Genesis

Genesis 48-50 The End!!

(This might be long BUT by far the best post this month.  I have countless hours invested in research.  I will try to be as concise as possible)

I hear people say “I have read Genesis before”.  Even if you have, I hope this was like it was brand new to you.  There are chapters we tend to say “Ummm I have no idea why I have to read this” and we skip it.  Chapter 49 is usually one of those chapters.  But we are NOT skipping it.

First, Chapter 48: The Adoption!  We already covered that Judah will get the Blessing, but now it is time for the birthright.  This is a very important section because it explains how Joseph’s sons, born and raised as Gentiles (that’s you) are adopted into the Hebrew’s EQUALLY.  Joseph does not become the head of a tribe,  but Ephraim and Manasseh will have an equal standing as Jacob’s other sons.

“Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine.

Reuben was first born, he disqualified himself for the birthright when he slept with his “step-mom”.  Seriously, who needs Netflix when you have this??  Ancient Eastern adoptions exercised placing the adopted child on the knees of the adopting parent to symbolize giving birth to the adopted.  In verse 12,  Joseph removed the sons from his knees and puts them close to the adopter: Jacob.  He arranges the sons in birth order assuming the birthright will be chronological.  This is actually the 4th consecutive generation where the prominence of the first born was reversed

  • Isaac over Ishmael
  • Jacob over Esau
  • Joseph over Reuben
  • Ephraim over Manasseh

Looks like I am going to have to give Charlie more than Elliot, or at least a nicer car to keep the tradition going!

Jacob, even though his health and eyes are failing, when Joseph said “You’re doing it wrong”, Jacob says in verse 19: “I know my son, I know”.

20 He blessed them that day and said,

“In your  name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
    ‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”

So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.

21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of land than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”

The tribe of Ephraim will be given favorable land which will include Shechem: a ridge of mountain, in the Samaria area.  Question of the day: what Bible icon rises from the Tribe of Ephraim??


Chapter 49.  Are you ready to geek it out with me??  Read it once over BEFORE reading my notes.  Now that you have hung on ever word of the first 48 chapters I think you could probably do this chapter without me!  Keep notes any way that suits you best, I actually copy and pasted the scriptures to write on them from bible gateway because I refuse to wear readers and look old like my husband.

Jacob will foretell what would become of each tribe and their descendants.  We will see blessings, curses, judgments, and prominence.  Jacob will draw on the past and look to the future.  Here we go!  For the super geeky like Lucas, click here for a map you can print to look at while we do this.

Here are the notes to put next to the scriptures:

  • Reuben- #1
    • vs 3: firstborn, should have been given the birthright, blessing, double portion, leadership of the tribes.
    • vs 4: tribe of Reuben produces no significant men, judges, kings, prophets, or priests
    • vs 4: Gen: 35:22 he sleeps with Bilhah
    • write in margin:
      • Transjordan tribe
      • God saves Israel from reckless leadership
  • Simeon and Levi #2 and #3
    • vs 5: they are blood brothers born from Leah
    • vs 6: Gen 34 Shechem- vengeance from Dinah’s rape
    • vs 7: neither will be given land
      • Simeon will be absorbed by Judah
      • Levi dispersed in cities
        • Levi WILL be blessed with honor of priesthood when they sided with Moses at Mt. Sinai in Exodus 32:26-28
  • Judah #4
    • vs 8: Because #1.#2. #3 are disqualified, Judah will become the Covenant tribe.
    •  vs 9: compared to a Lion who is the king
    • vs 10: Scepter: Royalty.  The Messianic line.  The Davidic Monarchy.
    • vs 11: (I don’t know….) don’t write that.  Is this end time?  Can someone help me.
  • Zebulun#5
    • vs 13: given the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee
      • historical records show Zebulun shared a territory with Issachar
  • Issachar #6
    • vs. 14: Submissive tribe to the Canaanites
    • vs 15: farmers, agriculture
    • become slaves
  • Dan #7
    • vs 16: Samson.
    • vs 17: Judges 18- Led Israel into Idolatry
  • Gad #8
    • vs 19 gets attached my nomads
      • write in the margin: Transjordan Tribe
  • Asher #9
    • given the most fertile land
  • Naphtali #10
    • you may not want to write this BUT I wrote “My favorite Judge: Deborah!”  Oh how I want to be her when I grow up
  • Joseph #11
    • vs 22 tribe grew fruitful in the land
    • vs 22 Manasseh and Ephraim are the branches (grafted into the family)
    • vs 23- his brothers, Potiphers wife, prisoners
    • vs 24: God was with him
    • vs 25 and 26: (circle the blessings)
  • Benjamin#12
    • vs 27 produces many warriors
      • 1st King (Saul)
      • Ehud, Jonathan,
      • Esther, Mordecia
    • vs 27: 3 incidents, they plunder after a battle 😦

