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Joseph is Governor of Egypt

genesis_47

The faithfulness of Joseph affected his entire family. When he was in the pit and prison Joseph must have wondered about his future. Instead of despairing, he faithfully obeyed God and did what was right. Here we see one of the exciting results. We may not always see the effects of our faith but we can be sure that God will honor faithfulness.

Putting a hand under the thigh was a sign of making a promise just like our hand shaking today. Jacob has Joseph promise to bury him in his homeland. Few things were written in this culture, so person’s words then carried as much force as a written contract today. People today seem to find it easy to say, “I didn’t mean that.” God’s people however, are to speak the truth and live the truth. Let your words be as binding as a written contract.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
29 When the time of Israel’s death drew near, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor with you, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal loyally and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt.
30 When I lie down with my ancestors, carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.”
31 And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself on the head of his bed.

Let’s Pray: In today’s world where speaking lies are easier and saves our skins, we the children of God forget the value of truth in God’s eye. It’s not just hard to be truthful to others; it is seemingly tiresome task to be truthful to ourselves. We pray to our Lord and refuge to let truth be our way of living and we are to honor every word and promise made to our Lord and others. Amen

Chapter 47: Joseph is Governor of Egypt

1 So Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers, with their flocks and herds and all that they possess, have come from the land of Canaan; they are now in the land of Goshen.”
2 From among his brothers he took five men and presented them to Pharaoh.
3 Pharaoh said to his brothers, “What is your occupation?” And they said to Pharaoh, “Your servants are shepherds, as our ancestors were.”
4 They said to Pharaoh, “We have come to reside as aliens in the land; for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks because the famine is severe in the land of Canaan. Now, we ask you, let your servants settle in the land of Goshen.”
5 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Your father and your brothers have come to you.
6 The land of Egypt is before you; settle your father and your brothers in the best part of the land; let them live in the land of Goshen; and if you know that there are capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.”
7 Then Joseph brought in his father Jacob, and presented him before Pharaoh, and Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
8 Pharaoh said to Jacob, “How many are the years of your life?”
9 Jacob said to Pharaoh, “The years of my earthly sojourn are one hundred thirty; few and hard have been the years of my life. They do not compare with the years of the life of my ancestors during their long sojourn.”
10 Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh, and went out from the presence of Pharaoh.
11 Joseph settled his father and his brothers, and granted them a holding in the land of Egypt, in the best part of the land, in the land of Rameses, as Pharaoh had instructed.
12 And Joseph provided his father, his brothers, and all his father’s household with food, according to the number of their dependents.
13 Now there was no food in all the land, for the famine was very severe. The land of Egypt and the land of Canaan languished because of the famine.
14 Joseph collected all the money to be found in the land of Egypt and in the land of Canaan, in exchange for the grain that they bought; and Joseph brought the money into Pharaoh’s house.
15 When the money from the land of Egypt and from the land of Canaan was spent, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, and said, “Give us food! Why should we die before your eyes? For our money is gone.” 16 And Joseph answered, “Give me your livestock, and I will give you food in exchange for your livestock, if your money is gone.”
17 So they brought their livestock to Joseph; and Joseph gave them food in exchange for the horses, the flocks, the herds, and the donkeys. That year he supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock.
18 When that year was ended, they came to him the following year, and said to him, “We cannot hide from my lord that our money is all spent; and the herds of cattle are my lord’s. There is nothing left in the sight of my lord but our bodies and our lands.
19 Shall we die before your eyes, both we and our land? Buy us and our land in exchange for food. We with our land will become slaves to Pharaoh; just give us seed, so that we may live and not die, and that the land may not become desolate.”
20 So Joseph bought all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. All the Egyptians sold their fields, because the famine was severe upon them; and the land became Pharaoh’s.
21 As for the people, he made slaves of them from one end of Egypt to the other.
22 Only the land of the priests he did not buy; for the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh, and lived on the allowance that Pharaoh gave them; therefore they did not sell their land.
23 Then Joseph said to the people, “Now that I have this day bought you and your land for Pharaoh, here is seed for you; sow the land.
24 And at the harvests you shall give one-fifth to Pharaoh, and four-fifths shall be your own, as seed for the field and as food for yourselves and your households, and as food for your little ones.”
25 They said, “You have saved our lives; may it please my lord, we will be slaves to Pharaoh.”
26 So Joseph made it a statute concerning the land of Egypt, and it stands to this day, that Pharaoh should have the fifth. The land of the priests alone did not become Pharaoh’s.
27 Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen; and they gained possessions in it, and were fruitful and multiplied exceedingly.
28 Jacob lived in the land of Egypt seventeen years; so the days of Jacob, the years of his life, were one hundred forty-seven years.
Jacob’s preparations for death, including the adoption and blessing of Ephraim and Manasseh
29 When the time of Israel’s death drew near, he called his son Joseph and said to him, “If I have found favor with you, put your hand under my thigh and promise to deal loyally and truly with me. Do not bury me in Egypt.
30 When I lie down with my ancestors, carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.” He answered, “I will do as you have said.”
31 And he said, “Swear to me”; and he swore to him. Then Israel bowed himself on the head of his bed.

