Thursday, February 3, 2011

Genesis 43 - Dreams Fulfilled

LINK: Genesis 43

BACKGROUND

The brothers had to go back to Egypt because the famine was severe. Simeon had been sitting in jail for over a year. Judah was the one who spoke up in order to get Jacob to send Benjamin to Egypt. This is significant. Judah would emerge as the spokesman and leader (43:8-10; 44:14-34; 46:28) which is in keeping with the fact that Jacob will confirm Judah as leader of the family in 49:8-10. 
This is also in keeping with the Scarlet Thread of Redemption theme because Judah is an ancestor of Jesus from the Matthew 1 and Luke 3 genealogies. 

Eventually, Jacob was convinced by Judah, and Judah offered himself as surety if Benjamin did not return. Notice that Jacob did not reconsider Reuben's first offer of his firstborn from the previous chapter. This is another confirmation that Judah was taking the leadership role in the family.

Balm, honey, spices, myrrh, pistachio nuts, and almonds were taken to be presented to Joseph. It was common to present gifts to a superior. Of all these gifts, the balm (oil or gum exuded by fruit or stems of small trees), honey, and nuts (only mention of pistachio nuts in the Bible) were native to Canaan. All the rest would have been imported and probably very valuable.

Notice that Jacob also acknowledged God as El Shaddai, God Almighty. So far, this was the name connected with the Patriarchs in Genesis 17:1, 28:3, 35:11, and 43:14.

Also notice that the brothers again bowed to Joseph (43:26, 28) in a further fulfillment of his dream in 37:7, 9.

I will suspend with a reflection and application today because this chapter is in the middle of an exciting narrative with many life lessons and an application just around the corner. READ ON!
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