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Chuck Smith :: Study Guide for Genesis

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The book of Genesis was written by Moses. Genesis is the book of beginnings: the beginning of creation, the beginning of man the beginning of sin, and the beginning of God's plan for the redemption of sinning man.

GENESIS 1: CREATION

v.1 "In the beginning God" The subject of the Bible is God. The purpose of the Bible is to bring us to the knowledge of God and His love for us.

Doesn't nature reveal God to us? Why do we need the Bible to know Him? Nature reveals God's power, greatness, and wisdom, but this revelation is not complete. We need the Bible to provide us with a unified body of knowledge concerning God.

God is the creator of all things, the object of creation, and the sustainer of creation.

"God created the heaven and the earth". Men who do not accept God as the creator must find other explanations for our existence.

Problems with the theory of evolution:

1. No new creation taking place.

2. Matter is constantly changing but the trend is downward (deterioration), not upward.

3. The earth would have to be much older than it is to provide time for simple cells to evolve to the complexity of the cells we see today.

A. Complexity of cells is not synonymous with higher life forms. Frog cells are more complex than human cells.

4. The dating of fossils is often inaccurate.

5. Mutations occur within a species but do not cross over to another species.

6. The population of earth would be greater if man were as old as the evolutionists claim.

7. Suggested reading: Evolution: The Fossils Say No by Duane Gish and Twilight of Evolution by Henry Morris.

The Hebrew word for God in verse 1 is "Elohim" which is plural. This indicates that the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit acted together to create the world.

v.2 There could be a gap in time between the first verse and the rest of the chapter. In the first verse, the Hebrew word translated "create" is "bara" meaning "to make something out of nothing". Thereafter, the word "asah" is used, which means "to assemble existing materials into an order".

"But the earth became wasteful and desolate" is another reading of the second verse.

v.3 Light is needed for life.

v.6-8 The blanket of moisture that surrounded the earth protected men from cosmic radiation and cell damage so that lifespans were much longer.

v.11,12 God created plant life that can reproduce itself.

v.20-25 God created the families of living things, the species.

v.26-28 Man is created in the image of God. The order to "replenish the earth" could indicate a pre-existence upon the earth.

GENESIS 2: DETAILS OF CREATION

v.2 "Rested" indicates that God was finished, not tired.

v.13 The Ethiopia referred to is not the area we know as Ethiopia today.

v.21 "Rib" actually means "curved section" in the Hebrew. God may have made an incision in Adam and used his blood or a clone cell to create Eve.

v.21-24 The woman was created to complete the man. The marriage relationship should be a building up and complementing of one another.

GENESIS 3: THE FALL

v.1 The word serpent here is not the Hebrew word commonly used for snake. It could be translated dragon, especially since snakes are reptiles, not "beasts of the field".

v.5 Satan implies that God is not fair in withholding the knowledge of good and evil.

v.6 Eve was deceived by the serpent, but Adam willfully transgressed when he ate the fruit. She was led into sin by the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eye, and the pride of life.

v.9 "Where art thou?" is the cry of a heart-broken father. God knew that Adam and Eve were the victims of their choice and that they were now in bondage to death and darkness.

v.12-13 Adam and Eve tried to shift the blame for their sin onto others.

v.15 The first promise of the Messiah: Jesus, the seed of the woman (Mary), destroyed the "head" or authority and power of Satan by His redemptive death on the cross. The cross is the second tree established by God whereby men might leave the government of death and darkness and go back into the government of life and light.

v.21 The concept of a blood sacrifice to cover sin is first introduced here as the animals are slain to provide clothing for Adam and Eve. This event foreshadows Christ's eventual death on the cross, which put an end to blood sacrifice.

v.22-24 God was merciful, not harsh, when He sent Adam and Eve away from the tree of life, because He knew they would not want to have to remain forever in their earthly, aging bodies.

GENESIS 4: CAIN'S SIN

v.3 "In process of time" Adam could have had four generations of children during the time lapse indicated by these words. Usually, all a man's children are not listed in the Bible; only those who are relevant to the story are named.

v.5 Cain's offering did not please God.

v.7 God explained to Cain that sin in his life had caused his offering to be rejected.

