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Kicking Off With Genesis

Discussion in 'Bible Study Forum' started by Webers_Home, Aug 31, 2017.

  1. Jay Ross

    Jay Ross Well-Known Member

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    Here is were I would disagree with the tradition that you are basing your posts on.

    The bible is silent as to when the seven years of plenty began in the story of Joseph's life.

    It is my contention that Joseph was probably around 52-55 years old when his brothers first went down to Egypt to purchase Grain for the following year. Why is this my contention? 20 years between Joseph being sold into slavery and when Jacob goes down to Egypt is not enough time for Judah to father two generations, particularly when Er and Onan both die after marrying Tamar before Judah goes into her, believing that she is a prostitute, and subsequently fathers twins, Perez and Zerah, with Perez then fathering Hezron. Hezron is taken down to Egypt as a young child, when Jacob goes down. The 22 year time gap, that the tradition you are using, is suggesting, does not provide enough time for Er, Onan, Perez, Zerah and Hezron to have been all born during this time period.

    However, a 36 year time gap, as I am suggesting, is adequate for the births of Er, Onan, Perez, Zerah and Hezron to occur, if Er marries Tamar when he is still young, i.e. let us say around 15 years old, with a 3 to 5 year gap before Perez and Zerah is born and then Perez being around 15 years old before when he marries and then fathers a son around 1 year later.

    This has been my issue with your posts based on the traditional understanding of the Genesis story because of the assumptions made out of the silence of Genesis as to when certain events took place. The clues are there in the Genesis account, but it does require some grey matter to put the story together a little more accurately when considering all of the facts provided in the Genesis story.

  2. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    You really shouldn't be hounding me the way you do Jay Ross; it isn't safe.
    Persecution is a hell-worthy behavior.

    2Thess 1:6-8 . . God is just: He will pay back trouble to those who trouble
    you and give relief to you who are troubled, and to us as well. This will
    happen when the Lord Jesus is revealed from heaven in blazing fire with his
    powerful angels.

    . . . He will punish those who do not know God and do not obey the gospel
    of our Lord Jesus. They will be punished with everlasting destruction and
    shut out from the presence of the Lord and from the majesty of his power
  3. Jay Ross

    Jay Ross Well-Known Member

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    When one attempts to be a teacher of God's word, one should be honest with their words and their understanding and should also acknowledge the source of their acquired "knowledge." You are speaking as if you are one with the "knowledge" to teach others and convey it to others in this discourse on the Book of Genesis, but you rely heavily on what others have claimed to be God's truth concerning the story of the patriarchs and their faith and God promises to them. You quote heavily from previous writers of commentaries who have expressed errors within their commentaries as to how the stories have unfolded, without understanding that what you have cut and pasted or copied is in error.

    You are telling me that I should not be hounding you in the way that I have been when I have been providing where correction(s) to your story telling should be made.

    It is time for you to consider whether or not you are being honest with God's words and promises and whether or not you should be writing the story as you have with your understanding which has flaws in it.

    God warns about leading others astray and the consequences of doing so.

    I have been raising issues with your honesty and understanding of the God's unfolding story of man's redemption story by God, as found in the Book of Genesis.

    I cannot force you to change, to renew your mind, to put off the old self and take on the refurbished nature that God intends for each of us to have since the beginning of time for mankind.

    Now, I love having people, who care enough for my well being, who provide correction to my understanding on the points that I am getting wrong.

    Know what I mean?

  4. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 42:1-8

    Gen 42:1 . .When Jacob learned that there were rations of grain in
    Egypt, he said to his sons; Why do you just keep looking at each

    You can just picture what was going on. One brother would turn to another
    and ask; What are we going to do for food? And the other would just shrug
    and raise his eyebrows. They must have been doing that a lot lately because
    apparently it was beginning to grate on their dad.

    Gen 42:2-4 . . He continued: I have heard that there is grain in
    Egypt. Go down there and buy some for us, so that we may live and
    not die. Then ten of Joseph's brothers went down to buy grain from
    Egypt. But Jacob did not send Benjamin, Joseph's brother, with the
    others, because he was afraid that harm might come to him.

    To Jacob's knowledge, Joseph was dead. His mother was certainly dead,
    having died giving birth to Benjamin back in chapter 35. So, to Jacob's mind,
    all that's left of the love of his life is Benjamin. So that if something were to
    happen to him, he would have nothing left to remind him of Rachel, and that
    whole side of the family would be gone.

    Benjamin, at this time, wasn't a little kid. He was born when the family
    moved south from Bethel to Hebron back in chapter 35. And as Joseph was
    now about 38, and sold into slavery at 17 while Jacob was at Hebron, then
    Benjamin is, at the bare minimum, at least 21.

    Gen 42:5 . . So Israel's sons were among those who went to buy
    grain, for the famine was in the land of Canaan also.

    That must have been an interesting sight. The brothers mingled in with
    caravans traveling to (and from) Egypt, and there must have been a lot of
    them because the drought had effected the whole land of Palestine, possibly
    even clear up into Syria and Lebanon. Traveling in a caravan had its
    benefits. With food so scarce, grain would be more valuable than money,
    and lone travelers would be easy targets for desperate clans; and brigands

    Gen 42:6a . . Now Joseph was powerful in the land; the one who
    sold grain to all its people.

    Apparently, before anybody could obtain grain, they had to first go by the
    Minister Of Agriculture's office and purchase a permit in the form of an
    official receipt, which was then taken to a designated silo and redeemed for
    grain. Apparently, collecting the money, and issuing permits, was a task that
    Joseph personally supervised himself rather than delegate to subordinates:
    which tells me that Joseph trusted no one. And no surprise.

    Those permits were a golden opportunity for graft and/or embezzling. A
    dishonest clerk could smuggle some of those permits out of the office and
    distribute them to friends and relatives and/or peddle them on the black
    market because they were just as valuable as Cap & Trade emission permits
    and food stamps. You could probably scalp those grain coupons for at least
    double the original price.

    Gen 42:6b-8 . . So when Joseph's brothers arrived, they bowed
    down to him with their faces to the ground. As soon as Joseph saw
    his brothers, he recognized them, but he pretended to be a stranger
    and spoke harshly to them. Where do you come from? he asked.
    From the land of Canaan, they replied, to buy food. Although Joseph
    recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.

    One can hardly blame Joseph for acting like a stranger. For all he knew, his
    brothers were still toxic; and might be inclined to find new ways to mess up
    his life yet once more like they did when he lived at home. When people
    have been burned by someone they trust; that trust is not easily regained;
    nor does it deserve to be. Those men tried to murder Joseph-- his own flesh
    and blood kin tried. That's something that's neither easily forgotten, nor
    easily forgiven; and shouldn't be. Joseph's reluctance to befriend his
    brothers at this point is fully justified. Only a fool would try to kiss a
    rattlesnake twice after the first time one bites him on the nose.

    But at the same time, this presents a dilemma for Joseph. No doubt he's
    anxious for an update of his father Jacob's health and welfare, and also of
    his one full brother Benjamin; against whom Joseph harbored no bad
    feelings whatsoever. I sincerely believe that if it wasn't for Joseph's concern
    for his father and kid brother back home, that he never, ever would have
    told his brothers anything about himself. They would have come and gone
    with no consciousness at all that they'd ever passed his way.