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Judah Pleads for His Brother Benjamin

Judah-pleads-for-benjamin

Jacob moved his whole family to Egypt, but they wanted to live apart from Egyptians. To ensure this Joseph told them to let Pharaoh know they were shepherds. Although Pharaoh may have been sympathetic to shepherds, Egyptian culture would not willingly accept shepherds among them. The strategy worked and Jacob’s family was able to benefit from Pharaoh’s generosity as well as Egyptian’s prejudice.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
2 God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”
3 Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there.

Let’s Pray: Today we pray specially for our departed. Lord, they have been your followers and believers. They have passed on their faith, belief and love for you to us and we now carry forward this love and belief. Help us see your love and blessings in our daily pursuits. Guide us and love us dear Lord. We also pray for those who have started to associate with us on daily basis. Lord, each one us are going through our life struggles; where we can’t cope- give us the strength to endure; where we can’t bear- provide us the understanding and where we falter- forgive us. In Jesus’ name we pray, Amen

Chapter 46: Judah Pleads for his Brother Benjamin

1 When Israel set out on his journey with all that he had and came to Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
2 God spoke to Israel in visions of the night, and said, “Jacob, Jacob.” And he said, “Here I am.”
3 Then he said, “I am God, the God of your father; do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for I will make of you a great nation there.
4 I myself will go down with you to Egypt, and I will also bring you up again; and Joseph’s own hand shall close your eyes.”
5 Then Jacob set out from Beer-sheba; and the sons of Israel carried their father Jacob, their little ones, and their wives, in the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to carry him.
6 They also took their livestock and the goods that they had acquired in the land of Canaan, and they came into Egypt, Jacob and all his offspring with him,
7 his sons, and his sons’ sons with him, his daughters, and his sons’ daughters; all his offspring he brought with him into Egypt.
8 Now these are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his offspring, who came to Egypt. Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn,
9 and the children of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.
10 The children of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, the son of a Canaanite woman.
11 The children of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.
12 The children of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah (but Er and Onan died in the land of Canaan); and the children of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.
13 The children of Issachar: Tola, Puvah, Jashub, and Shimron.
14 The children of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel
15 (these are the sons of Leah, whom she bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, together with his daughter Dinah; in all his sons and his daughters numbered thirty-three).
16 The children of Gad: Ziphion, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arodi, and Areli.
17 The children of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, Beriah, and their sister Serah. The children of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel
18 (these are the children of Zilpah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Leah; and these she bore to Jacob — sixteen persons).
19 The children of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
20 To Joseph in the land of Egypt were born Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath daughter of Potiphera, priest of On, bore to him.
21 The children of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ehi, Rosh, Muppim, Huppim, and Ard 22 (these are the children of Rachel, who were born to Jacob — fourteen persons in all).
23 The children of Dan: Hashum.
24 The children of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem
25 (these are the children of Bilhah, whom Laban gave to his daughter Rachel, and these she bore to Jacob — seven persons in all).
26 All the persons belonging to Jacob who came into Egypt, who were his own offspring, not including the wives of his sons, were sixty-six persons in all.
27 The children of Joseph, who were born to him in Egypt, were two; all the persons of the house of Jacob who came into Egypt were seventy. Jacob’s family settles in Egypt
28 Israel sent Judah ahead to Joseph to lead the way before him into Goshen. When they came to the land of Goshen,
29 Joseph made ready his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. He presented himself to him, fell on his neck, and wept on his neck a good while.
30 Israel said to Joseph, “I can die now, having seen for myself that you are still alive.”
31 Joseph said to his brothers and to his father’s household, “I will go up and tell Pharaoh, and will say to him, ‘My brothers and my father’s household, who were in the land of Canaan, have come to me.
32 The men are shepherds, for they have been keepers of livestock; and they have brought their flocks, and their herds, and all that they have.’
33 When Pharaoh calls you, and says, ‘What is your occupation?’
34 you shall say, ‘Your servants have been keepers of livestock from our youth even until now, both we and our ancestors’ — in order that you may settle in the land of Goshen, because all shepherds are abhorrent to the Egyptians.”

