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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 3: Genesis 41:33-57

Summary of Genesis 41:33-57:

Joseph advised Pharaoh to look for a discerning and wise man to be put in charge of the land of Egypt. Commissioners should be put in charge of the land to take 1/5 of the harvest during the years of abundance and store it for the years of famine. Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge, second only to him in all of Egypt, for this plan. Pharaoh gave Joseph his signet ring, gave him clothes, and a gold chain. He had him ride in a chariot as his second in command. He was put in charge of all of Egypt.

Pharaoh gave Joseph the Egyptian name Zaphenath-Paneah and gave him an Egyptian wife, the daugther of Potiphera, a priest of On.

Joseph was 30 when this happened. He traveled throughout the land, saving the grain as planned. He had so much grain saved that he stopped keeping track as he could no longer measure it. Joseph had two sons, Manasseh, meaning forget, and Ephraim, meaing twice fruitful. When the famine hit, Egypt was prepared. They sold grain to the people of Egypt and to other coutnries who had no stored up food.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 3: Genesis 41:33-57

7) Joseph advised Pharaoh to look for a discerning and wise man to be put in charge of the land of Egypt. Commissioners should be put in charge of the land to take 1/5 of the harvest during the years of abundance and store it for the years of famine. Pharaoh puts Joseph in charge, second only to him in all of Egypt, for this plan.

8 ) God is preparing all of us for His purposes in life. Trusting in the Lord always is the key to peace as we find His purpose for our lives.

9) I’m so bad at these broad questions. Again, I have no specifics, but, in general, prayer has gotten me through a lot and my drive to keep on, keeping on.

10) I have faith that everything is in God’s plan. Although we are struggling financially right now, we are confident this is what God wants for our lives moving forward, and in the end, it will all work out. Because Romans 8:28 assures me everything is for Him and my good to be like Jesus.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 3: Genesis 41:33-57

I had forgotten that it was Joseph/God who advised Pharaoh what to do. Love that.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 25, Day 3: Genesis 41:33-57

Other translations say “perish” instead of ruined. Perish is a much better translation here because it tells of the seriousness of the coming famine. If nothing were done, many people would likely perish. This is a much stronger word than merely ruined.

One-fifth of the food would be a big chunk of people’s food. But sacrifices had to be made so that survival would come out the other side. Some Bible scholars speculate that this could be up to 20% of the food from families, instead of the normal 10%.

The key would be someone who could coordinate and organize this monumental effort to save the people of Egypt. And who has been training in administration almost his entire life AND has God at his back?

Note that “the Spirit of God” here mentioned by Pharaoh is the Holy Spirit. You may have missed this like I did when I first read it.

Fun Fact: This is the first time in the Bible the Holy Spirit is seen coming to humans.

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Joseph’s Rise

Joseph had to have been shocked that Pharaoh chooses him to not only coordinate this life-saving effort, but also to have no one above him on earth except Pharaoh. Joseph, who mere moments before, was a slave, is now insanely powerful.

Yet, this was years in the making, designed by God, and promoted/exalted by God alone (Psalm 75:6-7).

The success you have in life is from God alone. Even your efforts of hard work, determination, perseverence, and more are from God. He alone grants you life, abilities, and talents to use for His glory. And as you advance in life, you rely more on Jesus who himself rose from nothing to be the almighty King.

Joseph would now be showered with wealth and gifts. He had Pharaoh’s authority as demonstrated by Pharaoh’s ring. He had beautiful clothes, gold chains, and chariots. He even was given a beautiful Egyptian wife who was high-born. Joseph has total authority over everyone except Pharaoh. Anyone see Jesus here?

Joseph is Given a New Name

Egyptians did not like Hebrews. Plus, Joseph was a slave. He had to be given a new identity in order to be respected. Pharaoh gave him an Egyptian name and an Egyptian wife to erase his past from others. Some Bible scholars speculate Joseph’s Egyptian name meant “the god speaks and this one lives.” This would be the only wife Joseph took. Yet, Joseph’s sons are given Hebrew names. This shows Joseph did not forget where he came from.