    It's not surprising that Joseph's older brothers didn't recognize him. He was
    just a shiny-faced, 17 year-old teen-ager the last they saw him. They
    haven't seen their kid brother for the past 21 years. In that time his face
    and his voice had aged to that of a matured 38 year-old man. Plus he's
    cultured far different than any of Palestine's sheep herders. He has an
    Egyptian hair cut, an Egyptian beard, speaks the Egyptian language, wears
    the expensive clothing of Egyptian aristocrats; and he's a top-of-the-heap
    Egyptian government official; a position in which they would never in a
    million years expect to find their sheep-herding kid brother.
  5. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 42:9-14

    Gen 42:9a . .Then he remembered his dreams about them

    When Joseph had those dreams back in chapter 37, he probably had no clue
    as to how they would be fulfilled. He was only aware, from his father Jacob's
    interpretations, that he would be lord over his whole family, including his
    parents. Now it's becoming clear to him just exactly how those dreams were
    to play out in real life.

    Gen 42:9b . . and said to them: You are spies! You have come to
    see where our land is unprotected.

    That was a reasonable suspicion. Incursions into Egypt by Asians coming via
    the Way of Horus-- a military highway from Canaan that led through Gaza to
    El-'Arish --were a recurrent problem. So it would be only natural to assume
    that if Egypt was raided from the northeast during normal years, it could be
    expected to be raided even more often, and with greater boldness, during a
    food-related crisis that was effecting a huge part of the world of that day.

    Foreign invaders would of course be encouraged to think that maybe the
    Egyptians were so distracted by just trying to survive that they'd let their
    guard down and have no heart for fighting. A nation in crises is a plausible
    target of opportunity for any ambitious conqueror. It of course fell to
    Joseph's responsibility to carefully screen foreigners to be certain of their
    true purposes for entering Egypt. Were they looking for food; or were they
    looking for weak points in Egypt's defenses?

    Joseph really had no good reason at all to trust his own brothers. Not only
    had they been so callous as to plot their own kid brother's murder, and sell
    him to slave traders, but he no doubt remembered how two of them
    viciously hacked to death the entire number of men in the town of Shechem
    back in chapter 34. So far as he was concerned, they were capable of
    anything, even of pillaging a vulnerable Egypt under the guise of ordinary
    people just looking for something to eat like everybody else.

    Gen 42:10-11 . . But they said to him: No, my lord! Truly, your
    servants have come to procure food. We are all of us sons of the
    same man; we are honest men; your servants have never been

    Ten men all together is too obvious. I think that professional spies would
    split up and not travel together nor even enter Egypt on the very same day.
    Perhaps they hoped that by divulging details about their family, it would help
    convince their inquisitor that they weren't entering Egypt for military
    purposes. But even that story could be perceived as a cover to an official in
    Joseph's position.

    Gen 42:12 . . And he said to them: No, you have come to see the
    land in its nakedness!

    A word like "nakedness" can imply any number of things. One is that the
    once majestic, and superior, land of Egypt was debased and embarrassed by
    it's severely reduced agricultural production. It was world famous for
    abundance, and proud of its independence. Egypt needed help from no one,
    and asked for none. On the contrary, Egypt was everyone else's ace in the
    hole in times of trouble. However, during this particular famine, the once
    proud nation's agriculture was in ruins just like everybody else's and would
    have been destitute just like everybody else too except for one thing: Joseph
    and his federally-funded grain silos.

    Gen 42:13 . . But they replied: Your servants were twelve brothers,
    the sons of one man, who lives in the land of Canaan. The youngest
    is now with our father, and one is no more.

    For the second time they volunteer personal information about themselves;
    and probably for the same reason as the first. However, it was music to
    Joseph's ears because no doubt when he didn't see his kid brother Benjamin
    traveling with his eldest brothers, he began to be concerned that they had
    done to him what they had previously wrought upon himself. Although they
    lied about the "one" who is no more (lying about Joseph was by now
    probably a reflexive habit) they certainly weren't lying about the youngest
    because there was no reason to. If Benjamin were dead, then they simply
    would have said "two" are no more.

    Gen 42:14 . . Joseph said to them: It is just as I told you: You are

    With Joseph's intelligence, and from his day after day experience with an
    endless stream of truly desperate people, he would have known by now
    (especially with that incredible intuition of his) that the ten weak-knees guys
    standing before him certainly weren't professional soldiers. He's being
    deliberately obtuse, and it's becoming obvious now (at least to us Bible
    students who know Joseph's true identity) that he's feeling his brothers out
    to ascertain whether or not they're the very same unrepentant,
    unremorseful, cold-blooded, steely-eyed, dirty rotten scoundrels they were
    in the past. Until he's certain they can be trusted, Joseph isn't going to
    afford them the even tiniest hint of who he really is.
  6. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 42:15-24a

    Gen 42:15-17 . . By this you shall be put to the test: unless your
    youngest brother comes here, by Pharaoh, you shall not depart from
    this place! Let one of you go and bring your brother, while the rest of
    you remain confined, that your words may be put to the test
    whether there is truth in you. Else, by Pharaoh, you are nothing but
    spies! And he confined them in the guardhouse for three days.

    During those three days the brothers must have felt like they were in a
    purgatory as they endured unbearable anxiety while conferring amongst
    themselves about their current state of affairs. They were no doubt positive
    that Jacob would never allow his favorite little boy to be taken down to
    Egypt where this obtuse Egyptian big shot just might lock him up with the
    others so that in the end, all surviving eleven of Jacob's sons would never be
    seen again.

    Gen 42:18-20a . . On the third day Joseph said to them: Do this and
    you shall live, for I am a God-fearing man. If you are honest men, let
    one of your brothers be held in your place of detention, while the
    rest of you go and take home rations for your starving households;
    but you must bring me your youngest brother, that your words may
    be verified and that you may not die.

    This reversal of terms couldn't have done anything other than to reinforce
    the brothers' fears that not only was this Egyptian big shot obtuse, but also

    Turning loose nine of the ten men would be dumb because, militarily,
    sacrificing one to save nine is an acceptable loss. Joseph's excuse for this
    obvious military blunder is that he's a "God-fearing" man; viz: just in case
    their story is true, he didn't want to be responsible for the starvation of
    innocent families.

    Joseph had the advantage of knowing far more about their family than they
    dreamed. As it turned out, Jacob would have gladly sacrificed the brother
    who will be chosen to remain behind in order to protect Benjamin, except
    that to not return, meant certain starvation; and no doubt Joseph easily
    foresaw Jacob's dilemma in that matter. He really had them in a catch-22.

    Gen 42:20b . . And they did accordingly.

    The men agreed to Joseph's terms, but not without going around the room
    about it first. These guys are dumber than a stack of bricks. They discussed
    their current predicament, and their consciences, all within Joseph's hearing.
    (Never assume foreigners don't know your language just because they aren't
    speaking it.)

    Gen 42:21-23 . .They said to one another: Alas, we are being
    punished on account of our brother, because we looked on at his
    anguish, yet paid no heed as he pleaded with us. That is why this
    distress has come upon us. Then Reuben spoke up and said to them:
    Did I not tell you, do no wrong to the boy? But you paid no heed.
    Now comes the reckoning for his blood. They did not know that
    Joseph understood, for there was an interpreter between him and

    Apparently the interpreter had been either dismissed and/or sent on an
    errand and left Joseph guarding the men by himself while they deliberated
    amongst themselves.