GENESIS 5: THE PATRIARCHS FROM ADAM TO NOAH

v.21-24 The deaths of men are recorded in an unbroken chain until Enoch. Enoch was taken from the earth by God. Enoch, as a man of faith, represents the Church, which will also be taken out of the world (raptured). Noah symbolizes the 144,000 Jews who will have to go through the Tribulation here on earth, but will be protected by God.

v.25-27 It appears that Methuselah died in the Flood.

GENESIS 6: THE STORY OF NOAH

v.3 God cut the lifespan from an average of 912 years to an average of 120 years

v.4 The "sons of God" may refer to fallen angels who married the "daughters of men" and produced giant offspring.

v.6 "Repented" is our way of describing God's response to the evil in the world He had created, though He actually does not "repent" as we do.

v.14 "Pitch" is tar.

v.15 A cubit is 18 to 24 inches. The ark had the square footage of 1,000 boxcars.

v.19-21 Noah had room for the animals because he only had to take one pair from each species. God sent the animals to the ark, so Noah did not have to search them out.

GENESIS 7: THE FLOOD

v.6 It took Noah and his sons about 120 years to complete the ark.

v.11 "Fountains of the deep" are underground reservoirs.

A flood legend was part of the mythology of all the ancient cultures, confirming the common origin of man.

v.12 Forty is the number of judgment in the Bible.

GENESIS 8: NOAH LEAVES THE ARK

v.21 God's evaluation of man: "...for the imagination of man's heart is evil from his youth."

GENESIS 9: THE COVENANT

v.9-11 God promised that He would not destroy the earth with a universal flood again.

v.19 The peoples of the world are divided into three ethnic groups after Noah's three sons.

GENESIS 10: THE TABLES OF NATIONS

v.2 The sons of Japheth are the Caucasians who settled in Russia and the European continent.

v.6 Ham's descendants populated the African continent.

v.21 Shem was the father of the Hebrew (the children of Eber) and Oriental people.

GENESIS 11: THE TOWER OF BABEL

v.4 The tower was a ziggurat a temple tower where people planned to worship the stars and the heavens.

v.26 Since Shem and Abram were contemporaries, Shem may have given the details of the ark and the Flood to Abram.

GENESIS 12: THE PROMISE OF BLESSING

v.2,3 The promise of blessing God gave to Abram included the promise of the Messiah that was to come from Abram's line: "and in thee shall all families of the earth be blessed".

v.5 Abram and Sarai had the same father, so she was his half-sister.

v.11-20 Abram was seventy-five and Sarai was in her sixties.

Though Abram is considered to have been a great man of faith, his faith was not always constant, and here is a lapse of faith.

GENESIS 13: ABRAM AND LOT DIVIDE

v.14-18 God promised the land to Abram and his descendants forever.

God told Abram to look at the land with the eyes of faith and then to walk in faith all over the land.

GENESIS 14: THE KING OF SALEM

v.18 Salem is thought to be Jerusalem. The term El Elyon, "most high God," is first used here.

Some scholars think Melchizedek may have been Shem, who was still alive at that time, while others believe that Melchizedek was a theophany, an appearance of God in human form, which would be Christ.

v.20 Abram tithed to Melchizedek.

v.22 Abram used the term Melchizedek had used - "most high God".

GENESIS 15:

v.1 Abram had not taken any spoil from the battle, so God told him that He would be his shield and reward.

v.13 The 400 years of bondage of the Hebrews in Egypt is prophesied.

v.14 The Hebrews "borrowed" from their Egyptian neighbors when they left Egypt.

GENESIS 16:

v.2 Sarai had a lapse of faith when she tried to help God to produce an heir for Abram. Though this lapse was forgiven, the descendants of Ishmael have caused problems for the sons of Abram since these early days.

v.11 Ishmael means "God shall hear".

v.14 Beerlahairoi means "the well of Him that liveth and seeth me".

