Bible Study

Exodus III: The return to Egypt

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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I’m happy to finally return to the study of Exodus after the lapse in concentration due to severe headaches. Praise God for this period for despite the pain, I got to truly enjoy rest. To pick up where we’ve left off, let’s turn our Bibles to the fourth chapter. 

Aaron joins Moses

Scripture in focus: Exodus 4

4:1 > Even after the lengthy conversation/explanation that Moses had with God in 3:14-22, Moses is still doubtful. Although God promised that He’ll be with him, Moses panics over the people not believing him.

4:2-5 > Miracles are signs for those that didn’t believe, and God gives Moses the power to work miracles so that His people may believe starting with the rod that became a part of the many miracles pertaining to the delivery of God’s people. Here, we see it become a serpent that Moses runs away from, but when God commanded him to take it by the tail which is the most dangerous place to handle a snake, Moses had enough faith to do so and come away unharmed.

We might ask, where was this faith in the first place when God came to him? God was building it up. And why snakes? Perhaps it’s due to the fact that the Egyptians had a fascination with snakes… as I do.

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4:6-8 > Leprosy was a dreaded disease that was thought to be incurable. In these verses, we see Moses puts his hand into his bosom and when he takes it out, it’s leprous. Again, he places said hand in the same place, but this time when he takes it out, it’s back to normal. A thing or two I took away from this:

* Moses was never to work miracles by his own power or for his own praise. He was supposed to work them by the power of God and for His glory.

* By the power of God, Moses would bring diseases upon Egypt.

4:9 > If the two miracles were doubted, then the water would become blood. This foreshadowed the first plague. Since Egypt was dry land, water was of utmost importance to them, so much, that they worshiped the Nile.

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4:10-12 > After all of these things, Moses comes up with another excuse: “I can’t speak well.” What he means is that he is unable to articulate his thoughts in flowing speech, and I can relate for I write better than I speak. However, Moses was brought up in an Egyptian palace and was exposed to one of the best education systems in his time, and he was indeed mighty in words and deeds (Acts 7:22). He didn’t need a translator or a course in public speaking, all Moses needed to do was trust the Lord. If the Lord could’ve spoken to him through a burning bush, God could speak through him in front of Pharaoh.

God is not interested in our abilities for He’s the One Who gives them to us anyway. He’s not interested in our eloquent speeches, just our willingness.

4:13-16 > Moses tries to wriggle out one last time by saying that he’s up to the task if God insists, but it’ll be better if God sends someone else. God is rightly angry at Moses’ unwillingness, but He commissions Moses’ brother Aaron for the role of spokesperson. God already knew that Moses was going to throw the Book of Excuses at Him, so He already had Aaron on his way. 

4:17-18 > Despite Moses’ unwillingness, he had the “staff of God” and was given the power to perform the signs and miracles. Aaron was just the mouthpiece. Moses then seeks permission from his father-in-law to leave, so he could go and accomplish God’s purpose. 

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4:19-20 > There was no one waiting to kill Moses upon his return to Egypt for the ones that sought his life were all dead. Moses takes his wife, sons, and the “staff of God” to return to the dreaded Egypt.

4:21 > God tells Moses how events will unfold in Egypt. The hardening of Pharaoh’s heart shows God’s direct involvement in the affairs of men so that His purpose will be accomplished. Pharaoh refuses to believe in the One True God, for he was a god himself, and so, God had to harden his heart – later on, Pharaoh will harden his own heart – to bring judgement upon a mortal masquerading as a god on earth and for resisting His will.

4:22-23 > The firstborn son was special and sacred to the ancient Egyptians and God considered the nation of Israel his firstborn son and the Pharaoh was not going to have it. Who was this God? Why is an entire nation special to Him? Pharaoh was considered the favored son of his false god Ra, but God was going to let the mortal ruler know that Israel was His covenant people, and He was going to reveal Himself through them. In order for Israel to truly serve God, they needed to leave the world (Egypt) behind.

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4:24-26 > God inflicts an illness upon Moses for he had neglected his duty by not circumcising his second son. Zipporah didn’t approve of this practice as we can see from these verses, but Moses is the head of the household, and he knew the importance of this rite, so he shouldn’t have listened to his wife. Zipporah eventually performed the rite swiftly for she understood the danger of her husband’s life albeit repulsed. She threw the skin at Moses’ feet showing her disapproval of him as a husband because of this blood covenant with God. God let Moses go, but Zipporah was in her feelings still expressing her dislike for the Hebrew practice.

4:27-28 > Aaron and Moses reunites on Mount Horeb and became brothers in ministry that very day. Moses told his brother everything concerning the mission from God and the signs he has been given. 

