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Monday: Jacob Settles in Egypt — 14 Comments

  1. The lesson today touches on a significant difference in the cultures of the Hebrews and the Egyptians. The Egyptians were essentially crop farmers. They relied on the annual Nile floods to bring fertile silt and moisture to the land so that they could grow crops - typically wheat and barley. The Hebrews were essentially herdsmen and kept sheep, goats, and cattle. They also probably had horses. Some sources think that the Hyksos, who were likely immigrants from Canaan around that time claim that they introduced horses to the Egyptians.

    This difference in culture probably set the scene for future conflict between the Hebrews and the Egyptians. We all know that happens when grazing animals are in close proximity to cultivated crops. That may go a little way to explaining how the Hebrews became slaves as described in the opening chapters of Exodus.

    Confict between cultures is something that we are very much aware of today and often we become very protective or our own culture/subculture, vigorously defending our rights etc. We like to defend our lifestyle, worship and so on. In doing so we often become separatist in our outlook, protecting our interests; rather than contributors; sharing what we have with others.

    • There might be a way to deal with differences in cultures or thoughts, LOVE. How much do I love God, so I learn to love myself and the ones around me? Love is able to level us all! This way, I might look at my neighbor through a different pespective, instead of someone I need to defend myself from, someone I can certainly learn and share what this good news has been doing to my life.

    • Maurice, may I add one bit of information here and feel free to respond accordingly. In my humble opinion one of the why Joseph was sold into Egypt, was to procure the avenue whereby, Messiah should come.

      First, Judah (through which Messiah came) acted as an intercessor when pleading with his father to allow Benjamin to go to Egypt with them.

      Next, when the cup was found in Benjamin's sack, Judah once again was the go-between for the brothers and at one point was willing to give his life to have the brothers.

      • The relationship between Judah and Benjamin was a strong one and persisted. When the Hebrews split into two nations over the taxation issue when Rehoboam got a bit greedy, the tribe of Benjamin sided with Judah. And it is interesting to note that many of the biblical references to the Southern Kindom actual name it Judah and Benjamin.

        It is also worth noting that Paul was a Benjamite and quite proud of it. Rom 11:1 and Phil 3:5.

        • It is interesting to note Paul was a Roman citizen, and a Benjamite by ancestry? Acts 22:25. Acts 16:37. Very much like I am 1/2 German and also an American citizen.

    • Gen 47:15-25 gives another clue. Joseph's plan had a dark side. People ran out of money and anything that could be sold. Pharoah became richer; people became slaves.

  2. Question in Study: Whatever our station in life, what should it mean to us, in how we treat others, that we are “a royal priesthood, a holy nation,
    His own special people” (1 Peter 2:9)?
    What obligations does our faith put on us?

    Matthew 20:20-28 (CSB)
    20 Then the mother of Zebedee’s sons approached him with her sons. She knelt down to ask him for something.
    21 “What do you want? ” he asked her. “Promise,” she said to him, “that these two sons of mine may sit, one on your right and the other on your left, in your kingdom.”
    22 Jesus answered, “You don’t know what you’re asking. Are you able to drink the cup that I am about to drink? ” “We are able,” they said to him. 23 He told them, “You will indeed drink my cup, but to sit at my right and left is not mine to give; instead, it is for those for whom it has been prepared by my Father.”
    24 When the ten disciples heard this, they became indignant with the two brothers. 25 Jesus called them over and said:

    * “You know that the rulers of the Gentiles lord it over them, and those in high positions act as tyrants over them. *

    26 * “It must not be like that among you. On the contrary, whoever wants to become great among you must be your servant, *

    27 * and whoever wants to be first among you must be your slave *

    28 * "just as the Son of Man did not come to be served, but to serve, and to give his life as a ransom for many.”

    Shalom 🙏

  3. There is one foundational 'law' or principle that underpins true life - the abundant life that God lives and that He created being to also live. That law/principle is self-renouncing love - living to give for the (authentic) benefit of all others. Ellen White proposes that this law is THE law of life on earth and in heaven and that it has its source in the heart of God. All other laws/principles within God's Kingdom - both moral and natural - share this foundational nature and character.

    Being a 'priesthood' is in essence living to (authentically) benefit others. It is the way of living that alone fosters the quality of life we were designed and created to experience. It is the same concept Jesus was seeking to restore awareness of when He said we were to be salt and light to others (Matthew 5:13-16). Just look around at our worldly self-seeking alternatives regarding how you can occupy your time and what you can focus on and it soon becomes clear that no other basis for life other than 'living to give' (beneficence) actually works.

  4. What obligations does our faith put on us?
    I would say, to remember and fulfill our role as God‘s ambassadors. Just in as much as Jacob, having something far greater than this world can offer- namely God‘s favor and His spirit, he was not intimidated by the glorious presence of a great leader, ignoring his social stand with all past tragic years, blessed Pharao in the name of God.
    Pharao surely recognized a divine blessing on Joseph‘s household (though he himself was considered a sort of deity), was pleased to accept and honor the blessing Jacob bestowed on him.
    Are we like Jacob?
    The Happy End was that Jacob experienced God‘s faithfulness, which helps us to focus on His promises for our future.

  5. Our life should be a blessing to others, just as Jacob blessed Pharaoh, we need to bless others. "Help me to live for others, that I might live for thee" (I would be like Jesus).

  6. What were the practical implications of Jacob blessing Pharaoh?
    What was he asking the LORD to do for Pharaoh?
    Were the blessings conditional on Pharaoh obeying/worshipping the LORD?

  7. Just as John the Baptist was sent ahead to prepare the way for the messiah to come, so was Joseph sent to Egypt to prepare the the survival of a new nation. It was God plan all along as was shown in a vision to Abraham in Genesis 15. Egypt always play a pivotal role in bible history. I believe that God have a plan for the nation of Egypt in the last days. I can’t recall the scripture to support this claim. But I believe it strongly.

  8. In order to answer the question at the end of the lesson, I want to just finish the rest of 1Peter2:9 – it reads: ”…, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light;”.
    Our Creator God, heavenly Father to all who call upon Him, has called us out of darkness into His marvelous light! He opened our spiritual eyes and now we can see the wisdom and grandeur of His Will and the peace and joy associated with life when engaging in living accordingly – John16:33.

    I was curious about why the Egyptians despised shepherds, why Joseph seated his family and Benjamin separately at the banquet, including himself. Why was it an abomination to Egyptians to sit at the same table and dine with them – Gen.43:32; 46:34; Ex.8:22.
    Aron Pinker (Maryland, USA) provides an extensive research paper about this subject – “Abomination to Egyptians” OTE 22 (1) 2009. 151-174; lengthy but interesting read, which also touches on why Joseph gave his brothers a change of clothes. 🙂

  9. What does the lesson writer imply by saying - Jacob leaves the Land of Promise for, "of all places, Egypt"?


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