I. Joseph Suffering 37:1-40:23
A. Joseph the favored son. 37:1-36
1. Jacob's love (1-4)
a. Rachel was Jacob's favorite wife, and Joseph was her firstborn son.
b. Jacob openly favored him above the others.
c. At seventeen, he was helping his brothers with the flock of sheep, but Jacob made him an overseer.
d. He would return home with an evil report about them.
e. Jacob showed his favoritism by giving Joseph a very special coat.
f. This act increased his brother's hatred toward him to the point that they couldn't even speak peaceably.
2. Joseph's dreams. (5-11)
a. Joseph dreamed that one day he would rule over his entire family.
b. He told this dream to his brothers, and they hated him even the more. (perhaps they remained silent)
c. Then Joseph told them again emphasizing the part about submission to him.
d. At that point the brothers responded verbally to him.
e. They hated him yet more for his dream and even more for his interpretation of it.
f. His second dream brought rebuke from his father and envy from his older brothers.
3. Judah's scheme. (12-28)
a. The conspiracy to kill Joseph v 12-20
1) Jacob sent Joseph to check on his brothers (NOTE: Joseph was no longer expected to work like the rest of them; his job was simply to oversee the work)
2) As Joseph drew near, his brothers were waiting for him.
3) The initial plan was to kill Joseph and tell Jacob that some wild beast had destroyed him.
4) Notice the tone of hatred in verses 19-20, "Behold, this dreamer cometh ... we shall see what will become of his dreams."
b. The plan changes v 21-25
1) Reuben felt some responsibility to save Joseph.
2) He talked them out of killing him using the excuse of the possibility of his escape.
3) He suggested that they put him in a dry well for the time being.
4) Reuben was probably trying to think of some way to deliver Joseph out of the pit.
5) They sat down to eat lunch, when they saw a caravan passing nearby,
c. An unexpected development v 26-30
1) For some unknown reason Reuben was absent when Judah came up with a new scheme.
2) Judah said, "Why not kill two birds with one stone? We'll get rid of Joseph and make a profit."
3) The others were content with this new idea, so they sold Joseph as a slave and he was on his way to Egypt.
4) When Reuben returned and found out what had happened he rent his clothes - because he knew that he, being the oldest, was responsible for his welfare.
4. Jacob's sorrow. (31-36)
a. They killed a goat's kid and spread the blood on Joseph's coat then sent the coat to Jacob.
b. Jacob immediately recognized the coat and jumped to the wrong conclusion.
1) NOTE: Galations 6:9 tells us that we reap what we sow.
2) Genesis 27:9-19, Jacob killed two kids in order to deceive his father Isaac.
3) Now his sons killed a goat's kid in order to deceive him.
c. Jacob was greatly saddened and refused to be comforted by his family.
d. In the meantime, Joseph was being sold in Egypt as a slave to Potipher, an officer to the Pharaoh.
B. Joseph the faithful steward. 39:1-39:23
NOTE: Jacob had tried to shield Joseph from the responsibilities of work; but God knew that Joseph could never be a ruler until first he was a servant. In the parable of the talents, Jesus relates this principle: Mt. 25:21, "His lord said unto him, well done, thou good and faithful servant: thou hast been faithful over a few things, I will make the ruler over many things: enter thou into the joy of thy lord." God used three disciplines in Joseph's life to prepare him to be the ruler of Egypt.
1. The discipline of service (1-6)
a. Joseph exchanged his coat of many colors for the garb of a servant.
b. God forced him to learn how to work thereby learning humility and the importance of obeying orders. cf. I Peter 5:5-6
c. If there was any doubt up to know that God was preparing Joseph for something greater, there can be no doubt now.
d. "The Lord was with Joseph....and his master saw that the Lord was with him...."
e. Joseph is elevated to the position of overseer in the house of Potiphar.
1) NOTE: this time the promotion was because of faithful service.
2) Earlier, Jacob had made him overseer because he was a favored son.
f. Soon, Potiphar gave Joseph complete control over everything he had; to the point that he didn't even know what he possessed.
g. Joseph had learned well how to serve, and the Lord had really blessed him, but there were more lessons to learn before he could rule.
2. The discipline of self-control (7-18)
a. To be an effective leader one must not only know how to serve, but also know how to exercise self-control
b. Joseph was a very handsome young man (cf. v6) and he was tempted, but he came through victorious. cf. I Cor. 10:13
c. NOTE: the temptation v 7-13
1) Appealed to a strong natural drive
2) Came when Joseph was away from home
3) Came from an important woman
4) Came repeatedly
5) Came with great opportunity
6) Came after elevation of position
d. NOTE: the victory
1) He recognized that yielding would be sin
2) He avoided her when he could
3) He stayed busy
4) He fled from her when she caught him
e. NOTE: the aftermath v 14-18
1) Potiphar's wife was determined to have Joseph one way or another.
