Genesis 46 vs. 28- 34 with Betty

 28 And he sent Judah before him unto Joseph, to direct his face unto Goshen; and they came into the land of Goshen.

29 And Joseph made ready his chariot, and went up to meet Israel his father, to Goshen, and presented himself unto him; and he fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.

30 And Israel said unto Joseph, Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.

31 And Joseph said unto his brethren, and unto his father’s house, I will go up, and shew Pharaoh, and say unto him, My brethren, and my father’s house, which were in the land of Canaan, are come unto me;

32 And the men are shepherds, for their trade hath been to feed cattle; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.

33 And it shall come to pass, when Pharaoh shall call you, and shall say, What is your occupation?

34 That ye shall say, Thy servants’ trade hath been about cattle from our youth even until now, both we, and also our fathers: that ye may dwell in the land of Goshen; for every shepherd is an abomination unto the Egyptians.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

Judah was sent ahead by Jacob (Israel) to get directions to Goshen from Joseph. As they came into the region, Joseph made haste to his father’s side by chariot. Even after the time it took to get to Egypt, it still must have been difficult for Jacob to believe Joseph was really alive because he said to Joseph, “Now let me die, since I have seen thy face, because thou art yet alive.”

Joseph, understanding the Egyptians after so many years among them, was able to advise his father how best to approach them. He made a plan to tell Pharaoh that his father and brothers were all shepherds and brought their flocks and herds with them.

Joseph advised his father to tell Pharaoh the same, that they had tended livestock all their lives.

Joseph knew that shepherds were detestable to the Egyptians and that because of their occupation they would be allowed to settle in Goshen. (A place which I assume was a little bit beyond Egypt proper.)

Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 46 vs. 8-27 with Betty

 8 And these are the names of the children of Israel, which came into Egypt, Jacob and his sons: Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn.

9 And the sons of Reuben; Hanoch, and Phallu, and Hezron, and Carmi.

10 And the sons of Simeon; Jemuel, and Jamin, and Ohad, and Jachin, and Zohar, and Shaul the son of a Canaanitish woman.

11 And the sons of Levi; Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.

12 And the sons of Judah; Er, and Onan, and Shelah, and Pharez, and Zarah: but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan. And the sons of Pharez were Hezron and Hamul.

13 And the sons of Issachar; Tola, and Phuvah, and Job, and Shimron.

14 And the sons of Zebulun; Sered, and Elon, and Jahleel.

15 These be the sons of Leah, which she bare unto Jacob in Padanaram, with his daughter Dinah: all the souls of his sons and his daughters were thirty and three.

16 And the sons of Gad; Ziphion, and Haggi, Shuni, and Ezbon, Eri, and Arodi, and Areli.

17 And the sons of Asher; Jimnah, and Ishuah, and Isui, and Beriah, and Serah their sister: and the sons of Beriah; Heber, and Malchiel.

18 These are the sons of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to Leah his daughter, and these she bare unto Jacob, even sixteen souls.

19 The sons of Rachel Jacob’s wife; Joseph, and Benjamin.

20 And unto Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, which Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On bare unto him.

21 And the sons of Benjamin were Belah, and Becher, and Ashbel, Gera, and Naaman, Ehi, and Rosh, Muppim, and Huppim, and Ard.

22 These are the sons of Rachel, which were born to Jacob: all the souls were fourteen.

23 And the sons of Dan; Hushim.

24 And the sons of Naphtali; Jahzeel, and Guni, and Jezer, and Shillem.

25 These are the sons of Bilhah, which Laban gave unto Rachel his daughter, and she bare these unto Jacob: all the souls were seven.

26 All the souls that came with Jacob into Egypt, which came out of his loins, besides Jacob’s sons’ wives, all the souls were threescore and six;

27 And the sons of Joseph, which were born him in Egypt, were two souls: all the souls of the house of Jacob, which came into Egypt, were threescore and ten.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My thoughts:

Genesis 46 v. 8 starts a genealogical listing of the sons of Jacob and their families who went to Egypt at Joseph’s request.  I will not go through the list because it is simple for you to read it for yourself.  However, sixty-six people were on the list including Joseph. Counting the two children born to Joseph in Egypt, there were a total of 70 Israelites who began their new life in the land of the Pharaoh at the time of the famine.

The sheer magnitude of people and animals that the Pharaoh is willing to care for because of his regard for Joseph is staggering.  What a testimony to the good regard a good man can acquire even in a lowly position (Remember, Joseph was a slave) when God is on his side.

 Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 46 vs. 1- 7-with Betty

Jacob Goes to Egypt

And Israel took his journey with all that he had, and came to Beersheba, and offered sacrifices unto the God of his father Isaac.

