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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 42:21-38

Summary of Genesis 42:21-38:

The brothers are at least smart enough to know that this is happening because of what they did to Joseph. Reuben blames his brothers for this, saying he tried to save Joseph (let’s face it, they are all guilty). Joseph was overcome and began to cry. He has Simeon taken from them and bound before their eyes.

He filled their bags with grain and had the silver they had brought with them returned in their bags. He gave them provisions for their journey. Along the way, they realized that their silver had been returned. They now sense that God is most definitely admininstering justice.

The sons returned and told Jacob all that had happened in Egypt. When they saw all of the silver returned, they were even more frightened. Jacob says everything is against him now that he has lost two sons.

Reuben promises to bring Benjamin back or Jacob can kill both of his sons. But Jacob refuses to let Benjamin go because he claims he will die without him.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 42:21-38

14) They are very afraid. They realize this is some sort of punishment for what they did to Joseph and are now extremely compliant for the demands.

15) Jacob did not respond with faith (hence, he is called Jacob here and not Israel). He blames his sons for losing two of his other sons, and he refuses to let one brother save another, claiming he will die if Benjamin does. Not very Godly at all. Leaving your one son to rot in jail.

16) God is in control. All things are happening for a reason. God will work good out of the situation. That God has got this.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 42:21-38

I would not want to return and tell Jacob that effectively they had lost another brother. They were probably dreading the entire trip backing, knowing that Jacob would never let Benjamin go. Poor Simeon. He probably resigned himself to a life in prison, knowing the exact same response of his father.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 42:21-38

Five time in the Book of Genesis we see Joseph in tears (Genesis 43:30; 45:2, 14-15; 50:17) with his brothers. You can almost feel Joseph’s hurt and pain, like when they were talking about the incident in front of him, not knowing he was listening. Yet, he loves his brothers, but it is so hard when you’ve been hurt. This shows that pain that happens in childhood runs deep throughout life and can affect you in ways you don’t even realize.

Listen to Your Conscious

Having a conscious is something that sets humans above other animals. Animals have no feelings if they have hurt others; whereas, we do. All of Joseph’s brothers are struggling with their sin against Joseph and know that in some way this is the penalty. If humans did not have a conscious, a knowledge from right and wrong, we’d be little more than animals and society would be in trouble, indeed.

Joseph wept at his own emotions, but also in the fact that they still have not gotten to the point of confession and admittance as we see in Reuben who is blaming his other brothers for this mess. Joseph knows God has more soul work for them to do.

Simeon either was chosen or volunteered to stay behind. Poor guy. Most likely he knew he might rot in jail the rest of his life since Jacob parting with Benjamin was a long shot. Simeon was the second oldest and was one of the leaders in the slaughter of Shechem (Genesis 34). Perhaps this was God’s punishment for that sin.

Grain was expensive. After all, there’s a famine going on. Most likely directed by God, Joseph put their money back in their sacks. This was a lot of money. He gave his brothers provisions for the trip back home. Before any apologies were given, Joseph gave. This is a lesson for us as we see Jesus here as well. Before we believe, Jesus gives.

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God Works to Bring Us to Him

They were afraid, knowing they could be accused as thieves now since they had the silver returned. The only prudent thing would be to try to return it when they returned to show them to be honest. If they kept it for personal gain, this would not be good. I would be suspicious as well. The silver was there for a reason; it could be good or bad. Was it a gift from God? Or, was it a trap?

Here, we see the brothers tell the truth of what happened, rather than what happened to Joseph. While many Bible scholars laud this as a step in the right direction, it’s truly hard to compare the situations. They lied to cover up an evil they did to Joseph the first time. Here, they had no evil/sin to cover up, so why would they lie? You truly cannot compare the two situations.

Jacob knew in his heart that the reason he has now lost two sons was due to the behavior/sins of his other sons.

Jacob is Bound by Selfishness

Note Jacob lack of faith and victim mentality. We don’t see him praying, asking God about allowing Benjamin to go to Egypt. We see Jacob in self-preservation mode. He does not want Benjamin to die; nothing else matters. He is blind here, and only God can make him see.

We also see the power of lies in people’s lives. When you lie, it affects others. In this case, Jacob believed for over 20 years Joseph was dead. That is indeed a cruel sin to let your father believe that. Imagine those years of heartache Jacob felt, while the brothers did not care — until God made them care.

Reuben, the oldest, the one who slept with his father’s concubine (Genesis 35:22), the one who did too little too late to save Joseph, offers his own sons if he does not bring Benjamin back. There is always room in life to make up for sin.

Here we see human selfishness defined. Jacob seems to care nothing for Simeon. In his mind, his only son is Benjamin. Simeon probably has a family. Did he mean to leave Simeon’s kids orphans? Jacob never once is seen praying or trusting God here. All he sees is himself, so he sins aginst his other son, Simeon. Sometimes humans fail miserably under sin. Even the bond of love is breakable without the love of Jesus.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 25, Day 5: Genesis 35:5-36:43

Summary of passage:  No one pursued Jacob and his family when they left Shechem for God sent a terror upon them.  Jacob built an altar at Bethel as instructed by God. Deborah, Rebekah’s nurse, died.  God appeared to Jacob again and re-named him Israel.

