Genesis Chapter 50 (Bible Marathon: Day 25)

Genesis Chapter 50 (Bible Marathon: Day 25)
Jacob’s Funeral.
1
Joseph flung himself upon his father and wept over him as he kissed him.
2
Then Joseph ordered the physicians in his service to embalm his father. When the physicians embalmed Israel,
3
they spent forty days at it, for that is the full period of embalming; and the Egyptians mourned him for seventy days.
4
When the period of mourning was over, Joseph spoke to Pharaoh’s household. “If you please, appeal to Pharaoh, saying:
5
My father made me swear: ‘I am dying. Bury me in my grave that I have prepared for myself in the land of Canaan.’ So now let me go up to bury my father. Then I will come back.”a
6
Pharaoh replied, “Go and bury your father, as he made you promise on oath.”

7
So Joseph went up to bury his father; and with him went all of Pharaoh’s officials who were senior members of his household and all the other elders of the land of Egypt,
8
as well as Joseph’s whole household, his brothers, and his father’s household; only their children and their flocks and herds were left in the region of Goshen.
9
Chariots, too, and horsemen went up with him; it was a very imposing retinue.
10
When they arrived at Goren-ha-atad,* which is beyond the Jordan, they held there a very great and solemn memorial service; and Joseph observed seven days of mourning for his father.
11
When the Canaanites who inhabited the land saw the mourning at Goren-ha-atad, they said, “This is a solemn funeral on the part of the Egyptians!” That is why the place was named Abel-mizraim. It is beyond the Jordan.
12
Thus Jacob’s sons did for him as he had instructed them.
13
They carried him to the land of Canaan and buried him in the cave in the field of Machpelah, facing on Mamre, the field that Abraham had bought for a burial ground from Ephron the Hittite.b
14
After Joseph had buried his father he returned to Egypt, together with his brothers and all who had gone up with him for the burial of his father.
Plea for Forgiveness.
15
* Now that their father was dead, Joseph’s brothers became fearful and thought, “Suppose Joseph has been nursing a grudge against us and now most certainly will pay us back in full for all the wrong we did him!”
16
So they sent to Joseph and said: “Before your father died, he gave us these instructions:
17
‘Thus you shall say to Joseph: Please forgive the criminal wrongdoing of your brothers, who treated you harmfully.’ So now please forgive the crime that we, the servants of the God of your father, committed.” When they said this to him, Joseph broke into tears.
18
Then his brothers also proceeded to fling themselves down before him and said, “We are your slaves!”
19
But Joseph replied to them: “Do not fear. Can I take the place of God?
20
Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve this present end, the survival of many people.c
21
So now, do not fear. I will provide for you and for your children.” By thus speaking kindly to them, he reassured them.d
22
Joseph remained in Egypt, together with his father’s household. He lived a hundred and ten years.
23
He saw Ephraim’s children to the third generation, and the children of Manasseh’s son Machir were also born on Joseph’s knees.e
Death of Joseph.
24
Joseph said to his brothers: “I am about to die. God will surely take care of you and lead you up from this land to the land that he promised on oath to Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.”f
25
Then, putting the sons of Israel under oath, he continued, “When God thus takes care of you, you must bring my bones up from this place.”g
26
Joseph died at the age of a hundred and ten. He was embalmed and laid to rest in a coffin in Egypt.h
* [50:10–11] Goren-ha-atad: “Threshing Floor of the Brambles.” Abel-mizraim: although the name really means “watercourse of the Egyptians,” it is understood here, by a play on the first part of the term, to mean “mourning of the Egyptians.” The site has not been identified through either reading of the name. But it is difficult to see why the mourning rites should have been held in the land beyond the Jordan when the burial was at Hebron. Perhaps an earlier form of the story placed the mourning rites beyond the Wadi of Egypt, the traditional boundary between Canaan and Egypt (Nm 34:5; Jos 15:4, 47).

* [50:15–26] The final reconciliation of the brothers. Fearful of what may happen after the death of their father, the brothers engage in a final deception, inventing the dying wish of Jacob. Again, Joseph weeps, and, again, his brothers fall down before him, offering to be his slaves (44:16, 33). Joseph’s assurance is also a summation of the story: “Even though you meant harm to me, God meant it for good, to achieve this present end, the survival of many people” (v. 20). Joseph’s adoption of the children of Manasseh’s son Machir recalls Jacob’s adoption of his grandchildren (48:5, 13–20); the adoptions reflect tribal history (cf. Jgs 5:14).

a. [50:5] Gn 47:30.

b. [50:13] Gn 23:16; Jos 24:32; Acts 7:16.

c. [50:20] Gn 45:5.

d. [50:21] Gn 47:12.

e. [50:23] Nm 32:39; Jos 17:1.

f. [50:24] Ex 3:8; Heb 11:22.

g. [50:25] Ex 13:19; Heb 11:22.

h. [50:26] Sir 49:15.
Source: http://www.usccb.org

Genesis Chapter 49 (Bible Marathon: Day 25)

Genesis Chapter 49 (Bible Marathon: Day 25)
Jacob’s Testament.*
1
Jacob called his sons and said: “Gather around, that I may tell you what is to happen to you in days to come.