 
 

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Joseph’s Dream

Josephs dream

Joseph was loved by Jacob because he had been born to him in his old age and he Joseph had made a richly ornamented robe for Jacob. The robe became a symbol of Jacob’s favoritism toward Joseph, and it aggravated the already strained relations between Joseph and his brothers. Favoritism in families may be unavoidable but its division effects should be minimized. Parents may not be able to change their feelings towards a favorite child but they can change their actions toward the others.

Could jealousy ever make you feel like killing someone? Before jumping to conclusions, look at what happened in this story. Ten men were willing to kill their younger brother over a robe and a few reported dreams. Their deep jealousy had grown into ugly range, completely blinding them what was right. Jealousy can be difficult to recognize because our reasons for it makes sense. But left unchecked, jealousy grows quickly and leads to serious sins. The longer you cultivate jealous feelings, the harder it is to uproot them. The time to deal with jealousy is when you notice yourself keeping score of what others have.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:

There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.”

He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”

Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed.

Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.

Let’s Pray: Father, remove from us any of the components of jealousy or the covetousness, hatred, fear and insecurities that fuel it. We want to be holy as you are Holy. Remove from our hearts all the cruelty and any murderous attitudes that accompany jealousy. It is only in your presence that we can be healed from the ungodly kind of jealousy that eats away at our spiritual attitudes. Fill us with your love and kindness, that we may love others as you love them Lord! Amen.

