DAY 16We're finishing our first book today! What a great feeling, right? It's great that we're able to do this together. That's how we're supposed to read the Bible! What kind of encouragement have you received?
Like we've alluded to before, we shouldn't think of these last chapters as the end of Genesis. Notice, as Jacob blesses his sons, the blessing is a sign of what we will know about the tribes of Israel. So, let's not look for a Happily Ever After ending. Let's see how we're just get started!
- Jacob remembers the promise of God! Don't think that is unimportant.
- In the next chapter, Jacob will lay out the "company of peoples" that stems from his family.
- Jacob includes Joseph's 2 sons in the inheritance of the land. They have been adopted by Jacob.
- Perhaps Jacob is emotional, considering he did not think he would ever see Joseph again. Now, he has seen Joseph and his family.
- The original text carries a sense that Jacob is deliberately and/or wittingly guiding his hands. That is, he knows. That is exact response in verse 19.
- Of course, this scene takes us back to Jacob receiving Isaac's blessing.
- The right hand is symbolic of strength, honor and authority.
- Joseph should be comfortable with the younger brother receiving honor before his older brother. This verse shows that Jacob knew what he was doing.
- The one portion more refers to Shechem.
- The blessing is a form of prophecy. Jacob is older, wiser. Perhaps the God Almighty has revealed these things to him. God has met him before and given him visions. Or Jacob is just an old man who understands who is children will become.
- The chapter is filled with family history and recognition.
- If you're using a printed Bible, look at the form of the text of Genesis 49:3-27. You'll see it is written in poetic form. It's been said that this poem is probably the oldest text from Genesis.
- This verse seems out of place. It may indicate a sense of where Jacob has received his utterances.
- Jacob, the last of the 3 patriarchs, dies after giving his sons a blessing and a final charge.
- Jacob's burial shows Joseph's authority. It also, because it begins with embalming Jacob, shows that he is comfortable in Egypt. He knows and has accepted the Egyptian way of life.
- Jacob is mourned by the Egyptians. Again, this shows a demonstration of support for Joseph for all he has done (and for his rank).
- I'm not sure what to make of Pharaoh's remark. Would he have not let Joseph go if his father had not made him swear an oath? Was he worried he might not return?
- A great company of Egyptians and Joseph's family go to bury Jacob. The mourn again.
- Invoking the name of "the God of your father" seem disingenuous, albeit a wise effort on the part of the brothers. Of course, in their eyes, Joseph could still have reason and want to do them harm just as they had done him. It's obvious, however, even though they call on God, that they do not understand the promise of Jacob. They must carry on with their families to continue what God started.
- Joseph weeps because his brothers do not understand this.
- A familiar verse, if not just a familiar thought, that shows Joseph understands that everything that happened to him was a part of God's plan to save many people and establish his family as a multitude of people.
- Joseph's oath relates to future events in Exodus.
- Joseph dies. The book of Genesis opens with the beginning of the world. It ends with the beginning of the establishment of the Israelite people.
- Following the Lord is a blessing. The psalmist knows that.
- Everything good we have is a blessing from God.
- Our faith is passed onto us through generations, but there is a moment we must make God our own "chosen portion." We must accept God as our shepherd, not just the God our ancestors knew.
- In the presence of God there is "fullness of joy." What a powerful expression of what the presence of God can mean to us!
OTHER OBSERVATIONSKnowing God should make a difference in who we are. How many times did Joseph have to decide to let go of the anger, resentment and pain of being rejected by his brothers? The didn't just reject him; they forsook him. Because of their jealousy and hatred of him he suffered greatly.
I wonder what would have happened if Joseph would have been reunited with his brothers but not have been made ruler of Egypt. It's his authority in Egypt that allows him to test them. What if he meets them when he is in jail? Would his acceptance of them have been different?
We'll never know, of course. But what we do know if inspiring. Joseph was able to reconnect with this family and forgive his brothers. The reason he is able to is because he knows that God has walked with him throughout his life. He knows that the everything that happened to him was a part of how God was working for his family's well being, and the well being of many other people. And knowing that about God gave Joseph every reason and ability to forgive his brothers.
How has knowing God reshaped who you are? I'd love to hear about it.
See you in Exodus!