Genesis – Chapter 43

Joshphs brothers go a second time

Joseph’s Brothers’ Second Journey To Egypt

Verse 1 – Jacob couldn’t see the full plan unfolding before him of God sending all of them to Egypt, first to be kept from starving to death, and, second, to reunite with his son.  If you are praying for relief from suffering and pressure, remember God is lining everything up to have the best outcome to accomplish His purpose for your life.  Try to go through it without complaining.

Verse 9 – Judah accepted full responsibility for Benjamin’s safety.  In the end, it was Judah’s words that caused Joseph to break down (44:18-34).  When you have been given a responsibility to accomplish, do it well.  It will build character, confidence and respect from others.

Verse 11 – These gifts of balm, honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts and almonds were highly valuable and were not common in Egypt.

Verse 12 – Guard your integrity.  Some months later when they were out of supplies and Jacob sent them back to Egypt, he sent money for the supplies they would need plus pay for previous supplies.  Don’t compromise your reputation.

Verse 23 – Take note that the steward gave credit to their God.

Verse 32 – The Egyptians had a cast system so Joseph ate alone.  As a Hebrew, Joseph could not eat with the Egyptians even though he outranked them.  His brothers were lower in rank than any Egyptian citizens, so they had to eat separately too.

 

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Genesis – Chapter 42

Josephs Brothers come to Egypt

Joseph’s Brothers Visit Egypt

Verses 1, 2 – Grain was a valuable commodity because it was used in nearly everything eaten.  Grain was even used as money.

Verse 4 – Joseph was especially fond of Benjamin because he was his only full brother by Rachel.

Verse 7 – Joseph didn’t reveal his identity to his brothers, at this time, because he wanted to test them and see if they were still evil.

Verses 8, 9 – Joseph was boastful to his brothers when he was young in telling them of his dream where they bowed to him.  Now, as a man, he refrained from telling them, “I told you so.”

Verse 15 – Joseph had to make sure his brothers were not as cruel to Benjamin as they had been to him.  This was a test.

Verse 22 – You know that old saying, “What goes around, comes around?”  Well, Reuben couldn’t resist reminding his brothers that he told them not to do this thing to Joseph.  Now we are being punished.

Verses 24-38 – Joseph still gave them grain, supplies that would feed their families, but it tore him up inside.  God had done a mighty work in maturing Joseph over the years.  Our God will do the same in us right in the middle of our mess.

Genesis – Chapter41

joseph interpets Pharaohs dream

Joseph’s Test with Pharaoh’s Dreams

Verses 1-7 – Joseph is still in prison, forgotten by the chief butler.  That had to be depressing.  Have you ever helped someone out and they completely forget you even exist?  How do you handle it?  Do you complain or do you still depend on God to deliver you like Joseph did?

Verse 8 – Magicians, sometimes called wise men, were common in the palaces of ancient rule.  They would study sacred arts and science, read the stars, interpret dreams, predict the future and perform magic.  These men had power (Exodus 7:11, 12), but their power was satanic.  But here, they had no idea what Pharaoh’s dream was.

Verses 9-13 – Finally the chief butler remembers Joseph and tells Pharaoh.

Verses 14, 15 – Our God is a suddenly God.  Just when you least expect it, your answer shows up.  Most of the time it is not how you expected it to come.  Joseph was suddenly pulled from prison to go before Pharaoh.  It was not his ability of the knowledge of interpreting dreams; it was his knowledge of his God.  Get to know our God first or in the midst of the crises, then wait with great expectation.  Always be ready for the opportunities God will place in front of you.

Verse 16 – Joseph made sure he gave the credit all to God.  Be careful to do the same.  To take credit ourselves is a form of taking the honor from God.  Don’t be silent.  God gets all the glory for your victory.

Verses 28-36 – After Joseph interpreted Pharaoh’s dreams; he basically told him what was going to happen for the next fourteen years.  By giving Pharaoh a plan to keep Egypt alive during a seven-year famine, he just might have saved all of civilization.  Some people find detailed planning boring and unnecessary, but planning is taking responsibility.  We must learn to take God’s plans and put them into action.

Verse 38 – You may never interpret dreams for anyone, but make sure others see God in you.  When you have the spirit of God living on the inside of you, your words should be kind; you should be merciful and you should be able to give wise advice.  Do your friends or relatives get this from you? (I’m striving toward that goal.)

Verses 39, 40 – Joseph went from slave to prison to being placed second in command over all Egypt.  God says, “The latter is better than the former.”

Verse 45 – Pharaoh gave Joseph an Egyptian name, but we will always know him as Joseph.  He may have done this to: 1) play down the fact that Joseph had been a nomadic sheep herder, 2) make his name easier for the Egyptians to relate to or remember, 3) to show he was highly honored by giving him the daughter of an Egyptian official.

Verse 46 – Joseph was thirty years old when he became governor of Egypt.  He was seventeen when he was sold as a slave and a little over two years in prison.  I’ve heard some say that Joseph spent thirteen years in prison.  I don’t believe that is accurate.  Joseph was in Potiphar’s house serving him a good while.