4:29-31 > The brothers met with the elders and everything functions smoothly: Aaron the effective mouthpiece, Moses the demonstrator. The people believe, and they humbled themselves before God and worships Him.

Related scripture reading:

^ John 14:11 > Believe in Jesus for the very works’ sake. Because of the many signs and wonders, the people who followed Jesus believed. 

Additional Notes

^ To expand a little on 4:2-5 where God uses the simple shepherd’s staff in Moses’ hand, God likes to use what’s in our hands to bring glory to Him. In John 6:9, God uses the five loaves and two fishes in a boy’s hand to feed many. He used the stone and sling in David’s hand to bring down Goliath (1 Samuel 17:49). There are a few other examples throughout the Bible.

^ The book of Exodus attributes the hardening process ten times to God (verse 21; 7:3; 9:12; 10:1, 20, 27; 11:10; 14:4, 8, 17), and nine times to the Pharaoh himself (7:13-14, 22; 8:15, 19, 32; 9:7, 34-35). The first two references (verses 21 and 7:3), state that God “will harden” the Pharaoh’s heart without specifying when that will be. The next ten references (the only exception is in 9:12), indicate that the Pharaoh hardened his own heart (via bible-studys.org).

Reference/Aids

* Prayer

* The Holy Spirit

* The Holy Bible

* Historical research

* The ever trusted bible-studys.org

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Bible Study, Blog Related

Bible Studies to resume soon

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:

Bible Study Guide 

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Bible Study

Exodus II: Moses

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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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

Thank You

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Bible Study

Exodus I: The Israelites in Egypt

In case you missed it:

Bible Study Guide 

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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

Thank You

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Bible Study

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?

In case you missed it:

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Books & Reviews 📚

Book Haul 2020 📚

It’s hard not to buy books when you’re on a book ban, but when they’re books that leave you no choice but to buy them, then why resist?

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Yes, yes, it does make me happy! 😃 It might be my first and last of 2020, but it’s book haul time!

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The Extraordinary Journeys of Clockwork Charlie by Dave Butler

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I got this one for my youngest sister. I don’t know much about this book, but it’s part 1 of a 3-part series. She tends to gravitate towards books for a younger audience and I hope the story in this book will be engaging enough to hold her interest until the last page.

Mi Casa Uptown by Rich Perez

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This one was brought for my other sister. Pastor Pérez talks about the importance of love including how to love our neighbor… even when it hurts to do so. It’s part memoir and part sermon that teaches hospitality is at the heart of God as we can see throughout the Bible as early as Genesis. It’s about growing a Christ-like love for everyone. 

Agents of Babylon by Dr. David Jeremiah

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I’ve wanted this book for a long while now, so when I saw it, there was no way I was going to not buy it. I’m currently studying Biblical prophecies again and this book is said to explain what was already fulfilled and what is to be fulfilled. However, I must admit that I am skeptical about it, as I am with many books based on Christianity, for many authors seem to misquote the Bible and misrepresent God. Still, I’ll read it at some point.

A Concise Guide to Bible Prophecy by Stan Guthrie

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Another prophecy book! This book is said to be great for new Christians as a guide to the prophecies in the Bible. I am not new to prophesy for it’s a topic I studied zealously back then when I was rediscovering the Bible, but this book wouldn’t hurt.

The Devil in Pew Number Seven by Rebecca Nichols Alonzo

This one was an impulse buy. I have no idea what it is about only that a pastor and his young family moved to a church in a small town only to be terrorized by a member who didn’t like the brand of Jesus the pastor was selling. This real-life story is told by the pastor’s oldest daughter. Based on the font, I’m sure Rebecca is not a great storyteller, but I’ll still read it.

Beginnings by Steve Wiens

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The author said that this book is not meant to answer all of our questions, but if it does, it will create new questions that will lead the reader on a path of discovery. I’m not here for neither; I just want to make sure that Mr. Wiens stuck to the Word as it is written for he tends to explore what’s holy in humanity. 

Bible Stories: Mini Collection by Miles Kelly

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I’m not going to lie. I saw the cover, liked the illustrations, and brought it. Yes, just like that. 

The Pilgrim’s Progress by John Bunyan

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The only reason why I got this book is due to the fact that I am planning a reread. The narrator defends the story that he’s about to tell of a man named Christian. The story itself is framed as a dream and is told in allegorical style. When I first read it, I rated it a 3 out of 5 overall, for there was some bothersome stuff, but when I read it again – and for good – I hope to put the case to rest. 

Life Promises for Eternity by Randy Alcorn

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This book is meant to be read during devotional studies.

God is Holy and We’re Not by R.C.Sproul

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Looks like a short and sweet read.

