(This might be long BUT by far the best post this month. I have countless hours invested in research. I will try to be as concise as possible)
I hear people say “I have read Genesis before”. Even if you have, I hope this was like it was brand new to you. There are chapters we tend to say “Ummm I have no idea why I have to read this” and we skip it. Chapter 49 is usually one of those chapters. But we are NOT skipping it.
First, Chapter 48: The Adoption! We already covered that Judah will get the Blessing, but now it is time for the birthright. This is a very important section because it explains how Joseph’s sons, born and raised as Gentiles (that’s you) are adopted into the Hebrew’s EQUALLY. Joseph does not become the head of a tribe, but Ephraim and Manasseh will have an equal standing as Jacob’s other sons.
5 “Now then, your two sons born to you in Egypt before I came to you here will be reckoned as mine; Ephraim and Manasseh will be mine, just as Reuben and Simeon are mine.
Reuben was first born, he disqualified himself for the birthright when he slept with his “step-mom”. Seriously, who needs Netflix when you have this?? Ancient Eastern adoptions exercised placing the adopted child on the knees of the adopting parent to symbolize giving birth to the adopted. In verse 12, Joseph removed the sons from his knees and puts them close to the adopter: Jacob. He arranges the sons in birth order assuming the birthright will be chronological. This is actually the 4th consecutive generation where the prominence of the first born was reversed
- Isaac over Ishmael
- Jacob over Esau
- Joseph over Reuben
- Ephraim over Manasseh
Looks like I am going to have to give Charlie more than Elliot, or at least a nicer car to keep the tradition going!
Jacob, even though his health and eyes are failing, when Joseph said “You’re doing it wrong”, Jacob says in verse 19: “I know my son, I know”.
20 He blessed them that day and said,
“In your name will Israel pronounce this blessing:
‘May God make you like Ephraim and Manasseh.’”
So he put Ephraim ahead of Manasseh.
21 Then Israel said to Joseph, “I am about to die, but God will be with you and take you back to the land of your fathers. 22 And to you I give one more ridge of land than to your brothers, the ridge I took from the Amorites with my sword and my bow.”
The tribe of Ephraim will be given favorable land which will include Shechem: a ridge of mountain, in the Samaria area. Question of the day: what Bible icon rises from the Tribe of Ephraim??
Chapter 49. Are you ready to geek it out with me?? Read it once over BEFORE reading my notes. Now that you have hung on ever word of the first 48 chapters I think you could probably do this chapter without me! Keep notes any way that suits you best, I actually copy and pasted the scriptures to write on them from bible gateway because I refuse to wear readers and look old like my husband.
Jacob will foretell what would become of each tribe and their descendants. We will see blessings, curses, judgments, and prominence. Jacob will draw on the past and look to the future. Here we go! For the super geeky like Lucas, click here for a map you can print to look at while we do this.
Here are the notes to put next to the scriptures:
- Reuben- #1
- vs 3: firstborn, should have been given the birthright, blessing, double portion, leadership of the tribes.
- vs 4: tribe of Reuben produces no significant men, judges, kings, prophets, or priests
- vs 4: Gen: 35:22 he sleeps with Bilhah
- write in margin:
- Transjordan tribe
- God saves Israel from reckless leadership
- Simeon and Levi #2 and #3
- vs 5: they are blood brothers born from Leah
- vs 6: Gen 34 Shechem- vengeance from Dinah’s rape
- vs 7: neither will be given land
- Simeon will be absorbed by Judah
- Levi dispersed in cities
- Levi WILL be blessed with honor of priesthood when they sided with Moses at Mt. Sinai in Exodus 32:26-28
- Judah #4
- vs 8: Because #1.#2. #3 are disqualified, Judah will become the Covenant tribe.
- vs 9: compared to a Lion who is the king
- vs 10: Scepter: Royalty. The Messianic line. The Davidic Monarchy.
- vs 11: (I don’t know….) don’t write that. Is this end time? Can someone help me.
- vs 13: given the land between the Mediterranean Sea and the Sea of Galilee
- historical records show Zebulun shared a territory with Issachar
- Issachar #6
- vs. 14: Submissive tribe to the Canaanites
- vs 15: farmers, agriculture
- become slaves
- Dan #7
- vs 16: Samson.
- vs 17: Judges 18- Led Israel into Idolatry
- Gad #8
- vs 19 gets attached my nomads
- write in the margin: Transjordan Tribe
- Asher #9
- given the most fertile land
- Naphtali #10
- you may not want to write this BUT I wrote “My favorite Judge: Deborah!” Oh how I want to be her when I grow up
- Joseph #11
- vs 22 tribe grew fruitful in the land
- vs 22 Manasseh and Ephraim are the branches (grafted into the family)
- vs 23- his brothers, Potiphers wife, prisoners
- vs 24: God was with him
- vs 25 and 26: (circle the blessings)
- vs 27 produces many warriors
- 1st King (Saul)
- Ehud, Jonathan,
- Esther, Mordecia
- vs 27: 3 incidents, they plunder after a battle 😦
CHAPTER 50- we close the book of Genesis with the death of Jacob and Joseph. Keeping with Egyptian customs both were mummified. Joseph is given permission to bury Jacob at the cave Abraham bought for the family to be buried in, back in Gen 23. Seems like forever since we read that Joseph’s remains are in a coffin in Egypt but his descendants promised to eventually bury him with the family.