Verse 54 – Famines were devastating in ancient times just like they are today.  You needed almost perfect conditions to produce good crops because there were no chemicals, fertilizers and pesticides.  Any variances in rainfall and insect activity could cause crop failure and then hunger.  Lack of storage, refrigeration, or transportation could turn a famine into a desperate situation.  This particular famine was severe.  Without God’s intervention, the Egyptians would have been wiped out.

Genesis – Chapter 40

joseph interpetsbutlerand bakerdream

Verses 1-3 – The cup-bearer (chief butler) and the baker were two of the most important and trusted men in Pharaoh’s entire kingdom.  The baker was in charge of Pharaoh’s food.  The cup-bearer, chief butler, tasted all the food and drink before Pharaoh did in case it had been poisoned.  Something must have happened for Pharaoh to stop trusting these two men.  It’s not mentioned what it is here.

Verse 4 – These two men are put into Joseph’s charge in prison, but notice the scripture says Joseph served them.

Verse 5 – Each man dreamed a dream that night and didn’t know what they meant.

Verse 8 – Very plainly written that God is the one who interprets dreams.  Instead of making himself look good, Joseph brought out a very powerful point towards God.  Joseph related this situation to how powerful God was.  This can be done today when we are witnessing.  Inject God into the situation in order to help.

Verses 9-15 – So the chief butler, cup-bearer, tells his dream to Joseph and he tells him in three days that he will be restored to his previous position.  Joseph also told him not to forget to put in a good word for him.  He felt like he had been forgotten.

Verses 16-19 – The chief baker sees forgot about Joseph whom he owed his life to.  It was another two years before Joseph had another opportunity to be freed again. (41:1).

 

that the butler got a good interpretation, so he told Joseph his dream.  His was not so good.  Joseph told the chief baker that in three days Pharaoh was going to hang him in a tree and the birds were going to eat his flesh. (He must have tried to poison him).

Verses 20-23 – The chief butler was restored, but when all was going well for him he

Genesis – Chapter 39

Jooseph in jail

Pharaoh was a general name for all the Kings of Egypt, similar to “King or President.”  The pharaohs in Genesis and Exodus were different men.

Verse 1 – People in the land of Egypt at this time were either extremely rich or extremely poor.  Joseph was the servant of Potiphar who was an extremely rich officer in Pharaoh’s service.  He lived in a two or three- story house with great furnishings.  Joseph served on the first floor while the family usually occupied the upper floors.

Verses 2-6 – All through these verses, the scripture states several times that the Lord’s favor was on everything Joseph did, and the Lord blessed Potiphar’s house because of Joseph.  Potiphar put Joseph in charge of all he had.  He trusted Joseph.

Verses 7, 8 – The Bible already stated that Joseph was handsome in form and appearance.  Now his master’s wife has goo-goo eyes toward Joseph and tries to seduce him.

Verse 9 – Joseph told her he would not because it would be a sin against God.  Remember that sexual sin is never just between two consenting adults.  It is an act of disobedience against God.

Verses 10-15 – Day after day after day he refused every time. When the devil keeps coming after you time and again with temptation to go against what you know is right, run.  Sometimes merely avoiding temptation is not enough.  These temptations can be very strong.

Verses 16-23 – Joseph did what was right, but Potiphar’s wife still caused harm with her lies and deceit.  But, remember, even when it looks like no matter what you do your still punished, keep believing God that it will turn out better.  You can’t quit and you can’t give up.  God says the latter is better than the former.  Keep your eyes focused on Jesus.  He will deliver you.  The prisons were completely vile.  Prisoners were guilty until proven innocent.  Many of them never made it to a trial because the rulers held court on a whim or when it suited them.  Poor Joseph was imprisoned two years before he was called out and it was only to interpret a dream, not to stand trial.  Joseph could have seen his situation as hopeless, but, instead he excelled in every little task he was given.  His positive attitude was soon noticed by the warden and was promoted to prison administrator.  Are you facing a hopeless situation in any area of your life?  Follow Joseph’s example by doing each task, no matter how minimal, and do it the best you can.  God is the one who turned Joseph’s situation around, and He will do the same for you.  He’s done it time and time again in my life.  God is good!  All the time!  God takes an impossible situation that looks bad and turns it around for our good.  It may take weeks, months or even years, but, remember, it’s in God’s timing.

Genesis – Chapter 38

tamar prostitute

Verses 1-7 – Judah moves away from his family and marries a Canaanite woman.  His wife has three sons – Er, Onan and Shelah.  Then Judah picks a wife for his oldest son, Tamar.  The Bible says Er was evil in the sight of the Lord and the Lord killed him.  Think about this for a minute.  We have seen some evil characters so far, but none that the scriptures state, “The Lord killed them.”  It was pretty evil what Josephs’ brothers did to him, but the Lord didn’t strike them down.

