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Friday, August 5 2011

The Exodus Into Egypt

The account of Jacob / Israel's son Joseph being hated and sold away to Egypt by his jealous brothers (see Jacob's Family), who then brought great grief upon their father by telling him that Joseph had been killed by a wild animal, is one of the most well-known events of Bible History.

"37:23 And it came to pass, when Joseph was come unto his brethren, that they stripped Joseph out of his coat, his coat of many colours that was on him; 37:24 And they took him, and cast him into a pit: and the pit was empty, there was no water in it.

37:25 And they sat down to eat bread: and they lifted up their eyes and looked, and, behold, a company of Ishmeelites came from Gilead with their camels bearing spicery and balm and myrrh, going to carry it down to Egypt [see also Camel Trains].

37:26 And Judah [see also Are Levites 'Jews'?] said unto his brethren, What profit is it if we slay our brother, and conceal his blood? 37:27 Come, and let us sell him to the Ishmeelites, and let not our hand be upon him; for he is our brother and our flesh. And his brethren were content.

37:28 Then there passed by Midianites merchantmen; and they drew and lifted up Joseph out of the pit, and sold Joseph to the Ishmeelites for twenty pieces of silver: and they brought Joseph into Egypt [see Potiphar]." (Genesis 37:23-28 KJV)

But the LORD (see 'Before Abraham Was, I AM') had a purpose for Joseph in Egypt. With miraculous help, Joseph became the ruler of Egypt, second only to the Pharaoh (i.e. Joseph was the Prime Minister and the Pharaoh was the king).

"41:38 And Pharaoh said unto his servants, Can we find such a one as this is, a man in whom the Spirit of God is?

41:39 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, Forasmuch as God hath showed thee all this, there is none so discreet and wise as thou art: 41:40 Thou shalt be over my house, and according unto thy word shall all my people be ruled: only in the throne will I be greater than thou." (Genesis 41:38-40 KJV) "41:41 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, See, I have set thee over all the land of Egypt. 41:42 And Pharaoh took off his ring from his hand, and put it upon Joseph's hand, and arrayed him in vestures of fine linen, and put a gold chain about his neck; 41:43 And he made him to ride in the second chariot which he had; and they cried before him, Bow the knee: and he made him ruler over all the land of Egypt.

41:44 And Pharaoh said unto Joseph, I am Pharaoh, and without thee shall no man lift up his hand or foot in all the land of Egypt. 41:45 And Pharaoh called Joseph's name Zaphnathpaaneah; and he gave him to wife Asenath the daughter of Potipherah priest of On. And Joseph went out over all the land of Egypt." (Genesis 41:41-45 KJV)

"For God did send me before you to preserve life"

Exactly as the LORD had revealed to Joseph, the famine struck: "the famine was over all the face of the earth."

Joseph

"41:53 And the seven years of plenteousness, that was in the land of Egypt, were ended. 41:54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread. 41:55 And when all the land of Egypt was famished, the people cried to Pharaoh for bread: and Pharaoh said unto all the Egyptians, Go unto Joseph; what he saith to you, do.

41:56 And the famine was over all the face of the earth: And Joseph opened all the storehouses, and sold unto the Egyptians; and the famine waxed sore in the land of Egypt. 41:57 And all countries came into Egypt to Joseph for to buy corn; because that the famine was so sore in all lands." (Genesis 41:53-57 KJV)

The seriousness of the famine was expressed by Jacob, "I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die" ("corn" is the King James Version word for grain, not "corn" as maize is called in North America). Israel's only hope for survival was to be found in Egypt.

"42:1 Now when Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? 42:2 And he said, Behold, I have heard that there is corn in Egypt: get you down thither, and buy for us from thence; that we may live, and not die." (Genesis 42:1-2 KJV)

After Joseph's brothers made repeated trips to Egypt to buy food, in which they did not recognize Joseph, but he recognized them, Joseph made himself known. While Joseph then had the power have them all executed for their treachery, Joseph welcomed them with love because his God-given wisdom enabled him to understand that his ordeal would save many lives in many nations - "for God did send me before you to preserve life."

"45:1 Then Joseph could not refrain himself before all them that stood by him; and he cried, Cause every man to go out from me. And there stood no man with him, while Joseph made himself known unto his brethren. 45:2 And he wept aloud: and the Egyptians and the house of Pharaoh heard.

45:3 And Joseph said unto his brethren, I am Joseph; doth my father yet live? And his brethren could not answer him; for they were troubled at his presence.

45:4 And Joseph said unto his brethren, Come near to me, I pray you. And they came near. And he said, I am Joseph your brother, whom ye sold into Egypt. 45:5 Now therefore be not grieved, nor angry with yourselves, that ye sold me hither: for God did send me before you to preserve life. 45:6 For these two years hath the famine been in the land: and yet there are five years, in the which there shall neither be earing nor harvest. 45:7 And God sent me before you to preserve you a posterity in the earth, and to save your lives by a great deliverance.

45:8 So now it was not you that sent me hither, but God: and he hath made me a father to Pharaoh, and lord of all his house, and a ruler throughout all the land of Egypt. 45:9 Haste ye, and go up to my father, and say unto him, Thus saith thy son Joseph, God hath made me lord of all Egypt: come down unto me, tarry not: 45:10 And thou shalt dwell in the land of Goshen, and thou shalt be near unto me, thou, and thy children, and thy children's children, and thy flocks, and thy herds, and all that thou hast: 45:11 And there will I nourish thee; for yet there are five years of famine; lest thou, and thy household, and all that thou hast, come to poverty.

