Genesis For The Mildly Curious

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Genesis For The Mildly Curious

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Hello;

Back around 2000 or 2001; I got the daring idea to begin composing a daily, bite-size commentary on the book of Genesis. It was a clumsy effort at first but I stuck with it and as time went by, it got pretty good. On some forums where I've survived opposition long enough to complete the whole fifty chapters, Genesis has attracted several thousand views.

As of today's date, I'm 76 years old; and an on-going student of the Bible since 1968 via sermons, seminars, lectures, Sunday school classes, radio Bible programs, and various authors of a number of Bible-related books. Fifty-two years of Bible under my belt hasn't made me an authority; but they've at least made me competent enough to tackle Genesis.

Barring emergencies, accidents, vacations, unforeseen circumstances, and/or insurmountable distractions, database errors, pandemic shut-downs, computer crashes, black outs, brown outs, deaths in the family, Wall Street Armageddon, thread hijackers, excessive quarrelling and debating, the dog ate my homework, visiting relatives, ISIS, car repairs, Black Friday, Cyber Monday, student walk-outs, Carrington events, gasoline prices, medical issues, and/or hard luck and the forces of nature; I'm making an effort to post something every day including Sundays and holidays.

Some really good stuff is in Genesis: the origin of the cosmos, Adam and Eve, Cain and Abel, the Flood, tower of Babel, and the origin of the Jews.

Big-name celebrities like Noah, Abraham, Sarah, Isaac and Ishmael, Rebecca, Jacob and Esau, and Joseph are here.

Not here are Moses vs. Pharaoh and the parting of the Red Sea. That story is in Exodus; Samson and Delilah are in Judges, David and Goliath are in 1Samuel; and Ruth and Esther are in books of the Bible named after them.

The author of Genesis is currently unknown; but commonly attributed to Moses. Seeing as he penned Exodus (Mark 12:26) it's conceivable that Moses also penned Genesis; but in reality, nobody really knows for sure.

Scholars have estimated the date of its writing at around 1450-1410 BC; a mere 3,400± years ago, which is pretty recent in the grand scheme of Earth's geological history.

Genesis may in fact be the result of several contributors beginning as far back as Adam himself; who would certainly know more about the creation than anybody, and who entertained no doubts whatsoever about the existence of an intelligent designer since he knew the creator Himself like a next door neighbor.

As time went by, others like Seth and Noah would add their own experiences to the record, and then Abraham his, Isaac his, Jacob his, and finally Judah or one of his descendants completing the record with Joseph's burial.

Genesis is quoted more than sixty times in the New Testament; and Christ authenticated its Divine inspiration by referring to it in his own teachings. (e.g. Matt 19:4-6, Matt 24:37-39, Mk 10:4-9, Luke 11:49-51, Luke 17:26 29 & 32, John 7:21-23, John 8:44 and John 8:56)

Buen Camino

(Pleasant Journey)
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Re: Genesis For The Mildly Curious

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Gen 49:8 . .You, O Judah, your brothers shall praise; your hand shall be on the nape of your foes; your father's sons shall bow low to you.

Reuben was the original ranking brother, then the position passed to Joseph, and finally to the family of Judah's grandson David; and that's where it remains to this day. (Ps 89:20-27 and Matt 22:42-45)

Gen 49:10a . .The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the scepter from between his feet

Refer to: 2Sam 7:16, 2Sam 23:5, Ps 85:35-38, Ps 89:4, and Ps 89:30

Gen 49:10b . . And the homage of peoples be his.

The "peoples" of that verse are non Jews; viz: Gentiles. The jurisdiction of Davidic monarchs is normally limited to their own country, among their fellow Jews; but one is coming in Judah's family who will one day rule the entire world. (Dan 7:13-14 and Ps 2:7-9)

This next prediction is the scariest one of all.


Gen 49:11-12 . . He washes his garment in wine, his robe in blood of grapes. His eyes will be darker than wine, his teeth whiter than milk.