Chapter 37: Joseph’s Dreams

1 Jacob settled in the land where his father had lived as an alien, the land of Canaan.
2 This is the story of the family of Jacob. Joseph, being seventeen years old, was shepherding the flock with his brothers; he was a helper to the sons of Bilhah and Zilpah, his father’s wives; and Joseph brought a bad report of them to their father.
3 Now Israel loved Joseph more than any other of his children, because he was the son of his old age; and he had made him a long robe with sleeves.
4 But when his brothers saw that their father loved him more than all his brothers, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably to him.
5 Once Joseph had a dream, and when he told it to his brothers, they hated him even more.
6 He said to them, “Listen to this dream that I dreamed.
7 There we were, binding sheaves in the field. Suddenly my sheaf rose and stood upright; then your sheaves gathered around it, and bowed down to my sheaf.”
8 His brothers said to him, “Are you indeed to reign over us? Are you indeed to have dominion over us?” So they hated him even more because of his dreams and his words.
9 He had another dream, and told it to his brothers, saying, “Look, I have had another dream: the sun, the moon, and eleven stars were bowing down to me.”
10 But when he told it to his father and to his brothers, his father rebuked him, and said to him, “What kind of dream is this that you have had? Shall we indeed come, I and your mother and your brothers, and bow to the ground before you?”
11 So his brothers were jealous of him, but his father kept the matter in mind.
Joseph is sold into slavery
12 Now his brothers went to pasture their father’s flock near Shechem.
13 And Israel said to Joseph, “Are not your brothers pasturing the flock at Shechem? Come, I will send you to them.” He answered, “Here I am.”
14 So he said to him, “Go now, see if it is well with your brothers and with the flock; and bring word back to me.” So he sent him from the valley of Hebron. He came to Shechem,
15 and a man found him wandering in the fields; the man asked him, “What are you seeking?”
16 “I am seeking my brothers,” he said; “tell me, please, where they are pasturing the flock.”
17 The man said, “They have gone away, for I heard them say, ‘Let us go to Dothan.'” So Joseph went after his brothers, and found them at Dothan.
18 They saw him from a distance, and before he came near to them, they conspired to kill him.
19 They said to one another, “Here comes this dreamer.
20 Come now, let us kill him and throw him into one of the pits; then we shall say that a wild animal has devoured him, and we shall see what will become of his dreams.”
21 But when Reuben heard it, he delivered him out of their hands, saying, “Let us not take his life.”
22 Reuben said to them, “Shed no blood; throw him into this pit here in the wilderness, but lay no hand on him” — that he might rescue him out of their hand and restore him to his father.
23 So when Joseph came to his brothers, they stripped him of his robe, the long robe with sleeves that he wore;
24 and they took him and threw him into a pit. The pit was empty; there was no water in it.
25 Then they sat down to eat; and looking up they saw a caravan of Ishmaelites coming from Gilead, with their camels carrying gum, balm, and resin, on their way to carry it down to Egypt.
26 Then Judah said to his brothers, “What profit is it if we kill our brother and conceal his blood?
27 Come, let us sell him to the Ishmaelites, and not lay our hands on him, for he is our brother, our own flesh.” And his brothers agreed.
28 When some Midianite traders passed by, they drew Joseph up, lifting him out of the pit, and sold him to the Ishmaelites for twenty pieces of silver. And they took Joseph to Egypt.
29 When Reuben returned to the pit and saw that Joseph was not in the pit, he tore his clothes.
30 He returned to his brothers, and said, “The boy is gone; and I, where can I turn?”
31 Then they took Joseph’s robe, slaughtered a goat, and dipped the robe in the blood.
32 They had the long robe with sleeves taken to their father, and they said, “This we have found; see now whether it is your son’s robe or not.”
33 He recognized it, and said, “It is my son’s robe! A wild animal has devoured him; Joseph is without doubt torn to pieces.”
34 Then Jacob tore his garments, and put sackcloth on his loins, and mourned for his son many days.
35 All his sons and all his daughters sought to comfort him; but he refused to be comforted, and said, “No, I shall go down to Sheol to my son, mourning.” Thus his father bewailed him.
36 Meanwhile the Midianites had sold him in Egypt to Potiphar, one of Pharaoh’s officials, the captain of the guard.

 
 

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What Dinah’s Brothers Did

what dinahs brothers did

Shechem may have been a victim of “love at first sight,” but his actions were impulsive and evil. Not only did he sin against Dinah; he sinned against the entire family (34:6-7). The consequences of his deed were severe both for his family and for Jacob’s (34:25-31).
Even Shechem’s declared love for Dinah could not excuse the evil he did by raping her. Don’t allow sexual passion to boil over into evil actions. Passion must be controlled.

When Shechem raped Dinah, the consequences were far greater than he could have imagined. Dinah’s brothers were outraged and took revenge. Pain, deceit and murder followed. Sexual sin is devastating because its consequences are so far reaching.