    Isn't it interesting that those men carried the guilt of their treatment of
    Joseph all those 21 years that he was away from home? This probably
    wasn't the first time they blamed their bad luck on Joseph. Probably every
    time one of them hit his thumb with a hammer, or bumped his head on a
    shelf, he thought of Joseph.

    Those men's minds hadn't enjoyed a moments peace since the day the slave
    traders carted their kid brother off to the big unknown in Egypt. At night,
    when the demons come, their minds would once and again, for the Nth time,
    rehearse his awful wailing and begging down in that hole, and see the pain
    on his face, a pain that was burned into their memories like a rancher's
    cattle brand. No doubt those poor guys all suffered from recurring
    nightmares about the incident too.

    All those 21 years, Jacob hadn't stopped grieving for Joseph; so that every
    morning, those guys were treated to the sight of their father all blue and
    depressed at the loss of his favorite boy. Those poor guys. It was impossible
    to forget Joseph with their dad moping around all the time in a sorrowful
    state to remind them.

    Gen 42:24a . . He turned away from them and wept.

    Genesis offers no explanation whatsoever for Joseph's weeping; and I half
    suspect it's because unless somebody has actually themselves lived through
    an experience similar to his, then there is just no way even the brightest of
    Bible students can fully relate to what Joseph was feeling at that moment no
    matter how skillfully the best writers on earth tried to explain it. His weeping
    wasn't a matter of the mind; no, it was a matter of the heart; and
    oftentimes those kinds of matters can't be put into words by the very people
    themselves who are awash with those kinds of emotions.

    Joseph certainly had no good reason to feel any particular bonding with his
    brothers. If anything, he should be feeling totally disconnected from them.
    They were never his friends, and not once did anything good by him; the
    rather, he was disowned in his own home by the very people who by all
    rights should have loved and supported him the most.

    Although Joseph grew up with big brothers, he didn't, if you know what I
    mean. His only trusty companions at home were his dad Jacob, and his kid
    brother Benjamin; and it seems clear to me that it's for their sakes alone
    that he's tolerating these ten felons for even another minute. It must have
    taken a Herculean effort on Joseph's part to restrain his natural impulses to
    order their bodies immediately gibbeted and set out for the vultures.
  7. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 42:24b-29a

    Gen 42:24b . . Returning, he talked some more with them. He then
    chose Simeon from among them and had him shackled in their sight.

    Rueben had shown some good colors back at the pit in chapter 37, so the lot
    fell to Simeon seeing as how he was next in the line of seniority of the ten
    brothers (Gen 29:31-33). Simeon was a good choice since he and his
    brother Levi had so far shown themselves to be the cruelest among the
    brothers in the matter of Dinah back in chapter 34. Let's just give Simeon a
    taste of mortal fear for a change and see how he likes it.

    Later, at home, neither Jacob nor the others will seem overly concerned that
    Simeon was selected to be detained, and the total focus will be upon
    Benjamin's safety rather than upon Simeon's rescue; in fact, Jacob will write
    him off as dead.

    Apparently, Simeon wasn't all that appreciated by his own family: and no
    wonder with that savage nature of his. They were probably all, including
    Jacob, relieved to be rid of his company. Joseph's own lack of popularity
    among his elder brothers was a natural friction stemming from old fashioned
    sibling rivalry. But Simeon was just plain mean; while Joseph was likely a
    pleasant sort of guy and easy to get along with. Difficult people shouldn't be
    surprised when others around them spit on their graves.

    Gen 42:25-26 . . Joseph then ordered his servants to fill the men's
    sacks with grain, but he also gave secret instructions to return each
    brother's payment at the top of his sack. He also gave them
    provisions for their journey. So they loaded up their donkeys with
    the grain and started for home.

    Returning his family's money was something that Joseph did for himself.
    How could he possibly make his own desperate kin pay for food under his
    control? He couldn't. In his position, Joseph could easily provide for all of
    them at no cost to themselves whatsoever.

    "But if any provide not for his own, and specially for those of his own house,
    he hath denied the faith, and is worse than an infidel." (1Tim 5:8)

    Joseph was a man of honor. No doubt he made up for their payment out of
    his own pocket so that no one could accuse him of abusing his privileges and
    giving Pharaoh's grain away for nothing to people who had demonstrated
    that they had the wherewithal to pay for it. A man's reputation, after all, is
    his singular most valuable asset.

    "Choose a good reputation over great riches; for being held in high esteem
    is better than having silver or gold." (Pro 22:1)

    Giving them free provisions for the trip would have included food and water
    not only for themselves, but also their beasts. That was a diplomatic
    gesture, and would go a long ways towards making the family feel welcome
    down in Egypt, and encourage them to return since they had certainly been
    given a degree of fair treatment way beyond what they had any right to
    expect from a foreign dignitary.

    Gen 42:27-28 . . As one of them was opening his sack to give feed
    to his burro at the night encampment, he saw his money right there
    at the mouth of his bag. And he said to his brothers: My money has
    been returned! It is here in my bag! Their hearts sank; and,
    trembling, they turned to one another, saying: What is this that God
    has done to us?

    Why is it people always tend to blame God for their misfortunes? But in this
    case, their perceived misfortune is not that at all. If only they hadn't been so
    infected with guilt they would have easily seen that the Egyptian big shot
    was demonstrating that he meant only the best by them. But no; instead,
    they go off the deep end and interpret their host's graciousness as an ill
    omen rather than a token of good will. Some people are so suspicious of
    anything nice that people do for them-- always looking for an ulterior

    Gen 42:29a . .When they came to their father Jacob in the land of

    If Jacob was still living in Hebron, the distance the men traveled to get back
    home was roughly 250 miles if Joseph's headquarters was possibly either in,
    or near to, the city of Memphis, which is about ten miles south of today's

    NOTE: In the millennia prior to mechanized conveyances, the greatest
    obstacle to travel was distance. Today the average American zips around in
    a vehicle that can easily travel 55 miles in just one hour. That same distance
    would take eleven hours at a burro's pace. In other words; in the time it
    takes a burro to walk 55 miles, an automobile at 55 miles an hour can travel
  8. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 42:29b-36

    Gen 42:29b-34 . . they told him all that had befallen them, saying;
    The man who is lord of the land spoke harshly to us and accused us
    of spying on the land. We said to him: We are honest men; we have
    never been spies! There were twelve of us brothers, sons by the
    same father; but one is no more, and the youngest is now with our
    father in the land of Canaan.

    . . . But the man who is lord of the land said to us; By this I shall
    know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me,
    and take something for your starving households and be off. And
    bring your youngest brother to me, that I may know that you are not
    spies but honest men. I will then restore your brother to you, and
    you shall be at liberty to move about in the land.

    When they got home, they proceeded to report to their father Jacob the
    details of their experience. In spite of his age, which was near 130, Jacob
    was still the dominant figure in the family; and apparently well respected
    since no one seems to feel inclined to question his authority.

