Bible Study Jan. 31

Today we conclude our journey through the Book of Genesis. It is a wonderful journey to look at the creation story, the life of Abraham and his family. In Genesis we see deceit, lying, faith, and ultimately deliverance.

Chapter 48

Jacob’s life was coming to an end he brought his two sons to receive a special blessing from Jacob. Joseph places the sones in front of Jacob in order for them the receive their blessing with Manasseh on right as the first born and Ephraim on the left. But Jacob crosses his hands much to the shock of Joseph. Interesting that Joseph would be upset after all his father and grandfather were younger brothers as he was.

Jacob as he reflects on his life sees how God had led him as he tended sheep and now sees God leading and protecting as he cared for the sheep under his watch.

Jacob bestows on the two boys, two blessings. The lesser blessing that they grow (48:16) a blessing we would want for our grandchildren. to be numerous within the land. The second was they be called by (his) name and the names of (his) fathers Abraham and Isaac (48:16).

Even though the family would grow numerous in Egypt God would deliver them back to the land of their fathers.

Chapter 49

He then called all the other brothers of Joseph to his bedside for their final blessing of their father. Joseph offers prophetic words to his sons beginning with the three oldest: Rueben, Simeon, and Levi. He dismisses them for leadership: Rueben had slept with his father’s concubine, Simeon and Levi were men of violence because of the attack on Shechem because of the sin against their sister Dinah.

One might think that Joseph would be the obvious choice to continue the messianic line but it would be Judah. He was full of power and majesty like a lion. The milk and wine imagery was meant to communicate richness and plenty.

He follows with the remainder of the sons:

  • Zebulun would be given land by the sea and become fishermen,
  • Issachar would become a laborer and ultimately his life would lead to slavery,
  • Dan would prove to be treacherous like a snake by the road. He leases the land to the Philistines and ends up in idolatry.
  • Gad, Asher, and Naphtali (all sons by a concubine as was Dan) Gad would be attacked by raiders living in conflict, Asher would live a life worthy of his name which meant “blessed” and Naphtali would be a free people living in the mountains to the north.

Joseph (his favorite) spends a great amount of time on Joseph and Benjamin, the sons by Rachel.

  • Joseph would be a fruitful vine beside a spring (48:22). He would succeed not only for his sake but for the sake of others.
  • Benjamin was characterized like a wolf that tears his prey and divides the plunder (49:27).

Jacob dies and asks to be buried with Leah who finally gets the honor that eluded her in her lifetime.

Chapter 50

Jacob is embalmed after the style and custom of the Egyptians showing royal honor, he is embalmed and mourning continues for seventy days a phenomenal showing of respect that reflects how the Egyptians loved Joseph.

The brothers all accept the gifts and blessings of their father yet they were uneasy knowing dad had died and possible Joseph still held some contempt for them. The were fearful and in doing so they lied (again) as many people would. They sent a message saying it was from their father saying they were slave.

Joseph’s response was once often quoted “You planned evil against me; God planned it for good.”

Joseph showed kindness to his brothers allowing vengeance to be had by God. The longer we hang onto an unforgiving spirit the more we harm ourselves.

Joseph ended his days living in peace.

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