Genesis – Chapter 50

Jacob dies

Verse 1 – Jacob died at the age of 147.  Joseph wept and mourned for months.  When someone is mourning the death of someone we are to allow them to work through their grief by being compassionate and helpful.  Everyone is different in the amount of time it takes to go through this grief.  Be patient and watch what you say.

Verses 2, 3 – Jacob’s family allowed them to embalm as a sign of courtesy and respect to Egyptians.  The Egyptians embalmed because they believed it prepared the body for the next life in the world to come.

Verse 5 – Joseph had proven his trustworthiness to Pharaoh.  Privilege and freedom often result when we have demonstrated trustworthiness.  Trust is built over time.  It usually starts in small areas.

Verses 12, 13 – Abraham had purchased the cave in Machpelah as the burial-place for Sarah (23:1-9).  Their desire to be buried in this cave expressed their faith in God’s promise to give their descendants the land of Canaan.

Verses 15-21 – Joseph forgives his brothers completely.  Just as God forgives us when we don’t deserve it, we need to forgive others.  God brought good from Joseph’s brother’s evil.  This experience taught Joseph that God brings good from evil for those who trust Him.  God can and does overrule people’s intentions to bring about His intended results!


Genesis – Chapter 49

Jacob blesses all his sons

Verses 1-3 – Jacob begins blessing each of his sons according to how they had lived their lives.  Our past affects our future.  Make sure your actions today will have good results for tomorrow.

Verse 4 – The oldest son was supposed to receive a double portion of the inheritance, but Reuben had lain with Bilhah, Leah’s handmaid, Jacob’s concubine.  He had defiled the marriage bed.  He was untrustworthy.

Verses 5-7 – Simeon and Levi were the two that went after Shechem in revenge after he had raped their sister, Dinah.   They were cursed by Jacob for their life of violence.

Verses 8-12 – Wasn’t Judah the one that sold Joseph into slavery and tried to defraud his daughter-in-law?  But God had chosen Judah to be the ancestor of Israel’s line of kings.  This is what “the scepter will not depart from Judah” means.  This may have been to Judah’s dramatic change of character (44:33, 34).  Judah’s line would produce the Messiah, Jesus.

Verse 18 – Right in the middle of this blessing to Dan, Jacob declares God’s deliverance.  He was telling Dan that he would be a strong leader if he put his trust in God.  Let’s not forget who gave us that talent or strength to accomplish these things in our life.

Verses 22-26 – Now its Joseph’s turn.  What a blessing Jacob gave him!  Joseph has some pretty heroic descendants:  Joshua who would lead the Israelite’s into the promise land (Joshua 1:10, 11), Deborah, Gideon, and Jephthah, judges of Israel (Judges 4:4; 6:11, 12; 11:11).

These verses celebrate the times God rescued Joseph when his enemies attacked him.  To trust God to rescue you from persecution or injury shows great faith.  It will take courage, trust, perseverance and commitment.

Genesis – Chapter 48

Jacob gives Ephram the bigger blessing

Verses 8-20 – Jacob gave Ephraim the greater blessing.  Ephraim was the second son.  When Joseph objected, Jacob refused to listen because God had already told him Ephraim would be greater.  God’s plans are always deeper than appearance, tradition or position.  He sometimes surprises us by choosing the least likely person we think is qualified.  God uses whom He chooses.  When we come to realize that every good thing comes from God, we can wait on that position of honor.

Verses 21, 22 – Jacob gave these boys the land that was occupied by the Philistines and Canaanites.  His gift became reality when the tribes of Ephraim and Manasseh occupied the east and west sides of the Jordan River (Joshua 16).

Genesis – Chapter 47

Jacob living prosperous

Verses 1-6 – We are starting to see the rewards of Joseph’s faithfulness.  There was no complaining or grumbling throughout all that Joseph went through.  God honors faithfulness.

Verses 9-21 – Jacob blesses Pharaoh and the famine starts to become severe.  When the people started running out of money to buy grain, they started giving Pharaoh their land.  Joseph brought it all into Pharaoh’s house.

Verse 22 – Pharaoh gave the priest what they needed and did not take their land.  Joseph would give the people seed to grow their crops, but they had to give Pharaoh One-fifth.  They were grateful because Joseph had saved their lives.

Verses 27, 28 – The Israelite’s lived in the land of Goshen and started to greatly multiply.  (Don’t forget that God had changed Jacob’s name to Israel.)  Jacob was there seventeen years but was 147 years old when he died.

Verses 29-31 – Jacob did not want to be buried in Egypt.  So he made his son’s promise.  This placing the hand under the thigh was a sign of a binding contract.  Christians today are to let their words always speak the truth and let them be binding.  Too often we hear, “I didn’t really mean that.”

Genesis – Chapter 46

Jacob and family living in Goshen

Jacob’s family is now safe in Egypt

Verses 1-4 – The Israelite’s did become a great nation.  (The book of Exodus recounts the story of their slavery.)  After that, they return to the land of Canaan.  God told Jacob to take his family and go to this strange land and He would take care of him.  It’s okay to have a little anxiety when you’re in a new or strange situation, but don’t let fear paralyze you.  That shows you don’t really trust God in the choice He has made for you.  Jacob never returned to Canaan.  This promise was for his descendants.

Verses 31-34 – The Egyptians could not tolerate shepherds living among them.  So, Joseph told them to be sure and let Pharaoh know what their occupation was.  This also kept them separate to worship God freely.  Pharaoh blessed them and gave them Goshen to dwell in.

Genesis – Chapter 45

Jacob finds out Joseph is alive

Verses 1-8 – Even though what Joseph’s brothers did was evil and hurtful, God used it to fulfill His plan.  God had used Joseph to go before them to preserve lives, save Egypt, and begin the nation of Israel.  When others do evil against you, remember they are God’s tools in accomplishing God’s purpose.  They intended it to harm, but God used it for the good and bigger purpose.

Verses 17-20 – All the things Joseph’s brothers had done to him did not cause him not to forgive them.  Even though we sin against God, He still forgives us and showers us with blessings.

Verses 26-28 – Jacob had a hard time believing that Joseph was not only alive but in charge second only to Pharaoh in all of Egypt.  Good news can be hard to believe, but don’t ever give up hope that God has a wonderful future in store for you.

Genesis – Chapter 44

Joseph's brothers accused of stealing cup

Verse 2 – The silver cup was a sign of Joseph’s authority.  To steal it was a serious crime.  These goblets were used for predicting the future.  Joseph didn’t need this cup because God told him everything he needed to know about the future.

Verse 13 – This tearing of the clothes showed deep sorrow.  The brothers were terrified that Benjamin might be harmed.

Verse 15 – Joseph did not practice divination.  He just wanted to emphasize how important this cup was.

Verses 16-32 – Something had happened within Judah to have changed from being mean and ill spirited toward Joseph to wanting to die for the sake of protection of his father and Benjamin.  Always remember, God can do a work to change even the most selfish person you know.  Judah stepped forward and pleaded for mercy.  Yes, there are times when we should keep silent, but there are also times when you need to speak up even if there are serious repercussions.

Verses 32, 33 – Accepting a responsibility means carrying it out with determination and courage, regardless of the personal sacrifice.  Joseph wanted to see if his brothers had changed from the way he once knew them.

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.


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.