never see him again. He was very angry that the brothers told the man that they had another brother. 

43:7 > Judah explains to his father why they had to tell the man that they indeed had another brother. One can feel the yearning in Joseph’s questions.

43:8-14 > Judah takes responsibility for Benjamin by putting his own life on the line and Jacob finally caves in. In the previous chapter (42:37-38), Jacob rejected Reuben’s offer to see Benjamin safely to Egypt, but in verse 11, he finally accepted Judah’s offer because of the intense famine in the land. And not only that, he sends presents for the man hoping that Simeon will be released from prison and Benjamin returns safely to Canaan (as we see in verse 14). This takes me back to the time when he showered his twin Esau with gifts in 33:10-11 when they finally reunited.

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43:15-18 > The brothers return to Egypt with Benjamin and Joseph is excited to see them once again especially his little brother. He invites them to dine with him, but they were afraid when they were brought to Joseph’s house assuming the worst: the Egyptian official (Joseph) was going to imprison them for stealing money from him.

43:19-23: Before the brothers venture into the house, they explained about the money to the steward of Joseph’s house perhaps hoping that the steward will pass it on to Joseph, but the steward said “fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks“. It was because of the goodness of God, they had the money back, but the brothers were so preoccupied with thoughts of making things right, they missed the steward’s reference to God, for Egyptians did not recognize God. Some Bible scholars say that the steward was Manasseh, Joseph’s eldest son. 

43:24-25 > The steward treats them as honored guests and they made ready to present the gifts to Joseph when he came home.

43:26-28 > Remember 37:9? Remember how Joseph said eleven stars bowed down to him? His eleven brothers were now together and they were bowing to him. His boyhood dream came full circle when he enquired of Jacob’s well being and the brothers made obeisance on their father’s behalf for Jacob probably sent his salutations. Jacob represents the sun; the brothers, the eleven stars.

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43:29-30 > Joseph speaks a blessing to Benjamin and overcome with emotion at the joy of seeing his full brother, he quickly fled the room and into his private chamber to weep. He didn’t want to give himself away as yet in front of his brothers for it was not time to reveal his true identity.

43:31-32 > After his cry, he washes his face and went out to dine. The tables are segregated for Egyptians and Hebrews never ate at the same table together. Due to his rank, Joseph ate alone at one table (despite his power, he still couldn’t sit with the real Egyptians), the Egyptians at another, and Joseph’s brothers at another table. The Egyptians considered themselves superior for they came from gods and it was an abomination to socially mix with foreigners.

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43:33 > Joseph sits his 11 brothers according to birthright from youngest to eldest. The brothers were surprised, but they still didn’t have a clue as to who Joseph was. As far as they know, Joseph was dead (44:20). But so MANY clues were given! I guess God had blinded them to the obvious clues for it was not time yet.

43:34 > “Benjamin’s mess”: Favoritism. Joseph remembers that his brothers had resented him for their father had favored him the most so he decides to test his brothers by showing favoritism to Benjamin by giving him five times portion more than his brothers. However, the brothers passed this test showing that they were not jealous of Benjamin, but Joseph was not done testing them as we’ll see in the next chapter. 

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Joseph further tests his brothers

Scripture in focus: Genesis 44

44:1-2 > Joseph commanded his trusted steward to fill his brothers’ sacks with food and to give every man back his money. He also instructed the steward to place his special silver cup in Benjamin’s sack. The test here was to see how his brothers will react towards Benjamin in a sticky situation; to see how they felt about him. 

44:3-6 > The next morning, the brothers set out for home, but their joy is shortlived when Joseph’s steward (with a small army of men perhaps) comes after them and accuses them of theft. Verse 5: whereby indeed he divineth. The purpose of a silver cup/chalice/goblet was used by Egyptians for divining, meaning to call on an evil spirit for advice. It is not certain that Joseph practiced divination; the statement could’ve been made to make his brothers think he was an Egyptian for a true man after God’s heart would not divine a cup.

44:7-10 > The brothers claim that they are innocent of thievery. They were also confident that one of them had the cup that they declared the thief to be put to death and the rest of them be taken as slaves.

44:11-13 > The cup was found in Benjamin’s sack where the steward had placed it of course. The brothers’ reaction was instantaneous: they tore their clothes in mourning portraying the pain they felt in their hearts. They were certain that Benjamin was going to be sentenced to a life of slavery in Egypt if not death. When Joseph was taken as a slave, the brothers involved batted their eyes and allowed it to happen, now, they were willing to stand with Benjamin as they returned with him to the city. What a significant change in character!