GENESIS 17: THE COVENANT OF CIRCUMCISION

v.1 God reveals Himself further as El Shaddai.

v.5 Abram means "high father". Abraham means "father of many nations".

v.10-14 Circumcision was a symbol of the cutting away of the flesh to pursue the things of God and of His Spirit.

v.15 Sarai means "contentious" Sarah means "princess".

v.16 The fourth chapter of Romans lists the four keys to Abraham's faith as:

1) Not considering the human limitations.

2) Not staggering at the promises of God.

3) Giving glory and thanks to God for what He will do.

4) Knowing that God can fulfill His promises.

v.17,18 A second lapse of faith: Abraham laughed and wondered inwardly when God told him that Sarah would bear a son, and then Abraham told God that he would be satisfied with Ishmael.

v.19 God told Abraham to call his son Isaac, which means "laughter".

GENESIS 18: THE LORD VISITS ABRAHAM

v.13,17 When LORD is written with all capital letters, it signifies the Hebrew Yaweh (YHVH) is used in the text. The Jews do not pronounce His holy name.

v.22 The men (angels) went on to Sodom, but the Lord (Jesus, since this was a theophany) stayed with Abraham.

v.23-32 The concept that the Lord would not destroy the righteous with the wicked was argued by Abraham as the "right" way to act. According to this concept, God will not destroy His Church in the tribulation, but will take it out before His judgment begins, as He removed Lot from Sodom.

GENESIS 19: THE ANGELS VISIT SODOM

v.1 The two angels had gone on to Sodom. The judges of Sodom sat in the gate.

v.5 The men of Sodom wanted to have homosexual relations with the angels.

v.6-8 It is hard to understand why Lot would offer his virgin daughters to the wicked men of Sodom unless one understands that in those times women were considered chattel and were not esteemed as women have been since Christianity developed.

v.10 The angels pulled Lot back into the house.

v.14 Though Lot was righteous, his compromises in moving into the wicked city cost him his children. Only his two daughters who remained at home went with him.

v.31 The daughters thought they were the only survivors on the earth, so they acted to preserve life.

v.37,38 The Moabites and Ammonites were the result of these unions and caused continual problems for the Hebrews.

GENESIS 20: ANOTHER LAPSE OF FAITH

v.2 Sarah was in her nineties at this point.

Abraham again had a lapse of faith, which only confirms that he was a man just as we are. The gift of faith that God gave Abraham is available to us, too.

GENESIS 21: THE BIRTH OF ISAAC

v.1-7 The birth of Isaac was a source of awe at God's power and joy in His blessing.

v.12 God promised Abraham that "in Isaac shall thy seed be called". This promise was to help Abraham in a later trial.

v.31 Beersheba means "the well of oath or swearing".

GENESIS 22: THE FELLOWSHIP OF HIS SUFFERING

God's revelation of Himself to Abraham took the form of a progressive fellowship into which He led Abraham each time He appeared to him.

First appearance: fellowship of the discontent of God with the worldly society (Genesis 12:1).

Second appearance: fellowship with the plans and methods of God (Genesis 13:14-18).

Third appearance: fellowship with the patience of God (Genesis 15).

Fourth appearance: fellowship of the hope of God (Genesis 15:12-21).

Fifth appearance: fellowship of the sufficiency of God (Genesis 17).

Sixth appearance: fellowship with the justice of God (Genesis 18:23-33).

Seventh appearance: fellowship of His suffering (Genesis 22).

v.1 "Test" is a better word than "tempt" to describe the experience God planned for Abraham.

v.2 This verse compares to John 3:16 where God the Father sacrificed His beloved Son. Calvary is located right on the crest of Mount Moriah.

v.3-10 Repetition of the word "and" denotes consistent, deliberate action.

v.5 The plural verb was used when Abraham said, "I and the lad will go yonder and worship and (we will) come again to you".

v.6 Isaac had to carry the wood for the sacrifice even as Christ had to carry the cross.

v.8 Abraham prophesies, "My son, God will provide himself a lamb for a burnt offering (sacrifice)".

v.8-10 Hebrews 11:17-19. Since Abraham had the promise of God (Genesis 21:12) that his descendants would come through Isaac, and since Isaac had no children when God asked for the sacrifice, Abraham knew that, if necessary, God would raise Isaac from the dead.

