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Burial of Jacob

jacob_burial_nuremberg_bible

When Jacob died at the age of 147, Joseph wept and mourned for months. When someone close to us dies, we need a long period of time to work through our grief. Crying and sharing our feelings with others helps us recover and go on with our life. Allow yourself and others the freedom to grieve over the loss of a loved one and give yourself time enough to complete your grieving process.

Now that Jacob (Israel) was dead, the brothers feared revenge from Joseph. Could he really have forgiven them for selling him into slavery? But to their surprise, Joseph not only forgave them but reassured them, offering to care for them and their families. Joseph’s forgiveness was complete. He demonstrated how God graciously accepts us even when we have ignored or rejected him, we should graciously forgive others.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
9 Both chariots and charioteers went up with him. It was a very great company.
11 When the Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning on the part of the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was named Abel mizraim; it is beyond the Jordan.
12 Thus his sons did for him as he had instructed them.
19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God?
20 Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.

Let’s Pray: Do you trust God enough to wait patiently for him to bring good out of bad situations/. Yes, we can trust him because, as Joseph learned, God can overrule people’s evil intentions to bring about his intended results. Lord, have mercy on us all; guide us towards a sinless living and ever trusting life. Amen

Chapter 50: Burial of Jacob

1 Then Joseph threw himself on his father’s face and wept over him and kissed him.
2 Joseph commanded the physicians in his service to embalm his father. So the physicians embalmed Israel;
3 they spent forty days in doing this, for that is the time required for embalming. And the Egyptians wept for him seventy days.
4 When the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph addressed the household of Pharaoh, “If now I have found favor with you, please speak to Pharaoh as follows:
5 My father made me swear an oath; he said, ‘I am about to die. In the tomb that I hewed out for myself in the land of Canaan, there you shall bury me.’ Now therefore let me go up, so that I may bury my father; then I will return.”
6 Pharaoh answered, “Go up, and bury your father, as he made you swear to do.”
7 So Joseph went up to bury his father. With him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his household, and all the elders of the land of Egypt,
8 as well as all the household of Joseph, his brothers, and his father’s household. Only their children, their flocks, and their herds were left in the land of Goshen.
9 Both chariots and charioteers went up with him. It was a very great company.
10 When they came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and sorrowful lamentation; and he observed a time of mourning for his father seven days.
11 When the Canaanite inhabitants of the land saw the mourning on the threshing floor of Atad, they said, “This is a grievous mourning on the part of the Egyptians.” Therefore the place was named Abel mizraim; it is beyond the Jordan.
12 Thus his sons did for him as he had instructed them.
13 They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave of the field at Machpelah, the field near Mamre, which Abraham bought as a burial site from Ephron the Hittite.
14 After he had buried his father, Joseph returned to Egypt with his brothers and all who had gone up with him to bury his father.
15 Realizing that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers said, “What if Joseph still bears a grudge against us and pays us back in full for all the wrong that we did to him?”
16 So they approached Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this instruction before he died,
17 ‘Say to Joseph: I beg you, forgive the crime of your brothers and the wrong they did in harming you.’ Now therefore please forgive the crime of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him.
18 Then his brothers also wept, fell down before him, and said, “We are here as your slaves.”
19 But Joseph said to them, “Do not be afraid! Am I in the place of God?
20 Even though you intended to do harm to me, God intended it for good, in order to preserve a numerous people, as he is doing today.
21 So have no fear; I myself will provide for you and your little ones.” In this way he reassured them, speaking kindly to them.
22 So Joseph remained in Egypt, he and his father’s household; and Joseph lived one hundred ten years. 23 Joseph saw Ephraim’s children of the third generation; the children of Machir son of Manasseh were also born on Joseph’s knees.
24 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “I am about to die; but God will surely come to you, and bring you up out of this land to the land that he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob.”
25 So Joseph made the Israelites swear, saying, “When God comes to you, you shall carry up my bones from here.”
26 And Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old; he was embalmed and placed in a coffin in Egypt.

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Posted by on August 16, 2015 in My Christianship

 

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Jacob’s Prophecy Concerning His Sons

Jacobs-Prophecy-Concerning-His-Sons

Jacob blessed each one of his sons and then made a prediction about each one’s future. The way the men had lived played an important role in Jacob’s blessings and prophecy. Our past also affects our present and future. By sunrise tomorrow our actions will have become our past. Yet they will have already begun to shape the future. What action can you choose or avoid that will positively shape your future?