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44:14-15 > They returned to Joseph’s house where Joseph was waiting and fell in total submission before him to plead for Benjamin and Jacob. Joseph, still in disguise as an Egyptian in front of his brothers continue his act. 

44:16-17 > “God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants” Judah, as the family spokesman, admits that they had truly sinned when they had stolen Joseph’s freedom. He did not shift any of the blame to Benjamin showing Joseph how much their hearts had indeed changed. Joseph tells them that they can go on home except for Benjamin who was going to be his servant. He just wanted to keep Benjamin. 

44:18-32 >  Judah intercedes for Benjamin. He also mercifully pleads for his father speaking of Jacob’s delight in Benjamin. Judah tells Joseph the story in its entirety from the beginning reminding Joseph that he was the one who wanted to set his eyes on Benjamin when they returned to Egypt for food hence the reason why Benjamin accompanied them.  Judah’s compassion shows Joseph that his brothers’ hearts were turned around for the best and it overwhelms him.

44:33-34 > Judah lays down his life for Benjamin and his father out of love proving that he was not the same man twenty years earlier (37:26-27). This display of sacrificial love foreshadows what Jesus Christ eventually did for the entire world. Here, Judah was a type of Christ, from whose tribe he sprung. And just as Christ forgave all of us, Joseph eventually forgives his brothers. 

Up next: Joseph makes himself known

Additional Notes/Recap

^ Part of God’s plan was for Israel to be in Egypt for 400 years and it’s no coincidence that it started with Israel/Jacob entering into Egypt with his family. As we see in chapter 43, the Egyptians did not mix with foreigners. Before Genesis comes to an end, God took Israel and his family out of the corrupted Canaan and placed them among racially so-call superior people who did not see any reasons to mingle with them. However, God had sent Joseph on ahead to make the arrangements for this destined time during which His people increased to millions.

^ In 43:12, Jacob instructs his sons to take double money with them. There’s a Math problem in there somewhere. If ten brothers went to Egypt and they took double money with them, how much units of money were there? Answer: 20 units. Does this lead somewhere? Yes. Silver and money are the same interchangeably, and this answers EXACTLY to the 20 pieces of silver they sold Joseph for in 37:28 (blueletterbible.org). Our God is not a God of coincidence. He is very detailed when it comes to His plans. 

Reference/Aids

* The Holy Bible 

* bible-studys.org

* blueletterbible.org

* prayer

*** Images and GIFs via Google Search

Bible Study

Genesis part XXIV: A lesson in repentance and salvation

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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Jacob sends his sons to buy corn in Egypt

Scripture in focus: Genesis 42

42:1 > ”Why do you look at one another?” Jacob noticed that perhaps at the mention of the word “Egypt”, the brothers looked at one another in a strange way. He wanted to know why, but they couldn’t tell him that they sold Joseph to Egypt; they lived with this terrible secret and guilt for 20 years. 

42:2 > The famine was not letting up and the only way for Jacob’s family to obtain food was to go into Egypt and buy it. 

42:3-4 > Ten of the eleven brothers obeyed their father’s order and immediately set out for Egypt. Benjamin was the youngest and Jacob’s favorite and he didn’t want anything to happen to him so he kept him away from the world.

42:5-8 > Prophesy of a young Joseph’s dreams are fulfilled from verses 9 and 37:5-11 when his brothers paid respect by bowing down to him. Joseph was now a mature adult and Egyptian in appearance and mannerism therefore, his brothers didn’t recognize him. Joseph knew them, though, and he was about to put them through a series of tests.

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42:9 > Joseph remembers the dreams he had when he was young. This was God’s doing. He recalled the dreams to Joseph’s memory to guide him accordingly. He was to be used as an instrument for the correction and restoration of the brothers (blueletterbible.org) and therefore, he had to keep his true identity under wraps for now… like a secret agent! He knew his brothers weren’t spies, but he didn’t want to break his role as ruler, so he accused them of being such to hear what they’ll say.

42:10-11 > The brothers replied that they all had the same father and therefore not likely spies.

42:12-13 > Still in character, Joseph accuses the brothers of espionage. The brothers knew they didn’t deserve this rough treatment. After all, they only wanted to obtain food and return home to their waiting father. Feeling the pressure to defend themselves, they told Joseph that they were 12 brothers, but “the youngest is this day with our father” (Benjamin) and “one is not” for they thought Joseph to be dead by now. If they only knew!

