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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 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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Sons of Judah

sons of judah

This chapter vividly contrasts the immoral character of Judah with the moral character of Joseph. Judah’s lack of integrity resulted in family strife and deception.

When Tamar revealed she was pregnant, Judah, who unknowingly had gotten her pregnant, moved to have her killed. Judah had concealed his own sin, yet he came down harshly on Tamar. Often the sins we try to cover up are the ones that anger us the most when we see them in others, you may have a similar tendency to admit our sins and ask God to forgive us, forgiving others become easier.

The verse that has touched our hearts while reading the chapter is as follows:
But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD put him to death.

Let’s Pray: Lord, help us not sin anymore because the sins takes us away from you. We would desire to be in Your presence and clean. We wish to be able to lead a sinless life that you desire from us. Help us pray to you even harder during our times of trials and temptations. Grant us the heart that we are able to see our sinful nature and rectify it and even seek Your pardon. And in the due course also forgive those who sin against us. Amen.

Chapter 38: Sons of Judah

1 It happened at that time that Judah went down from his brothers and settled near a certain Adullamite whose name was Hirah.
2 There Judah saw the daughter of a certain Canaanite whose name was Shua; he married her and went in to her.
3 She conceived and bore a son; and he named him Er.
4 Again she conceived and bore a son whom she named Onan.
5 Yet again she bore a son, and she named him Shelah. She was in Chezib when she bore him.
6 Judah took a wife for Er his firstborn; her name was Tamar.
7 But Er, Judah’s firstborn, was wicked in the sight of the LORD, and the LORD put him to death.
8 Then Judah said to Onan, “Go in to your brother’s wife and perform the duty of a brother-in-law to her; raise up offspring for your brother.”
9 But since Onan knew that the offspring would not be his, he spilled his semen on the ground whenever he went in to his brother’s wife, so that he would not give offspring to his brother.
10 What he did was displeasing in the sight of the LORD, and he put him to death also.
11 Then Judah said to his daughter-in-law Tamar, “Remain a widow in your father’s house until my son Shelah grows up” — for he feared that he too would die, like his brothers. So Tamar went to live in her father’s house.
12 In course of time the wife of Judah, Shua’s daughter, died; when Judah’s time of mourning was over, he went up to Timnah to his sheepshearers, he and his friend Hirah the Adullamite.
13 When Tamar was told, “Your father-in-law is going up to Timnah to shear his sheep,”
14 she put off her widow’s garments, put on a veil, wrapped herself up, and sat down at the entrance to Enaim, which is on the road to Timnah. She saw that Shelah was grown up, yet she had not been given to him in marriage.
15 When Judah saw her, he thought her to be a prostitute, for she had covered her face.
16 He went over to her at the roadside, and said, “Come, let me come in to you,” for he did not know that she was his daughter-in-law. She said, “What will you give me, that you may come in to me?”
17 He answered, “I will send you a kid from the flock.” And she said, “Only if you give me a pledge, until you send it.”
18 He said, “What pledge shall I give you?” She replied, “Your signet and your cord, and the staff that is in your hand.” So he gave them to her, and went in to her, and she conceived by him.
19 Then she got up and went away, and taking off her veil she put on the garments of her widowhood.
20 When Judah sent the kid by his friend the Adullamite, to recover the pledge from the woman, he could not find her.
21 He asked the townspeople, “Where is the temple prostitute who was at Enaim by the wayside?” But they said, “No prostitute has been here.”
22 So he returned to Judah, and said, “I have not found her; moreover the townspeople said, ‘No prostitute has been here.'”
23 Judah replied, “Let her keep the things as her own, otherwise we will be laughed at; you see, I sent this kid, and you could not find her.”
24 About three months later Judah was told, “Your daughter-in-law Tamar has played the whore; moreover she is pregnant as a result of whoredom.” And Judah said, “Bring her out, and let her be burned.”
25 As she was being brought out, she sent word to her father-in-law, “It was the owner of these who made me pregnant.” And she said, “Take note, please, whose these are, the signet and the cord and the staff.”
26 Then Judah acknowledged them and said, “She is more in the right than I, since I did not give her to my son Shelah.” And he did not lie with her again.
27 When the time of her delivery came, there were twins in her womb.
28 While she was in labor, one put out a hand; and the midwife took and bound on his hand a crimson thread, saying, “This one came out first.”
29 But just then he drew back his hand, and out came his brother; and she said, “What a breach you have made for yourself!” he was named Perez.
30 Afterward his brother came out with the crimson thread on his hand; and he was named Zerah.

 
 

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