See: Isa 63:1-6, and Rev 19:15-16

Gen 49:13 . . Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore; he shall be a haven for ships, and his flank shall rest on Sidon.

Zebulun never did actually occupy a Mediterranean shore (Josh 19:10-16) but their proximity to the coast, via the territory of Ashur, gave them opportunity to earn their livings in sea related trades like stevedoring, ship building, and possibly crews on fishing vessels and cargo ships owned and operated by the Philistines and Phoenicians.

Zebulun's flank didn't extend to the coastal city named Sidon, but to a region generally known as Sidonia-- which included the city of Trye --a territory often labeled Sidon for short.


Gen 49:14-15 . . Issachar is a strong-boned burro, crouching among the sheepfolds. When he saw how good was security, and how pleasant was the country, he bent his shoulder to the burden, and became a toiling serf.

Men like Zebulun, and Issachar are the invisible people. They don't want much out of life; and they're never really in the news as movers and shakers; the paparazzi don't follow them around, nor are they among the rich, famous, and powerful. Zebulun, and Issachar represent the blue collar labor force, the non-professional working men and women who make a country productive in goods and services.

Unfortunately, the two tribes, on the whole, believed in peace at any price, and were wont to trade their independence for corvee labor in order to avoid conflict with overlords and invaders-- the two notable exceptions being Zebulun's response when mustered for duty with Gideon (Judg 6:35) and the two tribes responses when mustered by Barak (Judg 5:14-15) but they rarely took the initiative to go on the offensive.
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Re: Genesis For The Mildly Curious

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Gen 49:16 . . Dan shall govern his people, as one of the tribes of Israel.

That prediction alludes to Dan's autonomous attitude towards the other tribes. In point of fact, Dan's tribe didn't join forces with the others in the north to help repel oppressors. (Judg 5:17)

A good example of Dan's autonomous attitude is Mr. Samson. During his tenure as a Judge in Israel (Judg 13:1-16:31) Samson never mustered an army nor led his own men in a charge up a San Juan hill. He fought alone, and he died alone; and seemed to prefer it that way. Definitely neither a commander nor a team player.


Gen 49:17 . . Dan shall be a serpent by the road, a viper by the path, that bites the horse's heels so that his rider is thrown backward.

A number of poisonous snakes-- e.g. rattlesnakes --don't hunt for food by chasing their prey in racy pursuit but choose rather to coil up and patiently wait along the edges of paths for something to come along. They're typically sluggish on the move but very speedy on the strike. Rattlers, especially, are powerful strikers that don't even have to clamp down to bite. Their strike inertia is powerful enough to drive their fangs into a target's flesh like sewing needles.

When rattlers bite large animals like horses, it's not for food, but generally a reflexive response to a perceived threat; which suggests that Dan's tribe would have hair-trigger tempers that flair up at every provocation-- real or imagined --totally surprising the objects of their fury. People like that are extremely reactive: they're never rational and objective, no, they are emotional, thin-skinned and easily insulted; they get mad over nothing, and every disagreement is an act of war.

It's conceivable that the viper-ish nature of Dan's tribe reminded Jacob of Gen 3:15's prediction to crush the head of the Serpent who caused Man's ruin; and possibly prompted his next remark.


Gen 49:18 . . I wait for your deliverance, O Lord!

Everyone becomes curious at one time or another how the Old Testament's luminaries were saved prior to Christ's crucifixion. Well, the interesting thing is: they were all aware that Christ was on the way.

"Concerning this salvation, the prophets, who spoke of the grace that was to come to you, searched intently and with the greatest care, trying to find out the time and circumstances to which the Spirit of Christ in them was pointing when he predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories that would follow." (1Pet 1:10-11)

A prophet is simply an inspired man-- the earliest known were Abel (Luke 11:50-51) Enoch (Jude 1:14) Noah (2Pet 2:5) and Abraham. (Gen 20:7)

In other words: pre-crucifixion believers looked forward to Christ, while post-crucifixion believers look back.