Can you trust God when injury and persecution is directed at you? Such spiritual battles require teamwork between courageous and faithful people and almighty God.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
1 Then Jacob called his sons, and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come.
2 Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel your father.
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, blessing each one of them with a suitable blessing. Order to bury Jacob at Machpelah

Let’s Pray: Lord, in every need let me come to you with humble trust. Always, always, inspite of weakness falls and shortcomings of every kind, Lord help me and never forsake me. Amen

Chapter 49: Jacob’s Prophecy Concerning His Sons
1 Then Jacob called his sons, and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what will happen to you in days to come.
2 Assemble and hear, O sons of Jacob; listen to Israel your father.
3 Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might and the first fruits of my vigor, excelling in rank and excelling in power.
4 Unstable as water, you shall no longer excel because you went up onto your father’s bed; then you defiled it — you went up onto my couch!
5 Simeon and Levi are brothers; weapons of violence are their swords.
6 May I never come into their council; may I not be joined to their company — for in their anger they killed men, and at their whim they hamstrung oxen.
7 Cursed be their anger, for it is fierce, and their wrath, for it is cruel! I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel.
8 Judah, your brothers shall praise you; your hand shall be on the neck of your enemies; your father’s sons shall bow down before you.
9 Judah is a lion’s whelp; from the prey, my son, you have gone up. He crouches down, he stretches out like a lion, like a lioness — who dares rouse him up?
10 The scepter shall not depart from Judah, nor the ruler’s staff from between his feet, until tribute comes to him; and the obedience of the peoples is his.
11 Binding his foal to the vine and his donkey’s colt to the choice vine, he washes his garments in wine and his robe in the blood of grapes;
12 his eyes are darker than wine, and his teeth whiter than milk.
13 Zebulun shall settle at the shore of the sea; he shall be a haven for ships, and his border shall be at Sidon.
14 Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the sheepfolds;
15 he saw that a resting place was good, and that the land was pleasant; so he bowed his shoulder to the burden, and became a slave at forced labor.
16 Dan shall judge his people as one of the tribes of Israel.
17 Dan shall be a snake by the roadside, a viper along the path, that bites the horse’s heels so that its rider falls backward.
18 I wait for your salvation, O LORD.
19 Gad shall be raided by raiders, but he shall raid at their heels.
20 Asher’s food shall be rich, and he shall provide royal delicacies.
21 Naphtali is a doe let loose that bears lovely fawns.
22 Joseph is a fruitful bough, a fruitful bough by a spring; his branches run over the wall.
23 The archers fiercely attacked him; they shot at him and pressed him hard.
24 Yet his bow remained taut, and his arms were made agile by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, by the name of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 by the God of your father, who will help you, by the Almighty who will bless you with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies beneath, blessings of the breasts and of the womb.
26 The blessings of your father are stronger than the blessings of the eternal mountains, the bounties of the everlasting hills; may they be on the head of Joseph, on the brow of him who was set apart from his brothers.
27 Benjamin is a ravenous wolf, in the morning devouring the prey, and at evening dividing the spoil.”
28 All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said to them when he blessed them, blessing each one of them with a suitable blessing. Order to bury Jacob at Machpelah
29 Then he charged them, saying to them, “I am about to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my ancestors — in the cave in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
30 in the cave in the field at Machpelah, near Mamre, in the land of Canaan, in the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite as a burial site.
31 There Abraham and his wife Sarah were buried; there Isaac and his wife Rebekah were buried; and there I buried Leah —
32 the field and the cave that is in it were purchased from the Hittites.”
33 When Jacob ended his charge to his sons, he drew up his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.

 
 

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Jacob Blesses Joseph’s Sons

Jacob-Blessing-his-Grandsons

Jacob gave Ephraim, instead of his older brother Manasseh, the greater blessing. When Joseph objected, Jacob refused to listen because God had told him that Ephraim would become greater. God often works in unexpected ways. When he chooses people to fulfill his plans, he always goes deeper than appearance, traditions or position.

We need never despair because we belong to a loving God. We never know what good he will bring out of a seemingly hopeless situation.