2
“Assemble and listen, sons of Jacob,
listen to Israel, your father.
3
“You, Reuben, my firstborn,
my strength and the first fruit of my vigor,
excelling in rank and excelling in power!
4
Turbulent as water, you shall no longer excel,
for you climbed into your father’s bed
and defiled my couch to my sorrow.a
5
* “Simeon and Levi, brothers indeed,
weapons of violence are their knives.*
6
Let not my person enter their council,
or my honor be joined with their company;
For in their fury they killed men,
at their whim they maimed oxen.b
7
Cursed be their fury so fierce,
and their rage so cruel!
I will scatter them in Jacob,
disperse them throughout Israel.
8
“You, Judah, shall your brothers praise
—your hand on the neck of your enemies;
the sons of your father shall bow down to you.
9
Judah is a lion’s cub,
you have grown up on prey, my son.
He crouches, lies down like a lion,
like a lioness—who would dare rouse him?c
10
The scepter shall never depart from Judah,
or the mace from between his feet,
Until tribute comes to him,*
and he receives the people’s obedience.
11
He tethers his donkey to the vine,
his donkey’s foal to the choicest stem.
In wine he washes his garments,
his robe in the blood of grapes.*
12
His eyes are darker than wine,
and his teeth are whiter than milk.
13
“Zebulun shall dwell by the seashore;
he will be a haven for ships,
and his flank shall rest on Sidon.
14
“Issachar is a rawboned donkey,
crouching between the saddlebags.
15
When he saw how good a settled life was,
and how pleasant the land,
He bent his shoulder to the burden
and became a toiling serf.
16
“Dan shall achieve justice* for his people
as one of the tribes of Israel.
17
Let Dan be a serpent by the roadside,
a horned viper by the path,
That bites the horse’s heel,
so that the rider tumbles backward.
18
“I long for your deliverance, O LORD!*
19
“Gad shall be raided by raiders,
but he shall raid at their heels.*
20
“Asher’s produce is rich,
and he shall furnish delicacies for kings.
21
“Naphtali is a hind let loose,
which brings forth lovely fawns.
22
“Joseph is a wild colt,
a wild colt by a spring,
wild colts on a hillside.
23
Harrying him and shooting,
the archers opposed him;
24
But his bow remained taut,
and his arms were nimble,
By the power of the Mighty One of Jacob,
because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25
The God of your father, who helps you,*
God Almighty, who blesses you,
With the blessings of the heavens above,
the blessings of the abyss that crouches below,
The blessings of breasts and womb,
26
the blessings of fresh grain and blossoms,
the blessings of the everlasting mountains,
the delights of the eternal hills.
May they rest on the head of Joseph,
on the brow of the prince among his brothers.
27
“Benjamin is a ravenous wolf;
mornings he devours the prey,
and evenings he distributes the spoils.”
Farewell and Death.
28
All these are the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father said about them, as he blessed them. To each he gave a suitable blessing.
29
Then he gave them this charge: “Since I am about to be gathered to my people, bury me with my ancestors in the cave that lies in the field of Ephron the Hittite,
30
the cave in the field of Machpelah, facing on Mamre, in the land of Canaan, the field that Abraham bought from Ephron the Hittite for a burial ground.d
31
There Abraham and his wife Sarah are buried, and so are Isaac and his wife Rebekah, and there, too, I buried Leah—
32
the field and the cave in it that had been purchased from the Hittites.”
33
When Jacob had finished giving these instructions to his sons, he drew his feet into the bed, breathed his last, and was gathered to his people.
* [49:1–27] The testament, or farewell discourse, of Jacob, which has its closest parallel in Moses’ farewell in Dt 33:6–25. From his privileged position as a patriarch, he sees the future of his children (the eponymous ancestors of the tribes) and is able to describe how they will fare and so gives his blessing. The dense and archaic poetry is obscure in several places. The sayings often involve wordplays (explained in the notes). The poem begins with the six sons of Leah (vv. 2–15), then deals with the sons of the two secondary wives, and ends with Rachel’s two sons, Joseph and Benjamin. Reuben, the oldest son, loses his position of leadership as a result of his intercourse with Bilhah (35:22), and the words about Simeon and Levi allude to their taking revenge for the rape of Dinah (chap. 34). The preeminence of Judah reflects his rise in the course of the narrative (mirroring the rise of Joseph). See note on 44:1–34.

