joseph's brothers buy grain in egypt www.atozmomm.com

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 42:1-20

Summary of Genesis 42:1-20:

Jacob sends all of his sons to buy grain from Egypt except Benjamin, afraid that something will happen to Benjamin like Joseph. Famine is in Canaan as well. Joseph was in charge of selling all the grain, and when he saw his brothers, he recognized them, but they did not know him. He pretended not to know them, and questioned where they were from.

Joseph accuses them of being spies and of coming to see where the land is unprotected. Here, they say they are the sons of one man and how one is not with them and one is dead. Joseph says that one must stay with them while the rest return home to fetch the younger brother in order to prove if their story is true. The one shall remain in prison until they return. He would allow them  to leave with grain.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 42:1-20

11a) God made the brothers come for grain, which Joseph was in charge of.

b) Joseph was but a boy when he left at 17. You can change a lot in that amount of time. Joseph was most likely dressed like an Egyptian at the time with a headress on and heavy makeup. Plus, they thought he was dead. Who would think their dead brother sold into slavery would be second in line behind Pharaoh?

12) Joseph pretended not to know them, and questioned where they were from. Joseph accuses them of being spies and of coming to see where the land is unprotected. Joseph probably was feeling not-so-generous when he saw his brothers. Perhaps hurt and anger arose from what they had done to him. Perhaps it was time to give them a taste of their own medicine.

13a) We see how God put Joseph in the position to save the chosen family of Jesus. All things happen for God’s purposes.

b) Every event in my life has a purpose, for me or for the future. Even the bad.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 42:1-20

I love this. It’s giving the brothers a taste of their own medicine. Surely they were extremely worried during the time they were in jail. Now, they would know what it felt like to be wrongly imprisoned just like Jospeh did.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 42:1-20

Bible scholars believe this event happened at the very beginning of the famine (Genesis 45:11).

The strange expression was most likely the face of guilt. Egypt reminded the brothers of the terrible deed they had done, and no one wants to live with that. How they lived 20 years with that on their conscious I don’t know.

God uses events and circumstances in our lives to move us, to push us to do things we normally would not do. The brothers had to reconcile with Joseph. Here was the impetus to do so.

traditional ancient egyptian clothing www.atozmomm.com

Joseph’s Dream Comes True

The brothers bow down before Joseph, just like his dream said they would. By selling Joseph into slavery, the brothers made Joseph’s dreams come true when their whole intent was to make sure they never would bow before Joseph. Ironic, isn’t it? And another piece of evidence that God is in control of everything.

Joseph would have used an interpreter here. He would not have spoken directly to his brothers, which would have revealed he knew Hebrew. But this was probably common place for high officials not to speak to commoners as well. Funny, Jesus recognized you before you recognize him.

Joseph remembered his dream of the brothers bowing down and would use this to restore their relationship. First, the brothers had to admit what they had done. Instead, they lie about Joseph still, saying he is dead. They did not say that one brother is a slave. The brothers must learn the hard way to confession. Like Jesus, Joseph was alive and well even if no one knew it.

Joseph gives the brothers the reason for what they are doing: for the fear of God. All of us need a healthy fear of God.

Note that the whole point of this is to prove they are honest. Ever since Joseph was sold into slavery, none of them have lived an honest life, and still they are denying Joseph’s existence. Surely, both Joseph and the brothers knew bringing Benjamin would be a fight with Jacob.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 25, Day 4: Genesis 35:1-5

Summary of passage:  God told Jacob to settle in Bethel and build Him an altar there. So Jacob and his household prepared to move, ridding themselves of their idols, purifying themselves, and changing their clothes.  Jacob buried the foreign gods and their rings under an oak at Shechem.  God protected them as they went so they would not suffer repercussions from the slaughter of Shechem.

Questions:

9a)  Go to Bethel and build Him an altar

b)  Jacob vowed that the Lord would be his God and he would give a tenth if he returned safely to his father’s house.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To go where God wants me and follow His lead in my life and worship him by following his commands, which include tithing, praying, obeying, reading His word, praying, and much more.

10a)  “To get rid of the foreign gods you have with you, and purify yourselves and change your clothes.”

b)  2 Corinthians says to purify yourself from everything that contaminates body and spirit in order to perfect holiness.  Ephesians tells us to put on our new self in the attitude of the mind in order to be righteous and holy.  1 John tells us to confess our sins and walk in the light and the blood of Jesus shall purify us from the unrighteousness. And to keep ourselves from idols.

c)  Acts recounts how people renounced sorcery by burning their scrolls.  An idol is anything we value and/or worship more than God.  This can be our kids, our spouse, any material items such as our house, car, or job.  And an image of an idol like in ancient times such as a Buddha statue or what-have-you.  (Anyone reminded of the study of Isaiah here?)

Conclusions:  Anyone else see a problem with the fact Jacob’s family had idols lurking around and it was only when God told them to leave did they see the need to dispose of them?  I’m sure as soon as they reach Bethel more idols will appear.

The WORST part:  Jacob, as supposedly the head of God’s chosen people, seemingly knew about these idols and condoned them!  It seems he only got rid of them because God spoke to him again.  Maybe he felt guilty.  Or maybe they were too heavy to carry across country!

Jacob is chastizing his family mildly.  It’s almost an after-thought.  “Oh, yeah, by the way, you need to get rid of those idols you’ve had for 10 years now.”  Seriously???

There is definitely some failed leadership going on here.  This explains a lot about today’s society where the man does not take the primary role in the family and our children are failing because of it.

It’s safe to assume Rachel still had her idols here so she is setting the example that it’s okay to possess these idols.  God doesn’t care.  Wrong!

The changing of their clothes was symbolic here.  Just like circumcision was an outward sign of being God’s chosen people the changing of the clothes here in OT times is an outward sign that they are changing their minds, their attitude, their character, and their ways and turning to God.  It’s like the Ephesians passage we read.  They are taking off (literally) their old selves and putting on their new and turning to God for their salvation.

The earrings also must have had some kind of pagan association since they got rid of those as well.  We must also get rid of anything ungodly and separate ourselves from the world like Jacob did when he moved to Bethel away from the corruption of Shechem.

Good opportunity to learn from Jacob’s failing miserably as the head of his household and God’s and re-examine our own lives and see where we are failing in God’s call, where we are worshipping idols, where we are failing to set the example for others around us, how we can place ourselves away from worldly influences as much as possible, and how we can put God and His will back at the center of our lives.  That’s my prayer anyways.

Map of Bethel:  Quick reference point.  Bethel is in red and Shechem is right above it.

http://www.keyway.ca/htm2002/bethel.htm