We have been reading a lot about Hebron as we have read about David.
Hebron goes back to the days of Genesis. It was the place Abraham, Sarah, Isaac, Rebekah, Jacob/Israel and Leah were all buried. David uses Hebron as his capital since he was anointed king there. Once Jerusalem was conquered we will witness it called City of David! Here is the location for those of you who find maps helpful <<<smile>>>!!
Sharing HIS love,
It is hard to believe we are at the end of the book of Genesis. This makes the completion of the second book of the Bible we have completed together. Last year was the first time I had ever read the Bible completely through and I learned SO much. This year, I am totally being blown away by all the new things the Lord is revealing to my heart. I pray it is the same for you, regardless if this is your first time of reading the Bible through or your 1000th!!
Chapter 48 – Joseph was told that his father was ill so he went to see him and took his two sons with him. Jacob reviews with Joseph, the blessing the LORD gave him in verse 3. Then Jacob tells Joseph that the two sons born two him while he was in Egypt will be “reckoned to him as mine” in verse 5. In other words Jacob is adopting Ephraim and Manasseh so they would be part of the blessing. Did any bells start going off in your head when Jacob is blessing these two young men (remember Jacob stole Esau’s birthright and then the blessing from Isaac)??? Jacob shifts his hands in the blessing so that Ephraim (the youngest) will receive a double portion rather than Manasseh!!! Joseph tries to correct his father, but Jacob REFUSED to change his hand position. (The right hand is significant of special honor being conferred).
Then in verses 15-16 he blessed Joseph and said:
15 Then he blessed Joseph and said,
“May the God before whom my fathers
Abraham and Isaac walked faithfully,
the God who has been my shepherd
all my life to this day,
16 the Angel who has delivered me from all harm
—may he bless these boys.
May they be called by my name
and the names of my fathers Abraham and Isaac,
and may they increase greatly
on the earth.”
Vs 15 God=Elohiym is used here which is the PLURAL form of God indicating the TRINITY is present during this blessing.
God= is the use of Elohiym again, which is again the PLURAL form of God indicating the TRINITY. Jacob’s attitude change can really be seen when he refers to God as his SHEPHERD (the Holy Spirit). Jacob was acknowledging his TRUST and DEPENDENCE on HIS PERSONAL GOD which is a huge change from the “heel grabber” we started with who felt he had to “grab” things for himself and not depend on God. Just think about Psalm 23 when thinking about this SHEPHERD!!
Vs 16 – The Angel who has delivered me from all harm – Angel in this instance =mal’ak which is the theophanic angel ( theophanic means a visible manifestation of a deity… remember when Jacob wrestled with the angel). Also The Angel who DELIVERED was JESUS and is a foreshadow of Jesus.
WHAT a powerful prayer!!! God gives us these people in the Bible so we have examples to live by/ mentors to learn from. Prayer is a powerful gift from God and I am sure we could all learn powerful lessons of how to pray over our loved from this.
Chapter 49 – I KNOW more names!! However, Jacob is blessings his sons. (Remember he has already blessed Joseph and Joseph’s sons are NOW 2 of the 12 tribes of Israel. SOOOO.. if he already had 12 sons/tribes what happened to the other two?? There are a LOT of Prophetic fulfillments listed here that we will embark on in future readings.
Reuben– Do you recall that Reuben slept with his father’s concubine (Gen 35:22) while Jacob was away… and then Jacob found out? Jacob refers to him as his first born (which he was). However this scripture shows how the sins of our past do catch up with us (CHOICE =CONSEQUENCE). We may be forgiven, but that does not mean that consequences of our sin simply disappear. NOPE… we usually have to deal with them. If you take a look at Deut 27:20 it says: “Cursed is the man who sleeps with his father’s wife, for he dishonors his father’s bed.”
Simeon and Levi. Remember the murders from Dinah’s rape? They too will have the consequence of being scattered as it says here in this chapter (God will scatter them by not allotting them land when they enter the Promised land, they will literally be scattered around) But know that even from their consequences God used it for His ultimate Glory! Plus if you have heard of the term Levites…. Levi… who become the tribe of the priesthood where no land was given to them directly because as we will see the priesthood was supposed to be taken care of and provided for by the other tribes.