CHAPTER 50- we close the book of Genesis with the death of Jacob and Joseph.  Keeping with Egyptian customs both were mummified.   Joseph is given permission to bury Jacob at the cave Abraham bought for the family to be buried in, back in Gen 23.  Seems like forever since we read that Joseph’s remains are in a coffin in Egypt but his descendants promised to eventually bury him with the family.

 

 

 

 

 

Genesis

What is a Typology?

A biblical typology is where there is symbolism in the Old Testament that will represent something in the New Testament.  There are lots of them and whenever I do this I can hear God’s voice (he sounds like James Earl Jones in my head) laughing at me saying “You have no idea all the fun stuff in the Bible that you mere humans think you uncovered, if you only knew there are millions your human little eyes don’t even pick up on because I am God and you are not!”  Here is a Joseph as a type of what is to come (not a comparison, there is none that compares), just a Typology.

He was the favorite son of a wealthy father Gen. 37:3 Matt. 3:17
He was a shepherd Gen. 37:2 John 10:11-14
He was taken into Egypt to avoid being killed Gen. 37:28 Matt. 2:13
He became a servant Gen. 39:4 Phil. 2:7
He began his ministry at the age of thirty Gen. 41:46 Luke 3:23
He was filled with the Spirit of God Gen. 41:38 Luke 4:1
He returned good for evil Gen.50:20 Matt. 5:44
He was humble and unspoiled by wealth Gen. 45:7-8 John 13:12
He was taught by God Gen. 41:16 John 5:19
He loved people freely Gen. 45:15 John 13:34
He gained the confidence of others quickly Gen. 39:3 Matt. 8:8
He gave bread to hungry people that came to him Gen. 41:57 Mark 6:41
He resisted the most difficult temptations Gen. 39:8-9 Heb. 4:15
He was given vision into the future Gen. 37:6 Matt. 24:3
He tested people to reveal their true nature Gen. 42:25 Mark 11:30
He was hated for his teachings Gen. 37:8 John 7:7
He was sold for the price of a slave Gen. 37:28 Matt. 26:15
He was falsely accused Gen. 39:14 Mark 14:56
He was silent before his accuser Gen. 39:20 Mark 15:4
He was condemned between two prisoners Gen. 40:2-3 Luke 23:32
He was dead before his father Gen. 37:33 Luke 23:46
He was held for two, and was free on the third Gen. 41:1 Luke 9:22
He arose into a new life Gen. 41:41 Mark 16:6
He was not recognized by his own brethren Gen. 42.8 Luke 24:37
He returned to his father Gen. 46:29 Mark 16:19
He became a lord / Lord Gen. 45:8 Rev. 19:16
Genesis

Genesis 46-47

Tomorrow will be our LAST day in Genesis.  Can you believe it!  It started a little slow reading  Job for 2 weeks but these past two weeks has been like the Bible on steroids!  It was intense!

Chapter 46:  God made a Covenant to bring the Hebrews to a specified land.  Jacob is in that land.  That was the plan after all.  Jacob now has to leave the land to move to a foreign land, Egypt.  This must have been the most difficult decision Jacob has had to make. Paraphrase:  “Go live in a land that is foreign, oh and by the way,  your people and your occupation are detestable to them”.  So now what?  Jacob goes to Beersheba.  I know that sounds familiar to you, right?  Beer in Hebrew means “well” (my husband would love a well filled with beer!), and Sheba means “seven” or “oath”.  Jacob is at the very spot Abraham made an oath to Abimelech, where Hagar retreated to when she fled with  Ishmael, where God appeared to Isaac and affirmed the covenant, and now where Jacob will build an altar to worship the Lord and hear from Him one last time:

 “I am God, the God of your father,” he said. “Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make you into a great nation there. I will go down to Egypt with you, and I will surely bring you back again. And Joseph’s own hand will close your eyes.”