Like Christ, Isaac was a willing sacrifice, for he was about thirty years old and could easily have overpowered his aged father.

v.14 Jehovah-jireh means "God sees, God provides". "In the mount of the Lord it shall be seen" was a prophecy of the sacrifice of Jesus by the Father on the same mount.

v.16-18 When Abraham gave his best to God, God rewarded him doubly. Abraham was allowed to enter into a deep, intimate fellowship with God in suffering over the sacrifice of a beloved only son.

GENESIS 23: SARAH'S BURIAL

v.3-20 This chapter provides insight into the dealings of Abraham with the Canaanites.

GENESIS 24: A BRIDE FOR ISAAC

The story of Isaac and Rebekah is a beautiful love story that symbolizes the Holy Spirit wooing a Bride (the Church) for the Son (Christ).

v.26 Throughout this story, Eliezer is a selfless individual, speaking more of Abraham and Isaac than of himself, just as the Holy Spirit glorifies the Father and the Son without drawing attention to Himself.

v.29-31 Laban hurried to greet Eliezer when he sensed there could be a profit.

v.53 The Holy Spirit gives glorious gifts to us.

v.58 Rebekah was drawn by the Spirit to her bridegroom, so she did not hesitate to go.

GENESIS 25: JACOB AND ESAU

v.25 Esau means "hairy". Jacob means "heel-catcher or supplanter".

v.27 "Plain man" means that he was delicate.

v.30 Edom means "red"; this was Esau's nickname.

v.34 Esau did not really care about his birthright, for he went on his-way after eating the lentils; but to Jacob the birthright was something to be desired.

GENESIS 26: ISAAC'S LAPSE OF FAITH

v.1-11 Isaac said his wife was his sister to protect himself just as his father had done with his wife.

v.20 Esek means "strife ".

v.21 Sitnah means "contention".

v.22 Rehoboth means "room for us all".

v.23 Shebah means "seventh".

GENESIS 27: THE SUBSTITUTION

v.38 Esau wept for the loss of the material blessings, but he did not really seek the blessing of God on his life. Hebrews 12:17.

v.40 Esau's descendants were the Edomites who were under the dominion of the Israelites for a time but finally revolted. The Herod kings in the New Testament were the last known Edomites.

GENESIS 28: JACOB IS SENT AWAY

v.11 Jacob was at Bethel, the same spot where the Lord had shown to Abraham all the land that He would give to him and to his seed.

v.20 Jacob was such a scheming man that even his vow to God was basically a bargain with God rather than a loving consecration.

GENESIS 29: JACOB MARRIES

v.17 Tender eyed meant "blue-eyed." Blue eyes were considered a weakness then.

v.23-27 Laban was as scheming as Jacob in giving his older daughter to Jacob in place of the beloved Rachel, for whom Jacob had worked for seven years.

v.27 The seven years work for each daughter was a dowry paid to Laban by Jacob.

v.30,31 Jacob made his preference of Rachel over Leah obvious.

v.32 Reuben means "see, a son".

v.33 Simeon means "heard".

v.34 Levi means "joined".

v.35 Judah means "praise the Lord".

GENESIS 30: THE BIRTH OF JOSEPH

v.6 Dan means "judging".

v.8 Naphtali means "wrestling".

v.11 Gad means "a troop".

v.13 Asher means "happy".

v.18 Issachar means "hired".

v.20 Zebulun means "dwelling".

v.24 Joseph means "adding".

v.35 Laban removed all the speckled and ring straked animals from the herd so that only solid colored animals would be born and he would have Jacob's labor for free.

v.37-43 Jacob devised a system that caused the offspring of the stronger animals to be marked so that only the weaker animals were solid-colored.

GENESIS 31: JACOB DEPARTS

The three basic principles of God's guidance are illustrated in this chapter:

1) Desire - God placed the desire to return home in Jacob's heart.

2) Uncomfortable circumstances - the situation at Laban's house was getting unbearable.