"Your ancestor Abraham rejoiced as he looked forward to my coming. He saw it and was glad." (John 8:56)


Gen 49:19 . . Gad shall be raided by raiders, but he shall raid at their heels.

Gad's tribe, along with Rueben and Manasseh, chose to settle on the wrong side of the Jordan River instead of crossing over into Canaan (Num 32:1-32). Their decision effectively isolated them from the other nine tribes and left their eastern flank vulnerable to desert marauders; which were more nuisance than anything else as Gad's tribe were competent warriors and able to hold their own. (cf. 1Chrn 5:18)

Though the major portion of Christ's ministry was confined within the national borders of Israel, he crossed over the Jordan on occasion to visit the three tribes on the east side (Matt 11:21, Mark 6:45). Gad was the region of the famous swine-herd suicide. (Mark 5:1-13)


Gen 49:20 . . Asher's bread shall be rich, and he shall yield royal dainties.

Asher's tribe was apportioned land bordering Zebulun and Naphtali, along the Mediterranean coastline in the region of ancient Tyre. The area was famed for its fertility (Deut 33:24). Ashur was located in a Phoenician stronghold of political and commercial activity. The phrase "he shall yield royal dainties" possibly alludes to the tribe's best produce being sold to supply the homes of Phoenician dignitaries.

NOTE: This chapter in Genesis wasn't recorded in prose, but rather, Hebrew poetry, making it difficult, if not impossible, for translators to correctly interpret some of Jacob's sayings. The poem contains tricky metaphors rather than clear facts; which only complicates the section even more.
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Re: Genesis For The Mildly Curious

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Gen 49:21 . . Naphtali is a hind let loose, which yields lovely fawns.

A hind is a female of the red deer species-- males are harts. (e.g. Ps 42:1)

Red deer aren't a domestic breed; so the metaphor refers to a captured hind being returned to the wild rather than butchered for its meat. Apparently, this particular hind was pregnant when captured, and the hunter knew the unborn would certainly die if he killed their mother. By returning the expectant hind to the field, the hunter helped assure the survival of local herds; and he no doubt intended to hunt the fawns as adults in the future. That was not only humane, but also a very wise conservation measure too.

Exactly what Jacob meant to convey by this metaphor is difficult to ascertain with confidence. It could be that Naphtali's people exhibited artifice, artistry, intelligence, abilities and aptitudes that their enemies would recognize as far too valuable to waste by just indiscriminately killing them off in wholesale slaughter simply to seize their lands and goods.

As an example; some of Nazi Germany's scientists were brought to American and became very useful in developing the USA's rocket science, and subsequently NASA's space program. What if the US had executed those scientists because they were responsible for the buzz bombs that devastated London? No, sometimes human resources are well worth the restraint to spare them.


NOTE: Barak, an ordinary man recruited by Deborah to become a military commander, was of Naphtali. (Judg 4:4-5:31)

Gen 49:22 . . Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.

Jacob's assessment of Joseph is similar to the assessment of a blessed man in the very first Psalm.

"Blessed is the man who has not followed the counsel of the wicked, nor taken the path of sinners, nor joined the company of the insolent; rather, Yhvh's teaching is his delight, and he studies that teaching day and night. He is like a tree planted beside streams of water, which yields its fruit in season, whose foliage never fades, and whatever it produces thrives."


Gen 49:23 . . Archers bitterly assailed him; they shot at him and harried him.

The "archers" in that sentence are the kind who wait in ambush.

Well, that certainly happened to Joseph. He was totally ambushed by his very own brothers, and then later on, ambushed by Potipher's wife. But he escaped them all. They thought to ruin Joseph, but he prospered instead.


Gen 49:24-25a . .Yet his bow stayed taut, and his arm were made firm by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob-- there is the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel --the God of your father who helps you, and Shaddai who blesses you

It is so easy to admire Joseph's perseverance in the face of overwhelming adversity while overlooking the real reason behind his success. It was Yhvh's providence all the way. Left to himself, it's very likely Joseph would have been dead before he was thirty years old; either by murder, execution, or suicide.