* [49:5–7] This passage probably refers to their attack on the city of Shechem (Gn 34). Because there is no indication that the warlike tribe of Levi will be commissioned as a priestly tribe (Ex 32:26–29; Dt 33:11), this passage reflects an early, independent tradition.

* [49:5] Knives: if this is the meaning of the obscure Hebrew word here, the reference may be to the knives used in circumcising the men of Shechem (34:24; cf. Jos 5:2).

* [49:10] Until tribute comes to him: this translation is based on a slight change in the Hebrew text, which, as it stands, would seem to mean, “until he comes to Shiloh.” A somewhat different reading of the Hebrew text would be, “until he comes to whom it belongs.” This last has been traditionally understood in a messianic sense. In any case, the passage aims at the supremacy of the tribe of Judah and of the Davidic dynasty.

* [49:11] In wine…the blood of grapes: Judah’s clothes are poetically pictured as soaked with grape juice from trampling in the wine press, the rich vintage of his land; cf. Is 63:2.

* [49:16] In Hebrew the verb for “achieve justice” is from the same root as the name Dan.

* [49:18] This short plea for divine mercy has been inserted into the middle of Jacob’s testament.

* [49:19] In Hebrew there is assonance between the name Gad and the words for “raided,” “raiders,” and “raid.”

* [49:25–26] A very similar description of the agricultural riches of the tribal land of Joseph is given in Dt 33:13–16.

a. [49:4] Gn 35:22; 1 Chr 5:1–2.

b. [49:6] Gn 34:25.

c. [49:9] 1 Chr 5:2.

d. [49:30] Gn 23:17.
Source: http://www.usccb.org

Genesis Chapter 48 (Bible Marathon: Day 24)

Genesis Chapter 48 (Bible Marathon: Day 24)
1
* Some time afterward, Joseph was informed, “Your father is failing.” So he took along with him his two sons, Manasseh and Ephraim.
2
When Jacob was told, “Your son Joseph has come to you,” Israel rallied his strength and sat up in bed.

3
a Jacob then said to Joseph: “God Almighty appeared to me at Luz* in the land of Canaan, and blessing me,
4
he said, ‘I will make you fertile and multiply you and make you into an assembly of peoples, and I will give this land to your descendants after you as a permanent possession.’
5
So now your two sons who were born to you in the land of Egypt before I joined you here, shall be mine; Ephraim and Manasseh shall be mine as much as Reuben and Simeon are mine.
6
Progeny born to you after them shall remain yours; but their heritage shall be recorded in the names of their brothers.
7
b I do this because, when I was returning from Paddan, your mother Rachel died, to my sorrow, during the journey in Canaan, while we were still a short distance from Ephrath; and I buried her there on the way to Ephrath [now Bethlehem].”*
8
When Israel saw Joseph’s sons, he asked, “Who are these?”
9
“They are my sons,” Joseph answered his father, “whom God has given me here.” “Bring them to me,” said his father, “that I may bless them.”
10
Now Israel’s eyes were dim from age; he could not see well. When Joseph brought his sons close to him, he kissed and embraced them.
11
Then Israel said to Joseph, “I never expected to see your face again, and now God has allowed me to see your descendants as well!”
12
Joseph removed them from his father’s knees and bowed down before him with his face to the ground.
13
Then Joseph took the two, Ephraim with his right hand, to Israel’s left, and Manasseh with his left hand, to Israel’s right, and brought them up to him.
14
But Israel, crossing his hands, put out his right hand and laid it on the head of Ephraim, although he was the younger, and his left hand on the head of Manasseh, although he was the firstborn.
15
Then he blessed them with these words:
“May the God in whose presence
my fathers Abraham and Isaac walked,
The God who has been my shepherd
from my birth to this day,c
16
The angel who has delivered me from all harm,
bless these boys
That in them my name be recalled,
and the names of my fathers, Abraham and Isaac,
And they may become teeming multitudes
upon the earth!”
17
When Joseph saw that his father had laid his right hand on Ephraim’s head, this seemed wrong to him; so he took hold of his father’s hand, to remove it from Ephraim’s head to Manasseh’s,
18
saying, “That is not right, father; the other one is the firstborn; lay your right hand on his head!”
19
But his father refused. “I know it, son,” he said, “I know. That one too shall become a people, and he too shall be great. Nevertheless, his younger brother shall surpass him, and his descendants shall become a multitude of nations.”
20
So he blessed them that day and said, “By you shall the people of Israel pronounce blessings, saying, ‘God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’” Thus he placed Ephraim before Manasseh.d
21
Then Israel said to Joseph: “I am about to die. But God will be with you and will restore you to the land of your ancestors.
22
e As for me, I give to you, as to the one above his brothers, Shechem, which I captured from the Amorites with my sword and bow.”*
* [48:1–22] Jacob continues his preparations for death. In a scene that evokes the nearly blind Isaac blessing Jacob and Esau (chap. 27), Jacob blesses Joseph’s two sons. He adopts them, elevating them to a status equal to that of Jacob’s first sons Reuben and Simeon (cf. 1 Chr 5:1). The adoption is one more instance of Jacob’s favoring Rachel and those born of her. The mention of Jacob’s failing eyesight and his selection of the younger son over the older evokes the great deathbed scene in chap. 27. He reaffirms to Joseph the ancient divine promise of progeny and land.