2) She fabricated a story for her husband using Joseph's garment as evidence.
3) NOTE: This is the second time a garment of Joseph's was used to perpetrate a lie about him.
4) Joseph lost his coat, but he kept his character.
3. The discipline of suffering (19-23)
a. Not only was Joseph able to control his appetites, but he was also able to control his tongue.
b. He held his peace, even though he was falsely accused.
c. This is a mark of spiritual maturity. cf. James 3:2
d. NOTE: Prov. 13:3 & 21:23
e. Joseph was placed in prison and bound with chains but "the Lord was with Joseph".
f. Joseph was down, but not out.
g. God was now going to teach him through suffering. Ps. 105:19, "...the word of the Lord tried him."
h. Joseph was given a position of authority even while in prison - there could be no doubt that Joseph was chosen to rule.
i. His new position would unlock the door to another exciting chapter in his life.
C. Joseph the forgotten servant. 40:1-23
1. The Butler and Baker imprisoned (1-4)
a. Butler - Mashkeh - cup-bearer (same as Nehemiah)
b. Many believe that there had been an attempt to poison the Pharaoh and these two men had been charged and thrown in prison.
c. They were placed in the 'state prison' and Joseph was assigned to oversee them.
d. The length of their imprisonment is not clear; 'season' can mean several days, weeks, or months.
2. The Butler and Baker dreamed. (5-8)
a. These were not ordinary dreams, they were prophetic each one having an interpretation.
b. Both men were saddened over the fact that there was no interpreter available to tell them what their dreams meant.
c. Dreams were something that Joseph had some experience with.
1) Although he did not initially understand all of what his dreams had meant - God was teaching little by little how to be a great leader.
2) Joseph knew enough that if God gave the dream, then He could provide an interpretation.
3) He encouraged them to tell him the dreams.
3. The Butler's dream and interpretation. (9-13)
a. He dreamed about his job - He was the Pharaoh's cupbearer.
b. NOTE: "I took the gropes, and pressed them into Pharaoh's CUP.11
1) This clarifies for us this matter of wine - fermented or fresh
2) 'Wine' - juice of the grape - fresh squeezed because of its tendency to spoil without modern refrigeration.
c. The interpretation was good news to the butler.
1) This is one time when the butler didn't do it
2) In three days he would be released from prison and restored to his original position as the Pharaoh's cupbearer.
4. Joseph's request (14-15)
a. Joseph saw an opportunity to be released from prison.
b. Literally speaking, Joseph asked the butler to put in a good word for him with the Pharaoh.
c. He appeals to the sympathy of the butler and declares that he too had been treated unfairly.
1) Stolen out of the land of the Hebrews.
2) Innocent of Potiphar's wife's charges.
3) Imprisoned for something he didn't do.
5. The Baker's dream and interpretation. (16-19)
a. The baker was encouraged by the favorable interpretation Joseph gave to the butler and he began to tell him about his dream.
b. He also dreamed about his job - he was a cook.
c. The interpretation of his dream was anything but encouraging.
1) In three days he would be beheaded and then hanged upon a tree as a public display of what happens to traitors.
2) The birds would eat the flesh from his body.
3) NOTE: This was a frequent occurrence. cf. I Sam. 31:8-10
6. Fulfillment and forgetfulness (20-23)
a. The interpretations were exactly fulfilled.
b. And the butler failed to remember Joseph and left him in prison.
c. Once again God was teaching Joseph some vitally important lessons - not to trust in men because they will let you down.
II. Joseph Reigning - Gen. 41:1-45:28
NOTE: In the next five chapters we see Joseph elevated from prisoner to governor. He is given a new name; v 45. Zaphnath - paaneah - the revealer of secrets, In these chapters we will note three secrets that Joseph reveals.
A. The secret of Pharaoh's dreams 41:1-57
1. Factors in Joseph's rise to power (1-36)
a. Pharaoh's agitation v 1-8
1) Two dreams which were very similar
2) A troubled spirit because of the dreams
3) The wise-men and magician's were unable to interpret either of Pharaoh's dreams.
b. The butler's intervention. v 9-13
1) After two long years, the butler remembers Joseph.
2) It is doubtful that he had forgotten what had taken place between the baker, Joseph, and himself.
3) More likely now was a convenient time to bring up the subject before Pharoah.
c. Joseph's interpretation v 14-32
1) Pharaoh wasted no time in calling for Joseph, and Joseph was not lax in preparing for this long awaited meeting.