45:12 And, behold, your eyes see, and the eyes of my brother Benjamin, that it is my mouth that speaketh unto you. 45:13 And ye shall tell my father of all my glory in Egypt, and of all that ye have seen; and ye shall haste and bring down my father hither.

45:14 And he fell upon his brother Benjamin's neck, and wept; and Benjamin wept upon his neck." (Genesis 45:1-14 KJV)

Jacob himself went to Egypt where he lived the rest of his life as the father of the Prime Minister of Egypt. The Israelite Exodus into Egypt was a deliverance from death by starvation. When Jacob died of old age, his body was taken back for burial at Hebron, in the same tomb that his grandfather Abraham and his father Isaac were already buried. The Israelites themselves remained in Egypt, as they would for over 400 years.

"50:12 And his sons did unto him according as he commanded them: 50:13 For his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field for a possession of a buryingplace of Ephron the Hittite, before Mamre. 50:14 And Joseph returned into Egypt, he, and his brethren, and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.

50:15 And when Joseph's brethren saw that their father was dead, they said, Joseph will peradventure hate us, and will certainly requite us all the evil which we did unto him. 50:16 And they sent a messenger unto Joseph, saying, Thy father did command before he died, saying, 50:17 So shall ye say unto Joseph, Forgive, I pray thee now, the trespass of thy brethren, and their sin; for they did unto thee evil: and now, we pray thee, forgive the trespass of the servants of the God of thy father. And Joseph wept when they spake unto him.

50:18 And his brethren also went and fell down before his face; and they said, Behold, we be thy servants.

50:19 And Joseph said unto them, Fear not: for am I in the place of God? 50:20 But as for you, ye thought evil against me; but God meant it unto good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save much people alive. 50:21 Now therefore fear ye not: I will nourish you, and your little ones. And he comforted them, and spake kindly unto them.

50:22 And Joseph dwelt in Egypt, he, and his father's house: and Joseph lived an hundred and ten years. 50:23 And Joseph saw Ephraim's children of the third generation: the children also of Machir the son of Manasseh were brought up upon Joseph's knees." (Genesis 50:12-23 KJV)

Fact Finder: Did Abraham, before his descendants who became the Israelites were ever born, himself go to Egypt to escape a famine in the land of Canaan? (b) Did the LORD make Abraham aware of the Israelite Exodus out of Egypt, after they had been there for over 400 years, centuries before it happened?
(a) Genesis 12:10
(b) See The Exodus Prophecy; see also The Mount Sinai Prophecy


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This Day In History, August 5

642: The Battle of Maserfield was fought between the forces of Penda of Mercia and Oswald of Northumbria.

910: The Battle of Tettenhall. Forces of Mercia and Wessex, under King Edward the Elder and Earl Aethelred of Mercia, ended further Danish attacks on England.

1100: Henry I was crowned in Westminster Abbey.

1305: William Wallace, Scottish hero and champion of Scottish independence who beat Edward I at the battle of Stirling Bridge, was captured by the English and later executed.

1456: With Halley's Comet overhead, 40,000 Church of Rome (listen to our Sermon Constantine's Papacy) troops battled at Belgrade, a city besieged by the Turks (listen to our Sermon The Ottoman Empire).

1529: The Treaty of Cambrai was signed by Francis I of France and Holy Roman Emperor Charles V (see The Holy Roman Empire). Francis renounced his claim to Italy and Charles renounced his claims to Burgundy.

1583: Sir Humphrey Gilbert founded the first English colony in North America, at what is today St. John's, Newfoundland, Canada.

1620: Nearly 40 years after the first English settlement in North America was established, in Newfoundland (see entry for 1583 above), the Mayflower sailed from Southampton, England on its first attempt to reach North America.

1689: Iroquois warriors attacked the settlement of Lachine, just west of Montreal, killed about 200 settlers and took 100 others as prisoners. The attack was seen as retaliation for an event 2 years before when 50 Iroquois were sent to France as galley slaves.

1716: In a devastating defeat, Prince Eugene of Savoy with a force of 40,000 Austrians defeated 150,000 Turks under Darnad Ali Pasha at the battle of Peterwardein. Over 30,000 Turks were killed.

1762: Russia, Prussia and Austria signed a treaty agreeing on the partition of Poland.

1850: The Australian Government Act granted representative governments to South Australia, Tasmania and Victoria.

1858: The first trans-Atlantic cable was completed, enabling telegraphic communication between Britain and the U.S. The service was ended on September 1 because the current was too weak.

1963: The Nuclear Test Ban Treaty was signed. It disallowed testing in the atmosphere, in outer space, and underwater; however, since the U.S. and Soviets wanted to develop their weapons of mass destruction further, underground testing was allowed under the treaty. France and China did not sign the treaty, and continued testing in the atmosphere.

1974: With no longer deniable criminal evidence mounting against him, U.S. President Richard Nixon admitted that he had lied and withheld information (including in nationally-televised Presidential addresses) about the Watergate burglary and subsequent obstruction of justice cover-up. He announced his resignation three days later. His successor, Gerald Ford (the only man to hold the office of Vice President, and then President, without ever having been elected to either office i.e. Ford was appointed Vice President when Vice President Spiro Agnew resigned when he was convicted of tax evasion), pardoned Nixon before he could be prosecuted and sent to prison (a number of top level members of the Nixon regime did go to prison, including White House chief of staff H.R. Haldeman and U.S. Attorney General John Mitchell).

1989: The Sandinista Front on a majority in general elections in Nicaragua.

2010: 33 Chilean miners were trapped 2,300 feet below ground at the Copiapo mine. They were rescued 69 days later.





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