And look what it says about Judah in verses 8-12:
“Judah, your brothers will praise you;
your hand will be on the neck of your enemies;
your father’s sons will bow down to you.
9 You are a lion’s cub, Judah;
you return from the prey, my son.
Like a lion he crouches and lies down,
like a lioness—who dares to rouse him?
10 The scepter will not depart from Judah,
nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet,
until he to whom it belongs shall come
and the obedience of the nations shall be his.
11 He will tether his donkey to a vine,
his colt to the choicest branch;
he will wash his garments in wine,
his robes in the blood of grapes.
12 His eyes will be darker than wine,
his teeth whiter than milk.
This text can be considered a prophecy of Judah as well as a parallel of Jesus. Jacob promises to Judah a descendant who is to be the coming Ruler, Christ is called the Lion of the tribe of Judah in Rev 5:5,Your hand will be on the neck of the enemy. Much of the Bible like we saw with Joseph, has a parallel as well as a prophesy. You can look at the following Scriptures concerning prophesy if you have time Numbers 24 , Isaiah 2 and 42, Hebrews 1, Psalms 2 and 60, “end of Days” in Hebrew is Shiloh!!! Remember that God teaches us where we are ~~ He KNOWs where your understanding is and will meet you and me right there — then next year — He’ll add more to it for you and me. Isaiah 28:9-10 (KJV) it says: “Whom shall he teach knowledge? and whom shall he make to understand doctrine? them that are weaned from the milk, and drawn from the breasts. For precept must be upon precept, precept upon precept; line upon line, line upon line; here a little, and there a little.”
- Dan is mentioned here and then in the book of Judges they are mentioned under the subtitle “The Moral failure of Israel.” Idolatry will be their weakness.
Chapter 50 —Do you remember all that Scripture of buying the cave when Sarah died back in Chapter 23. This is where Jacob is to be buried, with his whole family (except Rachel who was buried in Bethlehem after she died giving birth to Benjamin). So Jacob dies, and according to Egyptian culture he is embalmed and mourned for, but then allowed to be taken to Machpelah to be buried.
Something that struck me was that Joseph spent his first 17 years with his father as he grew up. Then Jacob spent his last 17 years with Joseph before his death!!! GRACE, GRACE, GOD’S GRACE!!!
Did you take note of Joseph’s character? He wanted to follow his father’s request to be buried with his ancestors. Joseph shares this with Pharaoh and Pharaoh not only encourages him to go and bury his father but also sends Joseph and his family with ALL Pharaoh’s officials accompanied him!!!
Once Jacob had died and was buried, the brothers got nervous. They thought maybe they were only forgiven because their father was there. Joseph reassures them that they truly are forgiven. Look at what Joseph says in Gen 50:19-21
But Joseph said to them, “Don’t be afraid. Am I in the place of God? You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. So then, don’t be afraid. I will provide for you and your children.” And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.
And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose (Ro 8:28)
FORGIVENESS is a powerful thing. It is part of God’s character. It was part of Joseph’s character. It is what God calls each of to do in our daily lives with others and ourselves. Once we confess our sins, and ask for forgiveness ..we must BELIEVE God’s word that says he forgives us of ALL our sin… ALL… not some, not the easy ones… but ALL. In Psalms 103:12 we are told that when God forgives our sins he NO LONGER remembers the forgiven sins. It says: “as far as the east is from the west,so far has he removed our transgressions from us.” Once we ask God for forgiveness if we come back to Him and say: “God remember when I ….” His response is: “WHAT sin????”
Joseph could have held on to bitterness towards his brothers. Yet instead of nursing old, bitter wounds, Joseph freely extended grace. He led… remembered….spoke… and forgave by grace. Grace enabled him to enjoy his later years surrounded by his brothers, his sons, and his grandsons, and his great grandsons “on his knees.”
The death of Joseph. His dying words were a confidence to his brothers that God’s Covenant will be fulfilled, and his people will be taken to the land that was promised to them, and God will aid them in that. Then Joseph made them swear an oath that they will take his bones back to Canaan. And, in Ex 13:19 they do.
