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Saturday, August 31 2013

Genesis 42: Joseph's Sheaves and Stars Dreams Fulfilled

"Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth"

Joseph's brothers had become resentful toward him for a number of reasons (see Genesis 37: Joseph's Coat Of Many Colours), including two dreams that plainly portrayed (no interpretation necessary) Joseph's older brothers, and later even his parents, bowing before him.

"37:3 Now Israel [see Genesis 32: The Origin Of Israel] loved Joseph more than all his children, because he was the son of his old age: and he made him a coat of many colours. 37:4 And when his brethren saw that their father loved him more than all his brethren, they hated him, and could not speak peaceably unto him.

37:5 And Joseph dreamed a dream, and he told it his brethren: and they hated him yet the more. 37:6 And he said unto them, Hear, I pray you, this dream which I have dreamed: 37:7 For, behold, we were binding sheaves in the field, and, lo, my sheaf arose, and also stood upright; and, behold, your sheaves stood round about, and made obeisance to my sheaf.

37:8 And his brethren said to him, Shalt thou indeed reign over us? or shalt thou indeed have dominion over us? And they hated him yet the more for his dreams, and for his words.

37:9 And he dreamed yet another dream, and told it his brethren, and said, Behold, I have dreamed a dream more; and, behold, the sun and the moon and the eleven stars made obeisance to me.

37:10 And he told it to his father, and to his brethren: and his father rebuked him, and said unto him, What is this dream that thou hast dreamed? Shall I and thy mother and thy brethren indeed come to bow down ourselves to thee to the earth? 37:11 And his brethren envied him; but his father observed the saying." (Genesis 37:3-11 KJV)

A great famine had struck a vast area across northern Africa and the Middle East (the photograph below shows the areas that were and are naturally susceptible to drought - and why the Nile Delta region of northern Egypt has an advantage). Joseph had risen to become the Prime Minister of Egypt by means of the LORD's preparations for that famine (see Genesis 41: The Pharaoh's Dreams). Back in the land of Canaan, "When Jacob saw that there was corn in Egypt, Jacob said unto his sons, Why do ye look one upon another? 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" ("corn," as used by the King James Version, was the term used for grain in general i.e. wheat and barley - there was no maize, or "corn" as it is known in North America, in the Middle East).

Joseph and His Brothers

"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.

42:3 And Joseph's ten brethren went down to buy corn in Egypt.

42:4 But Benjamin, Joseph's brother, Jacob sent not with his brethren; for he said, Lest peradventure mischief befall him.

42:5 And the sons of Israel came to buy corn among those that came: for the famine was in the land of Canaan." (Genesis 42:1-5 KJV)

Upon their arrival, "Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him," when they "came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth." The dream was thereby fulfilled.

There was still the matter of justice for what they had done to their brother. To begin, Joseph had all of them put in prison for a few days, perhaps the very same prison cell where Joseph sat for years (see Genesis 40: The Dreams Of The Butler And The Baker).

"42:6 And Joseph was the governor over the land, and he it was that sold to all the people of the land: and Joseph's brethren came, and bowed down themselves before him with their faces to the earth.

42:7 And Joseph saw his brethren, and he knew them, but made himself strange unto them, and spake roughly unto them; and he said unto them, Whence come ye?

And they said, From the land of Canaan to buy food.

42:8 And Joseph knew his brethren, but they knew not him.

42:9 And Joseph remembered the dreams which he dreamed of them, and said unto them, Ye are spies; to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.

42:10 And they said unto him, Nay, my lord, but to buy food are thy servants come. 42:11 We are all one man's sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies.

42:12 And he said unto them, Nay, but to see the nakedness of the land ye are come.

42:13 And they said, Thy servants are twelve brethren, the sons of one man in the land of Canaan; and, behold, the youngest is this day with our father, and one is not.

42:14 And Joseph said unto them, That is it that I spake unto you, saying, Ye are spies: 42:15 Hereby ye shall be proved: By the life of Pharaoh ye shall not go forth hence, except your youngest brother come hither. 42:16 Send one of you, and let him fetch your brother, and ye shall be kept in prison, that your words may be proved, whether there be any truth in you: or else by the life of Pharaoh surely ye are spies. 42:17 And he put them all together into ward three days.

42:18 And Joseph said unto them the third day, This do, and live; for I fear God: 42:19 If ye be true men, let one of your brethren be bound in the house of your prison: go ye, carry corn for the famine of your houses: 42:20 But bring your youngest brother unto me; so shall your words be verified, and ye shall not die. And they did so." (Genesis 42:6-20 KJV)

Joseph's reason for choosing Simeon to be the hostage in the dungeon is not stated in the incident itself. There are a number of possibilities, ranging from that Simeon had always been hostile to Joseph, or that Simeon was the most cruel to Joseph when he was sold away to Egypt, or that Joseph chose the oldest guilty brother (Simeon was the second oldest; the oldest, Reuben, had partially defended Joseph when Joseph was sold, as stated below, and as Joseph heard), or some combination, or some other reason not stated. Whatever the reason, it surely wasn't because Joseph loved Simeon the most of all of his brothers.

The Nile River

"42:21 And they said one to another, We are verily guilty concerning our brother, in that we saw the anguish of his soul, when he besought us, and we would not hear; therefore is this distress come upon us.

42:22 And Reuben answered them, saying, Spake I not unto you, saying, Do not sin against the child; and ye would not hear? therefore, behold, also his blood is required. 42:23 And they knew not that Joseph understood them; for he spake unto them by an interpreter.