2) Joseph was careful to give God the glory for his abilities just as before. (41:8)
3) Joseph listens to Pharaoh's dream and then proceeds to give him the interpretation.
d. Joseph's advice. v 33-36
1) This was not just frivolous suggestions from some desperate prisoner.
2) God had taught Joseph how to be a faithful servant, and a good steward over material matters.
3) NOTE: A faithful servant never considers his own needs, but only the needs of his master. Joseph's statement of advice was not an attempt at self-promotion. His concern was genuine.
4) The advice Joseph gave Pharaoh was very wise and sound.
2. Sudden elevation. (37-45)
a. Pharaoh was convinced that Joseph was to be that man v 37-39
b. He recognized God's working through His servant Joseph.
1) Note that Pharaoh didn't refer to 'the gods' but rather to the One True God.
2) 'Spirit of God' is the exact phrase used in Genesis 1:2, "And the Spirit of God moved upon the face of the waters."
3) Pharaoh may have been an idolater, but he did acknowledge the God of Joseph as the revealer of his dream's interpretation.
c. He establishes Joseph as the second ruler of all Egypt. v 40-45
1) The installation ceremony was complete with a grand parade.
2) He receives a new name and a new wife to go with his new position.
3) This was done, no doubt, to make him more acceptable to the rest of the Egyptian people.
3. Joseph's Administration (46-57)
a. During the seven plenteous years v 46-53
1) The fields were very fruitful and the harvest was great.
2) Joseph established storage bins in every city.
3) As it was in the past, 'The Lord was with him, and that which he did, the Lord made it to prosper.
4) There was so much grain that he was unable to calculate the amount.
5) Joseph was blessed with two sons:
a) Manasseh - one who causes to forget
b) Ephraim - fruitful c
) God had enabled him to forget all his toil, disgrace, and affliction, and had made him fruitful in the very land in which he had suffered the greatest misfortune.
b. During the seven years of famine v 54-57
1) The only land that was prepared for the famine was Egypt.
2) When the Egyptians ran out of their own food supply they went to Pharoah who promptly sent them to Joseph, the man of the hour.
3) Joseph sold them grain because the famine was so great.
4) Other countries were experiencing this same period of famine and they came to Egypt to buy grain.
5) Among these other areas was-the land of Canaan where Joseph's family dwelt.
B. The secrets of his brothers' hearts, 42:1-44:34
1. The brothers' first visit 42:1-38
a. The plans are made v 1-5
1) Jacob rebukes his sons for not trying to find some grain somehow during the famine.
2) He then sends them to Egypt because he had heard from others about the Egyptian storehouses.
3) Jacob refuses to allow his youngest son, Benjamin, to go with the rest.
a) Benjamin was the only other son of Rachel
b) He had taken Joseph's place in his father's affections.
c) Jacob was afraid something might happen to him.
b. The brothers arrive in Egypt v 6-8
1) Joseph was in charge of the grain distribution and sale.
2) Joseph sees the partial fulfillment of his dream.
a) His brothers had done their best to keep it from ever happening
b) But here they were on their faces before Joseph.
3) Joseph purposely conceals his identity from them.
a) The years had changed him greatly, he was no longer a boyish teenager but now a 39 year-old dignified ruler of Egypt.
b) As he spoke to the, he used an interpreter to further conceal his identity.
c) He spoke roughly or disguised his voice so that they could not recognize it.
c. The secrets of their hearts are revealed. v 9-38
1) Joseph dealt harshly with them (9-17)
a) He accused them of being spies
b) Their answer to Joseph revealed that they were not willing to tell the whole truth.
c) To prove that they weren't spies, Joseph wanted one to return and bring Benjamin.
d) The reason behind Joseph's request was to make sure that they hadn't killed Benjamin like they had tried to kill him.
e) They were all placed in prison for three days while Joseph devised the next phase of his plan.
f) NOTE:- "Whatsoever a man soweth that shall he also reap" - His brothers were beginning to realize this principle.
2) Joseph releases all but one of them (18-20)
a) Just as they had changed their plans twenty years earlier, Joseph makes a change
b) Now only one brother would remain in prison until they returned with Benjamin
c) They could return to their father, but just as it was before, they would return with one less brother.
3) Joseph hears the confessions he was longing for (21-24)
a) They were convinced of their guilt because of all that was taking place
b) Reuben reminded them that he had warned them about their wicked deeds.
c) As they were speaking to each other they were unaware that Joseph could understand Hebrew.
d) This overheard confession brought tears to the eyes of Joseph and nearly revealed his identity.
e) Confession is not repentance, to determine if they were genuine Joseph had to continue with his plan.
f) Simeon was taken and bound before their eyes as Joseph had said earlier.