The peace that must have washed over Jacob!  Do not be afraid of this land and these people.  I will be with you!  You will see you son before your death.

We transition to a long list of names.  Did you skim?? If you said no, just know that lying is a sin! 😉   If you did skim make sure you did not miss each section was totaled subtotaled and then totaled 70 in all.  Here is a cool fact: In chapter 10, the descendants that represented Adam were 70 and now we have 70 descendants representing the the children of Israel.

Joseph plans a way for his family to live outside the city limits.  Egypt, in the Delta, was an agricultural society. Herding was seen as cruel and disgusting to them.  Living in Goshen will allow the Hebrews to have a distinct nation without the influence of the Egyptians. They can continue to worship their God without the culture of Polytheism in their mix.

Image result for where is Goshen


Chapter 47: So a sweet woman named Stephanie Downey emailed me last night, and I am not not sure how or why it happened but this poor woman, who has never met me, had to hear my testimony!  She didn’t even ask!  I don’t know many of you, and I am reluctant to tell you I wasn’t brought up Christian.  My mom didn’t own a bible (she believed in Salvation through Catholic sacraments) and my dad is an atheist.  I am telling you this because when I would refute there was a God, one of many comments would sound something like “If there is a God, why did he promote slavery???

You can’t defend the Word of God if you don’t know it.  We are reading a chapter where it appears God promotes slavery.  No. He. Doesn’t.

18 When that year was over, they came to him the following year and said, “We cannot hide from our lord the fact that since our money is gone and our livestock belongs to you, there is nothing left for our lord except our bodies and our land. 19 Why should we perish before your eyes—we and our land as well? Buy us and our land in exchange for food, and we with our land will be in bondage to Pharaoh. Give us seed so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”

20 So Joseph bought all the land in Egypt for Pharaoh. The Egyptians, one and all, sold their fields, because the famine was too severe for them. The land became Pharaoh’s, 21 and Joseph reduced the people to servitude,[c] from one end of Egypt to the other.

To be in bondage to Pharaoh is to be in servitude.  This was a means to deal with poor and destitute people in bad times.  To reduce someone to servitude meant that after they sold their land it would then it became the buyers responsibility to provide food and shelter in order to save them.   This action was to save lives, not to enslave them.  Unfortunately, through sinful, humans created slavery all over the world.

Since this was a short read, feel free to finish out Genesis. There is also going to be a handout posted at lunchtime on Jesus.  Stephanie Downey, your kids are going to love it!!!

 

 

Genesis

Genesis 43-45

Before we look at this and say why? Let’s remember God’s words to Abraham in Genesis 15.  Chapter 12, 15, 17…Promise, Covenant, Sign.  Chapter 15 was the Covenant so it is good to refer back to when we say “Why?”

13 Then the Lord said to him, “Know for certain that for four hundred years your descendants will be strangers in a country not their own and that they will be enslaved and mistreated there. 14 But I will punish the nation they serve as slaves, and afterward they will come out with great possessions.

We are fulfilling prophecy here, that’s why.  Moving towards this.  God is taking his chosen people and moving them to be strangers in a country not their own.  He is pulling them to Egypt, he is using the famine as a means to do that.  He thinks of everything!


Chapter 43: Well, no one seems concerned that Simeon is in prison (Reuben, Simeon, and Levi are the bad kids of this family!). So Judah guarantees his life if Israel allows them to bring Benjamin.  The famine is 2 years in.  They bring gifts with them that are not common in Egypt in order to gain favor (honey, balm, spices, myrrh, pistachios and almonds) oh, yeah and DOUBLE the amount of silver.   When they get there…Joseph sees that Benjamin is alive…and weeps.  Joseph, in keeping with Egyptian laws, eats separately, but makes sure his brother Ben (by the way Ben is my favorite Michael Jackson song in case you were wondering) gets extra.


Chapter 44:  HUGE moment!! JUDAH!!  He told his dad that he would guarantee Benjamin’s life…but after all, Benjamin is the “favorite” now to Jacob…so will he really? Or will this be another plan to get rid of him?