    Gen 42:35 . . As they were emptying their sacks, there, in each
    one's sack, was his money-bag! When they and their father saw
    their money-bags, they were alarmed.

    It must have seemed to Jacob that his sons stole the grain, or why else
    would they still have their money? To the men, it must have seemed like the
    obtuse Egyptian big shot was toying with them; to set them up for a charge
    of theft. As these thoughts raced through every man's head, Jacob became
    paranoid; which Webster's defines as: a psychosis characterized by
    delusions of persecution.

    Gen 42:36a . .Their father Jacob said to them: You have deprived
    me of my children.

    Jacob held his eldest sons responsible for Joseph's demise. But he is even
    more complicit. Jacob should have known better than to send his young
    teen-age son all by himself to find the others a good many miles from home
    in a mostly wilderness area. That was irresponsible.

    Gen 42:36b . . Joseph is no more and Simeon is no more, and now
    you want to take Benjamin. Everything is against me!

    Poor ol' Jacob. Little did he know that the night gets darkest before the
    dawn. Mr. Israel had little to celebrate at this point; but morning was right
    around the corner.

    They all, including Jacob, should have thought the whole situation through
    for a minute. The big shot accused the brothers of spying. So now why
    would he trump up a charge of theft against them? Which is worse, spying
    or theft? Spying, of course, is much worse than theft. And how ever could
    thievery prove the big shot's much more serious charge of spying against

    It couldn't. No proficient spy is going to do something dumb that is sure to
    draw attention to himself. When Joshua's spies entered Jericho (Josh 2) did
    they begin shop-lifting, or taking things off of people's clothes lines? No.
    They were discreet. Jericho's authorities still caught on to them anyway, but
    at least it wasn't for something stupid.

    So the men must have reasoned that the big shot was hedging his bets. If
    he couldn't get them on a charge of spying, then he would get them for the
    lesser charge of theft. But they should have asked themselves: Why would
    the obtuse big shot be so anxious to nail them at all? Is that how he amused
    himself; by framing people and throwing them in jail for something they
    didn't do? That's not an unusual police activity. In our own day, Iraqi
    authorities, under the auspices of Saddam Hussein, used to do that all the

    For some reason, it just never occurred to the men that maybe the big shot
    down in Egypt simply pitied them. He had, after all, professed to fear God;
    and by doing so, implied that just in case their story were true, he didn't
    want to be responsible for causing their families any undue hardship; but no,
    they assumed the worst instead.
  9. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 42:37-38

    Gen 42:37 . .Then Reuben said to his father: You may put both of
    my sons to death if I do not bring him back to you. Entrust him to my
    care, and I will bring him back.

    It would have been interesting to ask Reuben's boys how they felt about
    their dad's rash offer to trade their lives for Benjamin's. That is the very
    same stupid kind of deal that Lot offered the Sodomites back in chapter 19,
    only Lot's was dumber because he offered to trade his wife's babies for two
    perfect strangers' lives. What did men in those days think their offspring
    were? Cattle? Commodities? God pity kids that grow up in a home with
    parents that think so little of them.

    And did Reuben really think that slaying Jacob's own grandchildren would
    somehow make him feel any better about losing Benjamin? That's like
    burning my house, and then stealing my car to make me feel all better
    about the loss of my home. Reuben either had a very low IQ, or must have
    been out of his cotton-picking mind! Sometimes I think Joseph rather pitied
    his elder brothers for being such imbeciles. Small wonder God chose Joseph
    to go down to Egypt. The rest of them had no more intelligence than a bar of

    Gen 42:38 . . But he said: My son must not go down with you, for
    his brother is dead and he alone is left. If he meets with disaster on
    the journey you are taking, you will send my white head down to
    sheol in grief.

    Some translators render sheol (sheh-ole') as the grave; a place to inter a
    corpse. But though sheol can include one's grave; it's not the whole picture.
    The specific Hebrew word for grave is qibrah (kib-raw') e.g. Gen 23:4.

    Qibrah is the equivalent of the New Testament Greek word mnemeion
    (mnay-mi'-on) which means a remembrance, i.e. cenotaph (place of
    interment); viz: grave, sepulchre, tomb (e.g. Matt 27:60). So then, while
    qibrah indicates a corpse's disposal site; sheol indicates not only its grave,
    but includes a separate place for interring the spirit of the person who at one
    time occupied their body before it passed away. (cf. Jonah 2:1-6, Matt
    12:40, Ps 16:8-10, Acts 2:22-31)
  10. mike b

    mike b New Member

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  12. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 43:1-14

    Gen 43:1-7 . . But the famine in the land was severe. And when they had eaten up the rations which they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them: Go again and procure some food for us.

    . . . But Judah said to him: The man warned us "Do not let me see your faces unless your brother is with you". If you will let our brother go with us, we will go down and procure food for you; but if you will not let him go, we will not go down, for the man said to us "Do not let me see your faces unless your brother is with you".

    . . . And Israel said: Why did you serve me so ill as to tell the man that you had another brother? They replied: But the man kept asking about us and our family, saying "Is your father still living? Have you another brother?" And we answered him accordingly. How were we to know that he would say bring your brother here?

    Judah is direct, and right to the point. If Jacob doesn't let the brothers take Benjamin with them on the next trip, then the family is certain to go without food. It's just that simple, and there's no use in sugar coating it.

    Gen 43:8-10 . . Then Judah said to his father Israel: Send the boy in my care, and let us be on our way, that we may live and not die-- you and we and our children. I myself will be surety for him; you may hold me responsible; if I do not bring him back to you and set him before you, I shall stand guilty before you forever. For we could have been there and back twice if we had not dawdled.

    At this point, the number of kin for whom Jacob was directly responsible to provide numbered well over 70, upwards of 100, because the list in chapter 46 doesn't include his sons' wives, nor any of the wives of his grandsons. Truly, if Jacob wasn't careful, he would cause the loss of his entire clan in the interest of saving just one. Since the whole clan was now in mortal danger, they really had nothing to lose by risking Benjamin's life. He would die anyway from hunger; so why not have him die trying to obtain some additional grain from Egypt? It was an acceptable risk given the circumstances.

    During all this discussion, the Egyptian big shot is only referred to as "the man" which means Joseph didn't tell the brothers his official Egyptian name Zaphenath-paneah; and they couldn't have gotten it off their grain permits because Joseph signed all government documents with that signet gadget given to him by Pharaoh back in chapter 41.

    Gen 43:11-14 . .Then their father Israel said to them: If it must be so do this: take some of the strength of the land in your baggage, and carry them down as a gift for the man-- some balm and some honey, labdanum, pistachio nuts, and almonds.

    . . . And take with you double the silver, carrying back with you the silver that was replaced in the mouths of your bags; perhaps it was a mistake. Take your brother too; and go back at once to the man. And may El Shaddai dispose the man to mercy toward you, that he may release to you your other brother, as well as Benjamin. As for me, if I am to be bereaved, I shall be bereaved.

    The "choice" fruits would have to be limited to produce that doesn't spoil easily since it was probably three weeks travel time via burro.

    Balm was a good gift, since it was a trade item (Gen 37:25) and a valuable first aid treatment.

    Labdanum is a soft dark fragrant bitter oleoresin derived from various rockroses (genus Cistus) and used in making perfumes. Another trade item.

