Bible Study

Genesis XXVII: Israel dwells in Goshen

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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)

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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

***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