BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 29, Day 5: Genesis 47:28-48:22

Summary of passage:  Israel requested to be buried in the Promised Land.  When Jacob was old, Joseph and his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim, went to visit him.  Jacob repeated God’s promise to him and he reckons Joseph’s two sons as his to share in this blessing and inheritance.  Jacob blesses the two boys, giving the firstborn blessings to the younger.

Joseph was displeased that Jacob blessed the younger son over the older son but Jacob insisted, saying he will be greater than his brother.  Thus Ephraim was put ahead of Manasseh.

Jacob says God will take him soon back to the Promised Land and he gives Joseph the land he took from the Amorites.

Questions:

10a)  Joseph obtained the rights of the firstborn when Reuben defiled his father’s marriage bed.  Then Jacob substitutes Joseph for his two sons, thus giving Joseph double the inheritance.

b)  Isaac over Ishmael, Jacob over Esau, Joseph over Reuben

11)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To be honest, none stand out.

12)  God

13)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Verse 19 where Jacob clearly says the younger will be greater than the older. Talk about setting up sibling rivalry.

14)  He asks to be buried in the Promised Land (47:30).  He repeats God’s covenant (48:4).  He says Joseph’s two sons will inherit the territory from God (48:6).  He tells Joseph that God will take him back to the Promised Land ( 48:21) and gives him some land he conquered there (48:22).

Conclusions:  Didn’t get much out of this besides the fact Jacob finally believed God, which we found out a while back.  Great example of how life isn’t fair and just because you are born first doesn’t mean you are automatically granted privileges.  You have to earn it and all the aforementioned first-borns forfeited theirs.

Thus, we can think of the firstborn more as the first position and not necessarily birth order as we’ve seen throughout Genesis.

With this adoption, there are actually 13 tribes/sons of Israel as Joseph’s inheritance is now divided into two.

I wish the Bible said why Jacob gave Joseph’s two sons the inheritance when he did this for no other.  I’m assuming because Joseph is his favorite and as the favorite you are accorded special privileges.  Not saying this is right but this is the way of the world.

We know that the right hand is the favored position as exhibited the best by Jesus sitting at the right hand of God.

The story of Joseph is a great parallel to Jesus’s and I wish BSF would have spent more time drawing that comparison out in the questions.

End Notes:  Luz is another name for Bethel.

Fun Search:  Do research on the number 12 in the Bible.  12 is special to God as seen with 12 sons and 12 disciples, etc.

Fun Fact:  This is the first mention in the Bible of God as a shepherd to His people (Genesis 48:15).

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 29, Day 4: Genesis 47:13-31

Summary of passage:  All the food (except that stored by Joseph) was eaten in Egypt and Canaan during the famine.  Joseph brought all the money in payment for the grain to Pharaoh and when all of the people’s money was gone the people came to Joseph, begging for food.

So Joseph began exchanging food for the people’s livestock.  When the people’s livestock was gone, they had nothing left to sell except their land and their bodies.  So all the land became Pharaoh’s and the people were reduced to servitude.  All except the priests who were protected and fed by Pharaoh.

Joseph instructed the people to begin planting again but to give one-fifth of their crop to Pharaoh. This became law for all land except the priests’ land.

The Israelites settled in Goshen, acquired property, and were fruitful.  Israel requested to be buried in the Promised Land.

Questions:

8a)  That the Promised Land was in fact his–enough so to spent eternity there.  That he believed in God’s covenant with him and his people.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  The Bible says our home is in heaven.  Our inheritance is in heaven.  We are children of God.  We exist for heavenly rewards, not earthly rewards.

This life is temporary.  We are to do God’s work here and work for Him.  Our time here is short and we are to live each day to the fullest for we do not know when God will call us home.  We should look forward to that day when we get to spend eternity with God. We should not be afraid.  If our work is done, we shall depart to a better place.

9a)  First, the people were to use money to buy grain.  Second, they were to use livestock once their money ran out.  Finally, they were to sell their land and bodies as payment.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  So the people didn’t get used to handouts from the government.  The people still had to earn their food and work for it.  This gives people a sense of pride and keeps the country prosperous.

c)  No.

d)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Discipline of kids and money.

Conclusions:  I found this interesting cause I never really knew how the Israelites ended up in bondage in Egypt.  This is one reason at least.  Fascinating.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 29, Day 3: Genesis 46:5-47:12

Summary of passage:  Jacob left Beersheba for Egypt, taking with him all his sons, their wives and children, his daughters and their families and all his possessions including his livestock.  They numbered 66 persons who went with Jacob that were direct descendants. Counting Joseph and his two sons and Jacob the total came to 70 in Egypt.