3) Direct word - the Lord told Jacob to return to his home.

v.7 Laban had tried to outwit Jacob.

v.13 God reminded Jacob of the vow he had made to Him at Bethel.

v.26-30 Laban was a hypocrite; in verse 29 we can see what was really in his heart.

It is sad that a man's gods can be stolen.

v.47 Jegarsahadutha and Galeed both mean "the witness".

v.49 Mizpah means, "The Lord watch between me and thee, when we are absent one from another".

v.50-53 The intent of Mizpah was negative, because Laban and Jacob did not trust each other. They wanted God to watch between them, since they could not constantly see each other.

GENESIS 32: JACOB BECOMES ISRAEL

v.2 Mahanaim means "two hosts".

v.12 Jacob reminded God of His promise.

v.13-21 After his prayer, Jacob started planning ways to win his brother's forgiveness.

v.24-26 Though he was ninety, Jacob wrestled with the angel all night and would not submit until he was crippled in his thigh. Why did God cripple Jacob?

Jacob was a man of faith. He trusted God and believed in His purposes. However, Jacob thought that God needed his help to get things done, and God knew that Jacob had to be defeated so that he would rely on God instead of on his own resourcefulness. God crippled Jacob in order to crown him with His glory. When Jacob surrendered, God's power could begin to be manifested to him.

v.26 Hosea 12:3 tells us that Jacob was pleading with tears when he cried, "I will not let thee go, except thou bless me".

v.28 Israel means "governed by God"

v.30 Peniel means "the face of God".

GENESIS 33: THE REUNION

v.4 Perhaps it was when Esau saw Jacob limping that he decided to be reconciled with him. The moment Esau had planned for vengeance became a moment of beauty as the two brothers wept and embraced.

v.12-18 Jacob had not become fully Israel (God-governed) yet, because when Esau offered to accompany him to Seir, Jacob told him he would follow Esau there. However, when Esau left, Jacob went in the opposite direction to Shechem.

v.19,20 God had told Jacob to go back to the land of his Father and to his family, but Jacob disobeyed in going to Shechem and the Lord allowed him to have serious problems there.

v.20 Elelohe-Israel means "God, the God of Israel".

GENESIS 34: TROUBLE AT SHECHEM

v.13 Jacob's sons were also deceitful.

v.16-21 It was not the will of God that the children of Israel be mixed with other people, so this plan was not carried out.

v.30 Jacob was not so upset by the injustice of what his sons had done as by the dangerous position their actions had put him in.

GENESIS 35: JACOB MOVES TO BETHEL

v.1-6 This time Jacob obeyed God when He told him to go to Bethel.

v.7 El-bethel means "the God of Bethel". Bethel means "the house of God".

v.8 Allonbacuth means "the oak of weeping".

v.10-12 In Bethel there was a renewal of commitment, not of Jacob to God so much as of God confirming His promises to Jacob.

v.18 Benoni means "the son of my sorrow". Benjamin means "son of the right hand".

GENESIS 36: THE GENERATIONS OF ESAU

v.1 Edom was Esau's nickname.

v.12 Though Esau did not strike Jacob, when the children of Israel came out of Egypt the first people they fought, the Amalekites, were descendants of Esau.

v.15 Duke means "prince, chief of thousands".

Eliphaz was the name of one of Job's comforters; the events in the book of Job may have taken place during the time of Jacob and Esau.

GENESIS 37: JOSEPH'S BROTHERS SELL HIM

v.3 Jacob showed his favoritism to Rachel's son, Joseph, by giving him the coat of many colors, signifying that he had chosen Joseph for his heir.

v.5-9 Joseph's prophetic dream that his brothers would bow down to him made them even angrier at him.

v.12 Shechem was about ninety miles from Hebron. They had to go far from home to find pastures for their flocks.

v.22 Reuben, the eldest child, planned to rescue Joseph and send him back to his father.

v.28 Joseph is a type of Christ, hated and sold by his brothers but eventually becoming their ruler.