So Joseph tells the brothers to go back but LEAVE Benjamin…and Judah says to Joseph…’

33 “Now then, please let your servant remain here as my lord’s slave in place of the boy, and let the boy return with his brothers. 34 How can I go back to my father if the boy is not with me? No! Do not let me see the misery that would come on my father.”

Bless his heart.  LITERALLY…Bless it!  The first 3 brothers disqualified themselves from receiving the Blessing…and actually the birth rite too (search your brain, we talked about birth rites and blessings last week).  JUDAH will get the Blessing.  As Candace pointed out in the comments last week, this is a big deal because the blessing secures the covenant.  The covenant will NOW pass through the line of Judah.  (When you sing at church and you hear the Lion of Judah you will now totally get it!).  Who gets the birth rite?  Wait for it…..if you don’t already know, you will on Wednesday.


Chapter 45: I want to point our 2 specific parts.  Although I love them all.

Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come close to me.” When they had done so, he said, “I am your brother Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed and do not be angry with yourselves for selling me here, because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five years there will be no plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead of you to preserve for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

If you have a few hours we can break this down!

  • When we tell this story we say “Joseph is the one the brothers sold into Egypt”.
  • When God tells this story He says “Joseph is the one I sent to Egypt”.
  • Why did God send him? Not to just save the family.  God sent him to preserve a REMNANT on EARTH to save lives!

A remnant is ‘what remains’ or ‘what is left’.  When speaking about a remnant after a catastrophe it is ‘what survived’.

If you click on the “Handouts” you will see I posted a timeline.  The family will go through slavery, wandering, battles, cycles with judges, kings (mostly bad ones), a divided kingdom and they will get captured and taken out of the promise land.  So why do we know with confidence that there will be a remnant at the end for the purpose of saving lives?  BECAUSE GOD PROMISED AND SEALED IT WITH A COVENANT in Chapter 15.

The other thing is not nearly as cool to talk about but it’s still fun to note.  verse 17-18.

17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Tell your brothers, ‘Do this: Load your animals and return to the land of Canaan, 18 and bring your father and your families back to me. I will give you the best of the land of Egypt and you can enjoy the fat of the land.’

Thanks but no thanks!!  We remember what happened to Lot when he lived IN the city.  It was a nice jester, but God will proactively protect them.

Genesis

Genesis 41-42

Joseph: his brothers abused him, Potiphar’s wife lied about him, and the cup bearer forgot him.  There is a temptation to be resentful, angry,  and depressed.  Two years later…God’s plan, as always,  is still in motion.

Chapter 41:

  • I have a question.  Was the Pharaoh here the same Pharaoh 2 years ago, Potiphar?  If anyone has an insight on this I would love to know.
  • Magicians: They are scholars that study sciences, reading the stars, interpreting dreams, seeing the future….and some magic. Yes, they were smart, yes they knew magic, they could even preform it with the Satan’s help.  BUT God is in control of Satan, and on this day he kept him on a short leash SO THAT Joseph can be lifted up.
  • The dreams were interpreted, all credit going to the Lord.
  • A plan was also stated (from God)
  • Joseph is the #2 in command of Egypt.  Egypt is THE world power at the time.
  • At the age of 30….(if I have a trivia night, that might be a question).  So how long has it been??Joseph was sold at the age of 17!
  • So Joseph has 2 sons:

 

So does this mean we will have 13 tribes of Israel? Spoiler alert. No, Levi does not become a tribe…God has another plan for 1 of the sons.  Levi is carved our for a whole  other purpose.   BUT wait, Manasseh and Ephraim are born from a Gentile woman.  That’s right…we were always grafted in to God’s love.  Think on that for a moment.


Chapter 42: The 10 brothers did not recognize Joseph.  Well he has been in Egypt 13 years…as an official he looks and talks like an Egytian (if you are old like me you might hum the song by the Bangels)…he walks like one too.

So why does Joseph send for the missing brother?  And why is Jacob so distressed about this? Why am I calling him Jacob not Israel right now?  Jacob LOVED Rachel.   She gave him only 2 sons.  Joseph and Benjamin.  Have the brothers also abused Benjamin out of jealousy?  Joseph wants proof that his only blood brother is ok.