* [48:3] Luz: an older name of Bethel (28:19).

* [48:7] Since her early death prevented Rachel from bearing more than two sons, Jacob feels justified in treating her two grandsons as if they were her own offspring.

* [48:22] Both the meaning of the Hebrew and the historical reference in this verse are obscure. By taking the Hebrew word for Shechem as a common noun meaning shoulder or mountain slope, some translators render the verse, “I give you one portion more than your brothers, which I captured…” The reference may be to the capture of Shechem by the sons of Jacob (34:24–29). Shechem lay near the border separating the tribal territory of Manasseh from that of Ephraim (Jos 16:4–9; 17:1–2, 7).

a. [48:3–4] Gn 28:12–15; 35:6.

b. [48:7] Gn 35:19.

c. [48:15] Heb 11:21.

d. [48:20] Heb 11:21.

e. [48:22] Jos 17:14, 17–18; Jn 4:5.
Source: http://www.usccb.org

Genesis Chapter 47 (Bible Marathon: Day 24)

Genesis Chapter 47 (Bible Marathon: Day 24)
Settlement in Goshen.
1
Joseph went and told Pharaoh, “My father and my brothers have come from the land of Canaan, with their flocks and herds and everything else they own; and they are now in the region of Goshen.”
2
He then presented to Pharaoh five of his brothers whom he had selected from their full number.
3
When Pharaoh asked them, “What is your occupation?” they answered, “We, your servants, like our ancestors, are shepherds.
4
We have come,” they continued, “in order to sojourn in this land, for there is no pasture for your servants’ flocks, because the famine has been severe in the land of Canaan. So now please let your servants settle in the region of Goshen.”a
5
Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Now that your father and your brothers have come to you,
6
the land of Egypt is at your disposal; settle your father and brothers in the pick of the land. Let them settle in the region of Goshen. And if you know of capable men among them, put them in charge of my livestock.”
7
Then Joseph brought his father Jacob and presented him to Pharaoh. And Jacob blessed Pharaoh.
8
Then Pharaoh asked Jacob, “How many years have you lived?”
9
Jacob replied: “The years I have lived as a wayfarer amount to a hundred and thirty. Few and hard have been these years of my life, and they do not compare with the years that my ancestors lived as wayfarers.”*
10
Then Jacob blessed Pharaoh and withdrew from his presence.

11
Joseph settled his father and brothers and gave them a holding in Egypt on the pick of the land, in the region of Rameses,* as Pharaoh had ordered.
12
And Joseph provided food for his father and brothers and his father’s whole household, down to the youngest.
Joseph’s Land Policy.
13
Since there was no food in all the land because of the extreme severity of the famine, and the lands of Egypt and Canaan were languishing from hunger,
14
Joseph gathered in, as payment for the grain that they were buying, all the money that was to be found in Egypt and Canaan, and he put it in Pharaoh’s house.
15
When all the money in Egypt and Canaan was spent, all the Egyptians came to Joseph, pleading, “Give us food! Why should we perish in front of you? For our money is gone.”
16
“Give me your livestock if your money is gone,” replied Joseph. “I will give you food in return for your livestock.”
17
So they brought their livestock to Joseph, and he gave them food in exchange for their horses, their flocks of sheep and herds of cattle, and their donkeys. Thus he supplied them with food in exchange for all their livestock in that year.
18
That year ended, and they came to him in the next one and said: “We cannot hide from my lord that, with our money spent and our livestock made over to my lord, there is nothing left to put at my lord’s disposal except our bodies and our land.
19
Why should we and our land perish before your very eyes? Take us and our land in exchange for food, and we will become Pharaoh’s slaves and our land his property; only give us seed, that we may survive and not perish, and that our land may not turn into a waste.”
20
So Joseph acquired all the land of Egypt for Pharaoh. Each of the Egyptians sold his field, since the famine weighed heavily upon them. Thus the land passed over to Pharaoh,
21
and the people were reduced to slavery, from one end of Egypt’s territory to the other.
22
Only the priests’ lands Joseph did not acquire. Since the priests had a fixed allowance from Pharaoh and lived off the allowance Pharaoh had granted them, they did not have to sell their land.
23
Joseph told the people: “Now that I have acquired you and your land for Pharaoh, here is your seed for sowing the land.
24
But when the harvest is in, you must give a fifth of it to Pharaoh, while you keep four-fifths as seed for your fields and as food for yourselves and your households and as food for your children.”
25
“You have saved our lives!” they answered. “We have found favor with my lord; now we will be Pharaoh’s slaves.”
26
Thus Joseph made it a statute for the land of Egypt, which is still in force, that a fifth of its produce should go to Pharaoh. Only the land of the priests did not pass over to Pharaoh.
Israel Blesses Ephraim and Manasseh.
27
Thus Israel settled in the land of Egypt, in the region of Goshen. There they acquired holdings, were fertile, and multiplied greatly.b
28
* Jacob lived in the land of Egypt for seventeen years; the span of his life came to a hundred and forty-seven years.
29
When the time approached for Israel to die, he called his son Joseph and said to him: “If it pleases you, put your hand under my thigh as a sign of your enduring fidelity to me; do not bury me in Egypt.
30
When I lie down with my ancestors, take me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place.”c “I will do as you say,” he replied.
31
But his father demanded, “Swear it to me!” So Joseph swore to him. Then Israel bowed at the head of the bed.*
* [47:9] Wayfarer…wayfarers: human beings are merely sojourners on earth; cf. Ps 39:13.

