Reading 15/341, Genesis 49—Exodus 2

Jacob speaks about each of his sons, then dies. Joseph takes his body back to Canaan. His brothers worry he may kill them, but he does not. Joseph dies. 300 years later, the Israelites are slaves. Pharaoh tries to kill all Hebrew boys, but one is saved, adopted by a daughter of Pharaoh, and named Moses. He kills a man and runs away from Egypt to Midian, where he marries. Meanwhile, the Hebrews suffer.
[A] We have the blessing of Jacob today for each of his 12 sons. There is a prophecy of Jesus in it, at the end of Judah's blessing.
[B] We finish Genesis today. As Exodus starts we fast forward about 300 years.

...Genesis

Jacob called his sons, and said: "Gather yourselves together, that I may tell you what will happen to you in the days to come. Assemble yourselves and listen, O sons of Jacob. Listen to Israel, your father. Reuben, you are my firstborn, my might, and the beginning of my strength; excelling in dignity, and excelling in power. Boiling over as water, you shall not excel; because you went up to your father's bed, then defiled it. He went up to my couch. Simeon and Levi are brothers. Their swords are weapons of violence. My soul, do not come into their council. My glory, do not be united to their assembly; for in their anger they killed men. In their self-will they hamstrung oxen. Cursed be their anger, for it was fierce, and their wrath, for it was cruel. I will divide them in Jacob, and scatter them in Israel. Judah, your brothers will praise you. Your hand will be on the neck of your enemies. Your father's sons will bow down before you. Judah is a lion's cub. From the prey, my son, you have gone up. He stooped down, he crouched as a lion, as a lioness. Who will rouse him up? The scepter will not depart from Judah, nor the ruler's staff from between his feet, until He-To-Whom-It-Belongs comes, to Him will the obedience of the peoples be. Binding his foal to the vine, his donkey's colt to the choice vine; he has washed his garments in wine, his robes in the blood of grapes. His eyes will be red with wine, his teeth white with milk. Zebulun will dwell at the haven of the sea. He will be for a haven of ships. His border will be on Sidon. Issachar is a strong donkey, lying down between the saddlebags. He saw a resting place, that it was good, the land, that it was pleasant. He bows his shoulder to the burden, and becomes a servant doing forced labor. Dan will judge his people, as one of the tribes of Israel. Dan will be a serpent in the way, an adder in the path that bites the horse's heels so that his rider falls backward. I await your salvation, O Lord! A troop will press on Gad, but he will press on their heel. Asher's food will be rich. He will yield royal dainties. Naphtali is a doe set free, who bears beautiful fawns. Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine by a spring. His branches run over the wall. The archers have sorely grieved him, shot at him, and persecute him, but his bow remained strong. The arms of his hands were made strong, by the hands of the Mighty One of Jacob, (from there is the Shepherd, the Stone of Israel), even by the God of your father, who will help you; by the Almighty, who will bless you, with blessings of heaven above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breasts, and of the womb. The blessings of your father have prevailed above the blessings of your ancestors, above the boundaries of the ancient hills. They will be on the head of Joseph, on the crown of the head of him who is separated from his brothers. Benjamin is a ravenous wolf. In the morning, he will devour the prey. At evening, he will divide the spoil."

These are all the twelve tribes of Israel, and this is what their father spoke to them and blessed them. He blessed everyone according to his blessing. He charged them, and said to them, "I am to be gathered to my people. Bury me with my fathers in the cave that is in the field of Ephron the Hittite, in the cave that is in the field of Machpelah, which is before Mamre, in the land of Canaan, which Abraham bought with the field from Ephron the Hittite as a burial place. There they buried Abraham and Sarah, his wife. There they buried Isaac and Rebekah, his wife, and there I buried Leah: the field and the cave that is therein, which was purchased from the children of Heth." When Jacob made an end of charging his sons, he gathered up his feet into the bed, and yielded up the spirit, and was gathered to his people. Joseph fell on his father's face, wept on him, and kissed him. Joseph commanded his servants, the physicians, to embalm his father, and the physicians embalmed Israel. Forty days were fulfilled for him, for that is how many days it takes to embalm. The Egyptians wept for him for seventy days.

When the days of weeping for him were past, Joseph spoke to the house of Pharaoh, saying, "If now I have found favor in your eyes, please speak in the ears of Pharaoh, saying, 'My father made me swear, saying, "Behold, I am dying. Bury me in my grave which I have dug for myself in the land of Canaan." Now therefore, please let me go up and bury my father, and I will come back again.'" Pharaoh said, "Go up and bury your father, just like he made you swear." Joseph went up to bury his father, and with him went up all the servants of Pharaoh, the elders of his house, all the elders of the land of Egypt, all the house of Joseph, his brothers, and his father's house. Only their little ones, their flocks, and their herds, did they leave in the land of Goshen. There went up with him both chariots and horsemen. It was a very great company. They came to the threshing floor of Atad, which is beyond the Jordan, and there they lamented with a very great and sore lamentation. He mourned for his father seven days. When the inhabitants of the land, the Canaanites, saw the mourning in the floor of Atad, they said, "This is a grievous mourning by the Egyptians." Therefore, the name of it was called Abel-mizraim [Mourning of Egypt]; it is beyond the Jordan. His sons did to him just as he commanded them, for his sons carried him into the land of Canaan, and buried him in the cave of the field of Machpelah, which Abraham bought with the field, for a possession of a burial site, from Ephron the Hittite, to the east of Mamre. Joseph returned into Egypt, he and his brothers and all that went up with him to bury his father, after he had buried his father.