2 And God spake unto Israel in the visions of the night, and said, Jacob, Jacob. And he said, Here am I.

3 And he said, I am God, the God of thy father: fear not to go down into Egypt; for I will there make of thee a great nation:

4 I will go down with thee into Egypt; and I will also surely bring thee up again: and Joseph shall put his hand upon thine eyes.

5 And Jacob rose up from Beersheba: and the sons of Israel carried Jacob their father, and their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons which Pharaoh had sent to carry him.

6 And they took their cattle, and their goods, which they had gotten in the land of Canaan, and came into Egypt, Jacob, and all his seed with him:

7 His sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters, and all his seed brought he with him into Egypt.

K.J.V. Bilbe Text

My Thooughts:

On the way to Egypt, Jacob stopped at Beersheba to offer sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.  (This must have been a very easy sacrifice to make in the face of the great joy of finding his much loved Joseph was alive after years of believing him dead.)

In the night, God spoke to Jacob in a vision.  He told Jacob not to fear going to Egypt because he would make a great nation of him there.  He also promised him that he would be with him in Egypt and would bring him back from there again.

This, of course, was the beginning of the many years the Israelites lived in Egypt. 

I know as I’m sure most of you know that eventually the Israelites would desire to leave Egypt for freedom in a land of their own.  Yet their sojourn in Egypt began as a good thing and saved them from famine  Perhaps just as it was God’s will that they go to Egypt, it was also his will that while there, the Israelites would grow in strength.  

Today we all realize that by the time they left Egypt a very long time later, the community of Israelites was numerous and strong.

Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 45 vs. 16-28 with Betty

 16 And the fame thereof was heard in Pharaoh’s house, saying, Joseph’s brethren are come: and it pleased Pharaoh well, and his servants.

17 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Say unto thy brethren, This do ye; lade your beasts, and go, get you unto the land of Canaan;

18 And take your father and your households, and come unto me: and I will give you the good of the land of Egypt, and ye shall eat the fat of the land.

19 Now thou art commanded, this do ye; take you wagons out of the land of Egypt for your little ones, and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.

20 Also regard not your stuff; for the good of all the land of Egypt is your’s.

21 And the children of Israel did so: and Joseph gave them wagons, according to the commandment of Pharaoh, and gave them provision for the way.

22 To all of them he gave each man changes of raiment; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver, and five changes of raiment.

23 And to his father he sent after this manner; ten asses laden with the good things of Egypt, and ten she asses laden with corn and bread and meat for his father by the way.

24 So he sent his brethren away, and they departed: and he said unto them, See that ye fall not out by the way.

25 And they went up out of Egypt, and came into the land of Canaan unto Jacob their father,

26 And told him, saying, Joseph is yet alive, and he is governor over all the land of Egypt. And Jacob’s heart fainted, for he believed them not.

27 And they told him all the words of Joseph, which he had said unto them: and when he saw the wagons which Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of Jacob their father revived:

28 And Israel said, It is enough; Joseph my son is yet alive: I will go and see him before I die.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

When Pharaoh heard that Joseph’s brothers had come, God was able to show once more how the puzzle pieces of Joseph’s life following the treachery of his brother worked together for good fortune. Because of what Joseph had done with the help of God to save Egypt from famine, Pharaoh now offered the best of land in Egypt and the best of all that was available there to Joseph’s family.

At the behest of Pharaoh, the brothers returned to their father in Canaan with ample provisions for their journey.  Joseph sent his father ten donkeys loaded with the best things of Egypt and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread and other provisions for his journey to Egypt.

When Joseph heard all that the brothers had to tell him and saw all the gifts sent by Joseph, he believed that Joseph was indeed still alive and determined to go to him.

What a marvelous thing it must have been for Jacob to know that his son, gone many years and presumed dead, was actually alive and the catalyst of so much good fortune.  How wonderful also that the brother left behind after the first trip to Egypt is safe and well and that no harm came to Benjamin in Egypt.  His heart must have been, as we might say today, singing for joy.

 Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 45 vs. 10-15 with Betty

 10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children’s children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast:

11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.

12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you.

13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.

14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck.

15 Moreover he kissed all his brethren, and wept upon them: and after that his brethren talked with him.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

Twice Joseph’s brothers had come to Egypt for food.  Now that Joseph has revealed his true identity he is able to tell them that the famine will continue for five more years. He desires them to come and live near him in the region of Goshen so he can provide for them. 

Joseph sends them home to tell their father and to bring the old man to his side.

Afterward, in an amazing gesture of forgiveness, Joseph hugged and kissed all his brothers. 

The whole story of selling Joseph into slavery is a clear reminder to us that God renders good from all things.  Sometimes we despair because we don’t see the whole picture, but God always knows what the mosaic of the bits and pieces of people’s lives will look like when he has finished with his plan.

Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 45 vs. 1-9 with Betty

Joseph Makes Himself Known

1Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren.

2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.

3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.

4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt.

5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life.

6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest.

7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt.