* [47:11] The region of Rameses: same as the region of Goshen; see note on 45:10.

* [47:28–50:26] Supplements to the Joseph story. Most of the material in this section centers on Jacob—his blessing of Joseph’s sons, his farewell testament, and his death and burial in Canaan. Only the last verses (50:15–26) redirect attention to Jacob’s sons, the twelve brothers; they are assured that the reconciliation will not collapse after the death of the patriarch.

* [47:31] Israel bowed at the head of the bed: meaning perhaps that he gave a nod of assent and appreciation as he lay on his bed. The oath and gesture are the same as Abraham’s in 24:2. Israel’s bowing here suggests the fulfillment of Joseph’s dreams in 37:9–10, when parents and brothers bowed down to Joseph (cf. 42:6; 43:26). By using different vowels for the Hebrew word for “bed,” the Greek version translated it as “staff,” and understood the phrase to mean that he bowed in worship, leaning on the top of his staff; it is thus quoted in Heb 11:21.

a. [47:4] Ex 23:9; Dt 23:8.

b. [47:27] Ex 1:7.

c. [47:30] Gn 50:5.
Source: http://www.usccb.org

Genesis Chapter 46 (Bible Marathon: Day 23)

Genesis Chapter 46 (Bible Marathon: Day 23)
Migration to Egypt.
1
* Israel set out with all that was his. When he arrived at Beer-sheba, he offered sacrifices to the God of his father Isaac.
2
There God, speaking to Israel in a vision by night, called: Jacob! Jacob! He answered, “Here I am.”
3
Then he said: I am God,* the God of your father. Do not be afraid to go down to Egypt, for there I will make you a great nation.
4
I will go down to Egypt with you and I will also bring you back here, after Joseph has closed your eyes.