38 But Jacob said, “My son will not go down there with you; his brother is dead and he is the only one left. If harm comes to him on the journey you are taking, you will bring my gray head down to the grave in sorrow.”

 

Genesis

Genesis 38-40

We are going to talk about Judah and Tamar.  If you get nothing out of this read here is a free parent lesson.  There is a contraception method called Onanism.  You think I am kidding?? Google it!  The proper term is coitus interruptus.  I am a pretty real mom and bring it on their level, I call it “pull and pray” (my kids want to die when I have these conversations when their friends are over) Hashtag true story…the other day a bunch of high schoolers were at my house and I said “gather around, grab my pen and paper to draw this, we are going to talk about pre-ejaculation and the facts about it”.  Charlie said “mom…don’t”.  Fine…”gather around girls, we are going to talk about Onanism”.  Charlie still wanted to die!

Chapter 38.  You may need this to write on.

Click here to print.

Image result for Judah Er Onan

To understand the background on this you need to know why Judah is giving the instructions to his son Onan. If you turn to Deuteronomy 25 you will read what is called the Levirate Marriage (levir meaning “a husband’s brother”):

If brothers are living together and one of them dies without a son, his widow must not marry outside the family. Her husband’s brother shall take her and marry her and fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to her. The first son she bears shall carry on the name of the dead brother so that his name will not be blotted out from Israel.However, if a man does not want to marry his brother’s wife, she shall go to the elders at the town gate and say, “My husband’s brother refuses to carry on his brother’s name in Israel. He will not fulfill the duty of a brother-in-law to me.” Then the elders of his town shall summon him and talk to him. If he persists in saying, “I do not want to marry her,” his brother’s widow shall go up to him in the presence of the elders, take off one of his sandals, spit in his face and say, “This is what is done to the man who will not build up his brother’s family line.” 10 That man’s line shall be known in Israel as The Family of the Unsandaled.

The point of this commandment was to have the surviving brother produce an heir to continue the name of the dead brother’s family.  It would not be “blotted out of Israel”.  The child born would be named in the dead brother’s memory however, Tamar was the widow to the deceased OLDEST brother and there was question in Onan’s head about “who would get the inheritance”.  So he ignored the commandment (well, not the fun part) but ensured that he himself would get the birth rite. (Put this in your pocket for later because JESUS will be tested on it by the Sadducees!!)  Back to Genesis:

But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the Lord’s sight; so the Lord put him to death.

Er was greedy, thinking only of the money.  In the Lord’s eyes that was wicked.  Judah instructed Tamar to wait until the next brother was old enough to build her family line but in verse 12 it says “After a long time…”  JUDAH never fulfilled the commandment of the Levirate marriage. This family line continually goes from deceiving to being deceived.  “What goes around comes around” I say.  Now Judah is deceived by Tamar.  

Tamar now holds:

  • the “rod”- a symbol of power,
  • the “seal”- maybe a signet ring showing family name
  • and the “Crimson Cord!”-a scarlet rope that hold things together.  Stop!! This is too Good!!  Let’s follow this to the pregnancy.

When a woman gives birth to twins it was so important not to mix them up because of birthright and blessings.  (Put’s a whole new light on the Jacob/Esau story where we tend to think about soup and hairy arms.  It was a bigger deal than maybe we read in the past).  At first, Zerah was about to be first born so the thread was tied to his wrist.  However, Perez said “Heck no! I want that thread taken off him and put on my wrist..you can follow that thread to the Messiah, I am breaking out of this womb”.  And he does!  So the crimson cord…the scarlet thread…that hold things together…that identifies the family name….that will carry the rod…is passed to Perez.

We have to move on or this post will be longer than the Bible!


I think this story is clearer than most so this was a great read.  I am using a brand new Bible to read so that everything falls on fresh eyes and I don’t look at previous highlights or notes.  Usually I draw hearts around the phrases like “How could I do a wicked thing and sin against God” or “Do not interpretations belong to the Lord”.  Knowing Joseph is a typology of Jesus I always focus on his character in circumstances knowing I would have failed this!  In Chapter 39, we can see that Joseph is to Pharaoh what Jacob was to Laban.  The Lord blessed everything he was in charge of.  Pharaoh could live in peace, even trusting his wife around fine looking men like Joseph.  Other manuscripts of this historical story that God did not feel was part of what He wanted penned in the canonizing of the Bible was: Pharaoh’s wife was an adulteress and she is actually put to death for messing around behind Pharaoh’s back…focus Szymanski…people have laundry to do today!