4) Joseph complicates matters for his brothers. (25-35)
a) He commands that along with the grain to give them provision for the journey and to return their money.
b) One of the brothers discovered the extra money in his bag on the journey home while the others didn't find theirs until later.
c) If they stayed home and never returned, they would be thieves; if they returned to Egypt they would have to risk taking Benjamin with them.
d) They related their rough treatment by the hard Egyptian lord to their father, Jacob, along with their fear of not knowing what to do next.
5) Jacob reacts out of grief (36-38)
a) He blames his sons for all that has happened.
b) He says Joseph is gone, Simeon is gone, and now you want to take away Benjamin.
c) Perhaps Jacob suspected foul play in the 'death' of Joseph.
d) He refused to allow it even at the pleading of Reuben.
e) He says that if something were to happen to Benjamin it would kill him.
2. The brothers' second visit 43:1-44:34
a. Preparation is made for the visit 43:1-14
1) The need for the visit (1-2)
a) The famine increased in its intensity.
b) The supply of corn from their first visit was gone.
2) The requirement for the visit (3-5)
a) That Benjamin accompany them
b) The brothers reminded Jacob of the words of Joseph - 'Ye shall not see my face, except your brother be with you.'
3) Jacob reluctantly agrees to send Benjamin. (6-14)
a) He laments over their honesty and frankness with the 'Egyptian'.
b) Judah tells his father that he will take full responsibility for Beniamin's safety and return.
c) NOTE: Gen. 37:26-27 - it was Judah who had convinced his other brothers to sell Joseph and make a profit while ridding themselves of him.
d) NOTE: Also consider why Jacob might accept Judah's offer rather than the one Reuben proposed earlier.
e) Judah reminds his father that they should have already left for Egypt - he had to decide quickly.
f) 'If it must be so' - Jacob knew that he really had no choice in the matter; it was either return and risk the fate of Benjamin or remain in Canaan and starve to death.
g) Jacob took some special precautions.
(1) He sent a present along for the Egyptian leader.
(2) He sent double the money - in case it was a mistake that the money was first returned.
(3) He sent Benjamin along with his prayers for God's mercy.
b. The arrival in Egypt 43:15
1) They were taken to Joseph's house (15-23)
a) Joseph was planning a feast for them.
b) However, they thought otherwise.
c) They began to plead with Joseph's steward that they were innocent.
d) He assured them that all was well and then Simeon returned unto them.
2) The second phase of Joseph's plan was set in motion. (24-34)
a) Joseph wanted to find out if their confession made earlier (42:21-24) was genuine.
b) The fact that they had returned with Benjamin was a good sign, but their testing was not over.
c) The sight of his younger brother was almost too much for him, and once again tears almost revealed his identity.
d) Joseph made sure that Benjamin received 5 times more food than the others.
e) This was done to see if the other brothers would be resentful toward him - but they were not.
3) Phase three begins. (44:1-13)
a) Their sacks were filled with corn and their money was returned to them as before.
b) But Joseph had his steward place his silver cup into Benjamin's sock.
c) Their journey home had just begun when they were overtaken by Joseph's steward.
d) He then accused them of stealing the cup.
e) The brothers protested this false accusation and confidently declared that if it was found, the one who had it could be executed and the rest become slaves.
f) The steward was not so harsh, he said that only the guilty would be punished by becoming a slave while the others go free.
g) The cup is found in Benjamin's sack. The brothers are once again put to the test.
(1) Would they respond as they had with Joseph?
(2) Would they abandon Benjamin into slavery and return home?
(3) Or would they stand beside him - this they did.
4) The final phase of testing begins. (44:14-17)
a) The brothers refused to forsake Benjamin and returned to the house of Joseph with him.
b) Joseph, playing his role well, asked them why they would do such an evil thing - and gives them a bit of a hint 'wot ye not that such a man as I can certainly divine?'
c) 'divine' - does not mean necessarily that Joseph practiced fortune-telling, but both he and his servant said this to place special importance on the value of the cup that was supposedly stolen.
d) The truth, however, is that God had given Joseph the wisdom to interpret dreams, but he certainly did not need any silver cup to accomplish this.
e) Notice Judah's confession in v 16.
(1) He did not confess to the theft of the cup.
(2) He acknowledged that there was nothing they could say to clear themselves.
(3) Because 'God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants'.
(4) As they had said before in 42:21, they believed that God was punishing them for what they had done unto Joseph.