9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not:

K.J.V. Bible Text

  My Thoughts:

 Finally Joseph could no longer contain himself and sent all of his attendants away so he could reveal himself to his brothers.

After telling them who he was, he revealed himself to be a man worthy of the great success he had known.  He told his brothers not to distress themselves for having sold him into slavery and explained to them that their action had been prompted by God in order to place Joseph in Egypt to preserve food to save their lives. He explained to them that the famine, now having gone on for two years, would continue for another five. 

Then Joseph asked his brothers to hurry back to their father and tell him he had been made lord of all Egypt and to come down to him right away.

Surely, these brothers, not truly bad people, had suffered much guilt over the years over what they had done.  Can you imagine how their spirits were lightened by Joseph’s words?  Can you appreciate the wisdom Joseph exhibited with his insight?

Joseph was an amazing person, not only for biblical times but for all time.

Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 44 vs. 14-34 with Betty

 14 And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph’s house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground.

15 And Joseph said unto them, What deed is this that ye have done? wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?

16 And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord’s servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.

17 And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father.

18 Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord’s ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh.

19 My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother?

20 And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him.

21 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Bring him down unto me, that I may set mine eyes upon him.

22 And we said unto my lord, The lad cannot leave his father: for if he should leave his father, his father would die.

23 And thou saidst unto thy servants, Except your youngest brother come down with you, ye shall see my face no more.

24 And it came to pass when we came up unto thy servant my father, we told him the words of my lord.

25 And our father said, Go again, and buy us a little food.

26 And we said, We cannot go down: if our youngest brother be with us, then will we go down: for we may not see the man’s face, except our youngest brother be with us.

27 And thy servant my father said unto us, Ye know that my wife bare me two sons:

28 And the one went out from me, and I said, Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since:

29 And if ye take this also from me, and mischief befall him, ye shall bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave.

30 Now therefore when I come to thy servant my father, and the lad be not with us; seeing that his life is bound up in the lad’s life;

31 It shall come to pass, when he seeth that the lad is not with us, that he will die: and thy servants shall bring down the gray hairs of thy servant our father with sorrow to the grave.

32 For thy servant became surety for the lad unto my father, saying, If I bring him not unto thee, then I shall bear the blame to my father for ever.

33 Now therefore, I pray thee, let thy servant abide instead of the lad a bondman to my lord; and let the lad go up with his brethren.

34 For how shall I go up to my father, and the lad be not with me? lest peradventure I see the evil that shall come on my father.

K.J.V. Bible Text

 My Thoughts:

 Today’s reading which extends from Verse 14 of Genesis Chapter 44 through the end of the chapter is simple and straightforward to understand.  It recounts the attempt of the brothers to share the guilt for the cup found in Benjamin’s sack along with him and to stay with him in Egypt.  It gives an accounting of Judah explaining to Joseph the close connection his aged father has to Benjamin and how he has given his personal word to return him safely home and that if Benjamin were not to return, his father would be likely to die.

Meanwhile, it seems to me that Joseph is more or less playing with them, trying to see how they would react to a threat against their younger brother. I’m sure he felt that the brothers had changed because they were so concerned about their father due to his great affection for Benjamin although they had reacted to Jacob’s  love for him as a youth with jealousy and malice.  Perhaps Joseph was testing to see if the brothers had learned a lesson and become better people and now perceived that they had indeed changed. 

Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 44 vs. 1-13 with Betty

A Silver Cup in a Sack

1And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men’s sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man’s money in his sack’s mouth.

2 And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack’s mouth of the youngest, and his corn money. And he did according to the word that Joseph had spoken.

3 As soon as the morning was light, the men were sent away, they and their asses.

4 And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good?

5 Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.

6 And he overtook them, and he spake unto them these same words.

7 And they said unto him, Wherefore saith my lord these words? God forbid that thy servants should do according to this thing:

8 Behold, the money, which we found in our sacks’ mouths, we brought again unto thee out of the land of Canaan: how then should we steal out of thy lord’s house silver or gold?

9 With whomsoever of thy servants it be found, both let him die, and we also will be my lord’s bondmen.

10 And he said, Now also let it be according unto your words: he with whom it is found shall be my servant; and ye shall be blameless.

11 Then they speedily took down every man his sack to the ground, and opened every man his sack.

12 And he searched, and began at the eldest, and left at the youngest: and the cup was found in Benjamin’s sack.

13 Then they rent their clothes, and laded every man his ass, and returned to the city.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

When the brothers got ready to depart, Joseph had his steward fill each man’s sack with as much as he could carry and also put into the bag the silver they had brought for payment.  He also requested they put his own cup in Benjamin’s bag.

After they started back toward home,  Joseph sent the steward after them to accuse them of taking the cup.  Of course, the brothers denied any guilt and reminded the steward they had even returned the silver they had found in their bags after their first trip to Egypt.  The steward told them if the cup was found in a bag, the owner would be his slave but the others would be free from blame.

