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Monday, September 2 2013
Genesis 44: The Trial Of Joseph's Brothers
The great famine had forced Joseph's brothers to return to Egypt from the land of Canaan, just as Joseph knew would happen (see Genesis 42: Joseph's Sheaves and Stars Dreams Fulfilled and Genesis 43: The Benjamin Connection). Their return home would be interrupted, once again, by trials imposed upon them by Joseph.
"44:1 And he commanded the steward of his house, saying, Fill the men's sacks with food, as much as they can carry, and put every man's money in his sack's mouth. 44:2 And put my cup, the silver cup, in the sack's mouth of the youngest, and his corn money.
When they were brought back to Egypt, it was under the same circumstances of strife and sorrow that Joseph had been brought into Egypt - by their actions (see Genesis 37: Joseph's Coat Of Many Colours).
"44:4 And when they were gone out of the city, and not yet far off, Joseph said unto his steward, Up, follow after the men; and when thou dost overtake them, say unto them, Wherefore have ye rewarded evil for good? 44:5 Is not this it in which my lord drinketh, and whereby indeed he divineth? ye have done evil in so doing.
Judah, by then a father himself (see Genesis 38: The First Jews), spoke for the brothers.
"44:14 And Judah and his brethren came to Joseph's house; for he was yet there: and they fell before him on the ground.
The brothers pleaded their innocence - just as Joseph had done when he was falsely accused, repeatedly (see Genesis 37: Joseph's Coat Of Many Colours, Genesis 39: Potiphar's Wife and Genesis 40: The Dreams Of The Butler And The Baker).
"44:16 And Judah said, What shall we say unto my lord? what shall we speak? or how shall we clear ourselves? God hath found out the iniquity of thy servants: behold, we are my lord's servants, both we, and he also with whom the cup is found.<> 44:17 And he said, God forbid that I should do so: but the man in whose hand the cup is found, he shall be my servant; and as for you, get you up in peace unto your father." (Genesis 44:16-17 KJV)
Judah's explanation included what they had told their father had happened to Joseph, who was standing there right before them: "Surely he is torn in pieces; and I saw him not since." It would be the final testimony before all was made right.
"44:18 Then Judah came near unto him, and said, Oh my lord, let thy servant, I pray thee, speak a word in my lord's ears, and let not thine anger burn against thy servant: for thou art even as Pharaoh. 44:19 My lord asked his servants, saying, Have ye a father, or a brother? 44:20 And we said unto my lord, We have a father, an old man, and a child of his old age, a little one; and his brother is dead, and he alone is left of his mother, and his father loveth him.
Fact Finder: How did the four centuries that the Israelites sojourned in Egypt begin and end under the leadership of an Israelite who rose from a slave to a prince?
This Day In History, September 2
490 BC: The Greek hero Pheidippides died (see Demigod to understand the origin of the term "hero").
47 BC: Cleopatra VII of Egypt declared her son to be co-ruler, with the name Ptolemy XV Caesarion (see The Cleopatra Connection).
31 BC: Octavian, later known as Caesar Augustus (as he is also recorded in the Bible i.e. Luke 2:1-7) defeated Antony and Cleopatra at the Battle of Actium. Some historians regard this date to be the end of the Roman Republic (see The Politics Of Rome) and the beginning of the Roman Empire (see A History Of Jerusalem: Pompey And The Caesars).
1547: Spanish conquistador Hernan Cortes died at age 62. The "Conqueror" battled Aztec emperor Montezuma in Mexico.
1649: Castro, Italy was destroyed by military forces at the behest of Pope Innocent X.
1752: The last day that the Julian Calendar (named after Roman emperor Julius Caesar) was used in Britain and its colonies. The present Gregorian calendar (named after Roman Catholic Pope Gregory XIII) began in use the next day.
1807: The British began bombarding Copenhagen to stop Napoleon from using the Danish fleet against Britain.
1859: A solar storm caused outages in telegraph service.
1864: During the U.S. Civil War, Atlanta, Georgia fell to Federal troops.
1870: During the Franco-Prussian War, France suffered a devastating defeat at Sedan when the Germans captured an entire French army along with emperor Napoleon III. The new German Reich chose September 2 - in commemoration of the German victory and French humiliation - as a national holiday. The French response to the German victory was the deposition of Napoleon III and a proclamation of a republican Government of National Defense.
1901: U.S. President Theodore Roosevelt stated his famous imperial policy that the then-emerging U.S. Empire (ironically, the U.S. has become what its founders rebelled against) should "speak softly and carry a big stick."
1935: The "Labor Day Hurricane of 1935" killed over 400 people in the Florida Keys.
1944: Anne Frank, at age 15, was sent to the Auschwitz concentration camp. The Dutch-Jewish girl, famous for her Diary of Anne Frank died at the Belsen concentration camp the next year, shortly before it was liberated by Allied troops near the end of the Second World War.
1945: "VJ Day" at the end of the Second World War. Japanese officials signed the terms of surrender with Allied leaders in Tokyo Bay.
1945: Vietnam declared its independence, forming the Democratic Republic of Vietnam. The country was later divided into North and South by French imperial forces, triggering the later Vietnam civil war that the U.S. became involved in during the 1960s, before the Vietnamese people were again unified into a single country in the 1970s, free of foreign interference.
1969: At the University of California at Los Angeles (UCLA), computer researchers made the first working connection between two huge, primitive computers. Some regard that event as the birth of the computer network that became the Internet.
1980: Terry Fox (who lost a leg to cancer) was forced to stop his cross-Canada "Marathon of Hope" run at Thunder Bay, Ontario, after he learned that his cancer had returned.
1998: The UN International Criminal Tribunal for Rwanda found Jean Paul Akayesu guilty of genocide.
2001: South African heart surgeon Christiaan Barnard died at age 78. In 1967, he became the first to perform a heart transplant on a live human.