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Bible 101 Lesson 9D

Jim Parker

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Bible 101 Lesson 9D

Read Gen 47-50

Genesis Chapter 47:1-12
Joseph introduced his father Jacob to Pharaoh and Pharaoh gives them the best land on Egypt in which to settle. Then Joseph provided his family with bread.

47:13-14 As the famine continues, Joseph sells grain to the people and all the money in Egypt is soon in the possession of Pharaoh.

47:15-17 The famine continues but the people have no more money to buy food so they give Pharaoh their livestock in exchange for food. So all the livestock in Egypt become the possession of Pharaoh.

47:18-21 The famine continues. The only thing the people have left to sell is their land and their bodies. So they sold their land to Pharaoh for food and Joseph moved them into the cities. They were now the slaves of Pharaoh who would work his fields. THIS INCLUDES ISRAEL. It is Joseph who puts Israel into bondage to Pharaoh.

47:22 Ministerial exemptions: The priests of the pagan deities were given their allotment of food by Pharaoh. Therefore, they did not have to purchase food or sell their lands and livestock in order to have food to eat. They remained free.

47:23-26 Joseph made the law that the people would be provided with seed. At the time of harvest they would give Pharaoh one fifth of the harvest. They would keep the rest for their own food and for seed for the next year’s planting.

The pagan priests of Egypt were exempt since they own their land.

Gen 47:27 So Israel dwelt in the land of Egypt, in the country of Goshen; and they had possessions there and grew and multiplied exceedingly.

Notice that in this verse, the name “Israel” is applied to the people who are the descendants of Jacob rather than to Jacob. This is the first use of the name “Israel” to refer to a nation rather than to an individual.

To say that they had possessions and multiplied exceedingly is to say that they prospered. Prosperity to them included both possessions AND children.

47:28-31 Jacob grew old and knew his time was short so he had Joseph swear to him that his bones would not be buried in Egypt but would be buried with the bones of his wife Rachel. And Joseph swears to it.

Chapter 48-49 The last days of Jacob.

First Jacob reminded Joseph of the blessing the God promised him and his father Isaac and their father Abraham.

Gen 48:3-4 Then Jacob said to Joseph: “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan and blessed me, and said to me, ‘Behold, I will make you fruitful and multiply you, and I will make of you a multitude of people, and give this land to your descendants after you as an everlasting possession.’ “

Then Jacob blessed Joseph’s two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who that were born to him in Egypt, but he intentionally gave the blessing of the firstborn to the younger son contrary to tradition. By tradition (and it will end up in the Law of Moses) the firstborn son received a double portion of the inheritance from the father and succeeded the father as the leader of the family.

Notice that the blessings are given by the laying on of hands.

Gen 48:14 Then Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on Ephraim’s head, who was the younger, and his left hand on Manasseh’s head, guiding his hands knowingly, for Manasseh was the firstborn.

Jacob claimed Ephraim and Manasseh as his own sons. They, in effect, take Joseph’s place in the family line. (By decree of Papa.)

Gen 48:5-6 And now your two sons, Ephraim and Manasseh, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are mine; as Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine. Your offspring whom you beget after them shall be yours; they will be called by the name of their brothers in their inheritance.

So, how do we end up with “the 12 tribes of Israel” (Jacob) since it now appears we have extras?

The twelve sons of Jacob are 1 Ruben, 2 Simeon, 3 Levi, 4 Judah, 5 Issachar, 6 Zebulun, 7 Joseph, 8 Benjamin, 9 Dan, 10 Naphtali, 11 Gad, and 12 Asher.

To these we add 13 Ephraim and 14 Manasseh, the sons of Joseph whom Jacob claims as his own.

When it comes to dividing the Promised Land, Levi does not get an inheritance of land. The tribe of Levi’s inheritance is the LORD to whom they are priests. That brings us down to 13 tribes.

Since Ephraim and Manasseh effectively replace Joseph, we don’t count Joseph and that brings us back down to 12 tribes that have territorial possessions in the land.
Jacob’s Blessing of Joseph’s sons:

Gen 48:15-16 And he blessed Joseph, and said:
“God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
The God who has fed me all my life long to this day,

The Angel who has redeemed me from all evil,
Bless the lads;
Let my name be named upon them,
And the name of my fathers Abraham and Isaac;
And let them grow into a multitude in the midst of the earth.


Chapter 49: The last words of Jacob.