When their bags were searched, Benjamin was found to have the cup in his sack. 

I was pleased with the behavior of the brothers this time.  They were grieved so much over what had happened that they “rent their clothes.”  And true to the promise to their father, they did not abandon Benjamin.  They returned to the city along with the boy when Benjamin was taken captive.

Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 43 vs. 24-34 with Betty

 24 And the man brought the men into Joseph’s house, and gave them water, and they washed their feet; and he gave their asses provender.

25 And they made ready the present against Joseph came at noon: for they heard that they should eat bread there.

26 And when Joseph came home, they brought him the present which was in their hand into the house, and bowed themselves to him to the earth.

27 And he asked them of their welfare, and said, Is your father well, the old man of whom ye spake? Is he yet alive?

28 And they answered, Thy servant our father is in good health, he is yet alive. And they bowed down their heads, and made obeisance.

29 And he lifted up his eyes, and saw his brother Benjamin, his mother’s son, and said, Is this your younger brother, of whom ye spake unto me? And he said, God be gracious unto thee, my son.

30 And Joseph made haste; for his bowels did yearn upon his brother: and he sought where to weep; and he entered into his chamber, and wept there.

31 And he washed his face, and went out, and refrained himself, and said, Set on bread.

32 And they set on for him by himself, and for them by themselves, and for the Egyptians, which did eat with him, by themselves: because the Egyptians might not eat bread with the Hebrews; for that is an abomination unto the Egyptians.

33 And they sat before him, the firstborn according to his birthright, and the youngest according to his youth: and the men marvelled one at another.

34 And he took and sent messes unto them from before him: but Benjamin’s mess was five times so much as any of their’s. And they drank, and were merry with him.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thoughts:

While they waited for Joseph to come home for his meal, the men were given water to wash their feet and their donkeys were fed.

Then they got their gifts ready to give to Joseph. 

When Joseph came home he received the gifts and saw Benjamin, the other child of his own mother. He was moved to tears and had to hide himself away so the tears would not be seen. He also inquired after the health of their aged father.

When they ate, the meal would have seemed very strange to us as Joseph was served alone, the Egyptians were served alone and the brothers were served alone.  (Eating with Hebrews was detestable to Egyptians.)  I assume Joseph had his own table. What I can’t figure out is whether at this time he was still considered a Hebrew or whether he was considered an Egyptian but did not dine with the other Egyptians due to his high status.

Also, Benjamin was given five times as much of the portions from Joseph’s table as was given to the other brothers. 

They were, understandably, astonished; and I can’t help but wonder what thoughts they must have entertained to themselves to attempt to understand why the extra portions went to Benjamin.

Betty Killebrew

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Genesis 43 vs. 15-23 with Betty

 15 And the men took that present, and they took double money in their hand and Benjamin; and rose up, and went down to Egypt, and stood before Joseph.

16 And when Joseph saw Benjamin with them, he said to the ruler of his house, Bring these men home, and slay, and make ready; for these men shall dine with me at noon.

17 And the man did as Joseph bade; and the man brought the men into Joseph’s house.

18 And the men were afraid, because they were brought into Joseph’s house; and they said, Because of the money that was returned in our sacks at the first time are we brought in; that he may seek occasion against us, and fall upon us, and take us for bondmen, and our asses.

19 And they came near to the steward of Joseph’s house, and they communed with him at the door of the house,

20 And said, O sir, we came indeed down at the first time to buy food:

21 And it came to pass, when we came to the inn, that we opened our sacks, and, behold, every man’s money was in the mouth of his sack, our money in full weight: and we have brought it again in our hand.

22 And other money have we brought down in our hands to buy food: we cannot tell who put our money in our sacks.

23 And he said, Peace be to you, fear not: your God, and the God of your father, hath given you treasure in your sacks: I had your money. And he brought Simeon out unto them.

K.J.V. Bible Text

My Thougths:

When Israel’s sons went back to Egypt, they followed the sensible precautions their father had suggested, but when they went before Joseph, he saw they had brought Benjamin with them and immediately asked a steward of his house to take the brothers to his home to eat a meal with him.

The scripture says the brothers were frightened that they would be overpowered and made into slaves.  I’m sure I would have been afraid too in their situation.  They knew they had gone home the first time both with the food they had come to purchase and the silver they had intended to pay with.  So here they were in an unknown country, unsure about what was to happen.

It was very wise of them to immediately tell the steward what happened the first time and to explain that they did not know why they had the silver in their bags when they returned home. 

The steward not only reassured them, he brought out their brother Simeon who had been imprisoned during their absence.  This must have received some of their anxiety, but I’m sure they were still very apprehensive about what was going to happen to them that day.

 Betty Killebrew

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