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BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

Summary of Genesis 37:1-11:

Joseph was Israel’s/Jacob’s favorite son, being the oldest son of Rachel. At age 17, he attended the flocks. He was given a rich robe as his father’s favorite, which made all of his brothers hate him. Joseph had a prophetic dream where his sheave of grain rose up and his brothers’ sheaves gathered around him and bowed down to it.  This angered his brothers who understood the meaning and said he would never rule over them. Joseph had another dream where the sun, moon, and 11 stars bowed down to him. He told his brothers this dream and his father who rebuked him, saying that does he expect his mother, him and his brothers to bow down to him? His brothers again grew jealous, but Jacob knew it was from God and remembered it.

BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

3) His dreams

4a) God planned for Joseph to be the leader of Egypt.

b) God is good and great.

5) Jacob knew this dream was from God.

Conclusions BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

Joseph is my absolute favorite person in the Bible (after Jesus, of course). I love this story!

Unsure why Joseph would tell his brothers his dreams, especially his second dream. Either 1) he was bragging or 2) he was utterly clueless how everyone hated him. Then again, he is a teenager. He has A LOT to learn about the world and how it works.

End Notes BSF Study Questions Genesis: Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 37:1-11

We immediately notice that the family of Jacob is dysfunctional with kids from four different women, Jacob playing favorites amongst his kids and his wives, and the brothers murdering a whole town over the reputation of their sister. Yet, the story of Jospeh, Jacob, and Abraham is about God’s triumph over sin. He uses all of us despite our sins.

Joseph tattled on his brothers, which did not help his case.

The coat of many colors was probably not a work coat but one meant to show privilege.

Joseph’s First Dream

The first dream of Joseph conveyed the fact that he would rule over his brothers with the sheaves bowing down to him. Note the symbolism of the sheaves since Joseph will meet his brothers in Egypt when they come for grain during the famine.

Joseph’s Second Dream

Joseph’s second dream revealed that Joseph would be over his father and mother, as well as his brothers. This made everyone angry. This illustrates that sometimes keeping information to yourself, even if it’s from God, is best for all involved.

Note that here Rachel seems to still be alive Genesis 35:16-20,. This shows that Genesis is not in chronological order, probably to keep the story of Joseph as one whole here.

Note that most likely Jacob is ending his tale here and Joseph is picking it up so Joseph is telling his remembrances. Genesis 37:2This is the genealogy of Jacob. You’ll see these transitions elsewhere in the book of Genesis Genesis 5:16:9 and 25:19.

The sun, moon, and stars represents those from Jacob. We see this again in Revelation 12:1 as we Jesus coming from Israe.

BSF Study Questions Genesis Lesson 23, Day 2: Genesis 29:1-30

Summary of passage:  Jacob travels to Paddan Aram and immediately meets Laban’s shepherds watering their sheep.  He helps them water the sheep by pushing the stone from the well.  Rachel who is a shepherdess and Laban’s daughter arrives.  Jacob kisses her and tells her he is Rebekah’s son (so they are cousins).  She ran home to tell her father Laban who welcomes Jacob as his own.

Jacob agrees to work for Laban for seven years in return for Rachel’s hand in marriage. It seems as only a few days to him his love was so great for her.  But on the marriage night, Laban tricks Jacob into sleeping with Leah.  Jacob realized in the morning what had happened.  Laban told him the custom was he had to take the older daughter first and then the younger daughter.  And if he still wanted Rachel, he’d have to work another 7 years.

Jacob agreed and gained Rachel as a wife whom he loved more than Leah.

Questions:

3)  You can see God’s fingerprints everywhere.  The servant found Rebekah easily as the well.  She came up to the servant and happened to be from Laban’s family.  Jacob happened upon Laban’s servants and lo and behold Rachel shows up and Jacob falls in love with her.  God is in control here.  Neither incident happened by accident.

4)  Personal Question.  My answer:  No.  It doesn’t seem so.  It seems to me as if they obeyed Laban out of daughterly duty.  I would imagine Rachel loved Jacob as much as he loved her so she was probably upset about it.  Not sure about Leah.  She might have been willing if she had no other suitors or if she herself loved Jacob as well.

5a)  Jacob pretended to be Esau by dressing up as him and Leah pretended to be Rachel in a similar manner.  Jacob exchanged the younger for the older.  Laban exchanged the older for the younger.

b)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Cheating, lying, and deception are no way to live your life.  That what he did to Esau, although God’s will, was the wrong way to go about gaining God’s favor.  Cheating and lies have a heavy cost and take a huge toll on relationships.  That honesty is the best policy and is God’s way.

c)  Personal Question.  My answer:  Haven’t learned anything new about deception.  I just try to be honest and up front with people.  Never take the short route for a minimal game.  The price is too high.  Be honorable.  Do unto others as you would have others do unto you.  You don’t want to be cheated so don’t cheat others.

d)  Psalm 15:  “He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart…who keeps his oath..will never be shaken.”

Proverbs 12:22:  “The Lord detests lying lips, but he delights in men who are truthful.”

Proverbs 19:1:  “Better a poor man whose walk is blameless than a fool whose lips are perverse.”

Proverbs 6:16-20:  “There are six things the Lord hates, seven that are detestable to him:  a lying tongue…a heart that devises wicked schemes…a man who stirs up dissension among brothers.”

2 Corinthians 8:21:  “For we are taking pains to do what is right, not only in the eyes of the Lord but also in the eyes of men.”

Others:  1 Peter 3:10-12, Philippians 4:8-9, John 8:32, Hebrews 13:18, Proverbs 11:3, Colossians 3:9

God honors those who are truthful.  Deception is from the devil and only causes heartache.  It’s just not worth it.  I’m encouraged by how much honesty is talked about in the Bible.  That tells me just how important it is to God that you are upright, righteous, and full of integrity.  You follow Him and not the world.

Conclusions:  I enjoyed looking up honesty in the Bible.  I would hope living a life full of integrity is ingrained in all of us, but alas I know that not to be true.  If you struggle, with honesty, please pray.  God will change your heart.

Keep the Golden Rule in mind that Jesus spoke and was recorded in Matthew 7:12:  “So in EVERYTHING, do to others what you would have them do to you, for this sums up the Law and the Prophets.”

It’s hard for our culture to imagine Rachel and Leah going along with Laban’s plot but it was expected and demanded in ancient times.  We must honor our father and mother but not if it goes against God’s word.  Luckily, we have that right today to stand up and say, “No, I can’t do that because it’s a sin.”  But in ancient times, you had to submit.  No matter how sinful your father’s plan was.

I had to wonder (assuming Leah may have protested the arrangement), why would Leah want to marry Jacob, someone who didn’t love her?  Either she didn’t think anyone else would marry her or she loved him herself.  Either way she sinned as well either complicityly or complyingly.