Saturday, January 23, 2010

Gen 46-47 for Jan 23

If you're the type that skips the endings if they're not about conflict, you'll want to skip here too. But that might mean that you have a hard time entering into the happiness of others. We often can't stand it, but it should now be OK to elaborate on the fact that others have been made safe, and are now safe, having seen it done here. Otherwise we would be forced to slight God Himself for saying something as sweet to Jacob as "Joseph will close your eyes...." (46:4).

God appears to Jacob when the conflict is resolved. Is it "un-American" for God to show up when we don't "need" Him anymore, or again ... how would we know that? We don't.

There is something seldom noticed in 46:4, in God's words to Jacob there when he was in Canaan: "I will surely bring you up again" (46:4). God tells this to Jacob, even though Jacob dies in Egypt (50:1-3). But God surely brings "him" up again to Canaan -- about seventeen years later (47:28) -- after he has died.

Jacob adopts this view of himself in saying "you shall carry me out of Egypt and bury me in their burial place" (47:30). Is it merely a way of speaking? Was it a way of speaking in the case of God's words in 46:4? Look at Mt 22:31-32. Jesus understands this in the same way as Jacob, and evidently, as God Himself does.

What should be made of the difference between Jacob's instructions to his brothers about what to say about their occupations (46:34) to Pharaoh, and what they actually say to Pharaoh right away, instead (47:3)? Although it doesn't seem to make a difference to Pharaoh in the story, there's a slight slur, perhaps, about them, that the Pharaoh makes to Joseph: "...if you know any capable men among them, then put them in charge of my livestock" (47:6). Joseph had only brought half of his brothers into the meeting in the first place (47:2)! It may be nothing. But it also may be a continued testimony to Joseph's predictions in 46:34.

No comments:


Blog Archive