5
So Jacob departed from Beer-sheba, and the sons of Israel put their father and their wives and children on the wagons that Pharaoh had sent to transport him.
6
They took with them their livestock and the possessions they had acquired in the land of Canaan. So Jacob and all his descendants came to Egypt.a
7
His sons and his grandsons, his daughters and his granddaughters—all his descendants—he took with him to Egypt.
8
These are the names of the Israelites, Jacob and his children, who came to Egypt.
Reuben, Jacob’s firstborn,b
9
* and the sons of Reuben: Hanoch, Pallu, Hezron, and Carmi.c
10
The sons of Simeon: Jemuel, Jamin, Ohad, Jachin, Zohar, and Shaul, son of a Canaanite woman.d
11
The sons of Levi: Gershon, Kohath, and Merari.e
12
The sons of Judah: Er, Onan, Shelah, Perez, and Zerah—but Er and Onan had died in the land of Canaan; and the sons of Perez were Hezron and Hamul.f
13
The sons of Issachar: Tola, Puah, Jashub, and Shimron.g
14
The sons of Zebulun: Sered, Elon, and Jahleel.h
15
These were the sons whom Leah bore to Jacob in Paddan-aram, along with his daughter Dinah—thirty-three persons in all, sons and daughters.
16
The sons of Gad: Zephon, Haggi, Shuni, Ezbon, Eri, Arod, and Areli.i
17
The sons of Asher: Imnah, Ishvah, Ishvi, and Beriah, with their sister Serah; and the sons of Beriah: Heber and Malchiel.j
18
These are the children of Zilpah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Leah; these she bore to Jacob—sixteen persons in all.
19
The sons of Jacob’s wife Rachel: Joseph and Benjamin.
20
In the land of Egypt Joseph became the father of Manasseh and Ephraim, whom Asenath, daughter of Potiphera, priest of Heliopolis, bore to him.k
21
The sons of Benjamin: Bela, Becher, Ashbel, Gera, Naaman, Ahiram, Shupham, Hupham, and Ard.l
22
These are the sons whom Rachel bore to Jacob—fourteen persons in all.
23
The sons of Dan: Hushim.m
24
The sons of Naphtali: Jahzeel, Guni, Jezer, and Shillem.n
25
These are the sons of Bilhah, whom Laban had given to his daughter Rachel; these she bore to Jacob—seven persons in all.
26
Jacob’s people who came to Egypt—his direct descendants, not counting the wives of Jacob’s sons—numbered sixty-six persons in all.o
27
Together with Joseph’s sons who were born to him in Egypt—two persons—all the people comprising the household of Jacob who had come to Egypt amounted to seventy persons* in all.p
28
Israel had sent Judah ahead to Joseph, so that he might meet him in Goshen. On his arrival in the region of Goshen,
29
Joseph prepared his chariot and went up to meet his father Israel in Goshen. As soon as Israel made his appearance, Joseph threw his arms around him and wept a long time on his shoulder.
30
And Israel said to Joseph, “At last I can die, now that I have seen for myself that you are still alive.”
31
Joseph then said to his brothers and his father’s household: “I will go up and inform Pharaoh, telling him: ‘My brothers and my father’s household, whose home is in the land of Canaan, have come to me.
32
The men are shepherds, having been owners of livestock;* and they have brought with them their flocks and herds, as well as everything else they own.’
33
So when Pharaoh summons you and asks what your occupation is,
34
you must answer, ‘We your servants, like our ancestors, have been owners of livestock from our youth until now,’ in order that you may stay in the region of Goshen, since all shepherds are abhorrent to the Egyptians.”
* [46:1–47:26] Jacob and his family settle in Egypt. Joseph’s economic policies.

* [46:3] I am God: more precisely according to the Hebrew text, “I am El.” “El” is here a divine name, not the common noun “god.”

* [46:9–27] This genealogical list is based on the clan lists (Nm 26:5–50) from the Mosaic period.

* [46:27] Seventy persons: it is difficult to get this exact number by adding up the persons mentioned in the preceding genealogies. One might assume it refers to Jacob and sixty-nine descendants, excluding Er and Onan but including Dinah. Ex 1:5 repeats the number but excludes Jacob. Dt 10:22 refers to seventy persons descending to Egypt. The best solution is to take the number as expressing totality. Since there are seventy nations in chap. 10, it is likely that the text is drawing a parallel between the two entities and suggesting that Israel “represents” the nations before God.

* [46:32] Owners of livestock: the phrase occurs only here and in v. 34. The difference between this term and “shepherds” is not clear, for the brothers do not mention it to Pharaoh in 47:3.

a. [46:6] Ex 1:1; Jos 24:4; Jdt 5:10; Acts 7:15.

b. [46:8] Ex 1:2.

c. [46:9] Ex 6:14; Nm 26:5; 1 Chr 5:3.

d. [46:10] Ex 6:15; Nm 26:12; 1 Chr 4:24.

e. [46:11] Ex 6:16; Nm 3:17; 26:57; 1 Chr 6:1.

f. [46:12] Gn 38:3–10, 29–30; Nm 26:19; Ru 4:12; 1 Chr 2:5.

g. [46:13] Nm 26:23–24; 1 Chr 7:1.

h. [46:14] Nm 26:26.

i. [46:16] Nm 26:15–16.

j. [46:17] Nm 26:44; 1 Chr 7:30–31.

k. [46:20] Gn 41:50; Nm 26:28, 35.

l. [46:21] Nm 26:38; 1 Chr 7:6; 8:1–4.

m. [46:23] Nm 26:42.

n. [46:24] Nm 26:48–49; 1 Chr 7:13.

o. [46:26] Ex 1:5.

p. [46:27] Ex 1:5; Dt 10:22; Acts 7:14.
Source: http://www.usccb.org

Genesis Chapter 45 (Bible Marathon: Day 23)

Genesis Chapter 45 (Bible Marathon: Day 23)
The Truth Revealed.*
1
Joseph could no longer restrain himself in the presence of all his attendants, so he cried out, “Have everyone withdraw from me!” So no one attended him when he made himself known to his brothers.
2
But his sobs were so loud that the Egyptians heard him, and so the news reached Pharaoh’s house.
3
a “I am Joseph,” he said to his brothers. “Is my father still alive?” But his brothers could give him no answer, so dumbfounded were they at him.