Joseph met his family at Goshen to escort them to Egypt and he threw his arms around his father and wept. Joseph said he will go to Pharaoh and ask for them to settle in Goshen as shepherds for all shepherds are detestable to Egyptians.  Pharaoh gave them the best land in Goshen and told Joseph to choose some to tend his flocks as well.

Jacob blessed Pharaoh and settled in Goshen in the best part of the land and had plenty to eat.

Questions:

5a)  66 that journeyed with Jacob, 70 including Joseph and his 2 kids and Jacob himself.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  To preserve the record to Jesus.  These sons are also going to be the 12 Nations of Israel, God’s chosen people, so it’s important to know who’s who.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Our names are written in heaven and those who accept Jesus as their Savior are written in the book of life and go to heaven.  Anyone else goes to the lake of fire.  It lets me know that I am saved, I am known, I am remembered, I am important, I am loved.

6a)  Personal Question.  My answer:  So as not to intermix with the locals.  To stay as a separate people and propagate the land as God commanded. To grow together and not separate.  And to obey God who told Jacob to go to Egypt where He would make them into a great nation.

b)  It kept the Israelites separate from the Egyptians, away from their influence and corruptible practices and kept God’s people from intermingling.  It was apparently a good land to graze animals on.

7)  Even though Pharaoh did not believe in the One, True God, he recognized God’s power and abilities and God’s will for Joseph.  He recognized competency and put Joseph in charge despite who he was and his background.  He was gracious to Joseph and Jacob, allowing them to come to Egypt and have the best land and whatever else they need.

He made every effort to assimilate Joseph and make him comfortable by giving him a prominent Egyptian wife.  He trusted Joseph implicitly with his empire.  He gave Joseph carts for Jacob to travel to Egypt.

Ultimately, Pharaoh was saving his people and was using whomever could do that for him.  He cared for the people by preparing for the famine instead of letting the poor die out.  He was preparing for the future, not the present.  He delegated where he needed to delegate and trusted those under him to do the job.  He rewarded those who served him well (such as Joseph).  Overall, Pharaoh saved his kingdom along with God’s people.

Conclusions:  Let’s not forget that Joseph is the whole reason Jacob and his family were saved.  “Joseph settled his father”.  “Joseph provided food”.  Pharaoh accepted Jacob and the family only because of Joseph.  If they had just been regular Hebrews looking for relief from the famine, they would have been turned away.  But because of Joseph (and God) they were saved–as was God’s will.

The Egyptians considered sheep unclean; hence, everyone who worked with sheep were unclean.

Goshen was what is basically the Sinai Peninsula today.  Today it is a desert land but in ancient times it was renown for it’s grazing of animals.  Succinct history on Goshen HERE.

Map of Goshen:  http://www.lds.org/scriptures/bc/images/03990_000_bible-map-9.pdf

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 29, Day 2: Genesis 46:1-4

Summary of passage:  Israel/Jacob set out with all of his household and belongings for Egypt.  At Beersheba he offered sacrifices to God.  There God spoke to him, reassuring him to go to Egypt.

Questions:

3a)  Because last time God spoke to Jacob (Genesis 35:1), God had told him to go to Bethel, the Promised Land. Jacob may have had doubts if he was following God’s will or not to go to Egypt and as BSF pointed out in Genesis 26:2, God had previously said not to go to Egypt.  God was reassuring Jacob that this was His plan.

b)  Genesis 26:2 & 46:3:  God tells us where to go.

Proverbs 3:5-6:  God will guide you if you trust and know Him and His ways with all your heart.

James 1:5-7:  Ask God for what you desire and it will be given.  But you must believe and not doubt that it will be so and that God will accomplish it.

4a)  God will make Jacob into a great nation in Egypt.  God will go to Egypt with Jacob. God will bring Jacob back again.  Joseph’s own hand will close his eyes.

b)  Exodus 1:7 says how the Israelites were fruitful and multiplied and filled the land. God was with them in Egypt (Exodus 1:20; 3:8).  God commissions Moses to bring the Israelites back (Exodus 3:10; 6:8) and God will be with him (Exodus 3:12).  Exodus 12 is the Exodus from Egypt. Genesis 50:1 has Joseph throwing himself upon Jacob when he died and crying and kissing him so presumably he closed his eyes since that is what one normally does when one dies.

Conclusions:  Short and sweet.  Wish the rest of Genesis would be this way cause I don’t know about you but I’m ready to be done with this study.  It has definitely been a long one this year it seems.

Beersheba was one of the last towns in the Promised Land before reaching Egypt.  Many events have taken place in Beersheba in Genesis here with God so it probably held special significance as well to Jacob (Genesis 21:22; 21:33; 26:24-25; 22:19).

Jacob could also have been hesitant to go to Egypt because of the evil it brought upon Abraham with Hagar and Sarah.

I like the emphasis on prophecy being fulfilled.  Great example of how God is faithful to us always.