WHAT AN AWESOME RIDE we’ve been blessed to be on in this read!!!
Sharing HIS love,
Take a look at what Psalms 105:16-20 states about Joseph and most importantly GOD’s PREPARATIONS TO SAVE:
16 He called down famine on the land
and destroyed all their supplies of food;
17 and he sent a man before them—
Joseph, sold as a slave.
18 They bruised his feet with shackles,
his neck was put in irons,
19 till what he foretold came to pass,
till the word of the Lord proved him true.
20 The king sent and released him,
the ruler of peoples set him free.
Chapter 46: So the family, ALL of the family is headed to Egypt (the beginnings of the great nation promised to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob). Jacob/Israel needed to KNOW he was doing the right thing, that Joseph was really alive, and that he was right in moving his ENTIRE family OUT of Canaan (the land of the promise). Jacob/Israel stops in Beersheba to give an offering to the Lord. Beersheba has had a LOT of history with us so far. ”The well of the Oath”. Re-read Chapter 21, 22, 26 and 28 for all the things that happened there. (Have you ever been in a situation where you were fairly comfortable and believed you were where the Lord placed you? Then suddenly you feel or hear the “still small voice” saying … “do this or go here.” I have definitely been there and asked: “Lord, everything I am doing is outside of my comfort zone these days … will You let me know if this is truly what you want for me?) The Lord says to him in Verse 3-4:
“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.”
Why is this important? Because it was part of God’s Covenant with Abraham. Gen 12:2 “I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make our name great, and you will be a blessing.” I could see his hesitation going into such a horrible place like Egypt, where Hebrews were not thought well of at all.
OK.. try not to go to snoozeville as the names are being listed. Pick up what you can. In verse 11 Kohath (that is Moses Family) and under Judah in verse 12 we already know what happened to at least two of them because they were so evil (remember the other day’s reading… Er –God killed him because he was SO evil.. Onan… God killed him because he refused to obey the law and God, by choosing to “spill his semen on the ground” in reference to Tamar, and then Judah gets his daughter-in-law pregnant (Tamar) while she is disguised as a prostitute because he has not given his youngest son to her as he should have.) Read and move to where God does have your heart.
They ALL go as the Lord directs them. Seventy in all (including Jacob/Israel, Joseph, and Joseph’s two sons). IMAGINE how many people were on the trip….. because this number does NOT count wives, or anyone else who may have been with them!! The famine was growing worse… there was no food. Israel KNEW he had to GO.
In verse 28, Jacob sent JUDAH ahead of him to Joseph to get directions to Goshen. YEP.. you read that right… JUDAH!! Joseph has his chariot made ready for him and went to Goshen to meet his father Israel. WHAT A REUNION!!! Their REUNION is only one of several great reunions mentioned in Scripture, EACH of which FORESHADOWS the GREATEST REUNION OF ALL when All believers will be gathered to Jesus to spend eternity with HIM!!! A few reunions are in Nehemiah 8 when the exiles are reunited in Jerusalem; Luke 15:11-24 with the prodigal son; and Acts 20:17-38 with Paul’s brief reunion with the Ephesian elders. AND THE ULTIMATE REUNION is discussed in 1 Thess 4:13-18 and Rev 21. This will be the EVERLASTING REUNION!!!
The last thing Joseph does is prepare his brothers in how to deal with THE PHARAOH. Joseph did not EXPECT the Pharaoh to DO anything. Joseph was not trying to call in any favors. However, he did want to “train” his brothers in what to say to Pharaoh so he would place them in the land of Goshen. Joseph had been living in this culture since he was 17, he KNEW these people, he KNEW their ways of thinking, and how they expected to be treated. He didn’t become a success because he was a slouch!! He was a man of integrity and wanted to be sure his family remained safe. So, he helped prepare his brothers to meet with THE PHARAOH. “Tell him you are SHEPHERDS… Tell him you have done this since you were young…. Tell him your father and his fathers before him were shepherds.”