(5) Judah surrendered all of his brothers to Joseph to become slaves.
f) Joseph now puts the final test to them by offering them the opportunity to be free and leave Benjamin behind condemned to a life of slavery.
(1) Would they think only of themselves as they had before and return to their father?
(2) Or would they consider Benjamin and Jacob?
(3) This would be the ultimate test to see if they had truly repented.
5) Judah makes a beautiful request (44:18-34)
a) He approaches Joseph requesting an opportunity to speak - not to defend himself or his brethren, but to make a request.
b) He reminds Joseph of what had taken place during their first visit.
c) He then tells of Jacob's reluctance to send Benjamin and how that he gave himself a surety for his younger brother's safe return.
d) In the final two verses we see Judah's beautiful plea for Benjamin.
(1) He asks Joseph to allow him to take the punishment for Benjamin.
(2) And to allow Benjamin to return home with the rest of the brethren.
(3) He pleas this for the sake of his father, Jacob.
C. The secret of God's purpose 45:1-28
1. Joseph reveals his identity (1-4)
a. Joseph was unable to control himself any longer so he ordered his staff and servants to leave the room.
b. He then revealed his identity to them.
c. He cried aloud - and everyone in the house of Pharaoh heard him weep.
d. He told them - speaking Hebrew - that he was Joseph and he asked about Jacob.
e. Notice the reaction of his brothers:
1) They could not answer - not that they would not but they were literally speechless.
2) They were troubled at his presence - a feeling they would not get over for some time.
f. Joseph calls them near and repeats himself to them: "I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt."
2. Joseph reveals God's purpose. (5-8)
a. Joseph must realize the fear and grief that his brothers were going through.
1) They were at his mercy and yet they could expect none from him.
2) They had treated him cruelly and had refused to respond to his cries of mercy.
3) He was now a very powerful leader, and could easily take revenge upon them.
b. Joseph attempts to console their fears by revealing that what had happened was according to God's plan and purpose for his life.
1) NOTE: v 8 "...it was not you ... but God..."
2) Joseph had realized that what had happened to him was according to God's plan - not only for his life, but for the preservation of Israel.
3) NOTE: Esther 4:14, "...who knoweth whether thou art come to the kingdom for such a time as this?"
3. Joseph reveals his plan for their future. (9-15)
a. Joseph can hardly wait to see his father again. v 9
1) When he first revealed himself to his brothers he asked about Jacob. cf. v3
2) Now he instructs his brothers to 'haste and go up to my father.'
3) They are to carry his invitation - 'come down unto me, tarry not.'
4) Joseph had been extremely patient in dealing with his brothers, but now he could wait no longer.
b. Joseph's invitation intends more than just a visit. V 10-11
1) He invites them to come and live nearby in the land of Goshen.
2) The basis for this invitation is because there is yet five more years of famine.
3) Joseph promises to nourish them through the days of famine - 'a great deliverance'. cf. v 7
c. Joseph reminds them that they have seen and heard now he commissions them to tell it to Jacob with haste. v 12-15
1) He embraces each of his brothers with tears.
2) Finally - the brothers are able to speak with Joseph.
4. Pharaoh confirms and expands on Joseph's invitation. (16-20)
a. Pharaoh was pleased to hear about Joseph's family reunion.
b. He tells them to take wagons from Egypt back to Canaan in order to move their families and possessions.
c. 'Regard not your stuff' - anything that would be inconvenient to bring with them.
d. They were promised the 'good of the land'.
5. Joseph sends his brothers on their way. (21-24)
a. He sent them away with provisions
b. Each received changes of raiment, but Benjamin once again gets preferential treatment.
c. Special gifts are sent along to Jacob - perhaps to convince him that Joseph truly is alive and well.
d. A final word of caution is given by Joseph.
1) 'See that ye fall not out by the way'
2) To prevent them from accusing one another - note he overheard one such argument, cf. 42:21-22.
3) To prevent them from envying Benjamin for the favoritism shown to him.
6. The brothers arrive at Canaan. (25-28)
a. Jacob's heart fainted at the news of Joseph - he thought it too good to be true.
b. When he saw the Egyptian wagons he regained his composure.
c. Finally he said 'it is enough' - no need to continue trying to convince him - he was convinced that Joseph was alive.
d. He wanted to go to him and see him before he died.
III. Joseph Forgiving Gen. 46:1-50:26
A. Jacob's last journey 46:1-47:31
1. Jacob leaves Hebron and starts for Egypt (46:1-4)
a. He stops at Beersheba
1) Abraham had prayed to God there. cf. Gen 21:33
2) God had appeared to Isaac there also. cf. Gen. 26:23-24
3) Beersheba was a consecrated place.
b. Why would he stop to offer sacrifice?