Jacob spoke of God as his shepherd throughout his life. In his old age, he could clearly see his dependence upon God. This marks a total attitude change from his scheming and dishonest youth. To develop an attitude like Jacob’s let God shepherd you as you trust in his provision and care.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
11 Israel said to Joseph, “I did not expect to see your face; and here God has let me see your children also.”
19 But his father refused, and said, “I know, my son, I know; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.”
20 So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will invoke blessings, saying, ‘God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.'” So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your ancestors.

Let’s Pray: Thank you Lord, for the gift of life. We also ask for forgiveness Lord, for anything that we did wrong this day. Lord, we are truly sorry for causing any hurt to someone intentionally or unintentionally. We pray to you Lord for your kindness and love. Let our hearts and life transform as Jacob’s and help us trust in your provision and care. Amen

Chapter 48: Jacob Blesses Joseph’s Sons

1 After this Joseph was told, “Your father is ill.” So he took with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
2 When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” he summoned his strength and sat up in bed.
3 And Jacob said to Joseph, “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz in the land of Canaan, and he blessed me,
4 and said to me, ‘I am going to make you fruitful and increase your numbers; I will make of you a company of peoples, and will give this land to your offspring after you for a perpetual holding.’
5 Therefore your two sons, who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I came to you in Egypt, are now mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are.
6 As for the offspring born to you after them, they shall be yours. They shall be recorded under the names of their brothers with regard to their inheritance.
7 For when I came from Paddan, Rachel, alas, died in the land of Canaan on the way, while there was still some distance to go to Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath” (that is, Bethlehem).
8 When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he said, “Who are these?”
9 Joseph said to his father, “They are my sons, whom God has given me here.” And he said, “Bring them to me, please, that I may bless them.”
10 Now the eyes of Israel were dim with age, and he could not see well. So Joseph brought them near him; and he kissed them and embraced them.
11 Israel said to Joseph, “I did not expect to see your face; and here God has let me see your children also.”
12 Then Joseph removed them from his father’s knees, and he bowed himself with his face to the earth. 13 Joseph took them both, Ephraim in his right hand toward Israel’s left, and Manasseh in his left hand toward Israel’s right, and brought them near him.
14 But Israel stretched out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, who was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, crossing his hands, for Manasseh was the firstborn.
15 He blessed Joseph, and said, “The God before whom my ancestors Abraham and Isaac walked, the God who has been my shepherd all my life to this day,
16 the angel who has redeemed me from all harm, bless the boys; and in them let my name be perpetuated, and the name of my ancestors Abraham and Isaac; and let them grow into a multitude on the earth.”
17 When Joseph saw that his father laid his right hand on the head of Ephraim, it displeased him; so he took his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s head.
18 Joseph said to his father, “Not so, my father! Since this one is the firstborn, put your right hand on his head.”
19 But his father refused, and said, “I know, my son, I know; he also shall become a people, and he also shall be great. Nevertheless his younger brother shall be greater than he, and his offspring shall become a multitude of nations.”
20 So he blessed them that day, saying, “By you Israel will invoke blessings, saying, ‘God make you like Ephraim and like Manasseh.'” So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and will bring you again to the land of your ancestors.
22 I now give to you one portion more than to your brothers, the portion that I took from the hand of the Amorites with my sword and with my bow.”

 
 

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Joseph is Governor of Egypt

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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 Sends for Jacob

joseph

Although Joseph’s brothers had wanted to get rid of him, God used even their evil actions to fulfill his ultimate plan. He sent Joseph ahead to pressure their lives, save Egypt, and prepare the way for beginning of the nation of Israel. God is sovereign. His plans are not dictated by human actions. When others intend evil toward you, remember that they are only God’s tools. As Joseph said to his brothers, “You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives” (50:20).

Joseph was rejected, kidnapped, enslaved and imprisoned. Although his brothers had been unfaithful to him, he graciously forgave them and shared his prosperity. Joseph demonstrated how God forgives us and showers us with goodness even though we have sinned against him. The same forgiveness and blessings are ours if we ask for them.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
5 And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.