GENESIS 38: THE DECEPTION OF JUDAH

Apparently the Lord allowed this story to be included in the Bible because Judah was to play an important part in the lineage of Christ. Christ was the lion of Judah. This story also demonstrates the grace of God, because He used even a corrupt man rather than only saintly men.

v.29 Perez means "breach".

v.30 Zerah means "sunrise".

GENESIS 39: JOSEPH SENT TO PRISON

v.6 "Well favored" means "handsome".

Joseph was a beautiful person, inside and out.

v.9 Joseph recognized that all sin is against God and is in rebellion to His laws.

v.20 Joseph was put into the prison where the Pharaoh's prisoners were kept.

GENESIS 40: JOSEPH INTERPRETS TWO DREAMS

v.3 God wanted Joseph to meet the butler of the Pharaoh.

v.7 Joseph was a man of keen insight, since he noticed the depression of the butler and the baker.

v.8 Joseph had not become bitter against God over the trials he had to endure.

v.20-22 Within three days the interpretations of the dreams of the butler and the baker became reality.

v.23 Once he was back in his comfortable position, the butler forgot about Joseph.

GENESIS 41: PHARAOH HAS A DREAM

v.1 It is hard to understand why Joseph had to spend two more years in prison after his meeting with the Pharaoh's butler. God was probably refining Joseph so He could use him. Perhaps Joseph was full of bitterness and vengeance toward his brothers, and God wanted to give him time for these feelings to dissipate. The experiences of life can make us a bitter person or a better person. God wanted to make Joseph a better person.

v.16 Joseph gave God the credit for interpreting the dreams.

v.38 Pharaoh recognized that the Spirit of God was in Joseph.

v.45 Pharaoh called Joseph "Zaphenathpaneah" which means "the man to whom secrets are revealed".

v.51 Manasseh means "forgetting".

v.52 Ephraim means "fruitful".

v.54-57 The famine that Joseph predicted brought people from the surrounding countries to buy food in Egypt.

GENESIS 42: JOSEPH SEES HIS BROTHERS

v.6,7 It had been about twelve years since Joseph's brothers had sold him. He dressed and looked Egyptian and spoke to his brothers through an interpreter, so they did not recognize him.

v.21,22 Though twelve years had passed since the brothers had sold Joseph, they were still feeling guilty about the way they had treated him. Sin has a way of causing people to carry an increasing load of guilt that can negatively affect their lives. Jesus died to cleanse us from our sins and to obtain eternal forgiveness for us.

v.23,24 It was not easy for Joseph to be stern with his brothers.

v.36 The cry of Jacob came from near-sightedness. He thought everything was going against him when actually God was moving in his life to give him his heart's desire. Sometimes we think God is not working in our lives when He is quietly doing miraculous things for us.

v.38 Jacob was willing to let Simeon stay in prison in Egypt rather than let Benjamin go.

GENESIS 43: BENJAMIN GOES TO EGYPT

v.11,12 Jacob was scheming again to help his sons to find favor in the Egyptian ruler's (Joseph's) eyes.

v.14 "If I be bereaved of my children, I am bereaved" Jacob had been put in circumstances where his own resources were so limited that he had to make a total commitment to God. Sometimes God puts us in a place that He knows will cause us to rely on Him.

v.33 Joseph had his brothers seated around the table according to age, from the eldest to the youngest. They were amazed that he could do this.

v.34 "Mess" means "portion of food".

GENESIS 44: JUDAH'S PLEA

v.15 Joseph pretended that he had powers of divination that could tell him when people were trying to steal from him.

v.33 Judah had led the attack on Joseph years before. He had changed enough to be willing to take Benjamin's place as a servant in Egypt.

GENESIS 45: THE BROTHERS REUNITED

v.3 "Troubled" means "terrified".

v.8 Joseph recognized that God's overall plan to save his family was the reason that he was sent to Egypt, so he did not blame his brothers.

v.12 Joseph spoke directly to his brothers in Hebrew so that they would believe him.