Gen 49:25 . .With blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lurk below, blessings of the breast and womb.

Those blessings consist of rain, dew, and abundant water resources; all of which depict fruitfulness of the soil and the fecundity of both man and beast.

Gen 49:26. .Your father's blessings surpassed the blessings of my ancestors, to the utmost bounds of the eternal hills. May they rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the elect of his brothers.

Compare Deut 33:13-17 where Manasseh and Ephraim are indirect recipients of Joseph's blessings, and will apparently conquer and colonize quite a bit of the earth some day in the future.

Jacob pronounced Joseph the "elect" of his brothers not out of a spirit of favoritism, but out of a spirit of prophecy. You can easily tell that Yhvh is micro-managing the entire meeting.

Compared to man, the hills really are eternal; viz: perpetual from one generation to another. Jacob's ancestors included Abel, Seth, and Noah. They were good men but none of them inherited the promises God made to Abraham; which are promises just as eternal as the hills; if not more so.
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Re: Genesis For The Mildly Curious

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Gen 49:27 . . Benjamin rends in pieces, like a wolf-- in the morning he consumes the prey, and in the evening he apportions the booty.

That is hardly the picture of a peaceful, agrarian society. Israel used to be a land of milk and honey (Ex 3:8) and you have to wonder what on earth happened that caused the transformation of a tribe of herders and farmers into human predators.

As a testament to the cruel nature of the tribe of Benjamin, Israel's first king-- ego-driven, selfish Mr. Saul --came from there. (1Sam 9:1-2)

The nightmarish events of Judges 19 and 20 took place in Benjamin's borders and led to the tribe's decimation in a brief civil war.


Gen 49:28 . . All these were the tribes of Israel, twelve in number, and this is what their father said to them as he bade them farewell, addressing to each a parting word appropriate to him.

Numbering the tribes of Israel is tricky because Jacob has twelve birth sons, and two adopted sons; which adds up to fourteen. But the tribes are always listed so that the numbering comes out to twelve. Compare the list at Rev 7:5-8 where everybody but Dan and Ephraim are named so that the number again comes out to twelve. The same strange numbering system was employed in counting the Lord's apostles. Even after Judas was eliminated, they were still referred to as the twelve. (1Cor 15:5)

Gen 49:29-33 . .Then he instructed them, saying to them: I am about to be gathered to my kin. Bury me with my fathers in the cave which is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, the cave which is in the field of Machpelah, facing Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial site-- there Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried; there Isaac and his wife Rebecca were buried; and there I buried Leah --the field and the cave in it, bought from the Hittites.

. . .When Jacob finished his instructions to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed and, breathing his last, he was gathered to his kin.


The phrase "gathered to his kin" is an action separate from being buried side by side with kin in a cemetery. Jacob was gathered to his kin immediately upon expiration, but wasn't buried with them till more than seventy days after his demise.

According to Christ, though Jacob's flesh expired many centuries ago in Egypt, he continues to exist somewhere else.

"But now, as to whether the dead will be raised-- even Moses proved this when he wrote about the burning bush. Long after Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob had died, he referred to Yhvh as the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob. So He is the God of the living, not the dead. They all live unto Him." (Luke 20:37-38)

There is a region in the netherworld where faithful Israelites were at one time warehoused waiting for the resurrection of their bodies. (e.g. Luke 16:19-31, cf. Matt 17:1-9)
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Re: Genesis For The Mildly Curious

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Gen 50:1 . . Joseph threw himself upon his father's face and wept over him and kissed him.

It almost looks like Joseph smothered his dad; but in reality that scene was probably a bit difficult to put in writing because there's so much emotion. I think what we're actually looking at there is a one last cheek-to-cheek farewell with Joseph clutching his father's hand; and I would not have liked to be in the room when it took place because Joseph was terribly broken up by his dad's passing.

The word for "wept" is bakah (baw-kaw') and means not just to weep, but to bemoan; which Webster's defines as: to express deep grief and/or distress. Deep grief is what people undergo when they experience loss.