Let’s pray: Lord, at every juncture we falter and sinful ways. Heavenly Father, guide us and keep us away from sinning against you. We want to be your children and ever follow you. Amen

Chapter 45: Joseph Sends for Jacob

1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all those who stood by him, and he cried out, “Send everyone away from me.” So no one stayed with him when Joseph made himself known to his brothers.
2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard it, and the household of Pharaoh heard it.
3 Joseph said to his brothers, “I am Joseph. Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could not answer him, so dismayed were they at his presence.
4 Then Joseph said to his brothers, “Come closer to me.” And they came closer. He said, “I am your brother, Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
5 And now do not be distressed, or angry with yourselves, because you sold me here; for God sent me before you to preserve life.
6 For the famine has been in the land these two years; and there are five more years in which there will be neither plowing nor harvest.
7 God sent me before you to preserve for you a remnant on earth, and to keep alive for you many survivors.
8 So it was not you who sent me here, but God; he has made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house and ruler over all the land of Egypt.
9 Hurry and go up to my father and say to him, ‘Thus says your son Joseph, God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me, do not delay.
10 You shall settle in the land of Goshen, and you shall be near me, you and your children and your children’s children, as well as your flocks, your herds, and all that you have.
11 I will provide for you there — since there are five more years of famine to come — so that you and your household, and all that you have, will not come to poverty.’
12 And now your eyes and the eyes of my brother Benjamin see that it is my own mouth that speaks to you.
13 You must tell my father how greatly I am honored in Egypt, and all that you have seen. Hurry and bring my father down here.”
14 Then he fell upon his brother Benjamin’s neck and wept, while Benjamin wept upon his neck.
15 And he kissed all his brothers and wept upon them; and after that his brothers talked with him.
16 When the report was heard in Pharaoh’s house, “Joseph’s brothers have come,” Pharaoh and his servants were pleased.
17 Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Say to your brothers, ‘Do this: load your animals and go back to the land of Canaan.
18 Take your father and your households and come to me, so that I may give you the best of the land of Egypt, and you may enjoy the fat of the land.’
19 You are further charged to say, ‘Do this: take wagons from the land of Egypt for your little ones and for your wives, and bring your father, and come.
20 Give no thought to your possessions, for the best of all the land of Egypt is yours.'”
21 The sons of Israel did so. Joseph gave them wagons according to the instruction of Pharaoh, and he gave them provisions for the journey.
22 To each one of them he gave a set of garments; but to Benjamin he gave three hundred pieces of silver and five sets of garments.
23 To his father he sent the following: ten donkeys loaded with the good things of Egypt, and ten female donkeys loaded with grain, bread, and provision for his father on the journey.
24 Then he sent his brothers on their way, and as they were leaving he said to them, “Do not quarrel along the way.”
25 So they went up out of Egypt and came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan.
26 And they told him, “Joseph is still alive! He is even ruler over all the land of Egypt.” He was stunned; he could not believe them.
27 But when they told him all the words of Joseph that he had said to them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to carry him, the spirit of their father Jacob revived.
28 Israel said, “Enough! My son Joseph is still alive. I must go and see him before I die.”

 
 

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Joseph’s Brothers Go To Egypt

joseph gave his brothers food

Joseph could have revealed his identity to his brothers at once. But Joseph’s last memory of them was of staring in horror at their faces as slave traders carried him away. Were his brothers still evil and treacherous or had they changed over the years? Joseph decided to put them through a few tests to find out.

Joseph remembered his dreams about his brothers bowing down to him (37:6-9). Those dreams were coming true! As a young boy, Joseph was boastful about his dreams. As a man, he no longer flaunted his superior status. He did not feel the need to say “I told you so.” It was not yet time to reveal his identity, so he kept quiet, even when we would like to have the last word.

The verses that have touched our hearts while reading the chapter are as follows:
18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God:
25 Joseph then gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to return every man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. This was done for them.
38 But he said, “My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should come to him on the journey that you are to make, you would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”

Let’s Pray: Lord, not all times are the same. Rich can become poor, poor may become rich, strong may become weak and the weak might become mighty. Each one of us receives and looses based on your grace and mercy. The recent earthquake tremors in Nepal and India have affected both man and material. Lord, help them endure their loss. May the humanity not forget the essence of love and the commandment of helping their neighbors. Grant Lord, that the people and all of us are able to provide for when we are approached. Lord, let your grace and love fall upon the people who are affected by the earthquake. Amen