Pharaoh did not have anything to worry about except…in Chapter 39:6…..the food he ate!  It is evident that this Pharaoh lived in the Capitol, which would be very protected from an attack, so how does one overthrow an empire at such a high level such as Kings or Pharaohs?   Well, you can poison them?  So whether there was plot or not, the highest workers in the kitchen are put in prison.  Clearly, the baker was guilty of something because in chapter 40 it says:

16 When the chief baker saw that Joseph had given a favorable interpretation, he said to Joseph, “I too had a dream:

The chief baker on the other hand did not get good news.  On Pharaoh’s birthday he does not blow out his birthday candles, but instead of “wishing something would happen”, they actually get to do one thing they wish for.  On this case, he hangs the baker.  (again, put this in your other pocket because party ritual will unfortunately come up again and the the party entertainment that will put John the Baptist to death too.

Have a great day!  I have a feeling some may have paused on the Typology comment so I will post a handout later for you.  As you are doing the laundry pray about your Bible readings so far.  We do not interpret the Bible, the scriptures do that,  but we do get, with help from our Holy Spirit how to apply it in our walk.

Genesis

Genesis 35-37

This will be a brief post giving you time to catch up some of the things you may not have done this week…

  • Catch up on reading.
  • Print a map or genealogy.  If you are on a computer they are in the sidebar. if you are on a tablet or phone, they are at the bottom.

Jacob cleans house by not allowing “other gods'” to be in his camp.  Earnings at this time were often used for status or to catch evil spirits. Jacob Israel names for himself Bethel to El Bethel. (you should be able to decode this…unless you are over 45 and can’t remember why you came into this room!)  God reaffirms the Covenant (we should have kept count how many times).


Israel is not having a good season of his life:

  1. Rebekah’s (if you are over 45 you have to stop and think…wait…who? Who’s her husband?) nurse dies
  2. Rachel (the wife he loved) dies giving birth to Joseph’s brother, Benjamin.
  3. His oldest son, Reuben, has sex with one of Israel’s wives.  This sin may not he addressed here…but it is going to haunt him later and bite him in the butt.
  4. Issac dies.

27 Jacob came home to his father Isaac in Mamre, near Kiriath Arba (that is, Hebron), where Abraham and Isaac had stayed. 28 Isaac lived a hundred and eighty years. 29 Then he breathed his last and died and was gathered to his people, old and full of years. And his sons Esau and Jacob buried him.


Chapter 36 begins… took his wives from the woman of Cannan….well, this can’t be good.  The structure of this chapter is very much like ch 25. After Abraham dies there is an account of Ishmael’s  genealogy (I truly believe to show us the love and grace given to a child even born in circumstances).  Here Isaac’s  death is followed by Esau’s genealogy.

There are over 200 names mentioned: Esau may not be Jacob, but he is not a nobody either!  If this chapter bored you, something is wrong with you.  JUST kidding, I was just seeing if anyone read this far.  Of course it was boring BUT, go back and circle the word Edom (Edomites).  Just in this chapter you will read it 10 times, and 131 times in the entire Old Testament.  The book of Obadiah would not have been written without Edom, and HEROD THE GREAT is an Edomonite!!  That’s right, Herod the Great, who was a Roman appointed ruler over the Jews (we will call them Jews not Hebrews after the captivity).  This Herod even refurbished the entire Temple before Jesus was born in an effort to get the Jews to forget he was from the line of Esau (it didn’t work).


I have to tell you this.  I grew up outside of NYC.  Seeing or hearing about Broadway shows was common.  Did you know that I have heard the phrase Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat all my life and it wasn’t until recently that I knew it was from the Bible!

Chapter 37: Joseph is 17,  and lacks social skills (hmmm, like many today I guess).  His brothers hate him, and I don’t blame them.

  • He is 17…why is he not working hard in the field??
  • In verse 2 he “tattles” on his brothers.
  • Verse 3-4 we see that he is babied and loved more than the others
  • He can be seen as arrogant or egotistical  when discussing his dreams.