Chapter 47 – Look at Joseph’s character in this chapter. The first thing we read is that Joseph went and told Pharaoh that his father, all his brothers, and all they possessed were in Goshen. Joseph was not trying to hide anything or pull a fast one. Joseph takes five of his brothers with him to meet with Pharaoh. What does Pharaoh ask them FIRST thing…. “What is your occupation?” They respond in the manner that Joseph had taught them. Pharaoh’s response in verse 6 was: “Let them live in Goshen. And if you know of any among them with special ability, put them in charge of my own livestock!!” THAT is what I call DIVINE intervention!! WHAT is so important with telling (the truth) that they were SHEPHERDS??? Keep in mind that the Egyptians did NOT like the Hebrews AT ALL, they found them disgusting. In 46:34 it states: “all shepherds are detestable to the Egyptians.” THIS KNOWLEDGE that Joseph had would keep the Hebrews SEPARATE from the Egyptians!!! The Egyptians did NOT want to live near them. The fact that they were Shepherds would be a GREAT BLESSING for them because it meant they needed land to raise their animals and any crops they could. The Egyptians would want the Hebrews as far away from them as possible!!! They would NOT want the Hebrews within the city limits. Goshen was away from the educated, highly cultured, self-centered, worshipers of MANY gods– Egyptians!!! While living in Goshen they would be less tempted to live like the Egyptians and they would remain according to Abraham’s teachings and would be less polluted.
I can ONLY IMAGINE that Joseph had a very stressful job. After all he was IN CHARGE of ALL that was the Pharaoh’s. Joseph took this to heart and remained a man of integrity in handling all that was Pharaoh’s. Look at his character here:
- When there was NO food, Joseph collected ALL the money found in Egypt and Canaan to pay for the grain the people were buying from him that he has stored during the years of feasting. If he were not a man of integrity, he could have taken money for himself, given money to his family on the sly, etc. However, he truly had the people’s best in mind as well as doing what was right for Pharaoh.
- Once the people had no more money, Joseph has another way for them to get food that would be profitable for Pharaoh as well … they gave him their livestock. He wanted to the people to be able to maintain their dignity in knowing they paid for their food.
- When the food once again was gone, and the people returned, they offered up their land and their bodies to become slaves to Pharaoh. Joseph again works with them so they can be fed, considers how it will benefit Pharaoh, and makes a way so the people can again maintain their dignity by working for their food. Joseph also moves them into the cities so they can all be closer to the food and to Pharaoh to do what they had committed to do (serve him).
- The PRIESTS were the ONLY people Joseph did not buy the land from, because they received a regular allotment from Pharaoh and had food enough from the allotment. That is why they did not sell their land (verse 22.) KEEP this nugget in your mind …. It will come up again concerning the PRIESTS. The priests were also the ONLY ones who did not have to give a fifth of their seed to Pharaoh.
- Joseph had God’s favor resting upon him and because Joseph was used by God in a mighty way — God’s favor continued to rest upon the Hebrew Nation!!
We end Chapter 47 with verse 27: “Now the Israelites settled in Egypt in the region of Goshen. They acquired property there and were fruitful and increased greatly in number.” ALL the Egyptians were losing all they had to buy food … yet the Israelites were PROSPERING. Goshen is said to have been on the Nile River’s eastern delta which means it would have been very fertile land with much water to live on. My mentor from the bible study last year stated that: “It is Drought proof. The family would be able to GROW a nation.”
Keep in mind that we are seeing a picture of how “slavery” became so big. People used all they had to get food. When things begin to ease up…. The Egyptians WILL notice that the Hebrews are prospering while they are in slavery. They will NOT like it.
Know that in God’s foreknowledge EVERY thing is set up for a REASON …. so stay tuned. Keep in mind that through all of this HE did keep the Hebrew nation SEPARATE and PROVIDED for…. HE SAVED HIS people. He is setting up the path for Jesus to come to SAVE ALL of HIS people… whew 🙂
Tomorrow, we will read our Last 3 chapters of Genesis…and they are packed with good stuff. Read them slow. Absorb all that God has for you today… tomorrow… and everyday. GOD speaks to each of us individually through HIS Word. I would LOVE to hear what HE is saying to you through all of this.
Sharing HIS love,