If there is one salient characteristic of Jacob's family, I would have to say it was a lack of affection. Joseph seemed the only one in the entire home who was truly bonded with his dad. His siblings were somehow detached; and I think that the multiplicity of their mothers might have something to do with that.

When I found out that my own dad had two sons besides me by two other women, it destroyed any notion I had of feeling special in my own home; especially when the only son my dad was ever really proud of was one that didn't even live with us; but with whom my dad stayed in contact over the years without telling me.


Gen 50:2 . .Then Joseph ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel.

It is apparently well known that mummification, with all its elaborate ritual, played a crucial role in Egyptian religion and was bound up with the cult of Osiris and concepts of the afterlife. Existence after death was taken for granted by the Egyptians. Central to this notion was the belief in the importance of the physical preservation of the deceased's body. They took meticulous care to prevent the putrefaction of the corpse in order to ensure the right of the dead to immortality.

I seriously doubt Egypt's religion played a role in Joseph's decision to embalm his dad. His reason was simply one of practicality. The body was to be transported to Palestine for burial, and if care wasn't taken to preserve it, poor old Jacob would be in a terrible state of decay by the time they arrived; and very smelly too.

Joseph's own personal physicians performed the task rather than professional morticians, thus assuring nobody would come around to defile Jacob with pagan rituals, garments, and/or enchantments and spiritual potions. Jacob's life, and afterlife, were fully consecrated to Yhvh; and no pagan deities were permitted an attempt to claim a share of his future. (cf. Jude 1:9)


Gen 50:3 . . It required forty days, for such is the full period of embalming. The Egyptians mourned him seventy days

I wouldn't be a bit surprised if the bewailing wasn't mandatory like that of North Korea's when Kim Jong Il passed. Citizens of that country are not only denied the freedom of speech, but they don't even have the freedom of grief.

There exists no information about embalming procedures from Joseph's era but there is some available from the fifth century BC and from the late Hellenistic period. Herodotus (Histories 2.86) reports that bodies were soaked in niter (potassium nitrate) for seventy days.

Diodorus of Sicily (Histories 1.91) describes a thirty-day dressing of the corpse with oils and spices and seventy-two days of public mourning for a king. That practice probably corresponds to the American flag being raised at half mast for deceased dignitaries and notable personages.

Jacob was afforded royal honors no doubt brought about by Josephs' influence, and his connections with Egypt's aristocrats; sort of like John F. Kennedy Jr's burial at sea from the US Navy's Spruance class destroyer USS Briscoe.

The junior Kennedy never served in the US military, nor in any Federal civil service capacity whatsoever; ergo: he certainly did not merit burial at sea from a US Navy vessel; but the Kennedy dynasty is very influential, and well connected; and has been for a good many years beginning with patriarch Joseph P. Kennedy Sr. That just goes to show that there's undue advantages to being connected in this world.

Anyway, under his son Joseph's auspices, Jacob's was the most grandiose funeral of any of Israel's primary patriarchs including Abraham, the paterfamilias of the entire family.
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Re: Genesis For The Mildly Curious

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Gen 50:4a . . and when the mourning period was over, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh's court

It's curious that Joseph didn't meet with Pharaoh in person; I mean, after all, Joseph was second in command over the entire country of Egypt, and certainly outranked all of Pharaoh's courtiers. It's guessed by some that in the Egypt of Joseph's day, a dead man's close kin were deemed unfit to approach a Pharaoh. Whether it was for religious reasons, or just simply customary propriety is unknown.

Gen 50:4b-5a . . saying; Do me this kindness, and lay this appeal before Pharaoh: "My father made me swear, saying; I am about to die. Be sure to bury me in the grave which I made ready for myself in the land of Canaan."

Apparently some time in the past, prior to his immigration to Egypt, Jacob spent some time in Abraham's cemetery preparing a spot in it for his own burial so that his surviving kin only had to take him there-- no muss, no fuss, no money problems, and no legal hassles. It's a good idea for people to make arrangements for their own burials rather than leaving it all up to the inconvenience of their kin.