Verses 8-10 – This law about marrying a widow in the family is explained in Deuteronomy 25:5-10.  This whole purpose was for the widow to remarry a family member for the inheritance and the children would take care of the widow when they were old.  Judah then tells Onan he has to marry Tamar.  But Onan does as his father says up to the point of conceiving with her.  Onan doesn’t want an heir for his brother; he wants his own.  So, Onan emitted his seed on the ground.  This displeases God and He killed him.

Verse 11 – Judah tells Tamar to go to her father’s house and wait till Shelah, Judah’s last and youngest son, grows up and she can marry him.

Verse 12 – Judah’s wife is not named.  The Bible just says she is the daughter of Shua.  She dies and Judah is grieved and goes up to his sheep shearers at Timnah.

Verses 13, 14 – A long time must have passed between Onan’s death and when Tamar moves home. Now because Tamar said Judah had not kept his end of the bargain, Tamar removes her widow’s garments and covers her face with a veil and portrays herself as a prostitute.  She goes out and sits in the open where Judah will see her.  Judah took her for a harlot.  Remember it has been years since he has seen her.

Verses 15-23 – Judah wasn’t shocked to see a prostitute out in public because this practice was common among pagan cultures such as Canaan.  Tamar was driven to this action because she wanted an heir to Judah’s line.  Judah was driven by lust.  Neither action was justified.  Judah gave Tamar his staff as a pledge that he would bring her goats for payment.  Judah sent the goat but could not find the woman.  She had returned to her father’s house and put her mourning clothes back on.

Verse 24 – Three months pass and Judah learns that his daughter-in-law is with child.  Judah says to bring her out and she will be burned.  This story in no way says that God winks at prostitution.  Tamar was not a prostitute.  She simply wanted her child to be an heir in Judah’s family.  Judah and Tamar are direct ancestors of Jesus Christ. (Matthew 1:1-6)

Verse 25 – Tamar is brought out and brings the signet, cord, and staff (These markings on these objects shows to whom they belonged).

Verse 26 – Judah immediately sees his mistake and tells her she has acted more righteous than himself.

Verses 27-30 – Tamar has twins.  One was coming out first and the maid puts a red string bound on his hand, but the other twin pushes out ahead and becomes first.  This is significant later on.  The first is called Perez meaning “this breach is upon you.”  The second is named Zerah (draw your own conclusion to the significance.  The Bibles doesn’t).

Genesis – Chapter 37

Joseph sold into slavery

Verses 1, 2 – Jacob was in the land of Canaan now with all his sons.  Joseph was 17.  He was out in the fields tending sheep with Bilhah and Zilpah’s sons, his half brothers.

Verse 3 – This coat that Jacob gave Joseph must have looked like something royalty would wear.  His brothers saw the favoritism being shown towards him and were jealous.  After he told them about the two dreams he had where they were bowing down before him, they despised him.  As a parent you may not be able to hide your favor of one, but you can control your actions toward the others.

Verses 6-11 – No one enjoys being around a bragger.  Joseph had an immature attitude and a boastful manner in front of his brothers.

Verse 12 – His brothers left to go tend the flocks at Shechem.

Verse 14 – If Jacob had been paying attention to the animosity toward Joseph, he wouldn’t have sent him to them.  God had a plan which we can’t always see.  Sometimes we try to stop what God is trying to do because we don’t want to go through the pain.  Our God only wants the best for us.  He knows the end from the beginning.

Verse 18 – The brothers’ anger at Joseph turned to rage which turned into a plot of murder.  There are always consequences to anger.

Verses 19, 20 – Ten men were willing to kill their own brother over a robe and a few dreams.  Their jealousy had turned into rage, completely blinding them to what was right.  The longer you cultivate jealous feelings, the harder it is to uproot them.  The time to deal with jealousy is when you notice yourself keeping score of what others have.

Verses 26, 27 – Sometimes we come to a solution because it is the lesser of two evils.  Judah was looking to make a profit.  Ask yourself when coming to a solution if it is right.

Verse 28 – Although Joseph’s brothers didn’t outright kill him, they figured he wouldn’t survive as a slave either.  Joseph faced a 30 day journey through the desert on foot and probably chained.  He would not be treated well.  When he got to Egypt he would be sold as a piece of merchandise.  His brothers thought they would never see him again.  This was all done while Reuben was not there.

Verses 29, 30 – When Reuben returned to the pit and found his little brother gone, he went into a panic.  Was he more concerned about what Jacob was going to do to him or Joseph’s safety?  When a tough situation arises, be more concerned about how it will affect others and you will find the right solution.

Verses 31-33 – Then the cover up began.  They convinced Jacob that Joseph was dead.

Verse 34 – Tearing one’s clothes and wearing sackcloth were signs of mourning, much like wearing black today.

Verse 36 – Imagine the culture shock Joseph saw when he got to Egypt.  The Ishmaelites were also called Midianites.  They sold Joseph to Potiphar, a captain of the guard of Pharaoh’s house.  Pharaoh was over all of Egypt.