Chapter 42: Joseph’s Brothers Go To Egypt

1 When Jacob learned that there was grain in Egypt, he said to his sons, “Why do you keep looking at one another?
2 I have heard,” he said, “that there is grain in Egypt; go down and buy grain for us there, that we may live and not die.”
3 So ten of Joseph’s brothers went down to buy grain in Egypt.
4 But Jacob did not send Joseph’s brother Benjamin with his brothers, for he feared that harm might come to him.
5 Thus the sons of Israel were among the other people who came to buy grain, for the famine had reached the land of Canaan.
6 Now Joseph was governor over the land; it was he who sold to all the people of the land. And Joseph’s brothers came and bowed themselves before him with their faces to the ground.
7 When Joseph saw his brothers, he recognized them, but he treated them like strangers and spoke harshly to them. “Where do you come from?” he said. They said, “From the land of Canaan, to buy food.”
8 Although Joseph had recognized his brothers, they did not recognize him.
9 Joseph also remembered the dreams that he had dreamed about them. He said to them, “You are spies; you have come to see the nakedness of the land!”
10 They said to him, “No, my lord; your servants have come to buy food.
11 We are all sons of one man; we are honest men; your servants have never been spies.”
12 But he said to them, “No, you have come to see the nakedness of the land!”
13 They said, “We, your servants, are twelve brothers, the sons of a certain man in the land of Canaan; the youngest, however, is now with our father, and one is no more.”
14 But Joseph said to them, “It is just as I have said to you; you are spies!
15 Here is how you shall be tested: as Pharaoh lives, you shall not leave this place unless your youngest brother comes here!
16 Let one of you go and bring your brother, while the rest of you remain in prison, in order that your words may be tested, whether there is truth in you; or else, as Pharaoh lives, surely you are spies.”
17 And he put them all together in prison for three days.
18 On the third day Joseph said to them, “Do this and you will live, for I fear God:
19 if you are honest men, let one of your brothers stay here where you are imprisoned. The rest of you shall go and carry grain for the famine of your households,
20 and bring your youngest brother to me. Thus your words will be verified, and you shall not die.” And they agreed to do so.
21 They said to one another, “Alas, we are paying the penalty for what we did to our brother; we saw his anguish when he pleaded with us, but we would not listen. That is why this anguish has come upon us.” 22 Then Reuben answered them, “Did I not tell you not to wrong the boy? But you would not listen. So now there comes a reckoning for his blood.”
23 They did not know that Joseph understood them, since he spoke with them through an interpreter. 24 He turned away from them and wept; then he returned and spoke to them. And he picked out Simeon and had him bound before their eyes.
25 Joseph then gave orders to fill their bags with grain, to return every man’s money to his sack, and to give them provisions for their journey. This was done for them.
26 They loaded their donkeys with their grain, and departed.
27 When one of them opened his sack to give his donkey fodder at the lodging place, he saw his money at the top of the sack.
28 He said to his brothers, “My money has been put back; here it is in my sack!” At this they lost heart and turned trembling to one another, saying, “What is this that God has done to us?”
29 When they came to their father Jacob in the land of Canaan, they told him all that had happened to them, saying,
30 “The man, the lord of the land, spoke harshly to us, and charged us with spying on the land.
31 But we said to him, ‘We are honest men, we are not spies.
32 We are twelve brothers, sons of our father; one is no more, and the youngest is now with our father in the land of Canaan.’
33 Then the man, the lord of the land, said to us, ‘By this I shall know that you are honest men: leave one of your brothers with me, take grain for the famine of your households, and go your way.
34 Bring your youngest brother to me, and I shall know that you are not spies but honest men.
Then I will release your brother to you, and you may trade in the land.'”
35 As they were emptying their sacks, there in each one’s sack was his bag of money. When they and their father saw their bundles of money, they were dismayed.
36 And their father Jacob said to them, “I am the one you have bereaved of children: Joseph is no more, and Simeon is no more, and now you would take Benjamin. All this has happened to me!”
37 Then Reuben said to his father, “You may kill my two sons if I do not bring him back to you. Put him in my hands, and I will bring him back to you.”
38 But he said, “My son shall not go down with you, for his brother is dead, and he alone is left. If harm should come to him on the journey that you are to make, you would bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to Sheol.”

 

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