The verse that has touched our hearts while reading the chapter is as follows:
But they said, “Should our sister be treated like a whore?”

Let’s Pray: Lord, we humans have a tendency to let our carnal needs govern us rather than our spiritual bend. This leads to a lot of sinful acts and makes us guilty and remorseful. Our acts also hurt others and the chain reaction continues, leaving the people hurt, hateful, angry and frustrated. Heavenly Father, be with us during the times when we are inclined towards bodily needs and are about to sin against us. Help us flee from such situations and be holy for you. Amen

Chapter 34: What Dinah’s Brother’s Did

1 Now Dinah the daughter of Leah, whom she had borne to Jacob, went out to visit the women of the region.
2 When Shechem son of Hamor the Hivite, prince of the region, saw her, he seized her and lay with her by force.
3 And his soul was drawn to Dinah daughter of Jacob; he loved the girl, and spoke tenderly to her.
4 So Shechem spoke to his father Hamor, saying, “Get me this girl to be my wife.”
5 Now Jacob heard that Shechem had defiled his daughter Dinah; but his sons were with his cattle in the field, so Jacob held his peace until they came.
6 And Hamor the father of Shechem went out to Jacob to speak with him,
7 just as the sons of Jacob came in from the field. When they heard of it, the men were indignant and very angry, because he had committed an outrage in Israel by lying with Jacob’s daughter, for such a thing ought not to be done.
8 But Hamor spoke with them, saying, “The heart of my son Shechem longs for your daughter; please give her to him in marriage.
9 Make marriages with us; give your daughters to us, and take our daughters for yourselves.
10 You shall live with us; and the land shall be open to you; live and trade in it, and get property in it.”
11 Shechem also said to her father and to her brothers, “Let me find favor with you, and whatever you say to me I will give.
12 Put the marriage present and gift as high as you like, and I will give whatever you ask me; only give me the girl to be my wife.”
13 The sons of Jacob answered Shechem and his father Hamor deceitfully, because he had defiled their sister Dinah.
14 They said to them, “We cannot do this thing, to give our sister to one who is uncircumcised, for that would be a disgrace to us.
15 Only on this condition will we consent to you: that you will become as we are and every male among you be circumcised.
16 Then we will give our daughters to you, and we will take your daughters for ourselves, and we will live among you and become one people.
17 But if you will not listen to us and be circumcised, then we will take our daughter and be gone.”
18 Their words pleased Hamor and Hamor’s son Shechem.
19 And the young man did not delay to do the thing, because he was delighted with Jacob’s daughter. Now he was the most honored of all his family.
20 So Hamor and his son Shechem came to the gate of their city and spoke to the men of their city, saying,
21 “These people are friendly with us; let them live in the land and trade in it, for the land is large enough for them; let us take their daughters in marriage, and let us give them our daughters.
22 Only on this condition will they agree to live among us, to become one people: that every male among us be circumcised as they are circumcised.
23 Will not their livestock, their property, and all their animals be ours? Only let us agree with them, and they will live among us.”
24 And all who went out of the city gate heeded Hamor and his son Shechem; and every male was circumcised, all who went out of the gate of his city.
25 On the third day, when they were still in pain, two of the sons of Jacob, Simeon and Levi, Dinah’s brothers, took their swords and came against the city unawares, and killed all the males.
26 They killed Hamor and his son Shechem with the sword, and took Dinah out of Shechem’s house, and went away.
27 And the other sons of Jacob came upon the slain, and plundered the city, because their sister had been defiled.
28 They took their flocks and their herds, their donkeys, and whatever was in the city and in the field.
29 All their wealth, all their little ones and their wives, all that was in the houses, they captured and made their prey.
30 Then Jacob said to Simeon and Levi, “You have brought trouble on me by making me odious to the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites and the Perizzites; my numbers are few, and if they gather themselves against me and attack me, I shall be destroyed, both I and my household.”
31 But they said, “Should our sister be treated like a whore?”

 
 

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