Gen 50:5b . . Now, therefore, let me go up and bury my father; then I shall return.

It's quite probable that Joseph's assurance of his return anticipated Pharaoh's anxiety that Joseph might stay back in the land with his brothers if permitted to leave the country and thus The Man would lose the services of not only his kingdom's best cattle ranchers but also the services of an extraordinarily capable bureaucrat.

Gen 5:6 . . And Pharaoh said: Go up and bury your father, as he made you promise on oath.

Pharaoh's choice of words, though inadvertent, were quite appropriate. Travel to Israel is to go "up" and to leave it is to go down. Israel is biblically regarded as the top of the mountains. (Isa 2:2-3)

Gen 50:7-8 . . So Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went up all the officials of Pharaoh, the senior members of his court, and all of Egypt's dignitaries, together with all of Joseph's household, his brothers, and his father's household; only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the region of Goshen.

Leaving the children and the flocks back in Egypt was not only a practical consideration but served to reassure Pharaoh that Joseph and his family fully intended to return as he had promised; which sort of reminds me of a scene in Goodbye Girl when Richard Dreyfuss leaves his guitar behind when he goes to a new acting job to assure Marsha Mason he'll be back.

When people pick up and move; lock, stock, and barrel; you pretty much know they aren't coming back; which is probably why a later-to-come Pharaoh wouldn't let Moses go to worship with everything his people possessed. (Ex 10:24)

Precisely why Pharaoh's courtiers, and all of Egypt's dignitaries came along is hard to understand unless protocol and custom demanded they pay their respects because of Joseph's rank. Though he wasn't really a home boy, Joseph's marriage to the daughter of the priest of On, and his Pharaoh-given name of Tsophnath Pa'neach, made him a naturalized Egyptian; and he was entitled to just as much of the nation's respect afforded its native sons.


NOTE: I've heard it said that the reason half of us go to funerals is to pay our respects to people we avoided when they were alive.

Gen 50:9 . . Chariots, too, and horsemen went up with him; it was a very large troop.

The unit of fighting men was likely for safeguarding all the dignitaries. Palestine was a frontier in those days; and a caravan of aristocrats would be a really tempting target for brigands.
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Re: Genesis For The Mildly Curious

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Gen 50:10 . .When they came to Gorena ha-Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and solemn lamentation; and he observed a mourning period of seven days for his father.

A geographic location described as "beyond the Jordan" suggests the east side of the river but the term is ambiguous and can just as easily mean west (e.g. Deut 3:18-20).

The Hebrew word for Gorena is goren (go'-ren) which identifies smooth places; e.g. threshing floors or any cleared space like a parade ground. Judging by the size of Joseph's cortege, I'd have to say Gorena ha-Atad comprised some appreciable acreage.

Seven days became a traditional period of Jewish mourning (e.g. 1Sam 31:13, Job 2:13)


Gen 50:11 . . And when the Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw the mourning at Goren ha-Atad, they said; This is a solemn mourning on the part of the Egyptians. That is why it was named Abel-mizraim, which is beyond the Jordan.

Abel-mizraim means Meadow of the Egyptians. Unfortunately, it's precise location has been lost in antiquity.

Gen 50:12-14 . .Thus his sons did for him as he had instructed them. His sons carried him to the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, the field near Mamre, which Abraham had bought for a burial site from Ephron the Hittite. After burying his father, Joseph returned to Egypt, he and his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.

If Joseph and his brothers were aware of the prediction Yhvh made to Abraham back in Gen 15:13-14, then they probably returned to Egypt with heaviness knowing in advance that slavery and oppression were in store for their progeny.

NOTE: But then again there are folk like King Hezekiah who, when told of his progeny's rather grim future, was grateful that it would happen to them instead of him. (Isa 39:5-8)

Gen 50:15 . .When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said: What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrong that we did him?

Where did they get the idea that Joseph was bearing any grudge at all, let alone "still" bearing a grudge? You know what they did? They did just what Laban did to Jacob back in chapter 31 when he threatened Jacob with Divine retribution if he abused Rachel and Leah or dumped them for other women.

