Families are awkward and messy, and things are left unfinished and unresolved as often as not.
This passage, which is most centered on Jacob's gathering to his fathers until the last two paragraphs (50:15ff) of Genesis, is not different. There are great moments, when three generations are together, Jacob, Joseph, and his two sons, at Jacob's bedside when he is ill. Yet what is to Joseph a wrong on Jacob's part (48:13-14,17), and displeased him (48:17) is deliberate on Jacob's part, and due to foresight (48:19), not bad eyesight (48:10).
Again, in the scene in which Jacob pronounces to his sons the foresight of "what shall happen to you in days to come" (49:1), the pronouncements are uneven, as is what shall happen to them each, uneven: some cryptic (49:19), some metaphorical (49:21), some straightforward (49:13), and for two, for Joseph and Judah, very extensive: 5 verses for Joseph, and 5 for Judah.
At the last, at the end of this book, when Joseph himself dies, although he had "made the sons of Israel swear, saying, 'God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here,'" (50:25) yet the end of the story leaves that task undone, and with no explanation why (50:26). Such is the unevenness of families, even of this one, blessed "up to the bounties of the everlasting hills" (49:26).
Joseph taught his brothers about God's ways, unforced, when he could have said things to his own advantage, about their past. What did Joseph tell them? "Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today. So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.' Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them." (50:19-21). And to us.
- New Year: Lev 7-9 for Jan 31
- New Year: Lev 4-6 for Jan 30
- New Year: Lev 1-3 for Jan 29
- New Year: Ex 38-40 for Jan 28
- New Year: Ex 35-37 for Jan 27
- New Year: Ex 32-34 for Jan 26
- New Year: Ex 29-31 for Jan 25
- New Year: Ex 26-28 for Jan 24
- New Year: Ex 23-25 for Jan 23
- New Year: Ex 19-22 for Jan 22
- New Year: Ex 16-18 for Jan 21
- New Year: Ex 13-15 for Jan 20
- New Year: Ex 10-12 for Jan 19
- New Year: Ex 7-9 for Jan 18
- New Year: Ex 4-6 for Jan 17
- New Year: Ex 1-3 for Jan 16
- New Year: Gen 48-50 for Jan 15
- New Year: Gen 44-47 for Jan 14
- New Year: Gen 41-43 for Jan 13
- New Year: Gen 38-40 for Jan 12
- New Year: Gen 35-37 for Jan 11
- New Year: Gen 32-34 for Jan 10
- New Year: Gen 29-31 for Jan 9
- New Year: Gen 25-28 for Jan 8
- New Year: Gen 22-24 for Jan 7
- New Year: Gen 18-21 for Jan 6
- New Year: Gen 15-17 for Jan 5
- New Year: Gen 11-14 for Jan 4
- New Year: Gen 8-10 for Jan 3
- New Year: Gen 4-7 for Jan 2
- New Year: Gen 1-3 for Jan 1
- ▼ January (31)
- ► 2006 (24)