Famine is common in the Middle East. However, it was rare to have a famine that affected both Canaan and Egypt at the same time due to the fact that they depended on different waterways.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 25, Day 3: Genesis 34:13-31

Summary of passage:  Jacob’s sons told Shechem and his father Hamor that they would only give them Dinah if they and all the males became circumcised.  Only then would they agree to give them their daughters and settle among them and become one people. Otherwise, they will leave.

Hamor and Shechem readily agreed, saying once all are circumcised then their livestock, property, and all their animals will become their (so greed is the real reason, not love).

All became circumcised.

However, while all the men were still recovering, Simeon and Levi killed every male in the city, including Hamor and Shechem, and looted the city.  They seized all their livestock, wealth, and women and children.

Jacob chastized them (a bit), saying now they may attack them but the sons defended themselves, asking how they could stand by and have their sister treated like a prostitute.

Questions:

6a)  They made the family “a stench to the Canaanites and Perizzites”, who now may retaliate and destroy their entire household.

b)  Circumcision was the covenant given to Abraham by God showing an outward sign of their difference, their special place in this world as God’s chosen people (Genesis 17:9-14).  It is a sacred act, given by God himself to His people.  Hence, the deception is a slap in the face to God.  It is a desecration, a sacrilege against God.  They do not revere God or what is His and really don’t care.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Revenge, plain and simple.  No, not really.  I do hold grudges and contempt for people but I pray through that.

d)  “Do not repay evil for evil.  Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody….live at peace with everyone…do not take revenge..but leave room for God’s wrath.”  Feed your enemy instead and allow good to overcome evil.

7a)  They will be scattered in Jacob (Israel or the Promised Land) and not listened to.  Cursed be their anger.

b)  Basically saying should they have stood by and allowed their sister to be treated like a prostitute.  Something had to be done.

8 )  Personal Question.  My answer:  Revenge is God’s to take, not ours.  Revenge only magnifies the wrong and creates more woe and sorrow.  Give it to God and allow Him and His forgiveness to heal your heart.

Conclusions:  No question Simeon and Levi went overboard on the revenge, killing innocent people who had nothing to do with the crime.  Their actions did not fit the crime in any way.  And to top it off they committed sacrilege to accomplish the devil’s work. Pretty sure God wasn’t too happy about that!

It is interesting that greed, NOT love, is the motivating factor as it seems to be throughout history when atrocities are committed.  Again, the use of women to accomplish this goal is very sad and unfortunate.

Notice that Jacob is NOT called Israel here.  Why?  Because his actions are deplorable. Jacob showed no recorded outrage at what happened to Dinah.  Instead, he deferred to his sons.  And when he heard about the murders?  A slight chiding was all Simeon and Levi got.  “Now, now, kids, you shouldn’t have done that.  We’re gonna have to move again.”  Seriously?  That was it??  That was the punishment a father gave his sons???

Jacob’s prophecy does come true:  both tribes are scattered over the Promise Land. However, it is God’s punishment, not Jacob’s.  He is only the messenger here.  Note also we don’t hear much about the Simeonites throughout OT history but we know the Levites were the ones chosen as priests over God’s people.  They stood firm during the Golden Calf debacle (Exodus 32:26-28) and did repent and chose God.  God’s saving grace.

Notes on circumcision:  Circumcision has been around before God gave the covenant to His people.  The Ancient Egyptians practiced circumcision where the earliest recorded use is found.

Interestingly, the highest occurrence of circumcision is amongst Muslims (I didn’t know this) and it’s probably the most common surgical procedure performed today. Approximately one-third of males worldwide are circumcised and the rate stands at 75% in the United States (of the population.  Newborn circumcision rates are only around 55%).  Summarized from Wikipedia.

Like any operation, babies heal faster than adults.  It’s just the way God made us as humans.  Besides the Bible requiring infant circumcision, the health risks are less and it is less painful when performed as an infant.  Babies don’t think about the pain because pain has yet to develop meaning to them.  They inherently recover quickly because they are relatively immobile during the recovery stage.