GENESIS 46: JACOB MOVES TO EGYPT

Jacob's family accompanied him to Egypt. The various members are listed with their mothers.

v.8-15 33 descendant's from Leah.

v.16-18 16 descendants from Zilpah.

v.19-22 14 descendants from Rachel.

v.23-25 7 descendants from Bilhah.

v.27 70 members of Jacob's family went into Egypt.

v.31-34 Joseph encouraged his brothers not to become urbanized but to stay out in the country in Goshen and to continue to be shepherds.

GENESIS 47: THE FAMINE WORSENS

v.1-12 Jacob and his family settled in the country and were cared for by Joseph.

v.13-17 The people spent all their money for food, so they had to sell their cattle to Joseph to buy food.

v.18-26 The next year the people sold their lands and themselves to buy food. Joseph set up a twenty percent tax to be paid into the Pharaoh's store house from the produce of Pharaoh's farms.

v.30 Jacob wanted to be buried in the land that God had promised to him.

GENESIS 48: MANASSEH AND EPHRAIM

v.5 Jacob (Israel) laid claim to Joseph's two sons and made them part of the tribes of Israel. When the twelve tribes of Israel are listed, Joseph and Levi are often omitted, and Ephraim and Manasseh are included, though the listings vary. Twelve is always the number listed, however, for it is the number of divine guidance in the Bible.

v.13-20 Jacob purposely gave the preference to Joseph's younger son, reminiscent of his own past as the younger son who was told that he would rule over his older brother.

GENESIS 49: JACOB BLESSES HIS SONS

In this chapter Jacob called his sons to his deathbed and prophesied over each one.

v.4 Reuben lost the good opinion of his father when he took Jacob's concubine.

v.5-7 Simeon and Levi always seemed to work together. They had violent, ungoverned tempers.

v.8,9 The lion became the symbol of the tribe of Judah.

v.10 After God rejected Saul, who was from the tribe of Benjamin, as King over Israel, He placed David, who was from the tribe of Judah, on the throne. The throne of Israel was to belong to Judah until the Messiah (Shiloh) came.

v.13 Zebulon's tribe was to dwell by the sea along the northern coast of Israel.

v.16 Dan's tribe produced the judges.

v.19 Gad's tribe produced the troops, the soldiers.

v.20 Asher was the baker for the tribes.

v.22 Joseph could enjoy the fruit of his godly life and others were blessed by his life too, as passersby enjoy fruit that hangs over the wall. God wants our lives to be fruitful and to overflow with the blessings He bestows on us, so that we share His goodness with others.

v.23 Most of the arrows were shot by Joseph's brothers. There were various trials he had to endure:

a) Arrows of doubt and scorn sent when he tried to share his dreams (Genesis 37:8)

b) Arrows of hatred because the ten older brothers knew he was their father's favorite (Genesis 37:4)

c) Arrows of treachery when his brothers decided to kill him (Genesis 37:28)

d) Arrows of temptation as Potiphar's wife tried to seduce him (Genesis 39:7)

e) Arrows of false accusations as she accused him of trying to attack her (Genesis 39:13-18)

f) Arrows of forgetfulness when the butler forgot Joseph for two years. (Genesis 40:23)

v.24 It takes greater strength to hold back from taking revenge when it is in our power to do it. Though the arrows were shot at him, Joseph did not shoot back. The Father had His arms around Joseph's arms, holding the bow for him and giving him His strength to draw upon.

v.29-32 Jacob asked his sons to bury him with his fathers back in the promised land.

GENESIS 50: A BURIAL AND A DEATH

v.2,3 Perhaps Jacob's body is well-preserved even now since the Egyptian physicians embalmed him.

v.11 Abelmizraim means "the mourning of the Egyptians".

v.19 Joseph realized that God does not want us to retaliate for wrongs done us. When He is our shield and defender, no weapon that is formed against us shall prosper.

v.20 The providence of God caused the plots of his brothers and Potiphar's wife to turn out to be good for Joseph and his family. Their motives did not matter, for God still brought good out of it. "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose" (Romans 8:28).


Used With Permission

© The Word For Today. We thank Chuck Smith, The Word For Today and Calvary Chapel Costa Mesa for their permission to utilize this work.

CONTENT DISCLAIMER:

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.

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