1) Before making any journey it is good to pray and seek God's protection and provision.
2) But Jacob was afraid to go to Egypt - God said 'Fear not'.
c. Why would Jacob be afraid to go to Egypt?
1) Because Abraham had sinned in going to Egypt. cf. Gen. 12:10-20
2) Because God had forbidden Isaac to go to Egypt. cf. Gen. 26:1-5
3) Also - Jacob made his decision to go before he had sought the will of God. cf. 45:28
d. God reassured Jacob.
1) He may go down confidently, no evil shall befall him.
2) Even in Egypt the covenant shall be fulfilled.
3) God promises to go with him.
4) God promises to bring him out again.
5) He is assured that Joseph is alive and will be there at his death.
2. The whole family goes with Jacob. (5-27)
a. There were 33 descendants of Leah v 8-15
b. There were 16 descendants of Zilpah v 16-18
c. There were 14 descendants of Rachel v 19-22
d. There were 7 descendants of Bilhah v 23-25
e. The total of Jacob's direct descendants was 70, but this did not include the wives of the sons, the husbands of the daughters, the spouses of any grandchildren, or any servants that may have accompanied them so the actual number of people was greater than 70. v 26-27. NOTE: Ac. 7:14 may include the five sons of Mannaseh and Ephraim.
3. They arrive in Goshen. (28-30)
a. Judah is sent on ahead to tell Joseph that they have arrived, and to direct him to their encampment.
b. Joseph and his father are reunited after twenty long and sad years.
c. Jacob was so happy upon seeing Joseph he said, "Now let me die..."
1) A phrase that wasn't meant to mean he wanted to die right then -
2) But now he could say that his life was fulfilled
3) He could die in peace.
4. They meet the Pharaoh. (46:31-47:12)
a. Joseph prepares them for the meeting v 31-34
1) He counsels them on what to say when they meet Pharaoh.
2) He tells them that 'shepherds are an abomination unto the Egyptians'.
3) Why might this be?
a) They are nomadic people many would raid villages sheep and cattle.
b) They sacrificed the very animals that Egyptians held sacred,
4) Why would Joseph make it a point to tell Pharaoh that they were shepherds?
a) He wanted to preserve His people - not combine them with the Egyptians.
b) He wanted them to remain in Goshen, separated from the Egyptian people and culture.
b. Some of Joseph's brothers meet Pharaoh, v 1-6
1) Pharaoh questions them about their occupations just as Joseph had siad he would.
2) Why do you suppose Pharaoh did this?
a) He was no doubt curious about their abilities perhaps he thought he might use them as he did Joseph.
b) Joseph had proved to be very valuable in his service to Pharaoh.
3) Joseph's brothers make it very clear that their intention was to sojourn not to settle in Egypt.
4) Pharaoh welcomes them into the land for the sake of Joseph.
5) He makes an additional offer to allow those that Joseph may choose to be rulers over his cattle.
6) NOTE: This is about the best offer he can make under the circumstances.
c. Jacob meets Pharaoh. v 7-12
1) The phrase 'Jacob blessed Pharaoh' refers to a salutation of respect.
2) Jacob was 130 years old when he appeared before the Pharaoh.
3) Abraham lived 175 years and Isaac lived 180 years so Jacob had not attained unto their ages.
4) 'Few and evil' - speaks of the hardness and grief he had experienced in life.
a) Such as deceiving his father
b) Fleeing from Esau his brother
c) Difficulty with Laban his father-in-law
d) Loss of Joseph - etc, etc.
5) Jacob and his family settle in Goshen, the land of Ramses, and Joseph nourishes them all.
5. Joseph's activity as prime minister continues (13-26)
a. Joseph continues to be very prosperous as the famine continues
b. He secured all the money in Egypt v 13-14
c. Next he gains all the cattle and flocks v 15-16
d. The next year he trades for their land v 18-22
e. He establishes the principle of share-cropping v 23-26
6. Jacob nears death (27-31)
a. He had lived in Goshen for 17 years and they had been very prosperous years.
b. He had Joseph promise not to bury him in Egypt but to carry him to be buried with his fathers in Canaan near Hebron.
c. Joseph swore to do as his father requested.
B. Jacob's Last Blessing 48:1-22
1. Joseph comes to Jacob's bedside (1-2)
a. He knew that his father had been very near death.
b. Now he receives word that Jacob was sick.
c. He brings his two sons with him as they go to visit Jacob's bedside.
d. Jacob musters all the strength he can and sits up in bed to receive Joseph.
