We are in the World Stream. Israel reunites with Joseph takes the time to bless his grandsons and his sons. We are reading from the God’s Word Translation this week.
46 – Jacob/Israel, after 13 or 14 years of not seeing Joseph and resigning to accept that he was dead, he is now convinced that Joseph is alive and commences on his journey to Egypt. God appears to him for the 7th (and final) time and assures him that what is happening is good and that his legacy is secure. He will not become Egyptian; he will just be there awhile. The listing of the family is a fascinating tabulation. Even though we live in a world of brevity, instant messages and updates and world-wide news and such, let us not be weary as we scroll through this family line. Jacob was a single man when he ventured to Haran in Genesis 29. Now 17 chapters later he is the head of a family of 70 people. He’s not alone! A study of where these 70 people were taken to becomes as large as the hemisphere they were all born in. The Genealogies of Genesis 5 & 10 are equally as fascinating. They too are our best indication or look or “window” (if you will) into the ancient world. Even secular scholars interested in genealogy marvel at the accuracy and revelation of these listings.
Jacob/Israel’s arrival in Egypt and the reunion with his son Joseph is a wondrous illustration of beautiful restoration and the goodness of God.
47 – The meeting between Israel and Pharaoh is cordial and encouraging. Israel and family are afforded the land north near the mouth of the Nile river; Goshen. It is an interesting picture to ponder when Israel and Pharaoh meet. The meetings of the leader of Israel and the leader of Egypt through the millennia would not always be such congenial encounters. Be that as it may, this one is Providence in the first regard. The nation of Israel would take the next 430 years to rest, be blessed, and to multiply.
The management of the famine as it is described in the rest of ch. 47 is politics and taxation as only politicians could pull off. The crisis is used in such a manner that before it is over, Pharaoh owns everything. A government is doing what governments do!! They could have managed and served and blessed as Jesus later urges leaders to do. But they tax and scheme and seize as godless governments do.
48 – The scene of ch. 48 is a prophecy that Jacob preveniently sees though no one else does. It’s a very human story of the switched arms and Jacob refusing to be “corrected” by his son Joseph. Joseph’s sons, Manasseh and Ephraim are blessed by their grandfather Israel, whom they have just met, and it is Ephraim who receives the prominent blessing regardless. Their history plays out accordingly hundreds of years later. Interesting that Manasseh the King by this same name [1100 years later] turns out to be the most wicked king Israel ever had. He was the one who ordered for Isaiah to be executed in a ruthless and bloody manner
49 – The final word is given by Jacob/Israel to the 12 sons. The word to Reuben is again asserted in Chronicles 5:1-2 if you want to better understand it. Jacob is referring to Reuben’s deeds from Genesis 35:22. Simeon and Levi are receiving the scolding, as it were, for their reactions described in Genesis 34:25 when they killed hundreds of men in Shechem. The word to Judah favors most prominently. Shiloh is mentioned in v. 10 and Shiloh is referring to a Savior that is coming. It was the tribe of Judah that in time, gave us David. And it was David’s line that brought the Savior. Who is “The Lion of The Tribe of Judah”? This is Jacob talking nearly 18 centuries before John writes that down in Revelation 5:5. Amazing concepts being seeded in our minds and hearts and into history here! Jacob’s words play out in a remarkable parallel to where and what each of the tribes end up becoming as the centuries pass by. Their history is being foretold and Israel is right about it.
“Lord God, give us ears to listen and heed what you are telling us. You only wish to establish us and see us well as we serve you. May we heed your instruction and understand your prophecies as you grant us wisdom. Amen.”