    Before the advent of processed sugar and artificial sweeteners, honey was a lot more popular than it is now. There is no Hebrew word for sugar in the entire Old Testament. A little-known fact about natural honey is its medicinal value. Honey fights bacteria in wounds in several ways, including the steady production of hydrogen peroxide, an antiseptic. One type of honey-- Manuka --is especially effective.

    Honey was valued in the old world; as evidenced by it being one of the nouns to describe the qualities of the promised land (Ex 3:8). The Hebrew word for honey-- debash (deb-ash') --is a bit ambiguous. It can mean the kind of organic goo produced in nature by bees and/or can indicate a thick, intensely sweet syrup produced from dates and grape juice; which Arabs call dibs. In this story, either one would have been as good as the other since neither were easy to obtain.

    I would think that honey-bee honey would be the more prized since there's been found no evidence of scientific agriculture in the Palestine of that day. Any honey gathered would have to be found by first searching for it in the wild, and then braving its angry owners in order to collect it. (cf. 1Sam 14:24-27)

    The almonds, honey, and pistachios were just treats; but the other items, given by a man, to a man, were about the equivalent of giving a girl jewelry. They weren't cheap. And considering the austere conditions in the land caused by the intense drought, anything edible would certainly be appreciated far more than normal.

    Jacob knew God as Yhvh as well as by His name El Shaddai (Gen 27:20, Gen 28:13) but in this instance he depends upon God as El Shaddai; the God of Abraham's covenant (Gen 17:1-2, Gen 35:10-12) the god powerful enough to control nature and make the impossible happen. (cf. Eph 3:20)

    NOTE: I'm not sure just how well-informed the ancients were about the nutritional benefits of almonds; but they are an excellent source of natural riboflavin (B2).
  13. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 43:15-29

    Gen 43:15-18a . . So the men took that gift, and they took with
    them double the money; as well as Benjamin. They made their way
    down to Egypt, where they reported to Joseph.

    . . .When Joseph saw Benjamin with them; he said to his house
    steward: Take the men into the house; slaughter and prepare an
    animal, for the men will dine with me at noon. The man did as
    Joseph said, and he brought the men into Joseph's house.

    It's highly unlikely Joseph recognized Benjamin since he was just a little boy
    when big brother went off to Egypt. At this point, Benjamin is much older--
    over 21 --and likely much older than that since, at this point, Joseph had
    already been in Egypt for at least that long. Later, Joseph will interrogate his
    elder brothers to make sure they actually brought him.

    Gen 43:18b . . But the men were frightened at being brought into
    Joseph's house.

    They had good reason to be frightened. It was common for Egyptian big
    shots to have dungeons under their homes where they kept their own
    private little penal colony.

    Gen 43:18c . . It must be, they thought; because of the silver,
    replaced in our bags the first time, that we have been brought
    inside-- as a pretext to attack us and seize us as slaves, with our
    pack animals.

    That's actually a pretty good mob trick; it's in movies like Godfather, and in
    TV programs like The Sopranos all the time. The mark is thrown off guard
    with courtesy, forgiveness, kindness, sympathy, generosity, and friendship;
    until the moment of truth when the guns, knives, garrotes, anchor chains,
    and/or bags of concrete come out. The men are justifiably worried; and so
    rather than wait and be confronted about the silver, they come forward to
    cop a plea.

    Gen 43:19-22 . . So they went up to Joseph's house steward and
    spoke to him at the entrance of the house.

    . . . If you please, my lord, they said; we came down once before to
    procure food. But when we arrived at the night encampment and
    opened our bags, there was each one's money in the mouth of his
    bag, our money in full. So we have brought it back with us. And we
    have brought down with us other money to procure food. We do not
    know who put the money in our bags.

    No true thief of course would go to all the trouble of actually bringing the
    silver back; sort of like people who are given too much change from a
    purchase and keep it; saying nothing.

    Gen 43:23a . . He replied: All is well with you; do not be afraid.
    Your god, the god of your father, must have put treasure in your
    bags for you. I got your payment.

    In the steward's thinking; which god is the god of your father? If he had
    used the name Yhvh it would be easier to answer that question. But in light
    of the times and the circumstances, it isn't unreasonable to assume that the
    steward had no idea who their own personal god was, nor did he care; since
    gods were plentiful in Egypt and the brothers would probably be like
    everybody else and simply worship the one they inherited and grew up with
    at home: whichever that might be.

    Gen 43:23b-25 . . And he brought out Simeon to them. Then the
    man brought the men into Joseph's house; he gave them water to
    bathe their feet, and he provided feed for their burros. They laid out
    their gifts to await Joseph's arrival at noon, for they had heard that
    they were to dine there.

    In the brothers' minds; all the leniency and courtesy being extended to them
    was little more than a pretext designed to accomplish just one purpose: to
    give them a false sense of security so they wouldn't suspect the real purpose
    for being brought to Joseph's home; which they truly believed was to
    confiscate their goods and their livestock, and to harness themselves in

    Gen 43:26-28 . .When Joseph came home, they presented to him
    the gifts that they had brought with them into the house, bowing
    low before him to the ground. He greeted them, and he said: How is
    your aged father of whom you spoke? Is he still in good health? They
    replied: It is well with your servant our father; he is still in good
    health. And they bowed and made obeisance.

    The Hebrew word for "obeisance" is shachah (shaw-khaw') which means to
    prostrate oneself in homage. That very same word is translated "worship" in
    other places. (e.g. Gen 22:5, Gen 24:26, Ex 34:14)

    Gen 43:29a . . As he looked about and saw his brother Benjamin,
    his own mother's son, he asked: Is this your youngest brother, the
    one you told me about?

    No doubt Joseph could tell by the looks on everybody's faces that it was
    indeed Benjamin so he didn't have to wait for an answer before responding.

    Gen 43:29b . . May God be gracious to you, my son.

    To be "gracious" is the Hebrew word chanan (khaw-nan') which means to
    stoop or bend in kindness to an inferior; viz: fraternize with someone below
    you; viz: waive the privileges of rank and descend to a less formal or less
    dignified level-- a mandated Christian social skill.

    "Don't be conceited, and think so highly of yourself as to avoid associating
    with people below you." (Rom 12:16)

    Somebody might be curious why Joseph called Benjamin "son" instead of
    brother. The Hebrew word for son (ben) is ambiguous and has a pretty wide
    application. It can mean not only a direct descendant, but also a grandson;
    or the result of an action like city building or township founding. It can also
    mean a subject, like citizens in a kingdom.

    It was no doubt in the "subject" aspect that Joseph applied it to his kid
    brother-- not as kin, but as below himself in rank because in Egypt, nobody
    was higher than Joseph except his own boss Pharaoh; which made Pharaoh
    a father to everyone under his jurisdiction; including Joseph. And besides,
    Joseph is not quite ready to reveal his true identity; so he has to maintain
    an air of aristocracy in order to keep them guessing.
  14. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 43:30

    Gen 43:30 . .Then Joseph made a hasty exit because he was
    overcome with emotion for his brother and wanted to sob. Going
    into his private room, he wept there.