42:24 And he turned himself about from them, and wept; and returned to them again, and communed with them, and took from them Simeon, and bound him before their eyes." (Genesis 42:21-24 KJV)

Joseph was hardly done with them. Along with insuring their return, he gave them an experience that began to wake them up to the wrong that they had done: "Their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?"

"42:25 Then Joseph commanded to fill their sacks with corn, and to restore every man's money into his sack, and to give them provision for the way: and thus did he unto them. 42:26 And they laded their asses with the corn, and departed thence.

42:27 And as one of them opened his sack to give his ass provender in the inn, he espied his money; for, behold, it was in his sack's mouth. 42:28 And he said unto his brethren, My money is restored; and, lo, it is even in my sack: and their heart failed them, and they were afraid, saying one to another, What is this that God hath done unto us?

42:29 And they came unto Jacob their father unto the land of Canaan, and told him all that befell unto them; saying, 42:30 The man, who is the lord of the land, spake roughly to us, and took us for spies of the country. 42:31 And we said unto him, We are true men; we are no spies: 42:32 We be twelve brethren, sons of our father; one is not, and the youngest is this day with our father in the land of Canaan.

42:33 And the man, the lord of the country, said unto us, Hereby shall I know that ye are true men; leave one of your brethren here with me, and take food for the famine of your households, and be gone: 42:34 And bring your youngest brother unto me: then shall I know that ye are no spies, but that ye are true men: so will I deliver you your brother, and ye shall traffick in the land.

42:35 And it came to pass as they emptied their sacks, that, behold, every man's bundle of money was in his sack: and when both they and their father saw the bundles of money, they were afraid. 42:36 And Jacob their father said unto them, Me have ye bereaved of my children: Joseph is not, and Simeon is not, and ye will take Benjamin away: all these things are against me.

42:37 And Reuben spake unto his father, saying, Slay my two sons, if I bring him not to thee: deliver him into my hand, and I will bring him to thee again.

42:38 And he said, My son shall not go down with you; for his brother is dead, and he is left alone: if mischief befall him by the way in the which ye go, then shall ye bring down my gray hairs with sorrow to the grave." (Genesis 42:25-38 KJV)

Fact Finder: Joseph's brothers crossed the northern Sinai Peninsula on their way between the land of Canaan and Egypt. What part of Arabia included the Sinai?
See Paul's Geography Lesson


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This Day In History, August 31

1056: Byzantine Empress Theodora died. Without heirs to the throne, her family's Macedonian dynasty that had ruled the Byzantine Empire for two centuries ended.

1218: After the death of his father Al-Adil, Al-Kamil became Sultan of Egypt, Syria and northern Mesopotamia (see also Damascus In History And Prophecy).

1303: The War of Vespers in Sicily ended with an agreement between Charles of Valois, who invaded the country, and Frederick, the ruler of Sicily.

Graf Zeppelin 1314: King Hakon V Magnusson moved the capital of Norway from Bergen to Oslo.

1422: King Henry V of England died of an infection while in France. He was succeeded by his nine-month-old son as Henry VI.

1521: Cortes captured the city of Tenochtitlan, Mexico.

1535: Pope Paul II deposed and excommunicated King Henry VIII of England (Henry didn't much care; he set up his own church, the Church of England, and made himself the head).

1668: John Bunyan, English author of The Pilgrim's Progress, died in London at age 69.

1795: During the War of the First Coalition, British forces captured Trincomalee (known today as Sri Lanka) from the Dutch in order to keep the territory out of French possession.

1798: The Irish Rebellion of 1798. Irish rebels, with French assistance, established the short-lived Republic of Connaught. In their economic and political competition against Britain, the French frequently instigated and supplied rebellions against the British during the 1700s and 1800s - while at the very same time, the French hypocritically tolerated no independence in any of their colonies around the world.

1876: Ottoman Sultan Murat V was deposed and succeeded by his brother Abd-ul-Hamid II.

1888: Mary Ann Nichols was found murdered. She is regarded as the first of the confirmed victims of "Jack the Ripper."

1895: Ferdinand Graf von Zeppelin, founder of the Zeppelin Airship company of Germany, patented his "Navigable Balloon"

1907: An Anglo-Russian Convention between Britain and Russia settled outstanding disputes between them regarding Tibet, Afghanistan and Persia (Iran); it was one of the bases of the Allied coalition in the First World War.

1942: During the Second World War, British and Canadian tanks and infantry under General Bernard Montgomery defeated Field Marshal Erwin Rommel's Afrika Korps in the Battle of Alam Halfa in Egypt (see also A History Of Jerusalem: The British Mandate).

1980: After two months of strikes, the Polish communist government gave in to demanded reforms, including recognition of the Solidarity trade union under the leadership of Lech Walesa.

1990: West and East Germany signed a treaty to harmonize their legal and political systems.

1994: Soviet troops ended 50 years of military presence on German territory.

1997: Princess Diana, 36, former wife of Prince Charles, was killed in an auto crash in Paris with her friend, Dodi Fayed, 42. The driver of the car, Henri Paul, 41, was also killed in the collision into a concrete road tunnel during an apparent attempt to outrun photographers. A bodyguard, Trevor Rees-Jones, 29, was the sole survivor of the crash, reportedly the only one who was wearing a seat belt.

2005: A stampede on the Al-Aaimmah bridge in Baghdad killed 1,199 people.

2006: Edvard Munch's famous painting The Scream was recovered by Norwegian police. It was stolen on August 22, 2004.



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