Friday, May 31, 2013

Genesis 43: Return to Egypt

Today's podcast

Joseph's Brothers Return to Egypt (v. 1-34)

They ran out of the food that they brought back, and Jacob told his sons to go back and get more food, but he still didn't want to send Benjamin. The brothers refuse to go without Benjamin and Jacob complains that they revealed Benjamin's existence at all. They say that had simply answered questions honestly and couldn't have known it would lead to a demand that Benjamin be brought to Egypt. Judah says he will be personally responsible for Benjamin's safety and Jacob finally says okay.

Now Jacob is just whiny. At least he finally came around, although I suppose it took the threat of starvation.

In response to Judah taking responsibility for Benjamin, Guzik says
Judah put his own life on the line as a surety for Benjamin. This is the first good thing we see Judah doing. Previously, he was the one who had proposed the sale of Joseph. He was the one who wronged his daughter-in-law Tamar and had sex with her as a harlot.
Previously, Satan may have directed his attack against Joseph because he believed he was the one who would ultimately bring the Messiah. To this point, God had not revealed which of the 12 it would be.
Satan not only hated the children of Jacob for what they were, but also for what God would make of them. He directs the same kind of hatred against believers today, as Satan considers the destiny God has for His people.

I find the inclusion of Satan here pretty interesting. It is a good demonstration of the mindset at work here, anything good that happens is because of God, anything bad is either man or Satan.

Jacob decides that they should bring double the money required for the grain they want in addition to the money that was mistakenly (as far as they know) put back into their bags the last time. He also had them put together a nice care package as a gift.

This seems prudent at least.

v15 "So the men took this present, and they took double the money with them, and Benjamin."

I just wanted to highlight this verse, as it stuck out to me. Benjamin didn't go with them, they took him, along with the money. He's not part of the party going down to make this transaction, he's part of their baggage. Apparently he's not useful, it seems he won't pull his weight, he's just one more thing the useful guys have to keep track of. This actually makes some sense, as Joseph was pretty worthless when he was Jacob's favorite, Benjamin has apparently taken his place. (or potentially I'm reading to much in to this)

Joseph saw them coming and told his servant to bring them into the house and they could share a meal. His brothers were afraid and talked to the servant and explained what happened to the money. He said they would be fine and got them washed up and ready for the meal. Joseph came out and they bowed, he asked about their father and they said he was fine. When he saw Benjamin he was overcome and had to leave so he could weep and not be seen. He's still not ready to reveal his identity.

They then sat everyone to eat. Joseph at by himself, the Egyptians ate together, and the brothers ate together. Egyptians were not allowed to eat with Hebrews. The brothers were amazed because Benjamin's portions were 5 times what the others got.

I guess the fact that Joseph ate by himself was a hint that he wasn't an Egyptian, although that is something they could only realize in retrospect, he could just as easily have been eccentric or something. 

for the verses of note post


Genesis 43:11-12 Jacob sends a gift to the person they think they accidentally stole from

"Then their father Israel said to them, 'If it must be so, then do this: take some of the choice fruits of the land in your bags, and carry a present down to the man, a little balm and a little honey, gum, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds.Take double the money with you. Carry back with you the money that was returned in the mouth of your sacks. Perhaps it was an oversight."

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