I don’t care if you have have never read this chapter or if you have read it 10 times.  Look for the details.  Joseph travels from Hebron, to Shecham to Dotham: over 100 miles.

God has a plan for Joseph’s life and that plan involves leadership and authority.  (So many life lessons about God’s character and promises are in this small chapter).  Anyway, the Ishmaelites buy Joseph and take him to Egypt to sell him to Potipher, one of the Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guards.  Once again, the deceiver (Jacob) gets deceived (by his own sons).

Now it is starting to make sense!  Judah! (Sorry, I thought this post would have been shorter.  But I also held a lot back giving you time to catch up if needed).  Have a wonderful day.  I really hope being in the Bible 24 days is making a difference in your daily walk.  I have been so blessed this month and it truly is amazing how different I am as a wife, mom, teacher, and friend when I am in the Word daily.  Why do I go through periods of my life when I can’t even find my Bible?

Genesis

Genesis 32-34

It has been about 20 years since Jacob has seen his brother Esau, the last time they were together we read in Genesis 27:14

Esau held a grudge against Jacob because of the blessing his father had given him. He said to himself, “The days of mourning for my father are near; then I will kill my brother Jacob.”

Esau has an army of 400 men with him.  Jacob, scared to death, sends ahead a fortune in gifts to pacify Esau.  Take note that Jacob says he is coming behind.  If the camp is attached, Jacob has no intention of going!  In 32:21 it states

So Jacob’s gifts went on ahead of him, but he himself spent the night in the camp.

Yellow belly!


That night Jacob wrestles with God who has taken on flesh.  Until this point Jacob has referred to God as “O God of my father Abraham, God of my father Isaac…But does not refer to him as HIS God.  Part of our walk with the Lord is confession.  We must confess we are a sinner, we require a blessing:a promise of a covenant (Jesus on the Cross) to seal that God is MY GOD, not just your God.    In Genesis 32:26-27 Jacob confesses who he is in God’s eyes

But Jacob replied, “I will not let you go unless you bless me.”

 The man asked him, “What is your name?”

“Jacob,” he answered.

I am Jacob!  “I am a deceiver, a heel grabber, a sinner”.    Jacob becomes a new creation with a destiny!  Just like Abraham and Sarah, he is given a new name: Israel “Struggles with God”.  So let’s see how this new creation has changed him.  He still has a fear of Esau (who wouldn’t), and lines up his family in least loved to loved just in case they are attacked (chapter 33):

Jacob looked up and there was Esau, coming with his four hundred men; so he divided the children among Leah, Rachel and the two female servants.  He put the female servants and their children in front, Leah and her children next, and Rachel and Joseph in the rear.  He himself went on ahead and bowed down to the ground seven times as he approached his brother.

But wait….did you see it!!  God has changed him: “He himself went ahead and bowed down to the ground…”   He received new courage.  He went from fear “staying behind” to courage “went on ahead”.  Insert smiley face with heart eyes.  Time has healed all wounds for Esau.


I think it is fair to say that very few people have read the parts of the Bible “in between” the stories the pastor talks about at church. So when I say “you know the part where Noah gets drunk and naked…” or “Lot’s daughter’s have sex with their dad to get pregnant” or “Rachel says she has her period so her dad doesn’t find the hidden idols she is sitting on”, people think I am kidding.  Who needs Netflix when you have the Bible!  Chapter 33 is one of those stories people think I am kidding when I say “One of Jacob’s daughter’s gets raped and 2 brothers concoct a plan to have them circumcised and on the third day when the pain in their…is at it’s worst they can pounce on them and kill them!!”.  You can’t make this stuff up!!


Jacob’s sons (but not Jacob himself) are furious when their sister Dinah is violated by a prince in Shecham.  This horrible man now wants her to be his.   Jacob (that’s right…I am not calling him Israel here because he is acting like a butt) does nothing!.  Two brothers, Simeon and Levi (take notes on your Genealogy) are ringleaders on a vengeful attack.  They lie and say: “Sure you can have her and we can ignore all the rules about intermarrying if you circumcise ALL your men.  The men say “Let’s snip! It’s a “win win” situation!  Our ruler gets the girl and we will share in their livestock and wealth”.   Well, the story turns out in a “lose lose” situation.  Just when the pain was at its highest from the circumcision, Simeon and Levi lead an attack on them.  The End.   NO!  Not the end….Jacob disappoints again…read the end of Chapter 34.  SMH!!