4
“Come closer to me,” Joseph told his brothers. When they had done so, he said: “I am your brother Joseph, whom you sold into Egypt.
5
But now do not be distressed, and do not be angry with yourselves for having sold me here. It was really for the sake of saving lives that God sent me here ahead of you.b
6
The famine has been in the land for two years now, and for five more years cultivation will yield no harvest.
7
God, therefore, sent me on ahead of you to ensure for you a remnant on earth and to save your lives in an extraordinary deliverance.
8
So it was not really you but God who had me come here; and he has made me a father to Pharaoh,* lord of all his household, and ruler over the whole land of Egypt.
9
* “Hurry back, then, to my father and tell him: ‘Thus says your son Joseph: God has made me lord of all Egypt; come down to me without delay.c
10
You can settle in the region of Goshen,* where you will be near me—you and your children and children’s children, your flocks and herds, and everything that you own.
11
I will provide for you there in the five years of famine that lie ahead, so that you and your household and all that are yours will not suffer want.’
12
Surely, you can see for yourselves, and Benjamin can see for himself, that it is I who am speaking to you.
13
Tell my father all about my high position in Egypt and all that you have seen. But hurry and bring my father down here.”
14
Then he threw his arms around his brother Benjamin and wept on his shoulder.
15
Joseph then kissed all his brothers and wept over them; and only then were his brothers able to talk with him.
16
The news reached Pharaoh’s house: “Joseph’s brothers have come.” Pharaoh and his officials were pleased.
17
So Pharaoh told Joseph: “Say to your brothers: ‘This is what you shall do: Load up your animals and go without delay to the land of Canaan.
18
There get your father and your households, and then come to me; I will assign you the best land in Egypt, where you will live off the fat of the land.’d
19
Instruct them further: ‘Do this. Take wagons from the land of Egypt for your children and your wives and bring your father back here.
20
Do not be concerned about your belongings, for the best in the whole land of Egypt shall be yours.’”
21
The sons of Israel acted accordingly. Joseph gave them the wagons, as Pharaoh had ordered, and he supplied them with provisions for the journey.
22
He also gave to each of them a set of clothes, but to Benjamin he gave three hundred shekels of silver and five sets of clothes.
23
Moreover, what he sent to his father was ten donkeys loaded with the finest products of Egypt and another ten loaded with grain and bread and provisions for his father’s journey.
24
As he sent his brothers on their way, he told them, “Do not quarrel on the way.”
25
So they went up from Egypt and came to the land of Canaan, to their father Jacob.
26
When they told him, “Joseph is still alive—in fact, it is he who is governing all the land of Egypt,” he was unmoved, for he did not believe them.
27
But when they recounted to him all that Joseph had told them, and when he saw the wagons that Joseph had sent to transport him, the spirit of their father Jacob came to life.
28
“Enough,” said Israel. “My son Joseph is still alive! I must go and see him before I die.”
* [45:1–28] Joseph reveals his identity and the family is reconciled.

* [45:8] Father to Pharaoh: a term applied to a vizier in ancient Egypt.

* [45:9–15] In these verses, as in 46:31–47:5a, all from the Yahwist source, Joseph in his own name invites his father and brothers to come to Egypt. Only after their arrival is Pharaoh informed of the fact. On the other hand, in 45:16–20, which scholars have traditionally attributed to the Elohist source, it is Pharaoh himself who invites Joseph’s family to migrate to his domain.

* [45:10] The region of Goshen: the meaning of the term is unknown. It is found in no Egyptian source. It is generally thought to be in the modern Wadi Tumilat in the eastern part of the Nile Delta.

a. [45:3–4] Acts 7:13.

b. [45:5] Gn 50:20.

c. [45:9] Acts 7:14.

d. [45:18] Acts 7:14.
Source: http://www.usccb.org

Genesis Chapter 44 (Bible Marathon: Day 22)

Genesis Chapter 44 (Bible Marathon: Day 22)
Final Test.*
1
Then Joseph commanded his steward: “Fill the men’s bags with as much food as they can carry, and put each man’s money in the mouth of his bag.
2
In the mouth of the youngest one’s bag put also my silver goblet, together with the money for his grain.” The steward did as Joseph said.
3
At daybreak the men and their donkeys were sent off.
4
They had not gone far out of the city when Joseph said to his steward: “Go at once after the men! When you overtake them, say to them, ‘Why did you repay good with evil? Why did you steal my silver goblet?
5
Is it not the very one from which my master drinks and which he uses for divination?* What you have done is wrong.’”