42:14-16 > If Joseph’s heart soared (after hearing that his father and youngest brother was still alive) and broke a little (hearing that his own brothers pronounced him to be dead), he did not show any emotion in front of them. He sticks to the spy accusation. Besides, he didn’t trust his brothers’ words when it came to Benjamin. He had to see Benjamin with his own eyes to make sure that they didn’t do something similar to Benjamin as they did to him. One of the brothers had to be elected to go back to Jacob’s house to bring Benjamin down into Egypt to make sure that they were telling the truth. 

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42:17 > Joseph gives the brothers a taste of the suffering he endured when he was brought into Egypt as a slave by putting them in prison. There, they’ll consult which brother will go up again to Canaan and bring Benjamin. Three days in prison (Joseph spent 3 years) was also enough to humble them and so, they were willing to do whatever Joseph demanded. 

42:18-20 > Joseph visits his brothers on the 3rd day to give orders. He feared God meaning that he did not want his brothers to fear him; he wanted them to trust him. If they were really honest men as they said they were, then they’ll do as he says. 

42:21 > The guilt returns tenfold! The brothers confer that they were guilty of the sin concerning their brother Joseph. After selling Joseph, they probably never talked of it again, but being imprisoned in Egypt for three days made them realized the error of their sin and it took twenty-two long years.

They’ve reached the first step to salvation by being convicted of their sins. Before we even ask forgiveness, we must identify our sins. 

42:22 > Reuben reminds his brothers that he told them not to lay a wicked hand on Joseph (37:21-22). They hearken unto him by not killing Joseph and although the Word does not say, it does seem probable that Reuben went out of sight from his brothers for a little while. Perhaps he took a stroll to try to figure how to get Joseph out of the pit and back home again when his brothers took Joseph out of the pit and sold him to the passing Ishmaelites.

42:23 > The brothers spoke freely thinking that Joseph was an Egyptian hence the reason he was using an interpreter, but Joseph understood every word which tumbled from their lips. See, in order for the relationship between the brothers to be restored, God had to work on their hearts so they can repent, be forgiven, heal, and move on. It probably grieved Joseph, but he had to let God have His way. 

42:24 > Overcome with emotion, Joseph wept. He knew this was God’s doing after hearing his brothers confess their sins and especially Reuben’s concern for him. After he composed himself, he returned to speak with his brothers. Simeon was kept as a hostage.

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42:25-28 > Joseph’s commands are carried out by a steward or deputy and the brothers – except Simeon – was sent on their way to Canaan. It was only when they stopped to take care of their beasts, that one of them opened his sack only to find his money restored. The money that he paid for the grain! Something was not right and their guilty conscience returned when they pondered “What is this that God has done to us?” 

Salvation is a free gift for everyone. We cannot buy it or obtain it by material means.

42:29-35 > The brothers return home and relate all that had befallen them while in Egypt to their father. And lo and behold! When every brother opened their sack, the money they paid to the steward was restored. Again, salvation is a free gift. We cannot buy it. Restoration is a joyful affair for all involved. Restore unto me the joy of thy salvation; and uphold me with thy free spirit (Psalm 51:12).

With Simeon in prison and with the restored monies, the brothers must return to Egypt for they could be accused of thievery and Simeon could be hanged.

42:36 > Jacob thinks everything is against him. With Joseph presumed dead and Simeon in an Egyptian prison, he did not want to lose another son. Jacob indirectly blamed the other sons for Joseph’s death. Also, he was so overwhelmed, he only thought of himself and how his happiness and comfort was being ripped apart. As Christians, we were never meant to be comfortable. Joseph was certainly not comfortable when he was taken from the pit and sold into Egypt, but he approached the attitude differently. When bad things happen and our world is shaken up, instead of the “Woe is me” attitude, approach it as knowing the situation would work together for the good (Romans 8:28). Even if you cannot see it, trust God.

42:37 > As the eldest, Reuben spoke on behalf of his brothers. “Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee” he doesn’t mean that children should be killed, but he put the life of his two sons at stake to show his father that he would do everything in his will to make sure Benjamin returns home safe and sound. He takes responsibility for Benjamin’s safety.

42:38 > But Jacob refused to send his precious son into Egypt clinging to the fact (and blame) that Joseph was no more with him. His remark also showed that he didn’t care if Simeon spent the rest of his life in an Egyptian prison for he was not of Rachel. 

Up next: The return to Egypt

Additional Notes/Recap

^ I love discovering little nuggets in God’s Word and this chapter in Genesis brings it home where it concerns salvation and restoration. Joseph showed that when power is used properly, it benefits everyone. 

Reference/Aids

* The Holy Bible 

* bible-studys.org

* blueletterbible.org

* prayer

*** Images and GIFs via Google Search