2. Jacob adopts Joseph's sons (3-7)
a. He reminds Joseph of the covenant God had made with him at Bethel. cf. 28:13-15, 35:6-12
b. He elevates Joseph's sons, Ephraim and Manasseh to a position equal with his other sons.
c. NOTE: "As Reuben and Simeon, they shall be mine." cf. I Chron. 5:1, Jacob gave Joseph's sons, Ephraim in particular, the right of the firstborn.
d. Jacob reflects on the covenant and remembers Rachel.
3. Jacob blesses Manasseh and Ephraim. (8-20)
a. In the blessing upon Joseph's sons, God once again bypasses the older in favor of the younger.
b. Give some other examples: Seth rather than Cain, Isaac rather than Ishmael, Jacob rather than Esau.
c. Joseph had tried to prevent it, but Jacob refused to have it any other way.
d. After the kingdom divided, the tribe of Ephraim become dominant in the north and it's name was equated with Israel. cf. Is. 7:2 e. NOTE: v 16 - "The Angel which redeemed me from all evil."
1) There can be only one who can meet this qualification.
2) The Angel of the Lord or Jesus Christ pre-incarnate.
3) Jacob refers to the Lord in three different ways:
a) God, before whom my fathers Abraham and Isaac did walk
b) The God which fed me all my life long unto this day.
c) The Angel which redeemed me from all evil.
4. Jacob's special blessing for Joseph. (21-22)
a. Jacob acknowledged that his death was quite near but that God would continue to be with them.
b. What about the next promise? - "God shall ... bring you again unto the land of your fathers."
c. Jacob, even in his final days, still favors Joseph above the rest of his sons,
d. He gives Joseph a portion of land very dear to him, cf. John 4:5
C. Jacob's last message. 49:1-27
1. Jacob calls his sons unto himself to speak to them of their future. (1-2)
2. The message to Reuben. (3-4)
a. As the firstborn son he had a place of preeminence but he lost that place.
b. As a result of his fornication with Bilhah. cf. 35:22
c. Jacob predicted instability and ineffectiveness.
d. No prophet, judge, or hero come from this tribe.
3. The message to Simeon and Levi. (5-7)
a. Simeon and Levi were brothers, both being born to Jacob and Leah.
b. They shared the same kind of disposition: headstrong, deceitful, vindictive, and cruel. NOTE: 34:1-31
c. Jacob disassociates himself from their motives and actions. cf. v 6
d. Jacob predicted that they would be divided and scattered among the other tribes.
1) This came to pass, as the Levites became a priestly tribe with no inheritance of their own, just cities scattered throughout the land. cf. Joshua 21:1-3
2) Simeon's inheritance was within the inheritance of Judah. cf. Joshua 19:1 4, The message to Judah. (8-12)
4. The Message to Judah. (8-12)
a. Judah would become the leader among the tribes.
1) 'Thy hand shall be in the neck of thine enemies.' cf. Ps. 18:40
2) The stages of strength is seen in v 9, lion's whelp full grown lion, to mature lion.
3) This prophecy did not see a beginning of fulfillment until the time of king David.
4) What tribe did King Saul come from? cf. I Sam. 9:1
b. Judah would remain in power until "Shiloh" comes.
1) 'Shiloh' - one who brings peace/one who is sent.
2) Jesus Christ, Messiah, came from the tribe of Judah. cf. Rev. 5:5
3) 'Unto Him shall the gathering of people be' - no doubt a reference to His second coming.
4) What can be the significance of v 11-12 - could have reference to earthly suffering or to what will take place when Jesus returns. (speaks of millennial kingdom blessings)
5. The message to Zebulun, (13)
a. His portion of inheritance was to reach from the Sea of Galilee toward the Mediterranean Sea.
b. There he would become a haven for ships and be in contact with merchantmen and traders.
6. The message to Issachar (14-15)
a. "A strong ass couching down between two burdens."
b. Issachar is pictured as a humble servant to others, willing to bear their burdens that he might enjoy rest, rather than resisting and having liberty.
c. Like the wearied beast of burden, which will lie down to rest even with burdens on its back.
7. The message to Dan. (16-17)
a. Samson, a Danite, judged Israel for 20 years.
b. However, Jacob equates Dan with the deceitfulness of a 'snake in the grass'.
c. This may refer to the fact that the Danites introduced idolatry into Israel on an official basis. Jg. 18:30-31
8. The message to Gad. (18-19)
a. Verse 18 seems to stand alone in the midst of his messages to his sons, perhaps it is a result of his considering the sins and disobedience of his children that prompts him to respond like this.
b. To Gad, he delivers a message of prophecy that speaks of their constant vulnerability to attack, and their ability to overcome their attackers.
c. NOTE: I Chron. 5:18, 12:8 speaks of their abilities in war.