    Only people who have found long-lost relatives can understand the wave of
    emotion that swept Joseph at this moment. It's a strange human

    When my own full brother found me after losing track of each other for
    almost 26 years, I broke down and had to call in sick to work the next day.
    It was overwhelming; and I don't even like the man. My brother and I were
    never friends. In point of fact, our reunion took place over the phone and via
    US Mail: we never did actually meet up face to face. I informed him, in no
    uncertain terms, that if he ever came to my home I would call the Sheriff.
    Anon, I took steps to insure he never wrote me, nor called me, ever again. If
    my brother should die before me, I don't want to be told about it; and won't
    go to his funeral.

    Somebody might ask: Why don't you forgive your brother and let bygones
    be bygones. No; they don't understand. My brother is toxic. He's on a third
    marriage and has left behind him a wake of broken-hearted, psychologically
    damaged wives and children. Everyone is secondary to his business
    ambitions. Nobody is on a plane with those ambitions-- nobody. He's
    extremely competitive, supercilious, and always has to be the center of
    attention at the expense of everyone else's self respect. My brother is cursed
    with a natural talent for making people in his presence feel bad about

    No, it's not as simple as bygones-- it's as simple as self defense. I am not
    going to let my brother close enough to de-humanize me all over again, and
    I am certainly not going to let him near any of my own family. It's just not
    going to happen unless he goes through some very miraculous changes first.

    Haven't you noticed how cautious Joseph has been with his own brothers?
    That's the lesson of this section; don't miss it. Joseph has been carefully
    gauging his elder brothers' reactions through all this to make very, very sure
    he can trust them enough to let them back into his life. There was too much
    at stake.
  15. Jay Ross

    Jay Ross Well-Known Member

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    Now I understand, the apples do not fall far from the tree. I am not sure that you have been describing only your brother and his characteristics.
  16. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 43:31-34

    Gen 43:31-32 . .Then he washed his face and came out; and
    regaining his composure, said: Serve the food. So they set him a
    place by himself, and them by themselves, and the Egyptians who
    ate with him by themselves; because the Egyptians could not eat
    food with the Hebrews, for that is an abomination to the Egyptians.

    Apparently the brothers didn't think anything of Joseph eating alone. Maybe
    they just thought (as common Egyptian culture dictated) the other Egyptians
    were too far below their host to be considered worthy of an invitation to sit
    at his table. In their minds, to do so would have been fraternization; viz:
    associating with people of lower official rank; thus implying that they were
    equal in worth.

    NOTE: If the steward had told them Joseph was a Hebrew, I wonder how
    Jacob's sons would have reacted to that?

    Gen 43:33 . . And they were seated before him, the firstborn
    according to his birthright and the youngest according to his youth;
    and the men looked in astonishment at one another.

    Reuben was the natural firstborn; but due to his incestuous tryst with Bilhah
    (Gen 35:22) Jacob transferred the position to Joseph (1Chrn 5:1). However,
    seeing as how Joseph wasn't seated with his brothers, then what would've
    been his position around the table defaulted to Reuben.

    The seating arrangement wasn't at the brothers' discretion. It was totally
    under their host's control and that's why they were all so amazed. According
    to permutation, the odds of seating the 11 men according to their respective
    ages by coincidence is like 39,917,000 to 1

    Since they had no reason to believe that Joseph knew any more about their
    family other than what they had already told him, perhaps at this point they
    suspected he was either clairvoyant or else blessed with an amazing degree
    of intuition; and they would have certainly been correct on that account
    even if circumstances had been different because any man with the ability to
    correctly interpret dreams should have no trouble figuring out birth orders.

    NOTE: A Jewish Midrash (Genesis Rabba 92:5) has Joseph pretending to
    "divine" their seating order by means of his special silver goblet-- a key item
    coming up in just a few more verses.

    Gen 43:34 . .Then he took servings to them from before him, but
    Benjamin's serving was five times as much as any of theirs. So they
    imbibed and were merry with him.

    Every time I read that passage, my mind, like a knee-jerk reflex, instantly
    fantasizes a really hulking, heaping, ranch-size platter of vittles placed
    before Benjamin like is so often seen at buffets. Instead of making more
    than one trip to the food bars, there's invariably at least one person who
    piles everything they'll ever want onto just one plate, like Mt. Vesuvius, and
    then does a delicate balancing act while cautiously maneuvering their way to
    a table.

    But a 5x serving isn't eo ipso a large amount; it would really depend upon
    the size of a standard portion. And if the food was served a' la carte, then
    five standard portions of just one item wouldn't necessarily take on the
    appearance of a banquet. Gourmet foods, especially, are typically small
    presentations that would barely qualify as an hors d'oeuvre to a strapping
    man like an ice-road trucker or a Pacific northwest logger. Five servings of
    gourmet food to one of those guys would amount to little more than an
    appetizer. But the point is: Benny's plate contained quite a bit more than his
    brothers' and that had to raise some curious eyebrows.

    NOTE: The Hebrew word for "merry" is shaker (shaw-kar') which means to
    become tipsy; in a qualified sense, to satiate with a stimulating drink or
    (figuratively) influence; which indicates that the beverage Joseph's brothers
    were served had alcohol in it.
  17. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 44:1-13

    Gen 44:1-2 . .Then he instructed his house steward as follows: Fill
    the men's bags with food, as much as they can carry, and put each
    one's money in the mouth of his bag. Put my silver goblet in the
    mouth of the bag of the youngest one, together with his money for
    the rations. And he did as Joseph told him.

    When the brothers threw Joseph into that pit back in chapter 37, they fully
    intended to leave him there to die; all alone. So it makes sense that Joseph
    would want to gauge their reaction to his kid brother Benjamin being placed
    in a similar danger. Would they do to Benjamin what they had done to
    Joseph? . . . just leave him in Egypt to rot in a dungeon while they went
    back home to comfort and safety?

    Gen 44:3-5 . . As morning dawned, the men were sent on their way
    with their burros. They had not gone far from the city when Joseph
    said to his steward: Go after those men at once, and when you catch
    up with them, say to them "Why have you repaid good with evil?
    Isn't this the cup my master drinks from and also uses for
    divination? This is a wicked thing you have done."

    Divination cups were usually made out of silver and adorned with symbols,
    spells, and religious phrases; and oftentimes the owner's name was
    inscribed on it too. Diviners used their goblets in various ways. Some read
    surface patterns when a few drops of one liquid (e.g. oil) was dripped into a
    second liquid (e.g. water). Others divined by the movement of objects
    floating upon, or sinking within, the goblet's contents. Others yet studied the
    patterns that particles of gold formed when they settled to the bottom.
    Divining cups were a kind of crystal ball for determining future events or
    solving current mysteries. I would suspect that Joseph's divination cup was a
    personal gift from his father-in-law Mr. Poti-phera; priest of On.

    Gen 44:6-8 . .When he caught up with them, he repeated these
    words to them. But they said to him: Why does my lord say such
    things? Far be it from your servants to do anything like that! We
    even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the silver we
    found inside the mouths of our sacks. So why would we steal silver
    or gold from your master's house?

    The brothers' appeal to reason was of course a waste of righteous passion.
    It's well known that kleptomaniacs suffer a persistent neurotic impulse to
    steal without economic motive to do so. Booty to them is like blood to a
    vampire; viz: just the sight of it excites. Every once in a while, a famous
    celebrity gets caught shoplifting and we're all amazed that a millionaire
    would stoop to such a petty crime.