When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "It may be that Joseph will hate us, and will fully pay us back for all of the evil which we did to him." They sent a message to Joseph, saying, "Your father commanded before he died, saying, 'You shall tell Joseph, "Now please forgive the disobedience of your brothers, and their sin, because they did evil to you."' Now, please forgive the disobedience of the servants of the God of your father." Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also went and fell down before his face, and they said, "Behold, we are your servants." Joseph said to them, "Do not be afraid, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring to pass, as it is this day, to save many people alive. Now therefore do not be afraid. I will nourish you and your little ones." He comforted them, and spoke kindly to them.

Joseph lived in Egypt, he, and his father's house. Joseph lived one hundred ten years. Joseph saw Ephraim's children to the third generation. The children also of Machir, the son of Manasseh, were born on Joseph's knees. Joseph said to his brothers, "I am dying, but God will surely visit you, and bring you up out of this land to the land which he swore to Abraham, to Isaac, and to Jacob." Joseph took an oath of the children of Israel, saying, "God will surely visit you, and you shall carry up my bones from here." So Joseph died, being one hundred ten years old, and they embalmed him, and he was put in a coffin in Egypt.

Exodus...

Now these are the names of the sons of Israel, who came into Egypt (every man and his household came with Jacob): Reuben, Simeon, Levi, and Judah, Issachar, Zebulun, and Benjamin, Dan and Naphtali, Gad and Asher. All the souls who came out of Jacob's body were seventy souls, and Joseph was in Egypt already. Joseph died, as did all his brothers, and all that generation. The children of Israel were fruitful, and increased abundantly, and multiplied, and grew exceedingly mighty, and the land was filled with them.

Now there arose a new king over Egypt, who did not know Joseph. He said to his people, "Behold, the people of the children of Israel are more and mightier than we. Come, let us deal shrewdly with them, lest they multiply, and it happen that when any war breaks out, they join themselves to our enemies, and fight against us, and escape out of the land." Therefore they set taskmasters over them to afflict them with their burdens. They built storage cities for Pharaoh: Pithom and Raamses. But the more they afflicted them, the more they multiplied and the more they spread out. They were grieved because of the children of Israel. The Egyptians ruthlessly made the children of Israel serve, and they made their lives bitter with hard service, in mortar and in brick and in all manner of service in the field – the whole cruel fate of slaves.

The king of Egypt spoke to the Hebrew midwives, of whom the name of the one was Shiphrah, and the name of the other Puah, and he said, "When you perform the duty of a midwife to the Hebrew women, and see them on the birth stool; if it is a son, then you shall kill him; but if it is a daughter, she shall live." But the midwives feared God, and did not do what the king of Egypt commanded them, but saved the baby boys alive. The king of Egypt called for the midwives, and said to them, "Why have you done this thing, and have saved the boys alive?" The midwives said to Pharaoh, "Because the Hebrew women are not like the Egyptian women; for they are vigorous, and give birth before the midwife comes to them." God dealt well with the midwives, and the people multiplied, and grew very mighty. It happened, because the midwives feared God, that he gave them families. Pharaoh charged all his people, saying, "You shall cast every son who is born into the river, and every daughter you shall save alive."

A man of the house of Levi went and took a daughter of Levi as his wife. The woman conceived and bore a son. When she saw that he was a fine child, she hid him three months. When she could no longer hide him, she took a papyrus basket for him, and coated it with tar and pitch. She put the child in it and laid it in the reeds by the riverbank. His sister stood far off, to see what would be done to him. Pharaoh's daughter came down to bathe at the river. Her maidens walked along by the riverside. She saw the basket among the reeds and sent her handmaid to get it. She opened it and saw the child, and behold, the baby cried. She had compassion on him, and said, "This is one of the Hebrews' children." Then his sister said to Pharaoh's daughter, "Should I go and call a nurse for you from the Hebrew women, that she may nurse the child for you?" Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Go." The maiden went and called the child's mother. Pharaoh's daughter said to her, "Take this child away, and nurse him for me, and I will give you your wages." The woman took the child, and nursed it. The child grew, and she brought him to Pharaoh's daughter, and he became her son. She named him Moses, and said, "Because I drew him out of the water."

It happened in those days, when Moses had grown up, that he went out to his brothers, and looked at their burdens. He saw an Egyptian striking a Hebrew, one of his brothers. He looked this way and that way, and when he saw that there was no one, he killed the Egyptian and hid him in the sand. He went out the second day, and behold, two men of the Hebrews were fighting with each other. He said to him who did the wrong, "Why do you strike your fellow?" He said, "Who made you a prince and a judge over us? Do you plan to kill me, as you killed the Egyptian?" Moses was afraid, and said, "Surely this thing is known." Now when Pharaoh heard about it, he sought to kill Moses. But Moses fled from the face of Pharaoh to live in the land of Midian.

He sat down by a well. Now the priest of Midian had seven daughters. They came and drew water, and filled the troughs to water their father's flock. The shepherds came and drove them away; but Moses stood up and helped them, and watered their flock. When they came to Reuel, their father, he said, "How is it that you have returned so early today?" They said, "An Egyptian delivered us out of the hand of the shepherds, and moreover he drew water for us and watered the flock." He said to his daughters, "Where is he? Why is it that you have left the man? Call him, that he may eat bread." Moses was content to dwell with the man. He gave Moses Zipporah, his daughter. She bore a son, and he named him Gershom, for he said, "I have lived as a foreigner in a foreign land."

It happened in the course of those many days, that the king of Egypt died, and the children of Israel sighed because of the bondage, and they cried, and their cry came up to God because of the bondage. God heard their groaning, and God remembered his covenant with Abraham, with Isaac, and with Jacob. God saw the children of Israel – and God knew.

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