Jacob had worked for Laban, on his ranch, up close and personal for twenty years and never gave Laban one single reason to either believe, or suspect that Jacob might do unkind things to his wives. In other words: Laban projected; that is: he assumed everyone was like himself. Now that's an ego!

Joseph's brothers had a wicked conscience. It wasn't beyond them to project their own base motives upon everybody else and assume everybody else would do the very same things they themselves would do in their place. They totally brushed aside the gracious reception they received in Joseph's house back in chapter 45 and replaced his hospitality with their own corrupt imaginations; not to mention the seventeen years just past when they lived a very good life in Egypt under Joseph's generous auspices.

Nobody's reputation is safe in the hands of people like that who fail to take into consideration someone's impeccable track record.


Gen 50:16-17a . . So they sent this message to Joseph: Before his death your father left this instruction: So shall you say to Joseph; Forgive, I urge you, the offense and guilt of your brothers who treated you so harshly. Therefore, please forgive the offense of the servants of the God of your father.

That is one of the most bold, bare-faced lies in the entire Bible. If Jacob had desired Joseph to let his brothers off like they said, he would have met with Joseph and said so himself in person rather than elect the brothers as his messengers posthumously.

Gen 50:17b . . And Joseph was in tears as they spoke to him.

The people referred to as "they" were not the brothers, but rather, the messengers they sent. I've not doubt whatsoever that Joseph suspected the message was a lie concocted by his brothers as a desperate measure to save their own skins. His disappointment in them for not trusting him must have been overwhelming. Joseph had never done even one single thing in his entire life to deliberately injure his brothers and this is how they react?

Gen 50:18-21 . . His brothers went to him themselves, flung themselves before him, and said: We are prepared to be your slaves. But Joseph said to them: Have no fear. Am I a substitute for God? Besides, although you intended me harm, God intended it for good, so as to bring about the present result-- the survival of many people. And so, fear not. I will sustain you and your children. Thus he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.

They say repetition is an effective teaching aid; and it's probably because some people just don't pay attention. Joseph had already made a similar speech to his brothers once before already in chapter 45 and here he is having to do it all over again. Their lack of trust in his word as a man of honor and integrity is just unforgivable.
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Re: Genesis For The Mildly Curious

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Gen 50:22-26 . . So Joseph and his father's household remained in Egypt. Joseph lived one hundred and ten years. Joseph lived to see children of the third generation of Ephraim: the children of Machir, son of Manasseh, were likewise born upon Joseph's knees.

. . . At length, Joseph said to his kin: I am about to die. God will surely take notice of you and bring you up from this land to the land that He promised on oath to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob. So Joseph made the children of Israel swear, saying: When God has taken notice of you, you shall carry up my bones from here.

. . . Joseph died at the age of one hundred and ten years; and he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.


Josephs' "coffin" was likely an ornate mummy case; and kept in storage above ground in a special location sort of like a shrine or a memorial. As they say: Out of sight, out of mind. Keeping Joseph's remains perpetually on view would make it difficult for the people of Israel to forget him.

Did Joseph ever make it back home again? Yes; he finally did.

"Now the Israelites went up armed out of the land of Egypt. And Moses took with him the bones of Joseph, who had exacted an oath from the children of Israel, saying: God will be sure to take notice of you; then you shall carry up my bones from here with you." (Ex 13:18-19)

"The bones of Joseph, which the Israelites had brought up from Egypt, were buried at Shechem, in the piece of ground which Jacob had bought for a hundred kesitahs from the children of Hamor, Shechem's father, and which had become a heritage of Joseph's progeny." (Josh 24:32)

Genesis records Jacob purchasing the property (Gen 33:17-20). But Stephen said it was Abraham's transaction (Acts 7:15-16) which strongly suggests that the county recorder in the community of Shechem was a bit careless with his paperwork and let Abraham's deed slip through a crack; necessitating Jacob pay for the lot all over again; likely at a higher price the second time around.

-- THE END --

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