    Gen 44:9 . . If any of your servants is found to have it, he will die;
    and the rest of us will become my lord's slaves.

    The brothers' rash response evidences their complete confidence that there
    is just no way on God's green earth that any of them would ever steal
    anything at all; let alone from an Egyptian big shot's home. Many a poker
    player has lost it all on just one hand with that kind of confidence.
    Sometimes, you just can't tell what the other guy is holding; and in this
    case, the situation is a stacked deck.

    Gen 44:10 . .Very well, then; he said; let it be as you say. Whoever
    is found to have it will become my slave; the rest of you will be free
    from blame.

    Either the steward wasn't listening, or he was instructed to say just exactly
    those words. They all volunteered to enslave themselves, but he'll settle on
    just the one who allegedly took the goblet, and it's because Joseph wants to
    gauge the elder brothers' reaction to his own kid brother's danger. If they
    failed to prove themselves honorable men, then I really think Joseph
    planned to harbor Benjamin and dispatch an escort for his father; but
    permanently bar the brothers from ever returning to Egypt. They would just
    have to make do on their own the best as they could till the famine was over
    regardless of their blood kinship.

    Gen 44:11-13 . . So each one hastened to lower his bag to the
    ground, and each one opened his bag. He searched, beginning with
    the oldest and ending with the youngest; and the goblet turned up in
    Benjamin's bag. At this they rent their clothes. Each reloaded his
    pack animal, and they returned to the city.

    "they" didn't really have to go back; Joseph's steward had already pre
    released them. But surprise of surprises; instead of leaving Benny to rot in
    slavery like they had done to his big brother many years previously, they
    accompany him back to Egypt.

    This turn of events wasn't due to a sincere concern for Benny's safety. As it
    turned out, the real concern was for their father Jacob and how he would
    handle the loss of yet another of Rachel's babies.
  18. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 44:14-34

    Gen 44:14-17 . .When Judah and his brothers re-entered the house
    of Joseph, who was still there, they threw themselves on the ground
    before him. Joseph said to them: What is this deed that you have
    done? Do you not know that a man like me practices divination?

    . . . Judah replied: What can we say to my lord? How can we plead,
    how can we prove our innocence? God has uncovered the crime of
    your servants. Here we are, then, slaves of my lord, the rest of us as
    much as he in whose possession the goblet was found. But he
    replied: Far be it from me to act thus! Only he in whose possession
    the goblet was found shall be my slave; the rest of you go back in
    peace to your father.

    Surely Jacob wouldn't blame the older boys for the loss, since he was fully
    aware of the risks involved when he sent his sons back to Egypt for food;
    and the evidence against Benjamin made it appear he had no one to blame
    but himself for getting into trouble. And this time, the men wouldn't have to
    fake a death like they did Joseph's. It was a perfect situation; and I really
    think Joseph fully expected them to take advantage of Benjamin's plight and
    go back home without Joseph's brother; clapping themselves on the back for
    their good fortune at ridding themselves of yet one more "favorite" sibling.

    I can only imagine Joseph's surprise to see them all, to a man, including the
    Terrible Trio-- Rueben, Simeon, and Levi --following his steward home with
    their clothing ripped, and their heads hung low with fear and anxiety.

    Then, as if that wasn't surprise enough; Judah steps forward and pins the
    blame, not on Benjamin, but on all eleven of their own selves; thus
    demonstrating a degree of solidarity that I have no doubt Joseph had never
    before seen among his prone-to-rivalry elder brothers. Instead of asking
    how can Benjamin prove "his" innocence, Judah asks how can "we" prove
    "our" innocence. So then, Benjamin's alleged guilt is the whole family's guilt,
    rather than an individual matter; and in point of fact, it is a national matter
    too because those twelve men (counting Joseph) as a unit, represented the
    blossoming nation of Israel.

    Gen 44:18 . .Then Judah went up to him and said: Please, my lord,
    let your servant appeal to my lord, and do not be impatient with your
    servant, you who are the equal of Pharaoh.

    Joseph didn't dispute Judah on the matter of being the equal of Pharaoh. Not
    that he was a pharaoh; but that to Egypt's people, Joseph was as close to
    being the actual pharaoh as anybody under a pharaoh could possibly get.
    Compare Dan 7:13-13 where a human being is honored with the powers of
    God; so that God's subjects have to bend the knee to that highly exalted
    man just as if he were God in person. (cf. Ps 110:1 and Php 2:9-11)

    Gen 44:19-34 . . My lord asked his servants: Have you a father or
    another brother? We told my lord: We have an old father, and there
    is a child of his old age, the youngest; his full brother is dead, so that
    he alone is left of his mother, and his father dotes on him. Then you
    said to your servants: Bring him down to me, that I may set eyes on
    him. We said to my lord: The boy cannot leave his father; if he were
    to leave him, his father would die. But you said to your servants:
    Unless your youngest brother comes down, you will not see my face.

    . . .When we came back to your servant my father, we reported my
    lord's words to him. Later our father said: Go back and procure some
    food for us. We answered: We cannot go down; only if our youngest
    brother is with us can we go down, for we may not see the man's
    face unless our youngest brother is with us.

    . . .Your servant my father said to us: As you know, my wife bore me
    two sons. But one is gone from me, and I said: Alas, he was torn by
    a beast! And I have not seen him since. If you take this one from me,
    too, and he meets with disaster, you will send my white head down
    to death in sorrow.

    . . . Now, if I come to your servant my father and the boy is not with
    us-- since his own life is so bound up with his --when he sees that
    the boy is not with us, he will die, and your servants will send the
    white head of your servant our father down to death in grief. Now
    your servant has pledged himself for the boy to my father, saying: If
    I do not bring him back to you, I shall stand guilty before my father

    . . .Therefore, please let your servant remain as a slave to my lord
    instead of the boy, and let the boy go back with his brothers. For
    how can I go back to my father unless the boy is with me? Let me
    not be witness to the woe that would overtake my father!

    Judah's impassioned plea isn't for Benjamin's sake, but for the sake of his
    father. That is an incredible turn-around since nobody seemed to care much
    about Jacob's feelings back in chapter 37 when they all to a man
    manipulated their dad into concluding Joseph was mauled to death by a wild
  19. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 45:1-3

    Gen 45:1-2 . . Joseph could stand it no longer. Out, all of you! He
    cried out to his attendants. He wanted to be alone with his brothers
    when he told them who he was. Then he broke down and wept
    aloud. His sobs were so loud that the Egyptians could hear, and so
    the news reached Pharaoh's palace.

    The brothers have repeatedly proven their integrity, their family unity, and
    their filial loyalty. Joseph could gain nothing more conclusive than Judah's
    impassioned plea by additional stratagems; and by now, his own emotional
    tension was becoming overwhelming; even for a big strong man like himself,
    and it was all he could do to order his entourage out of the room before
    totally losing his composure right in front of everybody.

    I can well imagine the shock and confusion that Joseph's housekeeping staff
    must have felt when their normally rock steady, no-monkey-business master
    broke down and began sobbing like a little girl who just lost her favorite
    Barbie down the garbage disposal. They had probably never once seen the
    second highest man in Egypt make an open display of emotion like this
    before; and the palace grapevine was instantly abuzz about it.