9. The message to Asher and Naphtali. (20-21)
a. Asher's inheritance was along the rich seacoast and would result in much prosperity.
b. Naphtali is compared to a beautiful dear let loose, and it is promised that he will know how to use powerful words. cf. Jg 4:6 "Barah"
10. The message to Joseph. (22-26)
a. His message is the longest and most eloquent.
b. V 23-24 is a brief biography of Joseph.
c. Note the great fruitfulness:
1) Ephraim - Joshua, Deborah, and Samuel
2) Manasseh - Gideon, Jephthah
d. Jacob emphasizes that it was God's hand upon the life of Joseph that brought about great blessing.
11. The message to Benjamin. (27)
a. Benjamin is likened to the fierceness of a ravenous wolf.
b. Successful in battle, but cruel.
c. King Saul and the Apostle Paul were Benjamites,
D. Jacob's Last Request. 49:28-50:14
1. Jacob gives specific instructions concerning his burial. (28-33)
a. After delivering to his sons the messages, as he was guided by the Spirit of prophecy, foretelling important events in their lives and their successive generations;
b. He now turns his attention on his own immediate future - which would be death.
c. The cave at Machpelah is the first public burial place mentioned in Scripture.
d. NOTE: v 29, "I am to be gathered unto my people". This indicates that Jacob believed that although his people were dead - they still existed,
e. NOTE: The 'gathering' was not a reference to being buried with them. cf. v 33
f. When he had finished speaking, he 'gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the ghost' and at the very moment of death he was 'gathered unto his people'.
2. Joseph and his brothers fulfill Jacob's request. (50:1-14)
a. Joseph commanded that his father be embalmed.
b. Forty days were required for this embalming process where most of the vital organs were removed, the body dehydrated, and then wrapped tightly.
c. An official period of 70 days were set aside for national mourning - by the Egyptians. (possibly included the 40 days)
d. At the close of the 70 day period, Joseph requested permission from Pharaoh to go up and bury his father.
e. NOTE: He didn't make the request directly, why? cf. Esther 4:1-2, it was not permissable to appear before an Eastern ruler in mourning clothes.
f. A great procession went forth to bury Jacob - made up of both Jacob's family and Pharaoh's servants.
g. They stopped at the threshingfloor of Atad and a formal seven day period of mourning was carried out.
1) NOTE: Why another mourning period?
2) The normal period of mourning among the Hebrews was seven days. I So. 31:13
3) Now that they were in the land of Canaan they would operate under Hebrew tradition rather than Egyptian.
4) When this group was observed by the inhabitants they assumed it was a company of Egyptians and they named the place "Abel-mizraim" which means the "mourning of Egypt"
h. At the close of the seven day period, Joseph and his brothers buried their father, then they all returned to Egypt.
E. Joseph's Final Days 50:15-26
1. Joseph's brothers doubts his forgiveness (15)
a. NOTE: 45:1-4 His brothers were troubled at his presence,
b. Now that their father was dead they feared that Joseph would seek revenge.
c. They had lived together for seventeen years and had always doubted Joseph's sincerity
d. What would make them feel this way? Their own self-condemnation. They were forgiven but they never accepted it.
2. His brothers fabricate another lie (16-17)
a. Why did they say that Jacob had made a specific command?
1) They felt that Joseph restrained himself from punishing them only for the sake of Jacob.
2) So now if they convince him that Jacob made this request, perhaps he will honor it.
b. Joseph is heartbroken over this last conspiracy of his brothers,
3. Joseph's response to his brother's lie. (18-21)
a. Joseph's brothers also felt they needed to make a personal appearance.
b. They bowed before him declaring their submission to him v 18
c. Joseph quickly replied that they did not need to fear him because he wasn't Godf vl9
d. What did he mean by that statement?
1) Only God has the right to punish for sin.
2) The One they should have been bowing before was Almighty God - not Joseph.
3) Although Joseph was not "in the place of God" he had come to realize God's will in his life. v 20
e. Joseph assured his brothers that they didn't need to fear him. v 21
1) He reaffirmed his promise to nourish them and their families.
2) He then comforted his brethren and spoke kindly to them.
4. Joseph nears death (22-26)
a. He was 110 years old, old enough to see the third generation - Ephraim - Machir - children
b. Joseph called his brethren near and assured them that God would intervene and take them home.
c. He gave them specific instructions to not leave his bones in Egypt, but to carry them with them when they left.
d. Joseph died, was embalmed, but wasn't buried - only placed in a coffin (mummy case)
e. NOTE: Exodus 13:19