Taking notes will help when we get to Chapter 49 and land is distributed to the 12 tribes or why the Covenant gets passed to Judah.

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Genesis

Genesis 30-31

Only 2 chapters today.  Am I a terrible Christian for saying “yay” in my head.  I love the Lord but I haven’t watched Netflix since before Jan 1!

If you did not look at the post from last night you may want to.  I have a choice of cheat sheets.  These are good to write notes on as you read.  Did anyone notice that the line of Jesus comes from Judah and not Reuben?   It is not just because singing the “The Lion of Rueben” awkward,  some stuff is going to happen with Reuben, Levi,  and Simeon that will push the blessing all the way to Judah.

Here are his 12 sons:  Spoiler Alert: Jacob is going to have a name change: Israel.  You may have heard of the 12 tribes of Israel.  Well, we are reading the birth of the nations.  So here is another fun fact: Levi does not become a tribe…so how do we still get 12?  Oh I am unglued with excitement!

So let’s have this conversation- What is a concubine and why did God allow this?  A concubine is:

“woman acquired by a man as a secondary wife. Her purpose was to provide a male heir in the case of a barren wife, to provide more children in general to enhance the family’s workforce and wealth, and to satisfy the man’s sexual desires. A concubine was endowed with rights and protections by Hebrew law but was not equal in status to a wife. Although God provided rights and protections for concubines in the Law of Moses, God did not introduce or approve of this marital model.”

Leah: Reuben (see, a son) Simeon (one who hears), Levi (attached), Judah(praise), Isaachar (reward), Zebulun (honor)

Rachel: Joseph(God has added),  Benjamin (son of my sorrow, it changes)

Zilpha: (Leah’s maidservant)  Gad (good fortune), Asher (happy).

Bilhah: (Rachel’s maidservant) Dan (vindicated) Naphtali (struggle)

Leah did have a daughter: Dinah.  12 boys, 1 girl.  “Bless her heart” (In my head I tried my southern voice…it didn’t work.  I only know about 10 out of 300 of you awesome people so you may not know I have a NJ accent).

The two names you need to circle are Levi and Judah.  From these sons come two of the most crucial institutions of the old testament.  Levi-priesthood, Judah-kingship.

Let’s talk about the “weird” stuff and clarify it.

  • Mandrakes-these are a Mediterranean herb that grows flowers and small orange fruit.  When pulled out of the ground, the root can often look like a human.  These were thought to be an aphrodisiac,  as well as,  an aid for conception.   (My mom is a catholic Italian woman=superstitious, I am shocked she didn’t sneak these into my Sunday dinners since I didn’t start having kids till later than she preferred!) I was studying “via” text” with a friend and he pointed out last night Leah was temporarily infertile (v.30:9) and sent her son to grab some mandrakes to have another child and Rachel has yet to have any children of her own.  So this made sense to do.
  • Jacob’s mating rods-this too was a “theory” like the mandrakes but for animals. It’s been studied that some of the chemical properties of poplar bark and almond bark, when steeped in water,(it says Jacob put the stick IN the watering trough) have been shown to raise the reproductive rate of ewes. So again, it was like he was giving fertility medicine to the stronger animals. Chapter 31 will tell us Jacob had some advanced knowledge of which animals would be born due to him knowing which animals were breeding when he struck the deal. (Yet, Laban thought the deal favored his side).

Let’s clarify: neither the mandrakes nor the rods blessed Rachel or the flock.  God did!


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Vs:19 Rachel stole the household gods, called Teraphims.  These gods were idols, little statues,  that the family leader possessed.  Having them around the house gave them a sense of security, spiritual significance, as well as,  social/monetary meaning.  They were thought to advise them in times of need but also they were a part of family inheritance.  Back in vs 14,  Rachel,  when told by her husband that they were leaving Laban,  the first thing she said was: “What about the money I am to inherit” (paraphrase)  So did she take the idols because she was

  1.  mad at Laban
  2.  because she believed in their power
  3.  for the inheritance.

??  Either way, for the men out there….woman are smart…we use our menstrual cycle as an excuse  for many things!  LOL.