    Gen 45:3a . . I am Joseph: he said to his brothers. Is my father still

    That question is so unnecessary that it makes no sense he would even ask.
    The brothers had mentioned Joseph's dad no less than fourteen times up to
    this point. Reading between the lines, and given the stress of the moment,
    what Joseph actually said was: Is my father really, really still alive!? And I
    don't think he asked that question of his brothers; but of himself; like a
    lottery winner who asks themselves: I won!? Me!?

    I think, that as the years in Egypt accumulated, Joseph had given up his dad
    for dead and fully expected never to see him again. The news of Jacob's
    continuing existence has been just beyond belief, and way too good to be
    true. No doubt some of us feel very strongly that the world would be a much
    better place to be rid of our own dads; but not Joseph. He enjoyed a normal
    relationship at home, and was in fact his own dad's favorite son over all the

    Joseph was a very fortunate man to have lived with a dad who filled his
    developing years with love, nurturing, attention, and acceptance. Some of
    us, your host included, have no clue what that must be like; and never will.
    I've seen a report online indicating that upwards of 80% of prison inmates
    were victims of child abuse. Following are some interesting "father" facts.

    Only about 50% of America's kids will spend their entire childhood in an
    intact family. 24,000,000 children in America sleep in homes where their
    natural fathers do not live.

    Approximately half of the kids in the United States will live in a single parent
    home at some point before the age of 18.

    Nationally, 40% of kids whose fathers live outside the home have zero
    contact with them. The other 60 percent have contact an average of just 69
    days during the year.

    Kids from father-absent homes are 5x more likely to live in poverty, 3x more
    likely to fail in school, 2 to 3x more likely to develop emotional and
    behavioral problems, and 3x more likely to commit suicide.

    Up to 70% of adolescents charged with murder are from fatherless homes;
    and up to 70% of long-term prison inmates grew up in a fatherless home.

    People like that can't be expected to connect with Joseph's feelings for his
    dad. Reading this section in Genesis is about as emotional an experience for
    them as reading the Wall Street Journal. I'm not criticizing; I'm only pointing
    out that it's difficult for some people to relate to this section of Genesis all
    because they were emotionally mangled in the meat grinder of a affection
    starved childhood.

    NOTE: The physical growth of thousands of North Korean children is being
    stunted by malnutrition; while here in America where our cities' homeless
    eat like kings in comparison, the emotional development of thousands of
    children is being stunted by filial neglect and indifference. I really don't know
    whom to say is the worse off . . NK children or US children.

    Gen 45:3b . . But his brothers could not answer him, for his sudden
    emergence was making them palpitate.

    I think part of their internal shivering was due to the fact that they instantly
    realized that this man, whom they assumed was a foreigner, knew their
    language and perfectly understood everything they had been discussing in
    his presence all along. Coupled with that was their instant terror that their
    long-lost kid brother was in a pretty good position for revenge: to do unto
    them as they had done unto him. And the brothers were utterly powerless to
    prevent him from doing so.
  20. Webers_Home

    Webers_Home Well-Known Member

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    Genesis 45:4-13

    Gen 45:4a . .Then Joseph said to his brothers: Come close to me.

    You can just safely bet they had reflexively shrunk back from him as far as
    the boundaries of the room would permit.

    Gen 45:4b-7 . .When they had done so, he said: I am your brother
    Joseph, the one you sold into Egypt! And now, do not be distressed
    and do not be disappointed in yourselves for selling me here,
    because it was to save lives that God sent me ahead of you. For two
    years now there has been famine in the land, and for the next five
    years there will not be plowing and reaping. But God sent me ahead
    of you to preserve for you a progeny on earth and to save your lives
    by a great rescue.

    If it was only God's ambition to preserve Israel's future, He could have easily
    prevented the famine. And if He was looking ahead to Israel's rescue from
    Egyptian slavery, then couldn't He have just simply ordered Jacob to move
    everybody down to Egypt? No, that wouldn't have worked because the
    Hebrews were an abomination to the Egyptians. They would never have
    allowed the Hebrews to immigrate and settle in Egypt's choicest land under
    normal circumstances.

    So then, God set things up so that Egypt would owe the Hebrews a big
    favor; and would welcome them in spite of their disgust. Pharaoh and the
    Egyptians couldn't just take Joseph's providence for granted; no, they were
    deeply indebted for saving them all from starvation and possibly conquest by
    foreign powers.

    NOTE: Famines are the result of climate change; which is a natural earth
    cycle. Nowadays, climate change is depicted as a man-made evil; but in
    reality, climate change is normal and would happen anyway regardless of
    the amount of fossil fuel man burns or doesn't burn. In other words: God
    didn't cause the famine in Josephs' day as a special event like the Flood; no,
    He simply saw it coming before anybody else did; just as He had seen many
    like it in the past.

    Gen 45:8 . . So then, it was not you who sent me here, but God. He
    made me father to Pharaoh; lord of his entire household and ruler of
    all Egypt.

    The sense in which Joseph was a "father" to Pharaoh, was in the capacity of
    a guardian; viz: of a provider and a protector. If not for Joseph, Pharaoh's
    kingdom would have surely collapsed.

    The Hebrew word for "father" is 'ab (awb); which is ambiguous in that it has
    several applications. It can apply to a genetic ancestor (e.g. Gen 2:24), an
    inventor of skills and trades (e.g. Gen 4:20-21), a political big shot (2Kgs
    5:13), a spiritual counselor (2Kgs 6:21), and God. (Ps 44:1)

    Gen 45:9-11 . . Now hurry back to my father and say to him "This is
    what your son Joseph says: God has made me lord of all Egypt. Come
    down to me; don't delay. You shall live in the region of Goshen and
    be near me-- you, your children and grandchildren, your flocks and
    herds, and all you have. I will provide for you there, because five
    years of famine are still to come. Otherwise you and your household
    and all who belong to you will become destitute.

    Goshen was the fertile region in northeastern Egypt; situated to the west of
    today's Suez Canal: a district of about 900 square miles; which is pretty
    much the eastern half of the Nile delta.

    NOTE: When Moses left Goshen, he didn't go directly to Palestine along the
    coastal trade route; but took Yhvh's people a bit south first towards the
    modern city of Suez (Ex 13:17-18). In his day, the Gulf Of Suez arm of the
    Red Sea extended about 50 miles farther north than it does now. Lake
    Timsah-- at the current town of Ismailia --and The Great Bitter Lake, and
    the Little Bitter Lake are all that remain as witnesses to that portion of the
    ancient sea bed.

    Gen 45:12-13 . .You can see for yourselves, and so can my brother
    Benjamin, that it is really I who am speaking to you. Tell my father
    about all the honor accorded me in Egypt and about everything you
    have seen. And bring my father down here quickly.

    Jacob would want to know just exactly how the brothers learned Joseph's
    Egyptian identity. By getting the news right from the horse's mouth, there
    would be no reason for Jacob to doubt their story.

    Joseph didn't refer to Jacob as "our" father; no, he made his association with
    Jacob far more personal than that. He referred to Jacob as "my" father;
    which reminds me of another's statement.

    "Go to my brethren, and say unto them: I ascend unto my Father, and your
    Father; and to my God, and your God." (John 20:17)