A Bouquet of Favorite Psalms to Inspire Your Soul

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This is also to be read during devotional studies. It’s such a beautiful book inside and out!

The Book of Useless Information and The Book of Who Said That?

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When I saw these books at my favorite bookstore, I grabbed them up without batting an eye for the covers felt soft to the touch, but they’re books I’ll certainly read for I love the randomness of it!

Although most of those books are based on Christianity, I know that a few of them, if not all, are going to let me down, so I won’t be holding my breath. I’ve been reading a lot lately, two-four books at a time, so I’ll have to wait a while to read any of these, but I look forward to getting around to at least five of them before the year runs out.

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Coffee Tuesday! ☕

The next step in this journey.

Salut! And welcome back to this little space on the internet. 

2019, huh? I had so many plans for the blog but in the end, many of them were not to be. Now, I look ahead to see where blogging will take me in 2020.

The journey continues?

God has plans for this blog, so yes, the journey is going to continue. I’ve already sketched ideas for certain topics and in doing so, I got a chance to improve my graphics game. Thank You, God! Creativity comes from the Creator after all and I enjoy discovering new ways to create things.

A few blog plans thus far:

Bible studies, monthly scriptures…

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Studying the Bible is not a pastime, it’s a habit and the more time I spend in the Word, the more I learn or discover. We’ve only studied Genesis thus far on LPM, but I do plan on posting study notes from Exodus when the time is right. As for the weekly scriptures, they’ll now become monthly from January.

…and a devotional?

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I’ve always wanted to feature a devotional monthly study on the blog and it looks like I’ll be getting an opportunity soon. I’ve prayed about it and the study was already revealed to me so bless God for this. I’ll reveal the Book which God led me to when the time is right. It’s not going to be anytime soon, though.

New/revamp categories 

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The categories are something I tend to mention during these kinds of wrap up. It’s most likely that some of these categories would be renamed and some might be dropped. One such category is French Friday which is most likely to be renamed. And yes, there are a few new categories on its way which will be revealed in due time. Also, me dearest, if you’re reading this, I plan to start doing book reviews again. 😁

366 days of gratitude?

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Ruth over on plantedbylivingwater is currently doing 365 days of thanks and it’s a wonderful reminder to be grateful. I’ll love to participate as well, but I’m not sure how it’s going to work out as yet. However, I am seriously considering opening a blog just for this sole purpose, so I can journal 366 things to be grateful for in 2020. 

Posting schedule

Where it concerns randomly posted topics, nothing has changed. However, I got led to create a blogging planner for the first time since I’ve started blogging. I’ve never had the need for one before, but God has many things planned for this blog in 2020 so most likely I’ll be using the planner to schedule posts. 

Here’s to 2020!

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May your 2020 be blessed abundantly by God as you continue to shun worldly pleasures in favor of following the true King.

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Bible Activity/Discussion

Jesus and Joseph: the similarities

Genesis 37:23 New International Version (NIV)

So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe—the ornate robe he was wearing

Matthew 27:28 New International Version (NIV)

They stripped him and put a scarlet robe on him,

Many characters in the Old Testament foreshadowed the life of our Savior, but perhaps no one foreshadowed the life of Christ more than Joseph. His faith was remarkable and a shining example for all of us. While rereading Genesis, I enjoyed discovering the similarities between him and our Savior. Did you notice any similarities? If so, how many?

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Activity

Joseph was a type of Christ. It’s no coincidence that Jesus’s earthly father was also called Joseph. I’ll share a few similarities I discovered while studying the life of Joseph:

💙 Joseph was a shepherd; Jesus is the Good Shepherd. 

💙 Joseph was loved by his father more than his other brothers (Gen 37:3) and Jesus is the beloved of His Father (Matt. 3:17).

💙 Joseph was mocked and called a dreamer (Gen 37:19) just as Jesus was called beside Himself (Mark 3:21).

💙 Joseph was sold for 20 pieces of silver and stripped of his coat; Jesus was sold for 30 pieces of silver and stripped of his clothing. 

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💙 Both were tempted severely but did not sin.  

💙 They associated with two criminals: one is pardoned, the other is not.

💙 Both were 30 years old when they began their life’s work. 

💙 Both blessed the world with bread and became the only source of bread for the world. 

💙 Joseph recognized his brethren although they didn’t know him when they first came into Egypt to purchase provisions. After Jesus was resurrected, His brethren didn’t recognize Him, but He knew them.

💙 Joseph prepared a place for his family and received them into it; Jesus has prepared a place for us in His coming kingdom.

Joseph and Jesus were falsely accused, were great counselors, provided for all in need, and were men of strong faith.

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There are MANY other similarities! How many can you find? You can do them during your Bible Study period or you can feel free to share them below in the comment section.

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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

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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

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