Joseph’s Life and Lessons, Part 7

March 13, 2019 at 11:24 AM 1 comment

In part six of this series, we continued to highlight the life of Joseph, specifically where his life intersected with his own brothers who long before had sold him into slavery and probably thought they’d never see him again. Surely, they never expected to see him as the governor of all of Egypt under Pharaoh. That is what they experienced though at first, unbeknownst to them, this governor was not recognized as their brother Joseph. In fact, I’m sure he seemed like a tyrant with his accusations and expectations. However, as we learned, it was all part of Joseph’s plan to learn more about the character of his brothers. Had they changed? Did they feel remorse for what they had done?

Last time, we finished up with Genesis 42, so we’re going to move into Genesis 43 with this article and see how far we get. It’s interesting of course, because we learn that the brothers of Joseph had obviously waited a while before returning to Egypt.

 And when they had eaten the grain that they had brought from Egypt, their father said to them, “Go again, buy us a little food.” (v 2 ESV)

How long this took is anyone’s guess. We simply know that when all the grain they had originally purchased in Egypt was gone, the need arose to go to Egypt to buy more. Unfortunately, the same situation with Jacob existed where he did not want to let the brothers take Benjamin down to Egypt with them. Of course, the brothers all got upset, insisting that they could not return to Egypt without Benjamin based on what the governor (Joseph) had told them. They believed he meant business so to go back there without Benjamin would have been stupid on their part.

Jacob finally relents (v 11) and allows the brothers to take Benjamin with them on their return trip to Egypt. He isn’t happy about it but understands the need. He also wants to grease the wheels so he tells his sons to go above and beyond and bring “…choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds. Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight. (vv 11b-12 ESV)

Jacob wants to make sure nothing bad happens so he wants to flood the governor with gifts. Hopefully, that would allay any chances of bad things happening to Benjamin. It also doesn’t seem like Jacob has much concern for the other brothers. It could be because they are grown men with families of their own or because Jacob simply did not hold them in high esteem as he did Joseph and now Benjamin. He does evidence some concern in verse 14.

May God Almighty grant you mercy before the man, and may he send back your other brother and Benjamin. And as for me, if I am bereaved of my children, I am bereaved.

Jacob seems to have accepted the possibilities here and is willing to move forward regardless of outcome, though he obviously hoped for the best. So, the brothers go to Egypt a second time and this time with Benjamin.

Let’s remember, that this is all part of God’s plan because it was in Egypt that God determined to produce a nation that would ultimately be completely sold out to Him alone. This is yet future. It has not happened yet as a continual streak. It has occurred here and there throughout history but not as an unbroken way of living before God Almighty. This will happen to the nation of Israel one day, when their hearts will be so sold out to God that they will never leave or forsake Him as a nation again. This will occur in the coming Millennial Kingdom following the Tribulation/Great Tribulation.

For now, God was directing the patriarchs of Israel to Egypt. When they arrive this second time, Joseph sees them and tells his steward to prepare an animal for slaughter for a noon meal, in which Joseph will dine with his brothers. I’m sure this turn of events is not what they expected either. They probably at best hoped that Joseph would see that they were not spies, sell them more food, and allow them to leave with their brother who was being held. To all of a sudden be told that they would be guests at his lunch table must have surprised them.

Verse 18 tells us that the men “were afraid” after they were brought to Joseph’s house. They were unaware of what was going to take place and based on their previous experience, did not believe good things were in store.

By the way, I’d like to point out a couple of books that I’ve mentioned before that can really help unlock historical content. The first is, Patterns of Evidence – Exodus by Timothy P. Mahoney. He has also produced a documentary film by the same name. It is masterful as far as I’m concerned for the questions and answers he brings to the fore. Of course, secular archaeologists think they know best so to them, Mahoney is simply grasping at straws. However, I believe what Mahoney brings to the fore deserves consideration.

In one chapter of his book (Part V, Chapters I-VI), he discusses in detail the possibilities surrounding Joseph and some of the historical and archaeological evidence he believes supports the facts of Joseph’s life in Egypt. It is well worth checking out. Even if you cannot afford to purchase the book, the documentary is available on YouTube. The cost is $2.99.

There’s another book, this one by self-proclaimed agnostic, David Rohl called, Exodus, Myth or History? which is also very good. In fact, Rohl is one of the individuals in the documentary who asks very good questions and ultimately simply wants to know the truth. He is more willing to consider the evidence than most of the secular archaeologists in the film.

A few highlights regarding Joseph. Mahoney and team believe they discovered facts about Joseph in their search, connecting Joseph with Avaris, a city which lies under the southern portion of the city, Ramesses in Egypt. They’ve discovered facts like “behind the palace at Avaris, 12 special graves had memorial chapels built above them.” [1]

There are also 12 pillars of the palace at Avaris. They located the remains of a chapel with a statue inside. The statue is of a man with red hair, pale yellow skin and apparently, this is how Egyptians depicted people from the north, who were not Egyptian. There are numerous colors used on the statue. There are numerous facts that seem to indicate that Joseph was real and actually lived and ruled in Egypt. Moreover, his brothers were real.

When discovering a tomb believed to be that of Joseph, there were no bones resting there. Is it possible that if Joseph had been interred there, as the Bible tells us, his bones would have been removed and taken on the journey when the first generation of Israelites left/fled Egypt? These are interesting things to consider. I encourage readers to do more research on their own.

So Joseph invites his brothers to dine with him and they have no idea why, but it didn’t bode well for them. They thought it was because of the money they found in their sacks on their first journey home from Egypt (v 18). They then went to the steward to try to pave the way. They told him about paying for the grain the first time but then finding the money back in their sacks.

The steward replied that all was well. “Peace to you, do not be afraid. Your God and the God of your father has put treasure in your sacks for you. I received your money” (v 23). Now what?

The steward brought their brother Simeon out to them. They then prepared the present they had brought for Joseph and waited. Joseph came in and they were brought into him. They bowed low again (v 26). There was some chitchat and eventually, Joseph’s emotions became too much so he left the room and wept, out of earshot. He eventually regained his composure and went back into the room where the brothers were and ordered that the food be served.

It’s interesting that v 32 tells us the Egyptians served Joseph and he ate by himself. For Egyptians, to eat with Hebrews was an abomination. Yet, here this Joseph ruled over them. Interesting isn’t it? Notice the text tells us that Joseph sat the brothers at the table according to age. How did he know that? The brothers were confused.

Verse 34 tells us that there was eating and merriment as they ate the food given to them. They were beginning to relax and think that all was well. Unfortunately for them, Joseph was not done testing them as we’ll see in the next chapter, Genesis 44.

 

[1] Patterns of Evidence, Mahoney, p. 121

 

Entry filed under: Atheism and religion, eternity, Islam, israel, Judaism, Religious - Christian - End Times, Religious - Christian - Prophecy, Religious - Christian - Theology, salvation. Tags: , , , .

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1 Comment

  • […] In our last article in this series, we covered Genesis 43, which by this point, we find Joseph as the second in command under the Pharaoh of Egypt. You’ll recall that Joseph’s brothers, at the insistence of father Jacob first went to Egypt to buy grain because a famine was taking over the land and food was becoming very scarce. […]


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