This passage represents a literary convention in which an important person says his last words of blessing and a song. We find it here and with Moses (Exodus chapter 32, “The song of Moses” and chapter 33, “The Last Blessing of Moses.”) and with Joshua (Josh 23) and with David (2 Sam 22, “David’s Song of Deliverance” and 23, “David’s last words.”)

Chapter 50 contains; Jacob’s death, the 40 days of mourning, and his being embalmed according to the way of the Egyptians. Then the sons took his body back to Canaan for burial. But this is an extravagant funeral procession!

Gen 50:7-9 So Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, and all the elders of the land of Egypt, as well as all the house of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s house. Only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds they left in the land of Goshen. And there went up with him both chariots and horsemen, and it was a very great gathering.

After the burial, they all returned to Egypt but Joseph’s brothers were a bit worried. They feared that, now that Jacob, their father, was dead, Joseph might take revenge on them for selling him into slavery. So they made up a story about their father Jacob not wanting Joseph to get even.

Gen 50:16-17 So they sent messengers to Joseph, saying, “Before your father died he commanded, saying, ‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: “I beg you, please forgive the trespass of your brothers and their sin; for they did evil to you.”’ Now, please, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of your father.” And Joseph wept when they spoke to him.

Joseph wept because they still didn’t get it. He had no intention of doing anything to them as punishment for what they did to him. He explained to them that it was God’s hand leading them for their good in order to fulfill His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.

Joseph lived to be 110. Before he died he gave instructions for his descendants to take his body back to Canaan when they returned. (see: Heb 11:22)
 

Tessa

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Poor Joseph they still dixn't trust him.
Why would Jacob claim Ephraim and Manasseh as his own and leave Joseph nothing, who was his favourite son?
 

Jim Parker

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Poor Joseph they still dixn't trust him.
Why would Jacob claim Ephraim and Manasseh as his own and leave Joseph nothing, who was his favourite son?
Ah! Read the chapters. He got an extra share.
 

HeIsRisen2018

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I got the basic plotline, but what I don't understand is that even if the Pharaoh was merciful to them for giving them food, wouldn't they still prefer to be free? Then again, perhaps if they were they wouldn't get any share of the harvest.
 

Jim Parker

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I got the basic plotline, but what I don't understand is that even if the Pharaoh was merciful to them for giving them food, wouldn't they still prefer to be free? Then again, perhaps if they were they wouldn't get any share of the harvest.
Here's the sequence:
1st year (or two): They bought food with their money
Next: They traded their herds for food
Next: they sold their property for food
Next: they didn't have anything left to sell except themselves so, rather than starve, they sold themselves into servitude (essentially: slavery)

Pharaoh gave them seed to plant and required that they give him 20% of the harvest.
That made sure that
(1) Pharaoh always had food and seed
(2) The people had food so Pharaoh had slaves
(3) The people had seed for the next year's harvest

Joseph, acting as Pharaoh's agent, wasn't being merciful. He was making sure Pharaoh got what he needed by taking advantage of the people's bad situation. Pharaoh ended up having all their money, all their cattle, and their labor as slaves.

Make sense?
 

HeIsRisen2018

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Here's the sequence:
1st year (or two): They bought food with their money
Next: They traded their herds for food
Next: they sold their property for food
Next: they didn't have anything left to sell except themselves so, rather than starve, they sold themselves into servitude (essentially: slavery)

Pharaoh gave them seed to plant and required that they give him 20% of the harvest.
That made sure that
(1) Pharaoh always had food and seed
(2) The people had food so Pharaoh had slaves
(3) The people had seed for the next year's harvest

Joseph, acting as Pharaoh's agent, wasn't being merciful. He was making sure Pharaoh got what he needed by taking advantage of the people's bad situation. Pharaoh ended up having all their money, all their cattle, and their labor as slaves.

Make sense?



Sort of,..
 

Jim Parker

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I still don't get how that answers my original question. :confused
Everyone would prefer to be free.
But sometimes people don't have that option.
In this case, it was: Sell yourselves to Pharaoh for food and be his servants (slaves) or you and your family can starve.
1. Slaves and eat
2. Free and starve to death.
Pick one.
 

HeIsRisen2018

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Everyone would prefer to be free.
But sometimes people don't have that option.
In this case, it was: Sell yourselves to Pharaoh for food and be his servants (slaves) or you and your family can starve.
1. Slaves and eat
2. Free and starve to death.
Pick one.


Right, that makes perfect sense to me now. :thumbsup
 
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