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Thursday, October 23, 2014

Genesis 43:1-44:2 Joseph's Brothers Are Tested By Joseph

To see Genesis 43-44:2 without my comments click HERE.

Eventually after a while, the corn that the Israelites brought back to Canaan land was being consumed to the point in which it was close to being depleted. Realizing this situation Israel (the man) knew that either his sons would have to return to Egypt or they would eventually starve. Israel told his sons to return to Egypt to buy more corn as this was the only real decision he could make. Although he didn't want Benjamin to go with them, he knew it had to be. Judah reminded Israel that he was told by the man, who was Joseph incognito, not to return for more corn without bringing Benjamin with them. Judah promised Israel that he would personally protect Benjamin and if Benjamin did not return from this journey to Egypt than Israel could kill both him and his children as his guarantee. “Then Judah exclaimed to Israel, “send the lad with me, and I will come up, and return him alive; and If not kill me, myself, as well as my children!” Ferrar Fenton translation.

I am sure it wasn't an easy decision, but never the less it was one that had to be made because of the seriousness of the famine. The Israelites set out with their caravan again to Egypt with Israel's blessing, with money in hand that was put into their sacks to return, and they had additional money with them to buy additional corn with. They also brought as a gift to appease Joseph; spices, honey, and nuts v.11. Because they had honey and nuts this would tend to indicate that they were absolutely not on their last food stores, but time was quickly running out. As the men approached Joseph's house, they explained to Joseph's steward that they found money in their bags from their last trip. The steward told them that their God which is also the God of Abraham put the money in their sacks. Because his steward told them this, this would would indicate that the steward was of the same racial stock as his wife Aseneth, that was desended from the earlier shepherd settlers to land of On from which they came directly from Shem (Noah's son).

Joseph tests his brothers...
When Joseph saw his brothers, Joseph ended up making a feast for his half brothers (Benjamin was his only full blooded brother). For this feast Joseph arranged the brothers in order from eldest Reuben to Benjamin the youngest. Benjamin of course had the birth right blessing coming from Israel because Joseph was believed to be dead. His other 3 older brothers the sons of Leah; Reuben, Simeon, and Levi were not qualified because of their sins. The remaining brothers were not qualified because they were children of the handmaids of Leah and Rachel.

You would think that the men would get a clue from this seating arrangement of the eldest to the youngest, but to no avail did they suspect they were directly dealing with Joseph. During this feast Joseph gave Benjamin 5 times the amount of food and treated him better than the rest of his brothers in an attempt to try to stir up animosity among the brothers against Benjamin. This test was to test the brothers to see if they would sell out Benjamin just like they did to him 22 years before. In this test Joseph had his steward put his silver cup in Benjamin's grain sack in an effort to make Benjamin look like a thief so when his cup is eventually discovered in Benjamin's sack his other brothers (half brothers) could disown him and would be allowed to just walk away back to Canaan land which would leave Josephs full brother (Benjamin) to live the rest of his days with Joseph in Egypt.

All of us go through tests every day. Sometimes it seems like it's for absolutely for no reason, but, it all comes together in the end for those who remain faithful.

Praise the Lord!

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