6
When the steward overtook them and repeated these words to them,
7
they said to him: “Why does my lord say such things? Far be it from your servants to do such a thing!
8
We even brought back to you from the land of Canaan the money that we found in the mouths of our bags. How could we steal silver or gold from your master’s house?
9
If any of your servants is found to have the goblet, he shall die, and as for the rest of us, we shall become my lord’s slaves.”
10
But he replied, “Now what you propose is fair enough, but only the one who is found to have it shall become my slave, and the rest of you can go free.”
11
Then each of them quickly lowered his bag to the ground and opened it;
12
and when a search was made, starting with the oldest and ending with the youngest, the goblet turned up in Benjamin’s bag.
13
At this, they tore their garments. Then, when each man had loaded his donkey again, they returned to the city.
14
When Judah and his brothers entered Joseph’s house, he was still there; so they flung themselves on the ground before him.
15
“How could you do such a thing?” Joseph asked them. “Did you not know that such a man as I could discern by divination what happened?”
16
Judah replied: “What can we say to my lord? How can we plead or how try to prove our innocence? God has uncovered your servants’ guilt.* Here we are, then, the slaves of my lord—the rest of us no less than the one in whose possession the goblet was found.”
17
Joseph said, “Far be it from me to act thus! Only the one in whose possession the goblet was found shall become my slave; the rest of you may go back unharmed to your father.”
18
Judah then stepped up to him and said: “I beg you, my lord, let your servant appeal to my lord, and do not become angry with your servant, for you are the equal of Pharaoh.
19
My lord asked his servants,* ‘Have you a father, or another brother?’
20
So we said to my lord, ‘We have an aged father, and a younger brother, the child of his old age. This one’s full brother is dead, and since he is the only one by his mother who is left, his father is devoted to him.’a
21
Then you told your servants, ‘Bring him down to me that I might see him.’
22
We replied to my lord, ‘The boy cannot leave his father; his father would die if he left him.’
23
But you told your servants, ‘Unless your youngest brother comes down with you, you shall not see me again.’b
24
When we returned to your servant my father, we reported to him the words of my lord.
25
“Later, our father said, ‘Go back and buy some food for us.’
26
So we reminded him, ‘We cannot go down there; only if our youngest brother is with us can we go, for we may not see the man if our youngest brother is not with us.’
27
Then your servant my father said to us, ‘As you know, my wife bore me two sons.
28
One of them, however, has gone away from me, and I said, “He must have been torn to pieces by wild beasts!” I have not seen him since.c
29
If you take this one away from me too, and a disaster befalls him, you will send my white head down to Sheol in grief.’
30
“So now, if the boy is not with us when I go back to your servant my father, whose very life is bound up with his, he will die as soon as he sees that the boy is missing;
31
and your servants will thus send the white head of your servant our father down to Sheol in grief.
32
Besides, I, your servant, have guaranteed the boy’s safety for my father by saying, ‘If I fail to bring him back to you, father, I will bear the blame before you forever.’d
33
So now let me, your servant, remain in place of the boy as the slave of my lord, and let the boy go back with his brothers.
34
How could I go back to my father if the boy were not with me? I could not bear to see the anguish that would overcome my father.”
* [44:1–34] Joseph’s pressure on his brothers and Judah’s great speech. Judah has the longest speech in the Book of Genesis; it summarizes the recent past (vv. 18–29), shows the pain Joseph’s actions have imposed on their aged father (vv. 30–32), and ends with the offer to take the place of Benjamin as servant of Joseph (vv. 33–34). The role of Judah in the entire story is exceedingly important and is easily underrated: he tries to rescue Joseph (37:26–27), his “going down away from the brothers” is parallel to Joseph’s (chap. 38) and prepares him (as it prepares Joseph) for the reconciliation, his speech in chap. 44 persuades Joseph to reveal himself and be reconciled to his brothers. Here, Judah effectively replaces Reuben as a spokesman for the brothers. Jacob in his testament (chap. 49) devotes the most attention to Judah and Joseph. In one sense, the story can be called the story of Joseph and Judah.

* [44:5] Divination: seeking omens through liquids poured into a cup or bowl was a common practice in the ancient Near East; cf. v. 15. Even though divination was frowned on in later Israel (Lv 19:31), it is in this place an authentic touch which is ascribed to Joseph, the wisest man in Egypt.

* [44:16] Guilt: in trying to do away with Joseph when he was young.

* [44:19] My lord asked his servants: such frequently repeated expressions in Judah’s speech show the formal court style used by a subject in speaking to a high official.

a. [44:20] Gn 42:13.

b. [44:23] Gn 43:3.

c. [44:28] Gn 37:20, 33.

d. [44:32] Gn 43:9.
Source: http://www.usccb.org