God repeats his covenant to Abraham and Isaac to Jacob, saying to be fruitful and multiply for a nation will come from your body and He will give this land to his descendants.  God left and Jacob set up a stone pillar.

Rachel died after they left Bethel giving birth to Benjamin.  She was buried along the route.  Israel moved on and stayed for a bit near Migdal Eder.  Here, Reuben slept with Bilhah.

Jacob’s 12 sons are:  Reuben, Simeon, Levi, Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, Joseph, Benjamin, Dan, Naphtali, Gad, and Asher.

Jacob finally arrived home in Hebron to see Isaac who was still alive.  Isaac died at age 180 and was buried by Jacob and Esau.

Esau moved to a land some distance from Jacob because the land could not support both of their livestocks.  Esau settled in Seir.

Questions:

11a)  Psalm 51:7:  “Cleanse me with hyssop, and I will be clean; wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.”  “Creat in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me.”

Isaiah 1:16:  “Wash and make yourselves clean.  Take your evil deeds out of my sight! Stop doing wrong.”

Hebrews 9:13-14:  The blood of animals offer up spiritual cleanliness.  The blood of Christ cleanses our consciences from acts that lead to death so that we may serve God.

1 John 1:7,9:  You are cleansed from your past sins to have godliness, kindness, and love.

b)  Matthew 3:8:  “Produce fruit in keeping with repentance.”

Acts 2:38:  Repent, be baptized in the name of Christ for forgiveness of your sins, and receive the Holy Spirit.

James 4:  Come near to God and He will come near to you.  Wash your hands and purify your hearts.  Grieve and humble yourselves and He will lift you up.

c)  1 Corinthians 10:20:  The sacrifices of pagans are offered to demons, not God.  If you sacrifice to pagans, you cannot partake of the Lord’s table as well (verse 21).

Ephesians 5:5:  Idolaters (immoral, impure, or greedy) do not have an inheritance in the kingdom of God.

1 Thessalonians 1:9:  Turn from idols and serve the Living, True God.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Language, anger

12a)  God sent a terror upon the towns to protect Jacob and his family from retribution after the slaughter of Shechem as they traveled to Bethel.  God re-named Jacob Israel again (Genesis 32).  God bestows the covenant of Abraham and Isaac on Jacob as well, saying to be fruitful and multiply for nations will come from his body and his descendants shall inherit the land.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Not for sure.  I’d like to say I’ve changed but I can’t be for certain.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  I’m getting that God spoke to people (and obviously, Jesus) in these verses.  Not sure what I’m supposed to be “blessed” with here.  If you obey, God will love you and come to you and make a home with you as Jesus says in John. God spoke to those who obeyed him.  So, He will speak to us who obey.  He will love us and be with us as in the Holy Spirit.

So obey, listen, and hear.

d)  Esau was blessed with livestock and goods.  He was granted the land of Seir of which he and his descendants ruled.

Conclusions:  You didn’t need the passage to answer Question 11.

God re-naming Jacob Israel again is important despite the fact God had already done so. The first go-around, Jacob had not changed, had not put off his old clothing, and had continued to follow his will instead of God’s.  Here, God reminds Jacob that he must be new and this time Jacob obeys, thus earning the name Israel in God’s eyes.

This is good for us as well.  We need to remember who we are-God’s chosen people-regularly so we don’t slip back into this world.

The same is true for the repetition of the covenant blessing.  God is reminding Jacob who he is and what he has been called to do.  Finally, Jacob listens.  He follows God’s will. And he is blessed for it.

Benjamin means “son of my right hand”.  The right hand or side is highly valued in the Bible.  After all, Jesus sits at the right hand of God.

Poor Rachel.  Both prophecies come true.  Genesis 30:1 “Give me children, or I’ll die!” She dies in childbirth.

Jacob cursed her for the idol debacle in Genesis 31:32.

This passage reveals why Reuben was passed over for the blessing: because of his sin with Bilhah.  So now Reuben, Simeon, and Levi have all committed egregious sins so Judah is next in line for the Messiah.  Interesting as well.

We should not be surprised of this.  This family is the epitome of dysfunctional.  Yet God works through it all.  By His grace alone.

Esau was important enough in God’s eyes to have all of his descendants listed in the Bible.  He was loved despite his sins and blessed beyond what was deserved.  God is faithful even when we aren’t!  Can you imagine the blessings He has in store for those who are faithful?

Interesting facts about Edom:  Edom is mentioned over 130 times in the Bible.

Herod the Great was an Edomite.  He was the one who tried to kill Jesus.

To this day, the land that was Edom remains unoccupied as Obadiah prophesied.

Genesis 36:33 is where some speculate Jobab is the same Job as in the Bible (remember we had a question on this at some point?).  This is speculation.  Among all the list of descendants, most were ungodly.  We must ask ourselves:  would someone as godly as Job come from the line of Esau?

End Note:  One commentary I read suggested comfort as an idol.  That some value living a comfortable life over living a Godly-life.  This was interesting I thought.  For if you think about it, life is never really comfortable.  There are ups and downs, highs and lows, tragedies and triumphs.  And only God can get us through it all.

Map Work:  Good map of Bethel, Bethlehem, and Hebron HERE.

Migdal Eder is just outside of Bethlehem.